Tag Archive: Traverse City


Waking up to the rain was such a nice surprise.  The edge of the forest is blurred by a light fog lifted off the snow.  It’s supposed to be in the 50s today.  One nice thing about a cold spell, is how much reprieve a slightly warmer temperature brings to we indoor animals.

I spent some time at the library yesterday researching for OMS.  When I began this project, I really didn’t have a good grasp on just how significant Old Mission has been to our entire region.  It was significant to our family, but as I read through old RE articles, obits and oral histories, I’m learning Old Mission was the starting point for the settlers who later established a village at the base of West Grand Traverse Bay (Traverse City).  The first Blessing of the Blossoms (precursor to the National Cherry Festival) was held there.  The first apple and cherry trees planted, were planted by native peoples near the site of what is now Old Mission.  And the first non-native school was began on a schooner just offshore in Bowers Harbor.  

This project has been nothing but fun so far, which isn’t exactly what I had expected.  But like rain falling softly on a winter’s morning, I am once again pleasantly surprised.

One year following the publication of More than Cherries (the paper), I was diagnosed with NHL:


“Becky Big”

She was saved from slaughter and put to use as a even-tempered driving horse.  Becky Big isn’t really accustomed to riders, but with Liz leading the way, she was comfortable giving both Erick and me a chance to ride her around the arena.  I must admit, at 16 hands, I was nervous.  She appears so stocky, I assumed she must be short, but once I was standing beside her, her true height became more apparent.  

Erick went first.  Followed by me and my hilarious attempt at mounting a horse as wide as a sofa chair.  For her size, Becky is as snugly as a teddy bear.


Sleeping beauty on the way home…


And yet another reason I’m happy to be home…  I love TC folk.


Vote today for the Grand Vision

If you are a Northern Michigan resident residing in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau or Wexford Counties, please fill out your Grand VIsion Scorecard.  For detailed information about the four scenarios the Grand Traverse Region, please visit the Grand Vision.


Please Help Fellow TC Writer

And Save Lori’s house!

Record Eagle Article

Our vacation home to Michigan went well, though it was cut short by a week do to unforeseen circumstances.  The above photo was taken from a tin-type and features Erick’s great*4 grandparents (the small woman center and man just to the left of her) in front of their home once located at the corner of Seven Hills Rd. (Peninsula Dr.) and Kroupa.  The rear end of the house still stands and is now used as a shed.  

Christy and Liz threw a party for me at the Old State Hospital (GT Commons).  We enjoyed homemade chocolate pie, coffee and a walk around the grounds.  I gave the girls my “ghost-hunting” equipment and they uncovered several haunted areas.  Even my shirt was haunted!

After walking and talking, we decided to take the kids over to the Civic Center for some play-time and for us, it represented some much needed chill-out time.  

I have girlfriends who really are super-women.  They made it a point to get us out and about town.  The following afternoon was spent at Grass Lakes swimming and playing with clay.  Christy and Liz worked on teaching the girls how to swim.  The following afternoon was spent trying to teach our oldest how to ride a bike.

And then there was the slip-n-slide.  Erick made it look easy and eagerly (and gingerly) showed everyone the proper jump-slide technique.  All modesty went out the window that afternoon. 

The girls loved having the freedom to play outdoors all day long and especially enjoyed Grandpa’s extended driveway on which we created a chalk roadway for them to navigate complete with stop-signs and cross-walks.

We brought new meaning to the phrase “dog-tired,” didn’t we Celli-Belle?

And lastly, my parents threw me a second 30th birthday party in Elk Rapids where my cousin, Medora, made a surprise visit.  Dori and I are the only grandkids on my mom’s side and we’re just a year apart.  She got the looks, as you can tell.  Dori has three boys to compliment our three girls.  Her father, Craig, and I shared the same birthday.  For my birthday, my mom gave me a note my father had written the morning before my birth.  It was for my uncle and it directs him to the maternity wing.  On the back, it reads, “Happy Birthday!”

And that concludes this batch of vacation photos.  Greetings from Michigan!

Today is the last day of my twenties; tomorrow I turn 30.  I used to dread growing old, but in life post-cancer, growing old is a goal.  I thought the urge to reminisce would catch me off guard last minute; threatening to enact some hint of regret, but instead I feel content and satisfied in reaching my thirties.  

I’m also very glad to be in Michigan at this time in my life.  Two years ago on my birthday we took a trip to Mackinac Island.  I looked out over the bow of the boat at rainbows forming in the freshwater spray.  The wind whipped through our hair and out over the straits of Mackinac, the iron bridge took on a soft look in the bright sunlight.  It was a moment so well-engrained that while my body was secretly host to a silent mutation, I dreamed of my good-byes to family.  Each time I said goodbye in dreams, I walked into the spray and knew then I was passing into a new realm, though at the time I didn’t even believe in Santa Clause.  I discovered the lump two days later and my life was forever changed.  

In a way, being up here feels like the closing of some loop.  Like I’ve been here before, but my path has changed.  Left untreated, NHL kills within two-years.  Most recurrences take place within the first two years into remission.  Whatever the significance, this experience has completed a two-year cycle.  At a time when I believed I would regret the turning of a decade, I am elated to put my twenties behind me; to embark full-throttle on a new adventure; to leap into the next phase of my life uninhibited; to count rainbows on the spray and to take on the softer look wisdom grants us as we age.


Our week back in Elk Rapids, MI afforded me some time for reflection on all of the recent changes in our lives. We spent the majority of our time near the water; either on East Bay or Lake Michigan, but I made it a point to visit the chain and made a special visit to the old willow whose boughs sweep the currents of Elk River.  We used to climb out onto limbs as thick as barrels over the water to watch fish make their struggles toward the falls.  Treasures found along the shore were tucked safely beneath the tangled roots born bare by sand.  I climbed Johnny Rock and took photos of each of the girls on the early day’s swimmer’s stone; once a goal for swimmers near the newly erected harbor: The goal, uprooted; now a monument. 

Despite a lingering chill in the air, something in the metered pulse of the waves sliding up against sand only to be swept back again brought me into the moment and gave me time to center.  It was clear all at once I have not felt centered for some time in Charlotte.  It’s also clear I’ll need to find some way of “chilling out” now that I’m back in the city.  

It is strange returning home after a long absence, but I haven’t been away very long.  For me, this trip was about saying goodbye and reveling in the emotion unveiled through the process of letting go.  It was about replacing my grief for losing money on our house with gratitude we weren’t one of the dozen new foreclosures in the paper each day.  And about recognizing my ability to travel cross-country in good time with little worry.  This trip also reminded me that no amount of distance can squelch a good friendship.  And no matter how mature we become, we can still wade ankle-deep in Lake Michigan, jump waves tracing lines in the sand, and climb trees.  

On my way home to Charlotte, I occasionally glanced back in the rearview mirror at the thin horizon and worried about when I would return, but mostly my eyes were trained forward on the adventurous mountains ahead, and on the road immediately before me.  When I was a child, it was the road that moved as our car stood still, but yesterday, I accelerated past those reservations I’ve had about moving forward in this new life.  Despite warnings about dangerous cross-winds and steep grades, I was determined to make this trip work- determined not only to reach the destination, but as the saying goes, to enjoy the journey. 

And now for some theme-appropriate Walt Whitman: 

O living always, always dying!

O the burials of me, past and present!

O me, while I stride ahead, material visible, imperious as ever!

O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I lament not – I am content; )

O to disengage myself from those corpses of me which I turn and look at where I cast them!

To pass on, (O living! always living!) and leave the corpses behind!

Please click photos to link to flickr photos of our travels.



Asking Price: $174,900 (price negotiable)
3bd, 2 1/2bth, newer home on 1.02 Acres in Traverse City, MI

Hardwood and tile throughout, underground sprinklers and above ground garden irrigation, near Munson Medical Center, schools (public/private) and shopping, beaches, resorts, trails and fresh cherries. All new (2004) appliances. Finished family room, office nook and whirlpool tub.

Future historic residence of someday famous author. 🙂


Leave a comment for further details or to schedule a showing.

Shop Your Community Day

If you’re in Traverse City, the LLS is holding a fund-raising event to benefit the society (and patients battling blood cancers):

Please join us on Saturday, November 10, 2007 for “Shop Your Community Day” in downtown Traverse City!

More than 35 retail stores and shops are participating and for every purchase you make, 15% will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

What a great way to get a jump on holiday shopping and help out a local charity!  And it’s EASY – when making purchases, mention to the sales associate that you want 15% to go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  It’s that simple!

 For more details, please visit: www.downtowntc.com