It’s Springtime

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The seasons offer us so much intellectually.  Just watching nature daily has a soothing effect on you.   Springtime is my favorite season.  Watching the budding trees.  The birds are chirping.  You can begin to see the grass due to melting snow.  Regardless of your life situation springtime brings a new awareness.  A reminder that nothing stays the same.  Springtime says even with some long cold days still remaining, warmer days are ahead.  Looking forward to seeing the bees, spiders, butterflies, crickets, etc.  In life we watch the changing season repeat themselves.  You can watch the ants and squirrels begin their work storing food for the upcoming winter.  The bears are out of hibernation eating everything they can find preparing for the winter.

 

All the critters are scampering around. Flowers will begin to bloom.  It is as if life is resurrecting.  Although life never ended.  The beauty of the seasons is it represents the stages we go through in life.

  •  Springtime – everything is new, fresh and an adventure.
  •  Summertime – everything reaches it’s fullness.
  • Fall – leaves fall off the tress, critters reach a fever pitch putting food away for the upcoming winter.
  • Winter- cold, grass no longer grows, everything seems to be reflecting on seasons passed.

Now it’s springtime.  The time of year when the sun shines a lot and it just makes you feel good.  It doesn’t matter what life has dealt you, springtime should renew your faith.  If you are just feeling like life could be better.  Once the flowers bloom, smell them.  Springtime offers so much to the human experience. Don’t miss out on it due to the rose colored glasses of life hasn’t been good to me,  See the beauty of each season of our weather and life.

What a Difference a Lifetime Makes

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Sitting in a restaurant I noticed at the next table a young child being kept entertained by an iPhone video as the parents were eating,  Yes, this kept the young child (less than a year old) entertained and quiet.  I laughed and began thinking about how I kept my children quiet when I went out to dinner.  These thoughts took my mind on a wonderful journey of my life.

When I was young we were excited to go outside to play.  The time of year didn’t matter.  It could be hot or cold, we would go out to play.  We entertained ourselves.  There is something to be said about a generation of people who don’t know how to use their own minds for the purpose of keeping themselves entertained.  We used to call that using your imagination.  We made up games and played for hours.  This form of activity didn’t cost our parent’s any money,

Do people talk to each other anymore?

Today in the electronic age, parents have to pay for everything.  A lot of activities doesn’t require that the children think at all.  All they need to know to do is turn on the equipment,  Then they can sit for hours starring at a screen.  I guess I will have to update everyone in a few years the effects of this type of upbringing has on children as I observe the lives of my grandchildren.

In my lifetime I have gone from having to go to a Drive-in movie to see a movie to watching live TV on my iPad.  I am not complaining about the life our youngest generation has, I must say I am enjoying the pleasures of the electronic age myself.

Rob Weidbush and Artic Storm

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Weidbush amd Artic Storm

Weidbush amd Artic Storm

If you live in or around the Ypsilanti area you have probably heard of Rob Weidbush and Artic Storm.  I met him when he volunteered at Erickson Elementary School.  His story is a fascinating one.  Mr. Weidbush was in a horrific car accident several years ago which left his neck broke in several places.  He has recovered significantly , but the injuries have left him in need of a service dog.

Artic Storm is a beautiful 140 pound white German shepherd service dog.  He has been trained to assist his owner .  He assist in getting Mr. Weidbush in and out of the bathtub.  He also assist him in getting up from a seated position.  Mr. Weidbush demonstrated for us the different skills Artic Storm has.  He dropped a butcher knife on the floor and Artic Storm picked it up by the handle and handed it to his owner.  He also dropped silverware on the floor and Artic Storm picked up each peach individually and gave it him.  See YouTube videos called Weidbush and Storm uploaded by Let’s Weigh In.  They two owner and dog are a delight to watch.

Mr. Weidbush has received national recognition (the President s Award) for volunteerism.  This man is inspiring.  After all he has gone through, he has not given on life.  We complain over small issues in our lives, not realizing some people truly have some hurdles to overcome.  Mr. Weidbush continues to volunteer in his community.  He is a very pleasant man to speak with and listen to.  He is genuine in wanting you to understand the purpose and importance of a service dog.

If you ever see a service animal with their owner dont pet them, they are working.  Children being children still had to pet Storm even after being told not too.  Storm and Mr. Weidbush didn’t seem to mind.    If you see Artic Storm, he may have on one of many costumes.  Storm has a costume he wears that carries medical supplies or a mobile difibulator. Storm will be dressed for any occasion.

Discover Michigan – Maple Festival 2014

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Mark Irish/ Interpreter

Mark Irish/ Interpreter

Michigan is sixth in the production of maple syrup.  This weekend the Maple Festival is being held in 400 cities across Michigan.  We chose to visit Dexter, Michigan at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks located at 8801 N. Territorial Road.  The event begins with a pancake breakfast.  We used “Liquid Gold” maple syrup for the first time in our lives.  I always thought what I purchased from the grocery store was syrup, but Mr. Irish read the ingredient list from the bottle.  Everything is in that bottle but maple syrup.

Mr. Irish gathered us together in the Activity Center at the Metroparks and explained for ten minutes the process of spotting a maple tree, tapping a maple tree, catching the maple in blue plastic bags and the cooking process.  Next he took everyone outside and described what a maple tree looks like.  At that point he walked everyone to different trees and asked us to pick out a maple tree.  It was elementary at that point finding a maple tree.  Once selected Mr. Irish began tapping (See YouTube video Maple Festival – Mark Irish and watch him tap the tree).  Due to the cold weather, we didn’t get to see the maple flow from the tree.  Mr. Irish stated “it may take several hours for the maple to begin flowing from the tree”.

Mr. Irish preparing first taste of maple syrup for visitors

Mr. Irish preparing first taste of maple syrup for visitors

All the families including mine were enjoying the educational experience.  Mr. Irish invited all of us to the wood burning stove and proceeded to explain the process of making the syrup.  The maple taken from the tree and placed in pots.  Then it is boiled for hours until all of the water in the maple is gone.  Everyone had a taste of the pure maple syrup. Yum.

If you missed this event, mark your calendar for next year. This event is one of many wonderful things Michigan has to offer.  Look for more stories like this one in my “Discover Michigan” series of blogs.

Tasting maple syrup

Tasting maple syrup

The Wizard of Oz and Us

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imageThis childhood fairy tale holds so much truth for you if you open your heart to see it.  It is wonderful for children to learn at very young age not to search for happiness outside of themselves. As adults, we continuously search for fulfillment outside of ourselves.  Some of us feel inadequate.  We hear voices that go back sometimes as far as our childhood that tell us we are not good enough. Some parents have even told their children they don’t have brains or they are not smart enough.  This type of attack on a child’s psyche has lasting effects.

Dorothy (in The Wizard of Oz) just wanted to find her way home and was told to follow the yellow brick road.  Along this road she encounters a scarecrow who believes he doesn’t have a brain, a tin man who believes he doesn’t have a heart and a cowardly lion who wanted courage.  The four set off to find the wizard.  The wizard represents our leaders.  He has all the answers and can fix whatever the problem may be.  The wizard tells them just what they want to hear.  All you have to do is what I tell you to do and you can then have everything you want.  Sound familiar.

In life we always go to our leaders and ask how can we make our lives better.  Just as the wizard did, our leaders will give us a list of things we must do in order for our lives to improve.   How can one list apply to everyone?  People are on different paths.  We may have some similarities, but you cannot group people like that.  Everyone’s coping skills are different.  If that set of skills is different, then the outcome of each situation will be different.

After finding that the wizard was just like them, they became upset. The wizard told them what you are looking for you only have to look inside yourself to find it.  He also told Dorothy she always had the power to go home.  The lesson for all of us is to not look outside ourselves or to someone for the answers we seek for our lives.  Look only inside yourself.  You hold the key to your happiness.  Just like Dorothy, you have had the power all of the time to make yourself happy.

Where are the Men?

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http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-women-live-longer/

As we age, I have noticed a significant drop in the number of men.  If married, most women become widows.  I am not pontificating that men don’t become widowers.  I am just stating that the numbers are so high for the women to be without their men.

Why are women outliving men?  The old myth was men worked hard all their lives and women stayed home making their lives less stressful.  No so for my generation.  I was married, worked full-time and raised four children.  I am a widow today because 20 years ago my husband felt chest discomfort for over two weeks.  He brushed it off and took Rolaids until he landed in the hospital in critical care from extreme damage to his heart. When most women feel any type of pain or discomfort we immediately make an doctor’s appointment.

I have asked several men when was the last time they had seen their doctor for an examination.  A 55-year-old man stated that he had not seen his doctor in 15 years.  This is not just an African-American issue.  The 55 year old  is a married white male.  I stated to him “everyone at age 50 should have their first colonoscopy”.  He laughed and said he was just fine.  He also stated that when it’s time for him to die he will.  I told him look around.  As we age haven’t you noticed that there are more widows than widowers.

Depending on age and gender there are medical tests that should be done.  Certain illnesses can be successfully treated if found early.   What is it about a doctors visit that a lot of men don’t like?

I have no answers to my questions.  All I can say is for any young man reading this blog, start now getting an annual physical.  The doctor is your friend.  Young men plan to have a long and prosperous life.  If you are married see a doctor for the ones you love, if you won’t do it for yourself.

Enjoy the videos at the top of the post.  Men if you want to be around as a senior citizen, start visiting your doctor annually.