You might be thinking I wrote the title incorrectly. I didn’t, really. As I walked the downtown area today I was struck by the awesome size of its structures. I noticed large crowds of superbly dressed citizens walking jovially up and down the streets. I took in the perfectly groomed landscapes of large businesses and neighboring parks. It made me realize that Lansing has capital. There are many who benefit from the capital that strategically flows in and around the Lansing area. But there is also a large part of the population that is struggling. The recent millage defeat is a prime example of people feeling overwhelmed. I push a lot for people to recognize how wonderful Lansing is. And really it is a great city. I also believe that Lansing is a much greater place for those that have extra income to enjoy it. They get to experience the fantastic fair of local restaurants and merchants. A trip down to a Lugnut’s game isn’t a burden. They can afford the entrance fees to Potter Park and all the other Ingham parks. And all the gas it takes to get to any of these activities isn’t a choice between going and dinner. Despite needing extra cash to experience some of Lansing’s finest activities there are still an abundant amount of free events and plenty of places to go without a charge. Lansing doesn’t stray far from its roots; that of hard working low to middle class Americans, and provides many opportunities for fun without the high costs. Be a Tourist in Your Own Town is one of my favorite “It’s Summer Time” activities. The booklets are $1 for adults and children under 3 do not require a passport. Of course this could involve a lot of driving but there are bus routes along the way that provide all day transportation for $.50. The River Trail is also a wonderful way to get from one end of Lansing, to the other end, to the other end. So many groups in the Lansing area realize that times are difficult and seek out ways to help. I think that is one of the greatest qualities of this little city. On the other side, you don’t have to be rich to be a volunteer. Sometimes the reward of giving despite not having a lot yourself makes you feel very, very rich. It’s easy to get downtrodden with all the negativity around. Maybe you aren’t being waited on at Troppo enjoying your Filet a la Troppo, but there’s nothing wrong with making a fire at a local park, grilling up some tube steaks and watching the kids run around the playground. You might run into me and my family there!
This photo inspired this post today. Some can pay their respects with expensive roses, bought quickly from a storefront. But many of us, not able to purchase such a prize, look around for a hidden treasure to show how much we care. It might not seem like much, but it took so much more effort and thought. Some of us show our love and respect with dandelions.