The End of a Year


My favorite photo this year: Lansing City Market at Dusk during Silver Bells

I’m a New Year’s baby. Well not really New Year; more like the eve of the eve of the New Year. I suppose it’s close enough. I was born in 1969 by two days. Yet it still allows me to lay claim to being a 60’s baby. When I get my Allstate birthday card in the mail I see the factoids from that year: Woodstock took place, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, and Nixon began bringing troops out of Vietnam. To me my birthday couldn’t be any better planned. It’s after Christmas so I don’t have the bewildered; “This is for your Christ/Birth/day/mas”. I usually received my Christmas gifts and then whatever I didn’t get I could ask (politely) for my birthday. What child wouldn’t love the double chance to get what she wanted?! It also isn’t right on top of the actual New Year. It’s like a lead in day; a preparation day. I have three days; birthday, New Year’s Eve and then the New Year. At the end of each year, for me, it actually is my new year; at a new age. How exciting! As I count down the last hours before my 3 day yearend finale I wanted to take a moment and reflect on this last year; personally and as the City Saunterer. Personally, I’ve had a crazy year. This time last year my older sons were both in college; one at LCC and one at Alma. Also my twins had started kindergarten. This was a very difficult time for me with my kids all away from home at any given time. I think really, that this City Saunter project was divinely placed in my head to keep me from losing it. For that I have been very grateful. The next big thing that happened was putting our 15 year old Samoyed to sleep. Poor Sparty had been very sick and was ready to move on. I truly didn’t realize how much I missed him until one day when out driving we passed a man out walking his Samoyeds. Just one glance at the happy, bouncy dogs with their huge pink tongues dangling out of their smiling faces made me burst into a crying fit. I miss my Sammy. It’s been almost a year and I can’t think to replace him yet.

My next great adventure was my oldest son graduating from the welding program at LCC. I am so proud of him for completing this journey! It was also around early spring that we found out that our 18 year old was having a very difficult time away at college. He returned home after a year away and moved back into his room off the kitchen. Failure, however, wasn’t in his nature as he quickly rebounded and signed up for a full schedule at LCC in the Computer Programming degree. Tally: One graduated from college, one back in college, 2 kindergarteners.
By summer our oldest was spending most of his time with his girlfriend who lives in Indiana. During one of their visits in July we were told the news that we were going to be grandparents. Tally: Two first graders to be, one kid in college (living at home), one college graduate moved out to Indiana, a common law daughter and one grandson due March 2012. It’s funny how things can change so fast. This year was really a hang onto your seat type of year.
In October I completed one full year of walking the streets of Lansing. I totaled 180 miles walked. I was interviewed by Lansing State Journal, Capital Gains, In Her Shoes Talk Radio, WLNS New 6 “Tell Me Something Good” Segment, The Tony Conley Morning Show on 1320 WILS, IMPACT 89 Exposure Radio Show, and LCC Connections. I held a City Saunter sledding trip, a photo walk, and a support Peace One Day walk.

I had the great pleasure of walking with some wonderful people this year, including two Patrick O’Mearas, Robin Miner-Swartz, Rebecca Eldridge, , Susan Miller-Gorbe, Michael McCallum and many family members. I have met some amazing people as well, including Suban Nur Cooley, Jessica Yorko, Julie Powers, Dave Trumpie, Virg Benero, Eric Schertzing, Lori Lanspeary, Tess King, Mark Stiles and my all time favorite, Bob-Z Wob-Z the Clown.

A year of purposefully photographing Lansing has enriched my portfolio immensely. It has also provided me with some great photographic opportunities. This included photographing The Big Zoo Party, The Dragon Boat Races, The Wine & Stein, the NEO Center’s Open House and The Lansing City Market at Silverbells and Ye Olde Christmas. I was also asked to be the exclusive photographer for the MarketLansing group. I have accumulated a large set of Lansing photos and have found great joy recapping my finds to others. I frequently have friends ask me where I took a photo or ask me to tell them where a certain place is based on a photo. Now, to my great amazement, I can tell complete strangers about my project’s scope and stand their dumbfounded when they say; “You’re the City Saunterer!!?” Wow!
Isn’t it always the simple ideas???
So today I walked my last walk for 2011. Tomorrow I turn 40-too. Saturday is New Year’s Eve and Sunday is the first day of another year of showcasing this great City we share!
Happy Happy New Year!!

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2 responses to “The End of a Year

  1. Happy New Year, Ariniko.

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