Monthly Archives: January 2013

Lifting the Fog

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When snowfall and thunderstorms meet on a crazy night in mid Michigan it creates fog; dense, thick fog. I was so captivated by its etherealness I decided to go walk in it. My house sits in a bit of a gully, between multiple hills. I joke, but to get to my house from any direction you have to go uphill and then downhill. My walk to Meijer is literally uphill both ways and I’m not saying that in a Parks and Rec kind of way. It takes a while for the snow to melt around our house, even on a 50 degree day. Yesterday was no exception. All around my house and yard was this super thick fog yet as I drove to Lansing the fog became thinner and more sporadic. I realized the melting snow had ended any hope of walking and photographing the fog. However due to a few events there was still a very odd feel to this walk. The first was a horrific car crash that happened on I-496. The accident itself occurred at around 7:00 a.m., however as I drove past at around 11:00 a.m. the entire 5 lane highway was abandoned. The only thing on the highway was the 5 crashed cars and a completely burned out 6th car. Two police cars were positioned to block any car that might have made it onto the highway that somehow got through multiple road blocks further up. There were no movements. Had I not read about the crash on line I would have been really shocked by this scene. However knowing that a life had been lost in this tragic crash also left me feeling quite upset by having passed it.
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found at the corner of Donora and Mt. Hope. The letter is written from a son whose father was tragically killed.

Then on my exit off the highway I came right up alongside one of the folks that ask for money. Whether their decision to stand there comes from true need or some type of scam, seeing them there often saddens me. I still get tears thinking about last Thanksgiving when our entire family, dressed in our fancy clothes, and joyously talking to each other about the great meal we were about to consume at grandma’s house drove by this woman on the side of the road. Her sign read; “Pregnant and homeless, please help”. It wasn’t so much what her sign said as it was the day in which she stood there. Here it was a holiday of thanksgiving, a day to be grateful. And here she stood all alone, in the cold. Didn’t she have family? Did she have no one to cook for her? The sadness overwhelmed me and I burst into tears. We drove back around the corner and my husband got out and handed her $5 after I insisted we do something. Maybe I played into the game. Maybe I should have had a stiff upper lip and told her to go learn to fish instead of handing her one. I couldn’t. I wanted her to know that someone cared. I wanted her to know that someone saw her and acknowledged her on this Thanksgiving Day.
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So here again, I sat for a seemingly endless time trying to avoid the gaze of this man, praying for him and hoping he could find what he needed.
My final unusual event was actually a positive one. As I walked along my walk, finishing off sections of a neighborhood I mostly had walked before, disappointed by my inability to capture gorgeous, foggy photos, I found a hidden treasure. I’d heard of them before and had no idea I was sauntering my way towards one. Up ahead of me amongst a sea of browns and dismal grays sat a large mailbox, practically glowing in bright rainbow colors.
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Except it wasn’t just any ordinary mailbox. It was a library! I had stumbled across a Little Free Library!
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This little gem completely changed my mood. It reminded me quite a lot of my Finding Rainbows blog.
So today’s moral is; lift the fog. Look around you and find the joys, even the little ones. Be aware of those around you. Pay attention to those in need. Can you help? Did you try? Lift the fog and enjoy life! Grieve the losses as it makes you appreciate what you have all the more. And when something really great comes along, revel in your blessing then reach in and grab at it.
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Winter Walks

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It’s around this time of year I start noticing those who begrudgingly reside in Michigan. They greatly enjoy the temperate springs, lavishly sunny summers and moderately warm falls. However when winter comes they absolutely loath the cold. It’s hard for me to understand this. I feel the temperate spring only seems so because of the frigid winters. Then the moderate fall can only exist and cause so much excitement because we all know what’s right around the corner. A true Michigan winter is the gauge we use to extract the gifts of the other seasons. I love Michigan winters; love them. I love the snow. I love the winter sports. I love the bulky clothes and furry boots. I enjoy the warming drinks and romantic fires. I love walking outside and hearing the cold; the snow crunching, the tree branches chinking together, the air forming physically around you. It feels clean and sanitized. It’s amazing. I also enjoy walking my walks in the winter. I often get asked if I walk year round and yes I do. The winters are some of my favorite walks. I find these winter walks to be filled with peace and tranquility as I am often the only walker. Even today, as I walked a very urban neighborhood the loudest noises came from birds. I only came across one pedestrian, an elderly man who was walking to the bus stop. I offered pleasantries as I waited to cross the street and we both extended hopes of staying warm when the cold snap finally arrives this weekend. We haven’t had a true cold snap in over 2 years. If all works out as planned this deliciously cold winter will create the most abundance of flowers in the spring.
My walk.

At it Again!

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I am usually not a procrastinator. I tend to get things done as quickly as I am able. When I was in school I would sit on the bus, knees propped up on the seat in front of me, homework on my lap. It would be completed by the time I got off the bus. Yes, I was that type of girl. My walking for the months of November and December was anemic. It began with a single day delay, which then led to a week of deference. This provided the base for a couple more weeks of inaction. Ultimately I would look back and realize I’d put off walking for almost a month. This hiatus was unintended yet there it was. I had planned to do quite a bit of walking over the winter break; so much walking that I had hoped to complete this project this spring. Ambitious but I thought it would be feasible. Recently, though, I’ve had a change of plans. This change was not entirely because I didn’t think I could get it done, because I think I could. This change happened because I had a meeting with an art gallery manager. Amy Wellington is the new creative manager at Art Alley. Art Alley is located in REO Town and provides a non-traditional studio space for local creatives to display their art. I had thought that having a gallery presentation of my City Saunter photography that corresponded to the completion of this project would be a wonderful way to bring it an end. After speaking with Amy and Diane Wilson, the out-going Creative Director, they not only loved the idea of my project but would be delighted to showcase my photos; in October. Sometimes, what you are offered in life works out a lot better than what you had hoped for. This new schedule gives me the opportunity to not rush the last sections. It allows me time to put together my strongest pieces. It will also allow me the time to find sponsors to pay for this display. I will be coming up with some creative activities and sponsorship packages to make this a worthwhile venture for anyone willing to donate. After three full years of working on this grand idea to walk all the streets of Lansing, I will reach the end October 1, 2013.

Contact me if you are interested in being a sponsor for my Art Alley Exhibit.

2012 Video Review

City Saunter 2012 Photo Montage