Jan 23, 2016

Humble and Kind

Kindness...it is really a virtue. Humility too. Both are recognized in many cultures and religions as a value. Kindness is not a weakness by no means. And yet, those folks who are kind are exploited for that very thing. I have seen animals show kindness in rescuing one of their own from harm. It is not just a human thing either. The video below is wonderful and it made me think about how important it is to be kind.

Kindness is everything in life.

Jan 10, 2016

About time to take the DNA test

Besides taking pictures, I enjoy genealogy and have traced my mother's side of the family back to the Revolutionary War. I have literally spent years tracing my roots. The bug bit me back when I was in my 20's and my great aunt Joye Bolden wrote me a letter with details of the Bolden family. Trying to figure out where to begin was daunting. It was before Ancestry.com or the internet and I had to look through many books searching for any information that I could find related to family at the local library.  I am lucky enough to be living in the city that has the second largest genealogy department in the nation. (right behind the Salt Lake City collection) When I was in my 30's, I hired someone to help me get started.  I figured that if the person who helped me could do the research, then so can I.  That is when my journey started and I have been traveling the research road since then. 

Having one's DNA analyzed can be costly until recently.  I found a deal on Ancestry.com for $79.99. My kit arrived on Friday evening. I collected the DNA sample they needed and put it straight back into the mail box.  Now, the waiting game has started. It will take 6-8 weeks before I find out the results.  What kind of mix am I?  There are rumors of Cherokee Indian coming from both sides of the family.  My mother was a Campbell, so, I know Scotland is looming in the past.  But what about Smith? There are mysteries with my father's lineage.  Not sure who the father is of my Great Grandfather because he was born before the second marriage to Mr. Smith.  So, I anxiously wait. 

The picture came from Ancestry.com

Jan 4, 2016

Footprints in the Sand

I don't want to be like footprints in the sand.
I want to leave my mark, like the stars shine in the dark. 
I don't want to be, something that will fade away.  
A distant memory, washed out by the sea.
Like footprints in the sand. 

Rueban Studdard

Jan 3, 2016

Chasing Lighthouses

What better way to start the new year than by going on an adventure. Michigan's coasts are filled with lighthouses. So, a friend and I headed out on Friday afternoon for a mini holiday. January is not the greatest time of year to visit the beach but we didn't care about that. We piled on warm clothes and took a trip into the north country where snow is abundant and the Northerners aren't afraid of the weather. 

The first lighthouse that we visited was the Petite Point au Sable Lighthouse at Silver Lake State Park, near Mears, Michigan.  The blue skies accentuated the beauty of this brick lighthouse. 

Following the loss of the schooner called Pride in 1871, the government approved funding for the lighthouse in 1872 and construction began shortly thereafter. The first keeper of the lighthouse was James Davenport of Mackinac Island who lived in the keepers house built next to the lighthouse from 1873-1879. In 1899, the lighthouse was painted white so that it could be seen easily, but in the 1970's it was restored to its original brick.  Later the house was torn down but the lighthouse remained. 

My friend climbed the dune and was able to get a lovely view of the area.  The dunes were covered with snow and they were slick, so I stayed on the beach. 

When she climbed to the top, my friend discovered that the only way down was on her bum, so she slid gracefully to the bottom. 

We then traveled south to Grand Haven and happened to see a large boat in the harbor.  I tried very hard to catch up with it but was only able to see if from a distance. It still amazes me that something that large can float. The lighthouse was built in 1839. At night, it is lit up with lights marking the entrance of the Grand River. (It was here that I fell more than I walked along the pier the night before)

  As the day progressed, we decided to stay until sunset. 

I had never seen the sun go down near a large body of water and was anxious to witness the event. The wind was blowing at a surmountable speed and the temperature was felt far below what it actually was. Thirty minutes felt like forever in the wind and our lower extremities felt the cold more than our upper parts. 

The photographers lined up to see the show. Even Mickey Mouse wanted to have a look. (We counted 17 photographers) 

Then slowly the sun faded into the horizon, only to repeat again the next day. 

At the end of our adventure, I realized how special it was that two sets of footprints in the sand are much better than one, no matter where you are or what you are doing. "Experience is much better than the material things one can buy on adventures." She told me. Except when one needs hiking boots in order to be able to walk. The experience was priceless.