Monday, August 28, 2006

Ah, Michigan!

Well, my husband and I finally got to go on vacation this summer. My brother decided to get married, and that gave us a chance to see family and friends and visit the great state of Michigan.

Here are a few highlights from the trip.

Mackinac Island
Mackinac (pronounced Mak-i-naw) Island is one of my favorite places. This was my third visit, and I would go back every year if I had enough time and money. It offers beautiful sights, delicious fudge, and the wonderful experience of limited transportation (no cars or trucks are allowed on the island).

You can rent a horse and carriage or bicycles. My husband and I were brave enough to try the bicycle built for two—an experience that we will probably not choose again but was enjoyable nonetheless.

You can also visit the Grand Hotel (which appears in the movie Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymore—yes, I've seen it, and all I have to say is that it's better when you watch it on the island where it was filmed). But when speaking of the Grand Hotel, I use the word visit very loosely. This is about as close as you can get before some smarmy guard tells you that you have to pay to walk on the premises.

Cherry Republic
Another highlight of the trip was Cherry Republic, a fantastic stop in Glen Arbor. It's a combination bakery/café, cherry store, and winery. We had cherry chicken salad sandwhiches and cherry icecream for lunch before heading to the store to sample some of their products: cherry salsa, cherry barbeque sauce, chocolate covered cherries, and 8 different kinds of cherry jam—just to name a few!
Another thing we liked was the owner's sense of humor. One gift tin said it all: "Canada is a Country. The United States is a Nation. The Cherry Republic is an Empire."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why blog?

Why join the blogosphere? What do I want to do with this blog? I’ve been asking myself these questions for months. I love reading other blogs, and I’ve been craving my own space. But why go through all the trouble?

Those of you reading this (if there are any of you) probably don’t need rationale. But a friend of mine recently called blogging “emotional exhibitionism,” so I feel the need to justify my actions.

First, what I am not trying to do.

I am not trying to prove myself the expert on anything. Some of my favorite blogs to read focus on one subject. And I thought of doing that. But there are already great blogs about writing and film and even self publishing. (Not that I would consider myself the expert on any of those subjects—but I do enjoy reading about them.)

I will not attempt to answer all of life’s questions. But I would like to ask questions and talk about my own experience and beliefs.

I won’t try to solve the world’s problems or play the blame game. Read: I’d rather not discuss politics—too much.

What I would like to do.

Create an online journal. We’ll see if this actually happens since I only have one hour each day to write and read blogs. We’ll see if I can restrain myself from spending most of that time editing posts that I’ve already written rather than adding new material.

Discuss life. Comments are welcome! Please don’t make me have a conversation with myself. (Though I will if I have to. A one-way correspondence would at least get my thoughts out of my head.)


Welcome to the birth of my blog, Spring and Fall. The name comes from my favorite poem by Gerald Manley Hopkins. I love to hear his poetry, love to feel the words run across my tongue. Spring and Fall isn't his most beautiful poem. I don't think it's his most profound. But it resonates with me like no other poem I’ve read.

Spring and Fall:
to a Young Child

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.