Classmates Project Update

As a person who has squandered many braincells learning (or not so much) DOS, MS-DOS, Windows, WordPerfect, Compuserv, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Pages, Keynote, Outlook, gmail, yahoo, WordPress, Palm Pilot, Final Draft, Scrivener, HTML, Movie Magic, my iPod, Evernote, various company specific software/lookups/cash register programs – and I won’t even get into cell phones, smartphones, iPhones, and all the required apps – I’m distressed by the number of my high school classmates that “don’t do the computer or email stuff.” I don’t know how you managed to do that and I envy the stress you avoided and the time you saved by not having to click on cute puppy videos.

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I planned to interview until August 15, being certain that I could hunt down 40 or 50 of my classmates. I got 21. There are, possibly, a couple more I could get. Took pages of notes. Had lots of pleasant surprises and a lot of fun. Working now on compiling my findings. Don’t know if there is a full-fledged reunion in our future but there may be some smaller events.

Blueberries and Book Booths

Yes, again, it was all about the blueberries – The Blueberry Festival in South Haven, MI. We drove 45 minutes to get the South Haven, spent another 45 minutes finding parking and walking from parking. Really crowded – just wanted blueberries and a pie. There was a sea of all things crafty – jewelry, baked goods, doll clothes, things that you didn’t even know could be made out of other things.

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I was overwhelmed by the masses of people, so I didn’t get too close to the vendors. But, I noticed something I had not ever seen before – authors with their own booths.

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Two authors had written books set in Michigan and were there to sell books and greet their fans. So, for any of you looking for a good novel and want to support a Michigan author, here are the links to their websites: David B. Burch and Chris Zimmerman.
I am currently reading a book set in Michigan recommended by one of my high school classmates that I recently interviewed, Starvation Lake, by Bryan Gruley. It’s a mystery set in Northern Michigan and I’m learning about hockey and small town newspapers as I get pulled into the story.

Hey – it’s August – go sit outside with some Michigan wine and a blueberry scone and read a book.

A Personal Visit to the Medical Corridor

I spent yesterday in the Grand Rapids Medical Corridor. I hadn’t planned to. I was scheduled for a simple diagnostic test at the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavillion and ended up staying for a biopsy.

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Let me just say that I am so glad to be living right now in this place and there is a special day spa in Heaven for anyone involved in the discovery/creation of any pain killers, numbing agents, and anesthesia. I can’t even hear about, say, the amputations done during the Civil War without almost fainting.
This Medical Corridor concept took place while I was away. When I left 30+ years ago, everyone looked to Steelcase and GM for jobs. Now everyone is training for something in the health field. That’s fine – I seem to need more health things than I did before and I might as well take advantage of them while they are still available to me.

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There are beautiful new healthcare buildings – all named after a few people who have really poured their money into Grand Rapids -DeVos, Meijer, Van Andel. Amway may be a punchline, but they have made some people some money and these people have been generous at giving back to the community. All the things they have built have been functional and beautiful and really served to encourage the other blossoming group here: artists.

P.S. I’m OK.

Regrets? Yes, no, maybe?

I’ve got Frank Sinatra in my head right now and he’s singing, “Regrets, I have a few, but then again, too few to mention.” When he takes a break to have a cigarette, Phil Cooper from the movie The Big Kahuna steps in. “I’m saying you’ve already done plenty of things to regret, you just don’t know what they are. It’s when you discover them, when you see the folly in something you’ve done, and you wish that you had it to do over, but you know you can’t, because it’s too late.”

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First, let me say that the voices in my head do have names and they pop in and out giving their opinions whether I want them or not. Second, I’d like some new voices with some positive, actionable directions.
I went to Brainy Quotes to see what they had on “regret”. Mostly celebrities, many under 30 saying they have no regrets. Here are some others I liked:

  • “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.” – Jim Rohn
  • “I regret not doing a film I was offered with Clark Gable because the script was not good enough.” – Leslie Caron
  • “I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end.” -Drew Barrymore
  • “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” – Sydney J. Harris
  • “I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret…if you have any sense, and if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid.” -Katherine Hepburn
  • “But we have been to the Pole and we shall die like gentleman. I regret only for the women we leave behind.” -Robert Falcon Scott
  • “I have tons of regrets, but I think that’s one of the reasons that push people to create things. Out of their angst, their regret, comes the best from artists, painters, and writers.” – Sylvester Stallone

What do your head voices say to you about regret?

It’s August. Do you know where your summer is?

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It’s August and a panic sets in, “Where has the summer gone?” What happened to June and July? I’ve had only two picnics and watched only one sunset at my beach. I have yet to go into the water. I’d have spent more time on the beach if I still lived in Chicago! Clearly, plans must be made – action must be taken. So, last night, went to watch the sunset over Lake Michigan. Beautiful.

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If you are looking at the back-to-school sales and you have not yet needed to shake sand out of your shoes – get thee to water!

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And take some time to ponder what you want to do before Christmas fruitcakes start arriving.

I’m just here for the blueberries

 

Michigan is the #1 state for blueberry production with over 110 million pounds produced every year. Thirty-two percent of the blueberries grown in the U.S. are grown in Michigan.

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Most of the blueberry bushes are within 30 miles of my house (that works out nice). For my part – I promise to eat blueberries several times a day and make blueberry muffins until the season ends, or my friends beg me to stop.

While I was on the Michigan State Blueberry website, I learned, among other things, that there is a job title of “Small Fruit Pathologist” at MSU. My guidance counselor never mentioned this to me as a career option. Although I probably would have had to take a math class.