Saturday, November 5, 2011

Living Optimally: Happier, healthier, longer, better

By Susan G Parcheta

What is it we all want, but which always seems just beyond our reach? For most of us, it’s a life-long quest.  We all want to live happier, healthier, longer and better.

What does it mean? And how do we get it? This optimal lifestyle the experts say we should all strive for. 

I know I’ve been through many phases in my personal quest.  There was the Earth Day-inspired environmental stage; the recycling stage; the anti-sugar, pro-sprouts, healthy eating stage; the food co-op stage. Then I mellowed out to the everything-in-moderation, don’t-be-afraid-of-the-supermarket stage. My family was glad about that.

I’m now in the process of re-thinking it all, as probably you are, too. Information is flowing fast and heavily – from a deluge of health magazines and medical newsletters to Internet sites on every area of body, mind, spirit and the environment. How do you absorb it all?

Does all that in italics sound new, old, or ongoing?  Probably all three. That  was  the beginning of the first column I wrote (1998) for our local paper, Fowlerville News & Views.  I have to laugh, because I’m always re-thinking it all.  And now, I’m thinking about how far we’ve come, or I’ve come, on this quest since then; yet it remains a constant theme.

‘For Love of the Game’: Winning, losing, baseball, that silly game, and writer’s block

 By Susan G Parcheta

‘You win sometimes, you lose sometimes; sometimes it rains and, sometimes, it pours. And then, sometimes you win BIG. Even when you least expect it.
No, it’s not what you’re thinking.

Granted this is baseball playoffs season, and my favorite team, The Detroit Tigers won their Central Division, went off to New York for the American League playoff series first two games with the New York Yankees, before coming home to Detroit for the next two games, only to have to go back to New York for the fifth game to determine which team would advance to the American League championship series against Texas. Did I get that right?

Still, it’s not what you’re thinking.

I got so wound up this summer, following the Tigers after having been to Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL this past March to watch spring training for the first time.  Max Scherzer was pitching the day we were there. And Jose Valverde, as I recall. Who knew, at that point, that by the end of the summer the Tigers would get this far? Or that I’d be watching those two pitchers on that last game-saving night.

Tiger Pitcher Max Scherzer 3-8-11

Nope, not what you’re thinking.

Baseball is a highlight of the summer around our house.  It‘s a sport my husband and I can both enjoy.  We spent countless hours this year, keeping tabs on our Tigers.  But, for love of the game?

I’m not talkin’ baseball, I’m talkin’ that favorite Michigan/Florida sport (is playing cards a sport?) of Hand and Foot.

Friday, November 4, 2011

‘Come walk with me!’ — Over ‘The Bridge’ and through the woods with Michigan’s own Clayton Klein, ‘The Walking Man’

By Susan G Parcheta (August 30, 2011

“If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” In formal Latin:  Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice

I love the motto of the State of Michigan. I love it because it’s an invitation, to enjoy and explore the beautiful trails, woods and waters of the amazing Mitten. Yes, right there in the top middle of the map of the United States, sits the beautiful Great Lakes State. It’s the state with two beautiful peninsulas – Upper and Lower.

There’s another beautiful thing or two about Michigan. It has the Mighty Mackinac Bridge that connects the two peninsulas. It also has Clayton Klein the Walking Man, 92 years young, who loves to walk over the five-mile span every Labor Day for the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk; and he especially loves it when his friends walk with him.

Come Walk With Me...Mackinac Bridge Walk 2011
First contingent of Labor Day Bridge Walkers 2007 50h Anniversary of the Mackinac Bridge (built 1957). See Clayton (with backpack) and all the walkers heading south from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City. Buses are coming from there carrying more walkers! Thousands of them. A beautiful day walking!

Consider this an invitation: If you’re in that neck of the woods on Labor Day morning, you are welcome to join Clayton Klein on his annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. Want to walk with the Walking Man? Be at the St. Ignace side of the bridge at 9 a.m.

Great Lakes Folk Festival brings you Elizabeth LaPrelle and her sweet songs from the Blue Ridge

By Susan G Parcheta
(August 8, 2011

Once again, the sweet ballad sounds of folk singer Elizabeth LaPrelle will be wafting over Michigan’s Great Lakes Folk Festival the weekend of August 13-14 in East Lansing.

LaPrelle and her mom, Sandy Newlin LaPrelle graced the stage during the 2008 festival.  Traveling from the Crooked Road of southwestern Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to the blue lakes of Michigan, the mother-daughter duo brings you the tuneful treat of a lifetime.

Sandy and Elizabeth LaPrelle
It’s a rare opportunity to hear authentic mountain music, sung as it was a hundred years ago, with many familiar folk songs that have stood the test of time.

I was introduced to Elizabeth and Sandy’s music during the spring of 2008, when spending a week in the Blue Ridge. Before, I’d never heard such beautiful mountain sounds. I was hooked, as I know you’ll be, if you get a chance to visit the festival.

May the creek not rise over Williamston Theatre — one of my favorite things

  By Susan G Parcheta 

One of the fun perks about blogging is that I get to write about my favorite things. High on that list is Williamston Theatre, mid-Michigan’s professional theatre in downtown Williamston.

You might be wondering about the blog title. Well, it goes along with the title of the current play by award-winning playwright Joseph Zettlemaier  –  And the Creek Don’t Rise.
It’s a fantastic play; and attending the first night (our preview night tradition) was – as it always is – a fun and memorable visit with the Williamston Theatre family.

Going to WT productions is one of my favorite things. After three seasons of play going, I’ve come to feel part of the WT family; and I love how they’ve transformed and inspired the community.  So, the existence of this creative force here, I see as vital for the benefit of all of us who live in mid-Michigan.
As I was chatting with friends (newbies to this WT force) at the performance, I was thinking about the impact of the theatre on Williamston and surrounding communities. Five years later, despite a lagging economy, it’s still going; it’s still contributing its dynamic and creative spark, with its mission being to kindle that spark in us.

But, oh, how I hope “the creek don’t rise” over Williamston Theatre. I want it to go on forever.  The thought was running through my mind as I looked over the play program; I was also picturing the letter that WT Director John Lepard had written to patrons a few weeks earlier.