Friday, November 23, 2012

My First 90 Years: Michigan’s Walking Man Clayton Klein pens memoirs

By Susan G Parcheta
“Come walk with me across a century,” Michigan’s Walking Man Clayton Klein might say, as he invites us to celebrate his life and times in his newest book: My First 90 Years.

“Come Walk With Me” — Clayton Klein, the Walking Man inspires Michiganians ~ Walking Man logo art by Laurie McDowell
The author, adventurer, entrepreneur looks back from the grand perspective of a nonagenarian.
Follow this extraordinary time traveler (now 93), as he takes you on an incredible journey from his hometown of Fowlerville in the Middle of the Mitten to Mackinac, from Costa Rica to the Arctic Ocean.

Memoirs of Clayton Klein, Michigan’s ‘Walking Man’
Enjoy tales of exploration of far-flung frontiers, whether canoeing the vast wilderness of the Canada’s Northwest Territories and the Yukon, or piloting his Cessna airplanes over the mountains and jungles of Central America.
Klein is known throughout Michigan for his solo walks each September from 2005 to 2009 on behalf of Michigan’s Hospice programs – trekking 420 miles from Paradise on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula, across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day down through the heart of Michigan to Hell in Livingston County and beyond into Ohio. He continues to enjoy each Labor Day Bridge Walk.
A back injury suffered many years ago prompted him, at doctor’s recommendation, to begin walking. His back healed, Klein continued to walk daily, having now logged over 65,000 miles throughout Michigan.  His walks for Hospice inspired countless others to become more active.
At the conclusion of the 2009 Labor Day Bridge Walk, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm presented Klein with a plaque from the State of Michigan honoring him for his contribution to its citizens.

Clayton Klein, The Walking Man, with plaque from State of Michigan in honor of his contributions to Michigan Hospice and to inspiring creative, healthy living at any age.
The book highlights his youthful days growing up as a country boy, and later as a farmer, business man and book publisher – along with much local history of people and events during the  last nine decades. Throughout you’ll glimpse the strength and determination of a man who believed he could accomplish his dreams.
Klein comes from a family of  writers, and is author of several books, including Cold Summer Wind, recounting his Canadian paddling adventures, and  A Well-Kept Secret: From the Glory Years of the Detroit Tigers, about his late wife Marjorie’s friendship with the legendary Hall-of-Fame hero Hank Greenberg.
My First 90 Years is available for pre-publication price of $20. After Oct. 15 it will be $24.95, plus $3.50 for shipping. Checks and money orders may be sent to Clayton Klein, PO Box 968, Fowlerville, MI 48836. For more information, Email

 You may keep up with  The Walking Man  and his latest tales on Facebook at Clayton Klein the Walking Man.  The book is also available at Amazon
 (Pub. Sept. 19, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

In Memory of Trees

By Susan G Parcheta
(pub Sept. 2, 2012)

The turn I have just taken, the turn that I was making, I might be just beginning, I might be near the end.” ~ (From the album “The Memory of Trees” by Enya, lyrics by Roma Ryan)

Had I not made the turn, I might not have noticed. I’d felt uneasy all day, that other-shoe-is-going-to drop feeling. Only, in this case it was a tree.
In my uneasiness, I decided going for a walk might help.  Walking among the trees always brings to me a sense of balance.  It’s a simple thing to do, when things seem awry.

I wasn’t  looking intently. I just began my usual walkaround, mostly noticing the ground before me. When I reached the fork in the trail, where I usually go left, I felt the nudge to make a right turn. Then, looking ahead, I wondered what had happened that I couldn’t see through to the end. Masses of leaves covered the trail.

In astonishment, I realized it was the top of a fallen tree. Somehow, my heart knew it was my tree house tree. What else could it possibly be, that I’d have felt that uneasiness, and made a right turn. I could have easily walked to the left, on around the trail, back through the yard, and I honestly don’t think I’d have noticed. It  had fallen perfectly within the stand of trees and not into the main yard.

I still can’t believe it happened. Yet, it also astonishes me that, somehow, there’s within me a knowing that all is well. It astonishes me that I’m so…OK with this event.

Perhaps the tree falling is symbolic of a transformation going on in my life. Why, when I almost physically hurt when my husband cuts down a tree, am I so OK with it?

My Disappearing Universe

By Susan G Parcheta
(pub. Aug. 17, 2012 at
Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." ~ Agnes DeMille

Have you ever been gone on a retreat for a week, then come home to find the rest of the world has taken a quantum leap?

It’s puzzling to me. Gone to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia  for a workshop on Intuitive Heart Discovery with Henry Reed.  My cell phone worked intermittently, as did the Internet. So my attempts to connect with the outer world were random; and the workshop schedule left little time for randomness.

Afternoon rainbow over Blue Ridge mountain meadow
The intensity of the classes threw me into overdrive, leaving little desire to try to catch up on a random basis. Besides, it’s always kind of fun to have a week where you are not totally tied to your TV, iPhone, or laptop.

Fun, maybe, but also funny, in that life has a way of leaping past you during those times. I was missing the second half of the Summer Olympics in London, after all – only getting home in time to watch the closing ceremonies.

The Mars Rover Curiosity big NASA event I missed totally. I felt that I was the one on another planet all week.

And the Detroit Tigers, I wondered what happened to Quintin Berry while I was gone. I think I have it figured out; although it’s not the same watching the games without him sparking the lineup so much now.

Just as well. I’ve scads of things on my end-of-summer to do list.  A little less baseball, a little more writing, and other sundry things.

Williamston Theatre, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

By  Susan G Parcheta
(pub. July 23, 2012 at
I don’t know how Shakespeare came to mind when I was sitting down to write an update blog about one of my favorite places on the planet – Williamston Theatre (WT) in downtown Williamston, Michigan.

True, the theatre – now an integral part of the community landscape – performs Shakespeare now and then. And, true, Aral Gribble, one of the two powerhouse actors in the current production – Red, White and Tuna – appeared in The Complete Works of Williams Shakespeare (Abridged) two summers ago.

Apparently, I tend to make the connection when I see Gribble in a WT play “Tuna’s” a remote connection, I’ll agree, but the comedy and laughs garnered when watching Gribble perform are a match.  Gribble was great, as well, in this season’s  Dead Man’s Shoes.
OK, now you know that Williamston Theatre is featuring Aral Gribble in Red, White and Tuna (July 12-Aug. 19). And, you know I’m going to tell you some of my favorite things about Williamston Theatre.

Well, one of those favorites is Wayne David Parker, the other half of the tuneful “Tuna” twosome. I truly enjoyed Wayne David Parker in Talley’s Folly – one of my first WT experiences -- and in subsequent shows.  Parker and Gribble gained a sizable local fan base in last year’s Greater Tuna; and I hear tell they’ll bring us Tuna Does Vegas next year.

Those fans were certainly out in force on July 12, when the theatre opened this production run. It’s always fun to attend the very first night, when you can participate in audience comment and suggestions afterward.  I’d guess from the near sell-out crowd, that lots of folks are getting hooked as we did, and putting the first WT night on their favorites list.

The Tuna series has an interesting background – going back three decades. Playwrights Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard debuted Greater Tuna in 1981, with off-Broadway following in 1982.  The wildly successful plays feature two men; and the actors are constantly engaged in the challenge of playing over 20 character roles – all adding to the comedic atmosphere.

If you want laughs, go see a Tuna production. Especially, though, go to a Tuna production at Williamston Theatre. Gribble and Parker continue to develop these laugh-a-minute characters with each Tuna. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Summer Solstice Stars: Anniversaries, strawberry fields, rhubarb pie, Tiger baseball & fireflies

Mid-summer always dazzles, with the longest, brightest, hottest days. Can anything be sweeter than a day in June that might contain a wedding, an anniversary, a morning in strawberry fields, an afternoon reminiscing and baking rhubarb pie, an evening TV date with your favorite Michigan baseball team, or a moonlit rendezvous with fireflies?

I guess you could say, without a doubt – these are among my favorite things of summer.

This year, 2012, we didn’t attend any weddings in June. But, I was thinking about a monumental one that took place 45 anniversaries ago on June 17. My husband and I had just finished our second year of teaching. There wasn’t much fanfare – only about 50 guests at the college chapel where we were married, followed by a reception at my grandmother’s home (my dad’s mom) in the neighboring town where I grew up.

This was all by design. It was a beautiful, warm day in June. I’d made my dress, 1960s style—of simple white cotton piqué.  My flowers were beautiful pink peonies from both grandmothers’ gardens.  I remember people saying it was one of the best weddings they’d attended. It was simple. The church ladies cooked. And it rained.

Summer begins in the strawberry fields
This year, I was thinking about all the favorite traditions of June. Not just our anniversary –and how could all those years possibly have gone by already – but the wonderful memories of many Junes.

Do you ever mark your summers by the fruits of the season? Strawberries and rhubarb come to mind – fruits of early summer. Since moving to Livingston County (40 anniversaries ago), rarely a June passes without a trip to DeGroot’s Strawberries.

Writing from your heart when nothing is there may surprise and amaze you

“Creativity demands nothing less than all you have. Talent alone is never enough.” ~ Erica Jong

Writing your heart out sounds wonderful, therapeutic, and brain-enhancing. But what happens if a writer in search of a blog -- because it’s time for a new spin, an update – keeps ignoring the usual call to the desktop, because that brain is hovering in blank-slate mode?
Writing your heart out may be scary, but what you learn can be amazing

What if she’s always telling everyone that she never has a problem with writing – something.   Nope, never a problem.  Until one day, she does have a problem. Writing. Anything.

How embarrassing to think of yourself as a creative person (having studied up on the topic in recent years), only to find yourself casting for ideas for an immediate posting. And, then, in desperation, grabbing an empty tea box you’ve saved (you know, the ones with the great quotes) because your eyes land on it,  and remembering you saved it because of the quote that maybe you could write about  – sometime.

Then you wonder, what could be the possible significance at the moment you’re grasping for a blog topic, when you turn the box over and the quote is all about creativity?  When creative is the very thing you’re not feeling. Hmmm.

Friday, July 27, 2012

'Over Troubled Water': Still building bridges 10 years later

By Susan G Parcheta 
(Pub. @ May, 17, 2012)

Ten years after Sept. 11, 2001 I wonder, “Have we made any progress on this planet?”

Each Memorial Day we think of such marker events in our history.  The following is a reflection I wrote in the months following 9-11.  Reading through it again, a decade later, I find still haunting reminders -- besides the lyrics of Paul Simon’s song -- that we’ve a long way to go on our journey toward peace in this Age of Aquarius.

So the music lives on…Bridge over Troubled Water. See what you think. How much has changed? Is there time for building bridges?  What happens if we don’t?

I’m thinking that, in 2012, it’s time to ramp up the construction.  May each of us be the bridge we seek over troubled water.   One by one, we can make a difference in our corner of the world. 

The ripple effect builds into a tsunami; and together the waves create a cleansing and renewing global shift, where peaceful waters flow beneath those bridges that we’ve built.

On Sept. 11, 2001, there was a call for unity and love to prevail.  There was a collective will to transcend the divisions. Why, then, does our world seem even more volatile in 2012?   Why is everything either  black and white or red and blue? Why this polarity in our culture? Haven’t we been there, done that?  When, for heaven’s sake, will we take the quantum leap?

Yes, there is much work to do, miles to go before we sleep… bridges to build, bridges to trolley across -- together.
May we daily be inspired into action; and, so inspired --  imagine. Imagine  what  extraordinary thing might we do?

Over Troubled Water
By Susan G Parcheta 
(Pub. In the May/June 2002 issue of Horton’s Mid-Michigan Reader)

Paul Simon’s haunting lyrics in Bridge over Troubled Water washed over our souls again during the celebrity telethon for the victims of Sept. 11, 2001. Topping the charts three decades ago, it continues to sooth our collective cry for a bridge to some place safe…somewhere to ease our minds.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Kindle your heart with 'Illuminara' art

 By Susan G Parcheta
April 27, 2012

A far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being." Carl Jung

Visual artist Elaine Clayton kindles our hearts, as she engages our imagination, sparks our intuition and illumines our dreams in her book Illuminara Intuitive Journal with Cards.
“Imagination is the playscape of our intuitive self,” says  Clayton; it’s through our imagination that we find meaning in our experiences, as well as creative solutions to life’s problems.

Illuminara features a journaling section and a set of 40 cards of her art pieces – paintings and sketches that work in tandem.  The art serves as a tool to bring forth the heart of our intuition and dreams via this visual medium.  It’s an interactive technique, as we can then journal our experience with the cards, jogging our personal memories – the insights from which assist us in discovering answers to life’s situations and challenges.

“The idea is to pick one,” Clayton explains, “and allow the flow to wash through you and write down all the feelings and memories that float to you from inside. Then when you pick a card like ‘lemons’--you know what you felt and what your associations are.”

While I’ve enjoyed the book and cards since its publication last year, I decided to draw a card specifically for writing this reflection.  In interacting with the Cloud Card, I realized that the image brought up a number of things -- both about me, and about Clayton’s work.

Yesterday's Coffee: 'Joe' in the morning

'Coffee from Hell' and a little bit of Easter egg fun
 By Susan G Parcheta
April 12, 2012 at TheLivingstonPost 

“Morning Joe” commercial caught my eye this morning, causing me to flee to the computer keys.

I’d flicked on the MSNBC TV show, which I rarely have time to watch, to catch a few news notes.  Seeing the coffee cup logo, with the creamy coffee spilling, I remembered I didn’t have a new blog up for The Livingston Post.  So, I grabbed my mug o’ Joe and got to plunking out some notes of my own.

My blog, of course, is Yesterday’s Coffee.  As time goes by, that title seems to fit my lifestyle. It seems comfortable and homey.  I like to think that my writing is that way. I like to imagine it having that effect on the folks who happen upon it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The spotlight's on Timeline: Whose? Facebook's or mine?

By Susan G Parcheta

Follow us on Facebook.
My eyes caught the familiar invitation on the bottom of a catalog I brought in with the daily mail.  Probably it grabbed my attention because my attention has been on my waning days for Facebook Timeline. Waning… for me to get on board.

The spotlight's on my Facebook Timeline
The spotlight is definitely on Timeline among my Facebook friends.  Just as I was thinking I’d better schedule time to fiddle with it before it fiddles with me, one of my longtime Facebook friends announced she was quitting the whole thing. Apparently she’d gotten notice that her time for Timeline had arrived.  She said, “No.”

No more time left to resist, so she quit. She’d had it with Timeline -- especially being forced on people.
That same day another person wrote in a group page inviting 600 friends to protest the whole thing. 

“That’s interesting,” I said to myself. “And she is an entertainer.” Her reasoning sounded good. She doesn’t like the layout, and says it reminds people of My Space and doesn’t load well on mobile devices.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yesterday's Coffee: The blog that keeps stirring a 'brew-haha'

By Susan G Parcheta

Brouhaha or ‘brew-haha’ -- however you picture it, Yesterday’s Coffee percolates many writing adventures.  Some are a bit weak; some are heavy duty; some sweetly reminisce of days gone by.   Always, though, it’s fun stirring up some commotion.

I was thinking about the startup of this blog (in 2009) for Livingston Talk, now The Livingston Post, while visiting my husband’s father in Florida last week.  It was he, after all, who inspired this title that captured my fancy back then.

We were downing a leftover pot of coffee before heading out the door.  I smiled, thinking of that decision to name my blog Yesterday’s Coffee. It still feels right, as I continue to “measure out my life with coffee spoons” – and plenty of tea bags, too.

All beverages work for musing over yesterday’s and tomorrow’s news. For me, though, nothing says loving better than a pot of fresh brewed coffee with family or friends. Unless, it’s yesterday’s coffee. Sometimes yesterday’s coffee creates memorable moments. Like that quick cup with dad before heading off for a day of adventure.

Or on the trip home to Michigan.  While waiting for a Waffle House fresh brew, and because it was late afternoon, and we were waiting, we were given a gigantic tall one to go! We sped off wondering how we’d drink it all. But guess what? Next morning found us removing it from our motel fridge and warming in the micro. It was too early for the continental breakfast; and we were anxious to get on the road. Yesterday’s coffee saved the day, and the driver, again.

That’s my early 2012 update on Yesterday’s Coffee; here’s the original first blog from 2009’s Livingston Talk:
Yesterday’s Coffee, Tomorrow’s Muse
By Susan Parcheta
“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” – T.S. Eliot (From the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)

Yesterday’s Coffee, as a blog title, has been brewing on the back burner of my mind since last summer, when Maria Stuart of -- the new online community for Michigan’s Livingston County – asked me to blog.  I did, but my blog didn’t have a title; it didn’t really need one at the time. However, that experience got me to wondering. What would I call my blog series, if I wanted to name it?

Last September my husband and I were camping in northern Michigan with his father.  One morning the men got out on the lake early to fish. Of course I’d slept in, so they returned to find only leftover coffee. Our camper has a microwave. We nuked the cold brew before making a new pot; and that’s when my father-in-law suddenly smiled, and came out with some saying about “Yesterday’s Coffee.”

Whatever he said was catchy; and I’m sure I wrote it down, but can’t find my notes. The gist, though, was that yesterday’s coffee was pretty good -- and that it was an old song title!  A song?

Hmmm, I was thinking. Song or not, that could be a great blog title for me. So, I parked the idea away for a year.  And, who knew!  Dozens of others had the same idea, I discover. Everyone from a music group on Facebook to another blogger who changed his to “Reheated Coffee” (perhaps we’ll meet up sometime and rehash all this), to forums and surveys about leftover coffee – and, even a website devoted to funny jokes, called “Yesterday’s Coffee.”

It’s amazing how things work. Once you begin homing in on an idea simmering on the periphery of your consciousness, like pigeons aloft in flight, all manner of facts and events come into view.  Get enough of them, and you can make your landing.

Soon as I decided it was time to focus on my coffee theme, things began popping up. Coffee cup designs decorate the napkins I recently bought; even the paper towels sport coffee quotes. “Wake up and smell the coffee!”  Kind of overused, but it will do when in crisis mode.

“With enough coffee, anything is possible!” That would be my favorite.  I truly believe that, especially if the coffee is:  chocolate-vanilla-almond-maple-Jamaican-mocha-hazelnut, or some exotic concoction of flavors. If you drink yesterday’s coffee, though, can you be a coffee snob?

At this point in my life, yesterday’s coffee takes on new meaning. Beyond my own life story of remembered good coffee times, I’m beginning to feel swept up into the current of a very fast moving river. The other day, I was clearing space, making room for my future projects – tomorrow’s muse.

A wave of amazement flowed over me, realizing a box I was sorting held hundred-year-old letters from my mom’s parents.  One piece of antique parchment-colored paper unfolded to reveal a marriage certificate. It’s huge, with cutouts for photos of the bridal couple, and the pastor, as well. No, there are no photos, the paper is worn, and the dates are faint, but I’m sure it says Jan 1, 1900. That blows my mind, of course. I’ll have to check with my cousin, probably the only one of the family left that would know.

Genealogists must have a field day over cups and cups of yesterday’s coffee. I can picture them reaching for the strongest brew -- reheating it, while propping their eyelids open to go after just one more clue, with detective-like precision and tenacity. Guess that’s why I keep procrastinating. A former co-worker of mine would love to know I found this stuff.  She has admonished me time and again for not working on my family tree, figuring it will never happen in her lifetime. We shared many office cups of coffee over that muse.

Well, as I pondered what to do with my stash -- this legacy from my grandparents -- I dusted things off to store in a better place.  Imagining those times, I saw my grandparents sitting at their great oak table. Actually, it’s easy to picture that, since I sit at that table.  It’s the one thing I’m glad I said ‘Yes’ for when no one else in the family could take it, back when. When, meaning as young newlyweds, we started out dining on a picnic table.

I can imagine nearly a century of yesterday’s coffee being shared by all the people who’ve gathered around my grandma’s table, because I grew up with it. Instead of  today’s coffee by the computer, and dashing off an email, I see them searching for paper and pen from their tall secretary desk, drawing up a chair over at the big round dining table – the hub of activity in the home.  With elbow room to spread out stationery supplies, cup and saucer, sugar,  cream, spoon, they’d  be sipping and thoughtfully writing those letters to loved ones….what would wind up being tomorrow’s muse for me to  see  and  cast my own muse upon, over  a cup of yesterday’s coffee.

Now that the format for Livingston Talk is a new creation, I sense this is the time for my blog to be a new creation, as well. So I’ll go with “Yesterday’s Coffee, Tomorrow’s Muse.”

You could be wondering where I came up with “Tomorrow’s Muse.” Well, I’m a product of a longtime group of women (originally and affectionately called, “The Tuesday Breakfast Club”) who’ve met monthly since our kids were toddlers. Until recently, we would meet without fail at a local restaurant. Dare I say the habit began about 30 years ago?

Yes, I’m that old; and that’s where “tomorrow’s muse” comes in. I think back fondly on those years of downing cup after cup of coffee with our breakfast group, discussing everything from yesterday’s happenings to tomorrow’s news. So, in contrast to what the literary folks write about T.S. Eliot’s measuring life in coffee spoons, as being mundane -- in the context of my life, there’s sweetness to the sound of that line.  That is, I look back on yesterday’s coffee times, the countless coffee cups and spoons, as the chatter, which (like a cheery church supper in your mind) becomes tomorrow’s muse.

Am I making any sense with this? As I see it, I’m always musing over yesterday’s events, and I muse a lot about tomorrow’s while enjoying my own yesterday’s coffee. You could interpret it in a lot of ways.  But I like the sound of it -- like the full circle of life or something -- sharing pleasant moments of life with your family and friends over coffee (or tea, of course).

A Christmas gathering with my breakfast buddies was one such occasion.  The person among us who loves coffee, even more than I do, gave us each a slim little brown book – Coffee Talk: A celebration of Good Coffee and Good Friends by Ellyn Sanna. The author describes perfectly one reason why I appreciated those breakfast meetings with friends.

Being a young mother (as we all were when we began the breakfast coffee tradition), Sanna writes: “So when I escaped last Saturday to our local diner to meet a friend for breakfast, how good it felt to have someone wait on me for a change.”

For me, you see, there’s a touch of blessed hospitality to counting coffee spoons, especially when measuring time with friends. The T.S. Eliot quote, which Sanna shares in her book, adds a new dimension to my thinking about this. What is life, but finding wonder in the mundane moments? Back in 1919, when Eliot wrote that, my grandparents were living mundane moments, no doubt, while recording them lovingly in the letters they’d send.

As for songs about yesterday’s coffee, most lyrics seem to churn along Eliot’s humdrum tune. So, I’m curious to know which song my father-in-law used to croon. As I reheat, I’ll keep looking for the right one, the one that speaks to the joy in yesterday’s coffee, and sings of tomorrow’s muse.
“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow…yesterday’s gone….yesterday’s gone.” – Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac
 (Pub. March 23, 2012 at The Livingston Post. Archvies for Yesterday’s Coffee, Tomorrow’s Muse at  Blogger’s Blogspot)


Williamston Theatre amazes: A dead guy’s wonderful life and shoes, sings the usual understudy of Tuna

By Susan G Parcheta

Williamston Theatre (WT for short) in downtown Williamston, Mich., amazes.  Throughout six seasons, this wonderful professional theater has charmed and inspired its patrons.
Patrons turn into fans. Fans, then, keep on growing this theatre; because WT fans find this intimate cultural experience -- once they discover it -- irresistible. I’m one of those patrons and fans. I’ve loved writing about this place, its plays, and its founding foursome for the past four seasons. It’s been an adventure.

It’s in the spirit of my “fan-ship” that I decided to have a little bit of fun (in mid-season) with the 2011-2012 show titles.  Because to a WT fan, the shows can seem to blend into one dreamtime sort of memory; and dreams can be downright quirky. Plus, they’re real to you when you’re in the middle of them.

Hence:  A dead guy’s wonderful life and shoes, sings the usual understudy of Tuna.

A theatre critic I’m not. I’m an ordinary writer, who knows one simple truth about theatre -- William Shakespeare was right, after all.  It bothers me not one whit, to toss off, loudly and often, that now- considered- cliché-nugget- of-wisdom: “All the world’s a stage; and all the men and women merely players.”

How do I know?

Playing at Williamston Theatre in Williamston MI March 22-April 22
Take this season’s lineup in the WT wonderland:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweet hearts, candy hearts: Love is in the air

Love is in the air.

It’s Valentine month, heart health month, and it’s definitely the month for sweethearts and sweet hearts.

While generally writing about health and wellness, I always consider the joyful, fun side of being kind to our hearts. There is a sweet side to friendship, I think, that sparks that feel-good heartlight within.

It tends to show up on special occasions and holidays.  Sometimes you feel you just may as well indulge in a little bit of sweet pleasure during those times.

Enjoy the gift of tradition: a beautiful homemade heart cookie, given by a longtime friend -- thinking of the time spent lovingly cutting out, baking, colorfully frosting it and transporting it to you.

Bite into and savor a luscious piece of chocolate, made with the finest ingredients by your favorite hometown chocolatier – in my case, Sweet Sensations in Fowlerville. I don’t get there often enough.

And, by all means, have some fun with candy hearts.  Do you love candy hearts?  XOXOXO?
A sweetheart of a cookie, a friendship tradition. "The greatest sweetener of human life is friendship." -- Joseph Addison
Time to take a look back at a column I wrote for the Fowlerville News & Views Feb. 15, 1999 issue about candy hearts.  Not a lot has changed since then, re these pastel confection collections, except maybe the sayings or flavors.  We’ll see. Here’s the retro look:

Candy Hearts (1999)
 By Susan Parcheta (from N&V column: Living…Happier, healthier, longer and better)

Candy hearts.

Here we are in the middle of Valentine month. Did you give or get any candy hearts? You know, the ones with all the cute sayings: “Be Mine” – “Kiss Me” –“Hey Dude.”

Necco Confectionary Company started it all back in 1901. Now a few billion each year find their way into our Valentine celebrations.  Somehow, it doesn’t seem like February without a few candy hearts around. While visiting friends last week, I was delighted to spot a dish of candy hearts – in sherbet colors -- on the kitchen counter.

The inscriptions, they say, change with the times. A popular one nowadays is “Fax Me.” This year, I saw “My Love” – “Your Guy” – “Kid You” – “Only Me – “Love Me” – “Good Time” – “Forever” … among others.

Candy hearts are for the young, you say? A Greek proverb affirms: “The heart that loves is always young.”