I started meditation many years ago when I was invited to a weekend retreat in my 20s in Brooklyn and discovered the soothing effects of this ancient practice on stress. I can’t imagine getting through the ups and downs of my career and personal life without this relaxation for my mind.
Eventually my specialty became laughter meditation. Laughter lowers our blood pressure. As Michele Blood also promises on the cover of The Laughter Meditation CD, “Laughter increase vascular flow. Laughter boosts our immune system and laughter releases positive endorphins into the brain that creates higher oscillation in our physical and ethereal body.”
I am amazed that this CD remains a bestseller online, where it is also highly recommended that you play this tape for anyone who is ill, depressed or in the hospital. Of course, I could never have predicted a pandemic as bad as COVID, but now is the time to keep in a high vibration and this CD is the answer!
I was so excited this year to have two major events to attend the Sunday before Labor Day with my partner Bob Allen. My cousin Tom, a missionary priest, was being honored at a special mass and luncheon at his hometown parish in Emmett, Mi. — Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church — less than an hour north of my condo in Warren. We arrived early to visit Father Tom at his childhood home near the parish, which his sister Mary Alice makes sure is maintained for his visits. I also met Tom’s other sister Madeline, who lives in Frankenmuth, and other relatives at the reception. We shared a table with relatives David and Linda Rykwalder, who made sure that I got their information to stay in touch.
Bob and I then drove to Frankenmuth to check into the Bavarian Inn before driving to Vassar for the 4pm wedding of my great niece Chelsea Holland and her fiancé Mike Massa. It was an outdoor wedding on the estate of her parents, my niece Linda and her husband Mike Holland. I went to both events with Bob, whose late wife was related to the Hollands, so he was considered part of the family.
On the Road South Again
I was reminded again this month how the pandemic put a hold on on most of my creativity as a writer, except blogs. I
felt that I was just struggling to keep
my health together and lucky to be reading and using my studies on meditation with Pragito Dove
during that time. My friend and companion Bob Allen also kept me hopeful,
And now I am additionally recovering from cataract surgery. My left eye was operated on in June, my right in
early July and I am delighted that I don’t need glasses anymore –
although my Doctor will soon give me a prescription for reading, since very small print requires me to
occasionally use a magnifying glass.
I am looking forward to traveling again later this month to visit Bob’s son Wes and his family in Richmond, Va.
It will be my first visit to Virginia since I used to live in Reston before the death of my late husband Tim.
Since I plan to start writing a tribute to Tim when I return, the trip should bring back a flood of memories!
May was an incredible month that included a road trip to Alabama and South Carolina – and a bridal shower for an amazing great-niece, Chelsea Holland.
First, the shower for Chelsea Holland and her fiancé Mike was held in a beautiful venue, MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township, Mi. It was a chance to spend time with relatives I have rarely seen during the pandemic. I met my niece Cheryl, sister of the bride-to-be’s mother Linda Holland, for a quick trip to the beach in Harrison Township – joined by my partner Bob Allen. I was at a table with my sister-in-law Maria and her daughter Susan. The pandemic had kept us apart, but it was fun to catch up. I was amazed at the energy of my great niece’s mom Linda, a chiropractor at Henry Ford Hospital. I also met the mother of the groom Mike for the first time.
The road trip in Bob’s car included visits with my late husband Tim Robinson’s family – Terah and Bob Sherer and Nelson and Connie Robinson. I had missed them greatly during the pandemic. I was able to interview Nelson to get family history for a tribute book on Tim. Sadly, one of Tim’s closest friends from high school, Rick Watson, had died lat year – but we got to visit with his widow Jilda, who had also been a classmate of Tim’s – and she gave us a tour of her remarkable family property in Empire and a delicious home-cooked meal. We also met her two sweet rescue dogs.
The trip ended in S. Carolina with an amazing stay over-night with my late husband’s sister-in-law Martha, whose late husband died in California. Martha eventually returned to her home state and now lives in a new home in Simpsonville SC. She put us up overnight and treated us to an amazing meal in a top-rated local restaurant. What a beautiful ending to our southern trip!
When I was young, I adored the book Walden, Life in the Woods, by Henry David Thoreau. I lived in the city, but had grandparents in the country – my mom’s family lived on a wooded farm near Saginaw, Michigan and my dad’s parents lived in a rural area near Lake Erie in Canada.
Now I enjoy that my Condo’s deck overlooks the neighboring woods across the fence. It is home to wild critters that include deer, rabbits and groundhogs. There is also a walking path around the woods. I often go there to enjoy the small patch of wilderness up close. The path also offers a chance to see the deer in their habitat. They don’t jump the fence. But the groundhogs continually dig a path under the fence. I’ve had to secure my deck with wiring and bricks against the visiting groundhogs.
Over the last five years it worked effectively, but I am currently facing my first new challenge. This year the groundhogs seem bigger and more powerful. One persistent critter managed to push aside bricks and dig under the wiring. A call to my condo management brought a cage set up by the local trapper. Within about three days a critter was caught and set free in an upstate preserve.
This reoccurrence made me think again of the film “Groundhog Day”. It’s a beautiful film that was set in Pennsylvania about the yearly February Ceremony where Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring or six more weeks of winter, depending on whether he casts a shadow. I watched the film again this spring – and guess what? I find It hard to dislike groundhogs. I am so glad we can just offer any intruders under my deck a beautiful alternative trip upstate!
March is Women’s History Month and it reminds me of my own long journey. I started college at Wayne State University in Detroit in the mid-60s and joined the campus paper when a friend from Cass Tech High School asked me to join her in checking out WSU’s student newspaper. I was fascinated first by the photography department and worked with David Welsh – now a long-time friend. I spent a year as a photographer before I grew more interested in being a reporter.
I had assumed that by junior year I would be doing student teaching for a career in education. However, when I finally took my first education class, I knew that I wanted to be a journalist, not a teacher. Luckily I had met another student determined to be a journalist, my friend Peggy Fisk. She urged me to work with her in the Daily Collegian’s editorial department. It gave me the courage to later interview for a local newspaper, the Macomb Daily, where I landed a job on the women’s page. I gradually moved over to the general news pages. It’s hard to believe there was a time that women were confined to one category – women’s news.
And I’m glad I had support on my journey, which included newspapers, publishing and publicity. I eventually also got a graduate degree in Communications Management from USC when I moved to California with my husband Tim Robinson. Yes, we had to push the boundaries, but women today keep breaking barriers, including the first woman vice president. Onwards!