Taking Stress to Heart

heart attackSometimes coming up with a topic to write about can be daunting.  Being part of a thirty-one day challenge, I have chosen a topic that allows me to write about anything that involves my thoughts as I live my life in a community that I adore.  I have made many decisions in my life that have altered my path; my choice to live my life in Lapeer has been one of my better life selections.  My years as a resident of this town have not been easy.  We have spent the better part of a decade fighting a bank over their fraud in regards to a refinance of our home.  This journey would try to strip us of our dignity and decimate our finances; our only crime would be reporting the crime.  That is a story I share in my blog entitled “Mortgage Forgery: Living with the Decisions I’ve Made.”  The personal journey and the focus of this particular blog post is that I have had to figure out how not to let the stresses in my life kill me.

The past decade would take its toll on me this past July when I would experience a heart-attack from the ongoing stress.  I would awake in the morning, feeling a little bit agitated; however, with all that was going on at that time, it was not a hectic morning.  Throughout the years of dealing with unwarranted litigation, brought on by someone else’s crimes, I had learned to keep my mind busy with other things in life so that it wouldn’t be a constant mind-burner; however, that was never an easy feat in our circumstance.

As I started my day, I would brush my teeth and then run upstairs to get dressed.  As I pulled my t-shirt over my head, I was hit in the center of my chest with what felt like a horrible case of indigestion.  As I threw my hand up to my chest, the only thought that crossed my mind was that I needed to lie down.  At that moment, an electrical jolt shot from the base of my throat and shot down both arms simultaneously, slamming hard into the joints of my elbows.  At first, I tried to lie down; however, the awful pressure was getting worse.  I would make my way downstairs to the bathroom, where I began to feel cold, yet I was sweating profusely and becoming extremely nauseated.  The pressure continued as if a log was lying on my chest, making breathing hard causing me to gasp.  After the nausea passed I was able to make my way to the living room, where I was able to wake my brother and have him drive me the quarter-of-a-mile to the hospital.

At first, the doctor said that it “might be an anxiety attack” which elicited a quick response of “No, I’m pretty sure this isn’t an anxiety attack” from me.  Anxiety makes me tense up; it has never sent a shooting pain through my extremities and usually, at least in my experience, something triggers an anxiety event.  After a tragic accident in our family back in 2003, I went for months imagining that people were driving at me because of anxiety, and it was nothing like this.  There was, for me at the time, no obvious trigger here.

We would find out later that I had definitely suffered from a heart attack.  I would be hospitalized for a week; having a heart catheterization done that basically ended up explained nothing.  The final result is that I had a stress-induced heart attack.

You cannot even imagine how this blew my mind.  Now I had to worry about the way that I was dealing with my stress; something that I actually thought I was handling masterfully.  Now I had to stress about the way I had to deal with my stress!  How does one do that and not get stressed?  It would take me almost eight weeks to recover from that thunderbolt in my life, all while still going through the judicial processes that have taken over the past decade of our lives.

I don’t live a high-drama life.  I love being at home, in my pajamas, with my husband, watching television, playing on the computer and taking care of our life.   I like to be organized and, what seems to be my downfall is that I don’t like it when corporations and courtrooms don’t follow the rules; especially when the rules that have been broken would send the common man to prison.  Many times we have to make choices on what to let go of in life; and this thorn has festered in our lives for way too long.

Experiencing a heart attack changes ones perspective and presents questions that need to be answered.  In my case, I have to make a decision as to whether, now, if I am willing to risk my life any more for this insanity, or do I figure out a way to move on and try to put this behind me.  Is it worth the risk of another heart attack to give a damn anymore?  I’m thinking not so much.

I now realize that even the healthiest of people can suffer a heart-attack.  I now have a greater respect and understanding that we are not in control of our destiny; and if we abuse our minds, our bodies will react.  I thought I was handling stress in the best ways possible; yet I was still getting up every day, facing the fight.  I spent a decade working hard not to let it be the topic of every single conversation that I would have and to have tried diligently to focus on my faith and not so much on my circumstance.

I love my husband, my children and grandchildren.  I have two of the best puppies and a grumpy cat that continually add fun to each and every day of my life.  There are no skeletons in our closet and despite the heart attack, my heart is stronger than most.  There is a lot to be grateful for in my life.

In an attempt to move forward, I am looking into a position that would allow me to help those in our community that would need it the most.  Ironically the position would be in a field that was unable to help in our situation, giving me empathy for those who have had the rug pulled out from under them, either by the crash of the economy, health challenges or bizarre twists of fate.

Change can only truly come with action, and after this past decade, I am ready for a life change.  I enjoy writing about my town and my thoughts; it’s actually quite cathartic and part of my goal to do things in my life that make me happy as I work on being good with things that I should have never had to be good with in the first place.

I hope you will join me as I make these changes in my life and share my thoughts about the weird and the obvious.  I’m diverse in what I like to think about, so anything is possible.  I don’t believe in judging others paths because I know how deceiving our circumstance can be to those that don’t know us.

My heart attack opened my eyes to the reality that I need to get a better handle on the damages that hanging on to this circumstance has inflicted upon my life.  When a heart attack is the result, the value of the fight has gone far beyond its worth.  I’m not willing to die for something that has turned fraud into an acceptable practice.  When your courts condone it, the fight becomes not just personal, but a fight for a nation full of wronged homeowners.  My shoulders are not big enough to handle it anymore, especially at the price of my life.

Survived heart attacks are warnings to you that there is something wrong.  In my case, what was wrong was not within my heart, it was within how my body was handling the stress that was coming at it, through my thoughts.  We often think, especially as women, that we have everything together.  We are not crumpled messes on the floor of life; we are multi-tasking, superwomen that live for immortality as the perfect mom, wife, and homemaker.  We need to choose our battles without blinders on; because truly, can any battle that deals with the material things in our lives be worth the loss of our life?

What to Do with So Many Choices

vote1Recently, our town was disgraced by the actions of someone elected to be a voice for our community.  With the primary election fast approaching, we are faced with eleven republicans and three democrats vying for this now coveted, vacant position.  What makes matters worse is that the discredited former “representative” has decided to run as well.  It baffles the mind as to what goes through the thoughts of those, whom have been taken down by their own actions that actually reason it as wise to test the polluted waters that they themselves tainted.  Albeit, that the costs of the additional ballot language will be annoying, we need to focus on the issues that matter most to us.  We need to deliver the message that this is not a position that we are willing to throw back to the wolf in sheep’s clothing; and show that we are focused on the issues.

I usually don’t voice my political views, because I’m not about the fight.  My views regarding politics, what works and what doesn’t, comes from years of working in local government and dealing with many government entities throughout my life.  I don’t have a lot of faith in those that sit in positions of power, because there have been many times where I have seen self-serving people convince their voter base that they are about the good of the community; however, if the true story be told, it was always a “What’s in it for me?” agenda, hidden strategically behind sarcasms and bullying of those that would stand against them.  I have little regard for those that don’t follow the rules.

I invite you to read Sean Cantwell’s blog post, “Watching the State Rep Debate So You Don’t Have To” for a candid review of the recent Tea Party gathering of the folks that want to fill this recently, abandoned seat.  I invite you to go to the websites of the multitude of candidates and review their history; look at the way they have voted before on issues of concern and look at their attendance records.  We want someone that actually shows up to represent us; not find excuses for ignoring the process.  Pay close attention to what they, as your proposed-representative, believes is important versus what you, as their constituent, considers significant.  Gun control, term limits, marijuana, minimum wage and road repairs are all issues that we all have a common concern about.

For me, personally, I think that it should be harder for people to get guns. Although, I believe that we have the right to bear arms, I don’t agree that they should be easy to get.  This however, brings other issues to the table; in the form of mental patient rights.  We don’t want psychologically unstable people to get guns, yet we are not allowed to know a person’s mental background without their permission.  Not all mental illness would negate someone from owning a gun; so there would be the issues of discrimination lawsuits, should the powers that be decide that one’s mental health record must be disclosed in order to be a gun owner.  I am not sure what the process is to have a gun; however, I do know that gun companies keep a record of each gun they produce and those identifiers should be in a nationwide database that identifies the owners of each gun purchased.  This wouldn’t be the cure-all because, obviously you can’t track all the guns that have been circulating for years; however, it could be an honest start at accountability.

I also believe in term limits.  No one should be able to make a career out of politics.  We don’t want people pushing their beliefs on us, yet we are willing to keep someone in office on the upwards of fifty years and expect growth.

As for marijuana, my opinion is based on years of watching people get killed by alcohol consumption.  I have never heard of a fatal car accident attributed to cannabis and we don’t have support groups to specifically target marijuana use.  I find it odd that we accept that our doctors are prescribing drugs such as Xanax, and Oxycodone to our children, yet when a parent wants to try cannabis oils to stop their children’s seizures everyone is up in arms.  I look to the states that have made marijuana legal and I see a surplus of cash in the states’ coffers; as well as a decrease in the amount of prescription drug overdoses within those states.  Therefore, I would be wary to vote for someone whose stance is a throwback to the 60’s when our government was experimenting with the likes of LSD.

In regards to the minimum wage issue, I understand that it is impossible to survive on a minimum wage job; however, I also understand that a move to raise the minimum wage to an unrealistic amount will virtually tank our society.  When everyone that receives the minimum wage increase, it will not increase the wages of those that are not considered minimum wage eligible; those that are already making fifteen dollars an hour will still only be making fifteen dollars an hour. Many will say that this will put more money into people’s pocket.   My question is, for how long?  The higher minimum wage will cause increased prices for small business to be able to afford the significant wage increase; leaving the recipients in a higher tax bracket and in actuality making less than what they were making before.  Those that don’t experience the increase will be forced to pay the higher prices incurred by this change.  I understand that we need changes; however, changes that are not well thought out can result in stepping backwards as opposed to moving forward.

As for our roads around the state, I feel that we have had our fair share of state funds over the past two years; however, if we are going to be able to fix the roads state wide, we need something other than another tax increase.  We need to look to the states that have set benchmarks that we need to consider.  Maybe we should consider not cutting off our nose to spite our face in regards to marijuana legislation and accept that this may be a viable way to get our roads fixed and have more funding for our schools.

I don’t expect people to agree with me; however, I do expect the voters to do their homework.  The law does not state that you have to vote for every seat on the ballot.  If you don’t know whose running, no law says that you have to actually select anyone.  How many times have you voted for someone in a school election or elected a judge for the higher courts and not known anyone that was running?  Many vote a certain party because that is the party that their family has voted for decades; others vote because their friends say “so and so” is the best candidate and few vote from doing their homework.  When we do this, we find ourselves in our current situation, wondering what the hell went wrong and slinging arrows at those that didn’t get it right.

We all have the right to vote; however, many do not realize the responsibility that comes with that privilege.  We owe it to ourselves to know the candidates, question their ethics and expect transparency.  We owe it to our community to make responsible decisions that are void of personal gain.  We owe it to our nation to start paying attention; because those that end up in the highest ranks in government started on the ground floor of their municipality.

WEBSITES OF CANDIDATES for State Representative in November 3, 2015 Special Primary Election

R-Jake Davison (http://davison4rep.com/)

R-James L Dewilde (No website)

R-Rick Guerro Jr (http://rick82.com/home)

R-Gary Howell (http://electgaryhowell.com/)

R-Ian Kempf (https://www.iankempf.com/)

R-Allan J Landosky (No website)

R-Jan Peabody (http://www.janpeabody.com/)

R-Sharna Cramer Smith (No website)

R-Chris Tuski (http://christuski.org/)

R-Russel C. Adams (No website)

R-Todd C. Courser (http://www.toddcourser.com/)

D-Eric Johnson (No website)

D-RD Bohm (No website)

D-Margaret Guerrero DeLuca (http://electguerrerodeluca.com)

The Place I Call Home

I have personally never been one for living the city life.  Even though I grew up in a little suburb north of Detroit, in my heart, I have always had the desire to live in the country.  Lapeer gives me that experience, even though I only live two blocks from the downtown area.  Our downtown area is a place of history and classic charm; our walking trails can take your breath away as you feel cleansed from the city grind; giving you the sense of peace that comes with intermingling with the beauty of our natural wetlands.  Although our town is growing, there are places within our municipality that still proudly reflect our rich past if you know what you are looking for.

Lapeer County CourthouseOur historical courthouse, built in 1846, is recognized as the tenth oldest working courthouse in the country and is the backdrop for many of our local summer concerts; as well as the annual Easter-egg hunt and Lapeer Days festival.  This splendid building sits grandly as the center of our downtown, with brick-paver walkways that display the names of many area families in Lapeer.  A turn-of-the-century clock adorns the northwest corner of the courthouse square with a stone water fountain gracing the front walkway of the courthouse.

Our downtown has changed throughout the years; many of the stores of yesteryear gone.  The memories of those places will always have a warm spot in my heart.  The many lunches at the old McCrory store that housed a cafeteria style eatery with the old-fashioned soda fountain counter reminiscent of a by-gone era; the romantic dinners at the Villa restaurant, with its’ Victorian charm are all fond memories that I will always cherish.

Memories of taking the children to the Smith and Weston Shoe Store to purchase their school shoes; as well as around Christmas time for new boots.  Other fond memories include taking the kids downtown for the annual Treat Walk and to the Christmas Parade and to see Santa during the holidays.

We still have our Blondies and Dagwood’s, an establishment that is exclusive to our town.   Blondies is a quaint country-type store in the front, hosting a lovely little space filled with special Michigan-made treats and an old-fashioned ice-cream parlor.  Dagwood’s, located behind Blondie’s in the same building is a deli-style restaurant serving freshly-made stacked-sandwiches what would have made the original Dagwood extremely proud.

Across the street is our celebrated Pix Theater.  This theater is one of the city’s gems, as it has been renovated and hosts many onstage productions featuring local artisans as well as other named acts.  A couple of years ago, we almost lost our theater to fire.  By the grace of God and the hard work of our local firefighters, they were able to save this downtown icon from the damage of the fire that would take out the building next door; forcing Burke’s Flowers to move across the street until renovations could be done to their damaged building.  Today, Burkes’ has returned to its’ original home and the Pix Theater has returned to hosting wonderful shows that bring a certain type of polish to our community.

Three days a week, during the warmer months, our local Farmer’s Market is set up downtown in front of the courthouse, featuring a wide variety of colorful plants and flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, and many delectable baked goodies to please the palate.  Local farmers bring their delicious wares to town, allowing all the opportunity to enjoy farm fresh flavors throughout the various seasons.

When I find myself getting weary of “city life”, I am able to take a stroll, less than a half a mile from my home and be on a beautiful pathway.  As I walk throughout the wetlands that border and run throughout several natural areas around our town, I can’t help but have a sense of serenity that is often difficult to find in a normal city setting.   The wildlife, during the different seasons, is always a pleasure to watch.   Every year is spent viewing goslings growing into full grown geese; watching the turtles that can be seen lying in the sun, on a variety of driftwoods that lay within the wetland area.  The wooden bridge that crosses the marsh always gives me the sense of being tucked away from the hustle and bustle of life; allowing for the repose that comes with knowing that this oasis is available to me at any time when I feel the need to get in touch with a more spiritual side of life.

Folks with their children and pets can be seen enjoying the pathways, rejuvenating themselves and connecting with their loved ones in ways that can only be experienced in nature.  Many have left their technology behind and are actually enjoying the stillness of the moment.

This town, that I call home, has many nuances to it, which sometimes are only recognized by those that have experienced its history.  The face of Lapeer is changing; however, there are places in this town that take you back to a time when technology was something you only saw in movies and being social was sharing dinner and a movie at our historic Pix Theater with family and friends.

I have lived in various towns in my life, however, when I found Lapeer, I found home.  I have raised my children here and I feel that they were given something that big city life couldn’t provide, at sense of belonging to a community.  My children have lifelong friends here; and my husband and I are the roots that started it all for our family.  For me, it’s a wonderful place to call home.

The Detours of Summer

michigan roadsWhile we were away, I noticed that M-24, a main street that has been under construction for the past two summers, had finally opened a two track through the partially completed roadway.  I am excited; as soon, the zig-zagging through the neighborhood to get around the major road constructions throughout our town is going to finally end.  Often during our second summer of insanity, I found myself observing the characters of people in gridlock when enduring, not one, but two summers of this type of detour-mania; with its mix of subtle niceties, with an occasional “What the hell?

Being a resident near the downtown area I knew how to stay out of the way of the drivers that were “passing through” our town; finding the little short cuts that the non-residents didn’t know about.  Being able to sidestep some of the insanity did help to lighten the madness as the various road projects progressed.

Most people I encountered were polite, allowing you to slide in off a side street entrance or business driveway.  Then, of course, there were those that wouldn’t give an inch.  You could see the stress on their faces as they were intentionally ignoring you; blocking the intersection in order to ensure no one actually got a car length ahead of them.  At one point in my life that would have annoyed me; instead, I sat remembering what it felt like to have that type of anxiety and politely smiled, knowing that it wasn’t up to me to judge why they were feeling the way they were feeling.  You can see the mix of resignation, irritation and for some, that “just going with the flow”; smiling their way through it.  For me, the years have taught me that you can only go as fast as the guy ahead of you and you have to be good with that; otherwise you rob yourself of an inner-peace that comes with acceptance.  I have many memories of a younger me losing my mind over other people when I was driving.  I am so very grateful those days are behind me, praise the Lord.

With our main north/south thoroughfare being overhauled, certain inconveniences come to mind.  Outside the obvious with the road closure, I can’t help but wonder how many sleepless nights did those living closer to the project have to endure; with the constant, rhythmic, thunderous thump of some earth pounding machine in the middle of the night? I know there was a certain logic as to why they were doing it at night, however, I’m sure that logic escaped the homeowners that were within a quarter-mile of the project.

The final result of the project includes a bridge and an underground pedestrian tunnel; which has brought out all types of social media theories, ranging from better usage of taxpayers money to envisioning a future place for the homeless and the dregs of society to hang out.  You could say that almost everything is a waste of some taxpayers’ money at some point; however, this time those “wasted” funds went to help our town out.  The time and money was spent here.  As I observe people complaining that the roads around the state are falling apart, I can’t help being a bit thankful that they are fixing ours.

On the other side of town, another project led many to question as to whether we needed a round-about in our town.  The answer is probably not, and many would agree that a light would have likely been sufficient; however, whether we liked it or not, we were going to have to roll with the punches.  However, there was no punch to this one.  No-one likes change, and the roundabout was a change.  We are getting used to it.  These improvements to our roads and infrastructure, in a time where many towns are in serious need of the exact enhancements that are happening in our town, are something I am personally thankful for.  Yes, we have had to endure a lot of inconvenience over the past two years; however, I cannot find any argument that overrides the fact that our town has been enhanced by these projects in a state and a nation where our infrastructures are outdated and hazardous.

The new bridge and pedestrian tunnel, as well as the roundabout, may not be everybody’s cup of tea and there will always be those that will fight to the bitter end to tell you how ridiculous everything is in life.  The reality, at least in my mind, is that the taxpayers’ money was “wasted” in our town; those “wasted” funds gave us new infrastructure that should last a while and it has helped to beautify the roads that travel through our town.  In my world, that is a win.

Next summer, when all these road construction horror stories are well behind us and we are enjoying the newness of our roads, we will have new concerns.  Interacting with drivers will still remain an experience that embraces courteousness and those special “What the hell?” moments.  At least with some degree of certainty, you will know when you are driving through Lapeer that you should be able to do it without blowing out a tire.  Ah, the things to be thankful for in life.

There’s No Place Like Home

no place like homeMy husband and I recently returned home from a visit with our sons’ family in New Jersey.  The old adage that states “there’s no place like home,” albeit, fairly true; had somewhat escaped me this time as I have felt a little hollow on these days following our return.

The challenges of our lives have weighed heavily upon us over the past decade.  This quality time spent with our family allowed us to focus on our blessings in life.  For that brief period, we were able to detach from the battles at home and become a part of our sons’ life.  We became alive with the responsibilities of three young boys in order to give mom and dad a break.

Our mornings would begin with the baby, who is six months old, whimpering in his bed that he was ready to start his day.  I slept in the room with him, and due to his teething, had several encounters with him on almost a nightly basis.  Every morning his smile would wipe away any weariness from the night before.

My husband and I were like a well-oiled machine, ensuring that each child’s daily backpack was ready for the individual adventures at school.  Even the baby had his daily routine of going to a wonderful child-care center located close to their home.  I would make sure that their lunches were packed and ready for the day.  As I would feed the baby, my husband would feed the two older boys (three and six) and ensure that they were dressed and ready in time to head off in different directions, ensuring that each one arrived at their proper destinations on time.

When we first arrived, we were not aware that the baby would be gone during the day as well; therefore, perplexing us as to what we were supposed to do with the eight, long hours before we would be with the boys again.  Our son and daughter-in-law were on a cruise celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary and therefore, it was my husband and me, with time to spend together.

We watched shows, went out to eat a couple of times and enjoyed each other’s company; communicating without the normal interruptions of life that occur in our home.  We started a journey to quit smoking while we were in a non-smoking environment; and although we have yet to throw them down completely, we are down to five cigarettes a day.  We have three more cigarettes (each) and I haven’t bought another pack.  I have quit before; however, I did it by throwing them down completely.  I am not a fan of “weening” down; however, my husband was not comfortable with the idea of quitting cold turkey.  We both feel that we are breathing better, and to be honest, I could have paid for an island by now when you consider I, alone, have been smoking for close to forty years.

We would begin to start the second part of our day around four in the afternoon; grandpa running down to the bus stop to pick up the boys and grandma heading down the street to the childcare center to pick up her “chunky monkey.”  We would converge on the house within minutes of each other; back packs being collected, shoes getting kicked off, homework being checked out, and starting dinner so that they could eat by five.

Once the whirlwind calmed down and dinner was eaten, the boys were given time to play before going upstairs to get ready for bed.  I would change the baby and have some “tummy time” with him; the memories of his loving smile still warming my heart.

Friday night was movie night; celebrated with popcorn and the works; creating happy, tired, little boys who were absolutely thrilled that they were able to stay up for an extra hour, past their normal bedtimes.  They would crawl into bed, almost asleep before their heads hit their pillows.

It’s always bittersweet when it comes time to return home.  Each time is hard.  This time, however, as bittersweet as it is, I feel refreshed and I believe my husband does to.  We are still somewhat within a war at home; a battle we have fought for many years; however, this time we are coming back with a refreshed spirit.  Sometimes we need to connect with those feelings and loved ones that add value to our lives.  Sometimes we need to be washed with the recognition that life is not about fighting every war or worrying about what others’ think of your situation.  Sometimes life is just about experiencing life.

As I sit here in my home, reflecting on the past couple of weeks, I feel like I am ready to move forward.  Smoking will be a thing of the past within a day or two.  This is a journey that is definitely better with a partner.  My heart is lifted as I reflect on the blessings in my life.  Leaving home was wonderful; however, being home allows me to understand how we see our blessings; many times not realizing their importance until we are separated from them.

I will lovingly put the pictures of our boys in the frames that I have been accumulating; hanging them in special places so that I can see their smiling faces each and every day.  I will always be mindful of my blessings and understand that those pictures on our walls, and the feelings I have for those loved ones, truly does bring meaning to the words, “there’s no place like home.”

The Beauty of the Bakery

backery3While scanning social media today, I discovered that a new bakery has finally opened in the downtown area.  This news would cause me to pause as my mind went back to a time when there were no bakeries in your local grocery mega-stores; where the smells get lost in the vastness of the building that houses the little areas of our lives that use to be exclusive to neighborhood businesses and downtown charm.  The thought of a bakery brings back memories of a quieter and gentler time.

I envision the enticement of approaching the cobalt-striped, canopy-adorned, window; displaying an assortment of freshly baked goodies that are gently calling my name.  I imagine opening first, the screen door; hearing the creek of the aged hinges as I push open the white-ruffled curtain-adorned French-doors that lead into this heavenly and tasty realm.  Immediately, my senses are immersed in the wonderfulness of flavors that permeates the air of this modestly adorned area.  The cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice melded together with the smell of coffee that was offered to the customers who may want to eat their tasty indulgences on-site   A white, linen, table-clothed, bistro-type table is sitting inconspicuously to the left of the front door as well as outside in a charming alfresco setting.  pecan rollMy eyes behold a host of feather-light crullers, enormous gooey pecan rolls, freshly baked sweet-breads and plate-sized cookies; all sitting enticingly on their paper-laced doilies displays a beautiful array of scrumptious, homemade goodness.

Behind the counter, I recognize a friendly face and a memorable smile.  This lady is a neighbor and a local business woman; a loving grandmother of three, dotingly baking and serving life-long and new customers with the same warm care she would give a family member.   Her husband is happily sharing a friendly story of a recent fishing trip with another pal and patron.

We have a little chat about how nice it was to have fall approaching and how fall this year has inspired a new “pumpkin spice” doughnut that, when paired with a tall glass of locally-grown, sweet apple cider, will quickly become a ritual to prepare the locals for the harvest-time festivities that would ensue before the Christmas time holidays are upon us.

There was a charm in experiencing a warm and inviting neighborhood bakery; and the thought of one gracing our downtown area again warms my spirit for this town that I have called home for a good portion of my life.  We need to remember and preserve our downtown history.  We need to show our children what life was like before superstores and the focus on non-stop convenience.  We need to slow down our dead-heat run to the grave.  Life was not meant to be flown through at break-neck speed; it was meant to be tasted and savored.

As we move forward and evolve as human beings; we risk losing touch with the little niceties of the life we lived, before convenience took over.  If our children don’t experience it, they won’t share it; and that’s how traditions die.

I know that our community will help to ensure that this piece of Americana will thrive.  We need to remember the sweet parts of life; and to me, nothing defines sweet like the sweet aroma’s and feelings that one gets when they walk into a true, gingerbread house of scrumptious deliciousness and thought provoking remembrances’ of a time gone by.