Thursday, March 31, 2011

When it's Spring

When it's Spring, I can open the window in the morning to hear the birdsong
And long to be in a place by the water so that I could hear the spring peepers calling

When it's Spring, the sun comes back
And I can almost forget the darkness of winter

But there's snow in the forecast, and it has me wondering where I am; the upper peninsula or the lower? Certainly, upper peninsula snow at the start of April can be expected some years, but in Kalamazoo? It's a zoo alright. But it's colder in all of West Virginia than it is right here as I type, a good 7 hours' drive north of its southern tip. Definitely does not make that state any more appealing right now.

So comparatively is where I'll find the satisfaction. At least I'm not in Princeton, WV where it's 32 (6 degrees colder than Kalamazoo) and 28 degrees colder than their average high.

What a weird winter/spring it has been. Did the Farmer's Almanac predict this one?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Ad and Swag

So - on the left you may note a couple new widgets and redesigning - I went through the old links and updated them as well as added something called the Swagbucks widget and an ad space. Blogger has been bugging me to 'monetize' with their AdSense gadget, and it did me in. Sure, we'll give it a go.

Now Swagbucks on the other hand is not new to me. If you need to search for something and you're already here, use the nifty box I put there on the left for you, and my 'swagbucks' will increase! It's my search engine of choice. Before, I used Goodsearch, which donates a penny to the nonprofit of your choice each time you search, and that was nice enough, but such a little difference really. And the engine itself wasn't that great. Maybe it's better now, I couldn't say. Swagbucks has already sent me one $15 ITunes card and I could have another already if I wanted to. But I'm holding out for the big-league $50 REI giftcard. Love that company. It's really a gigantic outdoor coop. And I'm a card-holding member. They give a dividend of the income each year, and they're extremely environmentally friendly, moreso than I am.

:) Click away!

Friday, March 25, 2011


The beginning of this week, I felt a rumbly in my tumbly. Rather than going away, it developed into more symptoms: fever, hot-air balloon head, and wet cough. It's the cough that gets me every time. It almost makes me vomit, because the sensation is there even though my gut isn't repulsing anything.

Which makes me realize I'm like my uncle Ron. In my memory, he didn't much like doctors. Not sure if it was because they never seemed to be able to do much for his mother, or something else. For me, though, it's because I would have to build a relationship with a doctor. I would want him to know me, to get to know my symptoms, to well, in essence be a small-town doctor. But he/she won't be. And really, I just need to get over it.


For now, I have an entire weekend ahead of me which is essentially unscheduled and lots of sleep, water, soup, and rest will probably do the trick of curing me of the frog-voice.

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

wall of love

I believe this is my favorite place in this apartment. Looking at my 'wall', I always smile. And you know how often we all turn to the refrigerator, even when we don't want anything! When I see this wall, I remember:
-Cedar Campus, the place I never thought beforehand I would ever work at because I already had 'my camp'
-Aforementioned 'my camp', Pleasant Vineyard, and the wedding/reunion of staff at the Webel reception this winter
-China, the place which holds pieces of my heart halfway around the world, especially Clare
-Kentucky family like my little cousin Elaine who is getting married this summer! And my cousin Pam who got married last summer!
- international friends - it's so hard to keep in touch
-Who my ideal love mate is (won at Cedar Point in 1992! I knew who he was at the tender age of 9) "Your Ideal Mate doesn't let love become a habit--like breakfast. He goes on being romantic year in and year out..." I know, pretty awesome right? It gets better "...He's never too busy or too tired to listen to those little whispered confidences, and while he says 'no' to the other girls he says 'yes' when his wife says, 'Do You Love Me?'" Printed 1941
-Friends who have gone overseas like Mike & Gretchen and Adelle and the Kingly family; or gotten married this past year like Maribeth & Josh, Lance & Kristin, Mary & Adam, Matt & Carol, and Nick & Beka!
-When in the world it is that David Sedaris is coming to Kalamazoo, which means Jamie is coming to Kzoo, which means I really should start remembering before April 5
-and of course, what I can recycle! It's the first and most important layer of 'the wall'

It's a wonderful wall. A reproduction of my wall in the house I grew up in, where I put up over 200 photos on all 4 walls of my bedroom.

What's your most favorite place at home?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Goodbye Winter!

There are a lot of people, rather, a majority of people, who deride Michigan winters and Michigan in general. But there's something amazing about seasons changing when the last one was brutal. The sunshine out my window reminds me of hope, and the hammock on my deck reminds me there is another opportunity for hearing birds sing and experience the frozen ground melt into rich smells of varying hue.

We had a 70-degree day this week, which did much to dissolve lingering winter blues in my coworkers. Now all I need is to cut a hole into my office window!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Uncle Bill

aMAYFIELD — William Curtis “Bill” McGary of Hopewell Road, Mayfield, Ky., passed on peacefully at his home from Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Sunday morning, March 6, 2011, at the age of 83.

Bill was a farmer, devoted father and husband, and passionate local historian and storyteller.

William was born near Kirbyton in Carlisle County, Kentucky, on November 15, 1927. He was the eleventh and youngest child of Victor and Effie Dura Gourley McGary.

He farmed in West Kentucky across seven decades beginning as a young child on the family farm.

He began his education at the one-room Dewey Corner School. In 1941, Bill attended Cunningham High School and enthusiastically played on the school’s basketball team.

After high school Bill farmed for several years with his father, still working only with horses. In December of 1950, he volunteered for the United States Air Force. He studied at Boston University Aircraft School and served as a B-36 Electrical Specialist for the Eleventh Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas.

While in Texas he met his future wife, Betty Jo Evans. They were engaged at Palo Duro Canyon State Park and were married August 2, 1953, in Halfway, Texas.

After his time in the service, they moved to Petersburg, Tx., where he farmed cotton, maize, and other row crops for several years with Betty’s father and brother.

In 1965, they bought a farm in the Mayfield Creek Bottom off of Hopewell Road, where for the next four decades they added acreage and grew white corn, yellow corn, popcorn, soybeans, wheat, and canola. In later years, Mike Nesler was instrumental in running the farm as well as a small long-haul trucking operation.

Betty kept the books and managed operational details and Bill’s brother-in-law, Henry Wells provided assistance in various capacities.

Bill often enjoyed breakfast with local farmers and neighbors at the Longhorn Restaurant near Mayfield. He could always be counted on to spark up conversations with complete strangers, often to have a new audience for his stories, but just as often to make a personal connection with a fellow traveler. In 2009, he completed his memoirs of growing up in the Jackson Purchase Area entitled “William-Billy-Bill,” published by

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Betty; as was a son, Kenneth “Ken” of San Francisco, Calif.; daughters, Thana of Rutland, Vt., and Lawinna of Greene, New York. Lawinna and her husband, Joe Ingold, have three children, Evan, Loren and Liam. Bill is also survived by his sister, Adell McGary Hurt of Toledo, Ohio.

Bill’s siblings were Ava Boswell, Zela McGary, Vernice Wells, Theron, James Thomas (J.T.), Wilbur, Alda Brower, Adell Hurt, Learon, and Wilford.

Bill was a member of Open Door Baptist Church.

Visitation will be Friday evening, March 11, from 5-8 p.m. The funeral service at Byrn Funeral Home in Mayfield starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12. Burial will be at Highland Park Cemetery.

In memoriam, contributions can be made to Emmeaus Perpetual Cemetery Fund, c/o David Wells, 12272 State Route 129, Fulton, KY 42041, or to the American Red Cross, 1-800-733-2767.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


Rules., originally uploaded by sarah_laughingguts.

Oh, Engrish. Because we need a good sign this evening.

Don't push and squeeze.


Late last night I heard the message that my great uncle was receiving hospice care. This afternoon I received the message that my great uncle had passed away in the night. Uncle Bill battled cancer, has been married for about 57 years, has 3 children and 3 grandchildren; and still I cried when the voicemail told me his body is the only part of him here on earth anymore. He has finished his earthly race, and the rest of us left behind have to carry on without him.

That's what I feel the most when loved ones die that I know had accepted Christ' gift of life. I feel a tension that I'm supposed to be glad for them, and am jealous, even, but I sorely miss them.

Uncle Bill was a great southern storyteller (this coming from a northern girl). He was the youngest of 11 (10 lived to adulthood and now only 1 is still living), born and raised on a farm although he did manage to go to high school in rural west Kentucky, something only 1 of his brothers also did. The luxuries you get as the youngest, I guess. A bus started running when he was a kid, so they only had to walk 1.5 miles to the bus which took them the rest of the way to the schoolhouse. Our culture is so different now - I don't think many Americans would dream of letting their children walk a mile to go to school. We might even call it cruel and unusual.

A piece of history that lived on through him is gone, now, it seems. It will be ever easier to think that the way things are now is the way they should be, or better, because we deserve more. And we'll forget as a culture where we came from, sons and daughters of immigrants and revolutionaries and oppressed peoples, fighting against the grain to provide for our children and allow more of them to live longer, instead of seeing several of our children die as infants and a few, hopefully, to live to adulthood.

I am so glad for Uncle Bill's stories, that I could see that other world he grew up in and it's not just a story we learn in school, that we didn't always have cars and electricity and phones, and it wasn't really that long ago.