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Dunes and Derby and Doggies

Grand Raggidy Roller Girls-9-3

Grand Raggidy Roller Girls-8


Spring Lake-1Spring Lake-4

Lake Michigan Dunes-1

I'm planning a big trip for the end of this year, into 2011. Somewhere south. Somewhere near the "end of the earth" - with someone I barely know.

Alarm bells, I know. I know.

A life lesson I have learned through painful trial and error is that before planning a multi-week trip with someone you barely know - it's always a good idea so spend a bit of time together to make sure you kinda, sorta get along. Otherwise you'll probably have better luck and less drama with strangers.

I prefer not to travel solo. I like traveling with like-minded people, experienced travelers - and people who I don't feel I need to look out for. People who maybe, now and then, could look out for me, take the lead, allow me to not have to think for a bit and be a passenger.

Before this weekend, we'd just spend an hour together last summer - playing euchre. So not even really "together". We decided to try to spend a weekend in each other's company and see if we'd kill each other.

Medical/psychiatric care is easier to get when close to home - in case things went badly.

I drove to Spring Lake, Michigan and we hung out. We saw public art, giant pigs, Roller Derby, hiked on dunes, ripped up photos of the pope.. and had picnics in sun puddles.

And I think we're going to get along.

But if we don't - there are 12 other people on the trip to distract us.

We won't talk about the horrible macadamia nut allergy reaction on the way home and the letter I'm writing to Luna Bar about their Chocolate Raspberry Bar.

Not yet.


Toy Stories



This weekend my Uncle - my Mother's brother, surprised my Mom by flying to Toronto and showing up at my Brother's house. My mom hadn't seen her family for almost 5 years. Of course everyone was in on the plan, except my parents. They can't keep a secret.

As my niece and nephew were playing with their toys and we reflected back to our own childhood and us being left home alone at a very young age (It was the 70's - people still smoked in closed cars, there were no seatbelts and I remember rolling around in the back of the Gremlin. You know, the car that explodes) and my mom said that we didn't really have many toys growing up.

My parents don't know most of the popular nursery rhymes - because they didn't do that. We weren't really read to or any of that stuff. They are learning things like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for the first time - for my niece and nephew.

Actually - I don't even know the words to most of the nursery songs/rhymes.

My brother and I were largely left to our own devices because our parents were busy, as new immigrants are - trying to keep everything together. So I guess we had to make stuff up to amuse ourselves. We turned out okay - sometimes I think more okay than the kids who got and had everything.

I'm thinking that having to rely on yourself to amuse yourself is a childhood skill that must be pretty hard to learn as an adult. You have to find ways to fill your time, imagination and your brain without much outside influence and stimulus - at least not the store-manufactured, toxic plastic, focus-group reviewed kinda stimulus.

This is just me reflecting back as an adult, who knows what really went on - but I don't actually remember missing out on anything as a child.

And perhaps that "having to make stuff up" explains The Summer of Death back when I was about 6 or so. (tangent alert)

I spent the entire summer preoccupied with death. How people die, what happens... Where we go.. Death death death.

Went to the Science Centre and had my first Rocket Popsicle.. Death.

Playing with other kids in a sandbox.. looking at the ants on the ground and thinking about... Death.

Heavy stuff for a six year old.

Do you remember when you realized your own mortality?

I'm hoping it was long past the age of 6.

There's a little article at Psych Today that ties Death to Toy Story 3.

For reals.

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..all content and images copyright kanchan maharaj inHerEye photography. stealing is bad. very bad..