Michelle's Musings

Sun
12
Sep
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Summer's End

I was outside in the garden on Labor Day ripping multiple layers of landscape fabric from a garden at our new house when I her the cry of a lone cicada. Not the raucous and loud waning in and out cadence they beat out at the heart of summer when it is first getting hot, and they emerge from the ground. This was a slow, low and steady sound–monotone, even–reminding me that another summer is about to slip through my fingers as the trees slowly begin to switch from green to much showier reds, yellows, oranges and purples.

Fri
06
Aug
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Adventurer

My grandpa had a friend named Jay who owned several horses that competed on the local harness race circuit back in the 1970s. They would go to county fairs around Michigan during the racing season, which was typically late spring through early fall, sometimes winning, sometimes not.

Fri
06
Aug
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Moving

When I was in my 20s and early 30s, I move a lot, and I do mean a lot. As I have grown older, I have had less desire to change residence every year or two, opting to stay in one place. Note, I did not say put down roots, because I believe your roots are attached to a location, not the home you occupy. 

Thu
15
Jul
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Home

I made a fast trip to Michigan over the weekend and the couple of days following. 

I hadn’t planned to go to see my family for the usual Fourth of July festivities, but the work schedule at my new house was stepped up. We couldn’t be in there walking around because the floors were getting refinished, so it seemed like the perfect time for a break.

By coincidence or happenstance, my cousin’s funeral ended up being on July 3. Dan was one of my favorite relatives. Always positive, intelligent, a good conversationalist. (We all have the “gift of gab” in my family.) 

Dan was an engaged and loving father and would do anything for the people he cared about. He was a mechanic, carpenter and musician. As a drummer in the ‘70s, Dan tried out for the Silver Bullet Band, and although he was not chosen, I thought he was so cool when I was a kid. He was 15 years older than me.

Mon
17
May
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Organizing

There is something that has been weighing heavily on my thoughts. The failure of Amazon workers to give the nod to a forming a union with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union at a warehouse in Bessemer, AL.

I know this event happened weeks ago, but I have been mulling around all of the things that I read about the possibility for all workers if we could revive or reform our unions again. When it was voted down it bought a lot of thoughts and memories because I have watched the demise of labor unions in the US.

Sat
08
May
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Vaccinate

I know at times over the past year plus I have sounded like a broken record pleading, begging, cajoling and demanding that people wear masks in public. I do this because there are people in our society that need a constant reminder to do the right thing to protect others.

Well, today I want to plead, beg, cajole and demand that everyone eligible (16 and over right now), get a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines have been around for decades, and the vaccines on the market for COVID-19 have been thoroughly tested, despite being developed in a short amount of time. In fact, data from current trial results are being examined and the 12-15 age group will likely be approved for the Pfizer vaccine next week. 

I totally understand the initial “wait and see” attitude that some people have had, but those that still blatantly refuse in spite of five months of vaccinations, no longer have that excuse. You have waited, you have seen others get vaccinated, now it’s your turn.

Fri
30
Apr
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PFAS

Many years ago, when I began taking journalism classes at a community college, I was tasked with writing a paper about a timely topic. The assignment included writing an investigative news story and then explaining the process you went through in attaining information, interviewing, organizing, etc. 

The topic I chose for this assignment was Lake Erie recovering from being declared a dead lake in the 1960s due to decades of pollutants being tossed in the water. It was once thought that you could throw anything into the Great Lakes and it would just magically disappear–not unlike a magician’s rabbit. Of course, humans learned the hard way that this was not the case, and many of the contaminants have and will linger for years to come.

Fri
16
Apr
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Value Black Lives

I had just started to write this column early Monday morning about the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis, and the fact that the defense is hellbent on putting George Floyd on trial. (I will get back to that topic.) Instead, I decided to read the news first. 

I was horrified to read a story about a man in Virginia, Army Lt. Caron Nazario, allegedly being threatened and pepper sprayed when he did not pull over immediately but went to a well-lit gas station to stop. Nazario is Black and Latino and held his hands up when the police officer approached and told him he was scared to get out. The officer responded, “Yeah, you should be.” The cop then pepper sprayed him. Police proceeded to illegally searched his vehicle.

His crime? Not displaying a license plate. But there was a temporary plate in the window, which police saw when they approached according to the police report.

Fri
09
Apr
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Home, Sweet, Home

Well, it’s almost official–my husband, Matt, and I are soon to be homeowners once again. We are over the moon with excitement because we have been in a rental property for almost three years, and quite frankly, our landlord is the very definition of a slumlord. At one point I had water coming down from my ceiling and up through the basement floor. I was literally sandwiched in water.

We started looking for a house to buy in January 2020, just a couple of months before the Coronavirus lockdown began. That search was cut short for obvious reasons, but once we were all comfortable (us and the realtor) to meet again a couple of months ago, we resumed the search with much greater aggression.

Fri
26
Mar
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Stop Asian Hate

When Donald Trump was running for office and began hateful rhetoric about immigration, immigrants and migrants, I became worried. When it looked like was going to win, I called my brother in Des Moines and insisted he get a passport. You see, my brother is Asian and a naturalized citizen. While I was expecting Trump to start banning migrants from the country, I also worried that he might turn on naturalized citizens as well if he didn’t like their race.

My brother thought I was overreacting, but with no parents, I feel the need to look out for him. Once he secured the passport, I was a little more at ease. If necessary, he could flee the country until Trump was gone, I thought.

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