June 27, 2023

Let me explain "who" I am

 If you were to ask who I am, I’d say that I’m an essayist focusing on life in Michigan, shared in this blog, but also a recorder of family stories shared through the years.

I came to love storytelling by listening to our family elders share their adventures in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along with grand stories of life on the coast of *Lake Superior. Hilarious and colorful descriptions of the unique characters they met brought laughter - which just encouraged them to talk more. Cookies and milk, a seat on semi-comfortable couches, or splayed out on the hardwood floor were some of my favorite memories. 

I was enriched with the hours spent with my gentle maternal grandfather, affectionately named The Birdman of Small Acres Lane, by the local papers. We sat in his yard twiddling our thumbs, as he quietly shared his stories surrounded by flocks of birds brought in with bird houses and plenty of meal. 

Comic strip by Kim E. Perez

Writing down memories, stories, and experiences happens mainly in coffee shops and bookstores, although during the pandemic, my porch was my desk. Anyone who knows me, understands that I am always on the lookout for cozy places to piece together these essays. 

My ultimate joy is being outdoors, preferably in the woods, as whether I’m happy, down, troubled, stressed or contemplating a situation, a clarifying visit in nature is like a cool breeze on a hot day. A found bench provides a sitting post in which to bathe in the green and listen to nature, feels so much like I am participating in a Forest Bathing experience. I am then good to go.

I hope you find a glimmer of something positive if you are reading these blogs. Everything written is true -- at least that's what the family sailors and storytellers told me.

*Gichi-Gami (Great Sea) is the name the Ojibwe people called Lake Superior. The name Gitche Gumee was popularized through Gordon Lightfoot’s song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and through the poem, The Song of Hiawatha, written by H.W. Longfellow.


The Hardwood Walking Stick

All through my 30s onward, I’ve walked woods from the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains, along with the mountains, hills and valleys of Michig...