So in line with the shedding of the "bubble" I've been enjoying tossing a rag in the bag (pannier), hopping on my bike and reconnecting with new friends, old friends and family out Michigan way.
After spending the night with a very close friend with whom we shared our MSW years at Michigan State University I got on the bike for old times sake to tool around campus as I used to do way back in 1976-80 (the Magic Johnson-Gregory Kelser years!). Hardly recognized parts of the area in East Lansing as it had changed a lot, but much was very familiar. Fond memories of the Erickson Kiva where the campus hosted such fine jazz performers as Oregon and others. I ushered so I could see everything for free.
I re-visited the housing co-op where I lived and spent the majority of my time in East Lansing. Such cool memories there! We all worked together, very communal spirit, rotating meal prep, each taking care of various chores and OH THE PARTIES!! We weren't quite up to "Animal House" standards...but pretty close! ;-)
Here's a picture of Howland House, an old Victorian home which has been raised up on blocks and moved TWICE in the city!
They're much more colorful than they were back in my day. I enjoyed chatting with the kids on the porch who said they were making an effort to pull together the "alumni" of the house. I loved that thought and volunteered my name and e-mail address and expressed hope that through this I might catch up with an old room mate with whom I completely lost contact over the years. When I shared his name they said "hmm, isn't his son the plumber in town?" I'm excited that they agreed to pass along my name and e-mail to them and hoping to be able to re-connect with him again.
Here's a pic of me en route to our family reunion in St. Joseph:
It was a nice 40+ mile round trip.
PLUS a WAY COOL SPARK BONUS!
Since I knew I'd be out this way visiting family I caught up with WMUGRAD who lives in the Kalamazoo area and earlier this week we had a blast riding along through the relatively new Kalamazoo Valley Trail filling our ride with lots of enjoyable conversation swapping bike tales and Spark tales. Afterward she treated me to a lovely lunch at an Indian restaurant. Both of us happen to be social workers and had plenty of "shop talk" and tales to share as well.
Thank you so much again for your gracious hosting, WMUGRAD!
I continue to revel in the pleasures of catching up with one Spark person after another...every one has been such a delight! We are all part of such a wonderful community and I encourage you all to do your best to make it "real" and connect with each other in whatever way you can!
Here's a "selfie" of WMUGRAD and I:
Viva la SPARK!