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Michigan: The Rest of Vacation & Some Archeology...

Friday, July 18, 2014

This was a most challenging week of re-entry after vacation, hence a delay in posting the "rest of the story"...!

I was truly blessed with some of the BEST weather during my time in Michigan, especially on the important days of our reunion and our party for my father's 80th birthday.

Here is a picture of my father standing WAY way up on the new "overlook" recently built in New Buffalo which takes one out into the nature preserves. We were down on the lower trail looking up toward him near sunset:

My aunts who live on a lake outside of the Kalamazoo area graciously offered there gorgeous home and surroundings as the place for holding our party for my father. Here are a couple of shots to "attempt" to show how beautiful the area and the weather was that day:

Above is the view off their rear deck. You can see the shed with the kayaks, the pier and the pontoon boat they took folks out on to enjoy some time on the water.

Below is another view off the deck with a couple of my uncles taking it all in:

Here is a nice pic of me with my uncle who is only a few years older than I and more like an older brother than an uncle. Also my sister is joining us:

The highlight of the day was heading out in kayaks with a couple of my young buck nephews and going on a paddling expedition through not only this lake, but a chain of lakes connected with marshy wetlands with just enough water to paddle through the tall cat-tails, blooming lily pads and huge swans serenely taking in the day and all but yawning at us as we quietly paddled by. One of my nephews managed to creep into the greenery to snatch a few stray swan feathers to take back to show others. What a wonderful three hour journey we had! Paddling steadily all the time...did my shoulders feel THAT! :-) I was pleased that the soreness didn't last beyond the evening. Here's a pic my sister snapped before we set sail. We all would've loved to have taken pics ourselves, but one of my nephews already lost his cell phone in another pond and nobody dared to take chances bringing them along.

Now for archeology! In preparing for my father's birthday I was flipping through lots and lots of family pics to help my sister in preparing a scrapbook and I did an online slideshow.

Of course some of these pictures had ME in them too...!

I think I may have shared this before, but for comparisons' sake I'll share it again. This is from 1973 (a special Math / Chemistry summer program between Jr. / Sr. year of high school, receiving an award at Western MI Univ. in Kalamazoo, with my parents and a couple of professors) during my all time low weight on the tail end of doing the Mayo Clinic's Ketogenic, high-fat, zero-carb diet:

This was my first foray away from home and the beginning of my unraveling the benefits of the ketogenic diet as I stayed at a college dorm with college cafeteria food and began to "stray" in my food choices.

Now here I am only a few years later while at our local community college. I'm with a couple of good friends and you can see how the pounds are already accumulating. You can also see my freaky long hair that I couldn't do anything with but tie it up like a 2nd head bobbing behind me...lol!

So further down the drain I go...

A potent reminder of the depths from which I've recovered and never want to visit again!

Here's a cool snapshot of three generations, myself, son and father taken earlier this year...life is SO much better being in control, in the driver's seat and living the SPARK!

Looking forward to a weekend of spectacular 80 degree sunny days and a ride with the bike club tomorrow from Windsor to Afton for lunch and returning for around 35 miles.

Keep the SPARK everyone! :-)

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