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Relaxing in L’Anse Michigan

This would be my annual 4th of July in Michigan blog post but it rained and there was no parade to report on. There was a parade at Baraga’s Lumberjack Days – but that seemed unfun because we wouldn’t be a tiny community in lawn chairs watching a tiny parade. And because of the rain the party at the Tiki Bar was moved to a garage (which doesn’t have the same ambiance) and after spending the afternoon in my sister’s just didn’t have the any appeal. Then I didn’t go to the fireworks because I was cold (there is almost a 20-30 degree difference between St. Augustine and the Northern UP). There really is a significant difference in temperature between Florida in June and L’Anse.

Princess Charlotte recognized Michigan immediately upon my pulling up in my parents driveway. She sprung out of the car and ran right to her grandma and grandpa on their porch. Some of her favorite people.

Upon arrival my mom gave me the news that she had a bad mammogram and they were waiting for someone to get back to her about what to do next with the biopsy results. All signs pointing to breast cancer, how bad she didn’t yet know. As I write this many, many, many scans later we are all very lucky – there was no spread and everything was localized to one little lump and there are no genetic markers or cancer genes found in our DNA. So my mother will just get to have breast conservation surgery at the end of August (versus chemo and more). She is very intent on coming to Florida for winter and I look forward to having her.

Usually when I’m here we are up to lots of things – hiking and adventures up the Keewenaw, but with the cancer situation my parents have had to go to various far off places for tests and procedures and things so I have been holding down the fort, as well as traveling to Minneapolis and Duluth for visits.

I chose to co-teach Empower Thyself and initiate one of my best friends instead of going to the annual Trampled By Turtles concert. I’ve seen Tbt more times than I can count – so I can do that next year. Your best friend only gets married once in a blue moon so I wanted to give her a gift that keeps on giving because I can’t be at her wedding as I’ll be at Warriors of Light in Ontario.

As much as having a month of both downtime and work time and very little distractions seems like a perfect problem – I’ve realized how much I use distraction to stop me from my goals (which one can create even in a place with very few distractions). Which, even when telling oneself the truth, can be a big pill to swallow. Also this time has been been a great example of how constraint creates and fosters creativity. Too much time on your hands can result in waste. Here, I’ve had plenty of time – and as a result I’ve done some hard looks at my business finances, finished reading some key books to improve myself and ran #s I hate looking at. I’ve meditated, I’ve written, I’ve concentrated and focused on the vision I want to have. I’ve also just spent time quiet, time walking, time with family (my mom needs distraction and rest right now so its a balance of being present and providing space).

I’ve also spent time with the water. Lake Superior’s energy rules this land – but there are also so many waterfalls in Upper Michigan because of the sandstone & slate here geologically. My parents house is on a small peninsula that juts out into Lake Superior – so the lake surrounds us and protects us from the heat, from storms and it gives us bountiful fish and positive healing water energy. So different from the ocean, but a form of ocean its energy pervades everything in this area wrapping you in a cold blanket of its deep depths.

Epilogue to this Journal

I wrote this right before I left for Warriors of Light in Toronto, all bright eyed and bushy tailed in my still brand new Toyota 4runner. Which, after two days in Toronto going to class, I woke up on August 8th, walked out of my hotel and found it missing. Stolen by a highly sophisticated crime ring the criminals were on camera driving it away, and the police could do nothing but say “have Toyota track it.” Which was impossible as it was already on a container overseas by the time this conversation was happening, and the moment it was stolen its computer tracking system was deactivated.

Lucky for me I had just been in two days of class about relationships from a hermetic perspective, so I could look at the empty parking spot and tell myself the reality of the situation. My car, with my healing tool kit and oh so thoughtfully packed suitcase for the Warriors of Light retreat were gone. Poof. And crying about it wasn’t going to change anything. Needless to say it disrupted my fun vibe a bit. But luckily I was in Toronto at this very moment to be auditing a class called Know Thyself where you spend three days meditating and doing art – so I really was in the best place, surrounded by the best people, doing the best thing to deal with being a victim of such a violating crime. My car, my turtle shell, my mobile home on wheels that keeps me “at home” no matter where I am was taken from me. Scooby doo dash stuffy and all. Poor Luna from Florida never got to finish her maiden voyage back home before being abruptly snatched from my life.

I’ll share more about my journey home to Florida from the Midwest and Canada in the next post but the long and short of losing a car to theft when in Canada is this. You are not stuck but you better have good insurance and a ride to a border town. You can’t rent a Canada rental car and drive it one way back to the states, even with the best insurance. I got a Canada rental car for the rest of my time in Ontario, and then luckily I got a ride to Niagara Falls, New York so I could pick up the rental I would drive back to Florida, after picking up my dog in Michigan and saying hello and goodbye to my parents again. More in the next post. Biggest lesson here though is my trust with Canada is severed for good and it will never see me drive my own car into it again. Toronto has a severe property crime problem among other things as the fastest growing city on the planet, and your average Canadian does not want to admit that parts of it are no longer “Friendly.” But unfortunately its true, and now I can add list car theft to my list of life experiences that I shall always be prepared for, but won’t let ruin my zeal for travel or stop me from having the car I’ve always wanted. I replaced Luna with Mars – a bright red 4runner on September 2nd. I’ve always wanted a red car so that is the lemonade from this unfortunate episode.

Also my mother’s breast surgery was 100% successful and she will not even need radiation based on the type of slow growing tumor it was. Literally the best possible bout with breast cancer someone could have. She is on medication and will get regular scans of the tissue but she is healing and feeling a lot better.

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