Bringing up the Rear

(Elkhart, Indiana) Watching trains is one of the wonderful things we do when we go to this lively city at the confluence of the Elkhart and Saint Joseph rivers.  After looking at American art at the Midwest Museum of American Art, we will often stroll a few blocks south for some train spotting along the Norfolk Southern mainline between Chicago and New York.  Our visits don’t seem to coincide with Amtrak’s scheduled appearances, so we usually see freight trains, but one time we got lucky.  Really, really, really lucky. To wit:

After counting cars, this gem appeared at the end of the train.

Now you see it . . .

. . . now you don’t. If anyone has any information about this car, please let me know. All I know it was a treat to spot it that day in Elkhart.

Posted in trains, Travels with Charley | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Road Again

Natalie and her new Trek Verve 2 went for sea trials yesterday. So far rider and bike are ready for more. This has been a long time coming, so there is joy in Mudville.

Posted in Berrien County, Bicycling | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Postcards from Petoskey

(Petoskey, Michigan) Sometimes you have to retreat from the retreat. And the retreat we go on every third weekend in March in Conway has a built-in retreat feature, with three hours of free time on Saturday afternoon for naps, card games and/or exploration of the wonders of northern Michigan.  This year, we opted to be tourists in preppy Petoskey, which is just south of Conway.  In fact, you could consider Conway a suburb of Petoskey or Petoskey a suburb of Conway. Anyway, here are some snaps of the boys on break in Petoskey.

No need for a channel marker on Saturday.

Sunny but cold in Petoskey as (left to right) Tim, Sylvan and Steve pose by the harbor for yours truly.

A refreshing pause at the Bear River Valley Recreation Area in Petoskey.

We shopped ’til we dropped in the delightful downtown district.

A long walk off a short dock. No one wanted to test the ice.

Keeping time was easy in Petoskey.

Dreaming of summer in Petoskey in March. At least we beat the crowds.

Time for one more selfie, Tim.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Shoe Tree of Kalkaska

When it comes to great roadside attractions, nothing beats this shoe tree along U.S. Hwy. 131 just north of Kalkaska, Michigan. It has become a regular feature of our annual St. Patrick’s Weekend Retreat.

Posted in Michigan | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

North Country

(U.S. Hwy. 131) Heading north past Boyne Mountain on our way to our retreat in Conway, Michigan.

Posted in Michigan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Northern Nights

(Conway, Michigan) I retreated with friends at the Augustine Center for Saint Patrick’s Weekend and have much to say about all the insights and wisdom received on March 16, 17, and 18, such as: “To goodness and wisdom we make promises; pain we obey.”  And: “Before you can be the Good Samaritan, you have to spend time in the ditch.”  I’ll have more to say in the coming days.  Meanwhile, here are two images that best suggest the peace and serenity I experienced on my fourth St. Patrick’s Weekend Retreat.

A time and place to read a good book.

This is the vision that greeted me upon awakening at dawn on Saint Patrick’s Day in snow-clad
Conway, Michigan.

Posted in alcoholism, Ireland, Spiritual Progress, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fish Story

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment