Ready to Ride the Dunes?
June 3rd target date for Silver Lake ORV Area
Visitors to the Silver Lake State Park ORV Area in Oceana County can tentatively plan for an opening date of Wednesday, June 3. That decision is in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extension, through May 15, of her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (announced Friday) and the operational functions and preparation time associated with opening for the season.
The popular ORV scramble area typically opens April 1 each year. However, DNR parks and recreation staff recognized in mid-March that the coronavirus situation likely would cause serious delays, and at that time the department postponed the opening date to May 1 and also closed many amenities at state parks and recreation areas.
To prepare the ORV area for the riding season, tasks such as opening and cleaning bathrooms, hiring and training seasonal staff, maintaining infrastructure and making changes to safely reroute dune traffic will be completed once nonessential work is permitted. Staff is tentatively scheduled to begin working May 15 and the prep work is anticipated to take about three weeks.
Please note: Any further "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order changes that prohibit nonessential services beyond May 15 could affect the opening date. Updates will be provided on the park website at Michigan.gov/SilverLake.
Visitors are encouraged to use this time to obtain ORV licenses and trail permits electronically at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses. A Recreation Passport must also be displayed on all motorized vehicles.
Anyone planning to visit any state-managed land is encouraged to first visit the DNR COVID-19 response page for updates and frequently asked questions on facility closures, changes in services and event/meeting cancellations.
For more information about Silver Lake State Park, contact park manager Jody Johnston at 231-721-5858 or JohnstonJ3@Michigan.gov.
There is nothing that sings Michigan Spring like that first trip to a Farmer’s Market and one of the best around according to the staff of N3 World Headquarters and Sequestration Center is the one that takes place in our Metro friend to the west, Muskegon.
This year, of course, everything is different. The pandemic has created the need to modify how we interact with each other, how we do our day to day business and of course, how we shop.
We don’t mean as in buying up all the hand sanitizer we can get our hands on, emptying the shelves of yeast and flour or stocking enough material to TP an entire neighborhood (is meat destined to be the new toilet paper?), we’re talking about guidelines for interacting in a retail setting...even those that take place outside.
The folks from the Muskegon Farmers Market posted the following missive as a way of giving people a bit of a heads up on what to expect and what not to expect (we will seriously miss the music and entertainment) and we hope marketgoers will heed their recommendations and enjoy the appealing atmosphere an outdoor market creates...even if enjoyed 6 feet apart with masks in place.-N3
The outdoor market will be opening on May 2nd from 8 am to 2 pm. The outdoor market will be open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from May 2nd through November 30th.
The market will have a different look and feel this year. Music and entertainment have been eliminated along with picnic tables. Face masks will be highly encouraged of all visitors and social distancing will be required. Crafters will not be at the market at this time. Farmers, bakers, and other food items along with vendors selling plants and flowers will be available along with cloth masks for purchase. Aisle-ways will be divided with one-way traffic and limited access points. Volunteers will be monitoring each end of the aisles to count the number of people allowed at a time.
Food trucks will be required to have food completely packaged to-go and will not be providing utensils. Shoppers may point to the items they want to purchase and the vendors will bag those items. Vendors will be required to wear masks and gloves. Again, shoppers are highly encouraged to wear masks at the market. Most of the popular fruits are not yet in season, but shoppers will find plenty of flowers, meats, cheeses, vegetables like lettuce and potatoes, along with honey, and bakery items this Saturday with approximately 40 vendors on-hand.
This year the Power of Produce program for children has been canceled. It is hoped that the program can be offered again next year, but for the safety of our little ones, we prefer children be left at home whenever possible.
To allow as many families to take advantage of the market as possible, we ask shoppers to limit the number of people in their family shopping so we may accommodate more families. This is the opening day of the market so we ask for your patience and understanding as we learn the ins and outs and make changes as we go.
We know this is a trying time for many families. The farmers market will continue to be there to support you. Most fundraising activities will be eliminated this year. People and companies in a financial position to be able to sponsor the market are encouraged to become a Friend of the Market. The program offers many different levels and benefits to meet all budgets. To become a friend of the market, visit www.muskegonfarmersmarket.com.
The market is now accepting applications for Tuesday and Thursday market days. While there is a waiting list for Saturday’s market, we are currently accepting applications from farmers selling their own fresh produce to join our Saturday market. For more information, please visit our website or call 231-722-3251.
Order Monday, pick up eats on Tuesday. Details below
Great News! The River Stop Saloon is rebooting their take out efforts giving aficionados of that great RSS food the opportunity to once again indulge in some seriously good eats.
Here’s the deal for now…
Monday (That’s today folks. I know, it’s easy to lose track lately) you can call in an order for pickup tomorrow (That’s Tuesday if you’ve lost track already).
The first offerings will be from their Mexican menu so you can get your hands on one of their Wet Burritos (beef or chicken) or Nachos, Chalupas, Tostadas and Tacos.
How do you access this fine food?
Call Monday (again, today) between 12-3pm 231.652.8080 for pickup Tuesday (that’s tomorrow) between 12-7pm.
When calling, make arrangements for your pickup time and please bring cash (you remember cash, right?) or a check if you have an honest face and it’s not destined to come back with the dreaded Insufficient Funds stamp on it.
Time to support our local establishments and how easy is that to do when said support includes the acquisition of some outstanding vittles from one of our favorite eateries?
If this works out we’ll be updating info for a Thursday call-in for Friday food
Signs of Spring
Signs of Spring
By Alexis Mercer
There are certain things I hope to remember about this time in history.
The small things like the way my freshly ground coffee tastes after having the time to grind the beans, boil the water, gently pour little by little into the pour over and mug. The aroma that emanates from the handmade mug with a tree and its roots that reminds me to stay grounded and connected to what is important.
I hope to remember the way the light shines in the morning through the Peace Lily that I acquired from my Grandma Mick’s funeral flowers. How the rays have enough space to filter through the stems of the vibrant greens, providing life to the plant that is not just a flower, but a piece of me; a memory of my beloved Grandma.
Mostly I hope to remember how the first signs of spring have touched me in a different way this year. That walking along a trail, breathing in the fresh air that has a scent unlike the crisp, harsh winter air, I can see the tiniest buds emerging from the apple trees. That there are hues of purple, red, green, orange and blue bursting out from the winter hibernation greys and browns.
I hope to remember my children poking their noses over the edge of their Bogs boots to see if there are tadpoles or frogs on the edges of the pond, but ending up submerged to their thighs in the water that just that morning was being fed by snowflakes. That they gave in to the cold to explore and just be kids, enjoying everything nature was displaying for them.
I hope to remember that each day of spring brought new wonders for us to breathe in and enjoy: slowly and mindfully.
Boomer TV: Tiger King
"I'm Joe Exotic, Otherwise Known As The Tiger King, The Gay, Gun-Carrying Redneck With A Mullet."-From the Netflix show ‘Tiger King’
There have always been people encountered over the years who seem to take great pains to let people know they don’t watch much, if any, TV.
I’m here to admit that not only do I consume copious amounts of time staring at the tube but it’s done without even a small shred of guilt.
And now we are in the midst of an extended period of mostly homebound days and though here at N3WH time on the telly has been restricted to evenings, finding watchable fare has become tantamount to the much needed sense of contentment required to ease the ennui associated with this prolonged sequestration.
With Netflix there is a veritable abundance of selection although, in truth, a relatively small percentage are found to be personally intriguing.
LSC Lil and I have been through a few trial runs with a few found worthy of continuing on, a couple that just stalled out awaiting further contemplation and a bunch that were given the heave ho after a watch or two.
Then we started hearing about Tiger King.
We saw the opening show and afterwards whether from fatigue (it was a late night...meaning past 10pm) or merely lack of interest in the format neither of us were anxious to move on to episode 2.
The next couple of days after a bit of exploring around other shows, each found to be wanting when it came to holding our interest, Lil mentioned giving the Tiger King another shot. We tuned it in early then proceeded to binge watch beyond our usual capacity for late night wakefulness.
Yes we were adequately intrigued.
With a cast of characters who seem to spring from the pages of an Elmore Leonard novel the docuseries or whatever genre this might be labeled is compelling watching to be sure and it doesn't take long to assess the reasons for its popularity. It is the proverbial train wreck,where one might be repulsed on so many levels and yet a measure of pure fascination keeps you watching if only to see what comes next.
Well, we finished it as I am sure many of you have. It ate up some quarantine time, sparked a number of interesting conversations between us and reaffirmed to me that even Leonard and his contemporaries could not match the level of freakishness in the real world.
Around the time we were watching Tiger King Newaygo PD’s Officer Rood had shared on social media the ‘bear hunt’ idea he had heard about from other communities and neighbor Mary Spicer passed along the post, encouraging Hess Lake folks to put teddy bears in the windows.
Lil and I were on one of our daily walks (weather permitting) and as we passed houses noted those who had gotten into the bear hunt spirit with the fuzzy creatures peeking out from windows here and there.
Then we passed one place with a pair of cute little bears flanking a homemade sign in the middle of the window identifying a household of Tiger King watchers.
“Honk if you think that bitch Carole Baskin killed her husband”
-Ken DeLaat, N3
Calendars and the Coronavirus
By Gloria Sirrine Switzer
I chuckled out loud recently, when I read the suggestion to make a calendar of your daily activities as a coping strategy during this “shelter in place” time in our lives. A family monthly activity calendar, FMAC, was essential in our past life, when our 3 kids were living at home and involved in sports and extracurricular activities. This FMAC was posted in an obvious, regular meeting place, the refrigerator. It was helpful, kind of, in keeping everyone aware of who was doing what, when, and where. AND it kind of helped the kiddos and hubby be organized. It also kind of lessened questions directed to me like; “What are we doing tomorrow” or “Do we have to go?” Kind of.
Our “nest” has been empty for 18 years now…”Wow, has it been THAT long?” a voice in my head said as I wrote those words. The voice continued, “And you have been retired for 14 years and your Wonder (the pet name for my spouse) has been retired for 18 years!” COWABUNGA! Are we THAT old already? “Yup, the big 75 this year for both of you!” the voice in my head reminded me. But I digress; back to the FMAC.
Fast forward to present day. With only the two of us, the former FMAC was just not big enough! Let me explain. I have always been the busy extroverted one (my dad nicknamed me Go Go). My Wonder has always been the strong silent type who enjoys his time at home. Together this arrangement of married bliss has lasted 52 years as of March 9th, 2020. For me, retirement allowed me the freedom to “get involved” whether it be volunteering in community activities, attending workshops, or taking classes about people from other cultures and religions; things that fed my passion for learning about peace, justice and ethnicity. I like learning new things, being with people of all ages and doing fun things, like clowning around, exercising, being outside and reading; love my Book Club! Interacting with our grandsons is fun and special too; we have 5, ages 2-19.
For Wonder, retirement allowed him time to perfect his golf swing, to raise and show beautiful dahlias (they take a lot of work and time!), to create beautiful and useful furniture in his woodshop, to enjoy his daily Sudoku and play Hearts on his computer, to watch college sports and to just be at home; unless of course, we visit the grandsons or we decide to take a trip away from Fremont. In the “old days” he was a runner, but wear and tear on his knees has kept that to a minimum although he still works out at the gym. We pretty much have enjoyed our own timetables and lifestyles the last 18 years and though these individual interests have often led to different schedules, it has worked for us with very little conflict.
Now remember, my priorities do not include golf, dahlias (except for giving them away) or woodworking. And Wonder, does not particularly enjoy lectures, peace marches, or the books that I suggest he read. Thank goodness we both like the grandkids, nature and traveling!
So here is the glue that kept our lifestyles organized and running smoothly the past 18 years; the giant sized FMAC that now rests on the desk where it is handy for each of us to write our game plan in the little squares for the day, week, or months ahead. And all we have to do is check the calendar before asking one another, “What are your plans today?” or “Where are we going on this weekend?” or “When are you playing golf?” Tip: we use our first and middle initials to designate who is doing what, GL or GA, because GS would be a little confusing. Another fact for keeping this lifestyle going is the fact that Wonder is patient, tolerant, kind and very easy going.
Sometimes one of us slips up and finds it easier to ask the other what’s up for the week instead of getting out of our rocking chairs to check the FMAC. Like 3 weeks ago on March 8th, when I thought it best to prevent any confusion or stress about the upcoming week’s activities. Did I mention our 52nd wedding anniversary was March 9th? It was going to be a particular busy week for both of us and I wanted to be sure we were on the “same page.” That week started off as scheduled with Church on Sunday followed by a movie in GR celebrating International Women’s Day with 13 friends and family members. Monday morning followed smoothly for me, an early riser, with a water aerobics class, coffee with friends, and a reflexology appointment at 11:30. Wonder, a night owl, started his day mid morning catching up with the news on his computer, doing his daily Sudoku and cooking a late morning breakfast. He then transferred sacks of dahlia tubers from cold storage into the house to wake them up and then headed outside to cut brush. At 3:30 pm that afternoon, we drove to Allendale to attend the Interfaith Leadership Lecture, “Islamophobia Impacts Everyone” presented at the Kirkhof Center on the GVSU campus; a free event for students and community. The speaker was Petra Alsoofy, a young woman alumni and a practicing Muslim. The week earlier, when I suggested this event, Gary said he might be interested in going, so I reminded him of that when I got home around 1 PM and he was chainsawing a huge pile of branches. I also reminded him we would have a chance to see our 2 older grandchildren, our daughter and son-in-law, who live in Allendale. It also gave us a chance to celebrate our anniversary dinner with them after the lecture! He bought it with that little suggestion. Did I tell you that Wonder is very patient, accommodating and open to new experiences, especially if they include food?
I just happened to take along our wedding pictures and Wedding Day Memory book in case the grandsons hadn’t seen it. This photo sharing session after dessert, provided an opportunity for Wonder to be patient and tolerant as I explained all the details to our grandsons, whom I’m sure had never heard the whole story as to why March 9, 1968 was our wedding day.
That story is kind of like the COVID-19 story, only it wasn’t a virus we were dealing with then, but another world problem; the war in Viet Nam. In 1967, Gary, who wasn’t yet Wonder, was a junior at MSU and I was a junior at WMU. He dropped out the winter semester to work and clarify his career plans. We were engaged to be married in June of 1968, after I graduated from college. Suddenly a serious reality hit; kind of like the Coronavirus; he was drafted into the military. But, it wasn’t going to be so bad, as he was stationed in Berlin, Germany and after graduation and our wedding, I would move to Germany to teach and be with him while he finished his 2 year Army stint. Like the COVID-19, even though we heard the death toll on Walter Cronkite’s nightly news, we didn’t believe it could affect us. But like COVID-19, the world began to change and we were suddenly affected when Gary was to be transferred from Germany to VietNam with a MOS of 11 BRAVO (read Infantry soldier). He called me from Germany in February of 1968 to say “Cancel the June wedding, I’m heading to VietNam. I’ll see you in March when I’m home on leave.” Just the facts, short and simple!
OH NO! What to do? Our plans cancelled, our life together in question, feeling out of control, fearful, worried, and uncertain about our future; very similar to the present day feelings we were experiencing these last 3 weeks as the news of the Coronavirus spread and appointments, plans and events were cancelled, schools and businesses were closed and we were advised to shelter in place. Our FMAC started having Xs drawn over the calendar spaces as more things were cancelled. It felt terrible and foreboding, crossing off our plans.
Like we see families and communities supporting one another today during this pandemic, our family and friends, gathered around us 52 years ago and helped plan a fast wedding. It was my parents who were separated during WWII as a young married couple with one child, who suggested we get married when Gary was home on leave. The planning for a wedding that was supposed to take place in 3 months happened quickly over a matter of days. We borrowed wedding attire, found a priest who would marry us during Lent ( a no- no back then), sent handwritten invitations, had friends who prepared reception food and made the wedding cake, and found a township hall that would open its doors if we cleaned it out. But, the best thing was that there were no quarentines during war time, so we had a big reception with my musician father’s 5 piece dance band providing the music! We drove across the Mackinac Bridge and back for our honeymoon staying in Petoskey 1 night. Then with all of our wedding presents, we moved into a downstairs apartment in Kalamazoo that happened to be vacant for the month of March.
I returned to my student teaching assignment during the day while Gary enjoyed the quiet of our first home. He had meals ready at dinner time, the first of many kind deeds, that eventually led to my pet name for him. For 3 weeks we “played house” and sheltered in place but for much different reasons than today’s pandemic.
And then, just like that, the honeymoon was over and he left for VietNam, the worst day in my life, or so I thought at the time. I moved back in with my college roommates and finished my student teaching, hoping and praying that he would survive and be able to meet me in Hawaii for his R&R in October and also return in March of 1969 so we could continue to live our lives together. I created a calendar for him with pictures and sent it to him in Qui Nhon so he could count down the days to his homecoming. He survived. I survived. We survived. And now, here we are, 52 years later to the day, March 31st, when he left for VN, preparing for the next month or more, of living in a worldwide pandemic. What a coincidence to be writing this reflection on this day.
Today, Go Go and Wonder, in the vulnerable age group for COVID-19, have experienced the novelty of a new kind of togetherness for the last 3 weeks, similar, yet different to the weeks we spent together in 1968. As we flip the calendar to April and face a new month or more of living and hopefully surviving during this worldwide pandemic, we are reminded that once again, the honeymoon is over. This is real. Our lives as we know it, have forever changed. Recognizing with much gratitude the gift of life we have together at this time, we will move forward day by day, sending loving kindness to all those who read this reflection and all those suffering in our world. I’m still reading and listening to TED Talks and Wonder is potting his dahlia tubers in preparation for beautiful flowers this summer. He still likes to be at home and I still like to be on the go, but for now, we are walking daily, side by side, on the beautiful trails in Newaygo County, sharing more breakfasts together (that he cooks) and trying to stay in the now, one day at a time. We have paused the need for the Family Monthly Activity Calendar. In the meantime, we are adhering to the recommendations of the professionals fighting Covid-19.
Wash your hands, shelter in place and tell those you love, that you love them. And remember, the dawn always follows the darkness.
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“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
- Eric Qualman