Mom’s Foray into a Food Co-op

Grain Train

One afternoon in the early 1970’s, my mom took me to an old building in downtown Petoskey, Michigan to visit her new foray into weird food for the family.

I cannot recall which building it was anymore but I recall climbing a whole lot of scary wooden stairs and walking down old hallways and finding a place filled with the smell of honey, bee pollen, grains and wonderful warm spices.

The place was called The Grain Train Food Co-op and my mom was determined her family would have a nice storage of wheat, honey and dried fruits to fill our hunger needs.

She bought a few of these little containers called Dannon yogurt and she filled a small paper bag with dried pineapple rings as a treat on the way home.

We were quite skeptical about this yogurt but we enjoyed the fruit on the bottom a lot. The pineapple rings and dates have also weathered the test of time and find their way into my own pantry, as you can see from the photo above.

Mom bought like a half a ton of hard winter wheat that the co-op ordered for her and she taught herself and others how to bake with it. One month she had us, as a family, eat mainly from wheat, honey, salt, oil and powdered milk. I’m sure there were a lot of complaints that month she had to endure.

Mom taught community classes on using gluten and about healthy and “fun” ways to eat it.

Today some of her children cannot eat wheat or gluten, so we are learning to do as she did and teach ourselves about new things to eat such as, “Forbidden Rice” and “Hemp Hearts”.

I love to head into Whole Foods and fill the cart with nice healthy foodstuffs but I miss climbing those stairs into a backroom with my Mom and feeling like I stepped back into Laura Ingalls Wilder’s day, for a moment or two.

When we visit Petoskey in the summer we always stop by the Grain Train store but it isn’t the same as those first years high up in an old building with those nice spicy smells.

a mini lesson on manifesting

green grass

One day we were visiting a new friend in Montana, she had been outside all day raking the bare ground, over and over.

We watched as she continued raking what seemed for all intents and purposes, to be the flatest, most even dirt we had ever seen.

Not only was she doing this but her husband was too.

Raking and raking and raking.

Later I had a chance to take a walk with her around the grounds. We had just started to chat, while walking on this well raked ground when I looked down at the earth beneath and went into shock to see that bright luminous grass that had suddenly appeared.

I stopped and exclaimed over it in wonder. She smiled and just kept walking and said “yes, I created it.” We talked a bit about that and then to my eyes appeared what else she had “created” that was still not physically present. I told her what I was seeing and she smiled more and said a friend had taught her how to do this.

If you want to create something you must decide exactly what you want and envision it in your mind and then do all in your power to manifest it.

She had a blueprint for how she wanted things like the grass to look, she had tilled the ground, she had made it flat and she had contacted the company to install the grass. They had not yet arrived, a few weeks overdo and so  the thing she had to do while waiting was to keep envisioning it as it will be and keep the ground ready.

Thus, the raking and raking and raking, to keep the spiritual creation intact.

For a beautiful small moment I was blessed to see her spiritual creation.

Now one can go visit and see the physical creation, but they don’t know that the more beautiful portion to witness is the spiritual. I am ever grateful for such a sweet experience out of the blue.

I have since tried to manifest the things I want in my life and it is so much easier with this knowledge, that what I am doing is real, and the need to be sure of what and how you want things to be, is so important in this work called life.

where you lead, i will follow

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You may think it an odd title if you know me.

This is a true story of my recollection of a trip made way back in the spring of 1972.

It was coming on Easter break and mom had planned a family trip up to Grandpa Heinz’ cabin at Lake Gogebic but came into a piece of genealogical data that said one of her relatives was from Barnard, Maine. On the spur of the moment she followed a feeling and our trip soon turned toward Maine.

We traveled by way of Canada and found ourselves in Montreal on a Sunday so it was decided that is where we would go to church.

The church people in the tiny LDS church were most friendly. One family was brave and took us home to share a Sunday dinner, while another decided he would come over afterwards and help out by providing his cabin in Vermont for the night. It was a huge cabin with a ton of cots for groups of visitors in a beautiful section of woods.

We traveled on to Maine camping in a tent and dad making meals on the Coleman stove. Nothing is better on a cold crisp morning than dads corn pancakes and real maple syrup from Vermont cooked over the coleman.

My mom left her version of this story in her journal but my remembrance is slightly different so will put it here anyhow.

We arrived at the town we were looking for, Barnard, Maine and found an old cemetery and we all spread out to try to find any family stones as soon as possible. It was getting late so we needed to hurry. I remember mom with a spiral notebook where she copied the dates when we found them. The cemetery was old and not well maintained at the time. Grass was high so we had to really look close for the stones.

Here we are seemingly in the middle of nowhere at this unkempt graveyard and two quite old men come around and one asked who we are looking for. We tell him the  Higgins family, the one man who was doing all the talking said he knew a girl in school whose maiden name was Higgins and told us where she lived. We headed out in search of this lady in the town over from where we were.

Linnie Dick lived in a big old New England home that was getting rundown and needed a paint job. Mom was a bit hesitant when no one seemed to answer the door but soon she heard a tiny voice telling her to come inside.

Linnie was pretty old and not doing well healthwise and had just recently gotten out of the hospital. Her home didn’t have much furniture left as a relative was selling it off to pay bills while trying to let her stay in her home as long as possible. I remember a dining room table and her bed is all, I suppose there may have been more but my memory remains that it was pretty bare.

When mom told her she was a descendant of Elisha Higgins the sweet lady exclaimed over and over something about her long lost Uncle Elisha who went west to Minnesota.

She asked mom to bring her a piece of yellowed paper she pointed at. Mom got it and saw it was a genealogical record, hand-written, that listed all the Higgins descendants down to my mom’s grandmother Mary Louise Higgins. Linnie gave mom this record and told her of  a Higgins family book that one could find from used booksellers.

Linnie also gave mom two tin types of our grandparents, a little golden glass shoe and gave us kids some candy. Linnie was of advanced age and mom was able to write her just once after we returned home as she passed away shortly.

When we went home my mom told her father and he was very pleased that she cared enough about his family, so he asked around and found a copy of the book and ordered it for her, unfortunately he passed away before it arrived so her mother gave it to her, it was his last gift to her.

After the two men turned to leave us, back in the cemetery, we were standing there with  mom and dad wondering at the coincidence of the men who said they were caretakers of the cemetery, how they arrived and had the information on Linnie, who lived in another town. We looked at where they had headed and the two had disappeared. Completely disappeared.

Mom found her Higgins family lines all the way back to England because she followed the Spirit and help in many different forms was given all along the way.

We decided to see as much of New England as possible in a quick drive through.

We visited Salem, Massachusetts – i will tell that story another day.

We drove all over Boston and their crazy road system, going round in circles.

We visited Plymouth Rock and ate seafood and of course some of us got ill as we inherited our dad’s allergies to seafood but it all smelled so wonderful and we tried hard to get into the culture. In Plymouth our favorite tour was of a candle factory with wonderful aromas I can smell today when I think about it.

I have never been afraid to just take off when a whim comes to go because of my mothers ability to hear and listen to the wind as she whispers us onward to new adventures.

Snapshot of Grandpa

Les, 1973 typical pose

Grandpa stopped over to the house one day to say Hi. I remember grabbing the camera and taking this shot. He posed just so, and gave his usual squinty eye look.

Everyone knows that look, it means he’s thinking something and best beware.

In this picture he is the age I am now. If I look it is possible for me to see his sisters in those eyes, something that never occurred to me then.

Old Spice, that’s what he always smelled like.

This man took me fishing down at We-Que-Ton-Sing, six-wheeling at the dunes, boating on Lake Gogebic, golfing in Harbor Springs. Many times I watched him working out in the garage or fixing things up at the cabin.

So many times he waved to us from his office as we walked to school through the snow.

I thought he would live forever, this man I adored.

This was the last time I would take his picture.

He left us way too soon.

a little musical kindness

In January of 2005 while participating on several online forums, a gentleman was discussing various forms of music with me

The discussion turned to the topic of different types of flutes and it ended with him asking if he could play a song for me

Not a fan of talking to strangers on the phone, he then suggested he could call at a certain time and leave the song on the answering machine

The time arrived and I awaited the call

He started by stating who he was in a shakey voice and then he played an old hymn on the strange flute

Oh the feelings that swirled as I listened to his recording

As quickly as he had started he ended and left kind words

I never knew his real name or where he lived,

but such a sweet kindness to leave a song for a stranger

 

 

Go Get My Sticks

Snell's Bush church, graveyard Arnold HowseI didn’t always use them. I’d never seen it done. Dowsing was for crazy old loons wasn’t it?

Our family spends an inordinate amount of time hunting down old family cemeteries and graves, hoping to find a piece of ourselves. (The above is my Dad at Snells Bush Church Cemetery in New York)

One day at work in Burlington, Iowa, a co-worker said she was going with a group to learn to dowse so they could find the graves in a Paupers Field. This interested me and was the start of many small experiments with “the sticks,” as we call them.

Thay came in very handy when Gideon couldn’t talk to tell us what was wrong, or when deciding which oil to use to help heal.

Sometimes we take them with us out into the desert while petroglyping so as to know to stay away from shallow Native graves under big rocks. 578597_10152269243240606_2144908199_n

Sometimes, like in the above picture up Diamond Fork Canyon, they all go bonkers and then you know to leave it be.

They come in handy when a remote gets thrown in the garbage by tiny hands or finding most missing items.

For mine I prefer a cheap hangar bent at just the right places and cut down to size.

I may tell of a few other times when some rods appeared just when needed but that is for another story.

My kids all know just where to look when they hear the words, “Go get my sticks!”

 

Medicine Wheels and High Country Roads

644028_10151249589035606_1662699668_nIf you drive high enough in Wyoming you wind through the Big Horn Mountains until you reach a point where the rock looks like Hopiland and then, there you are.

Hike for a bit up this nice little road and you come out at the place where earth meets heaven and prayers take flight.

Even on a peaceful morn you can hear the light beating of drums on the wind and the song of creation rises above the clouds and you envision circle dances all around as the spirits of long ago twirl their blankets along.

One day, it is known, someone will sing the perfect song and with a rainstorm to cleanse the bare earth, she too will sing the song of everlasting peace.

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