When in Elmira, NY…

Make sure to visit the gravesite of Mark Twain at Woodlawn Cemetery! Not sure why it was on my bucket list, other than the fact that he was a wonderful story teller and humorist. I swear I thought I saw Tom Sawyer hiding behind the monument. Of course, I had to leave a penny on his gravesite, for good luck! Members of his family are buried along side of him on the same site.

The Rise and Fall of the Shopping Mall?

In the late 1960’s, shopping malls popped up all around the country. I remember, because I was a kid way back then, and one of my favorite pastimes was loading up into the car with my mom, Grammy, and aunties to hit the Paka Plaza in Jackson, Michigan. It was a joy to wonder through the toy department at Sears Roebuck to pick out the favorite teddy bear. If I remember correctly, I picked a somewhat girly bear. My cousin, Erin (yes, thats you dear!) picked the cuddly brown bear with the boy clothes. She was much more of a tomboy than I was back then. (Strange how my memory works!) While my mom and my Aunt giggled about sizes marked with TT… They said it meant “teeny tiny” size!

Then we moved UpNorth.. Rapid City, Michigan… Torch Lake… Aka 3rd most beautiful lake in the world! No malls.. But we took many long drives back to Jackson to hit our favorite spots, along with many relatives and in 1972 they got a wondrous new indoor mall.. Westwood Mall… This quickly became a new favorite, with its extra expansive JC Penney, and Hudsons!

UpNorth shopping was mainly downtown. Traverse City, with its famous Milliken’s Tea Room, among quaint boutiques with unique clothing items. In 1978, the community scored big with the opening of the Cherryland Mall. The community had come of age with its flagship department store, Prange’s, along with Sears Roebuck and Kmart, not to mention Main Street Sports (Kudos to the Gallagher family!). The place was usually packed with happy shoppers, until around 1991, when the community was introduced to the Grand Traverse Mall. Oh the joy of shopping became larger!

Flash forward to today… Milliken’s is gone from downtown. Westwood Mall is still surviving. Cherryland Mall is now the Cherryland Center, struggling to fill vacant spaces. Multiple stores in the Grand Traverse Mall are slated to close, leaving it’s development company in search of new tenant’s. Who is to blame? Some say Amazon.com.

Well.. Amazon is convenient, but… in my recent travels to Raleigh, NC (Crabtree Valley Mall) and Estero, FL, (Coconut Point Mall) I was pleased to find good busy bustling malls with amazing shopping, and very few vacant spaces! My anxiety about the death of my favorite sport is eased! Now… What are these communities doing that our struggling malls can learn from?

Perhaps its quality over quantity? Maybe it’s the economy setting of the communities? What if it’s simply a matter of making time to spend a family shopping day on occasion, instead of blindly ordering something to be delivered to your door?

This is simply one of the things that randomly runs through my brain from time to time

In the meantime… Get out there and hit those local malls… Make memories! Happy shopping, all!

Life in Limbo… waiting to close!

So… this selling my house thing is a bit frustrating right now.  Closing was supposed to be last Friday.  But, Wednesday I was told that a domino effect was taking effect.  The people buying my home are in limbo as well.  Their buyers are causing the delay in closing with their finance underwriting.  All of this means…  everyone is packed and ready to move…

Three families, six frustrated real estate agents, and me… especially frustrated, because I had to cancel my movers, and delay all of my utility changeovers.  So I had to pull a rabbit out of my magic hat.  My driveway now has two enclosed trailers parked in it, that I have nearly single handedly packed (last night I broke down and borrowed muscle from a couple of great guys I know…).  All that is left in my house is my dog, and my mattress that I sleep on.   AND we all wait for the clear to close… again.

The home I am buying… the sellers have already moved out.  I’m sure they are frustrated as well.  But, I’m told things like this do happen.  It’s a little difficult to keep my eyes on the prize at this point… but I’m still holding firm.  Today just may be the day I go home after work to pick up and dog, and run away to my camper until it all goes down.

In the meantime, Daisy Mae needs a home…  lets get this show on the road!  🙂

Of course you should blog!

 

Have you ever kept a daily journal of thoughts that followed you through the day?  Well, I guess keeping a blog is very similar to that.  Although, I have to admit, I will probably hold back my inner most demons since this blog is open to the public!

Some of my best ideas have come from writing down my thoughts and developing them further.  Whether its telling a story, or making a business plan, it’s always a good idea to jot them down on paper (or in a blog, in this case).  I’ve always found this type of brainstorming very therapeutic and organizational, even when it just starts with writing individual words.

At times those words may start in anger.  That’s where the edit button comes in handy!  An idea that might start with anger, can be developed and edited into a positive.  Deleting the occasional F-Bomb certainly doesn’t hurt the cause.  Of course, reading whats written out loud is a great way to make sure what the writer is trying to say makes sense.  It’s also a great way to catch grammatical errors.   In this way, I find that blogging not only helps strengthen my writing skills, but it is also very therapeutic to my daily thought process.  Take those negatives, and drown them out with positive.  The more positive you get in life, the better life you live… am I wrong?  🙂

So…  should I blog?  Of course I should!  Even if its about silly subjects, like, blogging.