By Sue Moore
Nobody knows for sure how long they have to live on this earth. Recently, I spent quality time with my sister Kay in South Carolina where she had been residing after learning that she had terminal cancer. Her wishes were to not receive treatment for the malignancy that was traveling throughout her body, thus assuring that it wouldn’t be long for her to say goodbye. She passed away on December 30 after a short stint in hospice care.
I witnessed her steely determination to end things in this way, allowing her family to come to terms with this decision. She showed me her quiet dignity and her strength to say enough is enough, as she had already undergone two bouts of breast cancer five years ago.
We haven’t seen very much of each other since we were in college together at Michigan State. She and her husband have lived all over the world, particularly in third world countries where his urban planning firm had contracts with the U.S. Agency for International Development. His job was to oversee the building of roads, hospitals, water systems and who knows what else as money was poured in by the United States. The countries included Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Egypt and even Russia.
It was amazing to me during this short visit, after all these years apart, how similar we were in mannerisms, voice intonation, values and even housekeeping chores. Must have had some parental training there that actually stuck. Even with this worldly viewpoint, she wanted to be buried back here in her hometown, the one place where she has roots.
It was a humbling experience to watch her deal with the pain while keeping up with everything going on around her. She was clear as a bell when telling her newest oncologist that she didn’t want any intervention even though he offered some possibilities to lengthen the ordeal. He had never met her before, as her specialist was in Florida where she had made her home after retirement.
Although we went our separate ways for the last 50 years, it felt like being together at the end was the most natural thing we could do as sisters now and forever.
Honor for Bill Christiansen
Michigan History is a beautiful magazine, published by the Historical Society of Michigan each month in a glossy format that I have subscribed to for many years. A photo taken by Bill Christiansen of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is featured on the back cover in its January edition. He took first place in their annual photo contest with an image of the shoreline at dusk. A large bird flew into the shot just as Bill snapped the shutter. He is seen here holding the framed photo that he submitted as the contest winner.
Schoolcraft’s Changing Business Face
For over 20 years the Grand Street of downtown Schoolcraft was known for its antique stores, anchored by Norma’s Antiques that took up three buildings at their upstairs and downstairs location. Since Norma passed away some three years ago it seemed to take the heartbeat out of the downtown. This month’s newspaper features two new antique businesses on the outskirts of U.S. 131 that could bring back some of this type of commerce to the village. Next month we will feature Sue Cooley’s operation in Norma’s old location which should bring the antique business full circle in Schoolcraft. There is also Abby’s Antiques and the Mall Antiques to round out the offerings. Although Tim Brown told me these types of businesses were not thriving because millennials aren’t exactly thrilled about using the findings in Grandma’s attic, there still seems to be a place for them, at least in Schoolcraft.
In the December issue of the South County News, John Speeter’s name was misspelled in an article about Pat White’s retirement as Township Supervisor. Speeter has assumed the duties of supervisor beginning January 1.
Postal Rate Increase
On January 21, 2018, the cost of a first-class letter will go up a penny to .50 cents and a postcard from .34 to .35 cents. Fortunately, the increase did not hit this newspaper. USPS was given permission to speed up its pricing increases over the next five years. I just wish I would have purchased a lot of Forever stamps when they were .30 cents!