Excuse me, are you listening? 14-13
Monday, July 13, 2015


Dear Readers,

I am so happy to actually see some sunshine in Michigan.  The flowers are blooming and the vegetable plants are growing as well.  I figure the vegetables will have to grow until October because it did not get warm until the beginning of June.  I never realized until this year how cold it is in May.  Oftentimes I would use the month of March as my end month of frigid cold weather.  It does not always work out that way though.  July is testing my patience with its chilly nights.  Michigan weather is very testy and I think it makes people a tad bit testy as well.  

Summertime is prime time for travel.  The New Citizens Press loves printing stories and columns about travel.  You can discover so many places just by reading.  I used to dream about visiting Alaska in the summer while viewing bears in their natural habitat.   I think that I watched too much television when I was a child.  

One of my favorite shows was “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams”  along with “Little House on the Prairie”.  I guess with mountain man John “Grizzly” Adams’ struggle to survive and Laura Ingalls who always had more than one question to answer, what little girl growing up in New York would not be curious about the rugged outdoors, indigenous wildlife and adopting animals.  

There are DVD’s available if you are the least bit interested in what I am talking about.  It seems though now when young people are watching movies it is not about the hope of seeing waking bears or fishing in and around the spectacular mountainous landscapes under the clear blue skies in the summer.   My love of Northern California drew me straight up the West Coast to Alaska.   I would had  loved to visit Alaska in the summer when I was a child.  The adventure of traveling to an environment that inspired me was exciting.  

I fell in love with social studies in the 7th grade.  At that time, I was also into reading the encyclopedia for fun.  My parents purchased a whole set and I was so excited about having so much to read.  We did not have access to the internet when I was a child.  We had to read.  I know that it is cold but Alaska is an awesome state.  I learned several things about Alaska throughout my life:

1. It is a great state for whale viewings.

2. Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959. 

3. It is only 50 miles from Russia.

4. There are more than 3 million lakes and 3,000 rivers

5. It is rich with oil and that is where we obtain most of it from

When I got older, I thought that I would just admire Alaska from afar.  I am not much into kayaking, hiking or canoeing.  I would probably become slightly claustrophobic sailing between glaciers.  My New York paranoia would probably have me looking for deep fissures in glaciers when I should be marveling at the uniquely carved shapes in the ice.  Not to mention, I am not into camping either.  I have not even been fishing in a boat or on a lake.  Fishing is on my bucket list.  

At least I have read about Alaska and as a side note I do enjoy watching “Ultimate Survival Alaska” on the National Geographic channel and the “Alaskan Bush People” on the Discovery Channel.  I must give it to my librarians from elementary school for always pushing books at me.  Interestingly enough, there were not many books with black characters and if there were they were slaves.  It has been quite interesting to see how characters have changed over the last 40 years.  

When I walk into the library, the sense of community is palpable - in spite of- or maybe more so because of the computers that allow us to quickly order what we want from other libraries and have them delivered to our home library.  Whether it is traveling on staying close to home, no one would be upset if the animal lover in the family brought a book with them about China’s ancient city of Chengdu, which houses the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.  

 For the ancient historian and food lover in the family, a book on Tahiti would be perfect.  Tahiti is an interesting place where Polynesian and French culinary traditions mesh together to create some of the most delicious samplings for your taste buds.  Along with the food, the island has plenty of ancient traditions, which include dancing with hulas to the sounds of primal drumbeats.

So many things to read about.  So many places to travel, when you travel or not. Looking forward to my next vacation and mix reality and fiction.  

Love People,

Rina Risper


 This was printed in the July 12, 2015 - July 25, 2015 edition


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