Michigan

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Cabins, Cottages & Homes

Blessing of the Bikes

On Sunday the 17th of May, at 1:00 p.m., make plans to be at the Baldwin airport, located just south of town on M37. Why? To take part of a good tradition since 1972, the Blessing of the Bikes.

Anyone who drives even a few miles per year in an enclosed vehicle and experiences close calls or mechanical problems, can appreciate that a person on a bike feels even more vulnerable. Divine help makes all the difference in life.

Come on out, enjoy the spring.

baldwinblessingofthebikes

Written by Dave.

Mother's day

mothersdayI went to Wikipedia to study the history of Motherís Day. I was surprised that the holiday is not that old, having started by Ann Jarvis in 1907 to honor her mother. Ann worked diligently to see that it became a National Holiday in 1914. Itís an interesting story.

I caught sight of this sign outside Gallery 154 in the Eastown area of Grand Rapids and it made me remember Mom.

If you have forgotten your mother, there is still time to visit Hallmark. Mom, if you are reading this post: Happy Motherís Day!

Written by Dave.

Spring

spruceSpring in Michigan is a time of new life. Daffodils, crocus, tulips, lilacs and a myriad of other flowers announce the arrival of spring. But, spring is not only a celebration for the eyes. Our ears are filled with the sounds of the singing birds and the fragrance of blooming flowers fills the air.

For me, I especially like the way that new growth appears on our spruce trees. Often over looked by the bright colors in the garden, the new growth is not only beautiful in color, but also soft and supple to the touch.

I would like to write several more paragraphs which would explain the process of new growth, but words will never be able describe the miracle of spring.

Written by Dave.

Flat Tire

Flat tire today. In fact I had two flat tires in the same day. No post today, back tomorrow. Sorry!

flattire

Written by Dave.

Memorial Day

memorialdayMemorial Day. What comes to mind when you hear those words? The beginning of the summer season? A day of barbequing and fun in the sun? Memorial Day sales at the mall? A day off work?

Sadly, most of us, myself included, forget the real meaning of Memorial Day. Oh, yes, we know what itís all about, but so often we donít think of those who saw the horrors of war and gave their lives for our country. We forget about the families who got the devastating news that a spouse, a parent, a brother or a sister would not be coming home.

I think it is time to express our appreciation. If you see someone who served our country in the Armed Services, take time to thank them. If you know someone who lost a family member in a war, tell them you are thinking of them and thank them for their sacrifice. And, letís not limit expressing our gratitude to Memorial Day. Anytime you see a veteran or someone currently serving in the Armed Services, express your gratitude and thanks!

I found a website on Memorial Day It is worth checking out.

Another very worth while site with an interesting story: Bugles Across America

Written by Dave.

land contract

landcontractSometime ago I wrote a post about land contracts Over the last year, I have referred more people to that post than any other.

A land contract is a financing tool between the buyer and the seller. The seller agrees to sell his property to the buyer at a set price, agreed upon down payment, monthly payments, interest rate and the length of the contract. The seller is financing the property for the buyer.

A land contract is not a perfect tool, but it can be a win- win situation in many cases. Let me share an example of one of these win-win situations.

A seller, who has retired, has a property that has been used as a hunting camp over the years. His son is not interested in the property, so the seller decides if no one is going to use it, it may as well be sold. He understands the market is tight because of the housing crisis and he may have to accept less than he thinks he should or wait a long time till just the right buyer comes along. He has no real need for the proceeds from the sale and will likely buy a CD from his bank with the proceeds.

A buyer with good credit, a good employment history and a down payment is looking for just such a property. He is looking for a place to get away for the weekend; his own place in Michiganís north during hunting season.

He approaches his bank about a possible loan on the new purchase, but learns his bank is not willing or able to make loans on ďinvestment propertyĒ. He finds another lender, but unfortunately, discovers the rate and other conditions are much more unattractive than expected.

The buyer and the seller come to agreement on the price and terms of the sale. A land contract is drawn up. The buyer presents the seller with a down payment, agrees to make monthly payments with interest, and pay the entire property off in seven years.

The buyer wins because he is buying a quality property with flexible financing at more favorable terms than the bank. He can now begin to enjoy the property.

The seller wins because the property is sold. He has a responsible buyer, has a monthly income, and earns a higher rate of interest than if he had the CD. He knows better than anyone else what the contract is secured with.

As I said, a land contract is not always the best tool to use, but under the right situations, it can make a win-win deal.

Written by Dave.

Looking for Something to do?

weekendsign

Written by Dave.

Antique Fairs

fairIf you are an antique collector, this is your time of year Nearly every weekend you see advertisements for some sort of antique sale or fair.

Antique hunting is a lot like a treasure hunt. You have to have a sharp eye and lots of time to find those unique little treasures that are hidden away in some corner or on the bottom shelf.

Recently I went to an antique fair. I had not been to an antique fair for several years and found not a lot had changed. It is still fun to find that little, or maybe big, something that just calls out your name. Or, to find the perfect gift for someone special. And antiquing is a lot like real estate. If what you want is priced a little more than you want to pay, just tell the dealer what you want to pay, and you just may get yourself a deal.

There is one thing though, thatís really scary about antique fairs. That is when I see a toy for sale that I played with as a child!

Take some time this summer to check out an antique fair. You just donít know what you will find!

Visit our listing of Antique Fairs.

Written by Dave.

Peonies

peony1Right now we have 4 bouquets of peonies in our home. Some of the flowers are just picked, others ready to drop their petals. Each one represents a different dayís cutting. We have a line of peony bushes behind our house in a place where we cannot see them, so every evening my wife goes out and cuts the flowers that opened that day so we can enjoy them in our home.

I must admit, it does something for the house when these flowers are setting around and I do like peonies. Peonies are not a wimpy flower. They are big, bold and beautiful. And every once and awhile while working at my desk, I catch a whiff of their fresh fragrance.

Peonies are always a good choice when you are thinking of planting in Michigan. In the spring they produce giant fragrant blossoms and when they are done blooming, they are an attractive bush with deep green foliage.

The plants are very hardy. The ones I have do very well, even in our hard clay soil. They are easily propagated. All of our bushes came from roots systems given to us by friends or family and they all are large, hardy bushes.

So, when you landscape that dream home or cottage, or just want to brighten up your back yard, consider peonies.

Written by Dave.

Father's Day

fathersdaytiesToday is Fatherís Day. It is a day when kids, no matter what their age, honor Dad. It is a day when Dad is the honored guest, the reason for the celebration.

So, no matter what your plans for today, whether you are honoring your dad or being honored, whether you are firing up the grill or going to the Sunday buffet, we wish all the dads out there-and even those that arenít dads- a very happy day.

And hey, as long as you are celebrating today, why not take some time off to visit a Michigan lake?

P.S. Its the first day of summer.

Written by Dave.

Alaska

alaskaTucked away in southern Kent County lies the picturesque village of Alaska. The village is located where 68th Street meets the Thornapple River and can easily be overlooked if you are in a hurry.

Alaska is home to the Fred W Ruehs Park, a Kent county park located along the Thornapple River. The park is only five acres, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in river frontage, lots of it. Plenty of room for a riverfront picnic and the day I was there, many families were enjoying a late summer picnic.

On February 14, 2004, Kevin proposed to Bren on the high bank side of the river. A round bronze plaque is glued to a large rock indicating it as their proposal site. We have no idea if Bren said Yes or No.

Alaska does not have many commercial storefront buildings today, and maybe it never did. A Samís Joint restaurant is one of the few business establishments in the village. Samís Joint is located in the former home of the Bavarian Inn. The building started out as a church and many remnants, including the stained glass windows, remain as a reminder of the buildingís past.

Samís is always interesting with an eclectic assortment of antiques and all sorts of pictures and memorabilia on the walls. You will even find a boat affixed to the ceiling. We chose not to sit there just in case.

When driving thru Alaska or any another Michigan village, slow down and donít be in such a hurry.

Written by Dave.

Grand River

With the warmer weather and the storm that rolled through this past weekend, I took the camera into town to try to capture the mood of the river with all the ice chunks covering the the surface as they came down river.

About eight hours later I thought I would go back and practice some night time photos. I was surprised by what I saw.  No hint of the ice jamming that I saw in the morning. What I saw was the river gracefully flowing through town.

grandriverpm

grandriver

Written by Dave.

Fallasburg Powerhouse

There is a building that has always intrigued me, and that is the Fallasburg Powerhouse on the Flat River, near Lowell Michigan. It is a small, well kept building, something I would envision nestled into some European hillside. I have tried finding out the history of this building, but have had no success. There is a sign on the property with a phone number to arrange a tour but so far, have not been able to get an answer at the number. If anyone knows anything about this building, I would appreciate hearing from you. In the mean time, I will keep trying the number, and if I get any information, I will be sure to let you know.fallsberg

Written by Dave.