G is for the Gorgeous Grass River Natural Area




On our way home from Bellaire, we decided to hike in the “Grass River Natural Area”.  This “great” place is a little off the beaten path, but it isn’t hard to find.  We had heard from others about the amazing “gem” that this protected location is.  With our long, cold winters, there are few things more wonderful than being outside on a warm summer day.  We learned a long time ago to enjoy the sun when it shines!   


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was already late afternoon by the time we got started.  Without a plan, we had come unprepared. It was 90 degrees when we set out from the parking lot. We knew we would soon be succumbing to the heat, since we had arrived without our water bottles.  It might have been easy to talk ourselves out of this date since we were also wearing the wrong shoes and hadn’t brought bug spray.   Instead, we chose to live in the moment.  As we set off, we were immediately “greeted” by a friendly Docent on her way home for the day.  She directed us to one of the easier trails.  There are six of them which all interconnect via a looped system, none of them are really difficult, some are just longer than others.




We hoped to cover about 2 miles of the available 7. Wooden boardwalks led us over the wetlands and swampy areas, they also served to guide us through the delicate Fern Trails.  Nature reminds us to reflect on this simplicity and take a moment to just breath. We paused often along our walk, sometimes just to observe a dragonfly lighting upon a cat tail, or a frog jumping into one of the many rivulets.  My date wasn’t bad to look at either!






Eventually, we arrived at a wooden dock where we sat quietly for a bit to enjoy the view of the Grass River. The heat seemed to be keeping people away.   Except for the sound of bugs and birds, there was only silence and solitude.  it was a “great” mini “getaway” to end our day.

I for one am “grateful” that communities choose to protect areas such as this.  The respite these places provide is priceless.  Best of all, this had been a completely free date!

E is for Empty Bowls


Our “E” date was really “easygoing”.  Our mission was to attend the “Empty Bowls” Fundraiser.  This nationwide “event” is generally held on World Hunger Day, and is meant to bring attention to the many who go without food.  This is symbolized by the “empty” bowl.   As we “enjoyed” our simple meal of soup and bread, we were “entertained” by local musicians.    Everyone here is a volunteer. There is also a silent auction. After “eating”,  attendees are invited to choose an empty bowl home,  a reminder to be conscientious of world hunger.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABowls are made throughout the year.  Most of these are ceramic, but some are created from a variety of mediums, such as wood or glass. Most are only symbolic, such as those which are woven.  Each bowl has been made by an area artist, student or community member.   With few restrictions, the sizes and designs vary from year to year and become quite the collectors item.  Viewing the 800-1000  bowls displayed in mass, which is also about how many people attend this event, sends a pretty powerful message.     Alan chose a bowl which looked like a pie crust.  He said it reminded him of his mom’s Lemon Meringue Pie (you can see that story here).




D is for the Dollar Store and Dessert Date

This is what happens when you have no “direction” for a “date”!  We figured the “Dollar Store” was as good as anywhere to begin our adventures.

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We like to “donate” at this store, by sticking “dollar bills” to the toy shelves, leaving them for children to “discover”.  This random act of kindness brings such “delight”.

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“Determined” to have fun, we walked around the store, I “dared” my husband to “don a dinosaur” mask , he obliged.  We are such “dorks”!  We were laughing so hard, we “drew” attention to ourselves and people began to question what we were up to, so we  “decided” it was time to move on.



We couldn’t make up our mind what to eat for “dinner”, so we settled on “dessert”.   We had forgotten to bring our letters into the restaurant, so we used the “doily” to make the letter “d”.

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After telling our waitress what we were “doing”, she kept running to the kitchen to tell the staff what we were up to.  They ended up “donating” our treats to us, because they thought we were “darling”.




Our marital secret is to “delight” in the little things.

C is For A Collection of Curiosities


We arrived at the third if our twenty six themed dates feeling a little more confidant about our creativity.  Even though it was March, it remained very cold.  We knew this would be another inside date.  Our first stop was as a consignment store.  This particular store carries high quality items and is always a joy to look around.  We found many nice things but didn’t find much that we felt that we needed.

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B Is For Burgers and Baskets



Some nineteen years ago, around the time our youngest son turned two, we had committed to a weekly or bi-weekly date night.  When our children were young, I didn’t like to leave them.  Occasionally we hired a sitter but mostly we just made time for each other at home.  We learned from early on in our marriage, that time was the most precious thing we could give each other.   During those early years,  Alan worked 90-120 hours a week, trying to establish our new company.  Continue reading

A is for Agawa Train Tour-Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, Canada

Our mission for the first alphabet adventure was to begin working our way through the alphabet, from A-Z, in order.  Unintentionally, we seemed to be starting with the letter “B” for blizzard!  As our windshield wipers struggled to keep up with the storm, I was concerned that we would have to turn around and forfeit our tickets for the “Agawa Canyon Train Tour”.  We didn’t have this luxury though, because during the winter, there is only a single trip each week, which takes place on Saturdays.  Since it was Friday, we decided to press on, hoping to make our pre-arranged departure time, scheduled for the following day.  Alan is an excellent driver and conditions like this are not unusual for those of us that reside in Michigan.  Thankfully, it was a brief and localized storm which “abated” about an hour out-of-town.   Finally we began utilizing our “A” themed words!

A challenging start to our adventure.

A challenging start to our adventure.

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A List of ABC Date Ideas

Do you ever tire of the same old dinner and a movie date?  Sometimes you have to put a little adventure into your relationship.

We started using the alphabet to set the theme for our dates.  We are dedicating this month to sharing the various  dates we have created.

We are always building ABC lists so check back often.

Here is a list of the words we have used to generate our ideas for a super date night:

A-al fresco, art, ATV, Axe Throwing

B-, biking, bowling


DDollar Store, Drive In, Dine, Darts, dessert

E-Escape Room

F-Fall Color Tour



I-ice cream



L-lake, Lavender Farm






R-rent a car, river, raft

S-sledding, skiing, snowboarding

T-tea tasting, train, tubing

U-U Pick

V-vineyard, volunteer

W-wine tasting, work out




ABC Dating-10 Reasons to Plan an ABC Date With Your Partner



“Us” after 35 years of marriage!

I remember skipping down the road, holding my husband’s hand.  As we were crossing the street, a woman  was coming toward us.  Obviously scorned by love she said,  “you won’t be doing that in a few years”.  I stopped and asked her how long she thought we had been married.  “You must be newlyweds”, she replied.  In fact, we had already been married for 12 years!  After 35+ years of marriage, we still skip and act silly.  This man is still my best friend.

Dating is what has kept our marriage fresh.  Here are a few benefits to “dating” your partner.

  1. Dating prioritizes your partner.  Even if you only spend an hour a week “together”, this tells your partner that they are cherished and worthy of your time.
  2. Dating is attractive.  As we look at and listen to our partner, it gives us the opportunity to admire the physical and mental attributes which draw us to them.
  3. Dating is intentional.  It says to your partner that they matter enough to you, to create special moments.  It shows that you are continuing to invest in your relationship.
  4. Dating around a theme is unique. By thoughtfully designing a date, you will soon find yourselves sharing experiences unlike anyone else.   The memories you create together become stories to be revisited as you age.
  5. Dating around a theme can be revealing.   It may bring out a playful, creative and/or funny side. It may show you what makes their eyes sparkle, or what gives them passion and purpose in life.  This may allow you a window into your partners personality.  It may allow you to admire them all over again.  It may remind you why you fell in love with them to begin with.
  6. Dating allows us to be role models.  Our children will develop a framework of standards for their own marriages.  People who see us having fun, may aspire to create the same with their partner.
  7. Dating encourages teamwork.  When you date with purpose, you are trying to accomplish something specific together.   This partnership mentality transfers to all aspects of your life.
  8.  Dating gives us a sense of security.   The more loved and nurtured we feel, the more trust we place in each other, the more trust, the more secure we become.
  9. Dating gives us time. It is easy to put a relationship on the back burner. Responsibilities can quickly get the better of most of us.  Without attention, passion dies.  There is an old saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”.  To which I would respond, “then water your side”.
  10. Dating creates a lasting bond.  Kids grow up and leave home.  Eventually you may retire.  As life moves through its stages, your partner is the only thing which remains constant.  Nurturing your relationship allows a bond, meant to withstand all stages of  life.

Document the Journey



Bored of writing the same way?   Try a list of 10.