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Friday, November 14, 2008

Guest Writer Lynn: Voting Day Success

My sister Lynn continues her story about encouraging her young neighbors to vote:

Voting day was a great experience with the girls. My Goddaughter had classes that day so I went twice. The volunteers in our local township office actually gave me a round of applause the second time and laughed because they said I was “dragging them off the street.” Mostly I was impressed how prepared they both were. We had two propositions on our ballot, one for medicinal use of marijuana and the other was for stem cell research. Two very powerful votes, and they had given them a lot of thought. I do not know how they voted but they did learn they definitely can be undecided, and I learned to trust the next generation to make good decisions for the future. I am proud of them both and it was a good day.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Guest Writer Lynn: Teaching a new generation to VOTE

Lynn is a great neighbor and mentor to kids. Our daughter, Stacy is working for the presidential campaign, and during a discussion session with peers, shared the story about Lynn’s attempts to show the younger generation how easy it is to be a good citizen:

Stacy called us last night, and was excited to tell me about a discussion group she had been in and how she used me as an example. I am taking two of the neighbor girls to vote on Tuesday for the first time. My goddaughter Jessica (18) and her sister Jacklyn (23) have never voted before and come from a normal Michigan family, but were actually scared about the whole voting process. I decided to make it fun, so we have been talking about the local propositions as well as the presidential issues.

The one important thing they have learned so far is that they can make their own educated decisions and don't have to share who they voted for. We will have lunch on Tuesday and then off to the voting booths. Actually our polling place is a very tiny building about a block away that has four local little old ladies who have coffee and cookies waiting and we all know each other by name. It will be fun to see how the girls feel after voting for the first time and I am very happy to be a part of it. We are in one of those toss up states and I guess the Californian’s Stacy talked to found it very interesting.

Teaching by example, it’s the best way! I think it’s great that the girls learned that, as American citizens, they have the right to make up their own minds and are not pressured to explain their decisions with others. Coming from a small town can sometimes be just as intimidating as living in a big city…for different reasons. But, that's what freedom is all about.Way to go, Lynn!!

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Guest Writer Lynn: Reaching out with Balloons

My sister Lynn and her husband have been living in a very small town on the east side of Lake Michigan for many years. One of the great things they’ve done for many years is to hold an annual event at their home, which is always popular and well attended:

We had our Chili-Cook-Off on the 18th and it was great fun. We had 14 different chili entries, and Larry Doran won...third time, and he will be impossible to live with! We always do a balloon launch; we add a colorful note with "if found please call" and a five dollar bill in a zippy bag attached to helium balloons that are then released. Dwight feels that people won't pick up trash, but they would pick up $5.00! Anyway, we have had calls from the Detroit area, Illinois, Wisconsin, and this year one of our balloons made it all the way to Frankfort, KY. MapQuest estimates this to be around 500 miles. Wow, cheaper than airfare! I'm always afraid the balloons will land in the big lake and cause havoc, but the launch is such great fun, I take the risks.

Now we just need to find someone to create a more bio-degradable balloon and note paper, so Lynn’s group won’t feel guilty about trash! Lynn loves getting the calls from far and wide, and their little town gets a little notoriety, too boot.

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Guest Writer Lynn: Sun Safety

I want to introduce a new feature to my blog. You may have read way back in one of my previous posts that my sister, Lynn and her husband have quite an interesting story to tell about their own trials and experiences. I’ve asked her to be an occasional guest contributor on my blog—after all, it’s not supposed to be just about me. So without further explanation, here she is, my little sister, Lynn from Michigan with a lesson on Sun Safey:

On Tuesday I went for a preplanned outpatient procedure to get a basal cell carcinoma taken from the top of my head. There were three options for removal and I chose the “Mohs” (named after the guy who invented it....see www.webmd.com if interested). They basically take a small area of affected tissue and then check it to make sure they got everything and repeat until the entire tumor is gone. I have an amazing doctor and am pleased he got it all the first time. I didn't realize however that the scar would have 6 staples along the side of my natural hair part, and I got a free haircut with purchase. I plan to single-handedly bring back bandana headbands and thank god I look okay in a do-rag.

The morale of this story is to please always remember sunscreen, especially in the areas we tend to forget--scalp, tops of ears and back of neck. Better yet, wear a hat! Believe it or not, I use sunscreen SPF 50 and 30 and I wear many hats. The damage that I had incurred was 25 - 30 years ago when baby oil and iodine were the norms. Most of all, it is very important for us "Desert Rats" to get a Cancer Screening done by a dermatologist every year. That is how mine was detected, and I am very lucky to have found it early! So please, consider getting one yourself.

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