SEARCH: Mid-Michigan Ren Fair

Mid-Michigan Ren Fair
by Valarie Kinney

Photo of women at fair

Just outside the bustling tourist
town of Frankenmuth, Michigan, is
a forest filled with fairies, pirates,
and belly dancers. The sign is not
huge, and it’s hand-painted, so
people often drive right by, not
realizing what a gem is hidden in
those woods.

From the road, it’s an unassuming chunk of land sandwiched between two farmhouses. There’s a winding dirt drive that leads to a grassy flat lot.

At the entrance of the forest is a faux castle front, also apparently painted by hand. Nothing fancy, but once you cross through the entrance, you find you’ve fallen into another time. Another place.

It’s magic.

Music from a harp wafts through the trees, and various fairytale characters chase one another down the lanes, engaging in impromptu skits, laughing.

A myriad of vendors line the paths, cheerily hawking their wares. The Skullduggery sells swords and other weaponry as well as well-made leather tricorns. Potter’s Apothecary offer handcrafted soaps with cheeky names such as ‘Dirty Wench’ and ‘Under Kilt Care’. There is quite literally a shop for anything you’d hope to purchase. ‘Support Your Local Hookers’ demands a sign hanging out front of a shop that sells unique crocheted designs as well as books, and across the way from that wooden hut, you can… continue reading in the Summer issue 2017.

SEARCH: Pilot, Susan Grant

Pilot, Susan Grant
by Emerian Rich

Picture of Susan Grant

“Really, when you look back at
my life, it’s no surprise I ended up
being a jumbo jet pilot who loves
writing science fiction and romance.”

United Airlines pilot and writer, Susan Grant, knew she wanted to be a pilot at three years old.

“I can remember the defining moment,” Susan says. “I was with my dad on the beach and fighter jets flew over. He picked me up and put me on his shoulders and pointed to them. I’ll never forget the roar they made that I could feel in my belly.”

Being interested in space, she also entertained ideas of being an astronaut. When she was a teenager, she wanted to attend the United States Air Force Academy, but women weren’t allowed to enroll in pilot training then. Susan didn’t let that stop her. She fought to be accepted and after four grueling years, received her degree and a commission as second lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

“I was in the third class in history to include women. At most my class was approximately 10% women. It’s a lot better now at 25% women.” Once she was commissioned, she was able to… continue reading the Spring issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Fifty Shades of Beige

I live a boring little life, in a boring little duplex, on a boring little cul-de-sac, in a city whose most exciting event of the year revolves around cows.

I eat, I sleep, I go to work, I write, I hang out with my three beasts. My life is completely devoid of adventure and really always has been. If there was a color to describe my life, it would be Suburban Beige, the beigiest beige on the color wheel.

As a kid I wanted to be everything from an astronaut to a cowboy to a spy to a movie star, and finally, Elvis. None of it happened.

I’ve never even had the adventure of marriage, although I did once propose to a girlfriend at the airport before she left on a jet plane to fly across the continent to donate a kidney to her mother. No, she didn’t say ‘yes’. She laughed and said, “Are you kidding?”

I’ve never driven a Formula One race car, although I did park a Mini in the foyer of our college chapel… continue reading in Summer issue 2017.

SEARCH: Armchair Adventures

Armchair Adventures
by Elliot Thorpe

Compass

There are those of out there who can’t always get out and about, some for whom the adventure is only fulfilled from the armchair.

The old clichè that life itself is an adventure can equally be attributed to the beauty of imagination, the wonder of our own minds taking us to the most amazing of places and times. In fact, the only limit to the armchair adventurer is a lack of imagination.

That’s a pretty big place to visit. So where do we start? What can be adventure to one is a chore to another and, as veteran actor-comedian and Harry Potter narrator Jim Dale said once, “I’m still a kid inside, and adventure is adventure wherever you find it.”

Yet being a writer takes me to all manner of places, whether it be research for a novel or fact-finding for an article. Both are similar in their execution and both give the result, for the reader, of being taken on a journey. Even this article, or rather the whole edition of this magazine focusing on the idea of the adventure, is, hopefully, firing your imagination and springing you into action…continue reading the Summer issue of SEARCH Magazine.

 

SEARCH: City Spotlight on Concord

Concord, CA
by Emerian Rich

Picture of ConcordConcord is the largest city in Contra Costa County. Founded in 1869 by Salvio Pacheco as Todo Santos, the name was changed within months to Concord. Now, the city center park, Todos Santos Plaza, is a reminder of that first name. With multiple stops on the BART system to connect it with San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, Concord has expanded past its bedroom community status. New condos and neighborhood renovation has made this community bigger in the past few years as lack of housing has pushed the city to think of new innovative ways to build.

Residents enjoy a wide array of entertainment packed in to the thirty miles of town. The Concord Pavilion on one side of town brings in headliners and festivals. On the other side Solano Drive-in—one of the last surviving Bay Area drive-in theaters—hosts not only movies, but a year-round public swap meet Saturdays and Sundays.

In the center of town, Todos Santos Plaza hosts a weekly farmer’s market with a wide array of fruits and vegetables at reasonable rates. A handful of hot food vendors, including my favorite teriyaki-on-a-stick booth, offer ready-made goods to enjoy… Read more in the Summer issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Summer Adventures Feature

Summer Adventures
by Emerian Rich

This summer, adventuring doesn’t have to involve expensive plane tickets or resort stays. In this article, we will bring you some amazing places to go, play, and explore right in our own backyard. If you enjoy walking, cycling, camping, or beach combing, we’ve got you covered.

Camping in Mount Diablo State Park ~ Family Fun

Bordered by Walnut Creek and Clayton, Mount Diablo State Park often goes unnoticed by locals. An excellent place to camp close to home, with the added bonus of spectacular Bay Area views. The park offers many nature trek and biking trails. Mount Diablo’s peak at 3,849 feet, is visible to most of us in the Bay Area, but few know the history of the mountain. What we call Mount Diablo (Devil Mountain) is a sacred mountain to many Californian Native Indian tribes and is fabled to be the point of creation. Known by many names, it was never considered a bad place for the tribes, who often pilgrimaged there to hold ceremonies. Legend has it that Mount Diablo’s negative connotation originated in 1805 when the Spanish soldiers had trouble tracking the Indians through the willow thicket. Today Mount Diablo is known for a place families can picnic, hike, and camp as well as an excellent workout for cyclists. The park offers many walking trails and …continue reading the Summer issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Lyme Disease Myths

Lyme Disease Myths
by Kristin Battestella

Author eating a lime

We’re told how to prevent tick bites—wear light colored clothing with complete coverage and use bug spray in a wooded area. However, the general knowledge on how, when, and where one gets Lyme Disease, how the illness is diagnosed, and how to treat patients is rife with misinformation and controversy.

Misnomer 1: You can only get Lyme Disease in the Northeastern United States in the Summer.
According to the CDC, the 300,000 Lyme Disease cases in America each year is growing six times faster than HIV/AIDS with cases nationwide and year round. Many citizens are still in the dark about Lyme Disease simply because they think it can’t happen to them where they live or that this is an easily treated rarity and thus “no big deal.”

Misnomer 2: You can only get Lyme Disease from one type of tick, and a blood test can confirm it.
In truth, there are potentially multiple strains of Lyme Disease contracted from different types of ticks, and various… continue reading the Summer issue of SEARCH Magazine.

Summer 2017, Editor Letter

Adventure. We all crave it. Whether it’s a dream to travel to the pyramids or simply an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on the morning latte, we want our lives to be exciting. True, the cravings of adventure tend to wane in adulthood. The dreams of becoming a fireman or astronaut have a habit of making way for realistic, less-challenging goals. We work so we can afford a family to call our own, which can be an adventure all its own. For a moment, let’s put away our adult responsibilities and dream of the impossible.

I remember jumping on my bike as a child and tooling around with my friends in hopes of adventure. When none occurred, we’d make up our own. I was no longer a pre-teen riding her bike around Los Angeles County. I was a member of the A-Team, chasing bad guys and solving crimes. We’d explore paths we’d been down a hundred times, pretending it was a forest in Quebec or the wilds of Peru. Bad guys were around every corner, and if we were super vigilant, we’d save the day. During our silly games we even caught a real-life cat burglar. Boy was that exciting!

This summer, we’re going to help you cook up your own adventures with articles about local places to visit, how to adventure from your couch, and even what to read to make this season a memorable one.

Emerian Rich
Editorial Director

 

SEARCH Magazine Summer Issue 2017

Summer Adventures

Amazing places to go, play and explore right in our own backyard.

City Spotlight

Concord, California, one of the ten-best places in the world to retire.

Armchair Adventures

Go on an adventure in your own home.

Interview

Susan Grant, pilot and author.

Travel

Mid-Michigan Renaissance Festival

Health

Lyme Disease myths

Books

Four books that will change your life.

Food

Slow cooker carnitas with white masa waffles.

Do it Yourself

Creating decorative sound-proof wall art.

Community

The Empowerment Plan, bringing hope to the homeless.

Autism/Parenting

How to enjoy your new adventure.

Humor

Fifty shades of beige.

Bay Area Attraction

San Francisco Bay Area Maritime Museums.

Local Business Spotlight

Nappy or Not, Oakland, CA

Bay Area Attration

Start your own Summer Adventure Bullet Journal.

And more… click to read now!

 

SEARCH: Just One of the Litter

Just One of the Litter
by Tim Reynolds

justoneofthelitter

I was raised by a French girl, coached by a Golden boy, and taught the meaning of true love by a Yorkshire girl.

They were, in order, a poodle, a retriever, and a terrier. If you said I’m a dog person, I wouldn’t contradict you, though I like cats, too. I like all animals, usually more than I like people, but dogs… A dog is the only creature that will love you more than you love yourself.

We got Lollipop (the names have been changed to protect my computer security), the toy poodle, when I was nine months old, and she was my girl. When I was four I learned to whistle loudly enough to be heard two blocks away, and Lollipop came running every time—a little black blur through the neighborhood…continue reading the Spring issue of SEARCH Magazine.