Tulips at Old Mission Flowers, May 2019 | Jane Boursaw Photo, grief support group
Tulips at Old Mission Flowers | Jane Boursaw Photo
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So as we sit here waiting for yet another March storm, I cannot help but think of those of you who are in warmer places for spring break. Where did the idea of escaping to warmer climates originate?

The lure of warmer weather is obvious, but the roots can be traced way back to the ancient Greeks and Romans who celebrated spring as a season of new beginnings with honor paid to Dionysus, the god of wine. However, the real beginning of spring break as we know it was in the 1930’s when a swim coach from upstate New York took his team to Fort Lauderdale to practice in the warmth. It caught on.

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A New Kind of Spring Break

In 1958, Glen Swarthout, a professor from Michigan State University, joined his students on their annual trek south. The result was a book, later a cult musical, called “Where the Boys Are.” Spring break escapades among college students became infamous – and dangerous. Finally, in 1989, things began to change. Habitat for Humanity became the first to offer Alternative Spring Breaks. Since then, more than 260,000 students have volunteered with Habitat’s Collegiate Challenge.

Each year, Michigan State’s Alternative Spartan Breaks offers 17 different trips to benefit various humanitarian groups. U of M offers a similar program. Family travel to various places is also popular. Today, especially for those of us who call the north home, spring break is a time to experience new cultures, share time with those we love and, perhaps more simply, to soak up warmth on a sunny beach.

If you are staying in TC or expecting out of town visitors, we invite you to join us at Peninsula Community Library this week. Lani the Reading Dog is here today from 3:30 to 4:45. Tomorrow, bring the kids in for Bookworm DIY crafts and activities from 10-2. Kids can craft a book and bookmark, play with our educational toys and STEM kits, or just enjoy a great book in a quiet corner. We have laid in a supply of new carryout craft bags for kids to take home as well!


Books With the Boathouse Tickets Still Available

A handful of “Books With the Boathouse” tickets are still available. Our annual fundraiser happens April 12, once again as takeout. Tickets are available at PCL only and are $150 for a dinner for two, which includes wine, or $170 if we can include a copy of our new coloring book, “Once Upon a Peninsula: A Collection of Stories and Drawings Recounting Childhood Memories,” narrated by our own Tim Carroll. Meal pickup will be from 5-5:30 pm in the PCL parking lot. A silent auction will take place all that week in the library. Come get your tickets now! Help us to sell out.

Do check out our New Explorer Bags for your kiddos! The colorful sacks are filled with themed educational toys and books – from music to tentmaking to dinosaurs to space to gardening and more! These were purchased through a generous grant by the Friends of PCL!

A Seed Library and a Local Artists Fair

We will be opening up our seed library soon. It is housed in our historic card catalog. Patrons are welcome to take what they can use, but encouraged to bring us their extra seeds in the fall. Time to think of spring gardens! Many thanks to Judy Heffron for her hard work on this project!

Speaking of Friends, thanks to chair Becky Dykstra, the Local Artists Fair returns to the library September 24 from 10-4. There will be booth spaces with a six foot table included. If you are interested in participating, please contact Becky at [email protected] for info and an application. Spaces are first come and are limited!


Looking ahead to warmer weather – which will return – Julie MacLachlan is looking for volunteers to help with the Friends of PCL’s Bayshore Marathon aid station May 28. This is a fun way to participate in a big event, while also helping out the library. If you are interested, you can contact Julie directly at [email protected].

Regardless of what your spring break looks like, we wish you a safe and happy week! For those of us who are here watching the dire weather warnings, I offer you this poem by Robert Frost, “Dust of Snow”…

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow from a hemlock tree.
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Happy day, whatever comes!


A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


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