Natural Born Movers® Mother’s Day Edition

mom on bike

Lois on the road

Out shopping for a Mother’s Day card this week, I realized that I found the selection somewhat disappointing.  All seemed to be along the lines of the Martyrdom of Motherhood variety — you know the themes, thanks for giving everything to us and nothing to yourself, pastels and flowers, etc.  I was looking for one more like, “Hey Mom, I think it’s neat you’re a bad ass“.  Of course my mom did all the traditional things you associate with motherhood for us. We don’t call her the MacGyver of Motherhood for nothing– she can cook, knit, build, sew, repair, finagle or haggle for anything you need. She is not, however, a booboo kisser (thanks Dad for picking up the slack in that area). Her many talents would require an additional post.

Here at Move It Media, we celebrate Natural Born Movers®, so I thought it would be a good time to check in with Mom about her athletic endeavors.  I had to schedule an interview as she has a full day of college courses on the day I tried to connect.  She typically takes a few courses each semester and loves to joke that her GPA is so high because she was “sleeping with the Dean” (that’s my Dad by the way, now retired–and he will be mortified that I wrote that, but it’s Mother’s Day, not Father’s Day, and she will love it).

What’s your course load this semester?:

6 credits — Yoga, Pilates, Water exercise, and Ceramics.  (editor’s note:  what are you doing talking to me–isn’t this finals week?  Get studying!)

H and Gma bike ride

Heading out with Grandson to ride the length of the Erie Canal #Grandparentlikeaboss

Tell us about your upcoming cycling trip:

This summer I’ll be riding a self-contained bicycle trip with my sister, Janie.  We’ll be some senior ladies out on the road.  We plan to leave from Lansing then head west to Ludington.  We’ll take the ferry across Lake Michigan, turn north and head up through Wisconsin. Head east across the UP, cross the Mackinac Bridge and head back down the state to Lansing–about 1500 miles.  We are planning to travel for 5 weeks, camping along the way. We could do it in a much shorter time, but there are several breweries we want to hit.  Who knows, we may never get out of Michigan.

Lois & Janie High Ropes

Lois & Janie on High Ropes course

Since this is a Mother’s Day post, what do you think your mom would think of that?:

I think she would be excited about it.  She wouldn’t do something like that, but she’d support us doing it.  She would be absolutely excited to see us doing it together.  She wanted to live long enough to see us getting along, which she did.

What’s your favorite cycling trip you’ve done?:

My favorite was from Baytown, TX to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan.  Turned out to be 2400 miles.  Along the way we saw great stuff Natchez Trace Mississippi — loved the great roads and history in that area.  We rode to Owosso, MI for my 50th high school class reunion along the way. Then we hooked up with the DALMAC ride to get from Lansing to Sault Ste. Marie.  I’d been planning to do a cross country ride from East to West (of the U.S) and it got cancelled, so we made this one up.  (editor’s note:  read about that trip here).

mom and dad bridge


What made you get into cycling:

I’ve always had a bicycle.  One time your Dad thought that I should be riding and he bought me a bike and we just did casual rides.  I was out riding my bike and I was challenged by Dr. Tom Seabourne at Northeast Texas College to do the Texas Chain Ring Challenge.  That was my first organized ride.  I started tour cycling at age 53.  I went on the ride and loved it.  I’m 73 now.  I plan to ride as long as I can.

Does it bother you that one of your sons-in-law (the Swede, not the Aussie) calls you the L Train?:

Haha, no.  Only the people that care about you give you nicknames.  I don’t like it when he calls me LoLo, but it’s still polite, just don’t care for it.

Peter & the L Train

The Swede and the L Train

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  It’s neat that you’re a bad ass.







#WalkingWednesday heads to REOTown

Looking north on Washington Ave.

Looking north on Washington Ave.

This week we headed to REO Town a neighborhood on a peninsula between the Red Cedar and Grand Rivers, south of 496 along Washington Ave. This re-emerging commercial and residential district is a hotbed of art, energy, and overall community building momentum. Our hosts were Ryan Wert, President of the REOTown Commercial Association and owner of Elm Street RecordingBrian McGrain, Chair of the Ingham County Commission and Associate Director/COO at CEDAM whose offices are located in REOTown.

Ryan and his wife moved into REOTown 11 years ago and began creating with neighbors and friends the kind of community they wanted, inventing fun events and connecting people around art, food, & fun. REOTown just hosted a very successful Art & Craft Beer Fest and is preparing for their second annual Thrift Store Gala and Burlesque Extravaganza, on March 21. The name alone says alot, but check out these pictures from last year’s event!

Our tour began at CEDAM’s offices and headed south to the New Horizons Computer Learning Center and co:space Emilie Randolph showed us this beautiful facility with workspace available on a short or longer term membership basis along with a full slate of computer training courses.  The facility features a gigantic chalk mural depicting the history of REOTown and the automobile industry.


(L to R) Beverly Hynes, Manager of Fountain Place Apts., Larry Grudt of Capital Area Blues Society, Brian McGrain, Ryan Wert)

cospaceflyer cospacechalk

Conference space looking out onto Washington Ave.

Conference space looking out onto Washington Ave.

A great article for more information:

We crossed to the east side of Washington Ave. to visit the new Board of Water & Light Headquarters, which brought 180 employees to REOTown.  The former train depot has been beautifully restored and now serves as BWL meeting space and is available for community events.

Interior architecture of the restored train depot

Interior architecture of the restored train depot

A lot of Lansing in one picture:  the BWL depot, trains headed west, & the BWL smokestacks across the Grand River

A lot of Lansing in one picture: the BWL depot, trains headed west, & the BWL smokestacks across the Grand River

We headed north along Washington Ave. and found a full block of commercial activity from the REO Town Pub (more on that below), Cuttin Up Barber Shop which was doing a brisk midday business, and many more.  We stopped in to see Kathaleen Parker at her shop Soulful Earth Herbals where she offers handcrafted soap, body products, herbal preparations and apothecary and is celebrating ten years of business this year.  She also features some really cool dinosaur greeting cards created by her children–somehow I don’t have a photo to share, send me one Kathaleen and I’d love to feature it!

Kathalenn at Soulful Earth Herbals.  I wish I could upload the amazing smells from this store--stop in and see for yourself!

Kathaleen at Soulful Earth Herbals. I wish I could upload the amazing smells from this store–stop in and see for yourself!

Another new anchor tenant along Washington Ave. is Riverview Church Inside is worship and meeting space with a preservation of its past as a bowling alley.

A peak at both the sanctuary and the art gallery hallway

A peak at both the sanctuary and the art gallery hallway

The beautifully restored flooring with a hint of the past

The beautifully restored flooring with a hint of the past

The space hosts both church services and community functions.  Its exterior celebrates graffiti art, much of which was created with fellow REOTown organization REACH Art Studio

Riverview Church graffiti

graffiti 2We headed north to the Good Truckin’ Diner, where Zach Corbin and Nicholas Sinicropi had amazing tacos awaiting us.  In addition to great food, they had ideas to share about issues and opportunities for food truck operators in the City of Lansing.  As owners of both a bricks and mortar establishment and a mobile food truck they have good insight into the business and ways to increase access for food trucks in the City.  Great conversation with business owners who are working to make their neighborhood and Lansing a great place to eat!  They also had high praise for our Ingham County Health Department and their efficient processes and support.

Zach and Ryan talk REOTown & Food Truck culture over tacos.

Zach and Ryan talk REOTown & Food Truck culture over tacos.

With happy tummies we headed over to see some of the residential features along Washington Ave. with a stop into Fountain Place Apts. located along the Lansing River Trail.  Manager Beverly Hynes lives on-site at the apartments and clearly fosters a community among her residents, who are mainly young professionals and students with a few older adults and families.  She began an on-site gardening program where residents can cultivate an area of the greenspace and has a host of programs that connect neighbors to one another.  Stop in and meet Beverly and she’ll tell you all the reasons why Fountain Place and REOTown are a great place to live.

We finished up at REOTown Pub which is obviously the heart & soul of the neighborhood.  Owner Roxanne shared her career path of social worker, to restaurant owner to pub owner (which can at times resemble her work as a social worker!).  While not a full-service restaurant, every Wednesday you can enjoy steak night where Roxanne’s husband is grilling out back in his snowsuit (steak, potato, & salad for $10!). There I also met Paul Starr aka The Beer Hound, clearly a genius who has built a career out of celebrating Michigan’s craft beer culture. REOTown Pub is looking forward to celebrating Mardi Gras on March 17 with a crawfish boil out front.

REOTown Pub servin up their finest vintage--this is beer and spirits joint

REOTown Pub servin up their finest vintage–this is beer and spirits joint

REOTown is a community on the move and an example of how committed, creative residents and business owners can shape the future of Lansing.  Stop by and enjoy meeting the neighbors who are making Lansing a great place to live, work, play, & learn.

Next week’s #WalkingWednesday slot is still open–where should I head next?