Last week, after 15 years of fundraising and restoration, the 1842 Dougherty Mission House on Old Mission Peninsula, a major historical structure, was opened to the public. That event provides an opportunity to put Dougherty’s missionary activity into context.

Nothing grabs my attention more than the sound of nothing at all. Not that I have become a hermit, lost my hearing or have forgotten to pay the cable bill; rather I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan of silence.

Editor's note: Road Trip is a monthly travel series by northern Michigan journalists Dave and Jeanne Barber. The series takes regional readers on easy, one-day road trips to visit Michigan museums, parks, nature sites, businesses and festivals, including many of the state's “hidden gems.”

Road Trip is a monthly travel series by northern Michigan journalists Dave and Jeanne Barber. The series takes regional readers on easy, one-day road trips to visit Michigan museums, parks, nature sites, businesses and festivals, including many of the state's “hidden gems.”

I changed my look last month. I started wearing a construction hard hat. Early one afternoon I carted a load of firewood down to Stone Circle. When I stepped out of my pickup, I heard a loud, screeching sound above my head.

Have you ever noticed that it’s really hard to change? There are a number of reasons for this — your brain gets hardwired, we like habits, we want to predict the future so we stick with what we know — but it’s actually far more simple than these answers given by neuroscience.

SUTTONS BAY — The sounds of ropes slapping the sails and waves splashing against the hull of the Inland Seas schooner were all that could be heard as a class of fourth-graders fell silent and pretended they were sailing in the 1800s.

Some people just try too hard to use “good” English, by which they mean a system of rules that establish lines that should not be crossed just like those indicated by speed limits. If you go faster than the posted limit, you are doing something wrong. Similarly, if you utter a word or phrase…

TRAVERSE CITY — Answer: Grace Community Birth Center, a Traverse City nonprofit working to construct a birth center in Grand Bassin, Haiti.

BENZONIA — Ned Edwards has called Beulah home for almost 30 years now. But even before moving to the area in the 1990s, Edwards, 85, summered in northern Michigan for decades. Though he attended college and divinity school elsewhere, he and his wife retired to the area.

Used to be that I thought of nostalgia as something you catch when you're older, like saggy knees and the desire to sit endlessly in lawn chairs. Ahhh, but those were the good ol' days.

Ralph Waldo Emerson proclaimed that because our eyes are in our forehead not our hindhead, we should look ahead. It has been two months since my wife died, but I am finding it difficult to follow that advice.

Colorful flowers burst forth in the Logo Garden and green grass carpets the ground: Summer has arrived at Traverse City’s Open Space park. By fall, thousands of people will have gathered at this bayside haven, savoring a peaceful break from their everyday worlds.

I spent a lot of time growing up in what would become a ghost town. My Grandpa and Grandma Helmboldt were both born in Park Lake, and lived there until old age. It’s where this month’s “Nightmare” poem took place.

Editor's Note: Road Trip is a new, monthly travel series by northern Michigan journalists Dave and Jeanne Barber. The series takes regional readers on easy, one-day road trips to visit Michigan museums, parks, nature sites, businesses and festivals, including many of the state's "hidden gems."

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