TRAVERSE CITY — For Kathy Balchunas, decking her house out for Traverse City’s Very Cherry Porch Parade was a piece of cake ... er, pie.

Ten years ago, I awoke long before sunrise, in preparation for an early morning meeting. I felt queasy from taking a new medication. It was February, piercingly cold, dark. Several inches of fresh snow covered my long wheelchair ramp and path to the driveway. Lying on my side, I wondered why…

The Stone Circle is located north of Elk Rapids on a narrow strip of land between Lake Michigan and Torch Lake. It’s a triple ring of 88 boulders with a fire in the center. For 37 years I’ve hosted poets, musicians and storytellers who come to share their art. The Stone Circle has been calle…

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.”

Two weeks ago, after I’d paddled down the lake in the kayak and could hardly hear myself think for the peepers on shore, I had to go looking and looking to find a poem about them. I may write one for myself, eventually, but that hasn’t happened yet. This has been a hard winter for all of us,…

TRAVERSE CITY — A viral YouTube video, some northern Michigan ingenuity and some sisterly assistance.

‘In memory of my parents, who took their little girl into the voting booth, let her pull the magic curtain, and taught me to treasure my right to vote.” — Elaine Weiss, “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight To Win The Vote”

TRAVERSE CITY — Two panes of glass separate two microphones and a miniature chalkboard nested on the dashboard of John Plough’s mobile studio, formerly known as a Chevy Equinox.

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