If you live in or around the Michiana (Michigan/Indiana/Illinois) area, you might be looking for some things for the family to do. I know I want to take my son to some festivals and other events this year, but I always have trouble keeping up with what is going on when it is going on.

I found some decent resources that list events in Indiana as well as Michigan and Chicago. I thought I would share them here so you can bookmark and return to find them all in one place. These should be helpful in planning your summer of 2015.

chicago photo: Cities AfterDarkinChicagoIllinois.jpg Chicago Events for Summer 2015
Chicago summers are basically just one long collection of parades, events, and festivals. There's always something to do in the Windy City even when it isn't summer time, but this schedule of Chicago summer events for 2015 should help you may your summer plans. Add to that the list of free things to do in Chicago and you are good to go.

indiana photo: Indiana Indiana1_map.jpg Indiana Festivals for Summer 2015
Okay, believe it or not, there really are some fun things to do in Indiana. Many of the festivals are based on the planting or harvest season, but there are also historical reenactments and other fun things to do. Check out all the Indiana festivals in 2015. (I know the link says Ohio Festivals, but the owner was kind enough to collect a list of festivals in Indiana as well. However, don't be afraid to look and see what's going on in Ohio this summer either.)

michigan photo: Welcome to Pure Michigan IMG_0866.jpg Michigan Events Summer 2015
Michigan is amazing in the summer. It's colorful and not quite as hot as some of the areas to the south of it. They also put on some fabulous festivals. Take a look at some of the festivals in Michigan for summer 2015. You can look them up by the date to make your summer planning a bit easier.

As for us, we'll be going to LARP, canoeing, and attending various festivals. It's going to be a busy summer!

When I was a small child, I always wanted to hide so the bad things couldn't happen.

As a pre-teen, I did my writing and sketches hiding under a bridge, storing my notebook in the bricks, the pages covered in beautiful drawings and haunting eloquence.

The teen years brought limited, always limited safety and awareness. I saw the colors of a spectrum I hadn't known existed, but they didn't see me.

A young woman, with barbed wire inside, emerged. They saw me with their hungry eyes and deliberate needs. Dusky walls withheld their embraces and nothing broke the fall.

His eyes had their own light behind them and they looked to me for everything. And he saw me and loved me anyhow.

I hid as many bad things as I could, so he could be a small child.

I collected the notebooks he filled in the open air and we walked on top of the bridges. I imagined a home and I put blinders on to narrow my focus on the career that kept him sheltered and limited my risk.

I pulled the barbed wire out and burnt it until it was soft to the touch. I tore the walls down with crimson streaks from my hands.

The light of this new world is blinding, but I don't cover my eyes. The ground feels soft and warm, but the waves draw me in, hiding the jagged edges of the rocks beneath.

Now, I would throw this tiara if I could. I would sit by the fire and make it always night, though there is nothing to cover my shoulders. I would do this, but for the light behind his eyes that see me and the dream that he can swim past the rocks.

Unseen, with a painted on smile in a pretty dress, inside I'm just looking for a log to add to that fire.

easter photo: Easter Weekend EasterWeekend.jpg
I was raised in a Catholic household and all of my life, I have loved the beauty and tradition of Catholicism. However, as a spiritual path, it isn't the right one for me even if the new pope is kind of awesome. I don't have a religion, but I do believe there is something bigger than me out there, that we all come from the same energy source and simply change forms once we die. I have raised my son with this belief, though I don't force him to conform to it. I do require him to respect nature and to express gratitude because spiritual or not, those are just the right things to do.

Yet, we still celebrate Easter in our own way.

The celebration of Easter in Christianity is based on the idea that Christ died on the cross and then rose again. I'm not saying Christ did or didn't exist, but I do believe there is every potential for such a man to have existed and been persecuted, and since we all rise in some form after death, I can go with that too. So for me, Easter is about rising above a challenge and appreciating the efforts of others. We celebrate these things more than usual on Good Friday and Easter because that happens to be days set aside by the schools and other organizations so we don't have to miss other days for it. So, if you're interested in doing something similar, below are a few of the things we'll be doing, in case you'd like to do them as well.

Learning about Religion

My goal is to help Hunter explore his own spirituality and how he would like to celebrate it. As such, it's important to learn about religions and the history of them. We'll be watching Zeitgeist: The Movie later today. If you haven't seen it, it's a pretty informative show about the creation and existence of sungods throughout history.

Setting Goals

I think it's important to have some kind of measurable goal. In fact, I have a hard time functioning without one. Today, Hunter and I will set goals to help improve ourselves. Some potential examples are below.

  • Stop complaining. 
  • Unless it's a compliment, don't say another person's name. (This ends gossiping.)
  • Compliment a specific number of people a day.
  • Try something new each week or month.

Does cleaning sound like a horrible way to celebrate a holiday? Why? You're purging, getting rid of things you don't need. That means you may also be giving away things you don't need to people who do need them. Wash away the past so you can see the brighter future.