Memories, traditions and protecting our most valuable institution.


Think back for a moment.

What are your most cherished memories?

When you're frazzled and cursing the complexities and stressors of life, what moments do you reflect upon to calm yourself down, restore your hope and sanity, and re-energize?

I'll bet you last month's paycheck that these moments have nothing to do with your iPad, the sweet Prada sunglasses you got for Christmas, the fact that Kim Kardashian retweeted you, or the 17 pairs of True Religions and Joe's Jeans you have all lined up in your walk-in closet.

Fat chance.

My most cherished memories stem from my childhood summers, most of which were spent at our family cottage on a small lake in Northern Michigan. My family and the close community of neighbors on our little dirt road would spend countless hours swimming, waterskiing, playing kick-the-can and hide-in-seek, toasting marshmallows, tracking sand and dirt through the house (I can still hear my mom and grandma yelling) and seeing who could eat the most cherries in one sitting (evidenced by how many pits you had saved up in your mouth at the end of this game.)

They stem from road trips to Disney and Cedar Point and Daytona Beach. Visits to the waterslide at Arnie's Funland.

My most cherished memories stem from relaxing and enjoying the outdoors with family.

No one was texting. No one was playing games on their iPhone. No one was heading out to the mall. No one was spending more time documenting the trip on Facebook than they were actually enjoying the trip.

We were family, we were community and we were creating memories and traditions together. Memories and traditions that I carry with me today, and am working to pass along to my own children.

Our culture fails, both overtly and subtly, to promote and protect our most valuable institution,


Our culture shoves over-consumption, technology and noise at us fast and furiously, every minute of every day. And it's nearly impossible to deflect a lot of it. We demand everything now, or at least five minutes from now, and we operate in a perpetual frenzy of busy.

But when you get right down to it? It is only through the connectivity of others, the engagement of family and by creating memories and traditions with those we love most that we find health, value and fulfillment.

Simple as that.

I'm climbing off my soapbox now, to enjoy a few days creating memories and traditions with my own family. Thank you very much for following along on I will be right back with you next week.


Photo by: Me