Easter Haiku

God will call upon

The saints who walk softly

On Easter Sunday

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Push Your Luck

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So it was another trip to FireKeeper’s Casino and Hotel in Battle Creek today. The enormous colorful sign on the side of the highway advertising it is hard to miss on the way there. More than 66,000 people pass that sign each day, which means most will get excited about the potential of winning a lot of money at the casino and will be going or think about going in the future.

When you walk through the front door of FireKeeper’s casino, you will immediately notice the large fiery orange pole going from floor to ceiling with a helical metal structure climbing around, to symbolize the flames of the firekeeper, referring the job a Native American would have in the tribe.

If there is one machine that I loved in this place and was doing really well for me and I wanted to find it again, it would be next to impossible to find it, because it’s a sea of machines with various bells and whistles and themes, most of which put the idea into your head that you could get rich quick just by playing.

Today was not my lucky day, though it was for my mom who won over a hundred dollars. Good for her on getting money that is basically free. I’m going to learn eventually that if I suddenly earn more than I came with I should just call it quits and walk away, but it’s the thought that I could win so much more and I could have a really lucky day at hand.

 

Welcome, Stranger

A middle-aged man named Adam Anderson was traveling from his home state of Wisconsin to his brother’s wedding in Bay City, Michigan. He had been on the road for two days and the wedding was tomorrow. After a long, grueling drive Adam finally crossed the Michigan border and strolled into a busy looking town called Jackson during the night. He intended to rest here and seeked out an affordable, quality hotel for the money he had, this happening to be at the Baymont Inn and Suites off a Bondsteel Drive across from a Planet Fitness. Adam checked into the handsome looking hotel, got his room, and settled in with what little luggage his had – just a couple of shirts and jeans; his suit for the wedding was being reserved until he arrived in Bay City. The king size bed in this room felt like sinking into a heap of clouds and Adam easily fell asleep, setting the alarm for seven.

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The next morning, after a cheerful tune commenced, the journeyman arose from a luxurious sleep and got ready to head back on the road. He showered, dressed, and went down to the continental breakfast helping himself to waffles, eggs, sausage, muffins, and glasses of sweet orange juice. A TV was hanging on the wall in front of Adam and there was a news broadcast currently tuned in. A run off of events happening in the city and elsewhere, nothing too interesting to Adam though something about a shooting in Jackson caught his attention; he put down his fork and twisted a finger in his ear to hear clearer. The shooting happened somewhere near his location, involving three men fighting over some money and drugs. Adam shrugged his shoulders; every city has its fair share of crime and this place seemed to be no different but to be so close to the scene disturbed him.

After gathering his things and checking out, Adam left the Baymont, beeped his Altima, and headed out onto Bondsteel for a new day. The sun was gleaming brightly over the industrial skyline. Jackson didn’t look like a place Adam would suggest to anyone looking to travel, but he did not want to leave quite yet. He figured he could spend a couple hours exploring the place (he always wants to check out obscure cities on the map) and get to know his surroundings better, adding to the experience.

As he went into the heart of the city, the first major thing Adam saw was the enormous Henry Ford Allegiance Health hospital and Consumer’s Energy building as he was driving through the inner metropolis. Turning on the radio, he caught local stations talking about Detroit sports, college sports, and high school sports teams. After more of a drive Adam began to see that this city is quite tame and uneventful at times. There aren’t many high-end restaurants in this mid-size development, mainly local eateries that offer affordable meals such as a Denny’s and Steak n’ Shake, and the usual fast food joints found along either side of the main strip. Adam took a trip into Downtown Jackson and felt like he could fit at least ten of them into New York City and there didn’t seem to be much activity going on except for a shady looking bike rally that was only really appealing to roughneck biker men and women and people who like loud, raucous music.

Adam’s one day experience in Jackson already had him observing that citizens here seem to follow ordinary everyday routines, going about their lives in uninterrupted fashion. He also made a first impression that they are all like robots, walking around with little expression and enthusiasm on their faces. It’s like they just live for necessity. That’s probably the strangest part of Jackson, though this can be said about other cities as well. Adam came to the conclusion that no famous celebrities would ever come around here since the place is quite depressing and the entertainment value is subpar at best. There are quite a few things to do in Jackson though after Adam consulted his travel brochure from the hotel, seeing many opportunities of fun that he had not known about, such as the Cascades Light Show.

His day in this little metropolis was not all cherries and cream though. As Adam was going downtown and seeing all of the various shops and attractions, including the historical and recently renovated Michigan Theatre according to his guide, he was suddenly cut off in traffic, a white pickup honking its horn and racing around him, leaving Adam in the dust. The truck ran a red light and narrowly avoided colliding with an SUV coming from the left side of the intersection. Stunned, Adam decided to stop at the Michigan Theatre and check out the shows playing there. He parked on the side of the street near the theatre, being careful not to park in the timed zone, and headed for the set of old fashioned wooden green doors with red trim around the inner glass frame. Adam was simply awed in amazement as he stepped inside the front entrance; it looked like something in a museum, the sculpting of the walls, ornate marble columns, the vintage red rope by the 20th century ticket window. There was a concession bar on the left as Adam sauntered through the open theatre doors. A tall man, about fifty, with black framed glasses saw him and casually nodded. Adam walked up to the counter and asked about the shows going on here. The man, who seemed to be the owner here by his look, said a classic western hour was currently running and would be $3 to see. Adam wasn’t the biggest fan of westerns but figured it would be a shot of entertainment. He put down the cash and walked into the lone theatre on the right, his breath being immediately taken away by the vastness of this chamber. The place was like an old cathedral with meticulously crafted designs on the walls and ceiling. The giant Victorian light fixtures in the ceiling also gave this theatre a vibe of historical significance. Adam sat down in one of the seats near the back that looked like it had not been replaced since at least the 1930s, adding to its value, and immediately felt a comfort rush over him as the previews before the western hour consumed. This place felt like home to him, he could have stayed here for hours and reveled in the comforting magic it seemed to engulf him. The western hour commenced and Adam was subjected to a fantastic hour of gun-fighting, horseback riding men galloping with a superior authenticity, and dialogue that was as dark and gritty as the westerns intended them to be. This definitely became Adam’s favorite place in all of Jackson.

Adam eventually made it to Bay City, in the thumb, in time for his brother’s wedding, bringing back memories of his trip through that old fashioned town.

Now the wedding turned out to be a complete disaster. Someone accidentally fell into the cake and the expensive ring was swallowed by the uncle’s dog that was attending the wedding.

Stitched Green

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One checkered green hoodie stitched multiple times together into a pattern.

It Is Easy Being Green 

Dark Places

darkworld

Getting out of that dark place was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, because now I have a direction in life and see more and more opportunities on the horizon, whenever they become available. Always having something to look forward to everyday, whether it be writing, photography, or filmmaking, gives me a sense of purpose in life, and eases my doubts and makes me happy.

I still know a few people who are in a dark place and would greatly benefit from a helping hand and support to get them going in the right direction. The reason one of these people is in such a bad spot is because they have had an abusive childhood and were brought up with basically no love and support. Getting that much needed love and care would do wonders for this person, as she would finally see hope and light for the first time and not want to go back to living that dreary, depressing, misguided life of her past. Her abusive parents are to blame for how terrible her life has been up to now, not having a solid home to stay in, going from place to place, not knowing where she’ll end up next, a perpetual leaf in the breeze, dust blowing in the wind. Imagine not even being able to sleep in a bed, but on the cold hard floor. I wish there was something I could do about it but at this point I can only hope that she will figure it all out.

Acceptance

Powerlines

Electric pylons
Electric pylons

via Photo Challenge: Atop

Wishful Clouds

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wish