Things I’ve Learned in the Last Year
- · It’s awesome to be an auntie to a beautiful, healthy nephew.
- · Cheesy exercise videos are more fun when you are sweating with a girlfriend and laughing at the corny way the instructor is telling you to move your body.
- · Babysitting when you’re in your late 20’s is not as cool as it was in junior high.
- · I love to clean, organize, rearrange, and bake. I don’t care that these things are considered stereotypical woman duties (except when men assume women should do these things).
- · Surrounding yourself with vibrant, caring, creative, funny women soothes your spirit.
- · I am blessed to have women in my family that have virtues and talents that are positive and are things I seek to have in my life. These women have helped shape my life so that I am proud to be the woman I am today. They are creative, resourceful, risk takers, stubborn, family lovers, stand up for what they believe and have fun living life. I love feeling empowered by my family.
One memory of how brave and creative my family is involves my Grandma Noirot (my mother’s mother). When I was in third grade I went to my grandmother’s house for a day. It was the middle of a true northern Michigan winter. Grandma and I ordered a pizza for lunch and we went to pick it up in her car. It was a snowy, blustery day and the roads were icy – including my Grandma’s steep driveway. On our return from picking up our Little Caesar’s pepperoni pizza, we pulled into Grandma’s driveway andpicked up speed to make it up the hill. Unfortunately, the ice on the hill made the car take on a mind of its own. The wheel turned one way when Grandma wanted it to go the other way. My hope of safety was gone. We weren’t going to make it. I was really scared and gripped the door handle. The car lurched into the wooden barrier of the driveway – the wrong way for the car to go in order to make it up the hill. Once the car hit the wooden barrier, it hit a side of the deck. This second hit made the car suddenly change its course of direction. In my height of fear, Grandma started laughing excitedly; she looked like she was having a great time. I looked at her to see if she was okay. She looked fine. I didn’t know what her problem was because I was scared out of my mind and she was laughing! I tried to digest why Grandma proceeded to laugh when I thought we were going to die, when the car turned around at the iciest point of the driveway. It started to barrel down the steep hill of the front lawn and snow-plowed a path down the middle of grandma’s yard where it parked itself at the bottom of the hill inches away from the highway, Lake Charlevoix and a line of trees. Grandma looked at me and told me to grab the pizza. We left the car in the snow and trudged up the top of the hill together. We were okay!
Almost twenty years after this event, I realized why Grandma laughed instead of visibly panicked and it makes me respect her even more. Laughter dissipates fear. The more positive you are in a situation, the better the outcome will be. Another special thing that I later realized about my Grandma is that she laughs when she’s scared. I’m so glad I didn’t know this when we were in the car together!
Laura resides in Charlevoix, MI with her fiance Eric Migda. She is the Youth Services Librarian at Charlevoix Public Lirbary. She is also one of 14 people selected for Leadership Charlevoix County. Laura lived across the creek from me growing up, and I have many fond memories of tubing on the lake in the summers and snowmobiling in the fields around her house in the winters.