Morning Walks and Jake’s Ginger Tea

My mother and father, Betty and Jake, loved to take walks. One of their favorite walks was along Lake Michigan near the home in which i grew up. It was a nearly 3 mile walk, and always with good conversation.  It was most always interrupted with a cup of coffee at Johnston's Bakery, and a then short stop at a quaint Mexican grocery along the way. This was, of course, before smart phones and watches and all of the things we do today to measure progress during our busy lives. Life was simpler then. Pico de Gallo and scrambled eggs.  Heuvos Rancheros on a warm tortilla was just fine.  Betty and Jake were married nearly 55 years until Jake passed away in 1995. They met at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1940. After graduation, they moved to Sheboygan eloping shortly thereafter and then driving an old Model T Ford to Los Angeles where Jake had hopes of working as an animator for Disney. He didn't get the job, so he enlisted in the US Army to become a WWII paratrooper. Betty stayed home and raised what would be the first of four children, Lief, Kris, Tryg (me) and my little sister Lisa. Betty and Jake lived full lives, which became much fodder for conversation on their morning walks. They made a point of making a difference wherever they lived. In Sheboygan where they volunteered at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center…in Port au Prince, Haiti where the worked with budding artists at the Centre d' Art…and in Mexico where they taught art at the Instituto de San Miguel Allende.

San Miguel was also a good walking city and may have contributed to their happy, healthy lifestyle. They believed that walking was good for the soul and the soles as well.  Sometimes after a long walk, whether along the shore of Lake Michigan or the cobblestone streets and mountains just outside of San Miguel Allende, they would rest their sore, aging feet and enjoy a warm cup of ginger tea. Still in love.

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