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  • Writer's pictureMike Mahoney

The Feeney's of Traverse City, MI

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

As I type this on Thursday morning, September 14, I'm thankful to see that Portia is almost 100%. On Tuesday after a couple of days playing at the local dog park and bird herding on the beaches of Lake Michigan, Portia developed a nasty intestinal issue, probably parasite-induced, to the point where at 1 am Wednesday morning I had to take her to the ER Vet Hospital. After some fluids, anti-nausea medication, and antibiotics, she has improved greatly, but she was a sick little border collie.

When you hold up the back of your left hand, it's what Michigan looks like on a map. And that space between your little finger and ring finger, that's Traverse City. A beloved and beautiful vacation destination of the Midwest with stunning views and expansive beaches on spectacular Lake Michigan.

I find myself in this charming little vacation town visiting a very good friend and his family. I love reconnecting with friends. As I mentioned before, the people in your life and those you meet along the way are what make this world so captivating and hypnotic. Yes, God's authentic, perfect artistry in nature is gorgeous, as well as the man-made attractions we find along the way, but it's the connection of our beings, friendship, and the recognition of ourselves in someone else that makes us sentient.

My friend Jim lives in Traverse City with his 3 boys, Declan, and twins Rutger and Cassius along with his incredible wife Dinah, oh and I can't forget Norman and Marge their French Bulldogs. Jim and Dinah make a perfect couple and a wonderful team. Dinah has four grown boys of her own that live between here and Colorado. They are a perfectly woven and united testosterone-laden family.

Jim and I worked together at XOM for over 20 years, we've both endured the sometimes tumultuous corporate environment to have what today would be considered uncharacteristically long careers with a single company. Jim is inching closer to closing out his chapter of corporate life.

On Friday afternoon we arrived from St. Ignace and Mackinac. Portia and I set up camp at the Traverse City State Park on Highway 31 across from Lake Michigan. It's the perfect proximity to the Feeney's and the town of Traverse City. Unlike Dallas, you can feel Fall in the air. The coolness of the evening the way the sun hits the trees and just the smell, tells you it's Fall and football!

I left Portia in the trailer and met up with Jim and Dinah at one of their favorite eateries to prepare for the Traverse City Central Trojans football game. Two of Jim's boys Declan and Rutger were playing. Declan, a senior, has been a star soccer player all through his youth and high school career but changed directions this year and decided to play football for the first time in his life. Rutger, as only a sophomore, is already a two-way starter for the Trojans. They were playing a much larger school from the Flint, MI area and although they did take a pretty good thumping, they both played well. I loved watching my friend's boys play and his passionate reactions throughout the game. Dinah meanwhile was on the sidelines photographing the action. She is a professional photographer but does this purely for the love of the boys and their team.

We had such a nice visit. I hadn't seen Jim in a few years and Dinah, although I felt as if I knew her, had never met. On a sad note, just about 3 months ago, Dinah lost her youngest son Matthew pictured below on the far right in the photo of her boys, in a tragic work accident. He was only 23.

Life is beautiful, tenuous and always changing. Embrace it all. Take care, my friends.






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