Rockford Michigan

Jerusalem-bound pilgrims walk through Rockford

October 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

by RICK ZECK Have you heard the expression: “We need to stop and smell the roses,” which refers to our crazy fast-paced lifestyle and how we sometimes miss the small things in life? Monday, September 21, without any fanfare, a very curious couple walked through Rockford. They not only smell the roses, but look for the small things. Husband and wife Mike Metras and Petra Wolf are walking from California to Jerusalem and Rockford, Michigan was on their way east. You did not read it wrong—they are walking nearly 8,000 miles over a two-year period on a pilgrimage. Many of us have dreams, but the reality is, life happens, and most of us never get a chance for those dreams to materialize. Mike and Petra are living their dream and walking with awareness of each and every day. Sounds bizarre? After sitting down and talking with this fascinating couple, it made me think maybe what we do is bizarre. These modern-day pilgrims are on a journey to meet and talk to people and to be ambassadors of dreams. They are touching lives and getting people to think about their own dreams. Strangers can get a chance to see first-hand someone who is living their dream one day at a time. The couple does this because there are no guarantees for tomorrow and they did not want to waste another day. “So why walk to Jerusalem?” I asked these wandering travelers. “Jerusalem may be the goal, but the journey is the destination,” said Mike. The journey is the destination—now that is a deep thought. Aren’t we all on a journey, or are we just too busy to see where we are today on our life’s journey? Mike further stated some words of walking wisdom, “Each of our lives is unique. Live each and every day leaving yesterday as just a memory.” How much does this couple love to walk? Before Petra met Mike she walked alone from her home in Germany to Camino de Santiago, Spain (the Way of St. James, a Christian pilgrimage), covering 1,400 miles. Together, they have since walked Camino twice, Germany to Rome (775 miles), and now California to Jerusalem. You can follow all their incredible journeys from their website at […]

Simply Massage offers membership package for affordable care

September 24, 2009 // 0 Comments

Enjoying the healthful and physically beneficial value of massage therapy is more affordable than ever, thanks to a new membership concept offered by Simply Massage, 6575 Belding Road, Rockford. According to owners Heidi and Scott Oostdyk the idea of paying a low membership fee—only $45 per month— for a monthly massage and special family rates for additional services, allows visitors to affordably make massage a part of their lifestyle. “I had a new idea for West Michigan to offer a membership-based massage. It’s a concept being practiced in other areas of the country but was needed here,” she said. Simply Massage opened the studio doors in July of 2009. “I love the Rockford community. Everyone I’ve met and had the pleasure to serve has confirmed my belief that this is truly what I am meant to do,” she said.

Do-it-yourself versus hire a pro

September 17, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Rockford photographer discusses elements of professional portraits by MICHELLE WISE owner, Wise Photography  So how’s business? How have digital cameras affected the market for the professional photographer? Sure, I get the phone call once in a great while: “We’re canceling our aappointment because we’re trying to save money,” or “We’re going to give our cousin Fred a shot at taking our senior pictures. We’ll call you if it doesn’t work out.” A phone call or two like this doesn’t get me down, it makes me stand up and be a more excellent photographer. It also gets me motivated to educate. If the average person doesn’t know what a professional can do for them, they don’t know what they are missing. There are so many elements to consider when making a professional portrait. Here are some factors to consider when making a portrait: • composition, color and design; • direction, quality and color of lighting; • personality, attitude and experience of the photographer and the model; • aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings; • direction, angle and placement of the camera position to the model; • focal length of lens and how it affects distortion of the image or background compression. Notice that I haven’t mentioned what type of camera or how many megapixels you should have. Having a good keyboard doesn’t mean that you’ll write good books. Many years back, I got a chance to fine tune one of these elements. A man was arguing with his son in my front lobby—to say it was a heated argument was a great understatement. The father stormed into the camera room and pointed his finger at me and shouted, “And we’re not buying pictures from you unless he smiles,” and slammed the door on the way out. I stood there shocked and amazed at what just had happened and thought, “How in the world am I going to get that to happen?” I told the boy I would give him some time, and I left him alone and felt so bad for him. I didn’t even care if I was able to do his pictures at this point; I just wanted his situation to change. A good five minutes passed by and I came back and […]

Help Rockford celebrate the upcoming Harvest Festival

September 10, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford merchants, are you hosting an attraction (musician, magician, clown mascot, etc.), during this year’s Harvest Festival the last weekend of September and the first two weekends of October? Help the Rockford Chamber get the word out by emailing your information to:

Stites earns DNR master angler status

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

CATCH OF THE WEEK—Carl Stites of Rockford catches a 22.5-inch small-mouth bass on Intermediate Lake in northern Michigan near Bellaire. The fish qualified for master angler status with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, after being measured and released. If you think you have a “Catch of the Week,” send us your photo and information to or drop it off at The Rockford Squire, 331 Northland Drive, Rockford.

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