A Name with Dignity

6 November 2018, Tuesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

Sweets and I had taken a weekend trip out to Grand Rapids. The intent of the trip was to go out there and find work. We were there only two days and we got a call that I had a job offer in Lansing, so back on the bus we went back to Lansing. Those two days we spent out there taught us something. Just because we are homeless doesn’t mean we have to live without dignity. In the Heartside District of Grand Rapids there is not a single homeless person. In Grand Rapids they are call Community People.

Now the fact of the name comes from an initiative organized by the different non-profits out there to make everyone equal. A Community Person is everyone; the guy on the street panhandling, the executive in the sky rise, the President of the United States, the nurse working twelve hour days in the ER so that we can see another day, police officers, school teachers, sanitation engineers, the convict out on parole, etc., etc., etc. When we heard this term for the first time we were a little confused but then again we had not heard it before. There is a shelter in Grand Rapids, in the Heartside District that has taken that name to heart and the volunteers there use it freely. A name that we can all be called that makes everyone equal and gives respect for being equal to everyone is a nice change.

I had stayed in the local men’s shelter, Mel Trotter, while Sweets stayed in the women’s shelter, Degage’. The volunteers at the men’s shelter made sure that no one was called homeless even though that is essentially what we were. They had Bible studies, employment classes, places to play checkers, even a pay phone. The women’s shelter to it so much further. They have a dining hall where anyone can eat for free though for a little money you can get a full meal just like at a local diner, they have an ID office – that helps people get legal documents, a barber shop, showers, laundry, lockers, a mail service, medical needs provided, clothing needs filled, housing vouchers with a free furniture service, they offer paper chits that are just as good as money inside their facilities for any of the services they offer that costs money. Another organization offers work program that allows for easy money to be made with a little dignity thrown in for good measure. This program has led to a few job offers.

The Heartside District has many many organizations that reach out to the Community People that call the district home. I challenge each of you to call yourselves and those around you Community People and stop segregation.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Did I Pack the Right Tie?

25 October 2018, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

Have you planned the details out of a trip before? Sure, most everyone has planned a trip somewhere. Somewhere for an overnight trip. Maybe it was to a slumber party, or to a festival camping right on the grounds or in your car. We have all gone somewhere where we needed to plan out a few details, such as; what clothes do you take, sleeping bag, blankets, or hammock, sunblock or bug spray, and the list goes on and on.

For us going on a backpacking trip; we look at the big three first. What are the “Big 3”? The Big 3 are; backpack, tent, and sleeping bag. Each of these we look to see if they will suit the trip  we have planned. We actually have a few different bags; a day bag, a sling bag, a couple satchels, and a couple backpacks. Which bag suits our needs depends on what we are doing and where we are going. For day adventures that just require small storage capacity we take a long one of the satchels. For Summertime overnighters we just take a couple heavy blankets and a couple sheets. For Summer we look at a single layer of light clothing and of course for Winter we take clothing that is a little heavier. Usually a base layer of long underwear, preferably synthetics, and the a secondary layer of fleece, and over the shirt we use a warm short sleeved t-shirt, as our outer layer we consider denim coats, overalls, or coveralls, if the wind is whisking about we definitely look a shell of waterproofed nylon.

Speaking of waterproofing. The best thing I have come across in the last twelve years that does the job very well is found at Walmart in the camping section of Sporting Goods. It is Atsko Silicone Water-Guard. I have applied this to my Army poncho, our denim coats, overalls, and coveralls along with a couple of Sweets’ skirts, our boots, a pair of oversized jeans, all of our bags, to name just a few of the things it is good for. If you are considering using it on my experiences it usually sits on the top shelf and has an orange cap. When we were living outdoors, it was used on our tent. Our tent is a cheap Ozark Trail 3 Person tent. I used 2 cans of the spray. I set the tent up completely, at first without the fly. I then sprayed all the seams, and then along the walls working my way up. Every Ozark Trail tent I have had is somewhat water resistant but not even close to being fully sealed. So I hit everything and even on the light layer I put of it will run in areas and it other areas the fabric soaks it up. After the tent is completely dry, I place the fly on and repeat the process for the fly. The nice thing about Atsko is it doesn’t go in the wash machine to soak the fabric and then the dryer to seal it in the fabric, it can hang out to dry outdoors any time of year. Yes, I have hung clothes out to dry here in Michigan in January. Outdoor fresh is awesome.

As I said earlier packing the right thing for the right time of year is very important; whether light clothes for the Summer or warmer clothes and more layers in the Winter, the right clothes are important. Looking at whether the clothing is water-proofed or not is a big help. If the shirt you are taking with you to a trip to the forest is water-proofed that will also mean that it is most likely wind resistant. And sometimes it feels good for the wind to go through my clothes.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

No More Bad Food

23 October 2018, Tuesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

I thought I would change it up a little bit with this post. I don’t know many people that don’t like food, I know I place a double negative in this sentence, it works though. Food whether you are homeless, backpacking, at a company picnic, or anywhere else food does eventually come up. If the event happens to be a short trip to the park to go swimming or play, someone inevitably talks about food. One such day for me, I was out to Lake Lansing in Haslett and I had my pole out, I had my tackle box, and I had my line in the water. I had spent the previous weekend cooking over a dozen grills I had set up in the backyard, and it was a weekend long cook-out for family and friends and I was the one cooking. Now I only use lump coal, charcoal or wood. I do NOT even like propane. I had all the grills going and I just wanted to relax mindlessly doing something that was time consuming but took no real thought.

Recipe 1:

Campfire Coffee


  • Campfire Percolator


  • Fresh Coffee Grounds
  • Water


  1. To measure out fresh grounds bend your fingers together into a scoop shape and scoop out enough coffee grounds to fill the percolator basket about one third of the way up.
  2. Pour water into the pot not going any higher than the bottom of the spout.
  3. Place near heat and allow to perk. My rule of thumb is the coffee is done when it smells good.
  4. To make additional pots of coffee: add more water and add fresh grounds in with the old grounds and mix together. This will provide another one to two pots of coffee without additional grounds being needed.

Note: We drink mild roast coffee with spring water. It has the best taste.

I arrived early and picked out my spot out on the dock, assembled my pole, attached the swivel and my favorite lure to the line and just began casting and slowly reeling in the line. I had a small lunch with me and I was content. A little while later some friends saw me sitting out there and came to see how I was doing. They had shown up about three hours after I did and I hadn’t caught a thing. I was fine with that. They were a little shocked that I hadn’t even had a nibble.

Recipe 2:

Roast Chicken Drumsticks


  • Campfire Grate
  • Wooden Tongs
  • Heavy Duty Foil


  • Chicken Drumsticks
  • Lard
  • Favorite Seasoning


  1. Form foil into a bowl.
  2. Take chicken out of package, removing any feathers that may still be attached.
  3. Rub lightly with lard.
  4. Place in the foil bowl and season liberally.
  5. Place grate not to close to the fire. The chicken needs to cook slowly not burn.
  6. Rotate drumsticks one quarter turn every couple of minutes and the rotate at a slower pace until sticking a fork in the drumstick shows clear liquid flowing.

On my next cast I showed them what lure I was using. It was the very lure I used everytime I went out to fish with when I wanted mindless entertainment so I could just think. It was a lead weight with egg sinkers on the line. I never did catch anything with it but I was able to cast quite far with little effort.

Recipe 3:

Cornbread Drop Rolls


  • Skillet
  • Wooden Spatula
  • Heavy Duty Foil


  • Packaged Corn Muffin Mix
  • Powdered Milk
  • Water
  • Egg
  • Can of Creamed Corn
  • Lard


  1. This recipe is quite simple, for me anyway, follow the instructions on muffin mix package,
  2. Instructions for the powdered milk. Add a little less water as the cream from the corn will be sufficient.
  3. The mixture should be sticky.
  4. In the skillet heat up a little lard and drop roll dough into the hot lard and fry.
  5. When rolls are done place on a place and cover with some cloth to keep warm until serving.

They had asked why I chose that rig to use and it was because I didn’t want to have to clean any fish after cooking all weekend. Incidentally if you ever find yourself out fishing at a very public lake try using canned weenies for bait, (the fish get so much human food they rarely hit on worms or corn).

Recipe 4:

Breakfast Log


  • Skillet
  • Wooden Spatula
  • Heavy Duty Foil


  • 2 lbs. Sausage
  • 1 lb. Bacon
  • 1 lb. Sliced Ham, sandwich slices
  • Favorite Seasoning


  1. Form foil into bowl shape and mix raw sausage with your seasoning.
  2. Shape sausage into a log.
  3. Wrap the ham slices around the log making sure to cover the sausage on all sides including the bottom.
  4. Weave the bacon in a basket weave pattern and wrap around the log.
  5. Place log inside of foil and seal tight. Next place foil wrapped log next to the fire on a bed of hot coals and rotate every ten minutes for one hour. Unwrap the log and check for doneness.
  6. If not done rewrap and return to the coals.  


I spent the rest of the afternoon talking to them about all the food I had made over the weekend. I had planned out a menu the encompassed two meals each day for three days for ten people. The ten of us had talked about getting together for sometime and everyone was usually busy with life in general. Back when I was growing up I was constantly the Quartermaster for the Boy Scout Troop I was in back in the 1980’s. I planned out meal after meal. I had become quite good at it and I had learned early on how to make money last for so many people for so many days. So I planned out all the meals, I just asked everyone to pitch in fifteen dollars each and I would cover everything else, the extra food costs, the cooking, everything. The only thing I requested was that someone else did dishes. We ended up with people sleeping everywhere. We had a great weekend of catching up with everyone and just relaxing. Well, after all that relaxing I needed to go fishing to relax from my time relaxing with friends and family. So I told them of a few of the dishes I made and my opinion no meal is complete without Campfire Coffee, I had made Roast Chicken Drumsticks with Baked Potatoes and Cornbread Drop Rolls for our first nights supper and I followed it up the next morning with Breakfast Log served with Fried Mashed Potatoes.

Recipe 5:

Fried Mashed Potatoes


  • Skillet
  • Wooden Spatula
  • Knife


  • Potatoes
  • Lard
  • Favorite Seasoning


  1. Peel baked potatoes
  2. Mash together with a little seasoning.
  3. Melt a little lard in the skillet and when the lard is melt add spatula fulls of the potato to the skillet.
  4. When potatoes are crisp remove from lard and place on a plate to serve.

Note: We had made extra baked potatoes the night before so we could use them for this recipe.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Home is Where You Lay Your Head

4 October 2018, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

Proverb 3:33 says, “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

Today is a different subject altogether. As the title implies I will be chatting about home, and for most people that is a place to get out of the elements and be able to prepare a meal, take a hot shower, meet with other people, chat about the latest gossip at church, read a book, or even watch the grass grow while laying in a hammock. Home can be the place you sleep, the place you eat, the place you pray, the place you bathe, the place people know they will learn more about Jesus by your example.

Week after week our sleeping structure grew in size. Sweets and I first started out with just a three season tent, which I then attached poles to the outside so that we could build a porch area to cook under and keep boots and what not under a roof without having to smell them all night. It basically grew from a three person tent with a porch to a wigwam nine feet by eighteen feet.

after all…home is where you lay your head.”

One evening as Sweets and Gnome were making the evening meal, I was outside of the wigwam splitting the last three logs from the recent load drop. A young man came bounding down the trail to see where the smoke was coming from. The main trail entrance was visible from a local country western bar, though you could only see one site from the road and that was only do to the fact that Captain Pinky wanted the local police to be able to find him when he wanted to tattle on other members of Sanctuary. Anyhow, this young man came bounding down the trail to find where the wisps of smoke that he could smell were coming from, “something smells great”. He approached in the usual manner of someone that knew everything about everything. I was standing there in my Mickey Mousers, a pair of knee length shorts and a wife beater t-shirt with a double bit axe swinging through the air as I was splitting wood. This young man came to visit and was shocked to find someone dressed like I was, standing there splitting wood. He came to a sliding halt not two feet from me. I nearly hit him with the axe and and he felt the sharpness of my tongue as I laid into this city kid about getting so close to someone with an axe splitting logs.

He began asking questions and at the same time answering them with statements of what he expected the answers would be. I kindly grabbed his arm and walked him back about ten feet from me and proceeded to finish my evening work. Gnome hollered out asking what all the noise was. The kid spoke right up explaining that the noise was him and just couldn’t believe he was associated with noise. I cracked a smile and just finished my work. I collected the wood and started walking around the downdraft side of the wigwam. He must have thought I was walking around and when he didn’t see me come around we were able to follow his voice as he walked the same path I had taken, the difference was he kept going on around. When he realized he had managed to pass the door to get in he grew agitated. So Gnome stepped out just as the kid neared the entrance, grabbed hold of the kids arm and dragged him backwards into the wigwam. Stumbling as he was being dragged backwards he landed in one of our chairs and after a string of curse words and fumbling to get his hat and scarf from in front of his eyes he let out a yell, “where?”, “how?, “what the heck?”. He sat there for a moment as Sweets handed him a bowl of shredded pork stew with johnnycake and a cup of coffee. The shock on his face was something that got us all smiling. He took a deep breath and just as Sweets had handed bowls of stew to Gnome and myself, she grabbed on for herself; the young man took a bite. We informed him that the first person to eat says grace and since he enjoyed talking so much anyhow he was chosen. In his prayer we came to know he was humbled by what we did for him. He came out to visit a couple more times. His next two visits were nothing like his first. As his first continued we got to know him and the fact he had been at the bar on a couple of other occasions that y’all will read; the Episode of the Man with a Purse and the Episode of There are Tigers in There.

“after all…home is where you lay your head.”

I remember those days; steam would just roll off of my exposed skin, mind you this was round about the January of 2011 and the average snowfall per day was measured in feet more than inches most of that Winter. The local universities students would fill the place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, Sunday nights were for mostly younger professionals out for a good time, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights were a good opportunity to just get a quick bite to eat some place close to home. Of course at the time as I said home was a skidrow style wigwam. We had the framework bound together by strips of plastic grocery bags, bits of twine, and it was covered with an old worn cabin tent and small catamaran boom tent. The boom tent had a velcro entrance so we had positioned that over the smoke hole in the roof so that ventilation was easier with still keeping out the snow and rain.

“after all…home is where you lay your head.”

The other structures in Wild West ranged in building materials; pallets, couches, mattresses, tarps, tents, plastic sheeting, brush, construction site scraps, shipping containers, steel folding chairs and 2 x 4s, carpet; all in all we had the shipping container that the Mayor stayed in, the mattress and army tent that Butch & Princess stay in, the pallet house that Bon Bon owned, pallet stacks that Captain Pinky added to daily, the pallet tunnels that many others stayed in. Any given night we had in excess of thirty people staying in Sanctuary. There was a common core of people that stayed there mostly every night and others that drifted from place to place. So many nights across the Greater Lansing area there was on average of three-hundred people staying in shelters and closer to three-thousand five hundred sleeping in some kind of structure. Every major area across this nation is like that every single night. People are finding pallets and cardboard to sleep under, park benches with newspapers to sleep on, tent floors to curl up in.

“The soft earth for a bed, covered with a blanket of stars, and a stone for a pillow.”

“The cold moisture of my bed draining my body of its once precious life.”

“My body has become frail and old, older than my years because of this life.”

Framing out my bed frame I see the branches swaying in the wind from a willow.”

“The blanket so beautiful brings no warmth to me bed, the chill of the Winter, I feel,”

“I have laid my head here in this place so often that my world is shorter now, I feel.”

“So much the more I look forward to my time laying my head upon this rock…”

“after all…home is where you lay your head.”

This I pray for each of you;

Dear Lord, May those that read this post never have to experience homelessness the way we have, we your forgotten children, those of us that have lived the life of the homeless. Amen.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Follow Your Own Trail

20 September 2018, Thursday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

As I sit here tonight writing this evening’s post I looked back over the last few days and the thoughts that have been dominating my mind have been about two movies that arrived in theaters a little more than ten years ago about missionaries that traveled to the Ecuadorian rainforests back in the 1950’s. The movies are viewed as controversial as quite a few Christian films generally are. Those two movies had a huge impact on my life and the lessons that they teach I have tried to follow in my own life. I will be the first to admit I am not a perfect Christian, I will even agree that I am not a good Christian. I do say that I am a fair Christian. You may be wondering where I am going with this, just stick with me a little longer.

As the slain missionaries families reached out to the tribe that killed their husbands a point was repeatedly made (and I am paraphrasing here); “Will you walk His trail?”. That stuck with me all these years. And over the last few days I have been asking myself “What trail do I walk?” and “Am I following my own trail?”.  Then it occured to me, that each and everyone of us have our own trail to walk. The trails that close friends walk are those of restaurateurs, police officers, trail angels, cashiers, and the list goes on and on. I know that for blog posts to be successful that the creator needs to be passionate about what they are writing. Since I am “Following My Own Trail” that trail involved walking, hiking, backpacking, and cycling, and much much more. It also involves doing research, cooking, blogging and continually learning about the effects on my body from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Peripheral Neuropathy, Non Epileptic Seizures, and Epilepsy. And as you know part of that “Trail I Follow” involves following where my faith leads.

Over the last decade I have learned that the “trail I follow” with the illnesses I am told I have, by doctors and other healthcare providers, will limit my life and may very well one day kill me. Evidently, each of them can at anytime make my heart stop beating. I believe it happens, to some people, though I am planning on living until I am at least two hundred years old. Most do not believe me that I will make it that long, but then again, they believe they will not make it past eighty years old.

When I was a child I was part of the Cub Scouts, and later the Boy Scouts. Along with coming from a family that were reliant on the outdoors to provide food for the table, I participated in school clubs such as the Future Farmers of America and the youth group of the church I grew up in. I joined the United States Marine Corps and for a short time I enjoyed the ice cold rain that came in off the Pacific during our morning runs. Yes, I like being outdoors, no I do NOT like Southern California heat. Every chance I had I spent outdoors. I myself developed a love and a respect for the outdoors. I have slept in tents, hammocks, pallet structures, wigwams, and cowboy camped. Since those early years I have lived in a variety of different places from Shiawassee County Michigan to San Diego California to New Eagle Pennsylvania. I have lived in or near four of the larger metropolitan areas of Michigan; a good portion of that time on the streets, yes, some of it (six months) in a shelter but the remainder in a tent, under a bush, against the wall of an underpass. I have spent countless hours walking barefoot in the sand and surf, down deer paths and into churches. I do not do things for their shock value, nor do I do them because I want to create strife, I do things that I have developed a love and a passion for. Yes, I am a Christian that has stumbled many many times and no I don’t believe I should be forgiven for all the evil that I have done. That is the unique thing about my faith I know I have been forgiven by the one that created me.

One of my most favorite memories is Sweets and I were visiting a local church that wanted to know how they could help the homeless that lived outdoors and we were asked to come and speak to their leadership. There was a dinner after service and as we are sitting there quietly waiting to speak with the group a member came out and announced that the church building was on fire. Now mind you, this event happened roundabout late February early March and that smell was Sweets and I. We had been living in a wigwam and well the wood smoke that could be smelled was us and our clothes was the cause of his distress. The deacon that was causing the ruckus would have nothing of it. He was insistent that it was the building on fire and not our clothes. Of course to convince someone that there are those that prefer to live outdoors compared to staying in a shelter or an abandoned building when the snow is two feet deep, and they will not accept it, is near impossible. The senior pastor came up to me and asked if we would mind stepping into the maintenance closet with our outer layer of clothes and hang them there. We had no objection. No sooner than had we returned to our tables to finish our meal and the deacon came back out and informed us that there was a fire in the maintenance closet. The moral to this story be open to the “trails that other people follow”.

I have met many people in my life and every single one of them were “following their own trail” (some of them were side by side with a loved one); we can learn to travel down the trail and be lonely or we can embrace our life, this life we were given, and in doing that we can seek peace. It is unusual to “Embrace Life and Seek Peace”. Many people that cross our own trail do not want to do one or the other or even both. I have been asked what “embrace life and seek peace” even means and if they do not have a happy life, it is very hard for them to accept such a basic concept. Yes, it is scripture, 1st Peter 3:8-12, but at its core it goes right along with what I have been saying. I have learned to embrace my life. I embrace the good, the bad, the ugly and everything else. I embrace every part of my life. And then I have also sought out the second part of the phrase which is “seek peace”. I not only seek peace between myself and my friends when there is tensions between us, I seek peace with my enemies, and yes I have many. Though the greater part of seeking peace is not with other people but it is with me, myself, that I seek peace with. I am physically, emotionally, and psychologically sick. It is not a matter of if I say it, it comes to be the truth in my life. I can not remember at any given point in my younger life when I decided I was going to speak disease into my life, and because I spoke it happened. That would be insane. I have slowly taken the time to learn what each of these diseases do to the average person and I have accepted that I have control over them. I have each of them, they do NOT have me. I will “follow my own trail”.

The knowledge I have, I choose to share with you because everyone knows someone that is affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis or, Peripheral Neuropathy or, Non Epileptic Seizures or, Epilepsy, whether they themselves have one of these diseases or they know someone with them. The basic knowledge I will be sharing with you over time basically comes to survival for someone. Knowledge is one trail I intend to learn from. I know I have been using the word “trail” in a general sense up until now, now it it time to change it to a more specific meaning. Each of us has a trail we follow. Each trail we follow is made up of other trails. These other trails consist of knowledge, will power, faith, survival instinct, and many many more.

Sweets and I followed similar trails that led us to become “homeless missionaries”. We set up a campsite in a community that was called Wild West due to its proximity to a country bar nearby. We ended up with people donating supplies of all sorts; clothing, tents, bedding, food, Bibles, and utensils. The local police would stop by every once in a while to chat about the local goings on in our community. It was during one such visit that the local township police captain renamed the community Sanctuary. You see the township police would bring us those that they found sleeping under bridges, sometimes those that were sleeping on park benches, at bus stops, wherever they found them, they brought them to us and we would make sure that they had warm clothing, a shelter, bedding, a warm meal and food to last them a little longer, and the utensils to make the food. We didn’t worry about serving a person that was intoxicated or high, we wanted to help, and one of the many ways we did that was to keep them out of lock-up. We handed out Bibles to those that wanted them, some didn’t want a Bible and that was fine. Some took them to use as rolling papers. Many nights we had a Bible study or took Communion, usually with previously frozen boxed wine.

I refused then to force feed someone Jesus before they get food in their belly, just as I refuse to participate in any program now that does that very thing. I don’t expect anyone to convert to Christianity to get a basic need. That is not following a trail, that is a death march.

I will continue to “follow my own trail”; just as you will continue to “Follow Your Own Trail”.

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

Have a Groovy Day at the Brough

21 August 2018, Tuesday

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,

Sweets: “What advice do you have for future generations?”

Gwen: “Be nice to your patrons, have a good product to sell and work hard.”

The Brough Bakery has been in operation down on Smith Street in Clio Michigan for four years now, opening on August 7th of 2014 with painted walls similar to her mother’s kitchen and a restroom wall mural of musicians; both reminiscent of her upbringing during the ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. Inside you will find Gwen (the owner), Jacob (her son), and Naomi (her daughter-in-law) Brough making creations so mouthwatering you may as well leave your diet at the door. To be fair there are delicious bagels, breads, and snack bars; however, you will also spot cookies, doughnuts, cakes, and pies. Hot coffee is served from five a.m. until six p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, on Saturdays from five a.m. until four p.m. and Sundays from eight a.m. until two p.m., along with tea and soda.

Sweets: “Where did the 60’s theme come from?”

Gwen: “The paint color came first, same colors as her mom’s kitchen while growing up. Then the music artists that are portrayed in the bathroom. Then our motto of “Have a Groovy Day.”

One morning before opening the doors for the first time Gwen and Naomi were chatting about the motto for the new bakery and Naomi suggested “Have a Groovy Day”, as that is a phrase that Gwen has said for quite some time. Within the walls of this establishment the family dynamic is very original of mother, son, and daughter-in-law. As they complement one another’s talents and abilities.
Jacob and Naomi arrive early each morning to make the variety of doughnuts that the Brough is known for, as well as some of the other baked goods. Gwen arrives in the late morning hours and works many nights past closed filling special orders like smash and birthday cake, and cupcake and cookie fundraisers. Gwen is always on the lookout for new creative desserts to add to their unique menu. Upon being the Recipient of the local Chamber of Commerce 2018 Citizen of the Year Award for her many contributions to the many Clio area activities Gwen has brought more recognition to the Brough Bakery throughout the area. She is active with promoting the activities of the Chamber of Commerce and of Clio Proud & Strong.

Sweets: “What is it that you like about coming to work everyday?”

Gwen: “The comradery of the patrons is the reason I come in, the story changes everyday as does the people that come in and tell their stories.”

On a baker’s rack not far from the doughnut case one can find local goods such as honey from a farm in Millington, maple syrup that is wood fired in Montrose, and we can not forget the handcrafted Happy Hats; products from the very mind of Gwen herself. Customers include former and current teachers, farmers, city and county officials, antique collectors, musicians, and many former members of the United States Armed Forces; locals and out-of-towners all visitors on their first visit and old friends for every visit after that. Some of their patrons are also local artists and you can find their many works hanging on the walls of the bakery.

Sweets: “What is your favorite quote?”

Gwen: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” Dorothy, Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, and

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” The Tin Man, Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum

The bakery sits in a busy little plaza at 100 Smith Street in Suite C, where it intersects with Mill Street; the businesses are all quite friendly. If you are planning to visit by bike or trike it is suggested you park your rides on the sidewalks up against the building. They are willing to make special orders or create custom works of foodie artwork.
Make sure to stop by and again “Have a Groovy Day.”

We appreciate that you stuck around until the end. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and of course WordPress.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

About Us

16 August 2018 (updated: 5 May 2019)

Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to TrailMagick89,

We write these dispatches (short posts) and missives (long posts) to bring awareness for those that live on the streets, under bridges, in abandoned buildings. In most countries it is called “Living Rough”. We cover the subject of life as part of the homeless community; where in some places they are called everything from the derogatory “BUM” to the more accepted name of “COMMUNITY PEOPLE”, along with the biblical term of “OUTCASTS”. We have lived on the streets of the big city and small towns alike. We have encountered people from all walks of life. We have backpacked long distances and followed the trail just to see where it would take us with no destination in mind.

After ten years of living on the streets we have found that stories of life of a vagabond and a tramp (modern day nomads) have lessons to share. Our preferred mode of transportation is on our Terratrike Rover Tandem that we have named Max. Recently, we took on a new initiative that we have named MiSSION: O.U.T.C.A.S.T.S.; this is still TrailMagick89 now with a mission for this blog and for ourselves.

Most of the posts are written by Elroy with influences by Sweets; at the top right corner of this website you will find The Journal by Sweets; she has taken to posting as well from her experiences.

Thank you.

We appreciate that you stuck around. If, you have found any value in this post, make sure to hit the “Like” button and “Subscribe” to TrailMagick89 blog. Please feel free to share your thoughts below. And until next time; make sure to seek peace within your own life. You can also find us on Instagram.

Semper Fidelis, Elroy & Sweets

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