Verda Ciesielski

Ciesielski, Verda A., of Saginaw, Michigan. Passed away Tuesday, December 26, 2000 at  73 years of age.. Verda Ann Kolb was born March 28, 1927 in Saginaw to Clemence and Viva (Wing) Kolb. She married Richard Ciesielski. He predeceased her on January 23, 1981. Surviving are her daughters, Mrs. Christine (David) Collison of Saginaw and their children Drew and Lisa; Mrs. Susan (Roye Jr.) Meis of Beaver Island and their daughter Maureen; Mrs. Janice (Brian) McDonald of Saginaw and their son Philip; one sister, Beryl Petersen and many other loving family members and friends. Verda was predeceased by her brother Robert Kolb and her sister-in-law, Maureen Ciesielski. Funeral service will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 29, 2000 at the Reitz-Herzberg Funeral Home on Midland Rd. Rev. Fr. Richard Jozwiak will officiate with interment to follow at St. Andrew's Catholic Cemetery. Friends are welcome to call on the family at the funeral home on Thursday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Memorial offerings may be given to St. Josaphat or St. Helen Catholic Church.

NOTE: Mrs. Ciesielski was the mother of Susan Meis, our new health care provider.  Our condolences to Susan and her family on the loss of her mother.

See you later, Penny... not good-bye

I just received the following letter and am going to include it in it's entirety for all of you.

The day I left Beaver Island, Phyllis Moore stopped into my office and gave me her e-mail address and asked me to "tell my story."  It is something I couldn't do right away but with time, would like you to know how I feel.

When I first moved to Beaver Island, I anticipated this being a transitional position as a new "advanced care" provider.  I thought we would only be there two years and then move on.  I fell in love with the island, was welcomed by the community and felt this was a wonderful place to educate and develop my children.  I still feel that way.  The clinical practice I had was new, exciting and provided me with a practice foundation I probably wouldn't have gotten elsewhere.

I didn't leave the island because of the community or because of the clinical practice.  I left because of the demands of being on call 24 hours a day for 7 days a week when I was on the island.  Unlike Mike McGinnity, I did leave the island when I could - sometimes not covered by a primary healthcare provider.  I knew this wasn't the ideal situation and worried each time I did, but had to have that time for myself and my family.  I did this for five years without regular relief help and "burned out."  I just couldn't do it anymore.  When the Board of Directors decided to address this more concretely I  was pleased but unwilling to commit to any further on-call.  We had some disagreements on various issues and I felt that support was lacking.  It was time for me to move on.

At the same time this was happening, a friend of mine from Battle Creek had contacted me about a position at a large family health center.  I was acquainted with other individuals in the faultily and was invited for a site visit.  I liked what I saw, was offered more money, no on-call, no weekends and no holidays.

I hope you know this was not an easy decision to make.  It involved a lot of sleepless nights, long discussions with family and friends.

I have enjoyed my time on Beaver Island and want to thank you all for the opportunity to be your health care provider and for some of you a good friend.  I have appreciated your cards, letters and telephone calls of "thanks" and "sorry to see you leave."  You will always be in my heart.

God bless you all,

Penny Kiss

The "loss" of Penny as the island health care provider is a large blow to the island.  We are truly going to miss her, that great grin, the teasing, and wonderful conversations.  Since this is MY site, I can also say that I hope the Board of Directors takes this as a wake-up call and immediately finds someone to assist Susan Meis before we have a third health care person "burned out".  Not just say "we're looking" but actively get on the stick and DO it.  Many times being the medical person on the island is an "unseen" job... the majority of the people have no idea how many nights that person is woke by a phone call and heads into the Medical Center only to discover it was a simple thing that could have waited but all our providers have given 150% of their time without time and half for those extra hours.   I personally am not going to say "good bye" to Penny, I'm just saying "see you later" because, Penny, you ARE a part of this community whether you're at the medical center or in Battle Creek.  Hey, you can even keep after me about my diet.. long distance.  ((((Hugs)))) Penny and come back and visit often!

It was definitely a

White Christmas on the Island

The second blizzard in as many weeks struck the island in force on December 23rd.  For visitors of warm climates you can see what snow - lots of snow - is like.  For all you displaced Islanders living on the mainland - you'll enjoy seeing the Island as you remember it from past Christmas seasons.  I'm sure the drifts will become much larger before we say goodbye to old man winter.

Downtown St. James on Sunday

  Decorated homes awaited Santa

and some are buried in the snow

with drifts looking like white frosting


Looking Back at 2000

I'm going to be having some work done on my computer for the next several days and with the holidays upon us, I thought I'd simply add now, what I was going to put up between Christmas and New Years.  Remember all these from the past year?  Thanks to each and every one of you who visit here regularly for making this all possible. Especially to Joe, Courtney and Andrea who have to be reintroduced to me every so often.  And to Mary Palmer who has been a great sport all year when I managed to "catch" her in my camera.  So, let's look back at 2000.

Looking Back