Celebrating 40 Years Of
2020 January 2020
COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative
BEATING THE ODDS Defending PACs
Benzie Student Represents Co-op In D.C.
Pennies For A Purpose
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In This Issue January 2020 || Vol. 40, No. 1
Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
Follow Us On Instagram! @michigancountrylines
Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Design and Production: Karreen Bird Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional ofﬁces. It is the ofﬁcial publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association ofﬁcers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 firstname.lastname@example.org countrylines.com
CHANGE OF ADDRESS:
Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.
The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.
FEATURED PHOTO FROM #micoopcommunity:
This winter “tunnel of trees” is giving the fall version a run for its money, by @asnow789 (Adam Snow).
Tag your photos with #micoopcommunity, and they could be featured on our Instagram account and printed as the featured photo in our magazine!
ON THE COVER
Playing piano on a frozen lake may seem odd, but given YoungMin You’s unconventional background, it didn’t faze him a bit. YoungMin’s unique journey has taken the South Korean native to northern Michigan, where he composes music and shares his prodigious playing with a substantial online following.
YoungMin You: Beating The Odds South Korean native YoungMin You turned a chance to study in the U.S. into a thriving music career in Petoskey. Emily Haines Lloyd
6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY
18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY
We wholeheartedly thank our readers for their engagement and contributions, and hope you’ll continue to share, win and belong.
Mike Lavens, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, loves the outdoors … and loves instilling this passion for nature in others even more.
Michigan Country Lines Celebrates 40 Years!
10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN
Guest Column: Reaping What You Sow
Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
Comfort Foods Mean Cozy HomeCooked Meals Christin McKamey & Our Readers
Go Big And Spicy, Or Go Home Featured Guest Chef: Chantelle You, wife of talented pianist YoungMin You, is always looking for meals with the bold Korean flavors her husband enjoys. Here she shares one of his favorites, Jerk Chicken With Pineapple Black Bean Salsa recipe. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
Best of Michigan UP NEXT! Chocolatiers: Tell us about your favorite places for melt-in-your-mouth chocolates. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by January 25, and this indulgent list will be published in the February issue.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
CO-OP NEWS Rebate Forms Due By End Of January
Board Of Directors
TOM VAN PELT President 231-386-5234 email@example.com DAVID SCHWEITZER Senior Vice President 231-883-5860 firstname.lastname@example.org GABE SCHNEIDER Secretary 517-449-6453 email@example.com
Members looking to receive credits for energy efficiency upgrades performed during 2019 must have their rebate forms to Cherryland by Jan. 31. Forms received on or after Feb. 1 will not be accepted for items purchased and installed in 2019. If you have questions regarding rebates, visit our website or contact our energy use advisor at 231-486-9261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cherryland Accepts Applications For Youth Tour In Washington, D.C.
MELINDA LAUTNER Treasurer 231-947-2509 email@example.com
High school sophomores and juniors from Cherryland’s service territory are invited to join the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour: a once-in-a-lifetime, allexpenses-paid leadership travel opportunity to Washington, D.C., in June.
TERRY LAUTNER Director 231-946-4623 firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications must be submitted by Friday, Feb. 28. For more information and to apply, visit cooperativeyouthtour.com.
JOHN OLSON Director 231-938-1228 email@example.com JON ZICKERT Director 231-631-1337 firstname.lastname@example.org GENERAL MANAGER Tony Anderson CO-OP EDITORS Rachel Johnson Rob Marsh
OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.)
Serve On Cherryland’s Board Any qualified Cherryland member can be elected to serve a three-year term on the cooperative’s board of directors. Two directors will be elected at this year’s Annual Meeting, including one at-large director and one Leelanau director. To be nominated in 2020, candidates can file a petition with the cooperative’s administrative assistant starting the first day of March until 4 p.m. on the last business day of March. Nominating petitions are available on our website and at the co-op office in Grawn. For more information regarding board nominations and the election process, review Article III of the co-op’s bylaws on our website.
ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637
Cherryland Offers Five Scholarships
Cherryland offers five scholarships—three worth $4,000 ($1,000 for four years) for high school seniors and two for $1,000 each for adult scholarships (post-high school).
PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Follow us on Facebook. facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop Follow us on Instagram. @cherrylandec
4 JANUARY 2020
Applications for both scholarships are available on our website or by contacting Cherryland’s office at 231-486-9200. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 3.
Cherryland Announces Date Of 82nd Annual Meeting Cherryland’s 82nd Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, June 11, at Incredible Mo’s in Grawn. Save the date!
Tony Anderson, General Manager
obody is surprised to learn that campaigns cost money. Thus, why are people surprised or offended when a candidate takes donations from political action committees? Political action committees (PACs) have been around since 1944 when the Congress of Industrial Organizations formed the first one to raise money to re-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt. PACs are really just a way for many like-minded individuals to pool resources that give them a larger voice to promote a common message. There are PACs on both sides of the aisle and in almost every corner of our economy, including sectors like agriculture, real estate, insurance, health care, dairy, restaurants, construction, banks and lawyers. Electric cooperatives have had a PAC since 1966. It is called the Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE). ACRE supports political candidates (Democrats and Republicans) who will speak for and protect the interests of electric co-ops and their member-owners. No electric cooperative writes a check to ACRE. All the money in the ACRE PAC comes from over 35,000 individual checks from employees, directors and cooperative members. On average, annual contributions to ACRE are $59 per individual donor. Any member of Cherryland can donate to ACRE by calling our office. Annually, there is also an insert in your monthly bill that allows you to contribute along with the almost 3,000 cooperative member-owners who are already making a difference in legislative issues that affect their cooperative utility. Incumbents tend to garner most of the PAC dollars. PAC dollars are limited, and incumbents typically have a track record that tells a PAC whether or not he/she will support their agenda. The dollars are merely a way for an organization to get a foot in the door in order to get their message heard. In recent years, some politicians have made a big deal about not taking PAC dollars. When I hear this, I wonder if they are taking individual donations toward their campaign. How else would they pay for all the expenses involved with such an effort? Why is a check that represents a group of individuals considered differently from an individual check?
A corporate PAC is limited to a contribution of $5,000. Individuals can make a $5,400 contribution. So, when a candidate claims not to take PAC dollars, are they instead taking individual dollars? Are individual donations a way to get more dollars than a PAC can legally contribute? For me, the water gets murky when a candidate takes no PAC dollars. I would bet that you could look into any given campaignâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s list of individual donors and find multiple individuals from the same company or, more likely, the same industry. Think about that the next time you listen to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;no PAC moneyâ&#x20AC;? speech. By now, you are probably wondering what point I am trying to make. I am simply trying to point out that PACs are not a bad thing. In fact, I believe that one PAC check is more transparent than a thousand individual checks. When the PAC writes a check, it is clear what they stand for and what result they are seeking. When you see an individual name on a donor list, it is far harder to tell for what that person is advocating. The democratic process is messy, but there is no better process. When you follow the money, it always leads you to individual choices. Contributing to any PAC is certainly an individual choice that has long been a part of a political process that serves us well.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
MI CO-OP Community
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 1980
Celebrates 40 Years
Michigan Country Lines has been connecting members with their electric cooperatives for forty years. As a Michigan Country Lines reader, not only are you the heart of your co-op, you are the heart of this magazine. And luckily for us, many of our readers are also contributors. The numerous reader submissions we receive make this magazine a one-of-a-kind—a place where we can read about others’ experiences, drool over their recipes and laugh at their funny pictures, bringing us together as a community. We are so grateful that you enjoy this magazine enough to engage in its content, and we encourage you to continue doing so. Visit our MI Co-op Community page on countrylines.com and share your knowledge of our wonderful state, your stories, and, yes, your amazing recipes! In addition to publication, your work may be rewarded with cash or bill credits. We look forward to our members’ continued content and contest contributions.
6 JANUARY 2020
Monthly Recipe Contest And MI Co-op Kitchen
$50 BILL CREDIT
If you’re in need of some food inspiration, look no further than MI Co-op Kitchen——our online cooking community. MI Co-op Kitchen is an interactive space where you can share your recipes and food ideas with other like-minded members. Submit a recipe for our monthly contest and you could win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe published and a professional video created for our website. A winner is selected every month.
Where In Michigan Is This?
$50 BILL CREDIT
Our Mystery Photo Contest gives you the chance to correctly identify our mystery photo and win a $50 bill credit. A new “Where in Michigan Is This?” mystery photo is published in our January, March, May, July/August, September and November/ December Michigan Country Lines issues. Each correct guess is placed into a drawing and one lucky winner is selected.
$150 CASH AWARD
We know many of our members are talented and have great ideas——so we invite you to share that talent in Country Lines! We will pay $150 for the stories we publish. Let the ideas ﬂow! Stories could be about a signiﬁcant or memorable event, a person in your life, life lessons learned, educational topics, Michigan recreational activities, and more! Please keep stories to approximately 350 words. Photos are always welcome!
NO BARRIERS ADVENTURES FOR RURAL VETERANS— APPLY BY FEBRUARY 28
Best Of Michigan Do you have a favorite spot where you bring outof-state guests? What about a favorite Michigan ice cream shop, or a Michigan–inspired treat? Our Best of Michigan column is a way for you to submit your preferred treats, sites, restaurants, opinions and activities. We will publish many submissions for the Best Of Michigan section, so there is no monetary reward. However, your name will be published!
Michigan electric cooperatives believe there should be “No Barriers” for veterans with disabilities. That’s the name and idea behind CoBank’s No Barriers initiative. Michigan cooperatives are looking for qualiﬁed veterans* from our local community to participate.
Follow Michigan Country Lines On Instagram Follow us on our Instagram account, @michigancountrylines, where we celebrate the energy of rural Michigan. Marvel at Michigan’s majestic beauty, learn about new places to visit and experience rural Michigan life, and enjoy special inﬂuencer events. Tag your photos with #micoopcommunity, and they could be featured on our Instagram account. Your photo could even be chosen to print as the featured photo in our magazine. We can’t wait to see what you share!
Follow Michigan Country Lines On Facebook Follow us on our Facebook account at “Michigan Country Lines Magazine” for up-to-date magazine content, inﬂuencer events, contests, recipe videos and much more.
No Barriers is a ﬁve-day, all-expensespaid expedition in Colorado, designed to help veterans with disabilities transform their lives through curriculum-based experiences in challenging environments (climbing, rafting and hiking).
If you are a disabled veteran or you know of a disabled veteran in our community who would like to participate in the No Barriers program, please complete the form on our website:
countrylines.com/nobarriers *Must have VA disability rating to be eligible.
very June, Cherryland sponsors two students from local high schools to represent the co-op on the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour; a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expensespaid leadership travel opportunity to Washington, D.C. The students tour the monuments, meet with their legislators, and join with other students nationwide to learn about the co-op business model. Reeve Katt of Benzie Central High School was one of the two students who represented Cherryland on Youth Tour last year. During that trip, Katt was selected to represent Michigan on the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) and return to Washington, D.C., for a leadership workshop. She, along with her fellow YLC delegates, will also play an important role during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Annual Meeting this February. Check out what Katt had to say about her Youth Tour and YLC experiences.
8 JANUARY 2020
What interested you in Youth Tour? I was interested in Youth Tour because I wanted to have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., independently while meeting people outside of northern Michigan. I have friends who live four minutes from the Michigan-Indiana border now—not to mention buddies living in Alaska and Hawaii! What were your favorite experiences from Youth Tour? One of my favorite experiences from Youth Tour was going to the Capitol Building and meeting Congressman Bergman—very cool! I got into a discussion with him, and he showed me my artwork that is coincidentally hanging in the Cannon Tunnel through the Congressional Art Competition. My other favorite experience was all the friends I made along the way. There were only 21 of us, so we got very close together after a week. Washington was hot and muggy, of course, but we got through it together! Why did you want to join the YLC? I wanted to join the YLC because it seemed like a cool way to come back and meet an even more diverse range of people. There is one YLC delegate per state, so I am friends with people across the U.S. now! We lean on and support each other, and I would say that even though it is quite literally impossible to live near each other, I am closer to the people I met this summer than most around our town. What has your YLC experience been like so far? It has been very fun! It's more work than Youth Tour. We have assignments and tasks that we need to get done throughout the
Katt was joined by other co-opsponsored Youth Tour attendees from all over the state.
year. During our YLC stay in July, we did less sightseeing and more meetings. On the other hand, there is a lingering excitement at the idea that we're all going to be together again in February. What are you looking forward to, as it relates to YLC? I'm looking forward to NRECA’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans at the end of February. We're going to be helping out, possibly doing a few panels. It's our final bow before we all part ways, and a new YLC is formed in the summer. What did you learn about electric cooperatives that you didn’t know before?
One of Katt’s favorite Youth Tour experiences was having a one-on-one discussion with Rep. Jack Bergman.
I was surprised to learn that electric cooperatives are very involved in many parts of the community. For example, I have friends whose cooperatives were crucial in giving them access to broadband Internet. It's super cool how Cherryland distributes income back to the members of the cooperative in the form of capital credits. What would you say to any local high school student thinking about applying to Youth Tour? DO IT! Take the opportunity to open a new door for yourself and leap through it! If you engage in activities—whether it's school, sports, or Youth Tour—people will start to take notice, and you'll get much more out of the adventure. I know I did.
To learn more about Youth Tour and YLC and to apply, visit
cooperativeyouthtour.com. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Comfort Foods Warm up with these cozy home-cooked meals. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography Recipes Submitted By MCL Readers And Tested By Recipe Editor Christin McKamey
Sausage and Mushroom Pappardelle Annie Barnes, Great Lakes Energy 8 1 1 1 6 3 4
ounces pappardelle pasta tablespoon olive oil red bell pepper, sliced onion, thinly sliced large mushrooms, sliced cloves garlic, minced links smoked turkey sausage, sliced (or crumbled Italian sausage), cooked
• pinch of red pepper ﬂakes 1 cup cream ½ cup cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped • kosher salt • parmesan cheese, for garnish
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, then generously add kosher salt. Add pappardelle pasta and cook until al dente, then drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water. While pasta is cooking, begin cooking the sauce. In a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Then add red bell pepper slices and onion, and cook for 4–5 minutes or until onion softens, stirring occasionally. Season with kosher salt, add mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Add garlic, sausage and red pepper ﬂakes, and cook until sausage is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add cream, tomatoes and rosemary to skillet, and cook 3 minutes or until sauce thickens and tomatoes soften. Gently fold in pasta to skillet until coated. If you’d like more sauce, add reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time (or additional cream if you want a heavier sauce). Garnish with parmesan, kosher salt and more rosemary if desired. Serve immediately. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos 10 JANUARY 2020
Creamed Swiss Chard Luise Bolleber, Cherryland
4 tablespoons butter 2 garlic cloves, chopped ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped ¼ cup all-purpose ﬂour
1 cup whole milk • sea salt and white pepper 2 bunches Swiss chard, leaves chopped, stems chopped separately
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion, and chard stems and cook until onion and stems are softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in ﬂour and cook for 1 minute. Raise heat to medium. Whisk in milk and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is thickened and reduced by about half. Add the chard leaves. You may have to do this in batches as the chard cooks down. Add salt and white pepper, and cook about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
featured GUEST CHEF A well-known pianist in Michigan, YoungMin You, enjoys Korean recipes. His wife, Chantelle, has realized that Korean food and ﬂavors are sometimes hard to come by in northern Michigan, so she’s always keeping an eye out for meals with big and spicy ﬂavors. This is one of YoungMin You’s favorites.
Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa
Dad’s Corn Fritters Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy /4 1 1 2 ½
cup all-purpose ﬂour tablespoon sugar teaspoon baking powder eggs cup milk (more to thin, if necessary) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 generous cups corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned (if frozen or canned, drain all moisture) 3 teaspoons chopped chives • oil, for frying • powdered sugar, optional
Mix ﬂour, sugar and baking powder. Add eggs, milk, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir together to make a batter. Add corn and chives. Fold together to combine. Heat oil in a skillet to 365 F. Drop batter by spoonfuls into heated oil. Flip to brown on all sides. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!!
4 cups cooked rice PINEAPPLE BLACK BEAN SALSA 2 cups pineapple tidbits, ﬁnely diced 1 15-ounce can black beans, well rinsed and drained ¹⁄ ³ cup red onion, ﬁnely diced ½ cup cilantro, chopped 1 lime • pinch red pepper ﬂakes (optional) ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste JERK CHICKEN 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about ²⁄³ pound each) 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning 1 tablespoon cooking oil Begin cooking your rice ﬁrst. While the rice is cooking, prepare the pineapple black bean salsa. Combine pineapple, black beans, red onion, cilantro, one tablespoon of lime juice, red pepper ﬂakes and salt. Add more salt or lime juice if needed.
Pizza Party: due February 1 Best Of Vegetarian: due March 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.
Enter to win a
energy bill credit!
Next, prepare the jerk chicken. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken to eliminate splatter, then gently pound the chicken breasts into an even thickness using either a rolling pin or a mallet. Sprinkle the jerk seasoning over both sides of the chicken and use your hands to rub it into the surface, making sure the chicken is completely coated. Add the cooking oil to a large skillet, or preheat your grill. Once hot, add the chicken and cook until well browned on both sides and completely cooked through (about 7 minutes each side). It should no longer be pink in the center and the juices should run clear. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, slice the chicken into ½ inch-wide strips. To serve, place about a cup of cooked rice on a plate and top with about a cup of the pineapple black bean salsa and a few strips of the jerk chicken. Slice the remaining lime into wedges and squeeze fresh juice over the chicken just before eating. Read the full story about YoungMin You on page 14, and ﬁnd this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.
s e i n n Pe
For A Purpose
hile we could all use a little help sometimes, some of us need it more than others. That’s why our members established Cherryland Cares—it’s a way of lending a hand to northern Michigan nonprofits doing good work in our local communities. Each month, if you choose to round up your electric bill to the nearest dollar, that money goes into the Cherryland Cares fund. A group of volunteer members reviews grant applications and allocates funds to the local nonprofit organizations seeking assistance. Did you know that in the last 10-plus years, our members have given over $490,000 to deserving nonprofit groups in our northern Michigan communities?
12 JANUARY 2020
In 2019 alone, the money from Cherryland Cares has funded a wide variety of causes, including: • Offering scholarships so children fighting cancer can attend Camp Quality Michigan
• Helping fill the Benzie County Baby Pantry with food and family supplies • Buying a supply truck for Leelanau Christian Neighbors
• Helping Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center provide sexual abuse prevention education in the local school athletic community • Providing nonmedical financial aid to cancer patients through the Leelanau County Cancer Foundation …and much more!
While no one can help everyone, everyone can help someone. Contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund today by signing up through your SmartHub account or calling us at 231-486-9200!
When A Cold Makes You CRAZY By Rob Marsh, Marketing & Communications Specialist
don’t like going to the doctor. And I don’t think I’m alone. This has nothing to do with the doctor. I just don’t want to waste anyone’s time if the likely solution to my ailment is drinking plenty of water and taking a few naps.
“What I didn’t understand until that moment was that my grandpa and mom did feel those moments of worry as I did. They just both had practice.”
I didn’t come to this sentiment on my own. Growing up, my siblings and I weren’t coddled for every sniffle and ache. My grandpa, a doctor, was very practical when it came to our various illnesses. For example, if I were to come to him and say, “Grandpa, it hurts when I do this,” his first response was always, “Well then don’t do that.” My mom, or Dr. Mom, as we playfully call her, is a watered-down version of our grandpa. When we were children, she would identify the issue using her motherly wisdom and provide one solution, “Take a couple of Motrin and go to school.” Of course, I exaggerate (only a little), but my siblings and I did grow up with the idea that a cold doesn’t put life on hold, it’s merely a bump in the road. Get some rest, drink some water, and move on. This winter, my two-year-old daughter got sick. Her temperature skyrocketed, and she became lethargic and wasn’t interested in eating or drinking. Now, if this happened to me, I would’ve shrugged it off. But at this moment, something strange happened. If I wasn’t holding her close and placing my hand on her forehead every couple of minutes, I was pacing the room with nervous energy. I could feel my blood pressure rise, my stomach tie in knots, and my mind race to every possible diagnosis I could imagine. I was an absolute wreck.
The next day, my wife brought her to a pediatrician. They identified the problem and prescribed a treatment, and within days she was right as rain. While I breathed a sigh of relief, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What happened there? Did you forget your upbringing? Why are you acting crazy?” See, what I didn’t understand until that moment was that my grandpa and mom did feel those moments of worry as I did. They just both had practice. They had watched their children get sick time and time again. Their perceived apathy toward our ailments wasn’t for lack of caring; it was the opposite. They’d cared so much over the years that they had learned when it was just the sniffles and when it required a doctor’s visit. While I‘ve become tough against my own illnesses, I don’t have that experience with my daughter. So, I’m going to go crazy with worry from time to time. And that’s okay. Am I going to go to the doctor now with this new perspective? Probably not. Will I bring my daughter to the doctor, even if I’m not sure whether it’s just the sniffles or not? Darn right I will. I’ve got to learn.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) YoungMin You:
YoungMin You Piano Arrangement
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he was fascinated from the beginning. He would mimic what he saw his sister learning, tapping out “Chopsticks” on a tiny electric keyboard.
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Words and Music by Hillsong United
YoungMin had the opportunity to study abroad in the United States, as his sister had before him. He found himself about to embark on a journey that would change his life in ways he couldn’t imagine.
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As he found himself in Adrian, Michigan, his passion for music, and piano speciﬁcally, had kicked into high gear. While he was immersed in American culture and cultivating a strong grasp of a second language, YoungMin was equally interested in learning to really play piano.
“I was just so in love with the piano, so I started teaching myself through YouTube,” said YoungMin. “I would practice ﬁve to six hours a day. I was obsessed.”
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With high school graduation fast approaching, YoungMin made the brave decision to apply to only one college—Wheaton College-
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“I feel like music is my way of putting a positive message into the world.” Conservatory of Music near Chicago. He decided that if he didn’t get in, he would go back to South Korea. YoungMin did get accepted at the conservatory and was quick to realize that his lack of formal training was something he would have to overcome. What were the odds that he could overcome his lack of formal education and catch up to his classmates? “I was so lucky to have professors who cared,” said YoungMin. “Cared, but were worried. My technique was not where it should have been, but I worked hard and got better.” YoungMin put his heart and a positive attitude into his craft. Through his efforts, he got so much better that he ended up being top in his class that semester. Passion and positivity may well have led YoungMin to love as well. During his ﬁrst year of college, he met Chantelle, a vocal performance major, who would eventually become his wife. After the two were married in 2016, the couple had to decide where they would go next. Cities like Chicago and New York came up in conversation, as both YoungMin and Chantelle were artists, and the cities offered a lot of opportunities in their ﬁelds. But after much discussion, another town came up—Petoskey, Michigan. Chantelle had fallen in love with
the picturesque lake community. YoungMin’s experience with high school in Michigan and Chantelle’s Midwest roots were both strong pulls. “Ultimately, we talked about where we wanted to make a life for ourselves, where we wanted to raise a family,” said YoungMin. “Beyond that, Petoskey has such a rich arts community. The fairs and festivals have a wonderful musical focus— it became an easy decision on whether to go big city or small town.” While YoungMin and Chantelle have settled on their own family home, YoungMin is still very much connected to his parents and sister in South Korea. He video chats with them regularly using Great Lakes Energy’s Truestream ﬁber internet. Upon settling in Petoskey, YoungMin had jobs as a music director,
accompanist, and playing for both weddings and funerals, but he eventually changed directions and decided to concentrate on his original faith-based music and arrangements. Now, you will ﬁnd him creating music on virtual platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, and posting inspiring videos on YouTube, where he ﬁrst learned to play the piano. “I love making music so much, and I wanted to ﬁnd a way to reach as many people as possible. These platforms make that possible,” said YoungMin. “I feel like music is my way of putting a positive message into the world.” Maybe the odds are stacked against an artist with a message of hope and positivity. But if there is anyone who is up for beating those odds, it’s a young man with talent, purpose and passion like YoungMin You.
Northern Michigan weather is hard to predict. The day of the video shoot, during which YoungMin played a piano rendition of “Hillsong’s Oceans” on Walloon Lake, there was a fresh two to three feet of snow on the frozen water. With the help of about 20 friends who volunteered and some friendly ﬁshermen who assisted in making a pathway, the 800-pound piano arrived at its destination on a sled dragged by a snowmobile. The task was mighty, but once again, passion won the day. Watch the full video here and be inspired:
youtube.com/watch?v=5n-e6lOhVq0 MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 15
Most votes on Facebook!
energy bill credit!
Submit Your “Cute Kids” Photos!
Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our January theme is Cute Kids. Photos can be submitted through January 20 to be featured in our March issue.
Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!
To enter the contest, visit facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at cherrylandelectric.coop/photo-contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2020, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2020 bill. 16 JANUARY 2020
Photo Contest Winner
“A boy and his dog!” by Betty Hayden
Photo Contest Enter to win a
Take The Cake 1. “ Cherries take the cake!” by Stacy Voras 2. “ Baby’s first cake—he loved it!” by Terri Newton 3. “ Christine’s 60th birthday” by Nancy Fitzgerald 4. “ My chocolate raspberry torte wedding cake and cupcakes—made by me” by Susan Arnold 5. “ Feliz Cumpleaños Nito!” by Neva Veliquette
YOUR BOARD IN ACTION October Board Meeting • The cooperative’s general manager updated the board on the progress of utility-related legislation. The legislation included topics such as pole attachments and fiber installation. • The cooperative’s engineering and operations manager reported current reliability statistics to the board. The cooperative’s reliability rating reached 99.99% year-to-date. • The board discussed its upcoming strategic planning session. Periodically, the board and cooperative leadership engage in a day of high-level goal setting for the next five-plus years.
November Board Meeting
Be Safe Around Transformers This Winter
reaking out your snow plow for another wintry season? Before you do, please be mindful of the pad-mounted transformers in your area. As snow piles up, it’s easy to forget where those big green boxes are. Accidentally plowing over a snow-blanketed transformer can be very expensive and dangerous (like 7,200 volts dangerous!). Before plowing this winter, take note of the location of your transformer or, just in case, stick a marker nearby so you never forget. Remember, safety first!
• The board welcomed Eric Baker, president & CEO of Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, to speak at the beginning of its meeting. Baker discussed the cooperative’s all-power requirements contract with Wolverine, as well as provided power supply updates. • The cooperative’s engineering and operations manager gave an overview of Cherryland’s five-year work plan to the board. On average, the cooperative upgrades and/or replaces 25 miles of its utility plant per year. • The board approved the cooperative’s approximately $7.1 million capital budget for 2020. Of that amount, about $6 million covers the year’s engineering, operations, and transportation costs. • The board approved a slight change to the cooperative’s mission statement. Cherryland’s updated mission statement reads, “Member-driven. Safe. Reliable. Affordable.” Members have the opportunity to provide direct input to the board at the beginning of any regularly scheduled board meeting. Attendance at the board meeting is allowed for the public input portion of the meeting only.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17
Guess this photo and enter to win a
MI CO-OP Community
energy bill credit!
Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by January 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the November/December issue is Karen Malburg, a Midwest Energy & Communications member, who correctly identified the photo as the “Believe” wall mural, which is part of the “Power of Words Community Mural Project.” It was painted by artist Mia Tavonatti on the exterior wall of the Blackstone Pizza Company located in downtown Iron Mountain. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.
Reaping What You Sow By Mike Lavens, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op
s we get older, it seems we start to cherish friends and family more and materialistic things less. At least, in my case, that’s what has occurred. A recent request by a distant nephew to come camp at our place north of Hillman came on short notice but was answered with a quick “yes.” You see, Roy was one of the sons of my wife’s cousins who many, many years ago, I took out deer hunting in southern Michigan when he was 10 years old. Roy told us years later that visiting us that summer is when he caught the outdoor bug. I have watched and enjoyed Roy’s adventures while growing up over the years —his ﬁshing, hunting, camping and kayaking, all the while, as he lived downstate. Our place is on a private lake and sits just off Long Lake, where we share a lot with some neighbors. It is the best of both worlds, with water recreation on the “big lake” and quiet, no- gas motor ﬁshing on the other lake. Roy, with his very ﬁrst ﬁsh, broke his personal best with a 27-inch pike. He was in heaven for the next four days, ﬁshing, kayaking, and enjoying the peace and quiet away from the city. He called us his outdoor parents during that stay, and it was a joy to see him take on the outdoors like a pro. Lucky for him, his “camping” visit turned into a more extended stay in our spare bedroom. It was nice to share yet again the outdoors with family and nurture such an important part of our human existence, even if it was just for a short time. We will cherish the memories made and the questions asked. The excitement in Roy’s voice as he explained about the loon coming up to the boat, the ﬁsh he caught, and how far down in the water he could see while kayaking. Share what you can, while you can, with whomever you can; you may never know the enthusiasm you may instill in someone or the memories you will make while doing so. Living where we do gives us a unique opportunity to do just that, treasure it and enjoy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
November/December 2019 Josh Herman, Thumb Aerial Photography
18 JANUARY 2020
Mike is an FCA (Chrysler) engineer. He was the ﬁrst person to sign up for the Dodge Demon race in Arizona. Mike has been married for 33 years and loves America.
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