Postcards from the road


Postcards on the road

Postcards on the road

Sometimes we are blessed to have someone come into our lives who changes it and then we can’t find enough ways to say thank you. Today I want to introduce you to one of those people in my life.

Though I’m a professional resume writer with 25 years experience, 11 of those years have also been tied to Wausau Whitewater as the Operations Coordinator. It was through Wausau Whitewater that I met Michael Schroeder (Mike). He came first as a freestyle competitor in the days when Wausau’s freestyle events were mainly Pro Rodeo events around 1999 – 2001. Pros such as Eric Jackson, Jimmy Blakeney, Tanya Shuman, and Eric Southwick put on a really good show and I just figured that was the way freestyle events were meant to go. But Mike and other paddlers really wanted to have an event geared for citizen level freestyle paddlers. Mike lobbied me and the board of Wausau Whitewater and before I knew it, he was running the first ever freestyle citizen’s event in 2002. He followed that up with the freestyle side of Wausau Whitewater Weekend and then in 2004 founded the Midwest Freestyle Championships. Along the way, we grew to be good friends.

I was really fuzzy about what Mike did for a living for awhile. Normally, I’m pretty curious about occupations. It just never came up. At some point though, I learned that he was a professional musician. During our many conversations, I did find out that he was a Christian. In 2003, he recorded his first CD, A Witness. My life had more downs than ups back then and his music as well as his phone calls helped me turn the corner.

Mike continued to expand his contemporary Christian music with more projects (Fuel for the Soul, the Way, and the Christmas release, The Reason for the Season) as well as tours throughout the country,  

It has been fun being his friend through all of this, watching his career grow. This summer we were taking virtual walks together, he was in his city walking in the woods and I was in Wausau walking to the river, and we would meet on the phone to walk and talk about Wausau Whitewater projects and some of our own endeavors. It was during those walks that he told me about this new project, a total instrumental project inspired by a trip he took to Europe some years ago. He called it Postcards from the road and promised I could have a demo of it when it was ready.

I’ve always loved the contemporary Christian music and didn’t know how I would feel about a project without any vocals. But I love this one as much as any of the others. My friend’s musical voice comes out just fine without any words. The jazzy selections like Amsterdam make me smile. Ones like Nadine made me relaxed and thoughtful. You can hear some of the selections from his MySpace page for the project, 

Perhaps in another post I will share some of the lessons I learned from Mike. For now, it is enough to say that meeting him blessed my life.


12 Responses to “Postcards from the road”

  1. 1 Mike Nichols November 22, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    What a great tribute to a friend! Good friends are few and far between, I’ve found. So many of our “friends” are mere acquaintances who will leave you in your times of crisis. Mike sounds like the kind of person who is there for you all the way.

    I’ll definitely check out his music!

  2. 2 Julie Walraven November 22, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Thank you, Mike. For me, Mike Schroeder has done much to reduce my anxiety and stress, and at times he’s managed to keep me from panicking. I hope you love his music as much as I do!

  3. 3 kwbridge November 23, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    What a wonderful friend. The special ones must be treasured because there aren’t as many of them. I have a friend like that – the only person I’ve been in touch with since high school and through all my various moves.

  4. 4 Julie Walraven November 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks, Kim. He’s treasured. He’s always there when I need him. He’s coached me through a lot.

  5. 5 Barbara Swafford December 5, 2008 at 3:41 am

    Hi Julie – This is what I love about blogs. We can show our appreciation to others and share it with the whole world. Just as Mike is a good friend to you, I’m sure you’re a great friend, as well. I’m going to check out the link, as I love Christian music.

    • 6 Julie Walraven December 5, 2008 at 3:46 am

      Thank you, Barbara! I really appreciate your visit and if you visit Mike’s link and like his music, both Postcards which is all instrumental, and the other three Christian CDs. He writes, records, and produces all of his own music. And on top of that, he’s always there for me!

  6. 7 Jewel/Pink Ink December 9, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    *virtual walks* sound like a lot of fun. Kudos to your friend for enjoying his success!

    -here from BWAB

  7. 8 Julie Walraven December 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks, Jewel. Success is always a relative term. For a musician, it means long hours in the studio, followed by many days touring in all sorts of weather. I wish you success in your writing career. Enjoyed your review of Matrimony!

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