I live in Michigan with my husband, Ray and work as a Registered Nurse at our local community hospital. Our children and grandchildren live close by.
Our first pond was built in 1996, was around 1500 gallons and home to both koi and water plants. Our second pond was built in 2005, held 10,000 gallons and became strictly a koi pond. This pond was rebuilt in 2021 with the hope of simplifying maintenance and improving water quality and is now 13,500 gallons. In the winter our pond is covered due to our cold Michigan winters.
Ray and I attended our first koi show in 2000 which was the Mid-Atlantic Koi Show (MAKC). We attended every annual MAKC show after that, joined the MAKC and became involved in many aspects of the koi show, from setting up the show site, helping the raffle or MAKC booths, participating in the benching process, working in the show ring during judging, to tearing down on the last day. It was a great experience. In 2005, we joined our local club, the Michigan Koi & Pond Club and actively participated in every aspect including chairing events, helping with pond tours and working hard to host the first Koi Show in Michigan in 2012. In 2009, I joined the Board of Directors, was the Secretary from 2011 through 2017, have been the AKCA rep, the Newsletter Editor, helped with the pond tours, wrote articles for KOI USA highlighting our pond tours and was the co-chair for the MKPC Koi Shows. Since 2014, we have been active members of the Northern Midwest ZNA Koi Club which is now our home Club.
In 2014, I was accepted into the AKJA Judging Program as a Candidate Judge and was certified in 2017. Between attending shows to support a club or to enter our koi in the show, participating as a worker bee or to Judge the show, Ray and I generally attend 6-8 Koi Shows per year. We have been fortunate to be able to travel to a variety of Koi Shows and turn them into mini vacations. Our first trip to Japan was in February 2019 for the All Japan Koi Show and we visited a number of Koi Farms.
I am looking forward to many more years of enjoyment in the hobby of Koi.