What could be more quintessential than to read with a child? Some of my most memorable times captured these moments. My newest book, Will You Read with Me? explores, in rhyme, the imagination of a child as he travels on a journey of discovery to find the best place to read. A page is included where the child can write or draw their own favorite place to read. an excerpt:
Let’s read in a tree.
just you and me.
Ask robin red breast,
may we sit in your nest?
Oh no tweeted she,
There’s not room for three.
It would not be best
to read in a nest.
Signed copies available on my website or from major retailers.
I am a Christmas stocking hung on the fireplace mantle. I see my owner alone, pondering her future. Last night the house was filled with gaiety everywhere. The people ate for what seemed like hours. They opened gifts, and I was as curious as they were to see the oohs, and ahs as each recipient opened their own special present. The children were especially excited to play with something new. I am amazed as I have watched these children grow, for I am a treasure that has been in my owner’s life for twenty-five years. I have seen much as each Christmas I have been placed in a prominent spot and filled with goodies. However, this year is different. This year I and my owner are all alone on Christmas morning. She is sad, I think, not sure of what she should do this year. I hear a knock at the door and she answers it. There stands her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren, still in their pajamas. They bring in breakfast and more gifts. I am surprised to hear them say, “Mom, we knew you should not be alone today. We planned this all along.” I am relieved as I see my owner’s face turn from sadness to joy. In a few weeks I will be put away, but this break from tradition was the best Christmas ever! I am a pleased Christmas stocking.
FLYING COFFEE CUPS
It started out as one of those ordinary mornings. You know: drag yourself out of bed, take care of the necessities, and head for the coffeepot. Up until then, everything went as usual.
I poured a cup of hot brew, savoring the energizing smell, and headed toward the table, when the cup suddenly flew out of my hand as if it had sprouted wings. Horrified, I watched as the airborne cup bounced off the kitchen counter and disappeared over the side as if on a kamikaze mission. I waited for the sound of breaking glass, but silence ensued. As I surveyed the scene before me, it seemed the coffee had expanded while in the air.
Traces of the hot beverage dribbled down the white kitchen wall that formed several puddles on the tiled walkway between the kitchen and family room. To mock me, the cup lay on its side in a pool of brown liquid on top of the trashcan. In an instant, my off-white verticals were redecorated with irregular brown spots that matched brown dots on the back of my sofa. A new fashion statement it wasn’t!
A beautiful, sunny, cloudless day in Arizona welcomed us as we drove toward the Hopi Indian Reservation, accessed by travel through the Navajo Indian Reservation. The spectacular scenery consisted of flat land with an occasional butte jutting up to lace the landscape with colors almost beyond description. We were on our way to volunteer at the Hopi Indian Mission School in Kykotsmovia, Arizona. I would be tutoring; my husband scheduled to do maintenance and repair. The sun began to set as we neared our destination and it cast eerie shadows over the buttes. As if to provide a backdrop to the grandeur, a distant mountain range with snow-covered peaks captured our attention.
There were no homes or any other signs of life until we approached the town and school grounds. There the colorful beauty turned to bleak desolation. Unexpected gusts of wind rocked our fifth wheel, home for the next month. The few dwellings we observed resembled shacks. Car tires piled on top of the roofs served as protection against the constant turbulence. Later we would learn…
This is an excerpt from a story in my memoir. It also won first place at the Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium this past June. There to volunteer, the experience changed my life in more ways than I could imagine.
“Don’t run through the sheets,” mama warned. Everyone knows if you tell a child not to do something, that something is exactly what he or she will want to do. I am no exception. The fresh smell of sheets beckoned to me every time. I often wondered who declared that laundry had to be done on Monday. A clue perhaps the seven embroidered tea towels held by fourteen wooden clothespins that indicated the main chore for each day of the week. Monday’s towel showed a young lady with a wash basket and every yard in my neighborhood indicated compliance.
This is an excerpt from Running Through Sheets, a memoir, available soon.
The TV series “Turn” about the revolutionary war, reminded me that men and women have reversed roles. Back then, men wore wigs, sometimes with elaborate curls, adorned with ribbons and bows, topped by fancy hats, with plumes. Despite the ruffles on the cuffs of shirts, the short pants, and long stockings men walked with determined steps and demonstrated authority. Women wore long dresses and were covered except for the tops of their bosoms exposed enough to declare femininity and perhaps a tease. There was no question who was male or female. Today young men walk in a strange way to keep their pants from falling down with underwear exposed for all to see. Many have become sissified, no longer men of valor. Young women expose almost all leaving nothing to the imagination and many have assumed the role that once belonged to men. At times one cannot tell the difference between the two. Decorum has been lost. Do not get me wrong, I am not a proponent of women barefoot and pregnant under the dominance of men. I see nothing wrong with women having careers or achieving success. But, on the other hand I love when a man opens my car door, holds a door open for me, helps me with a package, removes his hat in respect, or stands when a lady enters the room. Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoy being a woman. My desire is that men would return to being real men. How many would agree?
Not again we cried en masse,
And the heavens wept
Powerless to ease the pain
Unable to cleanse the crimson stain.
Creation mourned the loss.
Majestic mountains bent low
Quietly they came, drawn by unseen hand,
Expressions of love try to understand.
Common bond uniting, why ,why we ask?
To find an answer no easy task.
But truth emerges from the stained way.
Though evil intended to rule the day,
Good will prevail, wrongs will be right,
Tears wiped away, dark into light.
Life will go on after it’s kind.
All in God’s time, all in God’s time.