Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

Posts Tagged ‘weather’

SING THEM HOME: A Wonderful and Restorative Novel ~Stephanie Kallos

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

I have just finished reading LANGUAGE ARTS by Stephanie Kallos and just wanted more of her writing to explore, so I treated myself to an e-copy of her novel SING THEM HOME.   I was not disappointed.  The read was delicious and it is going to challenge me to share just 500 words about it.  I am definitely going to read this book again.

I could approach this book by saying the Jones Family was the main characters of the story and I would be right.  Each member was well described and had enough story to make you feel as though you knew them well.  Dad was defined by the other members of the family and did not have long chapters of his life on his own merit but rather how he related to his family and community.

I could say that the community of Emelyn Springs, Nebraska was the main character of this story.  What is life in a small village, which is suffering from a demise of business supposed to do to prop themselves up and keep going?   It is a community with strong roots and traditions – it is Welsh, and the men all enjoy singing.  The folks spend a week singing the dead “home” and truly celebrate a life.  Music is vital to these people and they start singing as to give voice to problem solving and to call all to come together.

Actually, I think the weather in this part of Nebraska is the primary villain in the story.  Too hot and then again right in a Tornado Alley.  What they must contend with and the ways they must be safe are a tremendous part of the towns experience and it’s crucial to the Jones family and the lives that are shared.  Bonnie and her mother, Hope, are carried away by the storm and this changes the family forever.  The town finds Bonnie is a fallen tree and sings to her until a fire truck can arrive from a neighboring city to rescue her.  They keep her alive and now years later she is obsessed with picking up interesting finds and discoveries, riding her bike everywhere and talking to the dead.  Hope, who has MS completely disappears and is presumed dead.  The house is gone.

“When grounded, the dead mothers feel every footstep of every human being all over the world.”  (page 16)

Dad is the local doctor for the community, Larken is the oldest daughter and teaches Art History at the University, and Gaelan, the son, is now the weatherman at the big city TV station.  What happens to a family when their mother is ill and then gone? How are they changed?  How do they love again and what brings them home?

I could not put the book down, I was so transported into the story and the lives of each character.  I did not want to live in their town or even go for a visit, but I so enjoyed the way they used traditions and song to keep in touch and to sing each person “home”.  There was so much meaning and connection.

The writing weaves the story home and the weird keeps a twinkle in the reader’s eye all the way through until the plot straightens out and one finds restoration of the narrative to complete the picture.  It was just a perfect length and had a great ending and I was able to say; “Now the story is complete.”   It was just right.

Stephanie Kallos lives in Seattle, Washington with her big family and works at her art of storytelling.  BROKEN FOR YOU was her first novel and that was quite the wonderful read also.

Language Arts
Broken For You
Animal Dreams

Snow Day

Thursday, January 19th, 2012
Snow day skiing

Snow day skiing

It is a snow day!  Maybe this is nothing for you to note or write about, but here it is all about enjoying the wonder of the experience.  As a child, it meant usually we had the day off from school, and we did not mind making it up in June, because a snow day was just so rare it was wonder full.

Not until my siblings took skiing lessons up the mountain did we have snowsuits, rather we just layered up and pulled on rain boots, mittens and hats.  When we were so wet and frozen we could not hang out for one more minute, we came inside for warm cups of hot chocolate and often a toasty bath.  If we lost power, then the fireplace was called into service and we played marathon rounds of board games in the flickering light.

The city often set aside streets for sledding, because everyone just stopped and enjoyed the experience.

And then the rain would come warm and wash it away and life would return to regular routines.

I probably had 10 Snow Days during my years in the public school system. (I spent my last two years of schooling in Cleveland, Ohio – no snow days there)  My youngest child celebrates her birthday in February and she had 9 birthdays of snow days during her progress.  One year my children were off from school for 18 days over the course of winter and they had to be made up in June.

One of my children lives in California now, and she is wishing that she was home for this Snow Day.  Yes she loves to cross country ski and build snow folk in the yard, but I think it is also that sense of wonder and just raw joy that comes from deep inside.  That rush to not waste a moment of this experience and feel it soak in right up to the knees.

There is something different this year.  They can tell us that tomorrow will be the worst day of this storm.  There are so many children who go to the mountains skiing every weekend, that snow at home is not so novel an experience.   The city is not blocking off streets for sledding but rather borrowing street cleaning equipment so that there will not be disruption because of the weather.  No snow folks have emerged on my walk.  And I do not hear the sound of children enjoying and calling out, “look at this!  Watch me!”
The school buses are not running, so I am fairly sure that the schools are closed.  We still have power so I think the TV and computer are still available.

The new kind of quiet is actually eerie.  Solemn.  Poignant.

I am curious as to whether or not now “they” will attempt to develop a pill or programming to recreate that inner joy and wonder of a Snow Day?

“Be aware of wonder.
Live a balanced life
–learn some and think some
– and draw and paint and sing and dance
– and play and work every day some.”
Robert Fulgham

ZIP still has the feeling and he comes in a shiny, happy puppy covered in snowballs and barking with glee.

How do you conjure up that feeling from deep inside?  How do you think folks find it today?  Do you think some folks do not know what they are missing?

I have a Professional Listening Services Site at WISE EARS please come over and explore our services.

Referrals are how we build our business and word of mouth referrals, tweets, and comments on Facebook, Linkedin, and other social networks help us to meet new people.

Related Reading:
Teaching a Pup to Rain Walk 
Food For Thought Holiday
My Neighborhood Looks like a Snow Globe
Wii and Wii Fit

In a gentle way – Inspiring Myself

Monday, April 11th, 2011


I have a hand woven flour storage basket.  It has never held flour of any kind, rather I keep it on my desk and undo the hook and latch to drop quotes in that I find pleasing.  When I need a bit of a push with my thinking, I open the lid and reach within and pull out slips of paper.

Yesterday, I played in the sunshine all day.  After 60 days of straight rain, we had a wonderful day of sunshine.  I did not write, instead I walked and greeted my many neighbors who were out and about.  I weeded and puttered in the garden and I just enjoyed the stunning beauty of the sky.

Today the next storm is fast approaching and the wind is picking up; the clouds have gone from white puffy to gray and now with charcoal out over the water soon to be stuck on the mountains as a downpour. I feel cold and I want to eat and break my fast.   Walking, prayers, meditations, laundry, even errands are completed and now soup is simmering on the stove.  Hammer and saw work on the garden beds to prepare for the season ahead and I find I am in need of a shove to get going on these words.

I opened my basket and randomly pulled out 10 slips of paper and here is what I discovered:

7 quotes from Gandhi:
1.    In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
2.    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
3.    An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
4.    A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.
5.    You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
6.    We must become the change we want to see in the world.
7.    We do not need to proselytize either by our speech or by our writing. We can only do so really with our lives. Let our lives be open books for all to study.

1 Quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

1 Idea from Einstein
The important thing is to not stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.

And 1 Exercise from Steve Pavlina, I had just placed in the basket this week:
…sit down with a piece of paper, ask yourself what your life purpose is, and keep writing down answers until you come to the one that makes you cry.

I was filled up and ready to go and my mind was in full swing and thinking.  It is a rather magic basket.

One of my daughters keeps a journal of quotes that inspire her.  She keeps them in a rather neat order and within categories.   I kind of like my random jumble.  Do you keep quotes that inspire you?  Orderly or jumbled?  Nature inspires me and relaxes me too; sometimes I just get too relaxed in the great outdoors!

I was even inspired by getting so many quotes from people who practice nonviolence and were concerned with justice.  What do you think about this random selection, I would like to know what motivates you and inspires good thinking and encourages your actions?

A reminder:  there are two book” give aways” happening on Patricia’s Wisdom right now:

April 22, 2011 will be the drawing for a copy of the book THE LONG GOODBYE – all you need to do is be from the USA or Canada and leave a comment.

April 28, 2011 The author of the book THE PROCRASTINATION EQUATION is giving away a copy to the best procrastination story or anti-procrastination technique from the comments section.

If you liked what you read here and would like to read more you can subscribe by RSS or email, which are at the top of the page.

Related Reading:
Red Fox – Good Morning
Move Your Money and Build Your Community
Stopping to Smell the Flowers
Adulthood Quiz: How Diverse are Your Friends Politically

Walking a Puppy II – A Meditation

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
Puppy in the Snow

Puppy in the Snow

In and out of rain showers
In and out of sun’s play
Towards the black cloud looming

Snow is lacy patterns on the grass
Gutters full of slushy water streams
Ascend to black cloud’s warning

Pushing wind into the face
Bumping wind strikes left
Arrivals wing on current drafts

We are as close to black
We are as close as we can go
Turning to review our steps

Descending eyes see the tide lapping
Wind pressured white caps blooming
Rainbow arches –  hoping

Please forgive me as I may not be on line for a few days in order to say goodbye to my beloved Aunt Margery. I would appreciate your comments and constructive suggestions. Go bravely with courage.

Other Reading you might enjoy:
Such a Beautiful Day
Eating My Carrot
Dawn and Release
Love Poem to a Glorious Morning