Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Page Turners

After a summer hiatus, the Page Turners once again gathered to discuss books, authors, and a little local gossip!

There are still nine of us in the group, and we trade off locations each month so as to share the responsibility of cooking and cleaning! This month found us at the small upstairs apartment at one of our youngest members. The apartment was small but decorated with a combination of shabby chic and 1800 French art. It was a delightful setting with the early evening sun filtering through large windows and the scent of summer candles. We gathered on chairs and threw pillows onto the floor. (I took a seat away from the pet rats as the cage door was wide open and they had free range of the table they were resting upon!)

After a brief (OK, not so brief) how was your summer motif, we settled into the work set upon us. We pulled out our dog eared copies of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. The book was copyrighted 1943, but takes place in Brooklyn beginning in 1912. What a charming book! I was in love with it from the first page. Betty Smith had a style of writing that drew the reader into the past...part history...part story...part, "oh, I wish I could have been there!"

One of our favorite quotes from the book was at the beginning of WW1 when the heroine knows that war is coming. She writes, "Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry..have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let ms be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute."

We compared the book greatly to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells, another book of strength and overcoming great difficulties.

We, The Page Turners, gave the book four pages.

Dinner of pork sandwiches and fruit and pasta and cream puffs was served and we ate as we had been sitting sharing the coffee table.

As darkness prevailed, we gathered our books and notes, and bid farewell until the next time when we will be reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

Until next time, this is Maggie Mae. Remember, books take us where we cannot go except in our imaginations.


Lou Ann Homan is a writer, a teacher, and a storyteller. When she isn't meandering Indiana roads, she can be found in the small town of Angola where she shares The House at White Picket Gardens with her books and gathered treasures. She is available for storytelling and writing seminars! Please check out her website at www.louannhoman.com

Fresh produce stands....

Meandering down Indiana roads takes longer in August as I want to stop at all the small produce stands set up along the way.

It seems as if they are every mile or so..each one boasting with a homemade sign that something wonderful has been grown there.

The stands are as varied as the folks who grow the gardens. Some are quite lovely with tablecloths and umbrellas and the produce displayed in old baskets. Others have drug out the old enamel table from the barn and just set the produce down upon it.
Some are attended by the gardening folks..others just provide a metal box in which to place the coffers.

Yesterday afternoon while meandering, I came across a pick up truck just sitting in the August sun full of Indiana sweet corn. The farmer was asleep in a lawn chair with his John Deere hat slung down over his eyes.

He awoke in an instant when my Jeep pulled in and began to help me fill the bag with fine, sweet corn. The air was pungeant with earth and corn and waves of August heat. After twelve ears were stuffed into the bag, he proceeded to give me one more, a baker's dozen.

I thanked him for growing the corn..selling the corn. I know how much work it is!!

Last night Karen, Aaron, and the boys shared the sweet corn with me. Matthew and Jonah ate it right off the cob (as all Indiana children do!) with corn dripping down their chins.

As for me, today I think I will go looking for peaches!


Lou Ann Homan is a writer, a teacher, and a storyteller. When she isn't meandering Indiana roads, she can be found in the small town of Angola where she shares The House at White Picket Gardens with her books and gathered treasures. She is available for storytelling and writing seminars! Please check out her website at www.louannhoman.com.