Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The 'Blizzard' of 2007

I arrived home from Florida to the Toledo airport with absolutely no idea where to find my car. It was an amazing winter wonderland. I drug my suitcase over each snowdrift as I searched for the old white jeep. When I did find it, the doors were all frozen shut, and, of course, my hat, mittens, coat and boots were all locked inside! After a long while, I was able to pry open the passenger door and climb over to start the car. I also was lucky enough to have my scraper. After an hour of work, I was able to gingerly make my way out of the parking lot towards home.

My neighbors, Larry and Sherry, had plowed my driveway. If it hadn't been for them, I would have never gotten into my drive. My house temp was on 50, so I turned on the heat, changed clothes and Karen and I took the boys to the park for a late afternoon snowy playtime. The evening ended with dinner and hot coffee back at my house.

Snow is everywhere...and I am in awe of the beauty. My boys love it as well!!

Lou Ann



Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A lovely week end in Florida...ahhhh...

It was a short week end...but absolutely lovely. Adam met me at the St. Pete airport on Friday and we spent the next couple of hours lunching and walking on the beach. (I could not resist the photo of me and the Gulf behind me!) It was warm and sunny and a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon.

We spent the week end walking on the beach, attending the St. Pete's farmers market which is home to fine art, fresh vegetables, fresh squeezed orange juice, hummus, anything possible for lunch and friendly vendors. We bought tangerines, photographs, homemade soap and hot dogs from the corner vendor.

Saturday night was a treat for me as they surprised me with tickets to The Rockettes. It was on tour at the Tampa Performing Arts Center and so wonderful. It was fun to dress up and attend the theatre. We came home, made coffee and had homemade cookies and talked late into the night.

Their house is creative and beautiful and a reflection of who they are.

By Monday morning I was back at the airport returning to the North to recover from the Blizzard of 2007!

I thank Adam and Tonya for such a wonderful visit...I miss them already.

Lou Ann



Friday, December 14, 2007

A Christmas Program in my Home Town

The lights dim and there is a hush over the crowd as the children come into the gym and take their places on the bleachers. As I sit on the small stage awaiting the reading of Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, I have a wonderful view of children and parents. For on this night it is the Christmas program at Hamilton Elementary School. Camera flashes begin to go off and parents scoot up to the front to catch a glimpse and a photo of their child. I think every parent, grandparent and neighbor in Hamilton is at the program as every bleacher seat and every chair is filled.

The students have been looking forward to this for weeks practicing songs in their classroom and decorating the hallways with Santa letters and Christmas wreaths made from old cards and paper plates. The evening hallways show off the twinkle lights that adorn bulletin boards. If you were to take a step back in time Hamilton School is reminiscent of decades gone by. The modern conveniences that are so prominent in the new schools have passed us by. There are no phones or televisions in the classrooms….no modern cloakrooms…no state of the art conveniences, but Hamilton has been home to me for as long as I can now remember. There is something wonderful about this hometown school, I guess you could call us all family as opposed to teachers and staff. On this Christmas program night it is evident as teachers make their way back to school to open up classrooms so children can gather. The hallways are full of laughter and love and beauty. Children who normally attend school in t-shirts and jeans are now in dresses of pink and red…satin and bows. The boys have vests and white shirts with the collars sticking up in the back and their hair slicked down by mothers who tried to make them stand still all the while.

I remember my very first Christmas program as I child. It wasn’t fancy, we just sang. I do know that I secretly wanted the lead part, but it went to a girl in my classroom who read the Bible twice through already. Or so she said. (We were in fourth grade!) My dress was blue and I got to wear my patent leather shoes to the program as opposed to my every day saddle oxfords. I remember standing on that stage unable to breath as I was so nervous. I was shy when I was young.
The teacher, Miss Lomont, came and sat by me and patted my knee. My hair was in pigtails, my teeth were crooked, but I felt so important in that moment.

Tonight is the same. I look at their faces. Hope. Sweetness. Courage. Impishness. Twinkle lights adorn the gym and they begin singing Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas. Every child sings as loud as he/she can. Each class one a time sings a song or two. They even put a dreamy feel in White Christmas. At one of the rehearsals I heard Tonya, one of our teachers, say to them…sing it for your grandparents, it is their song. She was so right. On this night they do sing it for their grandparents.

The show isn’t fancy…no speaking parts…no dramatic sets or costumes…and some of the time they are off key and not even with the music. It doesn’t matter. The program ends with thunderous clapping and there is great commotion of parents and children trying to find each other. Children are anxious to hear the words the program was wonderful, you are wonderful.

As quickly as the gym was set up to look like a fairyland, it is taken apart and everything hauled back into classrooms or car trunks. The lights are stark and bright and tomorrow the high school students will play basketball in the gym. Tomorrow the children will wear t-shirts and jeans, but the Christmas magic will remain.

I drive back home over roads that are still a bit icy from the morning snow. They are empty and deep coldness is settling down upon us. In our world of change I am thankful for things that do not. Christmas programs. Moonlight on snow. Christmas lights in windows. Children. I pull into the driveway at the White Picket Gardens. It is good to come home. I find another warm quilt in the closet and find myself humming White Christmas as I close the curtains on the holy darkness.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

haiku for a winter's day

Today in my home town:

Empty streets of ice
Longing for summer walkers
All doors frozen shut

Bloodlines of winter
Run through blue veined lifeless hands
I’m sleeping til Spring

Winter’s aching moon
Shadowed behind icy clouds
Crescents on my floor

Roads of sooted dust
Swirls with frigid drollness
Cold placidity

Frosted icy paths
Bring frozen stars down to earth
Hunched winter morning

Shards of blackened soot
Seep into death’s coverlet
What darkness lies there?

Diamond overview
Cold windows of winter’s lace
Breathing haunts my soul

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Groaning houses

Heavy thick fog swirls about my back porch light. It is unusual to have such fog close to the house....it is like a soft gray blanket. The old house likes this soft sweetness as it begins to fill up with family for Thanksgiving. Adam and Tonya arrived on Friday and settled into the Bridal Suite room...Abe and Kristin along with my Blue Moon Baby, Holly, arrive tonight. Tonya and I are driving to the Fort Wayne airport to pick them up. All the rooms are cozy and ready.


Aaron and Karen and the boys are in and out as well although the boys have to give up their room for this additional company! The refrigerator has been stocked, oh, two or three times already as it seems as if this is the meet-and-greet house for meals.



The old house is ready, today is my last day of school....ahhh, let the Holidays begin!


Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My column!

My journey is long as I travel back to Ocracoke. The mode of transportation changes as I shift from cars and planes to ferries and bikes. It is good to be back with my island friends and settle into my other life, even if it is only for a few days.
The air feels cool and I am glad I tossed in my black cape and scarf for these events. It is refreshing after the heat of the summer. I am enveloped in the scent of the island…the junipers and cedars. They are strong this time of year. The colors are not vibrant like those back home in Indiana, but the slanting of the sun and the color of the ocean shows me deep Autumn is here as well.

This is, however, not a vacation nor just a wandering of my spirit…no, my mission is certain….a wedding and a murder. Not exactly in that order and neither events are mine personally… at least I hope not. Actually each event has nothing to do with the other except coincidences. First of all, it is the murder that takes me to Ocracoke. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound so great either. The execution of a murder? OK, here’s the story. I plan and implement murder week ends….for fun. Folks can sign up for these, pay for the event, dress up and play act for three days. The events are always a Pink Panther Who-Dun-It event with the dead guy always showing up at the door as a traveling attorney. This one is full of mystery and intrigue involving pirates and a hurricane. (Well, we are on an island in the Atlantic!) The date is 1823 and the storm rages. (Luckily for me it is cold and the wind is blowing.)

It is Friday night and we meet for ghost stories. The Cove B & B where I am working is directly on the Sound side of the island and the wind is howling. The twenty guests are shy and the name tags have only character names. I am thinking that in less than twenty-four hours we will all be pretending it is 1823 and one of us (them!) will be dead. Our name tags are indicative of long ago times: Reuben, Liza Jane, Billy B. and the list goes on. After a tale from Poe I send them all shivering to their beds.

Saturday dawns cold and sunny with the wind still whipping across the Atlantic. The ferries are running as I hear their whistle, but they could be shut down any minute because of the wind and then we all become captives of the island. I meet with all the characters and dispel fears of acting. This is to be an improv evening. Everyone knows the synopsis of their character, but no lines have been written. It is live theatre. It is exciting. Most will spend the afternoon thinking about their character or walking around the village. It is too cold and windy for the beach.

Now I change out of murder clothes to attend the outdoor marriage of two islanders, born and bred on the island. This wedding is to be held outdoors and we, the guests, are bundled up for it in several layers as the wind howls. The trellises are decorated with Autumn leaves and the bridal party strolls through the pathway in the woods. The maid of honor is 103 years old. Her name is Muzel and she is the oldest living person that I have ever known. She actually stands for most of the ceremony even though she is held up by two young stout men. Ahhh, the marriage is complete, we all clap and cheer, hug and congratulate. I am happy to have been privy to this lovely ceremony. But now…off to the murder. I go and change back into my 1823 pirate’s dress, review my own notes. I play the town gossip and having written the show, I need to remember everything I have told my characters. The costumes are divine…some rented, some store bought and the murder begins. We play for five hours straight. The stories become entangled and I often think, did I write that????? The dead guy dies right on time and eventually the murder is solved. I hand out trophies to the best actor, actress and best costumes.

It is late, but all is well. A murder. A marriage. All in one cold windy week end on my island in the Atlantic.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Falling snow and the election...

Dear Folks,

There must be the mention of the first snowfall of the season...OK, it didn't amount to much or accumulate...oh, but it was wonderful. The kids at school were delighted. We all had to gawk at the windows and then go outside...what else is there to do but go outside?

The trees are still stunning....this Autumn has just gone on and on. It was a magical day of falling butterscotch colored leaves and frosty snow. It was also election day and quite a big day at that. On Monday evening I hosted by All Girl's Pot Luck. The house was brimming with women of all ages...birthday cakes, a fabulous fall cake by Karen, homemade soups, deviled eggs, salads, and end of garden garnishes. My friends are such great cooks.

We spent a great deal of time talking about our up and coming show in February and the elections. Opinions were varied as they should be. My friend, Kathy, stayed late to help clean up and talk politics. As a side note, they all wanted to just write my name on the ballot. Now there is a thought. It was a close race with just a fifty point variance. The incumbent, Dick Hickman, was re-elected. My article in the paper this week will address him and hold him to promises.

Hope you got out and voted as well!!

Lou Ann



Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Home Town...Halloween!

It is Halloween week and the waning full moon illuminates my early morning walk. This magnificent moon represents the Hunter’s Moon, or in earlier times, the Blood Moon. Its name is just what it suggests, more light for hunters to find their prey. It used to be a grand celebration in Western Europe, called The Feast of the Hunter’s Moon. That tradition died out in the 1700’s but has been revived down in Lafayette for their festival of the same name. Whatever you call it, it is romantic. My Mom and Dad were engaged on the full Hunter’s Moon 59 years ago on a hayride. I like to think of them so young and happy and laughing on that hayride years ago. They used to dance to tunes like By the Light of the Silvery Moon and later to Moon River. It is charming and comforting to watch parents dance. We do not dance enough, any one us.

My neighborhood is decked out for Halloween….orange lights, glowing pumpkins, plastic bats in windows. I scuff through the leaves nightly to see what has been added. There used to be a decoration contest in town for Halloween and one of the winners of that contest years ago is now dark and lonely and for sale. I thought about buying that house just to decorate it back up for Halloween. It already has an eerie haunting look with the peeling gingerbread trim and the forlorn sale sign out front. I probably am not the best one to buy it though as my own decorations are pretty minimal. Corn stalks are tied on my garden gates with a passel of pumpkins on each side. Most of the pumpkins came freely from my garden, but two of them were from the five boys next door. We traded for a homemade loaf of bread. I imagine the bread did not even make it through half of their dinner time.

All old towns are wondrous creatures at Halloween. I sometimes wonder what keeps all of these traditions going year after year. We know how they all started The Irish and the Scots brought these European customs with them when they (we) immigrated in the 1800’s. Decorated pumpkins. Witches. All Hallows Eve.

We have our own traditions here (even without the house decorating, although I was thinking that the Park’s Department should bring that back, what do you think?) There is the Autumn hoe down at the park, the Fall Fest, the Trick-or-Treating hours. I am glad that I was a child before those rules were established. I grew up in Fort Wayne and we started the Trick-or-Treat scene at least a week ahead of time. We started early and ended late and took our last loot home on Halloween night in an old pillowcase. At least those are the stories I tell my kids about the good ole’ days. I remember spreading all of it out, sorting it by really great stuff, good stuff, OK stuff, and not so great. The Bun candy bars were in the really great stuff whereas apples and boxes of raisins were rock bottom.

On this night the storytelling at Pokagon State Park still stands as a tradition in the county. My friend, Steve, and I have been telling ghost stories for 18 years (I think, we need to ask Fred Wooley on that one) at the park. It is a ghostly night with luminaries, carved pumpkins and a roaring fire in the Pavilion. Everyone sits bundled up sharing popcorn and cider, compliments of the Inn. Children who came to some of the first storytellings are now bringing their children to this wonderful evening. Sometimes we are accompanied by bats or mice or even an occasional black cat walking through, but always there is a chill in the air.

The wind blows today as I write and rehearse those ghost stories for tonight. Some stories I pull out of the archives of my brain, others are born out of my imagination. I have blown the cobwebs out of my black cape and found both of my gloves for this haunting evening. It is good to know that some things don’t change and that for a few hours we can huddle together listening to cryptic tales that will not be at all scary tomorrow in the daylight.

I’ll come home late tonight and scuff through the leaves surrounding my garden gate, light my pumpkin and just be glad for traditions in my hometown.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Hunter's Moon

Last night Aaron and Karen decided to try their hunting skills again (Karen already successfully got a deer with her bow and arrow, outsmarting her husband!) so the boys came for dinner and, shall I say, activities!

The leaves are plentiful now with piles and piles of butterscotch gold and toffee colors filling my gardens. We raked and jumped and raked and jumped and, well, you get the picture. Needless to say we ended up with no large piles of leaves by the time we went in, but a great time was had by all. Their eyes and faces were absolutely delighted with the leaf jumping. Matthew remembers it, but Jonah just barely remembers participating last year..it was lovely.

We came in to warm up, have a steaming bowl of fresh chili (compliments of Karen) and biscuits on their new Halloween plates. The sun was starting to go down in the West and I kept watching for the full moon to rise. I saw it peeking over my neighbor's house, grabbed the boys with hats and coats, apples and a paring knife and sat out on the stoop to watch the rising of the Hunter's Moon. I told Matthew...someday when today is a long time ago remember this moment. He calmly said...you mean when you are dead? Hmmm.....I guess so!

It was so beautiful. We ate apples and just couldn't stop staring at the beauty of the night. We finally came up, hung up more orange lights, resituated my witch manequin and played hide-and-go-seek. It was a wonderful evening.

Yes, an evening to remember when today is a long time ago!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Hometown...October 20, 2007

It is after midnight and I am driving through downtown Indianapolis. The city is lit up and it seems as if everyone is still out as the streets are crowded with cars. I do not know where they are going at this late hour. I am coming from the Hoosier Storytelling Festival, actually the 20th anniversary. I have told stories at all but one of the festivals. Every year we gather to celebrate stories and friendship. I love being part of this festival….telling stories…setting up chairs…hanging twinkle lights in the tents for the evening performances. My artsy friends in Indy continuously ask me about ‘home’ and ‘hearth’ in Northern Indiana. I am always proud and gush my way through accolades about my town. Alright, so I do romanticize it a bit, but why not? Charming. Quaint. These are the words I use. I talk about my small gardens and walking everywhere. They promise to visit this winter when the storytelling work slows down, and they will.

I remember that I am out of toothpaste and pull into a brightly lit CVS as the 1 a.m. hour approaches. I am almost out of my old Jeep when my cell phone rings. It is Tonya, my Florida daughter-in-law. I panic when I hear her voice at this wee hour of the morning. She assures me that everything is fine, although I find that hard to believe when she is calling me at 1 a.m. She wonders what I am doing. I tell her that I am just roaming the streets of Indianapolis heading toward my friend Ellen’s house. She doesn’t appear to be surprised or really even notice what I am saying.

I wait for her to speak, to announce her presence and her cause. She does not mince words but bluntly states that fact that she is homesick. Homesick? I do not understand what she is saying. Homesick for what? Her words pour out like sweet, smooth honey. She is homesick for northern Indiana…for her roots…family…old friends. I listen in amazement. She is my Florida girl, for seven years with a lovely old remodeled bungalow just blocks from the St. Pete Beach. She represents our spring vacations when we are mired down with the frosty edges of winter. She and Adam have good jobs, make good money. Their life is envious to most as we watch from a distance.

I am caught so off guard by her statements that I become a bit speechless and let her ramble on until my cell phone dies and I sit in the CVS parking lot unable to reach her and pondering what this will mean.

After college my three sons set off with bags packed…literally the day after graduation. Two went to the East Coast, one to the West Coast with packed U-hauls. I think about their adventures. I can’t help but laugh and think they remind me of the three little pigs leaving home with bundle sticks and going out to make their fame and fortune. The odd part is that one at a time they are packing up their own new families and coming home. First Aaron and Karen from Atlanta, now Adam and Tonya from Florida.

I think of all the advice I need to share…Angola is not St. Pete or Atlanta or Portland. The jobs are not as plentiful or as monetarily rewarding…the weather is cold and snowy in the winter. My mind spins with all the reasons they should stay where they are, but the echo of her voice reaches me as I sit in the parking lot. We miss you. We miss family. We miss home.

Home. A small rural town where my Indy friends are so envious as I tell about my neighborhood….my book club…Fall Fest…walking to the movies, the coffee shop. A small rural town where you build in fifteen extra minutes when you shop because you will know everyone. A small rural town where my neighbors come for pot lucks and plow my snow when the winter winds blow. I am in love with my town. There, I have said it. Everyone knows it. I guess my kids know it as well.

I turn on the ignition and head towards Ellen’s house. I really want to go home, but that will come in a day or two as the Festival season comes to an end. I smile. It looks as though I will be setting two extra plates for our Sunday suppers come this winter.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Under the sun (and the tent)...

A few hours in the car...a little NPR..a little chatting with the kids on the cell phone, and I pull up to the Indiana History Center to begin the 20th anniversary year of the Hoosier Storytelling Festival.

I am a day or so late which can't be helped with school and theatre obligations, but none-the-less, I arrive with two minutes to spare to hear Bill Harley. He is professional and funny and we all end up singing to songs that we danced to as teen agers! Memories flood around me as I listen. I whisper to Ellen that we should go up on stage and dance..but no one else seems to be thinking that...so we don't.

I stay at Ellen's although she is too busy to chat with this festival...so many details..Her Dad makes my early morning coffee as I am up early...a habit I will never get rid of as I roam about the house watching the dawn's night sky with diamond stars.

My room is cozy with my own quilt and a new mattress from a Christmas a while back. The room is tucked under the front eaves, and I feel a bit like Little Orphant Annie...especially on these lovely Autumn days.

So three days under the tents...stories...friends...connections. It is family and home for me.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Once upon a Tuesday...

The sunlight filters ever so softly into the rectangular windows of The Backstage. I have truly learned to love this area. As I look around it is full of light and color and sound and scent. (Yes, I spray it with lavender water every morning!)

But, oh, the projects leave their toll on this room. Papers are flying in the breeze, costumes waylaid, crayons and watercolor brushes spill out of containers...cameras, journals, art work, spell bowl lists...four coffee cups with just enough coffee in the bottom to become the host of a great science fair experience.

I just returned home from the National Storytelling Festival. It was hot and dry which was quite a switch from year's past, but the stories were as wonderful as ever. We spent three days sitting under the big top of storytelling listening to tales that brought a laugh or a tear. It was wonderful to be with friends and acquaintances that I only meet once a year.

Philip was able to join me and share in the event as well. I always love having another shared experience with him. But, alas, on Sunday we both went home...in opposite directions.

As for now...tonight is my first writing circle at my house. I am looking forward to an evening with folks who love writing as much as I do!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dancing under the stars...

Last night was our yearly hoe down at Pokagon State Park. Actually we call it the Autumn hoe down. I have been attending this dance for as long as I can remember. When the boys were little we all worked at the Fall Fest and then attended the dance. They spent their younger years hiking up to Hell's Point...anything to get out of dancing! They eventually spent time in the trees watching the dancers before they were brave enough to join all the dancers on the dance floor. Oh, those days are long gone...those boys of mine are grown and have their own lives now.

Last night I went to Erin's house for a chili party and then headed off to the park. The evening was cool and clear and the parking lot was full of folks of all ages! The caller did a great job teaching dances to the masses! I danced every dance even a staggering try at the waltz with a few friends. (Philip left so he couldn't go with me!!)

Part way through the evening the moon rose over the trees. It was lovely and romantic and so beautiful to be outside for the evening. The bonfire kept us warm if we were dancing and the boy scouts sold popcorn and coffee and coney dogs!

I didn't leave until all the folks had left and I bade my farewell to the band.

It was a dark and quiet drive home. My house was warm and inviting when I arrived back at midnight. I lit my outside pumpkin and just read a while before a 2 a.m. sleep took me into the darkness.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Morning Thoughts..

It is early Monday and the alarm went off like a siren....I was in a deep sleep and not anxious to return to the conscious world. But, alas.

The week end was a glorious...full of family and friends. Philip arrived on Friday afternoon after his 1,000 mile driving adventure. It was good to see him after several weeks. Tonya also arrived and with family all around we had a welcoming cook out complete with homemade apple pies and Karen's famous potato salad.

This week end was the fall fest and we enjoyed every moment of it. It is so nice to be able to walk to all of the events. I said to Philip yesterday that the joys of small town living are so wonderful. I can walk to the community center, the library, the downtown (antique shops, art galleries, coffee shops), the University...and other interesting little side jaunts.

This was the first year we hosted a Civil War Reenactment on the Commons. It was interesting, and I learned a great deal. The evening dance was the best. We did not leave the dance floor. Afterwards we walked through the camps. They were quiet with folks just sitting around playing the dulcimer, talking. The only lights were that of candles and campfires.

We ended the week end with a cook out last night and a campfire. We sat around talking, toasting marshmallows for s'mores and listening to Philip play the harmonica. It was just as magical.

What wonderful memories I have of this week end to send me off to school for another week!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Orion..........

It is 2:30 and sleep appears to over for the night....the breeze just barely blows gently through this old house. It is not cool enough to close the windows, but not warm enough for fans either. It is a time and space of limbo....early morning cool darkness. I look out my window as I begin this day and Orion appears before in the Eastern sky...bold and bright. I cannot stop starring at it...the beauty and the wonder. In this moment I feel I hold in my heart all that has been and all that will be. Sigh.

I switch the lights on, start the coffee, and settle down to the laptop for the early morning write. Alice Hoffman once said that one day she just sat down to write and became a writer. So, I too shall sit down to write and become a writer.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Frosty nights...

As quickly as summer comes it leaves just as quietly in the night as Autumn sneaks in around the corner. This past week I have had to pull out the woolen blankets as the temperatures have dipped into the forties. I still sleep with my door to the outside world wide open...I don't want to miss any of the nighttime sounds.

It is the perfect weather for the Johnny Appleseed Festival this week end. If you are around and not busy, come on out to Fort Wayne for a wonderful family adventure. There are craft booths and reenactors....there are bagpipers and dancers...storytellers and musicians....apple cider, apple dumplings and ham and beans from an old cast iron kettle.

I will be performing on the Village Folk Stage both days so come on over and say hello.

Whatever you do this week end, especially in the Midwest, it is definitely a James Whitcomb Riley week end.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Who Will Fill Their Shoes???

This week three artists of unsurmountable talent have died: Luciano Pavarotti, Madeline L'Engle, and Roy Parsons. Here are my personal connections:

When my children were small and we all lived together on the farm, I would have different types of meals...themed, if you will. I often read stories or poetry to match and had music as well. It never failed that when the evening dinner time turned Italian I would play Pavarotti on the CD player. I played it loudly. I would toss in a dashing of red wine into the sauce as I sang along in my diminished Italian voice. I was there with him on the stage in spirit when, in fact, I was in an Indiana farm house with an old stained apron.

Pavarotti began his fame when he stepped into the limelight as a stand in for Giveppe di Stefano at Covent Gardens in 1963.

In another part of the world, Madeline L'Engle won her Newberry award for her most famous children's book, A Wrinkle in Time in the year 1963. Didn't we all grow up with that novel? As an adult and a writer, I have also enjoyed her books on writing and met her once at a conference.

In still another part of the world, a small island boy, Roy Parsons, was singing his heart out on the vaudeville stages of New Jersey. With his harmonica strapped around his neck and his guitar in place he has continued to win the hearts of folk singers and appreciators ever since on Ocracoke Island. His death did not make the New York Times headlines, but for those of us who knew him, we wept just as mightily as if he had.

Who will take their places? Charm, charisma, humor, and a great love for the arts and mankind were these folks. Farewell.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Don't forget to smell the roses...

The five day trip to Portland was really wonderful. We hiked in the mountains...along the rugged coastline...collected seashells and lovely sanddollars on the Pacific Ocean and just spent time together as a family.

Miss Holly, at three months, did her first fingerpainting. She did not enjoy one moment of it, I might add, but at least has begun her work in the arts. (She has artist's fingers!!) She giggled out loud for the first time (that was while I was telling her the story of The Wizard of Oz using all the voices, she especially liked my lion voice!)

It was great to spend equal time with Abe and Kristin. It was lovely, but as always, too short and I found myself back on a plane heading to the Midwest. Karen and the boys were waiting for me here at the House at the White Picket Gardens with dinner and a lovely bottle of wine. I have such wonderful daughter in laws!!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Friday, August 31, 2007

My Blue Moon Baby....

Just a short drive to the Toledo airport...a couple of flights...and I am in Portland, Oregon visiting Abe, Kristin and the Blue Moon Baby.

I arrived mid day on Thursday to a warm, beautiful day with roses blooming all over the city, I believe that is why it is called The City of Roses.

It is lovely to be here...to share in their lives. Today Kristin and I have lunch out and shopped and even took Miss Holly for a latte. (Well, she actually slept through that event!!) Tonight Abe and Kristin are going out to dinner and Miss Holly and I have events planned. We are going to do our very first art work (fingerpainting)...a music lesson (I'll sing to her with my guitar)...and a short lesson on astronomy (we will take the blanket outside to look for shooting stars.) At least that is my plan. She may have plans of her own. (She is three months old!!)

Until tomorrow,
Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rain, rain go away...

Day number seven. It has not stopped raining...OK, I take that back..on Thursday at 1:30 it did not rain. How many inches did we get??? 5, 10, 15, 20...reminiscent of the old hide and go seek days. I am not really sure.

I do know this.

My backyard is under water and my neighbors, Larry and Cheri of 30 years in the neighborhood have never seen this event.

The basements are flooded in my small town. (Mine just has minor water, no big deal!)

The tornado warnings sent us all scurrying to those flooded basements yesterday as the sky turned black and the wind whipped around. My neighbor girls were visiting and, for the most part, thought it a great adventure. I had them put on red shoes (part of my Dorothy collection) before we went to the cellar.

Stoplights are out all over town.

The lakes are closed in my county. Yes, the lakes are closed. The only thing allowed are kayaks and canoes. I had dinner with friends on the lake last night, and it was so quiet and peaceful. On occasion there was the stray canoe silently gliding around the marsh. Quite lovely, actually.

According to the DNR, this has never happened.

On the positive side...there is a lot of green...I have read a lot of books...and it gives us all something to talk about in my small town!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Back home again in Indiana....

Dear Folks,

What a long two weeks this has been. My last post was right before I left Ocracoke. Philip literally had to pull me away from the counter in his gallery, put my suitcases in the car, and drive me silently (yes, I said silently) to the 5:30 ferry. Tears simply dripped down my face. He never knows what to say when I am like that...I never know what to say when I am like that.

There were storms in the area, and we were privvy to a lovely rainbow. A sign I should stay? No, just a lovely rainbow on a stormy night.

The airport.

It is difficult to say good bye after a summer of sweetness.

Karen picked me up at the South Bend airport with the little guys in tow. It was wonderful to hug their little bodies and talk, even though they were shy with me at first.

My first night back we all went to the midnight star gazing at Pokagon State Park. We took a night picnic and watched shooting stars until the boys fell asleep on the blanket.

The days that have followed have been blog worthy, but starting the school year, moving classrooms (ahhh, there is another blog)...unpacking a summer's worth of sand and memories and reconnecting have taken time. I have met with my book club, hosted the first ever girl's pot luck supper, planned for the newly established writer's group, had coffee with neighbors, planned our neighborhood potluck, kept the boys overnight...attended garage sales and farmer's markets.

All in all. I am home in Indiana once again.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"I must go down to the sea again..."

We do not use alarm clocks here on the Island. We just wake up at the bird's call (or the hum of the air conditioner.)

Today I woke early and declared my intentions to watch the sunrise on the beach. Philip (not an early riser) decided to join me. It was still dark so we put on the hall light just to manage the steep steps and stumble out to the morning.

As we arrived at the beach the crescent moon become silhouetted against the hazy dark gray of early dawn. It looked so like a child's cradle.

We walked over the dune and the sight was so stunning we just stood for a few moments. The beach was perfectly empty of humans in all directions. We were already barefoot so we went down to the water's edge to walk and watch the magic of dawn. As light appeared the water become light gray and we were able to distinguish tracks of all types in the sand. Ghost crabs. Sandpipers. Seagulls. Turtles. They have all been busy last night while we were sleeping.

The sun did not appear on the horizon, but hid under the hot steam of the coming day. We walked back and climbed up to the lifeguard post to watch the day. We talk about science and shadows and waves and colors when all of a sudden the sun appeared part way up in the sky. It was small and bright red and looked as if it were a small rubber ball suspended on a string.

We sat in silence as we watched folks begin making their pathway down to the beach as well. A fisherman cast out two lines in hopes of his dinner...a young couple put down a blanket to watch the day and an older woman just walked....

We stopped for breakfast at the Pony Island Inn and visited with local folks before coming home to start our day.

It could not have been more wonderful for my last full day on the island before leaving for Indiana. Sigh.



Sea Fever
by John Masfield

I must go down to the sea again

To the lonely sea and sky

And all I ask is a tall ship

And a start to guide her by.


And the whale's kick and the wind's song

And the white sails shaking

And a gray mist on the sea's fare,

And a gray dawn breaking.


Lou Ann
Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Small black wasps..

The weather has been HOT and humid...oh, we need rain and a northwest wind to come in and cool us off. Last night at the ghost walk by the time I was on the second story, I was already dripping in....well, it wasn't really sweat...just dripping. In spite of the heat, it did not deter the ghost hunters as Philip and I both had full tours. There was no spectacular sunset or pale moonlight though..just hazy dark. Actually a very good time to see a ghost, although my group must have been disappointed that no ghost arrived. (I, on the other hand, was a bit thrilled by that!)

I noticed yesterday morning the outside shower was full of small black wasps flying everywhere. This was an odd occurrence since I have not seen any all summer. It must be the heat that has brought them in.

It would not stop me, however, from taking my shower outside. Philip definitely has the classiest shower...copper shower head, stained glass window. There is lots of room for all the shampoos and rinses and I line them up on the wooden shelf. The best part is that it is outside under the live oak tree...a canopy of green and sky. Oh, and it saves scrubbing down the shower once a week as well.

So, I shall live with the little black wasps in this heat...the mystery is...where did they come from and where shall they go?

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Sunday, August 05, 2007

What do I do??

Dear Folks,

My blog site is so important to me...and then no writing. I have decided along the way that I have few readers...I also have been reminded that I need to write every day, of course, I know that!



Hopefully you are all on my Sunday Passage list, if not, send me a note, and I will make sure you are on the list!!



Philip's birthday was this week, and we had a great time. He also shares his birthday with his grandson, Lachlan. (The one who lives next door!) Philip's brother, Buddy, came for the day as well. We spent the day and evening celebrating with birthday parties, dinner at the Back Porch, and then the evening with Molasses Creek. I hid small birthday cards all over the house for Philip and presented him with a photograph of the meal wine makers!



We spent our joined birthday money for plants and trees for our garden. It is so lovely, but so hot and dry that we have to daily water them!



Tonight is the Jolly Roger, my last time as I will be leaving at the end of the week. I know each day that I will have the same thought, my last time! I am such a romantic.



Take care, drop me a note.



Lou Ann


Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter and the Ticking of the Clock..

Saturday, July 21, 2007

We are a small quiet island gently rocking in the Atlantic....but when it comes to Harry Potter...we celebrate in style!

Last night at 10:30 the doors to the Community Center opened to let in wizards and Harry Potter look-alikes of every age as the clock counted down towards midnight. There were swarms of folks from locals to tourists. I met a librarian from Vermont and a farmer from Ohio!

Now I must make a confession. I do not own all of the Harry Potter books, and I did not even buy one at the bewitching hour last night...or was it this morning? (I can always get mine at the library!) But, oh, I was caught up in the magic. I punched out the lenses in an old pair of sunglasses, found a magic wand (one should never really be without a magic wand!), sprinkled purple glitter in my hair and presto.....a Sybil look alike. Off to the Community Center I wandered and was greeted with another spray of glitter as I entered.I was amazed at the transformation and the work involved! There was a large graffiti board that asked our opinions...What will happen to Harry Potter!! (I have an opinion, but hope I am wrong!!)

There was a great apothecary shop where we could make our own remedies. (Eye of newt and toe of frog...hmmm....that does sound familiar!!) I could have also made great eyeglasses and magic wands, but seeing as how I already possessed those I passed.It was the seer I was most interested in. Yes...I waited with bated breath until my turn to casually (my heart was beating rapidly) pull aside the filmy curtain and have my tea leaves read. I didn't care about the plastic five gallon pail of water next to the table or the stream of children waiting to get in...no, this was my moment. And what did the seer find for me? Romance. Well, that was definitely worth waiting in line for.

We had our pictures taken too, in a floating gilded frame. I thought mine was really quite dramatic and mystic as I held out my magic wand and pursed my lips. Katy Mitchell thought I looked more like a leftover porn star. But what does she know, she is only 19!There was music too. I think it was Sundae, David, Marcie and Lou...although with those black wigs and capes it was difficult to tell. They sang the Monster Mash and Love Potion Number 9. Actually I joined in on the chorus on the stage for the last one, but couldn't really see the words as the rims of my broken out sunglasses kept getting in the way.

Behind the scene was the ticking of the clock...the Harry Potter clock. Exactly at midnight books were falling into arms of adults and children alike.I decided to leave then and headed out to Highway 12. I had hitched a ride earlier but they were far gone so for this midnight hour journey I had to walk. It was quiet and dark and a bit spooky so I picked up my pace on the sandy pathway next to the road.So, I didn't buy the book. The only remnants I have of the evening were a pillow full of purple glitter this morning and a blue half moon sequin that I glued onto the side of my face. Once a wizard, always a wizard, I guess!!

Lou Ann

P.S. Also published on Philip's blog!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Manteo and Home again...

It was a great week end visiting Jim and the Lost Colony production. (See HR for full report on Saturday!)

We spent Sunday meandering around...visiting the Elizabethan Gardens and a lovely nursery by the sea. We, therefore, decided it was time to start our gardens and filled the car up with lovely drought, sand, and hurricane resistant plants! We also saw the latest Harry Potter movie.

I wanted to stop at a grocery store, but only had ten minutes to shop so that we could catch the ferry. I did just that and we pulled up to the dock 45 minutes later and drove right onto the ferry...great timing.

It was so good to be back home, even after one day. It is amazing how I love living without cars and traffic!!

The week has been busy...ghost tours, the Opry, the usual. Yesterday a German travel writer was here and Philip and I spent time with her. It was great introducing here to some local island life, even though she only had one day!! I took her by bike over to James Barry to go clamming and she went out in the sound to dig for clams and back to the Opry. It is good to see the island from the sea on up!

Today I recorded my journey with Carl Sandburg at the Soundside studio with Gary Mitchell. Now on to editing...adding music...and publishing.

Tonight Philip and I are doing a trial run of our new walking tour...ahhhh, yes, stop in for a sample...this one you can take anytime!!!

So much to say...but the sun is out and the breeze is sweeping in over the sea, and I must go.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A traveling week end..

Philip and I never leave the Island in the summer...ahhhh...but this week end we actually made plans with our friend, Jim, who lives in Manteo to spend the week end with him. We are traveling on the 4:00 ferry and hope to be in Manteo early evening. We have tickets for the Lost Colony this evening. The production is outside with seating built into the hillside. Once the set opens the ocean is the backdrop and is breathtaking.

I have packed a picnic for the ferry for our week end adventure. Tomorrow we will stop at a nursury to buy lovely old roses for our in-progress garden and then off to see the newly released Harry Potter movie in a small town on the way home.

It almost feels as if we are attending a birthday party...What fun we shall have!

Lou Ann

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ghosts that bump in the Night...

Twice a week I lead a Ghost and History walk on the island. It has taken several summers of research for this project. I have read many books and listened to "the ole' folks talk" as they would say.



We gather at 7:30 with flashlights and cameras (and bug spray). I have a great pirate dress with shawl and a necklace of seashells. We begin our journey rather historically...island history, island geography. By the time we reach the water's edge and the darkness begins to descend upon us the stories become ghostly in nature. We then head back into the village for the cemetery stories as flashlights become necessary and folks hold on to each other because of the inky darkness and Ghosts, of course.



Last night a storm began to brew in the ocean...the thunder was rumbling across the water, but often the storm skirts around this tiny island and heads back out to sea. However, this night was different...I began to count the seconds between lightning and thunder, just as I had been taught in elementary school. I knew we didn't have long, yet several stories yet to tell. I walked and talked a little faster. The bolts were more jagged and closer...the wind picked up...the parents picked up their children...but still they wanted the stories. In the middle of my last ghostly tale the rain came in torrents, we all fled for cars and porches (those who had come on foot or bike) to wait out the storm.



Needless to say, last nights tour will not soon be forgotten!



Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Monday, July 09, 2007

Springer's Point

Ahhhh, today was a day off and it was splendid! I spent the early morning drinking coffee on the front pizer (front porch) and just watching the sun rise as it cast shadows over the sandy lane. It was the perfect morning for hanging out sheets after having company for several days...it seemed as if someone was always coming and going this week. I love hanging out the sheets for the salty smell.

The week was full of Fourth of July celebrations, our float, our pot luck, our guests...fireworks on the beach. (full acount in this week's Herald Republican!) and a special edition of the Opry on Saturday night by 12 incredibly beautiful and talented women on the island. (If you haven't received Sunday Passage yet, let me know!)

Spent the rest of the morning with Philip and Lachlan (he is three) at Springer's Point for swimming and shell collecting, back on the bikes for ice cream and then naps!

Ahhh, I love having the day off!!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Under the old oak tree...

Yesterday afternoon I was strolling by my neighbors (well, actually I wasn't strolling, they were having a garage sale...and they are Philip's grown kids having the sale)....anyway, I walked on over and kept bringing lovely little items back to the house. Some I have hidden under the bed or on bookshelves or in the back wash house (for the time being!)

Anyway, on the late afternoon stroll with the slanting golden orb above, there was a gentleman in an orange and yellow striped hat with eyebrows that were reminiscent of Groucho Marx...black and bushy and almost down to his eyes. We got to talking as he pulled his wallet out of his pocket and with one swish turned five one dollar bills into five one hundred dollar bills!

Oh, he did not stop there, he pulled out his deck of cards and shared tricks with us. A crowd began to gather and hover over this eccentric old man. He continued the show with a piece of rope...tying it...cutting it...knotting it..and always returned to a full rope.

I felt like I was part of a traveling magic show...his wife sat serenely on an old trunk at the sale while we all just ooohhhed and ahhhhed. His voice carried down the dusty lane as he used his carny voice gathering us all into the act.

He told us his parents were in vaudeville and traveling gypsies as they took their wooden cart up and down the coast sharing their magic tricks. He began doing magic at age three. It was the most delightful afternoon...I could not stay away..dinner was uncooked and I was late for a rehearsal...but under the gold orb of life we learned more than magic.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A ghostly evening...

It is growing dark with thickening clouds and the distant roll of thunder off into the Pamlico Sound. I love these nights for ghost stories and haints that stroll in the night. This kind of weather keeps tourists inside and the locals out with umbrellas and flashlights to enjoy the swaying of the trees and a bit of a floating island.



I think I'll just head out myself for a lonely, quiet stroll and see what ghostly beings I can find in the 82 cemeteries that sleep in this little village.



Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Early morning stroll...

This morning was the lovliest of mornings. We woke up early and decided to head to the beach before the heat and the crowds. (OK, there really aren't too many crowds here!) We hurriedly grabbed our swimsuits and were out the door. Oh, it was so magestic. The sun was just peaking out of low rosy clouds as our feet hit the sand. The beach was entirely empty as far as the eye could see....it was as if we were in another world.



We walked and talked about life and the universe and physics and the beauty of life. It was one of those early morning deep conversations. We passed roped off areas of sea turtles and dunes full of sea grass and the remains of washed away sand castles.



We both went into the gray blue water for an early swim and then headed home full of salt and wind.



We completed the morning with showers and hot coffee and blueberry pancakes with Indian
maple syrup before the day had even started. Sigh.



Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An afternoon fairie party..

The invitation was delivered by hand. "Dear Lou Ann, Come to my fairie party on Sunday
Caroline."



Caroline is 8 or 9 years old and lives on the island in an old historic home/cottage with her parents, Rob and Sundae, her brother, Emmett, and her one year old sister, Mariah Daisy.

She is full of spunk and energy and bursting with ideas. (No TV for those children!!)



I wore my best fairie dress with my crown (of course) and carried a small hand-blown vase as a gift to Caroline for a fairie bouquet. She was still adorning the table as I rapped on the door and I needed to wait patiently for a moment or two.



The house had been transformed into a fairy wonderland with fairy wings and notes and pictures in all the corners of the house. The kitchen table was adorned with pink netting attached to the lamp and circling the table. (After the day's events it was to make it's way to Caroline's bed!) Her fairy collection was gathered about on the table as well as plates and napkins. Sundae was busy finishing up the blueberry tortes, holding on the Mariah and carrying on a conversation with me as well. Sundae is a gifted Mama as well as a gifted writer...so much to talk about! Although on this day, the top was fairies. Where do they live? What do they eat?



Our luncheon was perfect....fresh strawberries, grapes, fairie tea sandwiches, Jordan almonds, fairie tea, and the blueberry tortes. Following lunch we went out into the garden to build a fairie house. The rules are simple...all natural materials found in the garden or the woods although you cannot pick anything! Sundae became the hunter/gatherer while Caroline and I built the fairie house. It was a lovely house...full of sticks, hydrangeas, day lily seed pods, seashells, gardenias, pinecones...the inside had small tables of shells and beds with moss. If I were a fairie, I would definitely live in the small, tastefully decorated home.



By mid-afternoon it was time to meander on down the pathway on my bike. Saying my good byes, I tucked my long fairie dress under me and took to the dusty lane. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.



I just wonder....who visited last night by the light of the moon? Will we ever know?

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana and spends her summers on the wind swept island of Ocracoke. You can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Solstice..

Today is the Solstice, my favorite day of the year...from now on we head towards the darkness. On this day, however, we join in the ancient celebrations of proclaiming the sun and making every effort to ask her to stay as long as possible. Stores close, folks dance...bonfires burn in tribute to this wonderful pagan custome.

My boys and I have celebrated the Solstice for as long as I can remember. We set candles floating out on the pond with fairy wishes for a good crop. We chose a king or queen of the Solstice and let that person lead the procession complete with rose petals. Ahhh, those were wonderful days.

This day is wonderful, as well. Philip and I spent the late afternoon at a local wine tasting with friends. I wore my white sundress and flowers in my hair, of course! Tonight we join our friends on the beach with a bonfire for storytelling and singing...and who knows what might happen after dark!

Happy Solstice to all of you.

Lou Ann

Monday, June 18, 2007

"Zest won't kill me..."

Each morning on the island I am privy to an outside shower with a lovely bar of homemade soap. The shower is adorned with stain glass windows and a copper shower head. It is canopied with the yaupon and cedar trees and with the celestial song of island birds.

It doesn't matter what the weather, I use the outdoor shower religiously each morning. Today when Philip arrived back from the shower, it wasn't the traditional scent of clove and cedar, but a man made scent of what? He was quick to tell me that he found an old bar of Zest soap and was going to use it up. I was a bit surprised, but I also know that he doesn't waste anything.

As long as HE is the one to use the old Zest, then I guess I'll not complain. After all, zest won't kill him, but I will be glad when that old bar is gone.

I am spoiled, that I know.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

15 Days of Sand....

Dear Folks,

Hearing from several of you that the blog site has not been updated has definitely renewed my interest in keeping up.

Ahhh...the lovely Blue Moon night..I waited so long and patiently for the baby to be born...but she had other plans and waited until late on that Sunday night to join this lovely colorful world.

I was here on the Island by then and sharing in the music and storytelling of the festival as Kristin and Abe spent the day in the hospital waiting for her birth.

I believe the moment of her birth we were singing 'Let the Circle Be Unbroken,' which will always make me think of her. So Miss Holly Erika Homan is here to share our lives. We all welcome her with open arms and hearts.

Since the first of June it has been a whirlwind of getting settled once again here with Philip...unpacking, reconnecting, visting, working...

The schedule is wonderful for the summmer...I work three days a week in the shop and those same evenings we have ghost and history walks as well as the Opry. Philip and I are taking turns sharing stories this year. We have beach walks and late night strolls...I have had bread baking class, weddings, and just simply peacefulness.

I'll try to keep you all well informed...dont' forget about Sunday passage...soon to be posted on the web site as well!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Blue Moon

It is late and dark here on my quiet, lonely street. I have just finished my article for the paper and just couldn't help but writing a few words about it.



Tonight (at midnight) we usher in the Blue Moon, the second full moon of the month. I have been waiting quite a while for this Blue Moon and I believe (really I do)...that my third grandchild will be born tonight. Abe and his wife live in Portland and this is their first baby. I have thought all along it would be a Blue Moon baby although they have scoffed at the idea. But now...well, even Abe talked to the midwife about it yesterday.


It is late after midnight as I sit with my candles as I usher in this unique, beautiful moon.

A glass of wine and a toast to the new baby and the Blue Moon.
Lou Ann


Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day and Dawdling Children

It is early and I am on my small porch enjoying early coffee and the beginning of the day.


Memorial Day in my small town was of typical proportion. I attended a pot lunch picnic at noon with family...well, extended family I should add, although Aaron and Karen and the boys were there!! They (the boys) swam, we cooked out and shared stories. There was a WWll war veteran there, a friend of mine, and his wife. It was good to see them and hear what he has to say. Their son also served in Vietnam.


In the afternoon it was the typical sounds of Memorial Day here...mowers, tillers, children. I myself was caught up in the frezy, mowing and cleaning. I had ordered 2000 sunflower seeds, now I just don't know where to put them!? I passed them out to neighbors. We will become a Tuscany Village here!


By late afternoon we all seemed to meander at my neighbor's house...folks began appearing, then bringing chairs, then bringing food. Lee then built a campfire and we roasted hot dogs and ate what was leftover in everyone's refrigerator. It was a great spontaneous evening. We told old neighborhood stories. The children played and ran and ate hot dogs on the grass. It was lovely and charming, a perfect Memorial Day. No one went home until dark.


This morning early I received an email from my Uncle Dean who served in WWll. He wrote a long narrative about the wars, past and present. I would love to share it with anyone who drops me a line. Thank you Uncle Dean.


As for this morning, I am watching the school children go off to school. The twins next door (in first grade) are dawdling....picking up sticks, rocks, kicking something (the sidewalk??)...the last week of school for this small town. Oh, how they don't want to me there! (And I am talking about the teachers!!)


Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bats in the Belfry

Once a year he returns...THE BAT...

I was awakened at 4:30 in the a.m. by a swishing, twishing (?) sound...alas, alas I found myself eye to eye, face to face with a swoopin' poopin' bat in my bedroom. I immediately tore the sheet off my bed to cover the whole of me (minus the eyes) and watched his activities. I was soon brave enough to get up (still holding the sheet) and flipping on all of the light switches in the house. He was already put to bed hiding as the dawn was breaking. All day I thought of the bat..and it was a busy day with the ending of the school year, two celebration parties and then back home to the bat. I decided to organize a posse' of the neighborhood. Lee came with his golf club, the boys next door with brooms, Karen with her butterfly net, and I? My sheet. We tore the house apart looking for HIM. He did not show up until all had left and the last light went out for sleep. At 11:30 he began his swoopin' poopin' excersizes in my room again. Under the sheet I called Karen. She bounded over with her net and caught the little devil. I must admit he was mean looking and had sharp teeth. But all is well, she let him go, I went back to sleep, and the world is a little safer with Karen in charge.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One Candies...

I was in Border's the other night buying graduation gifts and cards and drooling (well, not quite) over all the books I should read and own.) I did resist the temptation and just bought for those on my list. As I was checking out, I happen chanced on a chocolate truffle. I bought one, even though it was three for one dollar. The clerk, in an grammatically incorrect voice, replied, ahh, yes, one candies. We both laughed. I thought about what she said. One Candies. A great novel title or a poem or as in rating the day....She told me I could have the title to do with what I wanted. All I can think to do at this point is write this blog.



We are deep into the heat in Indiana...the last week of school...sports events...cleaning our rooms..and trying to survive this last week. Tomorrow the kids leave and we send them off on their farewell with our squirt guns as we line up in the drive up. Lovely thoughts for a small, lovely school.

So, could that be One Candies left???

Lou Ann



Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Early morning sun and moon...

It was early this morning that I toured my garden...fresh and green and cool. It was early dawn. I looked up to the sky to the waning moon. As I did so the first streaks of early morning cast it's rays upon the edge of the moon and it shone in silver. I stood starring at this beautiful phenomena until it passed.

"Will there really be a morning?
Is there such a thing as day?
Could we see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?"
Emily Dickinson
Lou Ann
Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Day

Today is May Day and I am reflective on celebrating it as a child. I remember dancing around the May Pole at my elementary school and making cones and filling them with candy for folks in my neighborhood. For most of us the day comes and passes without a second thought, although the kindergarden teacher just came to me and asked about the day. "I think it is special, but I don't know why." I love sharing my thoughts and my knowledge about things long lost...so next year I imagine there will be a may pole in her classroom.

As for me? Tonight Jonah and Matthew and I will make cones, fill them with candy and deliver them to neighbors!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Sunday

It is cold with a couple inces of snow on the ground. The daffodils and budding tulips that greeted me last week are completely entrenched in snow...nothing of them to be found. For a day or so the yard was full of daffodils and the purring sound of a mower actually was heard in my neighborhood.

It is a quiet day, although I will be having dinner at my neighbor's house and Aaron and Karen will be arriving later in the day for dinner. It will be good to be the chubby little arms of the boys around my neck again.

Hopefully, back to posting....

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Daylight Savings Time

I am going to give myself the excuse of Daylight Savings Time for getting behind on my blog. Ok, ok, not a great excuse, but the only one I have unless.....

I have projects at school that take all my time and attention during those hours!

That I am traveling a great deal with storytelling...schools and libraries last week!

That I am working on my new column often as I love it so much!

That I am taking Matthew and Jonah on wonderful field trips, the last one to the Sugar Camp at Maplewood. (See this week's column!)

That I have a new educational project that was dropped into my lap with an early deadline!

That I am premiering my Carl Sandburg show in April.

I am still blaming the non-blog writing on Mitch Daniels and Daylight Savings Time.

Sounds good to me!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Swirling Sunday Snow...

The snow started yesterday afternoon and continued all day. By this morning, we were again in a winter wonderland. I think winter came so late that she will not let March in. My neighbor, Larry, was out early with his snow blower cleaning off all of the sidewalks and my driveway. With a wave of the hand I thank him...knowing that I need to bake him a cherry pie or something! I later follwed the blower with my broom and cleaned off the porches as the cold snow flew in the early morning sunlight...dazzling.

Today I take Matthew and Jonah to the University for a Philharmonic Show for Tots. It is a hands on program followed by cookies and punch. We should have a great time exploring music just for the young!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Open Calendar Saturday..

This is one of those unusual Saturdays..no play rehearsal...no storytelling...no events...just an open calendar. Kind of luxurious, actually. I made a list of all the possibilities for this wonderful day...what shall I do? The normal, you know, run the vacuum, clean the bathrooms...take a walk down town..visit with Zach, the clock man, stop at Rachaels for coffee...make bread...make soup...change the sheets...work on next week's column...start my Sandburg rehearsals...work on the web site...hmmm...what kind of open Saturday is that?

I think I will just put on another pot of coffee and curl up with my current novel. The list will be there tomorrow!

Talk with you later!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

On this day fifty years ago, Theodore Geisel, aka, Dr. Seuss published his first book, The Cat in the Hat. Since that day he has been a favorite with children, parents, and teachers. Today we celebrate his birthday in style with stories, birthday cakes, balloons, and other celebrations all across the country.

I will be working in Fort Wayne in a school who is celebrating this milestone. I think tonight I will bake a cake (green, of course) and share stories with Matthew and Jonah who know that they want to read to grow up smart like their Nannie!

Here's to Dr. Seuss and all he has done for children!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Monolgues

Tonight is our second dress rehearsal, and I must say that it went extremely well last night, although I won't be telling the girls that! We actually were home by 10:15, although I think tonight might be different. Tomorrow night is the show. Oh, the hard work that has gone into this production...I just can't be sure about the attendance, but this I know, whoever comes will have one heck of a show!

The stage is so magical...I love sharing it with these talented women. It is such a nice change from the storytelling stage of which I own alone.

The women have been brilliant. I owe them all so much for coming on board. The excitement continues to build as we are doing two shows this year. So, here's to breaking a leg, or two?????

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

And still the wind blows...

After a foot of snow and 40 miles an hour winds...we woke to piercingly blue skies. Drifts are piled everywhere as if whipping cream heaped in a bowl...It is still below zero if you consider wind chill and a chance of 3-5 more inches tonight, but for a few calm hours, I think I will go help out with the shoveling a bit.

Everything in my small town is closed...the courts...the library...boy scout meetings. Last night Aaron and Karen brought the boys out into the weather for an old fashioned turkey dinner with Valentine heart cookies for dessert. I let the boys decorate them. Matthew had a great time, although Jonah did not know quite what to do with the icing!

So, to all, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy Blizzard, Happy First Dress Rehearsal for the Monologues (if anyone can get there!!)

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Blizzard

We all knew it would come...just when was the question. Ahhh, that has now been answered, today. The forecasters were predicting this serious storm, but did not put such magnitude on it until yesterday...winter blizzard. The word 'blizzard' conjures up such thoughts...hot chocolate..climbing out of upstairs windows...tying a clothesline to the back porch and to the barn for chores...cows stranded for days. Well, maybe not quite that far (except for the hot chocolate), but nonetheless, it is here and with a vengence. No School!! Oh, sorry, I am one of the teachers. (Who said snow days were for the kids?)

My house is cozy this blizzard..lots of food in the cupboards, my guitar resting on the couch...books flung open to pages of interest...old fashioned sugar cookies cooling on the counter..nice warm heat...no frozen pipes!!

It is a wonderful feeling to have everything closed, I mean, even the library! To know that we are all in homes cozied up. I have a turkey in the oven as Aaron and Karen and the boys were trudge over at 5 for a shared dinner. The boys will play, we will talk about the blizzard, that is what one does. Who knows, we might still be talking about it tomorrow??? I'll let you know.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Frozen Pipes, the flu and other trauma...

The flu went rampant through the Vagina Monologue cast. It started (we think) at a pot luck at Jamie's house...but nobody is blaming her. (It was her husband, Andy, who had been sick!) Alright, no one is to blame..except it hit hard and fast. I happened to me at the mall in Fort Wayne, not my usual hang out...but I needed a few things for the Monologues and had to go into THE CITY. I was so sick that I could not find my car..I went to Customer Service. I told the woman I couldn't find my car...she said well, did I remember the number in the parking lot? I said, no, you don't understand, I can't find the parking lot. They found my car. I drove home. I do not know how. I was so sick I forgot it was cold. My downstairs drains froze up.
With all of that we moved the practice to Karen's house. I am cured. The drains thawed. Life is good. Snow is even expected..a large storm. Tonight I will go bring in provisions and nestle down inside the House at White Picket Gardens.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Another night below zero...

My house is old and creaky in the winter...especially when the temp drops below zero. Since Saturday we have not even seen zero and the wind chills have gone as low as 30 below. My night times have been reminiscent of early motherhood..waking up in the night to check on the baby...the baby being the pipes and water. I pull myself out of bed a couple of times a night to run water and flush toilets. Ahhh, but no frozen pipes for me. (yet!) The temps are to get into the double digits within the next couple of days. Yes, spring is definitely on the way. In the meantime, I will continue to heat up my 'corn boy' and take him to bed with me. (Smile)

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Starry, starry night...

Every Monday night for months I have met with my V-Day board getting ready for the show which will be next week! We have our meetings at Rachaels in downtown (I say that loosely!) in Angola. We have our own table and we spread out our notes and lattes and work for a couple of hours. The group of women on this board is stunning, hard working, and energetic. After we wrapped up our meeting last night, I stepped into the early dusk night. I caught my breath as the deepening blue sky held the Mound captive. Venus was the only visible brightness in the sky, but she shone as a solitude being. I stood and gazed for a few minutes before driving the old Jeep home to the House at the White Picket Fence.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Winter Blues...oh yes, and the Colts..

It is no secret that the Midwest is under the deep freeze warning. All across the Great Lakes we are under the spell of the cold. Here in Angola the wind chill temperature was clocked at 29 below zero. I have had to wake up several times in the night to run water to make sure pipes do not freeze!

The truth is? It is quite beautiful, and I am loving this. The beauty is spectacular...the color of the sky is pale winter. I like knowing folks are sitting by fires, playing Scrabble, popping corn..listening to the wind blow. As for me..I read several books, did lots of paper work...spent time really LISTENING to NPR and making chicken soup. My neighbor girls came over for a tea party yesterday braving the cold to just walk across the street. We had chocolate and brownies and read poetry.

And, of course, most of us ventured out to watch the Colts in good company. I went with Aaron and Karen and the boys to a friend's house...we ate (what happened to my great diet?) hollered and had a very nice time. Most of the folks were dressed in their Colts jerseys for the event. Way to go Colts. You make us proud here in Indiana.

So here is to Winter's beauty and the humbleness of the Colts team!

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Five boys and a shovel...

Does it help being a writer when you live next to five boys? My column last week was about the five boys living next to me and how they, like theives in the night, plywooded my snow for their fort. As I said, the fort was scrawny, the snow non-impressive. Ahhhh, but how those things change. We have been given the promised January with snow and ice and frigid temperatures (dipping into the zeros this week end!) As if on cue, the boys were here tonight shoveling my drive way and walks. I provided another shovel so the plywood could take a break. What do they want for their efforts? Money? Cookies? Cocoa? No, they just want the snow. So, who is the winner here? My snow is removed (into their yard), and I end up being the nice neighbor that let them have it....for free!

Life is sweet.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Winter

We have been waiting for months for Winter..I mean, that is why we live in the Northern country. We love the smell of snow...the silence of night..the hum of the heater..the extra quilt on the bed. Well, it has arrived.

My thermometer is in the single digits this morning with new fresh snow adding to what already fell this past week end. It looks like a birthday cake outside my windows. It is breathtaking. It also allows for a two hour delay...no one ever complains about that!

So a cheer to Winter and it's late arrival!

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pale, wintry sunrises....

My commute to school is a very rural affair...usually I encounter pheasant or wild turkeys and, of course, the prolific Indiana deer, but today the drive was so stunning it actually took my breath away. The thumbnail of a moon was gently sliding into the Western sky as the sun began it's morning journey in the East. The trees were still covered with ice from the storm two nights ago and the clouds were deep feathered blue. As the sun rays began to warm the earth, the light was caught in the trees with the most eerie, shimmering sight. I do not believe I have ever seen a sunrise such as today. I wanted to stop and just let it's beauty sink into my soul. As it was, I needed to continue the journey, but this sunrise will not be forgotten.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Auditions for Vagina Monologues

Yes, I am back at it...directing the Vagina Monologues in Angola, Indiana. I really didn't think it would happen again, how could we top last year's show. But it will again be wonderful, albeit different.

I always worry about women showing up for the auditions...will they come.....will they be strong enough to be in the show....will be be successful? But they did come, they were strong and we will be successful.

The board arrived at the community theatre a couple of hours early to have lunch and just talk about the show. Following the auditions, we were able to place the cast, make the calls (no one can wait!) and just talk non-stop about the show.

So, if you aren't busy on Friday and Saturday night, February 16 and 17, come on down to Steuben County to the Community Theatre for a wonderful show!

I'll be there.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Friday, January 12, 2007

Guitar pickin'

I have been talking for months about getting a guitar...I have looked in shops..on-line, in pawn shops. Has my talking turned to bragging? Oh, yes, I'm getting a guitar and will be playing real soon...so for Christmas I recieved a guitar book. Hmmm....a hint? So, yesterday I bought my guitar.

Philip and I walked down to town to Rhon's shop. He is a local artist who lives in the artist district (that would be where I live!!) and has opened up a small guitar shop. It is quaint. One wall hosts guitars for sale. There are several to choose from, but it is not overwhelming. In the back is a glass window where Rhon is conducting his class. It is easy to watch his protegies struggling with chords and Rhon's calm demeanor as he teaches.

I bought my guitar and a case. I walked home with it. Actually it was pretty heavy, Philip ended up carrying it up the hill to the house. Last night I learned two chords, C and G7. I am very bad at thsi guitar playing, and my fingers are sore already! But...today is my first real lesson. I will carry it back down to town and put the student behind the glass.

Anyone for Kum Ba Ya?

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Let the show begin....

Last night the core Vagina Monologue board met...as we have been doing once a month for several months. However, this time it was with great expectation as the show is ready to get under way. Auditions will be Sunday in our local community theatre auditorium. Needless to say, the excitement is building as we change up our show with new actresses, a bit of music, a silent auction and a two evening performance.
The work is great, but there is magic in working with a talented group of women on this show...it will be good.

Why not show up on Sunday afternoon and give it a read?

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories

Monday, January 08, 2007

A bit of snow and ebony shadows...

Sunday afternoon. The sky turns gray and fat, heavy snowflakes begin to fall. I open my shutters and hope. For Northern Indiana (as well as most other northern points) the snow has abated us this winter. I want snow. I live in this part of the country because of snow. The afternoon is lovely as I pour tea, snuggle on the couch with a great book, still hoping for a great snowfall. Is it to be?

Lou Ann

Friday, January 05, 2007

Twelfth Night

Just a quick overview of the week...Philip and I arrived home to Indiana on New Year's Day. Aaron and Karen had dinner ready for us which was wonderful after traveling a thousand miles. It was,however, a fast journey as we keep each other great company.

It was back to school for me while Philip has been pouring over his writing. My library is set up so that the two of can work and spread out all of our papers. He gets more writing done here as there are fewer interruptions...actually he has quiet days unless he goes to town to visit with Zach or Rachael.

Tonight we are hosting our Twelfth Night Party, complete with choosing a queen, the reading of poems and stories, the singing of the Twelve Days of Christmas and to finish the evening, Auld Lang Syne. It is a wonderful old custom of which very few celebrate these days.

So, we are busy cooking and baking this afternoon.

Happy Twelfth Night to you.

Lou Ann

Lou Ann Homan-Saylor lives in Angola, Indiana which is nestled in the hills of Northern Indiana. When she is home at the White Picket Gardens you can find her gardening or writing late into the night under the light of her frayed scarlet lamp. She is a storyteller, a teacher, a writer, an actress and a collector of front porch stories