Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just a few photos out of hundreds from Halloween week in my home town..

Thirteen of us went to the Children's
Philharmonic Concert at the Embassy
in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were so glad
to have Mom join us from Texas!

 Brandy made the beautiful birthday cake
for Mom's 81st birthday! It was absolutely
as wonderful as it looks!

Here is a picture of the northern Indiana crew
celebrating the birthday!

Jessie and I adorning our Mom and wishing them
a bon voyage as they were boarding the Queen Mary
in the morning out of New York.

A windy stormy night found us in the kitchen
making Halloween cookies. It was a mess
but so worth the effort! Matthew and Jonah and
Avrie had a great time!

This is Jonah's first school Halloween. They had
to dress up as book characters. Here he is
as Stellaluna. Great job on the costume, Karen! 

Just a photo of all the boys in Jonah's class!
Mrs. Doerr does have her hands full and is such
a wonderful teacher. We are so lucky to know her!

The family after the scary stories at Pokagon. They only
stayed for the kids show...
We were in the Pavilion with the huge fireplace!

Telling stories at Pokagon. Steve Etheridge and I
have been there for 19 years. That is
unbelievable! Folks still keep coming for stories!

Friday, October 29, 2010

End of October haiku

  brocaded raindrops
erases Autumn's facade
leaving stark bare limbs

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Club

Wednesday evening the eight of us in The Page Turners met for dinner and a discussion of this month's book, The Reliable Wife. It was the perfect book for October.

We, The Page Turners, take turns having dinner at one another's house with great food, wine and conversation. I think our book club is of the rarest form as we combine all of the above with literary conversations. Our satchels are laden down with books we have read, books to loan to others, and lists of books we want to read.

This month as dessert of pumpkin bars was being served, we sat in candlelight telling ghost stories, and of haunted ghost walks we have taken.

By the time we left the wind had picked up and was swirling about the leaves of Autumn. I do have to say that when I arrived home with the moon peaking out behind gray clouds and the swirling leaves, that I did look over my shoulder once or twice.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Note from the crew of the Windfall ll...

Two weeks ago Philip and a few friends set out on a wonderful journey. Here is a brief story of their journey.
Sorry there are no pictures...make them in your imagination!

It was a dark and stormy night.
The first mate said to the captain, "Cap, the men need to see you."
"Bring them up then," said the Captain.
The men huddled around the Captain.
He began.
"It was a dark and stormy night.
The first mate said to the Captain, 'Cap, the men need to see you.'
'Bring them up then,' said the Captain.
The men huddled around the Captain.
He began.
'It was a dark and stormy night....

The journey of the Windfall ll in one short blog. The sail was a glorious and brilliant expedition of five men: Philip, Steve, Frank, Captain Rob Temple, and Rob's son Emmet. Each day brought blue skies and different forms of landscapes from small towns to larger cities, from small water crafts to barges. The evening sunsets and night skies were of great beauty and awe-inspiring as they anchored. After dinner and the galley was clean for the night, the crew pulled out their fiddles, penny whistles and harmonicas. Their music and voices also sailed across the sea just as they did a century ago when sailing was an occupation.

Morning coffee and sailing northward before the sun came up was the protocol as Captain Rob was always on the move. A week into the journey they were at the race site and greeted with music on the dock, festivals in the park, and a send off dinner with pirates and oysters.

The day of the sail, dark clouds began to role in and rumors of gale force winds began to swirl about the 45 schooners in the race. It was definitely time to batten down the hatchet and prepare for the 82 miles scheduled for the Windfall ll. As the race began, pouring rain slashed these old schooners with a rain every sailor dreaded since the beginning of time. In an interview with Captain Rob this morning at 0900 he said, "The weather was much worse than expected. The gales in the night exceeded 40 knots and the darkness of the Potomac River made it so much worse." When the darkest of the night came, it was decided that for the safety of the crew and to keep the old schooner intact, sails would come down and a safe harbor would be found for a few hours.

The men waited out the storm and then joined those who were brave enough to continue on down to the finish line. Cheers went up from the crowd as each schooner came into Portsmouth.

Amazingly, not a crew member nor boat went down during the nor' easter than descended upon the men and women.

After a brief conversation with Philip and Rob this morning, all is well...still drying out clothing and re-arranging the galley after the storm's winds tossed about their belongings.

Sunny skies greeted them this morning as they begin their journey home to Ocracoke. Needless to say, these men, these sailors of ours will have stories to tell for years to come about the Great Schooner Race of 2010.
This is Lou Ann sending in the news from The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race of 2010. All is well.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Phoenix

I joined the world in watching the rescue of the 33 miners from Chile. I began last night when the rescue began and continued it after school today. I could not even stop watching.

My mind wandered as did everyone's elses as well...the emotions, the physical hardship, the hearts and minds of the world watching and those who worked non-stop to make this happen.

In a trying world, this rescue, this determination, this gift of hope to mankind is exactly what we all need to remember and recognize that we are all in this together.

The spirit of community is alive and well with The Phoenix, rising up from the ashes, as my dad always said.

Farewell tombed mineshaft...may these men live long healthy lives.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The last rose of summer...

Sometimes a garden is just full of surprises. I am a gardener so I know the last blooming flowers...the marigolds that are still blooming and producing scented flowers for my Autumn bouquets as well as the colorful mums.

My herbs are still growing tall with nary a wilt nor a tarnish from the cold nights that now descend upon us each evening.

But the last rose of summer is always a bit of a surprise and filled with the greatest of beauty, more so than in the summer.

So a bit of nostalgia as summer ends and Autumn begins to take over with glistening jewels in the forest and skies of azure.

Take a toast to the last of summer...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A little bit of Thoreau..

With this perfect Autumn weather here in the Midwest, I am enjoying and capturing all the beauty. This week I am leading students on environmental walks through the woods and culminating this with sketching.

We sit on logs or leaf-lined pathways as jewels of scarlet and tangerine leaves tumble down upon us as we write. Today's work brought us patches of sunlight and shadow, the calls of cardinals and crows, and the echoing of a woodpecker probably wondering what we were doing.

The assignment is to look for all the beauty in nature, the small pieces that we miss...the vein of a leaf, the shape of the acorn or the deep purple asters filling our woods these days.

Why do I do this? Oh, it would be nice to bring out some Plein Air painters, but most of all, I want them to appreciate the beauty of this world.

Another woodland walk tomorrow.

Tonight? Line-dancing!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Birthdays from a small town...

Dear Folks,
I love writing my blog and sharing with you stories from my small town. Yesterday was the 30th birthday of my sweet daughter-in-law, Karen. She is a wonderful friend as well, and we had a celebration of her birthday yesterday.
It was to have been at our local park, but the weather turned a bit chilly and damp so the plans were quickly changed. We hosted the party instead at Karen and Aaron's church in the Fireside room, complete with a fire.

Karen and I went early and decorated the tables with pumpkins and sunflowers and candy corn. It was a pot luck as the tables were full of food by late afternoon. We all had a great time with lots of folks wishing Karen a happy birthday. Kids were everywhere and that always makes for a fun party.

So, to Karen, happy birthday, and I wish you so many more happy ones.
The photos are, of course, from the party from my small town.