Friday, August 11, 2017

Taking a step back in time

Taking a step back in time: I check the back ribbon of my Minnie Pearl straw hat before leaving the house. I gingerly step into Kathy’s car ducking my head wondering how did women drive with these hats? (Perhaps they didn’t?) I notice we are both wearing summer cotton dresses and sandals. This is not an ordinary outing for a Sunday afternoon. No, we are headed to the Collins Schoolhouse to participate in the fifth annual Ice Cream Social.

The ice cream social at the Collins Schoolhouse.

Could that still be June's hand writing?



Here is the link to this week's column. It was such a lovely day to spend at the Collins Schoolhouse. Maybe you will get to go next year. As always thank you for reading! Lou Ann


One can only imagine what was inside those lunch pails!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

July is fitting for traveling dusty Indiana roads

July is fitting for traveling dusty Indiana roads: July finds me crisscrossing Indiana with stories in my pocket and my GPS on the front seat next to me. With one click I can change the course of my driving from super highway to back roads and so why not? I decide to give way to time and enjoy the journey.


Queen Anne's Lace
Here is the link from last week's column. As always, thank you for reading and make sure you take time to explore the back roads before summer is over!

Lou Ann

Monday, July 24, 2017

A golden week of transforming students into actors...

A golden week of transforming students into actors: Monday morning. There are 15 eager students sitting on the floor around me each with a nametag and each wearing a sailor’s cap. They range from 10 to 14 years of age including 13 girls and two boys. My job is simple, really. My job is to transform these students into actors and actresses by Thursday noon. No big deal. I have done it before, but sometimes I worry the magic will go missing and the show will not come and there will be no show.


My students in Drama Camp!!


 Here is the link to this week's column. We had a great time in Drama Camp as you will see from the column. The students were spectacular. As always, thank you so much for reading! Just click on the above link!

Lou Ann


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Hendrys are here in Angola

The Hendrys are here in Angola: The note came in the middle of January. At first I thought it was a scam email offering me a million dollars if I were to send out my social security number and my bank routing information. The subject line was in large print: MEREDITH.


Here we are celebrating at the Deli! From left to right: me, Claudia, Peg, Yvonne and Meredith.


The Hendry family in front of Hendry Park Elementary School.

Here is the link to this week's column. What fun we had when the Hendrys came to visit! Enjoy, and thank you for reading. Please just click on the top line and you will get the whole story.

Lou Ann

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Life is good in our small town

Life is good in our small town: You know you live in a small town when the headline news is about the hedgehog stolen from the Carnegie Library. You know you live in a small town when the dinner table talk is about the hedgehog stolen from the Carnegie Library. And you know you live in a small town when everyone at the breakfast table cheers because the hedgehog has been returned.


Jonah's friend, David, took this photo the night before the family left. Adam and Tara are missing from the photo; hopefully we will all get to spend time together soon.





We all know that stories come and go; books begin and end; family celebrations also come to a close. I was able to spend an entire month with my Phoenix family. I call it Full Moon to Full Moon. This photo was taken before our last family dinner. Lucky for me Aaron and his family live here. So, cheers to a wonderful month of stories and memories...

As always, thank you for reading. Just click on the title or the first line. Thanks also to KPC for always printing my column on Saturday!

Lou Ann

Monday, July 03, 2017

Ukelele comforts travelers on momentous trip to beach

Ukelele comforts travelers on momentous trip to beach: The waves wash over me like a song or a dance. The sun fades and I sit inside of that time … the time that belongs to poets or storytellers or musicians of the world. It isn’t light. It isn’t dark. And the day light fades to night shadows. I rise up from the beach with my camera, make my way back to the old beach bicycle and bike back up to the cottage.

This photo was taken on our last night!    


 We had a fabulous trip, and here is the column to prove it! Just click on the above link in the title or the first line, and there is the story.

As always thank you for reading and enjoy!

Lou Ann 

Friday, June 30, 2017

The garden is blessed and the fairies will play

The garden is blessed and the fairies will play: It is midnight. My house is quiet except for the sound of the ceiling fans in the bedrooms of all my sleeping family. The neighborhood is so peaceful even with the occasional barking dog here or there and the sounds of night, which I love. My campfire has fallen to glowing embers, and with its protective screen, I can leave it as hearth and bed lure one and all back inside. Yes, tonight ends the Solstice, one of the most magical days and nights of the year.





Fairies will be abundant in my garden this summer thanks to the Solstice Princess. It was a wonderful celebration. Enjoy this column and as always, thank you for reading. Just click on the title or the first line and there is the story!

Lou Ann 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The gifts were usually simple...

The gifts were usually simple: The gifts were usually simple. The six of us pooled our money together and walked down to the local drug store to see what we could find for Father’s Day. Once we bought a card that cost a whole dollar. We argued over that one. And once we bought a shaving mug with a brush. Everyone agreed on that one, and we just couldn’t wait until Sunday morning to give it to our dad. Sometimes, and more than once, we spent the money on cherry Cokes and ended up with homemade cards. We always felt bad afterward, but we loved sitting on those stools drinking those Cokes in the summer.

My dad loved all theatre shows. Here we are singing with "Mama Mia!".

Here is the link to my Father's Day column...one day late! I had a wonderful day celebrating with two of my sons who are wonderful fathers so this was postponed a day! 

Just click on the above link, and as always, thank you for reading!

Lou Ann

Friday, June 16, 2017

Invader evades the bat patrol at the house with a picket fence

Invader evades the bat patrol at the house with a picket fence: I tiptoe downstairs and find my guests sleeping on my living room floor. I stop on the stairs and wonder why they are not tucked away in the bridal suite where they are supposed to be sleeping. They hear me on the stairs and sit up and stare at me bleary eyed. David, the husband, looks at me through bloodshot eyes and says, “There was a bat.”


Here is the photo of the bat patrol team!

Here is the link to last week's column. Just click on the title or the first line and you will find it on the KPC website! 

As for the bat...nope, naddy, zip.

As always, thank you for reading!

Friday, June 09, 2017

You can never have enough tucking in at night

You can never have enough tucking in at night: Jonah is mine for the night, and nothing could make me happier. I love that he can walk home from school to my house. I have the usual after school snacks ready … pretzels, apples, Route 66 Orange Pop!


Jonah and Graham in last year's cornfield!



Here is the link to last week's column. As always, it was written with much love. Just click on the above link, and as always, thank you for reading!
Lou Ann

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Adventures always find a way to the door step

Adventures always find a way to the door step: With warm days and cool nights upon us, my phone starts lighting up with bicyclists requesting a night’s provisions. I joined Warmshowers.com a few years ago and have become a popular host because of my location. Folks traveling across the U.S. on bicycles know that hosts provide a safe clean bed and always a warm shower. There is no exchange of money with hosting, just good will!


Jenny signed the wall before they left the next morning.

Here is the link to this week's column. It was a great adventure just sharing an evening on my front porch! Just click on the above link and there it is! Enjoy, and thank you for reading! Lou Ann


 
Jenny and Neil on my front porch!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Now that the babies are gone, the clock ticks on...



This photo is from the farm days, of course! Haircuts were done at home...no shoes and plenty to do to keep three little boys busy as they grew up. From left to right: Adam, Aaron, and Abe.  

 

Here is this week's Mother's Day column. It was written with great love to all the young moms (and the older ones). It is especially written for my three sons who breathed life into me when I was so young. They gave me the stories to tell.

Enjoy, and, as always, thank you for reading. Just click on the above link.


And, yes, the clock ticks, and they grow up. Aaron, Abe, and Adam. 
 

Friday, May 12, 2017

A friend from London falls in love with Angola...

A friend from London falls in love with Angola: One of my favorite words is “serendipitous” which means occurring by chance in a happy or beneficial way, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This is exactly what happened last week, and here is the story.


Graham is contemplating the walk.   





Here is the link to this week's column. It was a very interesting week with Clive who came to us from London. Enjoy the column and, as always, thank you for reading. 


 
One at a time folks walked the labyrinth.


This is Clive holding a small, hand carved labyrinth.



Friday, May 05, 2017

Poetry and music are meant for one another...

Poetry and music are meant for one another: The deluge of the April rain catches me off guard as I ride my bike home from school. Gardens empty, school children scramble and I ride furiously with one eye to the sky.

Here is the link to this week's column. Please just click on the above link and there it is. I spent the evening listening and watching the Wailin' Jennys and it was marvelous. Enjoy this piece from Youtube. They ended the show with this as they stepped away from the microphone. It was stunning...not a breathe from the audience. As always, thank you for reading.







Lou Ann

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Hope for the future — trees — get planted by our future

Hope for the future — trees — get planted by our future: My doorbell rings even though the hour is still early. Coffee sits on my dining room table with the newspaper spread out in front of me to read about folks I know and those I don’t. I scramble to the door knowing who is there before I answer.


Scott Hottell's class on Arbor Day at the
White Picket Gardens!


Here is the link to this week's column. As always, it was a labor of love to write. Thanks to the city of Angola, the Tree Board and this exceptional group of 7th graders for a job well done. Thank you also for reading. Just click on the above link and there is the column!!




Monday, April 17, 2017

Earth Day has become a natural part of my celebrations...

Earth Day has become a natural part of my celebrations: Shel Silverstein published “The Giving Tree” in 1964. It was a book that editors were wary to publish because they felt it was too sad for children and too childish for adults. Harper and Row finally took the project and decided on a limited publishing amount of 5-7,000 copies. Of course, we know the results! Currently, there are 5.6 million copies of this timeless book on bookshelves everywhere.


Reed Steele








This week we will be celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 22nd. There are many events, as you can see from this week's column. I am so excited to announce that Reed Steele will be sharing his expertise in Science with us at the Science Rally on the Square in Angola at 10:00. You won't want to miss this. Please come join us.

As always, thank you for reading. See you Saturday! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Love is all around in Minneapolis...

Love is all around in Minneapolis: Minneapolis is a long way to travel to throw my hat into the air by the Mary Tyler Moore statue, but that is exactly what I did. With one small suitcase (and a hat to throw), I pulled into Union Station at midnight. Clicking my boots together I knew I wasn’t in Kansas or Angola anymore as the Minneapolis sky line loomed ahead and was full of color. When the country mouse travels to visit the city mouse, I must say the country mouse is all ears and eyes.

This past winter I visited Minneapolis by train. I love traveling by train and wanted to see a friend of mine. I loved visiting the city and took in all the sites, at least all that I could see for one weekend. I got behind in my posting this winter so this column is a little dated (February), but nonetheless, it was a great trip and there is lots of information in the column. Just click on the title or the first line. As always, thank you for reading!


 
Minnehaha Falls in the winter.
 
 
When visiting Minneapolis you should always stop by the house of
F. Scott Fitzgerald!
 
 
 
The Art Museum has a Jane Austin room. I could have spent the whole
day there cozied up with a book by the fire!
 
 

Friday, April 07, 2017

Today’s stories can bring tomorrow’s smiles...

Today’s stories can bring tomorrow’s smiles: I watch the students walk into the classroom one at a time or in groups. They are more chatty than usual, and I love that. I have a policy about cell phones. “Once under the lintel, the phones go off.” Sometimes the word “lintel” confuses them, but they understand the policy! If I see someone sneaking out their phone all I have to say is “Under the lintel, under the lintel.” It is Pavlovian.
 


Here is the link to this week's column. I love writing about my students, and here is the one on storytelling. The photo is a little blurry, but you get the idea. Just click on the title of the first line and you will have the story. As always, thank you for reading and enjoy!!


Here are the three students who shared Orpheus and Eurydice!


 
 

 
 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Poetry returns to the square in Angola...

I can't believe it is almost April which means poetry on the square is returning. I loved reading Shakespeare on the square last year even though, on occasion, I was alone in my reading. I should clarify; those were the days of sleet and snow.

This year I am sharing my love of 20 poets and more. I have chosen major poets we should all love and mixing the blend with a few obscure ones as well. Please know you are welcome to bring an original poem of your own or something you love. All poets and poems are welcome.

The event runs Monday through Friday during April at 4:00 on the square in front of the Brokaw. I hope to see you there!!



Last day of reading Shakespeare on the square!




Sunday, March 26, 2017

You can’t put a price on living the dream...



You can’t put a price on living the dream: With the coffee mugs filled, a bundle of jackets stuffed into a bag and a boat attached to the truck, we head out in the early morning darkness to Fort Desota Park in St. Petersburg, Florida, for a day of fishing. We arrive to an empty beach giving us our choice of docks and parking! I am not much help — not any help — to the captain on this morning. The sky takes all my attention.


Captains Adam and Tara pose for me after a long day of fishing!


Here is the link to this week's column on my fishing trip is Florida. Don't worry if you aren't crazy about fishing, it is more about family! Just click on the above link or the title. As always, thank you for reading. You are much appreciated!




It was such a beautiful day when we headed out into the Gulf.
Yes, this is a shark!
And, yes, Captain Adam took out the hook and set the shark free.
I can't believe I really caught a fish...actually three!

This lovely white heron and pelicans hung around for the free hand out.








Friday, March 24, 2017

Welcome back, my little garden!

Oh, my little garden, I have been waiting for you!



A Girl's Garden


A neighbor of mine in the village
Likes to tell how one spring
When she was a girl on the farm, she did
A childlike thing.

One day she asked her father
To give her a garden plot
To plant and tend and reap herself,
And he said, "Why not?"

In casting about for a corner
He thought of an idle bit
Of walled-off ground where a shop had stood,
And he said, "Just it."

And he said, "That ought to make you
An ideal one-girl farm,
And give you a chance to put some strength
On your slim-jim arm."

It was not enough of a garden
Her father said, to plow;
So she had to work it all by hand,
But she don't mind now.

She wheeled the dung in a wheelbarrow
Along a stretch of road;
But she always ran away and left
Her not-nice load,

And hid from anyone passing.
And then she begged the seed.
She says she thinks she planted one
Of all things but weed.

A hill each of potatoes,
Radishes, lettuce, peas,
Tomatoes, beets, beans, pumpkins, corn,
And even fruit trees.

And yes, she has long mistrusted
That a cider-apple
In bearing there today is hers,
Or at least may be.

Her crop was a miscellany
When all was said and done,
A little bit of everything,
A great deal of none.

Now when she sees in the village
How village things go,
Just when it seems to come in right,
She says, "I know!

"It's as when I was a farmer..."
Oh never by way of advice!
And she never sins by telling the tale
To the same person twice.
 
Robert Frost

Monday, March 20, 2017

Labyrinth helps find center of one’s own soul...

Labyrinth helps find center of one’s own soul: I sit cozily in the middle of the labyrinth. To be clear, a labyrinth consists of a single, circular pathway to the center and back again. As there are no benches to mark the center, I take a seat on the ground. There is an unexpected coolness in the Florida air for this time of year, but protected by the wind, it is warm and sunny.


 
Here I am sitting in the center of the labyrinth thinking!











Here is the link to this week's column on the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. I had a wonderful time, and I always visit the museum. This time I decided to do some writing in the center of the labyrinth...with paper and pencil!! Just click on the above link or the title and there is the story. Be sure to visit this marvelous museum when you go to St. Petersburg. I have included a visual tour at the end of this blog so enjoy!


Tara and I visited Frieda's garden while we were there.







 
I always make a wish and hang a ribbon on the ribbon tree!














Sunday, March 12, 2017

Poetry on the Square making a return engagement!

Poetry on the Square making a return engagement!: One visit to my old house and you know how much I love poetry. My library is full of poetry books, including my dad’s collection, and my kitchen cupboards are covered in poems taped up for easy viewing. Sometimes guests just spend hours reading the poems in the kitchen! Perhaps loving poetry so much is a curse as well as a blessing. My conversations are dotted with such lines as, “Well, you know what Emily Dickinson once said,” or “It is such a Poe night, isn’t it?” Luckily my friends either know when to respond or when to ignore my lust for poetry.



Jonah reading Shakespeare!


This was the last day of reading on the square!!



Last year during the sonnet-a-thon on the square!




Here is the link to this week's column. Yes, there will be poetry on the square again in April. Just click on the above link for the full story! 

See you on the square for our first reading on April 3rd!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Belated posts...

Hi Everyone,

I really do love my blog; I have been writing on it for years. I realize I am behind about three weeks! This winter I have the worst cold/flu illness of my life. Luckily I only missed one day of classes, but I had to cancel all storytelling gigs and other shows. I did what I had to do and spent the rest of my time trying to recover.

Yes, it has been a long process. I believe there are many reasons for this extended illness, but I think I have "turned the corner" and will be back in full swing by next week.

Thanks for checking into my blog and wondering where I have been. Thank you for the personal notes some of you have sent. No, not dead yet!!

See you soon.

Lou Ann

Friday, February 17, 2017

Let’s share some stories of love...

Let’s share some stories of love: The Waterloo train station is a short-term home to me and my luggage as I wait for train number 49. I am early just so I can spend time in this great station and chat with Dean, the station manager. Even on this cold February morning he is cheery and full of funny stories. Since it is Valentine’s weekend I decide to ask the age old question, “So, Dean, what is your best love story?” He laughs at me and says he doesn’t have one. “Oh, Dean,” I say, “everybody has a love story!”




Here is the link to my Valentine's column. Yes, I am a little late in posting, but love stories are love stories all the time.

As always, thank you for reading. Just click on the above link.
Lou Ann

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Enjoy a trip to the sugar bush this year...

Enjoy a trip to the sugar bush this year: The calendar turns to February. My own calendar is dotted with red hearts and stickers for celebrations. Even though it is a short winter’s month, there is much to do in northern Indiana. One of these events is the tapping of maple trees.


I took this photo inside the evaporating room.



Here is the link to this week's column...heading out to the Sugar Bush at Maple Wood Nature Center. Just click on the above link. Put the dates on your calendar and I will see you there!

As always, thank you for reading. Let me know if you are planning to head out to tap your own maple trees!

As always,
Lou Ann

Monday, February 06, 2017

We Accept | Airbnb







This was my favorite commercial in the Superbowl. It actually made me cry. This is why I am a proud host of Airbnb.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

PBS Interview...




Here is the link to my PBS interview. My interview begins about 12 minutes into the piece. Thank you for watching!

I want to send a special thank you to Ft. Wayne PBS, Channel 39 for putting this all together. I had a great time!

Lou Ann

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Tune in tonight!!

I am so excited to announce that tonight I will be the guest on Arts in Focus on PBS, channel 39 out of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I received the call a few weeks ago and taped the show just two weeks ago. Yes, I was a bit nervous, but I do so love to talk!

The show seeks out my work as a storyteller and a writer. I share stories of my dad and how I create new work!! 

If you get a chance to tune in, the show airs at 7:30. See you on the other side!


 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Back on the bike...

Tonight I was coming home on my bike and took a swing around the mound. I had to stop and take a photo of Miss Columbia. She is 100 years old this year. We have lots of events planned for her and our community!! Isn't she beautiful?


The heartbeat of Angola...
 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Indiana on a Winter's Morn....

As I was traveling home this morning, I stopped the car to take this photo. The beauty of the land was so striking. I took a detour out into the country on my way home and was definitely rewarded. This photo is untouched....just the beauty of Indiana.

 
Indiana on a Winter's Morn...



As I was looking at this photo later, I thought of this lovely poem by Sara Teasdale...one of my favorite writers. Enjoy...

I should be glad of loneliness
And hours that go on broken wings,
A thirsty body, a tired heart
And the unchanging ache of things,
If I could make a single song
As lovely and as full of light,
As hushed and brief as a falling star
On a winter night.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Celebrating Chinese New Year with friends...

Celebrating Chinese New Year with friends: Sometimes when I walk through the upstairs hallway I think I can hear Mengting talking to her family in China. Or I think I see the light under the door and peak in to see if she needs a cup of tea while she is studying.


This was the Lion Dance at Trine a few years ago.



I took Jonah to the celebration at Trine this year.     

 




Here is the link to this week's column on Chinese New Year which happens to be today! I hope you enjoy it. Tonight is my own Chinese New Year celebration at my old house. Just click on the above link.

Thanks to my editor, Mike, and to all my readers.

Happy New Year's!


Everyone took home a lovely saying on a small piece of cardboard!
 

Friday, January 27, 2017

When Death Comes...


When you visit my house, one of the first things you notice are all the
poems taped to my kitchen cupboards. I love sharing my love of poetry
with all who visit. This poem by Mary Oliver is taped to my cupboards. I
also featured it with my students this week. Last night I spoke to the
Rode Scholars telling stories from around the world. There is always
time for questions and one question was about my passion for stories,
poetry, literature....it simply lead me into the recitation of this
poem. So...I share it with you today. This version is Mary Oliver
reading her own work. The last line is the most poignant...


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pete Seeger - We shall overcome

We sang this song at both rallies on Saturday. First we sang on the square in Angola, and then we ended the Ft. Wayne rally singing this song...holding hands. I can't get it out of my mind...and why should I?
Enjoy Pete Seeger.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Yesterday was just amazing!!

Yesterday will love long in my memory! The folks in my small town were amazing...yes, amazing, lifting their voices in chants, in songs, in friendships.

After a wonderful rally on the square we headed to Ft. Wayne to participate in the rally on the court house lawn. The weather was really flawless for January. 

It is hard to describe the energy that surrounded all of us. It was absolutely electric. Thank you to everyone who participated, cheered us on, and made hats for us.

I have many photos from the day, but I will share just a few with you...

I just have to say I couldn't sleep one wink last night...

Here I am with my BFF, Kathy. Our friend, Malinda, made our wonderful hats
 out of old sweaters.!!  




 
Just a birds eye view of the Ft. Wayne march.







One of my favorite signs held by a lovely young ladt on her first march!!





Until tomorrow...