Monday, September 27, 2004

A closing remark or two...

Just wanted to let you all know that I will be off my blog site for about two weeks. I will be leaving for Asheville to meet Philip and then head off to the National Storytelling Festtival in Jonesboro, Tennessee. It should be a wonderful few days with stories and friends and the beautiful countryside and, of course, seeing Phiip again. Following the festival, we are hiking in the mountains for a couple of days with some friends of his. We will also spend time with his son and family in Asheville.

Following the hike, I fly home to Indiana and spend the last few days at the Hoosier Stortelling Fesival at Military Park in Indianapolis. Come on down, it should be a great week end (October 6-9.)

By the time I return to Indiana, there will definitely be frost on the pumpkins!!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Smal town festival...

This week end is the festival for our town. Years ago the festival took place out at the state park. I always dipped candles, my kids made cider...showed off their blacksmithing skills. It was later moved to the center of town with the streets blocked off for street vendors and a stage for music.

Walking the barracaded streets you can buy elephant ears and roasted almonds and crocheted toilet paper covers...all at the same place. The music is local...the crowds are local.

Last night as I sat listning to the band play, I realized the lead guitarist had been my student in school. The crowd was mostly young families..children dancing with parents..teen agers flirting shyly with each other on the sidelines.

I stayed until darkness permeated the square and the moon rose above the courthouse...and the final bows.

And then I just walked home down moonlit streets.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Today at the copier.....

Tonight after school (yes, I am back in school!) I was talking with a friend at the copy machine..She was telling me how they (she and her husband and small child) had just sold their house and given away most of their "stuff." I knew they were making changes, but I didn't know it was radical. (Now, I need to put in parenthesis, this is not for religious purposes, they are not waiting for the second coming in the hilltop.) They felt they wanted to do more with their lives and have less stuff.

I really admire her for this. She said that I had something to do with it..I was impressed on that one. Well, I did wander around the world with a laundry basket for a time, but I do have a house... she said that I didn't have "stuff" so that I can do things and travel. She went on to tell me all that they are doing to simplify. We talked for a long great that she understood all of this while her child is still young. It makes me think maybe I have gone too far.... excuse me please while I pack up my laundry basket.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Coming home early....

Well, for two day I have been sick in bed with the flu and the cold and everything that goes with it. I actually came home early from school yesterday.. I never do that!

Now I am not dyingly ill...or detached retina hurt..I just have a bad head know can't breathe, can't talk..

It sure would be nice to have some hot vegetable soup and someone to play the harmonica for me. However, since I have neither, I will open up a can of Campbell's soup and turn on the radio. Tomorrow will be another day.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

An invitation...

Won't you join me in Fort Wayne today for the annual Johnny Appleseed festival. Yes, Johnny Appleseed was buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and we "festival" around his gravesite for two days. There will be bagpipers and fife and cider,apple pie, apple dumplings (the line is usually an hour long for that one!!)..there will be rows of authentic crafters...blacksmiths, broommakers, hand thrown pottery..and of course I will be there telling stories.

So, if you want to enjoy this gorgeous autumn week end in Indiana, head on out to the fair...but make sure you stop and say hello as we pass by.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The litte person arrives....

No sooner than I jump off my soapbox (you know well the one) then the phone rings. It is my son, Aaron, who tells me his wife, Karen, has just gone ito labor. I actually had to sit and contemplate this for a few moments. Oh, I knew they were having a baby...that is all we talked about, and of course, it was physicallyt obvious...but the realization that a new little person was coming into this world and that a part of you will be a part of him is quite awe inspiring. The words grandma or grannie or grandmama really don't seem to do it for me...but whatever word I choose, it all means the same.

I was able to be with Karen the whole time...holding her hand, stroking her hair, wiping her forehead with a cool cloth. I have never witnessed a live birth, it was so amazing...I just feel honored to have been included.

Jonah was born at 3:16 this morning..with lots of dark hair and the Saylor chin. He weighs 7 pounds, one ounce and is 20 inches long.

His eyes opened up and looked directly into mine, I think he is already asking for stories.

Mama and baby are well, Daddy Aaron had a rough go of it, but pulled through just fine.

Today is a beautiful day in Indiana..the sky is azure blue with a wonderful breeze..the leaves have started to change from summer to Autumn. Everything changes. Today I am a grandmother. Welcome Jonah!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

OK, while I'm still on the box....

I just can't help seems to be this kind of week. I don't shop at Walmart. Period. And it is difficult. I live in a small town, and so many of the mama/papa businesses have gone out of business since we have had our super walmart. Shall I name a few? Our local hardware (they could fix anything, or at least tell me how to fix it!!!)....our family run film store, our bakery where I have purchased every wedding cake, party cake,rehearsal dinner cake (no one in this world baked like they did)...but they have been run out of town (Walmart has cakes, you know, big, cheap cakes)..a shoe store, the local butcher (you actually asked for your meat over the counter and he/she packaged it up in white paper!)

OK, I can't tell you not to shop a Walmart...truth be told, it is a hard decision..sometimes I wish I had never started this. I mean in my town there is no where else to buy a plunger along with spinach. But I chose it, and I will stick to it. So, my reasons..go will find a vast array of information (I have recently filled a notebook, am I on a roll or what???)

So you just can't give it up? Here are a few ideas then, a compromise, if you will: Tell Walmart employees you support their rights to form a union (yes, you can do this while they bag your oranges)...check the labels to see where the items have been manufactured and then ask to see the manager...ask him/her if the item was manufactured in a sweat shop (if they aren't too busy filling the popcorn machine, you might get an answer) other stores, especially the mama/papa businesses.

OK. Enough already. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

On my soapbox...

Last night at midnight the ban on assault weapons was lifted. The news was full of the issues and stories this past week, but it was too late. There were many of us who have been lobbying this issue for several months. These past two weeks I have made numerous calls to my Senator and Congressman and have been put on hold more times than I care to think about to GWB (I never did get past the operator at the White House). I have to thank Jennifer from Chicago for all of her work. And to the statement from Sara Brady, the ban will be back in time, but how many deaths will occur before then?

I have read reports that stores are ready and were opening early this morning to sell assault weapons.

But on a lighter note, Congress did ban the super soaker squirt gun after 4 children were injured. So take heart, America, our children will not be injured with the squirt guns while on their way to school, and what's a little Uzi or AK47??

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Community Pot Luck

Today is our community pot luck in my neighborhood in Northern Indiana. When I first visited Ocracoke two and a half years ago...I loved their sense of community. Of course, I watched it from a distance, but I knew I would bundle up a bit of it to take home.

So this is the second annual pot luck. Well, it isn't quite like Ocracoke..I mean we sent flyers around to our friends in the neighborhood...and we all mowed and trimmed and weeded and picked bouquets of flowers. But the sense of belonging to the community is the same. I have a picket fence around my back yard with several small gates that I have opened up for carrying chairs and babies and tricyles and potato salad and apple pie.

We will meet and greet, share our food, share our stories and know that we are there for each other. I must add that I will be thinking of Philip on this his own community..a thousand miles away from mine.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Friday night vigil...

There were 20 of us who gathered on the town square last night to participate in the 9/11 ceremony. We carried candles from the university to the square, which was roped off...a podium had been placed on the street for the speeches...the music...the stories.

The event was of cultural diversity...I stood between a young woman of Jamaican origin and a young man from Iraq. Their smooth, dark faces were strong and serious in the candlelight. I felt proud to be among them...I felt proud of them to be empassioned about 9/ be empassioned about something.

I listened to their stories while holding my own candle. I thought of those who had lost lives...I thought of those among us who live...but have forgotten how to live richly or deeply. I felt the tears stream down my own face.

When it was over, we nodded to one another...words were not necessary, and I took my long walk through town. I came home to silence, lifted my eyes to the heavens and slept.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


While driving home from school today...the word lollygagging just popped right into my head. I have not used that word nor heard it for a very long time. In fact, I even doubted it was a word. But, hark, I looked it up in Webster's new collegiate dictionary.

lollygag: to fool around, dawdle.

Now I wasn't exactly fooling around..but you could say I was dawdling.

I have a lovely drive home from school, especially at the end of summer. Corn fields flaunt the road on both sides..geese are gathering on ponds...Queen Ann's lace and wild chicory decorate each inch of the roadside... here and there a few farmer's markets with self service for sweet corn and cantelope or cucumbers ready to be made into pickles. I often pass an Amish buggy rather than an automobile.

Yes, I have to admit, today I definitely was lollygagging.