Monday, June 30, 2014

Blackbeard is really coming to life this summer -

Blackbeard is really coming to life this summer - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Please enjoy the link above to this week's column! The following grave photo is of Miss Euphemia Curtis....ah, yes, she actually was a real person.

What kind of boarding house did she run? We probably will never know, but come to Ocracoke and see the show and make your own assumption!

When I first came to Ocracoke this grave met me outside the back door every morning. I always said, "Good morning, Miss Euphemia." One never knows.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Back home in Indiana...

Everyone gathering at Pokagon State Park for the concert by the
Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
Photo courtesy of Margaret Rothrock

My current life is on Ocracoke Island where i am continually immersed in island history and a part of the community.

However, thanks to Facebook and blogs, I am always in touch with my other life back in Indiana.

Last night the Fort Wayne Philharmonic entertained locals and tourists alike as they gathered by boat and by car. As usual, folks brought picnics and candles and blankets to enjoy before the concert.

When I was home with my children we never missed the concert. I made sure I had a picnic packed along with my homemade quilts and arrived early enough to share our food and visit along the way.

I am not saying I am homesick for the Midwest, but I am saying there is always something to miss wherever we go. 

This was quoted in the book, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan.
Maggie said, as she was talking to Sarah who left the sea, "There is always something to miss wherever you go." She also told Sarah to plant a garden, and I have done that as well. Photos and story on another day.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ode to the Sea

What offering can I send to you this evening, I ask myself. 

Tonight I am pairing up this beautiful rendition of the poem, "Ode to the Sea" with a painting by Andrew Wyeth.

Enjoy both, and perhaps the two of them combined can carry you out to the sea for a brief spell.

Until tomorrow.

Andew Wyeth, Wind from the Sea

Monday, June 23, 2014

Celebrating the Solstice on Ocracoke Island

Celebrating the Solstice is a big deal to me! We tried for the bonfire on Saturday evening, but the storm clouds pushed us all off the beach! (Actually we never even got that far!)

By Sunday late afternoon, it was certain the bonfire would happen. We hauled wood and hot dogs and marshmallows out to the beach (along with our permit!) and had a wonderful evening.

We had forty some friends join us as we told stories and laughed and sat around the fire. I realize this photo makes it look as if no one was in attendance, but we had just put Sundae's Christmas tree on the fire and cleared the space for the burning!

I hope your weekend was a wonderful celebration of family and friends and a time to welcome summer back into our lives.

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie--
True Poems flee--

Emily Dickinson

Saturday, June 21, 2014

May we all celebrate this Summer Solstice

Happy Solstice!
Enjoy this day and this week's column on
the above link.

Let me know how you spend this day!

Until tomorrow!

Sunrise on Ocracoke.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ocracoke Lighthouse

The Ocracoke Lighthouse.

Inside the Lighthouse.

The Keeper's quarters.

This week I started my volunteer position with the National Parks Service. I am now opening up the Ocracoke Lighthouse on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-3.

I love doing this for visitors and locals alike, and spending the afternoon in one of my favorite places. Come on out and hear a tale or two, take a grand photo, or just stand in awe in one of our nation's oldest lighthouses.

Ocracoke Lighthouse was built in 1823, and still stands true to time as a working, navigational lighthouse.

Sometimes when no one is there, I just sing and let the song echo off the brick walls. If you have a fiddle or mandolin or guitar, bring it along with you to play a tune or so. However, if you have a drum set, better leave it at home!

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ocracoke Harbor and John Masefield

Last night I rode my bike down to the harbor to watch the sunset. The area had a few couples sitting side by side and folks taking photos. I noticed this gull circling round and round. Perhaps not knowing where to go, where to land?

I finally got out my camera and snapped the shot. This photo, now that I look at it, makes me think of my life as an artist. Even though I am constantly with creative folks and travel from stage to stage in my life, much of my work is done in solitaire. I can write anywhere really, but I prefer my quiet studio here on Ocracoke or in my hometown.

I have been known to write in parking lots, on trains, boats, planes, and all other locations, of course! But, still, the work is done alone.

When I was a child my dad had me memorize "Sea Fever" by John Masefield. Maybe you did that as well. If not, why not now?

Until tomorrow.

           SEA FEVER

               By John Masefield

I must to down to the seas again, to the lonely seas and skies.
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

It is Father's Day and Facebook is full of photos and greetings, including my own.

My own dad died four years ago, but it seems as if it just happened. My dad lived far away from me in my adults years. They lived in Texas, and I lived in Pennsylvania and Indiana. Visits were difficult and expensive when you have young families and geography is the key.

But whenever I did visit, I was able to sit in my Dad's library with him in the red leather chair and talk about my goals. He knew I loved all the things that would never bring me money...writing, teaching, telling stories...but he understood all of that.

We shared a love of poetry from the day I could talk, I believe. When he died i was able to gather his poetry books from his library and place them in mine.

I love knowing he read the same poems as I read and memorized just as many. 

My dad never changed the oil in my car, or painted my house, or even taught me how to garden...but my dad taught me to love words and poetry, and those were the gifts I needed to carry on in my own life.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer on the island starts with a bustle!...

Good Morning Folks!

Here is the link this week's article. You may recognize a few of the events from the photo entries from this past week. I have added a few more photos, especially for those of you who did not make it out to the Ocracoke Festival. Be sure to mark your calendar for the first weekend of June for next year!

As always, just click the above link, and thank you for reading.

Until tomorrow.

One of the large puppets in the parade.

Can you tell the musicians hung out in the cottage?

Just a few of the after party cast members still playing!

I think Adam and Tara had a great time!

Bob Zentz entertaining a crowd with Pete Seeger songs.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th and the full moon...

Today is Friday the 13th and a full moon. This will be a spectacular event and won't occur again in our lifetime!

This moon is known as the Honey Moon (because of so many marriages in June) and the Strawberry Moon, aptly named because of the strawberry season in the north country.

Don't miss this spectacular event...perhaps you will even be out on a ghost walk with me. if so, it will be a chilling event. Whatever you are doing, don't forget to take a look at our spectacular world.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

In the pursuit of a love (story) -

In the pursuit of a love (story) - KPCNews: Kpcnews

Bill and Shirley Lonsbury on their wedding day.

Today's blog post is a re-post from two years ago. (Well, parts of it anyway.)

Bill and Shirley Lonsbury are from Angola, Indiana and they were married in the small chapel, known as the marriage mill in my town.

(Please read the above article before going any further.)

Bill and Shirley are in a nursing home together with Shirley not expected to live much longer. They are sharing the same room. The other night the two of them were together knee to knee, forehead to forehead. It is a love story in which most of us will never experience.

Their life was not a novel nor a movie. It was the life of two young people finding each other in the midst of difficulty, and loving each day as they built a home and family.

My thoughts are with Tonya Lonsbury and her family at this time. 

I think pure love stories are few and far between these days. Enjoy the article and take the time to pursue your own love.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ocracoke Square Dance, 2014

One of the highlights of the Ocracoke Music and Storytelling Festival is the Ocracoke Square Dance taught by Philip Howard.

During the past few years Philip has brought this dance back to life. it is now enjoyed by all folks of all ages.

If you missed the dance this weekend, here is your chance to take a look. And if you were there, you might find yourself twirling away on that lovely evening by the sea.

Many performers volunteered their time to play the tunes for the dance as well.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Fiddlers Five

The Fiddlers Five

The ending of all festivals leave us with a sigh and a wish for just one more song or one more story. This past weekend, following the Ocracoke Music and Storytelling Festival, that is exactly what happened.

Philip Howard hosted the cast party for more than forty performers in the festival at his house. It was an evening of pure delight and merriment as musicians played their guitars, mandolins, fiddles and everything else that could fit on the back porch.

At one time there were five fiddle players dueling it out on the screened in porch. There was plenty of foot tapping and clapping during that event.

The music and stories went on until two in the morning. It was a great evening for all of us, and I was so happy to be included!

For more festival photos, please go to Philip's blog.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Get ready for my letters, filled with sand -

Get ready for my letters, filled with sand - KPCNews: Kpcnews

So, on the last blog post, I wrote "until tomorrow." I am really sorry about that!

On Wednesday I packed up all that I needed and headed off to Ocracoke Island. I was here in time for the festival and so many great events that it will take a few posts to get caught up! In the meantime, here is my first sunset photo and this week's column on the travel. Just click on the above KPC News site for my story.

As always, thank you for reading and for being patient as I settle back into my summer on Ocracoke!

Until tomorrow. (I promise!)

My first Ocracoke sunset of the summer.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Sheets, peonies are blowing in the Indiana wind with "Wamshowers."

Sheets, peonies are blowing in the Indiana wind - KPCNews: Kpcnews

This past week my email box has been full of requests from "Warmshowers." All of a sudden it is time to bike across America and they have found beds, showers, and laundry at my house.

This week's column features two of the young men who came visiting last week from Korea. As always enjoy and thank you for reading. I took the photos as they were leaving my garden.

Until tomorrow.



Monday, June 02, 2014

Early June night skies with the Roman gods and Shakespeare.

The early June skies are so stunning. The past few evenings I have enjoyed a campfire in my back yard as I am lulled into a trance just watching the night skies. The moon is cradled in the West and Jupiter is as bright as any star.

In Metamorphesis, it is stated that June was named after Juno, queen of the gods. However, today's scholars feel that June is derived from the Juniores, the lower branch of the first Roman legislature. Which ever the case, June inaugurates our summer bringing with it fireflies, corn and the hymns of the birds.

And how can we forget William Shakespeare during this month? 

When I consider every thing that grows 
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment; 
When I perceive that men as plants increase, 
Cheered and cheque'd even by the self-same sky, 
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease, 
And wear their brave state out of memory; 
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay 
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight, 
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay, 
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time for love of you, 
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.

Sonnet XV

However you like it, welcome to the merry month of June.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Piping our way into summer!

Last night I invited friends into my garden to celebrate the beginning of summer! (I know the official date is June 21!) It was a long winter for those of us in the north so we decided to celebrate the ending of winter. What better place to celebrate than my garden.

We started the evening with poetry from James Whitcomb Riley, our Indiana poet laureate. My neighbor, Lee, and I read poetry while guests gathered under the maple tree.

A potluck followed and then my surprise for the evening arrived! My friend and buddy, Mark Gropp, came into the garden playing the pipes. It was a great surprise for everyone. Mark played and enjoyed conversation with everyone and then played some more.

Into the deep dusk of the evening, we set off a bright yellow sky lantern as Mark played his last tune. We watched it travel up into the sky following the path of the waxing moon.

It was a wonderful evening with music and merriment and good friends in my garden, of course.

Until tomorrow.

Mark Gropp, piper extraordinaire.