June’s Highs and Lows

June was a month of many miles: physical and emotional. A wedding, a funeral. Harsh realities and re-envisioned dreams. First times, and also, some repeat situations.

I’d like to revisit some of June’s milestones in the next few posts and I’ll begin with a geek moment.
On June 14th I took my eldest child (son with autism) to Springfield, Illinois to see the Dana-Thomas House. No, we didn’t travel all the way up from the Gulf Coast to visit the house—we were only an hour and a half away staying with family—though I would if I could for Frank Lloyd Wright. This was my son’s favorite spot, the Lego model of the home in the carriage house. 100_3029

It was my first time in a Frank Lloyd Wright residence. I was able to go to the Guggenheim Museum when I was in NYC last year, so that was my first FLW building, but his homes! I’ve been collecting books about and drooling over them for years. 100_3052

The home was everything I expected and more. My favorite rooms were the library and concert hall, both in The Gallery wing. The built-ins in the master bedroom and dining room were gorgeous and the bowling lane in the basement wasn’t too shabby either. 100_3044

If you want to learn more about this historical home (with a great gift shop) visit http://www.dana-thomas.org for more information.

P.S.
Remember, you can find a featured story or essay on my “SHORTS” page. The current one is “Midsummer Ado”, a historical fiction piece perfect for this time of year.

Hangin’ In

Whoops. It’s been over a month since I’ve posted a blog. Much of what’s happened already feels like distant memories. Here’s the quick recap.

 
The end of April I spent several days in Morristown, New Jersey, and New York City with my big sister. We went to concerts, a Broadway show, and sightseeing in places like the Guggenheim Museum and Cathedral of St. John the Divine (which was a special treat because I got to be with buddy Léna Roy, again.)

Word of advice: if you ever make it to NYC, go to the Russian Tea Room and order cheesecake. I’ll blog more about my adventures on the vacation in the near future. Lots of adventures to share!

 
May brought another birthday—I’m older and wiser now—plus I was re-elected as president of Mobile Writer Guild for another year. The new board members are beginning to plan the next season’s events and it sounds like it’s going to be better than ever.

 

Besides the above, I’m still homeschooling the kidlets and trying to keep up with family and friends.

 
Oh, and writing! I’m about one third of the way through my rewrite of Corroded. Hope to finish this draft by the end of June. Then, I’d like to find a new set of eyes to give it a read through before I think about querying. It’s been a labor of time and love.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Resettling back into a routine after a vacation is like trying to sift curdled milk with a gold mining pan.
Last week was a dream. Even the hours in a minivan with three kids and a grouchy husband were enjoyable- at least for me. Hey, I didn’t have to chase anyone! Plus the sky was blue and there were plenty of snacks within reach.
If you want to feel like your “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” (name that country singer) then visit a village in the Midwest that’s surrounded by Amish farms. Call me crazy, but I’d up and move to Arthur, Illinois, tomorrow if I could. The weather was a nice break from the humidity of the Gulf Coast, though I have been up there when it’s been sticky hot. The snickerdoodle cookies at the local Country Cheese and More bakery were as delicious as usual. (I only gained one pound! And no, those two dozen I picked up on the last day didn’t make it home, but I had help.) The Amish crafts are gorgeous to look at and I was able to bring home a piece of oak furniture, which is the best physical keepsake of the trip.
Though I’m sure my children would disagree. They were spoiled, as usual, by grandparents and aunts. And having time with cousins, an uncle, and great-grandma was wonderful, too. Besides the daily trips on foot to the main street they had fun on the front porch with sidewalk chalk, a couple afternoons at the local school’s playground, a trip to Rockome Gardens, and a festive luau party.
Memories of family time and adventures with horses, buggies and trains to last until next time. Which hopefully will be in the not too distant future. It’s been about three and a half years since our last visit- much too long!

… and she flies the coop…

I’m here on time this week. Blogoriffic!
My timeliness blooms from guilt: I won’t be posting next week and I wanted to make sure I get this week’s post up. The next few days will be filled with packing and laundry and cleaning. Saturday the family heads north on a fourteen hour drive to reach my in-laws’ home. Thankfully the trip will be split between two days, allowing for a stop in Nashville to return two of my nephews to their home and see my sister and the rest of her family.
I love to travel! I haven’t been more than forty-five minutes away from home since last June when I was blessed enough to travel (flying first class no less!) to the Boston area to visit with my oldest sister. I was six months pregnant and away from my boys for the first time. Need I say I was spoiled and self-centered during that visit? Such an odd feeling to get away from it all… (See photo above.)
But this time it’s interstate travel and car seats and too many pit stops. French fries on the floor and cranky kids.
It’ll be so worth it, though! Seeing the world go by one mile marker at a time. And if I’m lucky, a book-on-tape to listen to… as long as the kids are quiet enough and the narrator’s voice doesn’t annoy the driver. I’ll have my bird book next to the seat and my journal within arms reach as well. And a camera, though I probably won’t remember to use it much.
The days ahead will be filled with family, fun, and a little frustration, I’m sure! Bon Voyage!