• On Reading

    What I’m Reading–3 Top Picks for Summer

    I hope you’ll find some time to read just for fun this summer, just for the enjoyment, inspiration and beauty of words.  Here are my 3 top picks to consider–Poetry, Biography and Fiction. Poetry–Poems to Learn by Heart, Caroline Kennedy, Editor I met Caroline Kennedy when she was in Seattle five years ago for April’s annual National Poetry Month. (“Met” is a relative term; see photo below.) The line to get into the enormous church snaked around the streetcorner but it was so worth the wait. Caroline  was animated and inspiring, regaling us with tales of how her grandmother made she and her brother John learn and recite poetry. How…

  • Life in General

    On Beauty, Books & A Birthday-A Photo Essay

    No matter where I live, I recognize the song of a red-winged blackbird. In rushes near the shore’s edge of a California beach, along the canals and waterways in the San Joaquin Valley, the tall grasses along a Louisiana bayou or deep in marshes along Washington’s coast, the voice of the songbird is the same. There’s a trilling like no other, punctuated by startled flight and appearance of dark black wings dotted with a circle of scarlet. Once you hear the voice of red-winged blackbird, you will know it anywhere. When I first began this blog, I was introduced to a writer whose work became a song of a different…

  • On Reading

    How Books Saved Me

    Some of the most delicious morsels we consume are not the meals we partake of but rather the nourishment of words which speak to our souls. When you are the oldest of five children with alcoholic parents, life is tenuous and uncertain, to say the least. Rocky around the edges and loosely glued together by the basic threads of food, shelter and clothing. Although my stepfather was often either unemployed when I was growing up (“I’m just in between jobs”) or underemployed, we did not go hungry.  God, via neighbors and friends throughout my young life, saw to it that we had enough to eat. But the meals that really…

  • On Reading

    March, April & May in Books #ReadUpstream

    n keeping with the inauguration of the #ReadUpstream movement, I’m going to speak a little about what I’ve been reading and maybe entice you to do your own reading ‘upstream’; i.e. choosing classics and good books that speak to your heart, even if no one else is reading them. More about the origin of #ReadUpstream is here. ~*~*~*~* When it comes to those things that bring me joy, I’m not sure whether I fancy birds or books more. Perhaps equally. I have books with ‘birds’ in the title melding those two—a love of reading and a fascination with my avian friends. There is much I learn from both—life lessons from…

  • On Reading

    Summer is for Reading

    “The heart has its own time. How incredibly fleet are the happy hours, and how leaden slow the sad ones.  The clock cannot hurry the sorrowful minutes a jot, nor clip the wings of the joyous ones!” Gladys Taber, Stillmeadow Seasons When I was twelve years old I ran away. Well, not literally; I just hid in my room away from my four brothers and sisters and all the noise of summer.  I wanted a quiet place alone, an escape from my all-too-ordinary life, into another more peaceful one full of beauty and kindness. Not that my siblings were markedly mean in anyway, but when I was in charge, as…