After the Storm

“Rainbows apologize for angry skies.”  ~Sylvia Voirol

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton

These quotes came to mind yesterday when I saw this picture of a rainbow over the dark New York skyline. This picture was posted on ABC News Online.  Thanks to them for sharing this image with us!

The promise of a new and better day was very fitting for those who have lost so much.

Hurricane Sandy has affected so many people and will be around for a while it seems.  There will be much to clean up and it will take a while before life gets back to normal for millions of families.

I have been watching the coverage on the television and have been stunned and brought to tears by the devastation in so many places.  Wrapping my mind around entire towns under water or sand is hard to do, as is realizing an entire neighborhood was wiped out in a fire.  And, there are the tourist places where ferris wheels, roller coasters, and boardwalks will never be the same.

My prayers go out for all of those who have lost so much — their homes, their towns, their favorite vacation spot, and maybe the life of a dear one.  I can’t even imagine what they are dealing with.

The strength of the people dealing with the aftermath has been amazing to behold.  I salute all of the first responders, the firemen, police officers, members of the coast guard, paramedics, nurses, doctors, electricians, lineman, all utility workers, and so many more people.  These people are running to help others and try to restore normalcy to people and their communities.

Thanks also to the Red Cross for their quick response, FEMA, and the various state emergency response agencies, the National Guard, all volunteer agencies, governors and mayors who have been working with the President in response to this disaster and helping get aid to those who need it.  Collecting items for people has been a great thing to see.  In addition, I have been pleased to see politics put aside, however briefly, to help our citizens rebuild their lives and homes.

Most of the coverage I have been watching has been on ABC News.  These journalists and meteorologists have done a great job in reporting what has been happening.  They have looked defeated and frustrated at times and that is to be understood.  They were out in the worst of this storm to let us know how serious things were.  Thanks to this crew and others who have kept us informed.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to thank God for the simple things in my life that I sometimes take for granted.  I realize this week, however, how precious these are.

I am thankful for:

  • Running water
  • Heat to stay warm on a cold night
  • A refrigerator keeping milk and cheese cold
  • A telephone to talk with a loved one far away
  • E-mail for updates from others
  • A cup of hot coffee in the morning
  • A yard full of standing trees
  • A hot shower
  • Lights to read my books and Bible
  • The hug of my son and him saying, “Good Morning Mommy”
  • The kiss of my hubby before bed and in the morning
  • A house with no damage
  • A television to track the storms
  • Friends who are well and healthy

If you were directly impacted by this storm, may the Lord be with you as you heal and move on with your life.

I hope that we can all get back to normal and remember to appreciate how truly special normal really is!  God Bless!

On Sandy, Other Things

Hope you’ve had a great week!  It has been a while since I have written.  Things have been busy!

And now this week, 1/3 of the country is dealing with Hurricane Sandy.  This massive storm has been quite amazing so far.  Rain, snow, wind, flooding are the things we will be dealing with.

My prayers are with all of those in her path.  I just hope and pray that the damage won’t be too extensive and there won’t be deaths or major injuries.

Seeing the New York subway system shut down and Wall Street close today are items that rarely ever happen.  You know things are serious when that happens.  And, the airports up the east coast are closed and many flights cancelled.

Last night on the news, with all of the coverage of the storm, they included a story about Halloween and if it will still happen.  I thought that was funny and quite touching that people are still wanting to have life go on as it normally does, despite such a mess.

Lord, keep us safe!

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Last night I had the first good sleep I’ve had in a few nights.  Ian has been waking me up each night and staying up for a while, so needless to say, neither of us has been getting much sleep.

These nights made me think of when he was a few months old and sleep was very hard to come by.  Those days and nights were difficult and it was trying to be back to that again.

Thankfully this odd schedule didn’t last very long.  I realize that I need my sleep — at least 7 hours each night to function and to be nice the next morning.

If you are having trouble sleeping, I too hope that you can find some answers very soon!

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Over the weekend, I read an update about Malala Yousafzai, and heard about her on the news as well.

Have you heard about her?  This amazing 15-year-old girl was shot in the head by for advocating girls’ education.  She is in England recovering from her injuries. The hospital announced that she was able to stand for the first time and that she is communicating freely and that she is writing.

I was stunned to hear about her and how and why she was shot.  How can it not be okay for girls to learn?  That just isn’t something I can understand but is a reality for so many around the world.

What a brave girl.  I hope and pray that she gets a great education.  And, let us not take that for granted.  Being able to learn and go to school — whether at a school or at home — is a real gift and something that should be appreciated.

Those are just a few of the items on my mind today.  I will be sharing more in the coming week.  May God bless you in your day and keep you safe!

Happy Anniversary Kirk!

“Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work.”  ~Author Unknown

“Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. ” ~Barnett R. Brickner

Happy 14th Anniversary to my hubby Kirk!  I love you very much!

Here we are on our wedding day – looking so young.  We each found the right mate!

I was 30 years old when we got married and the last of my two siblings and I to marry.  For a while I even thought I’d be an old maid.  Then I met Kirk and we clicked and the rest is history.

I truly believe that he was and still is a gift from God.  Prior to meeting him, I had been praying a lot for the man I was supposed to marry.  But more importantly, I prayed for what I wanted my life to be and also what I wanted in a spouse.  The Lord helped me figure that out.  He also helped me discover that I was ready to enter into such a relationship.

I have learned over these 14 years that in a real marriage, you are partners who support one another, who encourage one another, and who often put the other’s needs and wants before your own.  Being considerate of someone else can be challenging at times but that is what we are asked to do in marriage.

We had a great wedding day with so many of our dear family and friends both standing up with us and in the congregation to celebrate. I had four bridesmaids and 1 flower girl – all very dear people.  My sister Cindy was the matron of honor, and the bridesmaids were my sister-in-law Beckie, my best friend Jennifer from high school, and my best friend Dawn from college.  And Ashley, Jennifer’s daughter, was the flower girl.

My best friend from elementary school, Tammy, surprised me by attending the wedding.  If I had known she would be there, she would have been in the wedding. Kirk’s groomsmen were his brother Jon who served as best man.  Then the other men were my brother Richmond, a friend David, and his Uncle Danny from Scotland.  The ring bearer was Jon’s son Jonathan.

Since our wedding, we have lost many dear friends through death but have gained some wonderful new friends and family through births, other marriages, and other changes.  We have been truly and richly blessed.

Kirk truly is my best friend, confident, lover, and one true love.  It is hard to remember my life before him and for that, I am truly thankful.  We have a true partnership and relationship and I couldn’t ask for anything different.

Then 5 years ago, we became parents and started a new chapter in our journey together as man and wife.  Seeing Ian, who was created in love, each day just reminds me over and over again of our special bond.  We three are a family, a special unit, and a team.

Isn’t it funny that when you open your heart up to love, that it continues to expand and grow with the more love in your life?  I truly love Kirk and Ian with all of my heart and always will.

The vows that we said to each other truly mean something and are so important to remember.  Marriage is a big commitment and not to be entered into lightly.

I vowed to Kirk, “I take you to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”

We have had a wonderful 14 years and I hope and pray that we will have many more!  We also have had some of each of these times throughout these years and we are still going strong!  What a blessing that is to the two of us!  Kirk, I do love you very much!  Thanks so much for being you.

I come from a line of long and happy marriages.  My parents are three years from celebrating 50 years of marriage, my grandparents were married 66 years before my grandfather died, and my great-grandparents were married for close to 70 years (maybe longer, I can’t remember).

This year, my sister and her husband celebrated 19 years of marriage, and my brother and his wife celebrated 18 years of marriage.  I love all of these long-lived relationships!  It gives me hope and encouragement that yes, true love and partnership is alive and well.

I too am thankful that I have just that with Kirk.  Love you Kirk so very much.  May we enjoy our day and each day we have together!

“Come with me my sweet, let’s go make a family, and they will bring us joy for always!”  These words from an old song are so true and precious to me.  We are a family and are full of joy!

Happy Anniversary to my love!

Happy Birthday Dad!

“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” ~ Clarence Budington Kellan

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”  ~Author Unknown

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU DEAR DAD!!!!

In two days, my father Bill celebrates his birthday.  Happy early Birthday.

These quotes explained the kind of Dad that he was!  I am so blessed and fortunate to have grown up with such a great man in my life!

The reason that I am writing today about Dad is that Wednesday, October 24, is also my 14th anniversary with hubby Kirk.  I will be writing about him on Wednesday.

Dad was nice enough to share his birthday with us when we got married.  At the rehearsal dinner, we enjoyed a cake which said “Father of the Bride” on it.

Pictured to the right is one of my favorite pictures with my Dad — at least from when I was a very young child!

My father is a very special man and was a fantastic role model and dad growing up.  He enjoyed spending time with the three of us kids — me, my sister Cindy, and my brother Richmond — and he was interested in us and our activities.  He actually and fully listened to us and was engaged in our lives and still is.  What a gift that has been!!

For many years he worked in human resources and we worked in the same building for a while.  It was always fun to talk to people about him and have them tell me what a great and fair man my dad was.

After retiring from that job, he took a year off and had a blast!  He then decided to try a second career in teaching.  He took a year and a half to earn his master’s degree.  He then taught 5th grade at a small school one county over from where he lived.  He truly cared for each and every child that he worked with.

He has since retired from that position as well and now has a lot more time to spend with family — his wife and kids, grandkids as well as his sister and mother. Pictured are Mom and Dad with my family on Easter morning.

I learned so much from my father over the years.  He was always great with money and helped me with a tough patch.  Several years after I graduated from college, I had racked up some debts so I moved back home for a while to help pay them off.  When I moved out, he said, “This will never happen again, right Patti.  We love you but you can’t move back in again.”  That is exactly what I needed to hear!  He was so right.  I then was able to get my financial act together and a few years later met Kirk.

He has taught me too about real love, compassion, caring about others, thinking about life and what I believe in, forgiveness, patience, volunteerism, and how to truly be in the moment with a child.

We were in the Lions Club together and that was a very special bond.  Neither of us have been as active lately, but hopefully that can change.  It was fun to attend meetings and activities with him.

Now he has a ball with all of his grandchildren.  He has five of them ranging in age from 15 to 5 years old.  He gets in the floor to play with Ian and Ian loves time with his Augaguk (the name he made up when he couldn’t say Grandpa).  They have a special bond that is marvelous to see.

I love you very much Dad and so appreciate the man you are!  Hope you have a wonderful birthday!  Thanks again for sharing your special day with Kirk and me!

A few more quotes about fathers:

  • A father carries pictures where his money used to be.”  ~Author Unknown
  • Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad.” ~Author Unknown
  • Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever.”  ~Author Unknown

What A Week!

Hello and Happy Friday!

Hope you’ve had a great week!  Mine has been a good one but has flown by.  As they say, time flies when you are having fun.

On Sunday, we went to the library and checked out a pile of books and videos.  I managed to finish one of the books I checked out in four days.  It was very easy to read and hard to put down.

We checked out several Mouse the Mouse books – “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “If You Take a Mouse to School,”  and “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies.”  Ian loves all of these stories. And, he enjoys looking at the amazing drawings in each book.

It is especially fun since Ian has a stuffed Mouse the Mouse doll from those stories.  Last night when we were reading one of them, Ian said as Mouse, “I sure miss my family and I am glad to be a part of your family.”  I told him we are glad you are part of our family too!  Isn’t that cute?

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This week we watched the Presidential Debate on Tuesday and then we voted on Wednesday.  An amazing week of politics!

The debate was a good one with both men standing up and firmly presenting what they believe in.  They were both interrupted, both corrected, and both had some real zingers.

On Monday is the last debate and soon will be Election Day.  I must say I am ready since it has been a long 18 months of campaigning, spending huge amounts of money that might better go to programs we need to have funded, and plenty of mud-slinging.

Here is a quote I came across this week.  It sums up very well the attitude I would prefer to see as we wind down the election season:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy, 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those who voted on the other side.” — John Wesley, 1774

May we have that heart as well between now and election day and afterwards as we transition to the next President, either Obama or Romney.  May we also respect the position and the man who is elected.

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Yesterday, Ian had his 5-year-old checkup at the doctor’s office.  He was a little bit nervous but not as much as he might have been.  We have been watching the Disney Channel’s “Doc McStuffins.”  A young girl is a doctor for her toys.  In it they sing about “Time for Your Checkup” and talk about the fact that a doctor is there to help you.

He is now 44 inches tall — quite tall for his age.  And he weighs 43 pounds so he is tall and skinny!  Hopefully he will stay healthy as he is now!!  We are truly blessed.

The only bad part of the exam was getting a flu shot.  We tried focusing on the fact that the needle was very small but Ian still cried and was scared.  The nurse who did the shot gave him some stickers so that helped a little bit as well.

But as he went to bed last night, he said, “Mommy my arm still hurts.”  I told him I was sorry but that shot is to help you from getting really sick.  He said, “Okay Mommy.”

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Today at lunch I am eating with a good friend who I used to work with named DiAnn.  We worked together for nearly 8 years before I left for maternity leave and then decided to be a stay-at-home mom.

We had a great time working together and still enjoy seeing each other.  However now it isn’t as frequent as it used to be.  You become quite close to people who you see for 8 hours a day 5 days a week.

The main thing that I miss from no longer working is my girlfriends.  That daily interaction was very special and I didn’t realize how much until I no longer had it.  I miss our regular chats about our families and other friends.  We will have much to discuss and gossip about I am sure and I cannot wait.

And for dinner we are eating with another close friend who I have known since high school — Jennifer.  She is one of my absolute favorite people on the planet and was a bridesmaid at my wedding.

I have seen her daughter grow up to become an amazing young woman and now Jen will see my son grow and change.

Over the last few months we haven’t seen each other very much and we’ve had time through the years where we lost touch.  But the amazing thing is that we can always pick right back up where we left off.  It is a real blessing to have a friend like that!

Both of these gals have meant a lot to me and I look forward to spending some time with both of them.

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No matter what you are doing today and this weekend, I hope you have a good time and enjoy yourself!

I Voted! How About You?

Early voting started today in Tennessee!  I went and voted!  The deed is done and my ballot has been cast!

Ian came along and watched.  A real-life Civics lesson for him.  We talked about how important it is to vote.  I explained that this is something very special that he will get to do when he is older.

This morning at the polling location where we went, they said that in the first 2 hours they had already had 200 people casting votes.  That is great and way more than the last election.

I am so glad to see people getting out and voting.  It is so important for us to do.

On the ballot were people running for the School Board, City Council, State legislatures, Congress – Senate and House members, and the President and Vice President.  Quite a variety of people to choose from.

A cool thing was that some of the local candidates were there to greet voters and say thank you for coming out to vote.  That was a really nice touch.  I was very impressed and talked to a few of them.

Please be sure to vote between now and November 6, which is Election Day.  May the best candidates win!

A few quotes about voting:

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” — Larry J. Sabato

“Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.” — Rick Mercer

The Hiding Place

“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.” — Corrie ten Boom

This was a quote from “The Hiding Place.”  I remember this book growing up since my mother had a copy of it.  We were always quite impressed with this woman who was such a pillar of Christianity.

Last night, I was again reminded of how truly amazing she was.  The Insp network aired “The Hiding Place” movie, which was released in 1975 by the Billy Graham Association.

Although this is an amazing movie about Christian faith and Christianity, it is very hard to watch.  I shed a lot of tears over what happened to ten Boom and her family.

A short synopsis from IMDB (an Internet movie database) states, “Suspected of hiding Jews and caught breaking rationing rules, they (the ten Boom family) are sent to a concentration camp where their Christian faith keeps them from despair and bitterness.  Corrie must learn to forgive.”

When I started watching the movie, Corrie, her sister Betsie, and their father Casper and some other family were running a clock shop in Holland.  They later started assisting Jews when the Nazis invaded their country.  They hid them in a portion of their house and allowed them to live with them.

Then, one day, they got caught.  The entire family was kicked out of their house for alleged crimes and their home was boarded up.  As they were being driven away, Casper tells the Nazis that if he is allowed to stay in his home to die, he will open it to as many Jews as he can.  Needless to say, the soldiers don’t like that comment at all.  But, what a powerful thing to say as he was being whisked away with nothing.

This family truly lived and practiced their faith each and every day.  This was shown both before and after they were taken away from their home and business.  They were then separated for a while.  The sisters are eventually reunited and find out their dear father had died.  They are subsequently sent to a concentration camp with many other women.

The women were crammed into train cars with almost no possessions and transported for a few days without food or water.  They were then crammed into rooms and forced to work without adequate rest, water, food, or medication.  Each day, they are given one small portion and one small bowl of soup.  They are treated as animals, well worse than any animal should ever be treated.

It is painful to see people being treated like less than a person.  No respect or dignity was given to these women who were accused but not convicted of crimes.  The hardest thing to realize is that so many people went through this — men, women, and children.  And, to realize that this movie was a true story and actually happened to a family makes be tear up just thinking about.

I truly do not and cannot understand hating someone that much.  How can you treat another human being so cruelly?  It makes no sense to me and I must say I am thankful that it doesn’t.  This movie shows so well what happens when evil takes over and the love of God is not present.

And, yet is was present for Corrie and Betsie — despite all they were dealing with, they prayed daily and read their Bible, which they snuck into the camp.  I was in awe of being able to still believe in our Lord despite everything.  They both realized that He loves us no matter what and is always there to help us through whatever trial we are going through.  And, they discuss the fact that He too was beaten and suffered and died on a cross.

Corrie does tell her sister at one point that she hates the Nazis, but she still prays for them.  As scripture says, we are to love one another and pray for those who persecute us.  These incredibly strong women did just that.  What a powerful lesson to learn from them.

If women in that situation can believe that, surely I can do the same.  I must say that hearing such an incredible testimony has strengthened my faith and appreciation for all the freedoms that I have.

The fact I have food, water, can read my Bible, and worship as I do are so precious and wonderful and amazing gifts.  May I never take them for granted.

I hope that you too can realize how much God loves you and will be there for you no matter what.

Some quotes from the incredible Corrie ten Boom:

  • “Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him….Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness….And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself,” from “The Hiding Place.”
  • “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
  • “What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”
  • “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”

Happy Birthday Isaac!

Today is my nephew Isaac’s 15th birthday!  Happy Birthday to you dear Isaac!

He was the first grandchild for my parents and a very special boy.  I remember when he was born and how great it was to see his smile and bright, big eyes!

When he was born, I was single and hadn’t yet met Kirk.  Then by the time he was 1-year-old, we got married.  Amazing how much time has gone by!

He has grown into a fine young man who I am very proud of.  Isaac is fun to talk with and spend time with.  Unfortunately there isn’t enough time to do that since we are all so busy.

The picture above is from early summer when we were together.  He is pictured with Ian.  As you can see they are both all smiles.  And, later in the summer we had a week together at the beach and it was fabulous!  So many wonderful memories and great photos.

Isaac is fascinated with learning about various wars, likes to read, and plays the trumpet in his marching band.  He is a busy and very active teenager.  He also likes a variety of movies and television shows and just like his father did, can quote his favorites.

His dad is my brother, Richmond.  He was the youngest of the three of us and the first to have a child.  He has been a great dad to both Isaac and Isaac’s sister Rachel.  And, their mother is Beckie who is my second sister.  I love my family and am happy to know this branch of it!

Isaac, I hope that you have a great birthday, fun with your friends, and a fun birthday party tonight.  I only wish we could be there to celebrate with you.  We do love you and will be thinking of you today!

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip.”  ~Author Unknown

Thoughts and Thanks

Another week has come and gone.  Hope it’s been a good one for you!  Mine has been good but quite busy as most are these days.

I can’t believe it’s already 10 days after Ian’s birthday.  We had been so excited about him turning 5 years old and now we are almost two weeks after the big day already.  My time flies.

Today I wanted to share a few random thoughts from the week and a few items that I am thankful for.

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First is a quote that I read a few days ago.  Socrates said, “May the outward and inward man be one.”  This has stuck with me and I have been thinking a lot about it.  To me it basically means to be yourself and be comfortable in your own skin.

I hope and pray that you are comfortable with who you are and what you believe in and stand for.  I also hope that you don’t feel the need to wear masks or hide yourself.  People who are worth knowing and truly care about you will love you anyway.

It is hard, though, at times, to completely put ourselves out there warts and all.  Hopefully we can figure that out as the times present themselves.

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Last night as you know was the Vice Presidential debate.  My mother wrote a thought-provoking item on Facebook that I have to mention.  She noticed that the people who support Obama think that Biden did a better job and the people who support Romney thought that Ryan was better.  No surprise there!

Here are a few of her words, “Intelligent, thoughtful people draw opposite conclusions from watching the same debate, because we see the world through our own perspective and we look for an echo of what we believe in what we hear.  We need to remember that we all have the privilege to decide and vote according to our criteria.

“It is time to ask that the Lord’s will be done in this election, and that loving concern for others, civility, tolerance, mutual respect, reason, and a spirit of cooperation will settle upon us as a nation,” was her conclusion.  Well said Mom!!

It was a lively debate and I must say that I really like knowing that so many people are engaged in the process this year and care about voting.  For many years, a large portion of the population hasn’t exercised the right to vote.  I hope that changes this year!

What I don’t like is when people are mean or attack someone who feels differently than they do. I would like to think that people can present their view without attacking someone else’s, but I realize that is quite naive.  I want to echo my mother’s prayer about our attitude and remembering to respect one another.

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I love the fall!!  This week we have had to pull out our sweaters when we’ve gone outside and have to wear socks to keep our feet warm.  The weather is changing and with that, the change to gorgeous fall leaves.

Last weekend we made pumpkin spice pancakes on Saturday morning with turkey bacon.  Such wonderful tastes of fall with the syrup on the pancakes!  Ian helped us make this yummy breakfast and it was a blast!

Last weekend, I also had my first pumpkin spice latte and it was DELICIOUS!  Don’t you love the tastes of fall?  I sure do.

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There is so much to be thankful for!   I hope you have some items as well.  Here are a few of mine:

  • After putting on a dressy outfit, Ian telling me, “Mommy, that outfit looks great!”
  • Enjoying an autobiography about Dick Van Dyke.  I will be writing about this when I finish it.  I have liked him for years so it is fun to read about his life.
  • Finding inspiration in a quote or a comment that someone has made.
  • Looking with anticipation at my sister’s choices for a photo a day challenge that she is going with some of her friends.  They are very clever and creative.
  • Watching a friend debut on a new television show this week.  He did a great job, I must say.  The show is “Chicago Fire.”  Please check it out.
  • Cherishing a date night with my dear hubby with dinner out and time to shop.
  • Painting my fingernails and toenails with confetti nail polish for a birthday party.
  • Seeing Ian set up and play with his new train set, which he received at his party.
  • Realizing how precious it is to live in this county and be able to think and believe as we want to.
  • Listening to differences of opinion and learning how other people tick (so to speak).
  • Receiving a hug from my son and husband.

May God bless you this coming week!  Hope it’s a great one!!

Stories to Tell

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” — Patrick Rothfuss

Did you know that this weekend just past was the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee?  I didn’t get to go but I bet it was a fun weekend.

They had a variety of storytellers and I am sure a lot of great stories!  Did you go or have you ever been to hear a storyteller?

I grew up with storytelling as you know.  My grandpa was great at it and created some fun characters — Willie, Mrs. Oheyu, and Professor Wufolskorsky, among a few others.  They were part of my family and fun to hear about.

I think that the gift to be able to orally create a character and tell a story is God-given.  Not all of us can weave such an amazing tapestry.  Maybe it can be learned as well and certainly developed over time and practice.  I was privileged to know someone who was a wonderful weaver!

Another storyteller that I heard who was fantastic was Bill Cosby.  About 6 years ago in Florida, he was in concert.  He told us about going to chop down his family’s Christmas tree in the snow with his kids, when a bear came up and scared them.  He said, “Bears don’t eat crazy,” so crazy he became.  The bear then went away and left them alone.

Dr. Cosby also told us about asking his butcher where on the turkey was the cut for bacon.  He explained that on a pig, it is clear, but wondered about the turkey as well.  The audience roared with laughter at the details and explanation and account of this conversation.

These stories were so funny and memorable that I can still recall them and how much I laughed while he told them.  And, I have always liked his books, stand-up material, and “The Cosby Show.”  He is a gem and a gifted funny man and educator.

My grandfather’s stories were truly memorable, funny, and touching as well.  I think that is the sign of a good storyteller.  You remember the sounds, the words and expressions used, and the material itself for many, many years after hearing them.

I consider myself a storyteller as well, but I prefer the written word to orally presenting my stories.  There are many ways to tell a story and I am happy to be in a family of people who enjoy telling them!  We all have a story to tell — we just have to find it and how to tell it.

Now we have another storyteller in my family.  My son Ian is starting to show the gift of this art.  This summer he told me a story.  I had recorded it in my journal.  It was dated July 19:

“Ian told me a wake-up story about a rainbow-making truck, a guy named Willie, and another truck.  He said that rainbows come from God.  He also mentioned Thin John Little (who was a character from my grandpa’s stories) and that Willie had gotten stuck up in a tree with a parachute.”

Beautiful!  I was so impressed and wanted to hear more!  He has told other stories since then and each one is memorable, and funny.  He has a real gift –even at just 5 years old.

Last night before going to bed Ian told me that he wanted us to work on a new story today.  I said, “okay Ian, we will do that.  Sounds like fun to me!”  I am thrilled and can’t wait to see what we come up with!  I will let you know what develops!

I hope that you can find the way to tell your story — whether it be through words presented orally or written, through acting, photography, your activities, or music!  There are so many ways to share!

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” — Brandon Sanderson