I’ll be sharing a closer look at all my books over the next couple of weeks, as I prepare for the Kansas Book Festival in Topeka, Kansas. The Cows Came Running and the Horses Did Too! was my very first book, released in 2011. The story is based on a 1970s childhood memory that takes place on our humble family farm in Wilsey, Kansas.
I love this story because of its strong connection to just about everyone! It is a story of a dad who says no. His daughters, however, do not listen.
Ouch! It’s true. I disobeyed my father when I was growing up!
Who doesn’t relate to that?
The best part about this memory is what I got to keep from it over all these years. I gained a rich learning experience of honesty, respect, and responsibility.
And let’s not forget about those natural consequences!
When we were very young, Mother greeted us with warm cookies as we arrived home after the first day of school. Sister and I were still brimming with energy, even after a long day of school work and new routine. Fresh cookies were the perfect invitation to sit for a bit and share together pieces of our day apart from one another. I remember the sweet memory of feeling full.
Not just full from Mother’s delicious cookies.
Full of joy. Full of happiness. Full of love.
It has been many years since my own children were little. They too were welcomed home with a plate of warm cookies after those delightful first days. They recall the excitement of our simple tradition and the joy of sharing. They too were filled.
Filled with conversation. Filled with laughter. Filled with love.
There was plenty of time.
Today our youngest began his first day of his last year of high school. The last little one all grown up. The moment is already a memory.
And that time for the simplest joys? Where has it gone?
He’s looking ahead now. He’s preparing to move on. He’s not always in a hurry to come home and share his day.
But today, this last first day, I’ll have this plate of cookies waiting.
Let’s sit for a bit.
Let’s share some time.
Let’s be filled.
Peanut Butter 1-1-1 Cookies
Mix 1 egg, 1 cup peanut butter, and 1 cup sugar together. Use a small cookie scoop to drop dough onto a baking pan. Press with a fork. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350. Cool and Enjoy!
It has been very cold lately. Most of us have been spending our time indoors, only venturing out for work and necessity.
Last night however, as I worked in front of the warm oven to prepare dinner, I heard a clatter and commotion that drew my attention outside. What I observed out there, as the sun was setting in the zero degree weather, made me smile and giggle as if I were watching an entertaining movie.
What was the source of this intrigue outdoors on such a cold winter evening?
It was the neighbor kids. Bundled beyond recognition, they had gathered together a variety of items to build a drum set in their backyard.
A big blue barrel sounded like the base. A couple of old propane canisters looked like cymbals. An overturned sled became a snare. A worn tricycle served as the drum seat. Broken sticks banged out the beats.
Never mind the frigid cold. Never mind the hodgepodge of materials. Never mind the lack of an audience. These kids had created a splendid concert in less than favorable working conditions, pounding out an example of creative imagination and entertaining ingenuity.
As the concert came to a finale, I stood at my kitchen window applauding.
Bravo creativity. Well done ingenuity. Encore imagination.
I guess they did have an audience after all.
As for me, this free concert event was a priceless reminder of all that is possible with just a little imagination!
Children are outside all the time. They are accustomed to it. It is just natural.
But recently, when I took Elmont Elementary 2nd grade students outside for a nature walk to prepare our minds for Fall poetry, they came alive with excitement about simply being outdoors.
This was not the normal excitement you see when kids play together outside. It was different from the everyday. It did not look or feel the same. These kids were welcoming their familiar environment with a fresh, new outlook. They were responding to a reason to explore, a reason to participate with nature.
I love that about the change of the seasons. It has the power to stir joy and renewed energy into the hearts of young and old. It can pull you in and captivate you, releasing you from the norm for that magical moment in time.
I love how the change of season makes everything we’ve always known new once again. This change stirs up all of our senses and renews our attitudes and our actions.
Familiar becomes quaint.
Natural becomes supernatural.
Normal becomes magnificent.
Kids in these everyday normal spaces say things like,
“This is so awesome!” and,
“I feel like a park ranger!” and
“Hey, I found some nature over here!”
How about you? Are you alive with this change of season in your familiar place? Has your usual been replaced with phenomenal?