Busyness vs. Calm

By Ann Minnett

I was driving down snow-covered Star Meadow Road Monday morning in a slight panic. I dug blindly in my bag for the list of Christmas gifts to buy and errands to complete in between yoga, a meeting at 11:30, dinner with a friend at 5:30 (we’re old), and finally another meeting at 6:30. Mustn’t forget to drop off my critique pages at Marie’s, I thought. Now where was that pen I stashed in the console…

I’m retired. We live near a resort town that currently looks like a tranquil Christmas card. How can I be this busy?

Photo courtesy of Mike Coleman

Star Meadow Road  – Photo courtesy of Mike Coleman

A huge bird—a golden eagle—flew over my car, filling the windshield and making me flinch. His flapping wings appeared jointed in five places each and nearly spanned the narrow road. He flew low and slowly in front of my moving car, hunting along Star Meadow Road the way I’ve seen eagles follow rivers. We traveled at 30 mph, swooping downhill for a mile or more until he banked to the right, and I lost him in snow-laden pines. The busyness of my day fell away in the beat of his wings, towing me in the silence.

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I Don’t Know What I Think Until I Write It Down

I attended a women’s retreat on the banks of beautiful Flathead Lake yesterday. About sixty of us discussed spirituality in all its loose forms and how we might demonstrate our personal beliefs in daily life. I was struck by the importance of writing in the process. We wrote letters to ourselves to be opened at next year’s retreat, and time to journal was built into the schedule.

As soon as I could print, I recorded my thoughts and feelings on paper.

Journal photo

I’ll reread all my old journals one day, and for that implausible reason I can’t bring myself to burn or toss them. All those intimate self-revelations are part of me. Truthfully, sometimes I don’t know what I think until I write it down.

One Saturday among women from all backgrounds reinforced my belief that my writing today started with journaling. My work represents far more than stories. It represents what I have to give back.

~ Ann

Reading to Cats

By Ann Minnett

reading to catAn animal shelter in Berks County, Pennsylvania is helping young students improve their reading skills by reading to cats. Yes, cats!

The story appeared on http://thedodo.com and received a lot of attention on FaceBook. This program provides good reading practice for the children and wonderful company for the animals awaiting adoption. But so much more goes on when someone reads to another (human or animal).

The social/emotional connection affects both partners. We touch, exchange facial expressions, and generally communicate below the level of the words on the page. Most parents know the importance of reading to an child even before she can speak. The child learns language to the extent she hears language, but when parents cuddle a child to read, they are bonding and sharing so much more. Apparently those benefits extend to other living creatures.

Tally

By Kathy Dunnehoff

I didn’t know I needed a dog, until I had one.

Last November, mostly at the urging of my daughters, I brought home a 6-week-old Yorkie. I vetoed a couple of names for the one I’d only had a chance to use on a character, Tally. It doesn’t mean much to anyone outside my family, but for us it’s a wonderful lake we love.

Tally, the dog not the lake, looked at me once and I became irrationally enamored…

Tally - ride home

(I know, right?!)

 

 

 

 

I thought the thrill of having her greet me at the door after a long absence (taking out the garbage or checking the mailbox, for example) would lessen over time. But it hasn’t…

Tally sitting over my arm
I’m sure a therapist could shed some light on the situation (and speaking of shedding, Yorkies don’t 🙂 Although the Montana Women Writers author Ann Minnett is a retired therapist, I believe, and her last post was about falling for her puppy!

At least I’m not alone in my nuttiness for a dog. My entire family is under this one’s spell, and when they’ve headed out to their days, it’s just Tally keeping me company in my office and I’m reminded…

Tally on lap on back

I didn’t know I needed a dog, until I had one. 

Happy Reading!

Kathy

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Hollywood Beginnings audio cover

 

 

 

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A Puppy at My Age?

By Ann Minnett

Many of our group will be writing about pets this month. I have featured dogs in each of my three novels because having a dog is a quality of life issue.

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Meet Boone to the Bone, our new Aussie. Who wouldn’t love this face? We sure do, and it’s a good thing, too. In the 25 years since we last had a puppy, a woman can forget their lightning speed and curiosity, not to mention needle puppy teeth. My thin-skinned arms look like I’ve been in a knife fight.

He could live 15 years. We did the math. Holy cow! He will keep us moving throughout the rest of his and our lives.