Family Stories/Special Objects

This Friday, I will share an original memoir piece, “Truth From Under the Branches of My Family’s Tree” and lead an interactive discussion about how special objects help us recall family stories. Participants are encouraged to bring a special object for discussion – holiday treasures are welcomed!

This event will be on the lower level of the Los Alamos Senior Center at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 11.

Come and join us around the tree for a delightful holiday experience.

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PEEC Nature Center – Storytelling Event Nov 10, 6 pm

Camping under the stars in November?  Don’t worry, it’s an imaginary camping trip with everyone gathered around the imaginary campfire under the Planetarium stars. Terry Fox and I will lead children and adults to meet all kinds of animals, learn about the stars, and even go fishing!  For more information, visit http://peecnature.org/events/details/?id=7443.

African History Month

Come hear me tell stories from Africa and enjoy a family friendly event next Saturday, February 7 at Bright Horizons at Naperville.  I’ll be telling stories at noon and 12:30.  For a flyer to share with your friends, visit:  http://child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com/~/media/bh/centers/1493/documents/celebrateafrica27.ashx.  You can also RSVP on Facebook.  Hope to see you there!

“Under the Branches of My Family’s Tree”

Come hear me read a memoir piece about the strength passed down from generations of amazing people in my family.  I’ll be reading at Waterline Writers in Batavia on December 21 at 7 pm.  If you’ve never attend this reading event, it is something to put on your bucket list and cross off on December 21!

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Making Time for You

I am inspired by the woman who attended my NaNoWriMo write-in at Geneva Public Library.  We all have responsibilities to juggle in order to keep writing a central part of our lives.  I’m always amazed by mothers who find that balance!  Read about this motivational mom here.

Let’s all commit to 15 minutes a day of time for us – time to bring our story ideas to life!

What it Looks Like to Become Intergenerational PALS 

In this exchange between these two partners in Pages Across the Ages, an eight-year-old boy and eighty-three-year old woman read Verdi by Janell Cannon and bond with each other.

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It was funny when Verdi is scared that he will turn green because that meant that he was old.  But he thought that meant he was going to become lazy.  […] Then he understood that he could still be happy even if he was green.  He was still the same inside.

 – Boy, age 8

“Verdi doesn’t want to grow old and green! […] He gets tired and old and decides that being old and green isn’t so bad after all!  My name is Pat.  You’re 8 and I’m 83.  I don’t mind being old but I hope I don’t turn green.” 

– Woman, age 83

A Group Effort at Defining Happiness

Sometimes it takes a group effort to define something as elusive as happiness…  We cannot define it in a vacuum.

When I worked with the Storytellers at the Anchorage of Bensenville Nursing Home, we connected with each other through group poetry.  We threw out words together to make this definition of happiness.

What is your definition of happiness?

Happy

Happy looks like a beautiful pink rose.
It smells like fresh laundry hanging in the sun.
It sounds like children laughing,
It tastes like a cool glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.
Happy feels like a baby’s soft skin.

Happy looks like pictures of people you love.
It smells like Johnson baby powder.
It sounds like church choirs and operetta duets.
It tastes like a big, juicy steak.
Happy feels like a smile on your face.
– The Storytellers

Appreciating Connection

The moments we feel connected to someone or something may be fleeting.  Yet, they provide meaning to our lives.

This image is something I always come back to when I think of these fleeting connections.

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hotograph by Kimberly Gotches, 2014

Appreciation

Walking along the river,
I see my first ice flower.
It could melt at any moment,
yet it hangs on –

Hovering over the water from which it came
and to which it will go.

It glistens,
like crystal,
its stem both flexible
and strong.

It is something beautiful,
existing in-between.
Something we won’t notice
if we just wait for spring.

I won’t forget this flower.

I want this flower to know:

“I appreciate you.”

– by Kimberly Gotches