The following is a reprint of my Sunday column in the New Castle Courier-Times. Have a great week, everyone. I'll catch up with you on the weekend.
During more than three decades in a newsroom, I've been asked to judge a few things:
American history essays, newspaper-sponsored writing contests, best-decorated door at Christmas at a health facility, a library chili cook-off, a nursing home pet contest, a queen contest at a small-town festival, parade floats at another small-town festival, baked goods at The Mooreland World’s Fair (as we like to call it at the paper). I also judged beautiful handmade needlework for a DAR competition.
Being a judge is fun. There’s no pomp, but there are circumstances. Those generally involve heat and humidity. There’s no black robe and no one stands up for you when you enter the space, which may be a pole barn in August. Or, it could be a tiny room filled with stacks of handiwork that has taken the stitchers hundreds of hours apiece, only to be evaluated by a judge over a single lunch hour.
Once during a judging event, I had a dulcimer band quit playing when I entered its space. The musicians stopped not out of respect, but to yell at me. Apparently I had inadvertently interrupted their performance while setting up trophies for the parade winners. Other than that humiliation, most of my judging efforts have been anonymous.
Oh, but make no mistake. It’s serious business to determine if a homemade snickerdoodle is better than a seven-layer-bar. Perhaps I should have another bite of each to make sure.
When I judged the queen contest, it wasn’t that the committee had searched high and low for a judging team whose combined wisdom could determine the fairest maiden in the land. Um, no, it was that my coworker, who was originally tapped, didn’t want to do it and asked me to sub. So why was she selected to begin with? Could be that that the committee figured she would come with a camera and put the results in the paper? Bingo.
These situations take me back to a childhood full of 4-H. I sewed dresses, baked nut bread, crocheted an afghan, arranged flowers, assembled a terrarium, pressed and labeled leaves on a poster, and created demonstrations.
In the back of my mind while completing the work, I wondered what the judges would think, fretted if the poster was turned the right way, if the label was in the correct corner, and if the hems were straight.
All I’ve ever wanted to be, career wise, is a writer. But what I’ve come to see is that I will be that no matter what, and it’s not only the interviews but the experiences that provide subject matter. Whether I’m writing for a newspaper, working on a book, or posting a Home Row blog, regular life is my subject matter, and Lord willing, a writer I’ll always be.
As I approach age 59, I have no plans to retire, but people are asking me about it more all the time. Maybe it’s because my husband is retired (he’s five-and-a-half years older). Maybe it’s because I’m looking like I should be retired. Whatever the reason, I’m starting to think about what I want to do when the time comes, whenever that is.
I think I’d like to become a 4-H judge. I don’t know if there is a course to take, if there are more or fewer judges than needed, or how all that works.
I’m still covering fairs as part of this small-town newspaper journey, one that began 43 years ago when I decided – at a 4-H fair dog show, no less – that it’s what I wanted to be when I grew up. But what do I want to be when I retire? Guess that’s something I should think about.
How about you?
How did you decide who you wanted to be in retirement? What unique plans do you have? What plans have come to pass? Anything unusual or unexpected happen? Might make an interesting story. Share with me at email@example.com.
Donna Cronk is Neighbors Editor of The Courier-Times and edits the quarterly her magazine for women. Her hobby involves speaking engagements encouraging women to live their dreams and bloom where they are planted, themes in her two novels. See the About Donna and Contact sections on this website for details.
I’ve never had pretty hair.
It is fine in texture, thin in covering, slow to grow, and at this stage of the game, in its natural state is the color of salt and pepper, only probably not the pretty kind, but the blotchy kind.
I thought I at least had the timing down as far as covering the gray, but now even that is in question. The gray stripe down the crown appeared two weeks early this time.
I life-lined my hairdresser for an emergency intervention before I leave for a road trip Tuesday, and fortunately, she’s getting me in. Whew! But color is not the half of it.
My hair is having an identity crisis.
I’m in no way throwing my stylist under the washing station. She does all she can. Who knew that my hair had a mind of its own?
While I’ve never been fond of these locks, for a few years, I was OK with a particular style. I had admired the short, spiked-out, layered look on a woman in a store. When I complimented her, she told me it was simple to maintain, and that it was all in the cut and product.
Sure enough, my stylist handled the cut just fine, and I bought the product—er, products. Why yes, only five simple tubs and tubes to maintain the simple style: shampoo, conditioner, mousse, styling gel, and hairspray.
And when I say five, I mean that in the most minimalist sense. I could buy additional products that promoted shine, a powder applied to the crown to add volume, and probably three to five more bottles, tubes, and tubs that would do this or that in addition, of course, to emptying my wallet.
So maybe there wasn’t anything simple about a style that required a cut every six weeks, color every three months minus a week, and five products. But I could maintain it. That was a first. And another first was that someone in the community where I work described my look as "sassy." I liked that. Sign me up.
But because I tend to hang onto a style too long (think Dorothy Hamill), I wanted to change things up. So I had it stacked in the back, shaped longer in the front, added bangs and flipped the whole works under.
That worked fairly well, and I should have left well enough alone. But no, early this winter I decided to go back to the layered, pieced, "sassy" look.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the blow dryer. The style would no longer hold, no matter the products involved. My hair wanted to lie flat. As a board.
My last hair appointment sounded like a therapy session as I complained about my stubborn tresses the way some would a wayward teen. My hairdresser thought she had a product to help. It didn’t. But I don’t want to tell her. Why is it when a product lets me down I figure it’s me and not it? That I didn’t hold my mouth just right when applying it?
Aside from the fancy products, expensive haircuts, and coloring, I’ve found one thing that adds a little body and perk to my hair in this new phase of life -- or whatever it is. Warning: You’ll probably laugh at my secret weapon. Here we go anyway.
Yes, old-fashioned rollers.
I wash my hair, add mousse, apply the rollers and leave them in on the ride to work. As I roll along, I jack up the heat or the air, and intermittently put down the windows for blasts of air to fluff until I’m close to the town where I work. Then I start ripping those babies off my head and tossing them on the floor before anyone spots me with a head full of curlers, circa 1972.
I know. It’s pitiful. Only I don’t even use hair spray, let alone gel or powder. I just run my fingers and well, it’s as good as it gets. Not saying it looks great. I’m saying good as it gets for what I’ve got to work with.
Problem is, it’s rinse and repeat the next day because it only looks decent for a day.
I’ve had people commenting on my hair lately. “New do for summer?” a friend asked in the office the other day.
A coworker asked me if I got my hair cut. “I feel like your hair looks different every day,” she said.
Yes, you might say its on a roll that way. I never know what hairdo will show up or if my hair will behave well in public.
So my question for other women of -- ahem -- a certain age is this: Have you noticed that your hair is changing? If so, how, and how do you deal with it?
And another thing I’m wondering. With few exceptions, most women tend to color their gray for several years, and then one day, they let it fend for itself in its natural state. How did or do you decide when?
The other day I was thinking about life’s blessings, challenges, and worries. I suppose most of our days' thoughts could be summarized in those three categories.
I remembered a long-ago “joy journal” I kept for a while, a New Year’s resolution to daily record one positive observation, happening or thought. I had no idea what happened to it.
We’re getting some new furniture, so two nights ago I cleaned out a bedside-table drawer stuffed with greeting cards, notes, and letters. Among the correspondence was a small notebook. I didn’t recognize it at first. But then I read the title page.
The opening entry was on the first day of 2002. We had returned from seeing in the new year with our friends, Rick and Gay Kirkton. My entry:
Heated bed pad. Warm, comfortable, and something I didn’t know existed until we slept in Kirktons’ bed last night. I kept waking up in the night thinking, Ahh … this is great.
Also that month:
No cavities! In fact, no cavities for the boys, either, and no charge as cleanings / check-ups are covered. The boys have never had a cavity. Good dental care pays off.
Then one on finding a blessing in the midst of something hard:
David’s surgery today for throat cancer appears successful. Praise for the doctors.
And later, one for something simple:
For the warmth of my nice ear muffs from Galyan’s.
Here's one for recognizing privileges in the obvious, but often overlooked:
For all the luxuries that seem like our lifestyle: oil changes at Walmart, eating out, automatic washers and dryers, dishwashers, microwaves. Our days are blessed by these things we take for granted.
I feel grateful and cheered re-reading these simple – and complex – joys. I don’t know why I stopped making entries.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to pick up this small joy journal and begin again daily recording life’s blessings. I’ll do one a day. Although each day has so many when you think about it. And if you don't think about it, give it a try. I dare you.
I’m reminded of the beautiful old hymn, Count Your Blessings.
I spent a portion of the last two nights going through the drawer's paper greetings, taking time to look at each one closely. The two who send the most, both over the course of the years and layers of paper, and now, are Gay Kirkton, and our daughter-in-law Allison. Coming in third is a stash from Cheryl Bennett.
Some are stacks of birthday greetings for Brian from his former staff and students. Some are notes from people I can't place, who were perhaps in our life for a short season or reason, and wedding invites to marriages both sturdy and no longer united. The paperwork with only signatures got tossed. Those with personal notes are kept, amounting to about half the stash.
Email and Facebook have been hard on the stationery and card industry, but it’s still a joy to get a thank-you note in the mail, or a funny birthday card hand-picked and signed with a note, such as a few prizes sent to Brian from his brother, Steve. So here’s an entry for today, the first of my rekindled commitment:
Grateful for those who take time to send a greeting either on paper using ink and a stamp, or in other ways, expressing their personal thoughts and sentiments in writing. It's still a kick to get mail -- on paper or electronically.
How about you? If you started a joy journal today, what would be your first entry? There’s joy in our journey. And it’s all a journey.
I’ve watched with interest this spring as the old auto-racing track west of Liberty reemerged after years closed as the Route 44 Speedway.
My great-nephew, A.J. Jobe, is the Voice of the Speedway.
Yes, A.J. is named after who you think he is, the famous Texan racer and four-time winner of the Indy 500. And yes, if you are thinking young A.J. gets the racing bug honest due to his name, well, you hardly know the half of it.
My late brother, David, was crazy for racing, exceeded only by his son, my nephew Mike. Mike is A.J.’s dad.
So when a Friday night rolls around each spring week, I think of A.J. up there in the press box, announcing, interviewing, adding color and character to his job, as I know he is fully capable.
I think of other Friday nights at the same track, too; forty years ago this spring, to be exact. I remember the year well because it was the same spring I graduated from Union County High School.
It was the same spring I tried to figure out what I needed to do to become a newspaper reporter, and while I was figuring, with my eye on a day-job opening at The Palladium-Item in the advertising department, I worked Friday nights at the track concession stand.
It's funny to think about now, but I did get that job in advertising, and when I did, I gave up my stint at the race track. Since then, I've known several people who worked in the newsroom at the Pal-Item, including my current publisher. But none were there that summer.
That year on Mother’s Day I got the worst sunburn of my life--at that track. Opening day was coming and the bleachers needed painted in a hurry, causing the crew to put in a long day on the holiday. I was on the crew that smeared paint on the boards and by the end of the day, I was aglow in red.
On Friday nights, the vaguely-onion-flavored burgers simmered in one of those huge, white warmers you may still see biding time on a church-kitchen shelf. They were surprisingly delicious, too.
The menu certainly included hot dogs rotating in their heated glass case, along with the pop, popcorn, and other concession fare.
I often worked the cash register, and the evenings went by quickly as there was a constant flow of people digging out payday cash from their bank envelopes, and enjoying a night in the rural countryside, the track perched atop a steep hill just east of the Whitewater River on State Road 44.
But the best thing about working at the track was the possibility of being called upon to serve as the evening’s trophy girl. The concession stand, evidently, was the bullpen of sorts for teenage girls to be tapped to head for the track near the end of the evening’s feature event, poised and ready to present the winning driver with his trophy.
It wasn’t a position one could campaign for, only one that I don’t imagine any girl in the concession stand that summer would turn down. At least twice that spring, I was asked. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to a “queen” of anything. The process was simple. Someone would come to the concession stand, and holler, "Hey, we need a trophy girl!" If he looked your way, you were it.
I’d like to say that the job meant a lot of responsibility, but it didn’t. You smiled, presented the trophy, and if the sweaty driver offered a peck on the cheek, so be it. And then you hustled back to your cash register, or to the simmering burgers, and spinning dogs.
Forty years later, a Jobe has returned to the race track of my youth where he speaks to and for the track and fans. The speedway has been reinvented by a new owner excited about its future. There was an official ribbon cutting.
I’ve always figured the trophy girl credential would surely come in handy sometime along life's way. Not in a resume kind of way, but as a roll call answer or odd fact about the most unusual job I ever held. I'm still waiting.
Until that day comes, I'll go with this blog post.
Just the other day I posted on Facebook that my two best tips for local authors are to 1. Don't leave home without them (books), and 2. Always look for the blessing in any book related situation, because there is always at least one.
Yesterday afternoon I gave a talk to the Widowed Persons social group in Richmond. There were 22 present, and almost all of them took part in my audience-participation activity. One thing that surprised me was that almost half of of the attendees were men. I think it's great that the fellas attend and take part. I guess it was a false stereotype on my part that it would mostly be women present. The group has been directed for 13 years by Edna Mikesell, and it is clearly her joy to lead.
So once the program ended, and it was time for anyone interested to pick up a signed book or stop by to chat, the lady above, Cindy, decided to purchase both books. She told me that she knew some folks in Liberty, and named the Brock family. I told her I have a cousin named Carol Brock. Carol's mom and mine were sisters.
Cindy couldn't believe it. "You're a Jobe?" she asked not far into the next layer of genealogy. She had no idea! To shorten the story, let's leave it that her grandmother, Mary, and my mother, Martha, were sisters. So that makes us distant cousins. It was a fun surprise we celebrated with a selfie and agreed to friend each other on Facebook.
After connecting with a relative, I decided to look around the Richmond Mall. The last time I visited there was probably 1981, the year we moved away from the area. But before that, I grew up with this the only mall we visited: For clothes, and appliances, for cloth to make 4-H clothes, for Christmas gifts.
You could have fooled me because it had changed so completely that I never would have recognized it had I not known where I was. One big change is the mall's anchor store, Dillard's. I had never been to a Dillard's! I had seen the store advertised in, I believe, southern-style magazines. Friend Sandy, who dresses so great, has referenced Dillard's several times.
So I went in to see what the fuss is about. I loved the place. The clothes called my name, and so did the attractive housewares. But what I really needed were, umm, undergarments. You know, umm, bras.
I walked around the nice umm, foundations department, lost in a sea of beige and black and aqua and every other color of underthings. This is the kind of department that leaves me frustrated, and maybe that is exactly why I don't buy new, umm, underthings very often.
The clerk was friendly and asked if I needed help. So I thought for a minute. Yes! Yes, indeed I do need help. I asked if I could be measured for the right bra size. My friend had done this very thing several years ago in Marshall Field's in Chicago, but I had never taken the plunge.
Maybe it was a combination of the lovely department store, or the fact that I didn't need to rush home, or that my own bra's wire was stabbing me in the back. No, make that side!
Being measured for a bra size is a discreet process, and within moments I learned why my bras didn't fit like gloves. Not only were they old and had spent too many rounds in the washer and dryer when they should have been hand-washed and hung up to dry, but they were the wrong cup size, along with the wrong width! Who knew?
When she brought me a suggested bra, to try on for confirmation of size and adjustment, I knew that I had been trying to fit the girls into a Pinto, and my Porsche had just arrived!
It fit so well I wore it home ... and bought two more.
Then today, I had what I figured would be another potentially tough mission. In March, we bought Ben a birthday suit. Ha! I wonder how often people get birthday suits for their birthdays. A very nice Macy's at Castleton employee, Anita, who specializes in men's clothing, helped us out and fitted Ben for the new ensemble..
Well, Sunday he brought home the pants part of the suit. There was a rip in the back, and not in the seam, either. He didn't think he snagged it on anything. The tear is a mystery and even a fantastic seamstress couldn't fit it to look right. I decided to take the pants back to the store and see if there was any kind of discount or provision to be made.
No offense to any other clerk, but I didn't want them. I only wanted Anita. I spotted her and she asked if she could help me! Bingo! She even remembered me! I told her that the suit is beautiful and that Ben even landed a new job in it. However, we had a problem. She took a look at it, and said we could swap them out for another pair. She found the right size and color, did the paperwork, and after I thanked her and took a picture of her holding the new pants and giving the thumbs up to text Ben, I walked out one happy customer.
So if you need a new suit or help in men's clothing, go see Anita. Tell her I sent you.
Then in Penney's, on my way to the car, I happened upon a table of capris in exactly the style I like, with plenty of color choices and my size available. Hot dog! They were on sale for $17.99 each! I picked up two pair. But at the register, my two capris rang up to $99! I told the clerk that wasn't right. She did some computer work and the total came to $28 and change. I told her that still wasn't right, and that I would owe more. She repeated the price of $28 and change!
Three great shopping experiences in a row.
Now I need to stay out of the stores for a while!
This is Marianne Hughes of Greensboro, Indiana. Marianne loves her truck, her husband, her cats, and her country. She is a historian, and is a most active member of the Sarah Winston Henry Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, based in New Castle.
Marianne is 5-feet tall, and here, she sports an apron as this afternoon was her day to set up refreshments at the DAR meeting in New Castle. Oh, but put a lid on your generalizations.
This woman is a MARINE. I say that in the present tense because there are no former Marines. Once you are a U.S. Marine, that you remain.
I knew Marianne for a long time before somehow it spilled out that she had served her country in this particular way. For years, I worked with her on articles about exhibits and projects having to do with the Henry County Historical Society, where she served for several years as executive director.
When I found out she is a Marine, I interviewed her about her service. Five years in the U.S. Marines, then eight in the Indiana National Guard. Like Patrick Henry's mother, Sarah Winston Henry, for whom the New Castle DAR Chapter was named 90 years ago this year, Marianne is a Patriot. You should see her interact with a veteran in a nursing home. Or how she puts American flags on graves that are needing them.
Marianne: I thank you for your service.
I thank Chapter Regent Stacey Rifner Sobat as well, for inviting me to be today's speaker. It was my pleasure. Stacey's great-great grandmother, Bertha Berry, was a charter member of this chapter 90 years ago.
Stacey now lives in Columbus but cheerfully makes her way monthly to New Castle to preside over this chapter which is dear to her heart. She is also an environmental manager with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Happy 90th birthday to the Sarah Winston Henry Chapter.
If time allows when I'm giving a program somewhere, I enjoy nosing around the area. Saturday I helped kick off the children's and adult summer reading programs for the Farmland Public Library. It was a gorgeous day, the kind you dream about in Hoosierland all winter, and I had a little extra time.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into the Farmland General Store and found a candy store that would rival any, anywhere. Surely this is a tourist attraction. I asked the co-owner, Krista Sewell, if they get visitors from afar. The answer came from a couple wandering around the place. "We're from Detroit," they said. In fairness, they didn't drive from Michigan to Farmland, population 1,200 and change, just for the candy. They were in the area for a graduation.
Tom and Krista bought the established business, located downtown on the west side of Main Street, (you can't miss it) as a retirement enterprise.
Old-time candies await your senses, and taste buds.
Such as jawbreakers, or these ...
There's also an impressive array of teas and coffee beans for your selection. Sweet place!
You may know of Farmland for its signature restaurant, The Chocolate Moose. Located on Main Street and hop and skip from Farmland General Store and Candy & Stuff, The Chocolate Moose is a booming place, serving meals with an emphasis on sandwiches and salads, oh, and ice cream, in a cheerful environment.
I had lunch there, a loaded taco salad. Of note: the sun-dried tomato crisps. Quite yummy.
Then it was on to my reason for being in the area -- the reading program kickoff. To have more space, Librarian Carrie Watson took the show on the road, County Road 1000, actually, to the Rehoboth United Methodist Church fellowship hall.
Have you ever heard that word before? Rehoboth? I thought it might be the name of a nearby village or maybe of a farm family that founded the church. But no. The name is in the Bible. Right there in Genesis, and right there next to Nineveh in Genesis 10:8-12.
Then in Genesis 26:19-22, we learn that Isaac named a well Rehoboth, saying, "Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land."
Flourish in the land ... what a great description for a county church in fertile Randolph County! And what a pretty one in the countryside.
Librarian Carrie had things under control as kids and adults registered for the summer reading program. How about a fun fact? Carrie is a banker, librarian, and more: mom, drag racer, and quilter! She's the first female drag racer I've ever met. I bet she is the only combination librarian / drag racer / quilter in the country. I think she might even be Wonder Woman.
I presented the children's literacy program on "What's Your Clue?" about looking for clues in your life about who you are, how you are wired, and who you might become. The children were well behaved, attentive, eager to answer questions, and participate.
The second program was a little later, "What's On Your Bucket List?" Attendees shared fun goals that include writing a book and visiting Paris.
One of the day's most special moments came when this little gal wanted to show me her rooster painting. Her family friend, Christy Daniels, who got permission from the artist's mom for me to put this photo here, (I decided not to print her name but I had permission for that too) says that they were looking at my blog and she saw the metal Rooster sculpture posted recently. That's why she wanted to show me! Isn't he a handsome rooster?
Just goes to show you never know who is reading this blog, or reading and creating and learning ... just as they do in Farmland, Indiana.
Thanks for hosting me, Carrie. Hope you win a lot of races this summer.
We have too many old-tech stereo systems in our house! Do you have outdated technology in yours?
I can accept that Brian is quite attached to his 1976 stereo system and his collection of vintage vinyl. But it doesn't stop there. He has a second stereo in the bedroom, and we have two additional stereos in the house which belonged to the boys.
I know. It's over the top. The boys use their cells and whatever other technology is up to date for their music collection. I use my laptop and cell, and in the car, I tend to prefer talk radio over music anyway.
So while Brian was gone fishin' this week with his brother, Steve, and their buddy Tom, I took the liberty of making a change. Since we never use the stereo system in Ben's old room, and it took up real estate on Brian's childhood desk that resides there, I decided to box up the system and stash it away in a closet.
I'm the only one who uses the desk for desk-type work, mainly as a staging area for book-related paperwork and a tray there catches cards, letters and notes readers are so kind to send.
So I pushed the room's bed against the wall in a different direction, freeing up some new space, then pulled the desk into the center of the room facing the room's door and tidied up the paperwork on top.
Then I pulled an occasional chair that's been in the living room and placed it in front of the desk to give it a "come-sit-in-my-office" (tee hee) look.
I propped Marilyn Witt's original painting that became my second book's cover on a table in a corner behind the desk. We can use the bed as a bed if needed, or I can spread out larger projects or stage materials for programs there without messing up other areas of the house.
The best part is that nothing was purchased for the new look, just simply repurposed or rearranged from that room or others in the house.
I like it! A lot! And when Brian got home today from his trip, he said of the room, "Wow!"
What does a century-old family photo, a cucumber and Abe Lincoln have in common? I'll be sharing at my children's talk tomorrow called "What's Your Clue?" It's becoming one of my favorite programs to give. Surprise me! Come to the program, and visit with me after at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 3 at Rehoboth Methodist Church, 3955 N. 1000 W, Parker City. I'll have a second program at 2:30. YOU are invited. Both are sponsored by the Farmland Public Library. Bonus: Hit up The Chocolate Moose in Farmland for lunch on the way).
If you've read my blog or other social media for a while, you know that I enjoy giving programs that relate to my books or other writing. I never know where the next "gig" will come from but wherever it does, I'm delighted.
KIDS' AND ADULT PROGRAMS SATURDAY, JUNE 3
Tomorrow, Saturday, June 3 is a first. I'm giving two separate programs in one place, and tucking a book signing around both. I was invited by Farmland Public Library Librarian Carrie Watson to help kick off the library's summer reading program with my children's program, "What's Your Clue?" tomorrow at 1 p.m.
I've given variations on this program twice before, and have rewritten it a bit for tomorrow's kiddos with some additional audience participation elements. What in the world could a 100-year-old original family photo, Abraham Lincoln, and a pickle have in common? Well, come to the free program tomorrow (or book me for your venue) and you'll find out.
Then at 2:30 p.m. a second free program geared toward adults, but totally family-friendly for all ages, gets under way. Again I have some audience participation and discussion involved as we unpack "What's On Your Bucket List?"
I think we'll have a good time with both programs. At least I know I will, and I'll do what I can to make sure you do too. I'm bringing a couple of door prizes for both venues. So do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya?
To accommodate more people, the programs are at the Rehoboth Methodist Church, 3955 N. 1000 W, Parker City.
COME TO THE MIDDLETOWN FAIR!
From 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 8, I'm joining two Henry County authors at the Middletown Lions Club Fair as we sign books and visit with folks at the fair. My thanks to Shenandoah School Corp. Librarian and author Colette Huxford for asking me to be a part of this gig. I'm delighted that our mutual friend Terry Gray will be there with her book too.
I'll head over to the fair after work at the paper. The fair is in Dietrich Park on the southeast side of Middletown. You'll find it. It will be a nice ending to my official "work" week. There's even fireworks that night! And rides, and fair food, and good old-fashioned fun.
JUST BECAUSE ...
When Brian was gone fishin' this week, Reggie got to "sleep over" in our room. When I woke up yesterday, I had to laugh at the way she was wrapped up in the sheet beside me. Crazy dog keeps us entertained.