These past months have been quite busy. I’ve dipped my toes in the Caribbean Sea, the Northern Atlantic Ocean, Pyramid Lake in Paradox, NY, and visited Toastmaster clubs in Maine and St. Lucia. I’ve zipped through the treetops of St Lucia, walked her volcanic ground, sampled chocolate at a cocoa plantation, and toured the coastline of the island in a catamaran. Ive met more of my young readers, taught women looking to write for young readers, brainstormed with fellow authors, done some speaking, storytelling, served as a panel moderator, and penned thoughts on paper for another book. It has been an over-the-rainbow experience, a gift of time with family, friends, and many new friends. Thank you all. Life is beautiful.
Public speaking is something I enjoy, and Toastmasters taught me how to do just that. On top of membership in clubs that are professional and personable, I find the camaraderie among Toastmasters to be bountiful. In fact, I have set a goal to speak at a Toastmaster club in every state of the continental United States. To date, I have tackled 25 clubs in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. I accomplished a great deal, but without going very far. Next in line…Maine.
I just returned from Indiana. Hospitality was grand. While perusing the contents of an antique shop in Logansport, I found a train whistle to add to my collection. Stamped on it are the words, Iron Horse Festival. Logansport once hosted the Iron Horse Festival, which was visited by some of the most beloved hobos of all time, including Steamtrain Maury Graham. Many thanks to Iron Horse Brad and his wife, Merry, also Grace and Richard for a grand time.
A quick aside…my collection consists of many wooden train whistles, and others made from rail spikes and an old organ pipe.
I recently had the opportunity to meet two female veterans who proudly served in WWII. They were dynamic, quick-witted, and I smile each time I think of them. Today, for the first time ever, I realize that I have never asked my 93.5 year-old father, Carmel C. Coco, what it was like on December 7, 1941, when it was announced that Pearl Harbor was bombed. Dad was 23 at the time. His own father, my Grandfather Michael Coco, served in WWI, the Great War, and the war to end all wars. Thank goodness for Dad’s sharp memory and his quick wit. I intend to record his account of that fateful day as well as his recall of how Grandfather Coco reacted to the news. God bless our American Veterans more.
A good jump-out-at-you, “Boo!” always makes me chuckle. However, Mother Nature pulled a good one on us in Ridgefield, CT. With 20 inches of snow on our deck, we are waiting to hear carolers singing, “Jingle Bells,” instead of the doorbell ringing followed by, “Trick or Treat!” No electricity for two days, no school, and Mother Nature is the only one in a costume all in white. I’m still trying to decide if this is a trick or a rare treat. While Mother Nature decides what to do, take a look at a real Halloween treat, one that keeps me smilin’ because after all these years of marriage his smile still jumps out a me…it is Mr. De Young dressed as a sailor.
No wonder I fell in love with him!