“And the People Stayed Home”

Dear Readers,

While out walking my dog Jimmy Lambchop yesterday, I came across the following evocative poem that a neighbor had taped to her front yard’s Little Free Library box.

I was so moved by it that I came home and Googled the poet so that I could present her poem to you. You might have already read it since, apparently, it’s gone viral–an ironic term these days.

It was written in March 2020 by Kitty O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain from Wisconsin. She and her husband live with five dogs and three cats. She wrote this poem “while trying to process the catastrophic news surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.”  Here is her poem:

And the People Stayed Home

And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and rested,
and exercised, and made art, and played games,
and learned new ways of being, and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant,
dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.

So get a clue, Readers. I hope many of you have “create[d] new ways to live and heal the earth fully” as you continue to wind your way through this unprecedented time. Please be safe, stay home, and stay well.

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Let’s Keep the Kids Reading!

Hi, Kids, and those who love you (teachers, family members, godparents, friends, neighbors, etc.),

My goal as a writer continues to be getting my stories into kids’ hands and hearts. Since most schools are closed, we all need to help KEEP THE KIDS READING!

For my part, I have reduced the price of my eBook on Amazon to $2.99 through April 30. (If you’re reading this, my Thursday blog, for the first time in my April 30 Newsletter, it isn’t too late! The sale doesn’t end until midnight.)

Please click on the following link to order and upload your copy of my eBook right now:  Nutmeg Street eBook

Then, to KEEP THE KIDS WRITING, please encourage them to leave a review of my book on Amazon. Click on the same link above, scroll down as you look left, and click on “Write a Customer Review.” Write as little or as much as you like. Submit. That’s it!

So get a clue, Kids and Adults. I would love to see what you kids are thinking about Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets. Please post a review. I’ll be on the lookout it! Thanks so much.

 

 

 

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Contact the Squares!

Hello, Kids and Other Readers,

Recently, I talked about how we are living in an unusual time with staying home and social distancing to be safe. We can use this problem for the good. I call it being Lemonade Heroes.

So while you’re taking lots of lemons and making sweet lemonade in the form of good deeds and having a generous spirit, consider trying this system to show others that you care all the time. I call it, “Contact the Squares!”

To start, take a sheet of notebook paper or printer paper. Fold it in half three times so that when you unfold it, you have eight squares or rectangles.

Next, write “Every Day” in one of the top squares. Then, label each of the rest with a day of the week.  (See photo sample.)

Then, write down the names of people whom you will make an effort to contact each one of those days to check in, to see how they’re doing, or just to say hi. Think hard. Don’t leave anyone out! For instance some people, like your grandparents and your BFF, you might want to contact daily. Others, like your classmates, you might feel the need to contact once a week only. Others, like your teachers or elderly neighbors, maybe twice a week. I left parents out since you are probably with one or more of them every day. If not, add them. Of course, you know your friends and family better than I do, so adapt this system to work for yourself and others. You get to decide.

Now, here comes the fun, caring part! Follow through with a text, email, personal message, or good old-fashioned phone call or written note to each person in the square on that particular day, plus your “Every Day” list. Repeat next week and for as long as you want or feel the need.

So get a clue, Everyone. This system can work whether you’re a child or an adult. And there will be many people out there who will know they can count on you, a Lemonade Hero, to care about them. And you’ll get a good feeling knowing that you are doing your part to help.

 

 

 

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Lemonade Heroes

Hi, Kids and All Readers,

We are living in extraordinary times. Sheltering at home, socially distancing, trying to stay healthy, and looking for a silver lining in the dark cloud of this Pandemic.

Yes, that’s what I said–a silver lining. In other words, focusing on the positives! For example, now’s the time to learn what you can and cannot control, like walkers coming up on you from behind when you are trying to keep a six-foot distance. You can really only control your movements, not theirs. On a brighter note, maybe you now have time to read that book you’ve been meaning to get to, or try a new recipe and stir up some kitchen fun with your family members. Perhaps you’ve learned some new uses for technology to stay virtually connected to family and friends you haven’t been in touch with for ages. How about a Virtual Tea Party?

Tough times can bring out the best in us if we are ready, willing, and able to accept the challenge. Such times as these tend to shine a bright spotlight on the heroes among us. And each one of us can be a hero right now. You see it on social media and in the news all the time these days–people doing good deeds without expecting anything back. But they do get something back–a great feeling knowing that they helped. That’s called altruism. See, kids? Perhaps you just learned a new word! But seriously, how about writing and illustrating some thank-you notes to doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel? Then, mail them to your local hospital. Or to people working all night to keep the grocery store shelves stocked? Or to veterinarians, pet store workers, animal shelter folks, and zookeepers who are still on the job caring for the animals? Or to firefighters and law enforcement officers who must stay on the job in case of emergencies? Or closer to home, how about writing a supportive message in chalk on the sidewalk or driveway of an elderly neighbor’s home? Why not gather your friends virtually and come up with a big list? Then, divide it up and act on it.

I imagine if our Botanic Hill detective heroes were really living through these tough times, they would be showing extra kindness, patience, and generosity. For instance, perhaps Lexi and Lanny would deliver some groceries to Mrs. Thornsley’s front porch. Moki might take her a fresh pineapple from his garden and a container of his immune-boosting muffin pan omelets. And for sure Rani would deliver a bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese and also a bouquet of flowers.

So get a clue, Kids and Other Readers. Remember the old saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” And we’ve certainly got a huge crop of lemons right now. So look for ways that you, too, can safely be a hero–a lemonade hero! There are probably lots of people nearby who could use some of your sweet help.

 

 

 

 

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For All

Dear Readers,

A Lynn Ungar poem to sooth you in these troubled times. Take care.

 

            Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

 

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And to Review . . .

Help, Dear Readers!

If you’ve read Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets in paperback or eBook, please consider posting a review for me on Amazon. If you’ve already done a review, accept my thanks.

I need fifty reviews before Amazon will promote my book for free. As of today, I have seventeen. Beyond that, your comments help make me a better writer.

Your review can be long or short, whatever you want to say. One or two sentences are fine. Each review counts toward the big total. Don’t forget the star rating!

To review, go to my book purchase page on Amazon at Paperback or eBook. Scroll down. On the left, click on the box that says, “Write a Customer Review.” Write and submit.

So get a clue, Readers. Check the Giveaway section in my March 31st Newsletter for added incentives for reviewers! Thank you for your continuing support.

 

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