Family Celebration Time

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Family Celebration Time

This has been a crazy, crazy year! Family members have been in very serious, life-threatening situations. There has been chemo, surgeries, loss of jobs, medical emergencies, car accident, emergency birth…I won’t keep on going with that, although I could.

There have been challenges, but there have also been victories. I am hanging on to that.

In a couple of days, my family will gather together for our annual Turkey Treat Holiday. We will eat too much, laugh a lot, tell stories, play games, enjoy a craft festival and celebrate the fact that we are all able to gather together once again. It is gonna be a great time!

And then the day after the gathering is over; I will come back to face another challenge. That means there will be another story to tell and another victory to celebrate!!

Hang tough everybody!!

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Celtic Storytelling

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Celtic Storytelling

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I went to Arizona this past weekend. I was hired to tell Celtic stories at the Tucson Celtic Festival. I had such a great time! I’d never been to Arizona before and my host, Margy, treated me so very well.

The festival was such fun. I told stories to a varied audience; all the way from tiny ones to those who had accumulated a life of wisdom. I shared about the importance of the storyteller in the Celtic tradition.

A storyteller would travel from town to town learning the news, gaining new stories, and sharing what was learned along the way. When a storyteller entered a community, they would knock on the door of a family requesting hospitality. It was a great honor to be selected by the storyteller. The family would host the storyteller giving them room and board. In the evenings the family would invite the entire community to come to their home to sit and listen to the storyteller as they would sit by the fire of the family and share stories and news. The storyteller was CNN, Netflix, and phone device all rolled into one. This was the oral tradition, the original social media.

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 A Halloween Story

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A Halloween Story

Today is Halloween, when October 31 rolls around I sit on a lawn chair in my front yard, a puppet in hand, handing out treats. A couple of years ago I was doing just that when a young woman, a college student, came by with a younger sibling she was overseeing for trick or treating. She looked at me and said, “Oh my gosh! You’re the puppet lady. I am sure you don’t remember me, but I was in your residency when I was in 2nd grade. You’re the reason I decided to become a teacher. Do you remember telling us that you had been a classroom teacher?”

For more than a decade I worked with a local school teaching puppetry and storytelling for their elective program and, yes, they called me the puppet lady. I cannot tell you how many students I worked with in that school, but I know I had a great time with each and every one of them. This moment in my front yard really touched me. You never know when you are going to influence life, touch a heart, encourage a mind, or help someone to make a decision.

Live a great story…it will likely become part of someone else’s story too.

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Some Sparks are Good

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Some Sparks are Good

I opened my dishwasher this morning to put the clean dishes away, but I soon realized that the machine did not drain. The same thing happened a couple of months ago and I had to snake out my kitchen sink because it was plugged. The problem was solved. I thought this might be the situation again so I checked out the sink and that was not it. I tried starting the dishwasher again and realized that it was not working at all.

So I check the fuse box and sure enough the lever was tripped, I flipped it back and started the dishwasher again. It was working so I started the rest of my day, but suddenly I saw sparks and heard pops happening from under my dishwasher. I immediately ran downstairs to flip the fuse box switch off to cut the power but it was already tripped. I flipped it all the way over to make sure it was off. I am now looking for someone who can come and make the necessary repairs, so my dishwasher will safely work again.

Sparks are good, but not all sparks should be allowed to turn into a fire. Those sparks that came from my dishwasher assured me that I needed to cut the path of electricity so a fire did not begin. They were a warning that something was wrong. Then there are sparks that I want to burn in a controlled fire; lighting a candle, wood in my fireplace, a bonfire in the autumn.

Stories begin as sparks. Some ‘story sparks’ need to be shut down immediately, it is not a story that should be told or shared. Others need to be allowed to burn but controlled. When you stand before an audience you need to consider the fire your story will spark. Are you trying to light a small candle or start a bonfire? Is the story appropriate for those who are trusting you by sitting in your audience?

That’s my thought for this week, now I am going to make some phone calls to try to find someone to fix my dishwasher.

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36 Years Together ... and Another Adventure Ahead!

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36 Years Together ... and Another Adventure Ahead!

October 9 is my anniversary. My husband and I have been married for 36 years. We have been through the ups and downs and the in-betweens. This year has had them all, but we have supported each other and hung on. When Steven and I got married we made a promise to each other, "We will never use the word divorce between us". We have kept that promise but, oh my gosh, do we have some stories to tell.

Our celebrations have become more and more simplistic. Every year, the first weekend in October, we go to the National Storytelling Festival in Tenn. and serve as Tent Hosts. In other words, we work. We came back to Charlotte early this year, on Sunday, to attend a wedding for a sweet couple beginning their married lives together. On October 8 Steven went with me for a doctors appointment. We went to the Olive Garden for lunch and then to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens (we have a membership) and walked around together. We had dessert at Sweet Frog, stopped by Good Will, picked up groceries, and went home to watch a little TV. October 9, our actual anniversary, we were both working. I was unpacking bags, doing laundry, and trying to catch up on house stuff. Steven was back doing IT work for his job. But isn't that what marriage is, doing life together?

We have lots to think about during this next year of our marriage. The company Steven works for is shutting down their local campus and moving everything to southeast VA. Therefore Steven is losing his job. What is next? Where will we be? Where will he work? What opportunities are ahead? Where will I be booked to tell stories? Lots to do and think about. There is one thing for sure though, we will do it together.

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