Day 324: Return to the Forbidden Planet Musical

Return to the Forbidden Planet Cast 2

This evening was quite the adventure! The first began with Elissa, Dayan, Linda and me attending the Carl Junction High School musical, Return to the Forbidden Planet. I had never heard of this production, so what a treat to attend with my sister, daughter and grandson. I was promised a fun musical, and fun and quirky it was.

Return to the Forbidden Planet, written by Bob Carlton, is a Jukebox musical based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the 1950’s sci-fi film, Forbidden Planet. I had to look up the term, Jukebox musical. It refers to a stage or film musical that uses previously released popular songs as its musical score. This musical does, indeed, do that. Billed as Shakespeare’s forgotten rock and roll masterpiece, image a play with Shakespearian language, and dialogue adapted from well known passages from Shakespeare, plus an occasional Tolkien or Star Trek line thrown in for fun. Add energetic rock and roll classics, and a campy sci-fi set with lots of colorful costumes and silver shoes, and you’ve got this musical!

The story is told in two acts. The plot follows the crew of a survey flight under the command of Captain Tempest (Derek Meyer). When the ship encounters a meteor shower, the mysterious female Science Officer (Kathryn Martinez) abandons the ship in a space shuttle, leaving the larger spaceship to be drawn to the planet D’Illyria, where the crew meets the mad scientist, Dr. Prospero (Kevin Loar). The doctor is marooned on the planet with his daughter, Miranda (MacKenzie Covvey) and his robot Ariel (Scott Hardy), after being jettisoned into space years ago by his wife Gloria, who turns out to be the spaceship’s missing Science Officer.

Return to the Forbidden Planet cast

Love and mayhem, secret formulas and space monsters follow. Miranda falls in love with the Captain. Cookie, the ship’s cook (played by Jacob Lietz) falls in love with Miranda. First Officer Bosun (Kayli Conrad) has a secret crush on Cookie. In the end we find out Gloria isn’t so bad after all. Dr. Prospero dies and the planet disintegrates with him, for the two are connected. And those who are in love find someone who reciprocates their feelings.

The musical score included Wipe Out, Great Balls of Fire, Good Vibrations, Monster Mash and Only the Lonely. It’s great fun when you can recognize and sing along with such well known classics. There was a small live band on stage, as part of the set, and they gave a marvelous performance as well.

This was a very well done production. I was amazed by the talent these high school kids have, singing, dancing, speaking Shakespeare, no less. While the whole cast was phenomenal, there were several stand out performances. Kevin, who so brilliantly played Dr. Prospero, has a powerful voice and perfect line delivery. From his white shaggy hair to his silver platform shoes, he had presence, and he commanded my attention when he was on the stage. Cookie, played by Jacob, had such range of voice in his musical numbers and an easy, graceful style. He smiled during most of his songs and as he delivered his lines and I found myself smiling back. Kathryn played dual roles and her voice was smooth and rich. When she sang out the first time, the audience gasped. I found it difficult to remember she is a high schooler. And lastly, Scott performed the role of Ariel, the robot. The tall, lanky actor, dressed head to toe in silver, sang, acted and danced wearing roller skates the whole time.

Return to the Forbidden Planet Cast 3

Our little group enjoyed the performance immensely, laughing and applauding often. I look forward to Carl Junction’s spring show. After a run through Sonic and goodbyes to Elissa and Dayan, Linda and I headed back to Joplin in her car. Our adventure wasn’t over yet! Just as we pulled onto Highway 171, a very busy road, even late at night, we had a flat tire. Another first! As many times as my sister and I have traveled together, we have never experienced car trouble. She pulled onto the shoulder and we discussed what to do. We were rescued. Carl Junction Police Officer Eimer came to our aid and with lights flashing on his police cruiser, directed traffic around us. And Greg drove from Joplin to change the tire after the tools that Linda had in the trunk were useless. We appreciated both men so much!

It was a great evening. The play was charming and fun. My grandson Dayan entertained us with pre-musical funnies of his own. (I promised not to blog about the content….but let me just say, I’m still laughing when I think about my grandson’s wit.) Elissa bought us treats at Sonic after the play. And two knights in shining armor rode in to rescue us distressed damsels who needed help. Laughter and a sense of adventure carried us wonderfully through the night. And I like that. All ended well.

Return to the Forbidden Planet Curtain Call

Day 323: Christmas Ornaments 2014

Christmas ornaments 2014 2

Since I began choosing a word and symbol for the year, or more accurately, since they began choosing me, I commemorate each year by purchasing a symbolic Christmas tree ornament. And even further back, I started the custom of buying a heart for myself every December. Tonight, while out shopping with my daughters, in preparation for Elissa’s upcoming wedding, I found this year’s unique ornaments.

My word this year was Beyond and the symbol I was given to represent that word was an empty birdcage, with a bird outside the cage. It has been a powerful symbol for me, representing freedom, yes, and also it has been a reminder that the gilded cage that I occupied for so long was built by me, bar by bar, with my limited thinking and beliefs. I discovered a couple of years ago that the door to that cage was never even locked. My own thoughts and belief system kept me prisoner as surely as a locked door would have. As soon as I pushed through that door, I grew. I could never return to that cage again.

Interestingly, the past three years, as I have been given my symbol for the upcoming year, the retail market trends have supported that choice. So the year the butterfly was my symbol, I found butterflies everywhere. And the following year, when I shifted to dragonflies, they appeared in retail stores in droves, making it very easy to purchase symbolic items during my journey. I noticed that butterflies were not so prevalent, and I wondered. This year, very few dragonflies were available, yet birds and birdcages were everywhere! The synchronicities that point to my word and symbol begin appearing well ahead of the end of the current year, and ahead of the market, so it’s not that I see what’s on the shelves and then choose the symbol. It is quite the other way around. We will see what happens with next year’s symbol.

Tonight, I browsed through hundreds of Christmas ornaments at Hobby Lobby, looking for a bird to hang near the golden birdcage that I purchased recently at Blue Moon Market. I was thinking of a simple clip on bird in gold or silver tones. What I found was a delicate, shimmering blown glass bird ornament with strips of muslin creating the tail feathers. It is beautiful. And it is very different! I love it.

I searched for a heart ornament next. I began buying a different heart-shaped ornament each year 12 years ago. Most of the hearts are silver or clear glass, to remind me that I have an open, mithril heart…strong, beautiful, valuable, vibrant. No two heart ornaments are the same. Some are large and bold. Some are small and intricate. One has a tiny bell attached to it. All remind me of who I am, who I am becoming. I enjoy sitting in the evenings, with the room lights off and the white Christmas tree lights twinkling, and seeing all the hearts sparkling as they reflect the light. My heart, too, is full of light.

I was almost to the end of the ornament section when I spied this year’s perfect heart. It is clear glass and has a white snowflake etched on it. The snowflake reminds me of the movie Frozen, which reminds me of my theme song for this year, “Let It Go”! How cool is that?

Soon I will be purchasing a Douglas Fir or Fraser Fir tree and unpacking the ornaments. I love spending an evening decorating the tree, handling each ornament, and remembering where it came from. So many traditions are spiritual rituals for me, reminders of deep truths. I am excited to add these beautiful and unique ornaments to my growing collection!

Christmas ornaments 2014 heart

Ornaments are displayed on my potted Norfolk Pine.

Day 322: Afternoon Tea at The Carthage Deli

Carthage Deli

Today, I decided to follow my curiosity, and see where it took me. As I was finishing up with clients, I was aware that I still needed a first for the day. My curiosity drew me to toward the pretty town of Carthage MO, just north of where I was completing showings. As I drove that way, the welcome thought came to me to find a place for afternoon tea. On this bright, cold day, hot tea sounded great!

Carthage has a square, surrounding a gorgeous and stately courthouse. Lining the square are offices and antique shops, an art gallery and, on the NW corner, at 3rd and Main, is The Carthage Deli, occupying the old Bank of Carthage building. This was my destination. I had never been in the deli, but I’d seen it many times as I cruised around the square. I’d always wanted to step inside. Today, I did.

Carthage Deli Courthouse

What a delightful surprise. The interior was much more spacious than I’d supposed. Tables and chairs and booths with bright pink cushions provide ample seating for guests. The 1950’s décor featured black and white tiled floors, Route 66 memorabilia and vintage finds and there was a section of a pink car fashioned into a booth. I chose to sit in this spot, which was near the flower filled front windows.

The deli offers an assortment of sandwiches, such as grilled ham, bacon and cheddar on a toasted Kaiser bun, or turkey and provolone. They offer a huge variety of specialty coffees as well. I noted Hazelnut Mocha, Autumn Harvest and Mistletoe Joe, just to name a few. There’s ice cream as well, available by the scoop, and I understand their malts and shakes are amazing.

Carthage Deli interior

The Carthage Deli had a large selection of teas available. I chose something I’d never had before, in keeping with my firsts. The Cinnamon Plum blend, which was delicious, and warmed chocolate chunk scone created a simple and satisfying afternoon tea. I enjoyed spending a leisurely 30 minutes sipping my tea and watching people hurry by outside, arms crossed and heads tucked against the chilly air. Inside, it was cozy and peaceful, the old building well maintained and quietly keeping its many secrets.

I left refreshed, warmed and ready to move on with my day. I will visit again, when I’m in the area, and try another flavor of tea. And perhaps next time I’ll sample one of their chocolate brownies.

Carthage Deli booth

Day 320: 5 Week Middle-Earth Movie Marathon Week 4

5 wk mmm TH AUJ week 4

After completing the Lord of the Rings Trilogy last week, today, for the fourth week of the marathon, I began The Hobbit Trilogy. As I popped The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey into my tv/dvd player, I scrolled through my blog posts, sure that I had written about this movie before. I haven’t actually done a review of this film. I’ve mentioned it in several posts, especially as I was working on The Hobbit Fan Contest. This, then, will be my thoughts about the first Hobbit movie. As with the other Peter Jackson films, I chose to watch the extended edition version.

The LOTR movies had such a great impact on my life, that I didn’t see how The Hobbit films could possibly do the same. This prequel to the Lord of the Rings was not my favorite JRR Tolkien story. However, I admired Peter Jackson’s ability to bring to life the complex characters from Tolkien’s books and I looked forward to a return visit to Middle-Earth. Gimli the dwarf was not my favorite character. I didn’t dislike him. I just liked some of the other characters more. And, Bilbo, while important in the Lord of the Rings story, is a minor character in that film. He is nearing the end of his life. After he passes the One Ring on to Frodo, he journeys to Rivendell and we only see him a couple of other times in the trilogy.

There are references to Bilbo’s great adventure during the LOTR, including a look at the stone trolls and peeks at the book he is writing, as he records the tale for Frodo. I knew Sting the sword, and the mithril shirt were acquired during that dragon hunt. So I felt more indulgent than excited about the film as I prepared to view The Hobbit in the theater for the first time. I sat back, ready to enjoy a good story in my beloved Middle-Earth. And enjoy the story I did. To my surprise, I fell in love with another amazing cast of characters. I missed Aragron and Arwen, yet some of my other favorites from LOTR were there: Gandalf, back to being the Grey, Elrond, Galadriel, Legolas, and a cameo by Frodo.

I was impressed with Thorin Oakenshield and his company of dwarves. Fierce, stubborn, proud, warrior-like, my appreciation for this displaced band of journeyers was sincere, and strong. And Bilbo, young and uncertain of his worth, did indeed carry this movie as an unexpected hero, on a very unexpected journey. Tonight, watching the film again, I noted the scenes that stirred my own sense of adventure and took notice of the lines that were worthy quotes. Here are a few of the stand out sections that spoke to me in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Bilbo, though still young by Hobbit reckoning, has settled into a predictable and sedate lifestyle. An adventure is the last thing he wants to experience, when Gandalf comes to visit. The wizard, who is very familiar with Bilbo’s ancestry, sees the cleverness and courage lurking within the Hobbit, and calls him forth. Some of the most powerful lines in this film are spoken to Bilbo, who fainted at the thought of encountering a fire breathing dragon, and wants to sit quietly to recover. Says Gandalf, “You’ve been sitting quietly for far too long. Tell me, when did doilies and your mother’s dishes become so important to you? I remember a young Hobbit who was always running off in search of Elves in the woods. He’d stay out late, come home after dark, trailing mud and twigs and fireflies. A young Hobbit who would’ve liked nothing better than to find out what was beyond the borders of the Shire. The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.” Gandalf’s words not only give Bilbo pause, they give me pause too. I noticed for the first time the word beyond in his dialogue. I don’t want to experience the world through books, maps or movies. I am proclaiming, like Bilbo, “I’m going on an adventure!”

When Galadriel asks Gandalf why he included the Halfling on the adventure, Gandalf tells her that having Bilbo along infuses him with courage. “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…small acts of kindness and love.” It is the good-hearted Bilbo who inspires Gandalf, and his small acts that have the biggest impact. I too am capable of such everyday deeds and acts of kindness and love to keep the darkness at bay. Bilbo infuses me with courage as well. This conversation takes place in Rivendell, a place of beauty and restorative peace. I have been captivated by Rivendell since LOTR and I am inspired to create Rivendell-like spaces, whether in my garden or somewhere larger. I love the additional Rivendell scenes included on the extended edition version.

Thorin Oakenshield, like Aragorn in LOTR, undergoes the most transformation. For him, though, unlike Aragorn, he must first descend into an obsessive madness. After being driven from his kingdom of Erebor and losing his grandfather, the king, and his father, Thorin becomes a homeless wanderer. “And he never forgave. And he never forgot.” His deep anger fuels his passion for reclaiming his kingdom, and his treasure. And yet, he is a noble warrior, and very protective of his nephews and his company. By the end of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, he has an awakening respect for Bilbo, his burglar who has never stolen a thing. There is a dragon involved too, of course, but more about him after the next Hobbit movie.

I have appreciated the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the Middle-Earth stories and to lay aside what I thought I knew and perceive anew with fresh eyes. As a result, I’ve continued to draw life lessons from these films while also enjoying the epic adventures. One more week remains in the marathon, and with it, the chance to watch the extended edition of The Desolation of Smaug, which I have not seen in its entirety yet. And then, the short wait for the last Hobbit movie to release in theaters, mid December. I am ready!

5 wk mmm TH AUJ movie poster

Day 319: Baby Shower for Lola

Lolas shower Nicole

Twenty months ago, Scott and Nicole’s lives shifted forever. My nephew and his wife welcomed a baby boy, Weston, into their family, after hoping for many years to have a child. They have been amazing parents to their small son. I love watching this little group interact with each other. In less than a month, Scott, Nicole and Weston will welcome a new addition to the family, a little girl named Lola Maxx Miller.

Today, my family gathered to “shower” Nicole and Scott with love and gifts, in preparation for little Lola’s entrance into the world. We met at their new home, and included the males in the family, combining a house warming with the baby shower. My sister Debbie and niece Ashley served potato soup and a crockpot of ham and beans, cornbread and a wonderfully cheesy corn dip with Frito chips. We saved the cake for after the shower, but there were lemon bars and a warm and rich hot cocoa bar, complete with flavored marshmellows, stirring spoons dipped in chocolate and whipped cream. On this cold day, with snow in the forecast, steaming mugs of hot chocolate were a welcome treat!

Lolas shower

The ladies decorated onsies for Lola, using fabric paint. We then chased the men and boys from the living room. Jon, Ashley’s husband, created huge versions of two fun games, Kerplunk and Jenga. The guys retired to the garage to play while we sat in a circle around Nicole. She opened presents and we ooohed and ahhhhed over each tiny outfit, soft blanket or package of diapers. Is there anything more joyful than watching an expectant mom’s face glow as she exclaims over each gift and piles sweet baby clothes on her lap? We laughed and chatted, and spoke with anticipation about baby Lola.

Lolas shower games for the guys Lolas shower games Jenga

We played a couple of games. One involved answering trivia questions about Nicole, to see how well we know her. This involved much giggling and guessing. I didn’t fare well with my answers, however, now I know that green is Nicole’s favorite color, and Blacklist is her favorite TV show. She enjoys eating at The Melting Pot and would love to live in the mountains someday. Scott impressed us all by answering most of the questions correctly. What an attentive husband!

Lolas shower making onsies Lolas shower making onsies 2

Lola Maxx is so loved already, so cherished. We her family eagerly await her, and no one more so than her beautiful mommy and handsome daddy. Weston doesn’t fully know yet what’s about to happen. He will assume the role of big brother well, though. I know, too, that my sister Linda can’t wait to be a Gigi again. Peace and blessings to them as the final weeks of pregnancy slip by. And welcome to the family, and the world, baby girl.

Lolas shower guests



Day 318: Hollywood Film Awards

Hollywood Film Award Logo

As I have often shared during this year of blogging about first experiences, I am a huge fan of films. I’ve enjoyed watching movies all my life. And more than that, movies speak deeply to me. I don’t just watch a film. I take it in. I ponder it. I receive from it. I draw life lessons from the story being portrayed on the big screen. I also love film award shows. In my family, I am known for my devotion to the Oscars. On Academy Award night, they don’t call, text or visit. They all know it is my special night to watch my favorites win and also to get acquainted with movies I want to view after the awards are all given out.

My first tonight was to watch the Hollywood Film Awards (HFA) as they debuted on national television for their first time. I have heard of this award event, founded in 1997, which is known as the precursor for the Oscars. In fact, the HFA officially launches the award season. When I saw a preview for the 18th Annual Hollywood Film Awards recently, I was excited to be a part of their premiere this evening.

I enjoyed the show! I wondered how the format would differ from the Oscars or the Golden Globes. It was quite different. The winners were already determined and were present to receive their awards. While there was no guessing who was going to win, which is part of the fun with the other two film award shows, this type of format allowed for more focus on the winner in each category. I liked that the presenter of the award had a personal connection to the winner. The film clips not only showed portions of the movies, but behind the scenes interviews and comments. The show flowed well and had a much shorter running time than the traditional award shows with multiple nominees.

Queen Latifah hosted the first ever televised HFA and did a good job, interacting with the audience and introducing presenters. There were 18 categories awarded live tonight and another 8 that were awarded prior to the show. Some of the top awards went to Gone Girl (Film), Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game (Actor), Julianne Moore, Still Alice (Actress), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Animation), Guardians of the Galaxy (Blockbuster) and Morten Tyldem, The Imitation Game (Director). Best song went to “What is Love?” from Rio 2.

I liked the addition of unique awards including Breakout Performance Awards for Shailene Woodley, The Fault in Your Stars, and Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything, and the Ensemble Award for the cast of Foxcatcher. Michael Keaton received the Career Achievement Award while an emotional Jack O’Connell, Unbroken, picked up the New Hollywood Award.

As in the other award ceremonies, acceptance speeches were held to a time limit, with music signaling that the winner should wrap up his or her words. Sometimes, a speech can make me squirm. For the most part, though, it is during these actors’ moments of speaking honestly from their hearts, with accompanying laughter or tears, that my heart is engaged. I don’t place actors on any kind of pedestal. I do recognize that these are talented people who are passionate about their craft and who love what they do. As they share, that love, that joy, shines through. Listening to them, I am inspired to seek that which brings me such joy.

Meryl Streep says, “Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what’s apparently different , then finding myself in there.” As I watch these men and women transform into someone else, and find myself transported to other times, other places, the same becomes true for me. I find the apparent differences and the similarities in the characters I am watching. I find the challenges, the growth, the joy. And then, I find parts of myself in there.

Hollywood Film Award Queen Latifah

Full list of categories and winners.

Day 317: Eye Scream Labs Ice Cream Parlor

Eye Scream Labs

I knew my friend Cate and I were going to have a fun experience, when we headed out to visit a new place called Eye Scream Labs Ice Cream Parlor. With such a name, how could we not? Located at 606 S Main Street, in Galena, KS, this attractive place offers 21 plus flavors of cold and exceptionally creamy ice cream. What makes the parlor unique is how the ice cream is made.

Created by the Endicott Family, Eye Scream Labs uses the best and the freshest ingredients to make the ice cream right there in the store. And they use a process I had never heard of before. To create the richest, creamiest texture, they freeze the ice cream quickly, with no emulsifiers or additives, using food grade liquid nitrogen. At a temperature of 321 degrees below zero, the mixture freezes in less than 3 minutes, creating ice cream with tiny ice crystals and a fine, smooth consistency.

eye scream labs making ice cream

While we were there, one of the owners made a fresh batch of Rocky Road, and we got to watch. Using a big shiny mixer, and a set up resembling a lab, the young man, appropriately garbed in a white lab coat, added the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Introducing the liquid nitrogen created a “scream” of noise and then the mixing began. Fog rolled out of the bowl and as the mixing continued, gathered in wisps along the floor. So cool! Literally. In minutes, the ice cream was set and ready for consumption.

 eye scream labs making ice cream 2 eye scream labs making ice cream 3

The lab tech, affectionately called a lab rat in the store, dipped pieces of graham cracker into a small bowl of liquid nitrogen and allowed volunteers to try it. We laughed as a young boy crunched on the frozen cracker. The cold billowed in a white cloud out of his mouth and nose, making him resemble a fire breathing dragon. Cate tried a bite of cracker too. I couldn’t catch the cold air escaping her mouth as she laughed, but it was there!

eye scream labs Cate

Cate enjoyed the Rocky Road today, topped with salted pecans, caramel sauce and homemade whipped cream. I opted for a scoop of pineapple cake inversion and a scoop of blueberry cheesecake, crowned with a dollop of the whipped cream. The ice cream was delicious, with a very creamy texture and a wonderfully fresh flavor. We savored our treat, chatting and watching as other customers came into the parlor to try a scoop of frosty dessert. The four Endicott sons are primarily responsible for running the business. I was impressed with the parlor and the product. One of the sons, the lab rat who made the batch of ice cream, patiently answered our questions and offered samples of flavors before we made our selections.

eye scream labs pinapple cake inversion and blueberry cheesecake

I will most definitely visit Eye Scream Labs again. The atmosphere is fun and lively, and it is interesting to watch the ice cream being made. Galena, KS is a very short distance from Joplin….literally where Joplin ends at the state line, Galena begins. It is very worth the drive, to experience something so fresh and innovative.

eye scream labs ice cream

Day 316: 2014 Student Art Exhibit

Pam Leisenring Art Students 2

After showing property today, I had time to stop by the Post Memorial Art Reference Library to check out the November exhibit. It has been a real joy this year to discover these monthly exhibits. Through them, I have met wonderful local artists and seen beautiful and amazing art pieces.

This month’s exhibit features acrylic paintings and pastels by the students of local artist, Pam Leisenring. Pam has taught and worked to promote the visual arts in Southwest Missouri for more than 30 years. She is a co-founder, along with the late Mary Ellen Pitts, of the Southwest Missouri Art Alliance and the Thomas Hart Benton Four State Regional Art Competition and Exhibit held at Crowder College every October.

According to the info with the exhibit, Pam specializes in bringing the creative experience to each artist in a very personalized way. By keeping the students on individualized programs and building on their intrinsic strengths, she encourages all to step outside the box and push on to higher levels. Pam introduces a wide variety of techniques, and her teaching style allows for immediate problem solving and increased retention for further application in future projects.

Students learn to “see” in a new artistically expanded way, increasing enjoyment and perception of the world around them. All artistic levels, from beginner to advanced, are included in the same class setting, which is a relaxed learning situation. Pam offers weekly sessions, during fall and spring. Students may join in at any time.

I enjoyed looking at the variety of artwork on display. Landscapes shared space with a cheerful portrait, a unique vignette of bottles, painted on a triptych, a magnificent horse and a beautiful close up of a single iris. I couldn’t pick a favorite, as I appreciated them all. The student artists included in the exhibit are Joleen Davis, Vangie Hall, Rhonda Hayward, Ron Hayworth, Cecilia Hempen, Pam Lickteig, Mary Parks, Brenda Schatzley, and Diane Thornton.

While at the exhibit I also got to say hi to Leslie and meet Post Library assistant, Jill Sullivan, just after she was interviewed by KOAM News. Jill shared about the Post Mail Art Projekt, and an upcoming workshop that will be held Saturday, November 15, at the library. The Projekt is a fun opportunity to create innovative correspondence and send it to the library, via snail mail. The deadline for entry is December 1, and the mail art will be showcased in an exhibit January, 2015. I won’t be able to attend the workshop, however I was excited to learn about mail art. I see another great first coming up, one I can share with grandson Dayan, and with the younger grandchildren, if they want to make a postcard too. I’ll share more about this exciting project, or “projekt”, later! What a perfect day to visit the exhibit at the Post Library. So often, that is the way my journey unfolds, leading me without effort to the next adventure.

Pam Leisenring Art Students

Day 315: Book Club


What a fun first this evening, for a book lover like me. I was invited by my friend Cate to join a book club. Although I’ve been reading since the age of five, I’ve never participated in an organized book club. The group of ladies is reading through Eckhart Tolle’s best seller, “The Power of Now”.

Tolle offers, in this life shifting book, a path away from the analytical mind and the never satisfied ego, to the power and peace of living fully in the moment…this moment. I read the book several years ago. I read through the first four chapters today, in preparation for joining the group tonight, at their second meeting. Being in a different place in my journey, than I was the last time I read the book, different paragraphs leapt out at me and I had a greater understanding of the concepts.

Book in hand, I met with these lovely ladies, ready to discuss chapters 3 and 4. I only knew Cate, so this was an opportunity to make new friends. After a short time of sitting quietly, allowing our bodies and minds to grow still and our hearts and souls to stir, we spent the next hour and 15 minutes sharing our thoughts and favorite sections from the selected chapters.

I love journeying with others. It is very powerful to travel with like hearted, like minded people. I loved the fresh perspectives that were shared this evening, the enlightening and often humorous stories, the genuine desires to raise awareness and journey well. Each woman brought authenticity and an open heart and mind to the room. I felt honored to be a part of the group.

We will meet every three weeks, sharing insights, asking questions, and bringing experiences to offer to each other, all with the desire to learn and grow and live well. Echkart Tolle says, “Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now.” I look forward to both…my solitary inward journey, taken one step at a time, and my outer journey, in the company of these dear souls. What an adventure!