Meadowlark Lake #TuesdayTidbit #Poetry #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

 

Meadowlark Lake

By Abbie Johnson Taylor

Copyright 2021.

 

A hot summer Saturday,

I’m about thirteen, brother Andy seven years younger,

we set forth in the pick-up,

Andy and me in back, Mother and Dad in the cab,

drive thirty miles south from Sheridan, Wyoming, to Buffalo,

then west into the mountains,

arrive at our destination in mid-afternoon.

Once the truck comes to a complete stop,

Andy leaps out.

I, with my limited vision, wait for Dad to lower the tailgate and help me down.

 

We check in, find our cabin,

one room with three double beds and a cookstove,

restrooms and showers in a separate facility.

We rent a boat, row out to the middle of the lake.

Dad and Andy try unsuccessfully to fish

while Mother and I watch, enjoy the pristine lake’s beauty,

blue sky, and trees,

listen to the twitter of a meadowlark.

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The above poem appears in the summer quarterly issue of The Avocet, which can be downloaded here. It was inspired by a family vacation we took when I was a teenager. You can click the link below to hear me read it.

 

Meadowlark Lake

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And now, I’m pleased to announce that until the end of the month, all my books on Smashwords can be downloaded ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of the Smashwords  summer/winter sale. You can visit my Smashwords author page here to download these books. Happy reading!

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

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The Trout #Monday Musical Memories

When I was little, my parents played recordings of classical music to help me fall asleep. One selection was Schubert’s Trout quintet. I especially liked one of the movements, which you’ll hear today.

When I took a music history class in college, I learned that this movement was originally a German art song about a trout being caught by a fisherman, sung from the viewpoint of the poor trout. If I’d known this as a child, the lovely melody would probably not have lulled me to sleep. I also wouldn’t have tried my hand at fishing the few times my family ventured to a lake or stream to partake of this activity.

I’m doing something a little different with today’s song. Instead of a video or recording of me singing the song, I’m providing a link to a lovely rendition of this movement from Schubert’s Trout quintet played by Dr. Crystal Grimes on the zither. Enjoy!

 

Via “Die Forelle” by Schubert #Music #Mp3

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Diary Provides Great Escape

Abbie-1

One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaska Odyssey

by Richard Proenneke with Sam Keith

Copyright 1973

 

In the late 1960’s, retired mechanic and photographer Dick Proenneke decided to move to an Alaska wilderness area where the only way in or out is by plane and the nearest settlement is forty miles away over mountains and rugged terrain. Through daily diary entries, this book chronicles Proenneke’s life in the woods.

He explains how he built a cabin, furniture, and other items, using most material available in the forest, grew a vegetable garden, hunted and fished, and struggled to stay warm during brutal winter months. He also describes wildlife he encountered and reflects on life in the wilderness compared to life on what he calls “the outside.” The book includes some of his pictures.

Unlike Proenneke, I prefer to read about such adventures and not live them. I’ve never been the fearless type. The one time I tried camping in the wilderness with my family as a teenager, I hated it. For me, it’s much more fun to snuggle in an easy chair with a blanket and cup of hot cocoa while reading of Proenneke’s adventures.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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