Saturday, March 28, 2015

Looking for Stories

So March is about to go out in a few day, hard to believe as it has gone so fast. March straddles winter and spring while the weather is confused as to where it does stand. It has been freezing with snow flurries only hours after the sunshine made temps hit 70! It is a month when I feel like a team of horses chomping at the bit, raring to pull out and go forward. But…the days don’t cooperate and I am locked down in winter-like routines, still cooking soup, using up the last of last season’s frozen produce, and utilizing the supply of dried beans.

Despite illnesses and such, there were a few moments of interest during this March. I worked hard at seeing and searching out some mind challenging things where I was at. I conjured up possible stories in my head. I ordered books on off the wall subjects like prostitution in the Old West (really!).

The exercise group tried to break the boredom rut by having lunch out one day. They choose to drive to Maggie Mae’s Tea Room in Miller, about 45 minutes away. It was a slow drive and full of pastures just beginning to hint of grass green shades.  Lunch and conversation were good followed by taking the long way home through small bergs like Lockwood and Avilla which suited me fine because a few minutes north and the land stretched into my beloved prairie. It is similar to land in Cedar County where some of my ancestors landed. The landscape and the Lockwood Main Street reminded me of days gone by which ignited stories of people and events that COULD have happened in the past.

                                Century old store fronts in Lockwood, Missouri

Last weekend we went to Jefferson City to see our oldest son and family. Illness and death hindered the weekend, but our son did take us for a drive about the city on the way to the park with children. Missouri’s capitol is a beauty for sure! The nearby river reeks of stories and history. The old state petitionary is now giving guided tours for tourists. I want to go! There were 11,000 visitors taking the tour in 2011. Think of the stories THESE walls could tell. Immediately I loaded a small book about the Missouri State Petitionary onto my Kindle and began to read. Amazing history happened behind the walls. I met Kate Richards O’Hare on the page and ordered a book about her too. She was from Kansas, imprisoned in Missouri, and spent rest of her life fighting for women’s and children’s rights.

                               Front door in main building of the old Missouri State Pen

This morning we spent a fortune on lampshades, pillows, office supplies, deck sealer, and weed killer. It was a little too chilly to begin spring projects but we could be ready! We also picked up the video of Imitation Game to watch between March Madness basketball. It is a fantastic movie and I am thrilled to finally have seen it this afternoon.

                                                Isn 't this a lovely cover? Lace and tea!

In today’s mail, a new book arrived! This is a cookbook put out by the Willa Cather Foundation. It has recipes but also pictures and tidbits from author Willa Cather’s life. I have been to Red Cloud, Nebraska…beautiful prairie land where Cather sets her stories…but I am ready to go again. I think it might happen this summer.

So tonight when basket balls hit the court again, I will tuck myself  in warm flannel to read and dream. Tomorrow the weather is to be sunny and rather warm. I intend to brew tea, dream up stories and practice my deck setting in anticipation of real spring and warmer days!

I am getting complaints that readers can't leave comments. Are you having trouble? Should I give up on Blogger and go to Word Press? Email me at bookwoman1015 at if need be.


Sioux said...

Claudia--I hope you get to Nebraska again this summer. (The cookbook cover is quite lovely.) And I've never had any trouble leaving a comment, if that helps any.

Elephant's Child said...

Sleep well, and dream well. I love your reading too. Real people's lives are frequently more amazing (and at least as interesting)as fiction. I really regret that when I was at school history was taught as dates and battles rather than an examination of how people lived.

Patricia A. Laster said...

We are two of the women who can never say we are--or be accused of being--bored. I order a new book nearly every week, it seems, as you must do, too. They are always available when the swarm of 'must-do' activities get done. May you--we-- have strength to do all the things we want to. AND, I hope you stay with blogger. It has been nothing but great for me. xoxo

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia, happy to hear you Are so busy.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Claudia,

It's great to read you are keeping busy. The MO State Pen is on my list of places to visit.

After our carrier upgraded our system I've been struggling with computer difficulties. I think everything has been fixed finally. Over the past few weeks I lost a lot of emails, including one from you. I read it one day and intended to answer and the next day it was gone.

I'm happy spring is here and am looking forward to warmer weather!

Susan said...

Hi Claudia. No problem with blogger from this end. Enjoyed your post. Glad you got out to visit your son and your grands. The penitentiary tour would definitely be a "go" for me, too. ha! Susan p.s. Thanks for all your visits.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Well, Claudia, I note that the alternating weather patterns did not slow you down any. Sounds like you managed to have a lot of fun in spite of the weather. :)

Marylin Warner said...

March does straddle both winter and spring, Claudia. What an excellent description.
I had to laugh at your book choice. I just bought a book at a yard sale--WICKED WOMEN--and some of the examples are amazing. We do what we can to keep our writing minds fresh!
Happy Easter to you.

Mary Horner said...

I love that part of the state, don't get there enough, and would like to visit the pen, also. And Nebraska!