Monday, January 25, 2010

Update to Start the Year

Don’t pay the ransom, I’ve escaped!
Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve been here. Well, I have checked if you’ve left any comments, but time seemed to get away from me, and now it has been over a month.

Had a wonderful time holding babies and being with family during Christmas. Had a good trip back, and then the cold weather came and stayed with us for an eternity. Then it snowed, and I really don’t mean to whine, because others also got dumped on by the white stuff, but it’s my blog, and I can bellyache if I want to.

I was snowed in for three days, and finally I couldn’t stand it anymore, so one Sunday when they closed church, I called the Starbucks 30 miles away and asked if they were open, put the jeep in 4-wheel drive and headed to town.

Another project we had in January was the Christmas Bird Count. It’s great fun, but on the day we had it the temperature started at 10 and went to 27. No rain or snow though, and we had over 20 people counting in the circle. The final tally was 72 species and 3172 birds. Didn’t think it was a bad day until I read the report from my friend in Louisiana. It’s all about citizen science, and if you want to learn more, just visit the Audubon site. Next bird count is the Great Backyard Bird Count in February. Maybe we won’t freeze our behinds on that one.

Well, you can see that I didn’t mention any writing in that time period. I thought about that a lot, and that was ok, but I needed something to get me back to it, so last week I headed up to the John C. Campbell Folk School. The school is located in North Carolina, and I’ve been there three or four times now. The leader of the class was a poet from PA. His name is Gene Hirsch, and he is a wonderful person and writes some beautiful poetry. The class was small, with Gene, Sam, Rob, Sandy, Linda and myself. Most of them had been writing for years, so the discussions were concentrated on the role of form, title, and such. By the end of each day I was exhausted and totally happy. I asked for help with a number of poems I had been working on for a few years. I was happy with the comments, and after all, suggestions are just that, so you toss them over and see what the changes will do to your poem, use some, and get rid of the rest.

It was advanced week at the school, so the eating times were full of discussion about the classes. The blacksmiths were there, the potters, painters, bakers, jewelry makers and others. The class I spent time walking through was the book binding class. The instructor had some examples of books with wooden covers, and the students were building their own. They were just fantastic, ancient looking and I could just see them containing a poem or photos.

So friends, I’m back, looking at what I’ve written and what I want to share. I’ll be back in a few days with some notes from the school, and maybe something to share. My writer’s group is this week so I need to work on my talk for them and find something to read. I’ll be busy for a few days.

BTW, I’ve been thinking about doing some backpacking this year. My son wants me to do some of the AT, Appalachian Trail with him, and I want to do the 300 miles of the BMT, Benton Mackaye Trail. I have done some of the AT, but I was younger and prettier then haha. If I can get my old self out of a chair, maybe I can work both dreams out. I’ll keep you informed.
See you soon.


  1. Sure glad to see you back Robert! The school sounded like a really good place to be. Hope you stay with us now that you're back.