Category Archives: Guest Blogger

Re-Entry: Or, From Where Men Wear Tigger

My view during my morning coffee

The great man is he who does not lose his child’s-heart. ~ Mencius, Book IV

*waving Hi!*

Helllllooooo out there!

Whew!

After a two-week hiatus from cyber-connectivity, I’m slowly finding my way back. What a lovely break, I must say.

We had a fun Thanksgiving with family (and you saw the picture of our 38-pound turkey!). Then the following Saturday, we headed out to Disney World, a two-day drive away from cold weather and work. For the first time, we managed to drive 2 days each direction without encountering any rain. Never done that before, as there’s always been at least one long stretch of rain, usually through the mountains somewhere.

We’ve also never, in all our visits, been at Disney World near the holidays. Wow! I kept repeating that around every corner. For those of you who know Disney, I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that decorated for the holidays means *DECORATED* for the holidays!! Every inch had something holiday-ish, yet it all worked. We never felt overwhelmed by it all, or holiday-ed out. But I will admit that after being surrounded by Disney holiday, I feel like we’ve already celebrated and should be moving on to New Year’s.

I just love being at Disney. Adults become kids again, and kids are (for the most) drawn into a fantasy-as-reality universe of amazing things. It’s a place where grown men wear Tigger. Seriously, while waiting in line for a ride (which was infrequent as early December is one of the 3 lowest-populated times at Disney!), I saw a man, probably early 60s, close-cropped silvered hair, standing talking to his wife. As he turned around to move forward, the back of his jacket has this huge Tigger on it! It was so cool I almost hugged him.

One of our favorite stops is Epcot, and this time we did it how we always said we wanted to, slow and steady. We spent the bulk of one day exploring the World Showcase in the back, and another day exploring the front portion, Futureworld. I love that the majority of the experience is educational, whether teaching about other cultures, greener living, or new technologies in the pipeline. One of our have-to stops is “The Land.” Blame it on me being a farm girl, but my husband loves it as well. We always grab a light meal in the quick-service cafeteria. This time, I had a grilled vegetable flatbread sandwich and some pumpkin-squash soup. The vegetables are mostly grown in the hydroponic gardens of the pavilion. In addition to the water ride through the gardens and Soaring (a must!), we also did the “Behind the Seeds” tour, which takes people on a tour through the hydroponic gardens and aquaculture areas. The tour talks about their bio-technology research, their green methods of pest control, and showcases the many different types of hydroponic gardening they do with their plants. Some of the easier ones you can do at home as well!

Here are a few pictures from the trip — there’s no way to capture it all, for sure.

My husband in front of the Holiday Tree at France in Epcot

Our view from the Behind the Seeds tour in the Land -- that's one of the regular tour boats coming by!

The "smallest" tree at the Wilderness Lodge

The other marvelous thing about this vacation? We gave ourselves a second week off after the week at Disney. Best. Idea. EVER. You know how people always say they need a vacation after their vacation? We did it. It’s a marvelous thing.

Hopefully you all had a good Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it). Did I miss anything fun? How’s your December going?

I can’t wait to catch up…….

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Life

Guest Bloggers: Tara Taylor Quinn and Tim Barney

Maple Street Cover
[Lynda’s note: Please join me in welcoming my first guest bloggers, Tara Taylor Quinn and Tim Barney — very special visitors indeed! They are stopping by as part of the blog tour for their newest book, It Happened on Maple Street, which tells their true life love story. I’m very honored to have them here. And for those stopping by on the tour, thanks for visiting here with us today!]

Tim and I have been looking forward to today’s stop. It feels more like a day off then a day on the road. We won’t take up too much space because I want you all to have time to look around, to spend enough time to browse. I found the site by accident. I was doing a search on the internet that ultimately led me here. I was reading for a bit before I realized that the site’s owner is one of us. She’s been right here on tour with us this entire trip. I read on. And on. I’m busy. I barely have time to read my mail, but I just kept reading. I didn’t want to leave. And when I need reminders of what really matters in life, when I’m getting ahead of myself, or starting to panic, I come back here. I hope you all find some of the same solace here that keeps bringing me back.

A post that most particularly sticks with me is Lynda’s post from her mother’s journal about her grandmother – the fact that she’s able to publish her mother’s words is phenomenal enough to make the post worth reading. But her grandmother’s wisdom – that’s priceless. The grandmother’s words keep repeating themselves in my brain. I’ll give you just a teaser – in my brain it goes something like this, ‘if you don’t have the time to do something right the first time, how will you ever find the time to do it a second time?’ I don’t know why that spoke to me so voraciously, but I’m listening! And applying, too.

To me, this blog, this stop, the way you can be looking for one thing and end up stumbling upon a great gift is what life, the Maple Street tour, and our communing here together is all about. We strengthen each other just by putting ourselves out here. And life, no matter how difficult, always has good to offer us around the corner. We just have to be open to it.

Tim is here, too. The idea behind the site spoke to him – this idea of second memory. It inspired some great conversation. Between us – and with our dinner companion last night. When we got home, Tim put some of his thoughts down to share with you all. Here’s what he has to say:

It’s funny that when you’re a kid and living in the moment you take everything for granted. Your world is the way the world is supposed to be. You have kind of an oblivious look at your environment. But when you get a bit of age on you, you tend to remember those same things with a bit more emotion attached to them. You tend to let emotion spice them up. However, there are certain memories in life that really were just the way you remember them. For example, Tara and I met at Wright State University in October, at October Daze. I can still remember the day exactly the same as it was when I was there in 1977. The day was overcast, drizzling rain, and cold. To some that would seem like a horrible day, but to me, the feeling I had when I was talking to Tara kept me oblivious to the weather. Still to this day when the weather is, as it has been for the past month, rainy and cool, I love it and want to be outside in it. I associate those cool rainy days with the way I felt that 1977 October day.

Tim and Tara

Tim and Tara

It’s those clear and vivid memories that you can actually write about in great detail. When Tara and I sat down to write It Happened On Maple Street, we had no problem remembering the details of what happened from our own perspectives. And when we compared notes, we found that the stories were identical except for the point view they came from. Our memories were so clear and vivid – and accurate. I realized through all of this that certain memories stay with us vividly because they’re enhanced by a longing to have those times again.

And every once in a while, we get lucky. Every once in a while we get to go back, as Tara and I did, and find that what was there, still is. And it’s every bit as good as the memory promised it would be.

This post is brought to you as part of the It Happened On Maple Street International Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit www.tarataylorquinn.com. All blog commenters are added to the weekly basket list. One Unique Gift Basket is given each week to one randomly drawn name on the list.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or if you suspect someone is, please contact http://www.thehotline.org, or call, toll free, 24/7, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The call can be anonymous and is always confidential. There is not one second of life that is worth wasting.

Next tour stop: Tuesday, May 17, SuperRomance Authors Unplugged: http://www.superauthors.com/.

To get your copy of It Happened On Maple Street, visit your favorite bookseller, or www.maplestreetbook.com.

Don’t miss The Chapman Files! Still available at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Tara+Taylor+Quinn.

It Happened On Maple Street is available on Kindle and Nook, too! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0757315682/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d2_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0SKJ9D86BB5XG2BPT4MV&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846; http://search.barnesandnoble.com/It-Happened-on-Maple-Street/Tara-Taylor-Quinn/e/9780757315688/?itm=15&USRI=tara+taylor+quinn.

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Filed under Guest Blogger, writing