The Power of One Writer
Back Yards, Ethiopia and Children's Books

I went to a garden party

I went to a Garden Party…

On the wind-swept prairies of North Dakota on May Day.

I’d lived in Grand Forks–place of the twin forks–longer than in any other spot I’ve lived on this earth.  My kids went to school there.  I became an author there.  I can’t go back without a whoosh of all kinds of emotion.

May 1 was a day…

of celebration

Snowy!…and of snow.


We slip-slid to a small church to thank those who planted one of the first Ethiopia Reads libraries.  I so much longed to have my long johns along and had to borrow a coat from Ann Porter, once the principal in my kids’ elementary school.

That afternoon, people came to the place of flowers for a lot of different reasons.

1.  The promise of flowers and herbs and swirly breezes to come.

2.  The chance to hear Georgia, who owns All Seasons, with its plants and fancies and cats, talk about what’s new for spring 2011.

3.  Some people came to hear me talk about my American Girl character Lanie, and how she became a gardner (and to get books signed).

4.  Others came to support Dr. Ann Porter, book lover, educator, and chapter leader for Ethiopia Reads in Grand Forks.

I had such a rush of gratitude and happiness as All Seasons filled up and we had to pull out more and more and more chairs.  Ring the bells!  Share the news!  Let books and flowers and hopeful actions bloom.

Saturday, May 7, another chapter leader, LeAnn Clark, has organized another chance for families to love the earth and books and Ethiopia Reads–at the Hutchinson-Dillon Nature Center in Kansas.


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