fall camping

Posted by pamela on Oct. 26, 14 | 0 COMMENTS

I love camping. I love the point where you leave cell coverage and electricity behind and are stuck with your friends and the supplies that you remembered to pack. I am thankful for friends to share such times with, and for those who instigated a camping trip to Mineral King, a part of Sequoia National Park, last weekend.

mineral king paths

We left after work and had fun finding messages our friends left for us on the back of the sign-in boards about where to find them. “Pam & Ben: All the good camp sites taken, proceed to Cold Springs.” “ Pam & Ben: We are at at site 25.” A fun treasure hunt in the dark after the drive up the crazy road through Mineral King.

mineral king stream 2

mineral king stream

The nights were cold, the days beautiful. It was a taste of fall with leaves turning yellow and cool, clean, crisp air. It was a taste of life where the drought is not so extreme as we hiked by as stream and up to a waterfall.

mineral king campsite

For Ben and I, it was our first camping trip together. We tested out our new tent and sleeping pads. We shared food by a fire and conversation with friends. Next up is making our own camping box and our own camping ‘normal.’ What fun it is to get to make new traditions and try new things with a loved one. Mineral King might have to become one of those normals in the years to come as there were so many trails we did not get a chance to explore. But then, there is so much of California yet to explore.

mineral king us

ps – Ben’s blog post on this trip can be found HERE.

pumpkin pie spice latte recipe

Posted by pamela on Oct. 25, 14 | 2 COMMENTS

I am not a fan of Starbuck’s ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte.’ It tastes fake. That being said, I love pumpkin spice: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. All favorites in my kitchen and, to me, scream of happy fall.

I recently found out the same can be said of pumpkin spice teas — they are not all made the same. I grabbed a box of Twinings tea thinking that would be reliable. Horrible. It has a fake pumpkin taste. Republic of Tea, however, was a light tea, but full of real flavors. Moral of this story: pay for the good stuff, hunt for the good stuff. Don’t bother with the bad stuff, or be willing to throw it out when you find it.

And then, this morning, I had a thought: why not make my own pumpkin spice latte? So, I opened a can of pumpkin puree and commenced. Friends, this is the good stuff. I will perfect it in the coming weeks, but this is the starting point.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 – 1 cup milk (approximately)
  • espresso
  • sugar to taste

Mix pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla in a saucepan and cook until it smells lovely. Whisk in milk and cook until nearly simmering. Add sugar to taste. Add some espresso. (I make espresso on my stove using my moka pot — not exactly espresso, but it is pretty darn great. If you don’t have a moka pot, check out Ross or other discount stores as they often have them on great sales.)

Should you be lazy, you could do this in the microwave with yummy results.

There you go. Don’t settle for the fake flavors when the real ones are so darn good!

 

ps – If you need something to do with some of that extra pumpkin puree, try out these ‘Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.’ Add 1 Tbs sugar to the recipe. And know that they are more yummy breakfast bar than cookie. Add a layer of peanut butter or eat with yogurt.

our wedding.

Posted by pamela on Sep. 01, 14 | 6 COMMENTS

Two weeks ago today, I married my love, Benjamin Hoover. A new season, overflowing with love and joy has begun. I have thought of so many different ways of sharing some of this special time, and I hope you enjoy this walk through a few of the treasures and backstories of the day we became husband and wife.

pb_082

Our Rings: All Five of Them

It takes five rings to tell our engagement and wedding story. When Ben asked me to marry him on the beaches not far from our California home, he gave me a simple silver ring with my birthstone, an Aqua Marine, in it. He had commissioned the ring from a jeweler — making one to fit my right hand that I could take with me on all of my travels around the world. Together we found an antique ring that we had copied with great grandmother’s diamond for my second engagement ring, something new from something old.

pb_015

Creating our own tradition from one I knew from my childhood spent in Jordan, I got Ben an engagement ring as well, that he wore on his right hand (a very simple, very inexpensive ring – nothing special except its significance). In the weeks following, Ben would say, “Another first…. I had dinner tonight wearing a ring…. I took a shower with a ring… I taught a class with a ring…And so on.” His conclusion was that men too should get engagement rings as they are a precious reminder of a new and beautiful season, a season of preparing for marriage.

When looking for our wedding rings, we wanted simple bands that matched. For me, one that I could wear when I traveled but also to go with my wedding band. I love what we found. I love that we used jewelers working from home or local stores for our rings. I love the simple beauty and deep significance of our rings.

pb_101

And this bowl. “To have and to hold.” A gift from my sister-in-law Lauren, was used by our ring-bearer (my nephew Liam) and hold my engagement rings on my bedside table when they are not on my hands.

My Wedding Jewelry: Gold from Damascus

Much of my childhood was spent in the Middle East, where women would receive sets of gold for their wedding. While we lived there, my Dad bought my Mom a set of gold that was stunning in its simplicity – handmade knots linked together. When I was 19 years old, my Mom and I went to Damascus one last time before our family left Jordan. Dad had us buy three sets of gold to match my Mom’s: one for me and each of my sister-in-laws on the occasion of our weddings. Several days before my wedding, my Dad gave me my wedding gold at a family dinner. It is so beautiful. Even more than its beauty, I love knowing that this marriage was planned for and prayed for years ago.

pb_003

A Family Wedding….

This wedding was about family and friends — the wonderful community that surrounds us. Our deepest hope was that people would enjoy each other as they celebrated with us. And so we wanted to celebrate in a way that included things we loved to do with each other and those we loved, hoping for lots of conversations and laughter. Before the details, one picture of the community that gathered with us that day – representing so much family and so many friends from different times and places.

pb_485

Location & Decoration: Family, Colors and Places

The wedding was held in the gardens of Aunt Louise’s house. The gardens were large enough for the ceremony to take place in one area and the reception (dinner and games) in another area. Living in California where our backyard is closer to a postage stamp than a lawn (and it is brown, not green), it felt so wonderful to be surrounded by such natural beauty.

pb_096

I love bright colors, and my mom made hundreds of yards of bunting that danced in the wind all day. Cloth napkins were made into bow ties around plasticware for people to use and then take home. The fabrics we used were from America and Africa, combining beauty from the two continents of my recent life as I live here (now with my Benjamin) and continue to travel the world.

pb_150

pb_276

pb_156

I love that we can return to the place that we got married every time we visit Pennsylvania. It will forever be a special and happy place to us.

Games: Fun on the Lawn

Ben and I love to play games together, and a garden wedding seemed a perfect place for lawn games, or games that could become lawn games. We took our photos before the wedding… part of which allowed us time to take some time to play these games before anyone arrived. It was like a little date – games and laughter  — I just happened to be in a wedding dress.

pb_109

pb_119

pb_144

Food: A Local and Family Affair

The centerpiece of the our dinner was barbecued chicken — Hoover BBQ Chicken that is — a family recipe and on a homemade grill with a Hoover Dad as the grillmaster. Sides from Wegmans (a grocery store – but prepare for a a long and serious argument from Ben should you ask why, or if, they are better than any other grocery store). It required a giant napkin to protect my white dress.

pb_497

And then there were the drinks: sangria and beer. We sipped sangria right after the wedding as we soaked in the glory that we had said our vows and were actually married – we were husband and wife! A few precious moments alone. Thank you to Uncle Todd and Aunt Karen for making gallons of this sweet glory. We smuggled a quart of this into our hotel on our wedding night too. And then there was the beer that my brother Chris made and bottled special for our wedding and Lauren designed special labels for. Somehow we managed to save a few and sneak them home in our luggage. Perfection.

pb_268

Dessert was cupcakes from a baker who works from her home. On cupcakes: let’s just say that flavors like Blueberry Buckle and Peanut Butter Cup make my day. Nom nom nom.

pb_651

Our Wedding Party: Deep Friendships and Long Faithfulness

These dear friends are like family to us. My bridesmaids (Renee, Bethany, and Elizabeth) are ones that I have known for years, have lived in community with, and have shared the ups and downs of life with. I could not imagine this day without having them there with me. Ben’s groomsmen (Jonathan, Matt, and Duane) included his brother and two dear friends from his childhood that I had heard endless stories of since we first met. As we stood at the alter, we had the great blessing of being surrounded by deep friendships and also be six people who each have strong marriages and have been blessed by children in their homes. In the week leading up to our wedding, we heard countless stories of love and faithfulness, all encouragements that what we had now was just the beginning, that our love could grow deeper and richer with time. What a beautiful witness. And yes, all three beautiful ladies standing with had their first child this year, and so we swapped flowers for babies after the wedding… love these women, their husbands, and their babies.

pb_232

pb_202

pb_165

pb_504

Our Family: We Are So Blessed

There is so much to say about our families. We love them so much and wish that we could be close to all of them – though that would mean somehow being everywhere from Georgia to Pennsylvania to Scotland all at one time. One could always hope. We are blessed to both come from great families, to have parents who’s love has grown richer through the years, and to have siblings we love being with. And the kids – oh the fun of the nephews and nieces. As we return to a life of emails, phone calls, and skypes, it is fun to think back to this time together that was so precious.

pb_239

pb_250

pb_302

pb_305

pb_306

The Ceremony: Where Two Became One

Our ceremony was simple. We were surrounded by nature and family and friends, and we were married by Gary Jacabella, Ben’s uncle. This was the most important part of the day and the one that is the most difficult for me to express. Getting married is a very surreal stepping from one reality to a new one, promising to choose to love another for the rest of my life – a promise I am sure I do not yet fully understand. There are three things that I would like to share with you: the family blessing, our vows, and the Lord’s Supper.

pb_343

The Family Blessing comes from A New Zealand Prayer Book  and was read by one Crane sibling and one Hoover sibling as we celebrated our families.

Eternal God, creator of us all,
we praise you for all the ways
in which your love comes into our lives,
and for all the joys
that can come to men and women through marriage.
Today we especially pray for Pamela and Benjamin
as they begin their married life.
With them we thank you for the love and care of their parents,
which has guided them to maturity
and prepared them for this commitment.
Give them strength
to keep the vows they have made,
to be loyal and faithful to each other,
and to support each other throughout their life,
that they may bear each other’s burdens
and share each other’s joys.
Help them to be honest and patient with each other,
and to welcome both friends and strangers into their home.
In all their future together
may they enjoy each other
and grow through the love they share, until, at the end of this life,
you receive us all into your eternal kingdom,
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

pb_390

Our vows, which will take us a lifetime to understand and to live out. May we never forget the promises we made on our wedding day.

In the name of God, I, Benjamin/Pamela, take you, Pamela/Benjamin, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, through laughter and through tears, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.  Forsaking all others, I commit myself to you. I will seek to serve you with tenderness and respect, energy and intelligence, imagination and love. This is my solemn vow.

pb_376

And the Lord’s Supper… our parents helped serve everyone on our wedding day as we shared in communion together for the first time as husband and wife, surrounded by our community. I wish I could extend this richness to you as well.

pb_393

pb_394

Dancing: Mostly in the Kitchen

Ben does not love to dance, but he dances with me… mostly in the kitchen and sometimes under the stars on the beach. To make me smile, he danced with me under the stars at our wedding. And then I danced with my Dad. I love these pictures, and goodness, I love these men.

pb_621

pb_650

Now: Creating a New Normal

Ben and I are back in California now…. we had a lovely week in the Poconos ignoring the world following our wedding during which we explored waterfalls and hibernated in a cabin (read Ben’s post about that here). Then a week of work and trying to make one home out of all of our stuff; we are getting there. As I sit back and remember this time, I smile at its beauty and am so thankful for everyone who made it possibly by helping with the wedding and those who traveled distances – small and great – to celebrate with us. I only wish that we could have had more time with each of you. I am thankful that friendships cover miles and years and cannot wait to see you again.

End Notes

You can read Ben’s post about our wedding here.

All photographs (except the last one) are by Jen Capone. She is pure awesome.

my first major league baseball game

Posted by pamela on Jul. 06, 14 | 1 COMMENT

Ben believes that baseball is about as close to perfection as exists on this earth. This is just one of the many areas of diversity in our lives given that, until recently, I did not know more than a few rules of the game and certainly had no clue about farm system or that games are played in series. Ben is a veritable baseball encyclopedia and feeds me a daily baseball fact or (often an update on the Phillies). Slowly, I am learning (though I suspect my knowledge will always be elementary).

On Saturday Ben took me to my first Major League Baseball (aka MLB) game to see the Oakland Athletics play the Toronto Blue Jays. There was something all-American about a baseball game, and we lived up the experience. In-N-Out burgers on our way to the game, hot dogs and popcorn at the ballpark. A beautifully groomed field full of bright green turf. Fans dressed in yellow and green, and one special fan dressed in a yellow and green cape playing the banjo. Vendors yelling their little rhymes to entice one to buy hot dogs and iced tea and ice cream and cotton candy.

baseball

Then there was that moment (not long after asking if birds ever poop on the players), in which a bird pooped on my head. I laughed so hard I cried as Ben cleaned my hair out using the tissues in my purse. Ben has promised me that he has never seen this happen and that I should be safe in the future. I mostly believe him.

And then there was the baseball. It is infinitely more interesting game when the intricacies are understood, even at an elementary level. The details I will stumble over, so for those you should just check out Ben’s blog, The Benjamin. What I will say is that my first game had the fun of a great double play, 3 extra innings, a coach getting ejected, lots of foul balls into the stands, and the one run of the game was glorious. I think I am learning to like baseball, but this is also heavily influenced by the goofy grin of the guy who was sitting next to me all day.

baseball2

 

menstruation is normal

Posted by pamela on May. 28, 14 | 0 COMMENTS

Today is Menstrual Hygiene Day, a day of brining awareness and supporting women around the world in managing menstruation in a hygienic way that is private, safe, and dignifying. I wrote a blog post for Lifewater about menstruation  - a little about my journey, but mostly about why it is important, how it is normal, and what we do at Lifewater to help women around the world. The first paragraph of the post is below; follow this LINK to read the full post.

Yes, menstruation is normal, and yes, this is something you should care about.

menstuation

“Several years ago I was walking through communities in Northern Uganda and found this slogan painted on the side of a school building The school was out of session, so the classrooms were empty that day, and I found myself lingering a little longer, thinking about the message it shared with its students every day: Menstruation is Normal. As part of a WASH campaign, the other buildings had other messages – about handwashing and drinking safe water – but it was this one that caught me because of its boldness.”

You can read the rest of this post HERE.

a new season has begun

Posted by pamela on Apr. 28, 14 | 5 COMMENTS

Each season has iconic things that signify the changing of the season; in the spring, there are daffodils and spring flowers, and in the fall there are leaves that turn brilliant reds and yellows. In my life, a new season has begun, but instead of daffodils and changing leaves, the physical sign of this new season is a ring I now wear.

When I met Ben last year, I had no idea that a great adventure lay ahead of us. Since we met, the conversation that started over Thai food one night has continued while hiking hills, walking beaches, cooking dinners, and over many a meal. We discovered that we love to laugh and be together. In Ben, I have found an amazing man; his presence makes my life much richer. I am excited, even giddy, to be sharing the news of our engagement.

engaged

I am so very grateful for this new season – it is full of life and colors and new beginnings. It is full of dreams and possibilities and hope. It is a beautiful season indeed.

engaged sunset

vacationing in a scottish castle

Posted by pamela on Apr. 14, 14 | 0 COMMENTS

Sometimes a girl dreams up something crazy like spending her 33rd birthday in a castle in Scotland. And then, sometimes, dreams come true and the whole family decides it sounds like a good vacation as well. They day after my birthday, I jumped on a plane, hopped over the pond, and made my way to what remains of Rosslyn Castle, just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland.

What, you wonder, do you do in a castle for a week? You ignore the world and revel in the history that took place where you are living and eating and sleeping. You take your nephew on adventures with mud and rain and ruins. You drink cups of tea (and coffee) while eating crumpets with jam and scones with clotted cream. You explore Rosslyn chapel (where the Da Vinci Code was filmed), have drinks at the exclusive Scottish Malt Whiskey Society, and walk to the local pub for fish & chips, vegetarian haggis and pints of cider. You discover what ‘castle cold’ really means and learn to close shutters and doors to keep the heat in. You eat meals and laugh and play games with your family. All while living in a castle.

It was a lovely week and I am grateful for these shared memories. As I sit writing this, it seems to me that stories like these are beautiful and precious reminders to keep dreaming. To be audacious in our dreaming. If we do not dream, our dreams can never come true. This is not a fairy tale—I think we normally have to work for our dreams and that they rarely happen on their own. But, if we do not dream, a dream can never come true. May we all choose to keep dreaming audacious and crazy dreams. Sometimes they come true.

fields

private castle

Private: our very own castle.great room

The ‘great room,’ now a courtyard.

living room

Our living room for the week. rosslyn chapel

Rossyln Chapelthumper

Adventuring with Thumper.

a surfing weekend

Posted by pamela on Mar. 16, 14 | 0 COMMENTS

 

pam surfing

Moving to the Central Coast of California means that surfing, a sport I had never considered doing, has suddenly been an easy and obvious hobby. I have not been on the water for months. In the fall the waves were mostly just beating me up and, when combined with cooler air temperatures, I lacked the motivation to make it happen. Then yesterday was a surfing day with friends, and it was absolutely perfect. Not only did I get to surf and play in the water for a couple of hours (where the waves were perfect for a beginner), I got to help a special friend, Silas, surf. What a perfect way to kick off a birthday weekend. And now I am off to Scotland for a week in a castle with my family. Hard to beat this. I hope your spring is filled with fun and laughter.silas surfing

people are not objects to be won.

Posted by pamela on Mar. 03, 14 | 0 COMMENTS

It is raining outside. Not a little drizzle, but a real rain. Living in the California desert in the middle of a drought makes this precious and wonderful. I have spent hours these rainy days sitting by windows watching the rain fall and listening to its soft patter on the ground. The land has been parched and is in need of this soft but steady rain to soften the soil, feed the plants, and fill the reservoirs. No drop is unappreciated. The hills are becoming green and full of life.

rain

As I sit watching the rain come down, giving life to this region, my mind wanders back to just a couple weeks ago when I was in a very different land experiencing beauty and life in a different way. My body was sick – in need of meds and rehydration. My night had been restless and painful, and the morning found me unsure if it was wise to leave the guesthouse. (I talk about this run-in with disease HERE.) But I had only one day to go to the field with this specific team, and so I did what I could and prepared to go into the field, hoping it would be worth my time, but also hoping we could make it a short day.

As we set out across town and headed into the hills, I began to gather that it would be anything but a short day. The little van we were in had seats that faced each other, and so I was face to face with my host, Vikash, when what I really wanted was to close my eyes and get some sleep. It was a little bit like being in the desert – I was tired and dry, but in this case, I did not know what it was that would fill me up that day.

I asked what I thought was a simple question, “How does your organization work? And are the home churches growing?” What followed was a lesson on culture and loving people that was food and water for my soul.

“People are not objects to be won. They need to know we love them.”

In two short sentences, Vikash had changed the foundation of a discussion that would last the day. He comes from the highest caste, the caste of priests. One day he found a book on his uncle’s shelves – a book of Bible stories that would forever impact his life. Both he and his uncle loved to read, but Vikash knew the stories to be true, and this launched his life into a new direction.

As we drove the countryside, Vikash pointed to a building, “That’s a church. I know because it is a different building, using western style windows. Why did they do that?” I could hear his heart become heavy as he talked about Christians being different – not because of their love, but because of how they lost their culture. Of buildings that looked like western churches, songs with tunes and chords from distant lands, of greetings foreign to the villages. When he found a church, Vikash too followed these practices as it was all he knew.

But now, he teaches something different. God is the God of the universe. He is outside of culture and he is in culture. He loved so much as to give His son, His life. No big church buildings and foreign songs. No greetings that separate you and leave others estranged. Instead, he encourages people to keep their cultural heritage — gatherings that meet in homes, use local music with new words, and greetings that include others. Every year these home churches come together and share and celebrate new life together, encouraging one another. Vikash points to the home churches found in the Bible, of Jews and gentiles who both held their own traditions while becoming new.

No, people are not objects to be won. We truly must let them know we love them. Period.

On this day when my body was sick and tired, my soul was fed with rich and fragrant food. Vikash, a man from the line of Hindu priests, provided hours of teaching on how to truly love, on how to worship, and how to live. His words were strong, and his actions as we visited homes and walked through communities even stronger. We are to love.

Some days it is the rain that feeds, and some days it is the words that feed. Both have the ability to bring life and fill reservoirs. Today, I am thankful for both.

let’s go fly a kite

Posted by pamela on Feb. 24, 14 | 0 COMMENTS

On Saturday I hiked one of the peaks along the coast here in California. For my mountain climbing friends, let me put this in perspective: 4 miles round trip, peak at 1,347 feet, a beautiful ocean view waiting for you at the top. A perfect hike for a late afternoon, and if you time it right, you can watch the sunset over the ocean on the hike down. This is one of the joys of the area – beautiful hikes not far from home that are easily indulged in with friends.

valencia

To add to the fun, I have a little kite I bought a number of years ago on a day when I needed a smile and thought surely this little kite would bring a smile to my face. Well, it has brought a smile many times since, and Saturday was no exception. The winds were a little too strong and swirling for my little kite, and so it dove around like a drunken sailor. Oh the laughter as it pitched and rolled and danced above my head with a mind completely of its own.

My nephew, Thumper, has recently fallen in love with some of my favorite childhood musicals, including Mary Poppins. And so as I think about a kite and a carefree afternoon over the weekend, I could not help but think of a song from the Mary Poppins:

With tuppence for paper and strings
You can have your own set of wings
With your feet on the ground
You’re a bird in a flight
With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite

Oh, oh, oh!
Let’s go fly a kite 
Up to the highest height!
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!

Afternoons like this bring such joy and sunshine to everyday life.

warm welcomes in south asia

Posted by pamela on Feb. 11, 14 | 0 COMMENTS

In the last two and a half weeks, I have visited communities in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India. South Asia is a new discovery for me, and it has been rich with flavors, smells, textures, colors, and all-around beauty.

I have been welcomed so warmly in each location, and I wish I could have spent longer to share stories, particularly with the women I met. These warm welcomes have included flowers, drinks, and food. One of the new things for me has been being greeted with flowers – single flowers, small bouquets, garlands, and flower petals (tossed both on and at my head). I love the beauty. In homes, I was regularly greeted with sugary tea made fresh when we showed up at their door, and a few times, with fresh coconut water. At my last stop of the trip, Jyotshna decided to not only make tea, but suddenly sweet dough was being fried up as well for a warm and yummy treat.

It has been fun to be welcomed so openly and with such warmth. It has made me think about how I choose to welcome visitors who show up at my door – both the expected and unexpected. I hope I exhibit some of the warmth that I felt on this trip.

Here is a little photo journey of some of those welcomes.

welcome1

 

My first flower garland… in Sri Lanka.

welcome2

welcome4

These flowers were on a table, but similar ones were tossed at me as well.

welcome3

 

welcome5

Coconut water: sometimes in the coconut, sometimes poured into a glass.

welcome6

welcome7

 

May the sugary tea commence, sometimes in beautiful tea cups.

welcome9

welcome10

Green papaya fresh from the garden, served with salt. (One of many fruits I was served, most were not documented.)

welcome11

Making fresh fried dough… oh so yummy.

welcome12

 

A wonderful little feast at my last visit for this trip in Assam, India.

 

 

 

 

redeeming missiles

Posted by pamela on Feb. 03, 14 | 2 COMMENTS

redeem: compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something (The New Oxford American Dictionary)

missile plantar

I do not know where bullets end and missiles begin, but as I crossed the compound, it seemed to me that what I was seeing would fall into the (small?) missile category. Except that instead of looking threatening and telling stories of trauma, this missile was disguised as a planter. The end of the missile was cut off and plants tumbled out of its top. It was beautiful. Had I not known where I was, I probably never would have taken a second look as it was beside a tree in a large courtyard, and I never would have realized what I was seeing. But I did, and it made me smile to see how this home in northern Sri Lanka had redeemed this weapon of war. Intentional or not, a symbol of war became a symbol of beauty, violence replaced with peace. A stunning act, a beautiful moment.

I am so thankful when I notice  ‘little’ things when I am traveling.

books of 2013: from biographies to beach trash

Posted by pamela on Jan. 19, 14 | 1 COMMENT

From biographies to beach trash…. my annual book list. I am afraid that in the midst of life this year, I forgot to keep a list of the books I read. The year started out with  lighthearted reading and ended with management and fundraising books – good in their own right, but not what I would categorize as lighthearted fun. So, instead of a full list, this year I leave you with a few that you might consider adding to your reading list. Because I think these are fun and you are great, I am providing you links to each of these on Amazon in paper and kindle (when available) form. Happy reading.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; where to find it: In Paper In Kindle

Here is where I admit that I never would have picked up this ‘young adult’ / children’s science-fiction book on my own. But, a friend gifted it to me, and so it was sitting on my kindle just waiting for an opportune time. I got the flu, and I feel in love with this little book.

 Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes  by Jonathan Auxier; where to find it: In Paper In Kindle

Another children’s book, but this time written by the good friend of a good friend. It reminds me of a Roald Dahl book, and I highly recommend picking up a copy. It would be a great read-aloud with your children.

Boy by Roald Dahl; where to find it: In Paper In Kindle

Following on the above book, I love Roald Dahl. The BFG was a favorite for us kids and my Dad read it to us over and over. Boy is Dahl’s autobiography of his childhood–some of which was spent in Tanzania in places I know. It is Dahl’s familiar writing style with bits and pieces of familiar places tossed in. A lovely, quick read.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story  by Donald Miller; where to find it: In Paper In Kindle

I have a place in my heart for Don Miller, and this book is no exception. Our lives our stories, and we make a lot of choices along the way about where those stories take us. Through his own story, Don reminds us that we have choices and we can choose to live a great story.

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World  by Bob Goff; where to find it: In Paper In Kindle

In the above book, Don mentions Bob Goff. So, when Bob’s book came out, of course I was a little bit curious. I laughed my way through this book as I was reminded that God loves in extravagant and whimsical ways. A friend read this book and felt like maybe her life was too small, a sense of guilt seeping in. If you read this book, don’t let yourself feel that for a moment. It is an invitation to live life to its fullness, to recognize the extraordinary in the daily, to experience the whimsical life. It is beautiful.

The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life by Julia Cameron; where to find it: In Paper In Kindle

I read this book when I spent several weeks writing and living in community with dear friends. It provides freedom and encouragement as I dove into the art of writing. I highly recommend picking this book up if writing is part of your journey.

Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin; where to find it: In Paper In Kindle

Marin provides no answers, and certainly no easy ones. It is the first book written from the Christian perspective on this issue that I have appreciated and honestly recommend reading it. Regardless of what you believe, Marin provides valuable thoughts to help you understand the impact of your words and actions, as well as much food for thought.

Heat Wave  and  Naked Heat by Richard Castle; where to find it: In Paper/Kindle

Beach trash. If you watch the television show Castle, there is probably a spot in your heart for these books. They read like an episode of the show, mirroring when the books are released in the show. Lovely beach trash. But, if you don’t watch the show, skip the books.

32408df3sf