Tag Archives: Blog

Kate’s Causes…

As many of you know, I’ve written several blogs on homelessness and the One Million Project’s commitment to raise money for EMMAUS.  Another event has caught my attention thanks to Dr. Sheena Macleod, Emma Short and Emma Park.  The “Emma’s” will be attending the Sleep in the Park event in Edinburgh,  Scotland on Dec. 9, 2017.

Check out the blog on the One Million Project website for more information about how they hope to eradicate homelessness in Scotland.

Search for Kong

I am the grandmother of a three year old yellow lab.  He is my baby, and I went to the farm with my son to bring him home with that little wiggly ball of puppy in my arms.  This pup has lived with us off and on during his short life.

He lives full-time in Milwaukee now, so we see him around the holidays.  He was with us this Thanksgiving weekend.  And his “Gma” got to take him on walks by the river, play ball with him and attempt to hold him on her lap (all 90 lbs of him).

And like many grandkids, when it’s time to go, a favorite toy is missing.  His Kong!!!  Oh, no!  The toy we stuff with frozen green beans and peanut butter is lost.  Of course, all of the adults are searching the house for the missing toy.  I’m down on my hands and knees searching under sofas and beds.  I tear the living room and library apart checking between the chair cushions and under throw pillows.  After a search of the backyard, it’s determined that the kong is lost and a saddened puppy and his human get into the car and drive across the state to home.

This morning, I started cleaning the guest room.  Guess what I found under the comforter on the bed?  Yup, a blue rubbery toy.  The search for Kong is over.

Small Town Holidays

I love living in the tiny village along the Mississippi that I’ve called home for over twenty years!

I don’t miss the traffic, the noise and the lines found in larger cities.  I can walk through our streets without feeling threatened anytime day or night.  I get to soak up the beauty of my surroundings without driving anywhere.  In fact, I can walk from one end of the village to the other a couple times without tiring.

Thanksgiving weekend is a popular one here.  The population increases dramatically as all of the children and grandchildren return for the holidays.  Not only is it the start of deer hunting in the area, but there is an alumni basketball tournament at the school over the weekend.

My oldest son has played in it since he graduated, and it has been a tradition for over a decade.  The players reunite with their high school teammates to play against both younger and older teams.  Generations of family members come to cheer on the teams.  At halftime break of each game, the court overflows with children dribbling basketballs and shooting hoops until the teams return for the second half.

I sit in the stands greeting the mothers and fathers of my son’s team.  It’s a bit of deja vu from days past when our high schoolers ran up and down the court.  Our hair has more silver and our faces a few more lines now, but the enthusiasm and goodwill are still abundant.

In the evening, a Christmas parade with lighted floats, fire trucks, horses, music and Santa is followed by fireworks over the Mississippi River.  It is a fitting end to our weekend.

I saw a post the other day where someone wrote that they didn’t understand why Americans had a “day” of Thanksgiving.  The tradition is one of being thankful for the harvest, especially in the rural communities so dependent on a good harvest before the long winter.  It is also an acknowledgment of our country’s early beginnings, and how the generosity of the local Native American tribespeople helped the early settlers survive their first winter.

But, Thanksgiving is about more than remembering to give “Thanks” on one specific day.  For me, it is a time for gathering as a family and a community.  It is a time to realize the shared blessings of being a part of something so much larger than yourself.  It is a time to reinforce the importance of giving of my time, talents and resources to those less fortunate and to those I care about.

Our small town holiday weekend reminds me of what is good in the world and how crucial it is to be an active participant in the world around me.  To recognize and speak out against inequality and injustice while doing my best to be a positive force in the world.

This work doesn’t happen on just one day, but every day.  It all starts with you, your family and your community.  Make efforts to improve each of these areas and the blessings will continue to spread.

Heartwarming Story of Holiday Spirit

Listening to the news this morning, I heard a wonderful story about a homeless vet outside of Philadelphia who had assisted a young woman stranded after running out of gas.

Johnny Bobbitt, Jr. is a homeless vet who saw Katie McClure pull her car over to the side of the road.  He advised McClure to get back into her car and lock the doors.  He took the last twenty dollars he had and bought gasoline for the young woman.

Bobbitt was a flight medic in the military and wanted to go to college to be a medevac flight nurse after he left the service, but issues with substance abuse and money problems kept him from his goals.

His selfless deed touched McClure and her boyfriend.  They have kept in touch with Bobbitt and recently set up a GoFundMe page for him.  As of today, it has raised over 306,000 dollars in response to Bobbitt’s good Samaritan act.

Each of us has the ability to change another person’s life.  Johnny Bobbitt, Jr. helped countless of wounded service members when in his military role overseas.  He helped a young woman in her moment of need so she could get home safely.  Katie McClure and numerous donors are hoping to help change Bobbitt’s life.

Make today amazing by helping someone else in need.

“Max” Recognized

We live in a tiny place near the Mississippi River, and our son’s Labrador Retriever has been staying with us as we dog-sit. My husband was walking with the yellow fur baby when he heard a woman calling out, “Hello, Max!” referencing Clare’s loyal dog in Exodus and Winter’s Icy Caress.

On his return, he said, “Another reader of your books thinks Caesar’s name is Max.”

I absolutely love it!

#HelpPRchallenge

It’s hard to believe it has been 52 days since Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico with Category 4 winds.  The hurricane was so large it covered the island leaving no area untouched by its destructive force.  Puerto Ricans are in survival mode and spend hours each day procuring basic needs like clean water and food.

I am donating the proceeds of Exodus (Clare Thibodeaux Series, Book 1) from October through November to help in the Hurricane Maria relief efforts, and I encourage my readers to consider helping by donating through the various charities and relief funds to help with our fellow citizens on the long road to recovery.  ~ Kate

Kate Recommends…

If you haven’t gotten a chance to read the One Million Project’s blogs, check out the links below.   Our bloggers write about the causes OMP supports, creativity, and writing books! I’d like to thank our OMP blogging team: Michele Potter, David Butterworth, John Nedwill, Melissa Volker, Patsy Jawo, Emma Thomson, and Akje Majdanek for their contributions of time and talent over the past months.  Please take the time to Like, Comment and Share. 

Stop Saying It’s About Feminism by Melissa Volker

Crickets by Kate McGinn

Loss of A Loved One by Patsy Jawo

Educational Inferiority Complex by Emma Thomson

Family Ties or Otherwise by Michele Potter

On the Nature of Being by John Nedwill

P.S. — Check out our cultural blog — The Cultural Bridge