Natalie Kinsey-Warnock's Nora's Ark is a real gem of a story
that perfectly combines a universal truth with the richness of time
and place. It's based on a flood that happened in Vermont in 1927.
Wren, the narrator, lives contentedly with her grandparents in
the home where they raised their own children. They aren't rich by
any stretch of the imagination. But they have plenty to eat.
Wren's grandfather is building a new house on a hill that will
have indoor plumbing and electricity. Her grandmother is happy where
she is. In her mind the new house is gravy--a nice addition but not
necessary to make potatoes delicious and filling.
In November a pouring rain and the flooding it causes send the
family to the new house. They are gradually joined by neighbors. By
nightfall they're hosting 23 people and a legion of critters great and
small including one hundred chickens. And the rain and flooding show
no signs of letting up.
After the flood Wren lives in that house for decades, never
sanding away hoofprints in the floor, "...because they remind me of
what's important: family and friends and neighbors helping neighbors.
Like Grandma said, everything else is just gravy."
If that message resonates with you, read Nora's Ark and share it
with those you love. It's a beacon of hope in a nation where so many
people seem focussed on gravy rather than potatoes.
On a personal note, my daughters, Katie and Amber, and my future son-
in-law, Brian, are starting what I hope will be a sensational semester.
Joey cat continues to recover from surgery.
A great big shout out goes out to Katie, Amber, Brian, and their peers
returnng from vaca to the classroom. May the force be with you!
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod