Tag Archives: Gini Athey

June – Celebrating Wisconsin Authors

There’s something special about reading a book set in a location you are familiar with, especially when that setting holds fond memories or is much loved.

When an author weaves in authentic details about a location, especially local traditions, culture, and history, the setting becomes another character in the story.

For me, Wisconsin is such a place. What makes The Badger State special for me is its expansive shoreline, quaint small towns proud of their history, creative and beautiful artisan crafts, and a strong sense of community no matter where you live in the state.

Here are five Wisconsin authors whose books showcase what I love about our state.

Kate Bowman – For the Love of Fiber Series, which includes The Spin I’m in and It Never Felt so Good

Virginia McCullough – Author of The Jacks of Her Heart, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and other award-winning women’s fiction and romance.

Nancy Sweetland – The Door to Love: A Door County Romance

Valerie J. Clarizio – Love on the Door County Peninsula Series, which includes Talia & Ryan’s Story and Jess & Sam’s Story.

Mary Grace Murphy – Noshes Up North Culinary Mystery Series, which includes Death Nell, Death Knock, and Death Nosh.

You can also enjoy my women’s fiction romance, inspired by the joys of living in Wisconsin.

What is a place you love to read about?

Believing in Tomorrow,

Gini

May – Looking for the Silver Lining

The coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty and fear into our homes and our lives. How did this happen? What will we do to survive? When will it end?

There is an abundance of speculation by both citizens and professionals to these and other questions, but, as yet, there are no definitive answers. Each state, community, and family needs to evaluate the situation as it unfolds and reach answers that are unique to themselves. We have never had to handle such an overwhelming event that reaches to our core.

So, in my humble opinion, I say help where we can, let kindness be the guiding force. A simple phone call to an isolated person will let them know you care. A funny card,–homemade preferred–sent by mail will bring a smile. Maybe with all the home cooking being done, a plate of sandwiches and cookies would be a treat for a close neighbor with children who are tired of eating mac ‘n cheese.

I call these little acts of kindness a silver lining to the chaos surrounding us.

My neighborhood email thread keeps us connected. It is a poor substitute for morning coffee with a friend or a lunch together to help support our local restaurants. But think how much we will enjoy seeing each other when we can.

I live in a rural area, and last week a neighbor reported seeing orioles and hummingbirds. I’ve been watching, and this morning a male oriole sat on the window ledge by the kitchen table. He left before I could get a picture, but, oh, how beautiful he was. I call him Nature’s silver lining in these days of doubt and despair.

One evening, the local nesting pair of Canada geese brought eight goslings onto the lawn. They ran and played, then ate the newly mowed grass and ran some more. The parents certainly had to work to keep them together. Can you argue against this silver lining of life moving forward?

My neighbors have gardens ranging from a few raised beds to elaborate areas with greenhouses and hoop houses. With empty spaces on the shelves at the local grocery store, these friends won’t be in need of assistance. They are kind people and will generously share extra produce come harvest time. Neighbor helping neighbor, another silver lining.

This week I will plant lettuce and radishes in my cold frame. The ground is warm under the glass and once the sprouts appear the plants will be safe from rabbits and deer looking for a tender green treat. It will be a couple of weeks before I plant the rest of the garden. I’ve seen too many freezing nights before June to challenge Mother Nature. Doing a second planting after a frosty night is not my idea of fun, thank you very much. Come fall, I will reap my silver lining and share the bounty with my neighbors.

In The Christmas Promise, my 2019 holiday novella, Charlotte Wilson goes to Willow Birch, her husband’s childhood home to be with her mother-in-law. The longer she stays, the more she sees the community as a take-care-of-your-neighbor kind of place. Charlotte uses her abundance to help a local, needy family. Her silver lining is the joy she feels after helping others in a position of want.

We shouldn’t wait for a holiday or a special event to find a silver lining, a small act of kindness for a friend or neighbor or for someone unknown to us. Now is the time to reach out. Be creative, Be funny. Bring joy to the day.

Silver linings, small blessings, will have us …

Believing in Tomorrow,

Gini