Picking Favorites

IMGP6489By S. J. Brown

We all have favorite things, that special gift from long ago, or a place with fond memories. Sometimes our favorite is a sentence that just glides off the tongue and completes a thought. After every photo trip Jay asks me what my favorite part of the trip was. Generally it is a brief moment when I am close to a critter and clicking the shutter button. After we arrive home when I am going through stacks of photographs he asks which image is my favorite.

My favorite moment doesn’t always yield a favorite photograph. On a recent trip to Michigan my favorite moment did yield my favorite image from the trip. I hung out with a raccoon while he enjoyed his lunch. Jay spotted him going into a trash can to retrieve the meal. He didn’t care how close I approached, he had a snack and I wasn’t a threat.

20 SJ Brown Raccoon

My favorite critter moment from a trip to Colorado was when we sat and watched a Coyote. We spotted him in the road pouncing on the hard surface. It took us a few minutes to figure out what he was doing. The road was covered with crickets; he would pounce on one, eat it and then move on to the next one.

32 Coyote

My favorite moment on a trip to Minnesota was when Jay and I helped out with a duck banning project. It was cold and very early in the morning, but it was an experience I will never forget. I was a bit busy so I didn’t get very many photos, so my favorite moment and my favorite image didn’t match on that trip.

Me Duck

Some photo trips have more than one favorite moment or image which makes it hard to choose. Hanging around in South Dakota we had several great experiences and came home with loads of great photos.

SJ Brown Deer

When we visited Maine my favorite moment was when we spotted a mother moose and her calf. It took days to find the pair and when we did it was cold and rainy, but I didn’t care. Mama was letting me get pictures of them both.

SJ Brown Moose

Sometimes it is hard to choose a favorite. I have two sisters, but I don’t have a favorite. They are very different people and each comes with their own special qualities. I have only one granddaughter, so of course she is my favorite. We share a love of critters and photography so we have many favorite moments together.
Do you have a favorite food? I have several. How about a favorite place, mine is generally wherever I happen to be. So what are some of your favorites?

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S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

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On the Road Again


The car was fully loaded, leaving just enough room for Jay and me.  The back seat held a small cooler for drinks, 2 camera bags, 2 duffle bags, and a bag of snacks.  In the trunk was a large cooler with food for the next few days, linens, hiking boots, a tote loaded with plate’s cups and silverware, and our coats.


Jay and I were heading north on a 5 day excursion.  The trip began with torrential downpours and lots of traffic.  Our first stop made it all worth it when we got a chance to hang out with family and have pizza for dinner. 

The next morning we were up with the sun and back on the road.  Our destination, Michigan was still over 7 hours away.  We encountered more rain, more traffic and road construction.  Still we managed to arrive in Holland Michigan in time to cruise the downtown area, find an array of tulips and find our cabin before sunset.


Jay and I were heading north on a 5 day excursion.  The trip began with torrential downpours and lots of traffic.  Our first stop made it all worth it when we got a chance to hang out with family and have pizza for dinner. 

The next morning we were up with the sun and back on the road.  Our destination, Michigan was still over 7 hours away.  We encountered more rain, more traffic and road construction.  Still we managed to arrive in Holland Michigan in time to cruise the downtown area, find an array of tulips and find our cabin before we were encompassed by darkness.


We were up were up with the sun and on the hunt for critters to photograph.  Thanks to some informative birdwatchers we had a new destination. Just 2 hours away there were Heron, Cranes and several other critters building nests and settling in for a while.   As usual local people had the best information and we found some very co operative cranes and their friends.


We returned to our cabin in time to watch the sunset over lake Michigan accompanied by hundreds of people who had the same plan.  The following day was filled with black squirrels, geese, ducks, a muskrat, and a stop to tour a working windmill.  It was imported from Holland decades ago and they still grind flower there every week. 


Our last day was mostly driving toward home.  We did stop for a while to see the cranes, and Herons one more time to help break up the trip. 


By the time we returned home we had traveled 1822 miles.  I had clicked off 17 rolls of film and captured 28 different types of critters.  Now I am ready to do it again.    

Thanks for stopping by. I hope your days are filled with one happy adventure after another.

Connect with S. J. Brown on Facebook and be one of the first to see what she has been up and view her Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

S. J. Browns coloring books feature sketches based on her photographs.

CBCover Acover

Cover 3-26-23Back Cover 4-24-2013Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon  at


Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

S. J. Brown’s children’s pictures books are only available through S. J. Brown.

You can order your copies from her website S.J. Brown

Cover All the Birds I See Cover



Autumn Delights

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

I’ve always loved October. In our part of the world it’s when the trees put on their finest and each vies with the other to be the most outstanding. The result is a scene that is breathtaking, as with the naked eye you drink in the brilliant colors displayed on a backdrop of blue sky and white fluffy clouds. I often stand admiring the beauty around me and thank God for creating a world for us to enjoy and appreciate.trees

See fabulous Wisconsin/Michigan Fall Color HERE

In my childhood, at some point in early October, we’d bring out the rakes. Since we had a very large yard this was a chore and was given to us four children to do. We absolutely loved it! It was never work toraking us, but playtime instead. We’d rake up a big pile of leaves and throw them at each other; then rake again. We’d take turns lying on the ground while the others totally covered the lucky one with a mound of leaves. I can still remember the sound of the crispy leaves as they landed on me; the freshness of the cool October air; the laughter as we ganged up on one another. As a final treat, when we finally tired of playing in them, we actually raked the leaves into piles, put them in a wheelbarrow or wagon and deposited them at the curb in front of our house. That night my Dad would set fire to the leaves, but not before my mother wrapped potatoes, onions, carrots and seasonings in several firelayers of aluminum foil and deposited them among the leaves. We waited anxiously, helping Dad tend the leaves so they wouldn’t catch something on fire, but that never happened. This was the way we got rid of the leaves in the town where I lived. After a while of burning and tending, the leaves smoldered and went out. Then Dad would use a set of tongs to retrieve the foil-wrapped potatoes and we’d feast on them with cider and doughnuts for dessert. The next day, once the leaves were mostly ash, we’d help load them into bags and take them to the local dump. Dad always let us sit on the back of the truck while we rode and once he backed up to the dumping area we’d heave the bags into the pit.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To learn about how Halloween began click HERE

Just for fun Halloween Website HERE

Facts and pictures about Dia de los Muertos HERE

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Actually it’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) katrinabut since they are close and I’m back in the US, it’s Halloween. As a kid we really did it up right. We decorated the house with all sorts of pumpkins, bats, ghosts and witches. My mother was an artist, so she had some really fantastic ideas for decorating and costumes.


My siblings and I loved playing dress-up and Halloween was the most fun. Mom let us decide what or whom we wanted to be and then helped us create the costume. One of my very favorite costumes of all  was an evening dress with over-the-elbow gloves, my hair gowndone up in curls and a tiara. I felt like a movie star. Of course, I had to endure my hair done up in rags all night to get the curls and I may have stumbled once or twice over the hem, but I did win best costume in our school competition. I was about eleven at the time. The dress and gloves were from another era, when women wore evening gowns to go out to special events and my aunt gave it to us to play dress-up. It was lime green and I felt like Cinderella, very glamorous.

We generally had our cousins along to trick-or-treat with us and did we ever have fun! First, we had a light supper before my Mom and Aunt decorated a table with witches and pumpkins, cobwebs and ghosts. Mom usually designed a special cake that was something to behold. They served us cake; some red drink they said was blood, grapes for eyeballs and spaghetti for brains. At the time we were young enough to believe them and screamed in delight as we ate our “ghoulish” treats.

Then it was time to get dressed in our costumes and take off for a night of fun. Back in my day there was no fear of knocking on people’s doors, no fear of wandering around the town alone, no fear of being trckortreatabducted or hurt. We were just six little kids having a blast. When we passed our friends we’d all compare our bags of treats to see who had the most. We often walked a couple of miles if we didn’t tire out too much. At some houses we were invited in for cider and doughnuts and pictures. At others a wicked witch or monster handed us our treat. We screamed in delight.

Back at the house Mom, Dad, my Uncle and Aunt dressed appropriately and handed out candy to every little trick-or-treater that came along. Since our house was on a corner a block from town we got hit hard. Dad once had to go get a bushel of apples from a friend because he ran out of treats and the store was closed to get more candy.

When we returned home with our booty Mom and Dad would ooh and ah over the treasures we’d received. We were allowed to keep our bags in the closet in each of our bedrooms as long as we solemnly promised not to eat too much at one time. Yeah, right! One time my little brother began throwing up orange pumpkins and after that the fun was over. My Mother kept the candy and doled it out.

girlbikeI loved riding my bicycle in the fresh October air. By then gloves, a hat and warm coat were a necessity, but I roamed the streets of town enjoying the last delights of summer and began to eagerly anticipate winter fun. I’d ride my bike until I was so cold I had to go home or freeze. But the memories are worth it.

Later, when my own children had Halloween parties at school, I was the first to volunteer to help. I always dressed as something different (one year I was a grape, right down to the purple tights!). Carving pumpkins was something my kids loved and since we grew our own we had lots of fun decorating them. Those pumpkins, cornstalks, corn brooms and ghosts and witches decorated our house and it was hard to get the kids to let me take them down until Christmas came and I could lure them into visions of sugar plums.

I often took my children on long walks through the hardwoods in October. We had to wear orange clothing and talk loud, because it was the start of hunting season, and even though we walked on our ownhobgob property, one never knows who might disregard the “keep out” signs. The children picked up leaves that we took home and ironed between sheets of waxed paper, just as I did as a child.

I have many other wonderful memories of October. What are some of yours? I’d love to hear them!leaf


Books by L.Leander:

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Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders


Inzared, The Fortune Teller Video Trailer








Inzared, The Fortune Teller (Boook 2









13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing









13 Extreme Tips to Marketing an ebook


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Pumpkin Time

Kathy - greenKate Wyland


I’ve always loved the Fall. Well, almost always. When I was a kid back in Michigan, I got horrendous hay fever just about the time school started. I didn’t like that. But once the allergies went away I was in seventh heaven. Loved the glorious leaves, bonfires, cooler weather (really don’t like it hot, humid), and trick or treating for Halloween. It was an exciting time.

We moved to California when I was ten, so I lost the dramatic changes of season, but I still enjoy the Fall decorations and the different foods—particularly anything pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread (have a terrific recipe everyone insists I make each year), pumpkin lattes, and most importantly, our son’s pumpkin soup. Made with pumpkin puree and heavy cream (and lots of other stuff), it is so rich he only serves a very small portion or else no one would have room for the rest of the meal.

While Chris is a gourmet chef who comes up with some very creative recipes, he came to the pumpkin soup from a very different direction. A few years ago he decided to raise giant pumpkins—the kind you see on TV at the weigh-offs. Now at the time, he was in a “courtyard” house—no front yard and a minimal back yard. However, his house was on the curve of a cul-de-sac, so it had a little more room. Don’t know what put the bee in his bonnet, but he set to work creating a pumpkin patch. He dug out about half his yard and refilled it with planting soil and compost. Then after doing internet research, he bought seeds from a giant pumpkin grower and started his project.

Two of Chris's pumpkins
Two of Chris’s pumpkins

As the plants grew, he carefully pruned and removed buds so that he only had one pumpkin growing on each vine. As they got bigger, he had to carefully monitor his watering. Too much water could cause the pumpkins to split. He also found out that high temperatures could stop their growth. Of course, he was living in one of the hottest regions of the San Francisco Bay area. So in addition to watering, fertilizing, and dealing with pests, he also constructed a mesh shade with water misters on timers to keep the patch moist.

Big and little pumpkins
Big and little pumpkins

To his delight, he managed a 325 pound pumpkin his first year. Two years later he got a 546 pound one. The following year he grew a 714 pound whopper and his wife had a 512 pound baby. (She was also expecting a much smaller baby. J) He was so pleased he decided to take them to the famous Half Moon Bay weigh-off. Then he faced an interesting problem.

Because of his house situation, he had to try to get his monsters out through a standard 42 inch gate and he had to do it by hand, because no machinery could get back there. Pumpkins this size are not only heavy but rather fragile and can be damaged easily. Having done it the year before with the somewhat smaller one, he again recruited a number of friends and using a tarp he carefully slid under, they managed to get the giants out the gate and onto a lift. Then they maneuvered them into the back of my pickup and a trailer.

On the way
On the way

We all had a ball at the weigh-off. Everyone was so friendly and helpful and made it a giant party. Chris’s 700 pounder won the “Biggest in Silicon Valley” award and was purchased by a local microbrewery that made pumpkin ale and put it on display in their restaurant. It even was featured in a local paper. And it helped pay for a new video camera to celebrate the baby girl who arrived a couple of days later!

Chris and his 714 lb pumpkin
Chris and his 714 lb pumpkin

As large as it seemed to us, his pumpkin was nowhere near the winner. First and second were won by monsters that weighed in at over 1100 pounds. This was a few years ago and Chris reports they’ve reached 2000 pounds now. Of course, from what I saw 500 seems to be limit for keeping a recognizable Halloween pumpkin shape. Over that, they become flattened blobs. Still, the winners collect a sizable prize, so they keep trying to make them bigger and bigger.

1124 pounds!
1124 pounds!

Unfortunately, Chris and crew moved the next year and neither place they’ve lived since has been suitable for growing pumpkins. But we have fun memories of unbelievable giants. And a great pumpkin soup tradition that continues each Fall.



Forewarning Cover

Healing is her life. Will it be her death?


Wyoming Cover - 4x6 - #2.

Wyoming Escape
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?


Cover - Images - 2.

 Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?


Connect with Kate Wyland:
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Photographs and Memories

This Post By Erin Farwell
This Post By Erin Farwell

I was an awkward kid with buckteeth and a lisp, sandwiched between a pretty older sister with a wonderful singing voice and a younger, cute-as-a-button sister wErin_1976_Bracesho could play any instrument she picked up. Our brother, the youngest, was and is a wonderful person, but as a child it was my sisters to whom I was compared.

In school I was the youngest in my class and as a result I was socially inept and truly clueless. As a teen, braces were added to this mix along with the typical angst that accompanies the shift from child to young adult. I didn’t have the poise to see myself through the times I tripped over my own feet, said something strange at the wrong time, or dropped my books for no apparent reason. Once a boy asked me out on a date but did it in such vague terms that I accidentally turned him down. I didn’t figure this out for three days. Unfortunately this gawky kid still breaks through from time to time.

Thank goodness I wasn’t alone. I had my family and a great group of friends who helped me through the worst of adolescence and it’s probably not as bad as I remember. Despite knowing this, even my happiest childhood memories are often accompanied by cringe inducing embarrassment at my social gaffes or unintended harms I caused from not knowing what to say or do. These secondary memories are attached like barnacles to the joyful ones, making trips to the past an uncomfortable experience.

My siblings aClick on the slide!nd I grew up on a farm in southwestern Michigan which meant that we worked weekends, holidays, sometimes after school, and all summer long. The only breaks in our labors were the one week each summer we went to sleep-away camp and the annual Berrien County Youth Fair. Although these were highlights of my summers, many memories of those experiences bear the stain of awkward adolescence.

A few months ago, my husband, daughter and I went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We had a great timeshare on the ocean with a beautiful view of the water and the strip. Across the street was the Family Kingdom Amusement Park. Mike and Willow love amusement parks; me, not so much but I’m always a good sport when we go.

One night we crossed the street and bought our passes. The first thing I noticed was that the rides were not those of the big amusement parks that Mike and Willow are used to, but were straight from the midway of the fair. Music from the 70’s played over the speakers, the soundtrack to my junior and high school years. We were surrounded by the smell of corn dogs and elephant ears, with the occasional whiff of bug spray. All of my senses were triggered and I was transported to the summers of my youth. Past and present, youth fair and summer camp, came together into an oddly cohesive whole.Family_Kingdom_From_Balcony_at_Night

I was shocked to realize that Mike and Willow had never ridden the tilt-o-whirl, the Matterhorn (though it had a different name here) or the scrambler. We went from ride to ride, each one better than the last. While my family experienced these classics for the first time, I revisited old friends. Willow laughed when I sang along with forgotten favorites as we stood in lines and we all delighted at the lights and sounds of the park as the night sky deepened.

I mentioned to Mike several times during the evening that this place evoked many teenage memories of camp and the fair, but it wasn’t until we were standing in line to ride the scrambler for a second time that I realized something amazing. Each memory that surfaced held only joy.

When we left the park, Mike wanted us to upgrade our passes so we could come back another night. Willow didn’t want to, saying that nothing could be better than this night. If we came back again, it would never be as good. My wise, wise child.

We crossed the street to head back to our time share. As we rode up in the elevator, Willow and Mike talked excitedly about our adventure. I smiled as I listened; thrilled to realize that we had created a perfect summer memory of our own while I had reclaimed bits of my past.

By the time we reached our floor, I found I could view even the most uncomfortable of my memories with compassion for my younger self. I may have been clueless but I did the best I could and that was enough.

Farwell-Shadowlands-Final Cover.indd





Life with Tractors

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

The year I turned thirteen we moved to a farm. Granted, it was only a hobby farm, but it was forty acres with a stream that meandered through graceful hardwoods where wildflowers bloomed in the spring and the autumn leaves were breathtaking in the fall. The property also had a nice sledding hill, a must for cold Michigan winters. My three siblings and I were thrilled because up until that time we had always lived in town.

I dreamed of having a horse but my dad bought Bantam chickens instead. We had a whole flock of them in the chicken coop and around the yard. There was a once-pretty flower garden some past owner had planted and it was all overgrown with weeds, but the Poppies, Iris, Sweet Williams and a host of other flowers proudly displayed their brilliant colors, ignoring the drab coats of the milkweed and quack grass that tried to force them out. My dad told my mother (in a sincere voice) that he would “Clear that mess out of the front yard.” I remember her answer. “Chuck, if you mow down that garden you’ll have to deal with me first. Look at how gorgeous the flowers are. I’ll get it weeded after we unpack.” And that was that.simco30

We moved in the fall of the year and in early spring we wanted a garden. Dad bought an old International tractor that made little putt putt sounds when he drove it. He tilled up the garden spot and we feverishly planted and weeded, jumping up and down for joy when the first vegetables came up.

simco36That old tractor was a dream of my father’s. He had also grown up in town and always wanted to farm. He bought a flatbed trailer, hitched it to the tractor and pulled his four children all around the property. We loved it. We named the tractor Isabel Putt Putt. We continued to love Isabel and were happy for the many things Dad said she could do, like ready the garden, till up the field and even plow snow. But then came Dad’s brainstorm.

“Arlene, I think I’m going to turn up the soil on the ten acres to the east and plant rye,” he told my mother at breakfast one morning.

simco2She replied, “How are you going to do that? You have a full-time job.”

We should have seen it coming but hey, we were only kids. Dad turned to the four of us and said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to plant a crop in the field? Tonight when I get home from work we’ll take ole Isabel out and see what we need to do first.

The dismay on our faces told it all as we observed the fieldsimco3 of stones. Dad looked at the four of us. “I’ll pull the flatbed out here every morning and you kids can pick stones out of the field. Then when I get home at night we’ll move them.” There was no discussing things with my father; once he made a decision it was final. My two sisters, Sandy and Sheri,our little brother Chip (who was definitely too young to pick rocks) and I looked at each other. There went our summer.

Every morning Dad got up early to go to his job as a maintenance worker for the State Highway Department. He’d stop at each of our bedroom doors and sing “Good morning Merry Sunshine. Time to rise and shine and get out to the field. See you tonight.” He’d take his lunch bucket, kiss my mother on the cheek, hug each of us and leave.simco33

The moment Dad was gone there was a chorus of “Oh Mom, do we HAVE to?”

“Of course you do. Now get dressed while I get some breakfast ready and get out there before the sun gets too hot.”

simco10For some reason that was a sweltering June, unlike most Michigan summers. We three girls worked hard, eager to please our father, whether we liked the job or not. Little brother Chip insisted on being with us, but he was more of a hindrance than help. We made a game of the work and generally got the flatbed full of rocks and stones by early afternoon. That was good because when Dad got home at 3:30 he’d take us to the lake to swim before we went back to help him unload the rocks. We finally got the stones pretty well cleaned out (with Dad’s help on the weekends) and he tilled the soil and planted rye. To this day I don’t know why he planted rye, but we rejoiced when we saw the tiny sprouts peek through the ground and green up.

In hindsight it might have been better had my father sought some advice before he planted a crop in June that he should have planted in April or May. While the crop (all ten acres of it) grew, the weather turned cold early that year and Dad lost the field we had worked so hard to create. It was the only year he planted a crop. However, the garden flourished and that unsightly flower bed became a thing of beauty. Isabel Putt Putt was relegated to the barn until Dad needed her to plow snow or some other minor chore.simco12

The reason I’m sharing this piece of my childhood is that my husband and I went to an event last weekend called John Deere Tractor Days and Antique Tractor Show in Simco, Wisconsin. I have never seen so many tractors in my life. I searched and searched, but no International like ours did I find. There were Farmalls, Allis Chalmers, International, Oliver, Case, Detz, Ford, Massey Ferguson, and of course, John Deere. I took lots of pictures, watched several demonstrations, and the tractor pull.

Simco was recently featured on the television show “American Pickers.” It’s a recreation of an old-time village and it’s full of vintage things the man who built it has collected over the years.simco16

By the time I got home that night my head was swimming with details. Hubby gave a running commentary on each tractor and I’m sure that were I to write a book that included tractors I would ace it.

My point? Any event in your life could be fodder for your writing. Who knows when I may need to describe a tractor, an old-time store, a blacksmith shop, or even a tractor pull?simco13

I’m curious. What things have you attended or seen that you used in your writing or tucked away for the future? I’d love to know!

Books by L.Leander:

Do You Know Your Heritage?

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

Sherry Hartzler did a wonderful post yesterday on listening to your ancestors talk about their lives. She said that hearing the words rather than reading them after people are dead and gone gives you a different perspective on family and heritage. I agree and would like to share with you an event we attended last weekend that is along the very same lines.

I’m not sure if I’ve blogged about this or not but my husband is adopted. It gets babyyvery complicated if I try to explain the story to you but suffice it to say that he was taken in by his mother’s aunt (who he called Ma for the rest of his life). His real mother wasn’t even known to him until he was six or seven and got teased at school. At that point “Ma” sat him on a kitchen chair and patiently explained what had happened and how glad she was to have him for a son. His Ma and Pa were in their mid-fifties when they agreed to take him in as a newborn, so it was like growing up with grandparents. The couple owned a small dairy farm in Wisconsin and my husband was subjected to a strong work ethic and the occasional trip to the woodshed. As an only child he missed out on a lot of the camaraderie and fun siblings have together growing up and instead spent a lot of time with adults and animals on the farm.

ralph1Ralph and I married nearly three years ago and I began asking questions about his family. He had always been teased in grade school and called names. He went to an Indian Mission School (only because it was the closest school to their rural farm). When he went to work his nickname was “Indian” – and although he took the ribbing with a grain of salt he did wonder. It was not an easy path to find out his heritage and it began with the government of our state, who refused to give him a clear birth certificate. I was able to do more research and reached someone who could help. We also made a trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where his grandparents are buried. After a lot of dead ends we found someone who was a shirttail relation and the journey began in earnest. After nearly three years of paperwork, phone calls and emails we got word this winter in Mexico that Ralph is Chippewa Indian of the Chippewa Sault Ste. Marie Tribe. He cried when he heard the news. He kept repeating, “Now I feel like I belong somewhere.”

This weekend we attended our first powwow, at the Oneida Reservation in Greenroyalty36 Bay, Wisconsin. We were totally unprepared for what we saw. Not just the Oneida clan, but also Potawatomie, Cherokee, Ojibwa, Menominee and many other Indian tribes were represented. In full headdress and ceremonial costumes, the dancing was superb and the cadence of the drums mesmerizing. Each clan walked together in the opening with generations of family members proudly wearing the crests, beads, motifs and headdresses of their ancestors. Stories were told and songs were sung. Small children walked with elders. Teenage boys stood tall in their costumes and posed for pictures. Little children were adorable in their tiny moccasins and plaited hairgirl teens two

When we arrived at the powwow we were treated with respect (because we are elders.) We were taken to a prime parking space and a golf cart took us to special seating reserved for the elders (so we would be comfortable under the shade trees.) Often members of the Oneida tribe stopped by to see if they could do anything for us. This is amazing because there were probably three thousand or more people watching and six hundred dancers. We were very impressed.royalty39

So, to add to Sherry’s post about hearing stories from your ancestors, she’s totally right. And the various Indian clans strive to keep their culture alive. They are proud of their heritage and anxious that the rest of the world joins them to learn about their ancestors. They are amazing storytellers and even though the day was  bright the 90’s we stayed to enjoy the festivities.

royalty12And Ralph? He was in his glory. We bought him trinkets and t-shirts and made the day totally about him. He hated to leave but there is another powwow in August at the Menominee Reservation near us so we’ll go again this summer. He can’t wait until we get moved to Michigan so he can join in his own Chippewa festivities and be part of a family. How about you? Do you have traditions or background that is different? Do you have living relatives who tell you who you are and where you came from?  I’d love to hear about it!

Books by L.Leander: