Posted tagged ‘Beaches’

Sea Glass Summer

December 12, 2019

If you’re like many of us who have been inundated with snow, sleet, wind, and rain, this may be the book that will lift your winter spirits.

sea glass

Sea Glass Summer written by Michelle Houts and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline tells a story of how a young boy called Thomas spends the summer at his grandmother’s island cottage. She gifts Thomas with a magnifying glass that was his grandfather’s. Each day, Thomas and his grandmother search the beach for treasures left behind by the sea. His grandmother finds a piece of sea glass which she hands to Thomas, saying “…after being broken, tossed in the saltwater and sand, the pieces turn smooth and cloudy.” She adds, “…your grandfather used to say that each piece of sea glass has a story all its own.” That night, with his sea glass nearby, Thomas dreams of a ship from long ago as seen in Ibatoullines’ realistic illustrations. As the ship is christened with a bottle of champagne, pieces of the bottle fall into the ocean. Sea glass days and sea glass night dreams make up Thomas’ summer. At the end of the summer as Thomas and his grandmother are ferrying off the island, Thomas drops his grandfather’s magnifying glass and pieces fall into the sea. The story fast forwards to many years later when a young girl who is visiting a family island cottage shows her Papaw Tom a piece of sea glass she found. He carefully examines it and says, “…each piece of sea glass has a story of its own.” That night with her sea glass nearby, she dreams of a boy named Thomas.

I’m fascinated by this story because our family loves hunting for sea glass on the beaches of New England. Bagram Ibatoulline’s realistic illustrations are beautifully rendered, and Michelle Houts’ story inspires imaginative thinking. The author and illustrator weave a story of family, history, and the art of sea glass. Make sure to check this out!

Blog Break Festivities

September 6, 2018

I’m back! The past six weeks have been busy, busy, busy!

It began with the birth of a little baby.



After thirteen girls plus one on the way in December, a boy finally made his way into our extended family.

There were six birthdays!




Two anniversaries


Lots of rain and rainbows


Babysitting, Beaches, Bonfires





And a holiday with family and friends!

And, of course, there was lots of reading.

My blog break vacation was fantastic, but it’s good to be back!

We Are Family

May 22, 2014

This past weekend there was little time for reading or writing. My niece and her fiancé got married. When my brother, sisters, life-long friends, and extended family come together to celebrate a wedding, we cheer! It’s not often we are all in the same place at the same time, but a wedding celebration seems to pull us together. “We Are Family” is the perfect song for those of us whose families are spread across the United States.

What added to the ambiance of the wedding weekend was the fact that it was in Florida. After surviving a long Wisconsin winter, I was ecstatic to celebrate love in a warm, inviting place. To bask in the sunshine and dip my toes into a pool of water that was not frozen was a delight.

The Beach

The Beach

There were a few hiccups along the way to our destination. Our on-time flight was not. After being delayed for two hours, we boarded only to find out that the truck fueling the airplane didn’t have enough fuel. When that was taken care of, the Captain announced there was a mechanical problem that would easily be fixed. It was not. We deplaned, were directed to a new gate, and boarded another plane. We arrived at our destination the same time a fierce thunderstorm arrived. We headed our rental car to the beach where we were supposed to meet family for a “hey-it’s-great-to-see- you” dinner. We were late. We needed food. We needed drink. The torrential rain made driving slow and hazardous, and taking a wrong turn didn’t make for pleasant car conversation. When we finally did arrive, everyone had finished eating. My very efficient sister had ordered a meal for us that was ready just as we sat down. Good company turned an exhausting day into an enjoyable evening.

We had exceptional weather the rest of the weekend. There were a few other mishaps, but despite everything, the wedding day was perfect. The happiness radiating from the bride and groom was unmistakable. With family, friends, good food, great music, and dancing, I realize life is good!

“We Are Family”– let it play again and again.



Epping Forest Yacht Club

Epping Forest Yacht Club

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Navigating the second half of my life

Leslie Leibhardt Goodman

Children's Writer

VIVIAN KIRKFIELD - Writer for Children

Picture Books Help Kids Soar

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