Fall. My favorite season. Filled with breathtaking gold, red and crimson. Crisp nights and warm days. It is a time of change. Fall in Minnesota is exquisite. My work life brings me to a space and place surrounded by beauty; woods, a lake, foul and fauna that breaths life in your very soul. I am reminded as I drive into the grounds of Hazelden Foundation, the miracle of recovery intertwined with the miracle of nature. Gratitude abounds.
The 2012 election brought a time of excitement, dread and chaos. And then….relief. This one reminded me of when I was growing up. Election night was when we knew if Dad had another four years as sheriff or if life was about to change. For years, he won in landslides, yet we never were sure until the big precincts came in. The Native American ones always brought a smile to Dad’s face because the Indian people were so loyal to him. And he to them. He spent many hours in Indian Country. One poignant memory of Dad and Indian Country I think of every Veterans Day. It was Larry Brown Otter’s funeral. He died in Viet Nam. He was my sister Karren’s classmate and an absolutely beautiful young man. Dad cried when he told about leading the procession taking Larry home for burial. The people. Larry’s people, left their vehicles and walked down the hill with the hearse to bring the warrior home. So many warriors were brought home over the years. Dad and Mom were especially sensitive to soldiers. Especially Mom who had five brothers who served. One of many Harry and LaVerna experiences in Corson County.
This election though was different. We had a candidate. I had some of the same feelings when Dad campaigned. This candidate campaigned similar to him. Integrity. Always, like Dad, saying nice things about the opponent. Positive. And like Dad, she won. Because of that integrity, Emy Patrice, my daughter, was a unique candidate. Competent. Intelligent. Compassionate and honest. Just like her grandfather. The torch was passed to a new generation.
To say I am proud of her is an understatement. Although the entire family helped in multiple ways, especially Emy’s gifted and talented sister in law, Nicole, Emy did it. And, we will all be there to clap when she is sworn in to her seat on the Shoreview City Council. Followed by a tear from her mother.
The fall brought notice of my book being nominated for the Minnesota Book Award. This prestigious recognition made me realize again, Mom was right. She told me to write a book. I did. And I felt Mom’s presence the entire six years of work.
The above picture taken with Dara Beevas, another talented author, and mentor, who too, was a recipient of Milt “Beaver” Adams, our publisher. Milt made a difference in our lives and the lives of hundreds of authors by creating Beaver’s Pond Press. Milt died shortly after this picture was taken. I was able to thank him that night. He brought Mom’s and my dream to life. I am filled with gratitude.
Fall brought multiple presentations, retreats and book signings. Constant gratitude for the beauty of fall and everyday gifts, when we “see with different eyes.”
Enjoy the beauty of God’s Creation.