Eden Valley Area Library – an inspiration to all

The world is full of amazing people, people who inspire and reach out into their communities, striving to make it the best place they possibly can. Rosie and I were at such a place today. My children’s story, William Gray & the Family Next Door was performed today in Eden Valley, Minnesota. Rosie and I arrived yesterday with the backdrops and we had been told there might be three or four children who might like to be involved. There were in fact, eight and all of them were eager to join in the fun. We sat a short while and went through the storyline, each child choosing a character to portray.  

I think what I love the most about children is their inborn innocence and innate curiosity. Yesterday a little girl asked if she could be Lucy Brown and I told her she would have to be sad because Lucy Brown is sad. She looked at me with wide eyes and all of a sudden, I could see that Lucy Brown was not the character for her. Finally she looked at me and said, ‘but I don’t know how to be sad’. Imagine if we as adults could say that same thing. She chose to be Max the cat instead.

Rosie and I arrived this morning at 9 a.m. The children arrived soon after, put on their costumes, sat waiting for the show to begin with smiles that cheerfully spread from ear to ear. And what a performance they put on as well. I read from the manuscript and Rosie played the songs, each character being brought to life by children who performed for children. There are seven songs in the story and although both the manuscript and the lyrics were written by me, the music was written by music teacher and good friend, Martin Lignell who lives in Sweden.

Each song has been written in such a way as to reflect the character and the situation. The most important song though is without a doubt, the final song, Stop Bullying and Pointing at Color. There really is no room in society for bullying and it’s so important to teach the young the importance of showing each other love and respect. The eight children, who helped me today stood and danced, laughed and spread the word out across the audience. It really was beautiful to see.

              Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

               Gavin       Author Web Site

              Backdrop and stage used for William Gray & The Family Next Door


 

 

Ring of Fire!

We attended the traveling Broadway show Ring of Fire at the Plymouth Playhouse in Plymouth, Minnesota.

The musical started the same way Johnny started his concerts with a simple,  “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.

John R. “Johnny” Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century.  

Ring of Fire captures Johnny and his music.   From his boyhood years to the Grand Ole Opry and fame, to his dark years. The show ends with redemption and celebration of his life.

We thought the show was fantastic and highly recommend it.

We decided to watch the American biographical musical drama film, Walk the Line, last evening and enjoyed that also.                         The Johnny Cash Signature USA Postal Stamp was released in 2013

  Making for a great keepsake.

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions …

Gavin & Rosie

 

First Time for Everything!

We were invited to go fishing at Great Northern Lake which is located between Cold Springs and Richmond, Minnesota. We had the times of our lives!  The weather was perfect and the fish and laughter was plentiful! 

First time for Gavin to catch fish in America and first time for Rosie to ever go fishing!  We both were very excited! We caught Sunfish, Catfish and Gavin caught a large size Northern Pike!  Next time fishing our goal is to catch some Walleye!

Our friends grilled us a tasty meal and then it was time for more fishing! Did I mention we had a wonderful time?! :)

Here is a view of the beautiful evening sky while fishing.

 

Bye for now – time to fry up our fish from last evening for lunch!

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions …

Gavin and Rosie

Empowering Peaceful Shorelines

We feel very fortunate that we only have to walk a few blocks from our home to stroll along the beautiful shores of  Lake Ripley.

Watching the pelicans has become a daily, peaceful pleasure …

Look at how clear the water is when crossing the bridge area …

Recently we saw a full rainbow over the lake. On one end of the rainbow three pelicans flew – what a glorious sight of new hope and wonderment to view together.

It reminded us of the verse Gavin wrote and we use on one of our Sweet Conclusions wall arts:  This verse is from Gavin’s sixth book in the Maze series, The Tale of the Golden Casket. This book is at the publisher being edited for publication for all to soon to enjoy!

Eyes lifted to greet it,

The delicate crest of the rainbow

Just touching it with faint embraces …

                      Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

                                 Gavin and Rosie

Mark Your Calendars!

Two special events for youth and adults in Midwest Minnesota at the Eden Valley Area Library – don’t miss out on meeting author Gavin Hill bring to life his meaningful anti-bullying children’s story of “William Gray and The Family Next Door” on July 23rd at 9:30 a.m.

The Eden Valley Area Library has a special treat for you on July 26, at 10:00 a.m. Meet Gavin Hill and Rosie Hartwig. They will share their inspirational stories. This is a unique opportunity you do not want to miss!

Hope to see you in a few days!

Gavin and Rosie

Sweet Conclusions Web Site

Author and Motivational Speaker Gavin Hill Web Site

Road Trip Wonders

We were leisurely driving through the majestic pines of the national forest of upper Wisconsin when we came across a small village.  One of the homes had unique lawn art. We decided to stop and take a closer look. We were pleasantly surprised to view their wonders!

The largest hammer we have ever seen!

President George Washington in a bathtub!

President Abraham Lincoln!

A cat!

Our journey continued … The next short stop we took was to view this 1877 home and railway express

Wherever we go we take a few moments to enjoy the points of interest along the way!  Have a great weekend!

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Gavin and Rosie

Snail Mail

I love when I go to the mailbox and stuck in between the bills is a letter and or card.  A handwritten letter/card sent to me is a precious keepsake and always saved.  It shows that the person cared enough to take the time to sit down and write to you an old-fashioned letter. You know the way people used to communicate before phone, e-mail and Skype!

Little by little, I have undertaken the task of going through my parent’s belongings.  I found a handwritten letter to my mother from my father when he was in the service. I held that yellowed, faded envelope and letter in my hands, examining each letter of his penmanship closely. I often examine penmanship as I feel it tells a lot about what the person is going through. How the aesthetics of letter forms express information.  I envisioned where my father must have been writing it and the emotions involved in not being able to have a phone to dial to hear the other person’s voice. Plus the anticipation of hers in receiving the postal mail. Her relief in just wanting to know and wondering if he was okay while on active army duty in the front lines of combat.

Today I would like to suggest you take the time to:

 Bring back the dying art of postal writing and make someone’s day special with a keepsake, handwritten letter from you!

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie


 

What comes easy for some, is a struggle for others, but the goals remain the same

It is never easy to watch a student struggle at school. No student should be ostracized because he or she cannot read or write or do math quite as well as the expected norm. No student should be forced to sit in corridors, huddled in corners because he or she is considered different from the standard that society has set. No student should have to go through that!

We need to stop seeing children as cattle and begin seeing them as human beings, future leaders; bright and innovating minds just waiting for the opportunity to bring better times to the world we live in. Kids can also be cruel at times. But it’s even worse when adults are to blame.

I spent two years working with a student, building him up; encouraging him to go that extra mile, convincing him that he had it in him to rise up above those who repressed him, bullied him and made him feel that his schooldays were his worst days. He suffered. He moved on though, left the hell behind him, went on to higher education, in spite of the fact that he could barely read and write when I first began working with him. And look at him now: graduating in a week, ready to spread his wings and reach for higher horizons. He proved his bullies and repressors wrong. He made something of himself. He knew what he wanted; set his goals, reached for his destiny! I am so glad that I got to work with him, even if my four years with him were cut to two years. He did it… he is a success!

(A photo of the two of us)

Congratulations to the graduating classes of 2014 and to all who have overcome their struggles and reached their goals!   

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Gavin 

http://amazon.com/author/gavinl.hill

Lest We Forget!

Today we mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, on June 6,1944.

The Allied invasion was the initial stage of Operation Overlord, the plan to liberate Northwestern Europe from Nazi occupation.

 

The incredible sacrifices of so many for our freedom … My father – Your father – My uncles – Your uncles – My fellow neighbors – Your neighbors … let us stop and pay our respect at the War Cemeteries and remember all those who gave their lives during the war …. God Bless Us One and All …

Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie and Gavin

Mercy-drops round us are falling

As the thunderstorm still continues this morning, I can’t help but think of the old, familiar hymn that I grew up singing at our little country church, There Shall Be Showers of Blessings!  This would make a great weatherman’s theme hymn today. 

I captured some hibiscus with rain droplets on their delicate petals for your enjoyment. Many species of hibiscus are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs, and are used to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.


The tea made of hibiscus flowers is known by many names in many countries around the world and is served both hot and cold. The beverage is well known for its color, tanginess and flavor.

Dried hibiscus is edible, and is often a delicacy in Mexico. It can also be candied and used as a garnish. Certain species of hibiscus are also beginning to be used more widely as a natural source of food coloring.

The hibiscus flower is traditionally worn by Tahitian and Hawaiian girls. If the flower is worn behind the left ear, the woman is married. If the flower is worn on the right, she is single or openly available for a relationship.

Stop and think of all of the “showers of blessings” in your life today …

  Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,

Rosie