A Great Illustrator

Howard Chandler Christy was a great illustrator. At one point in his legendary career he illustrated the poem, “An Old Sweetheart of Mine”, by James Whitcomb Riley. The poem with the illustrations was published as a book in 1902.  James Whitcomb Riley was an  accomplished and famous poet. I don’t know which of these two creative geniuses would have been the most honored to be paired with the other in a book.

 An Old Sweetheart of Mine

This beautiful book was in our library at home when I was a child and I looked at the illustrations very often, dreaming about what it must be like to have the kind of talent and ability as Mr. Christy. It is now one of my prized possessions. You may go online to see more of Christy’s art; I’m very cautious about posting someone else’s artwork in my blogs, considering the copyright laws. The book is still available on Amazon.

A few years back I was thinking about Christy’s ethereal style and tried my hand at it. I chose to use pastels and my imagination and produced “The Necklace”. Maybe I should write a poem, too.

The Necklace with copyright“The Necklace” A pastel painting by Adele Bower

I learned a long time ago how easily influenced I am by great art. If I see a great painting or sketch I immediately want to try doing it myself……and I spend lots of time doing just that. My guess is it is helpful, but I always came away more impressed than ever with the skill of the one I currently admired the most.

Who knows? Maybe someone day I’ll decide the style I like the most and stick with it.

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Crawfish, Rats, Me and Pete

Adele and Pete growing up cropped 8-18-15Pete and Adele

I don’t remember ever being too hot to play outside, or too tired to run all the way home from a friend’s house and then jumping that ditch in the nick of time. I had to jump that ditch. That ditch had things in it that crawled and had legs with claws. Turns out they were crawdads. I think some people call them crawfish. Nevertheless, I thought they were just about the scariest things I had ever seen and ever hoped to see in the future.

Crawfish 8-18-15That ditch was to be avoided at all costs, which took a little doing since it ran all the way across the front of our house and it rained a lot in our area. Heavy rains brought that ditch even closer to the house. I know because I watched it. Our front yard did have a place of great safety…..the swing hanging under the giant oak tree. If I could get to it during high tide without encountering one of those crawling things, I would jump onto it and look down at the water with a smug sense of security.

Some people said that Pete was a rat terrier. That seemed OK to me. I figured that the name had something to do with his size, until someone else told me that rat terriers are very, very good at finding rat holes and digging out the occupant. Good grief! Not my dog! I forgot Pete’s calling in life until the day my Daddy said that the neighbors down the road from us wanted to borrow Pete to help get rid of some rats in their barnyard. That was almost more than I could stand, so I went in the house and hid. Of course no one was looking for me, but for some reason it was comforting to hide.

 Adele in hamper

Quite a while had passed as I huddled in the dirty clothes hamper, in the dark, when suddenly I heard a dog’s yelping coming closer and closer.

Rat looking out of rat hole

I ran out in the yard just in time to see Pete arrive back on our property and run under the house. Obviously, he also found it comforting to hide. Later Daddy told me that Pete had found the rats, got a good look, then ran for home. So much for names.

To read earlier blogs about Pete and me, go here:

Me, Pete and the Chickens

Trapped in the Doghouse

See you next time,

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Trapped in the Doghouse 8-11-15

In Memory of Kevan


Kevan memorial blog 8-11-15

August 11, 1985 was a long time ago….I realize that…..in fact, a few friends have reminded me of that fact.

But the lives of our entire family changed that day….and forever.

Our handsome, wonderful, Christian son, Kevan, went home to the Lord in heaven on that day.

David and I want to recognize such a day with this tribute to Kevan.

“There’s a land that is fairer than day,

And by faith we can see it afar;

For the Father waits over the way

To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by,

We shall meet on that beautiful shore;

In the sweet by and by,

We shall meet on that beautiful shore.”

(Written by Sanford F. Bennett)

‘Til He Shouts!

1 Thessalonians 4:16

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Trapped in The Doghouse

Today I’m continuing with a selection from my short story, “The Country Girl”.

To read the first selection from the story again, or for the first time, click here:

Me, Pete and the Chickens

Once, I got stuck in Pete’s doghouse. It wasn’t big enough for the both of us. For a fleeting moment, I wondered what my life would be like spent entirely in Pete’s doghouse. I think that was when I first began to develop a touch of claustrophobia. It didn’t occur to me until several years later that my parents could have simply removed the top of the doghouse and set me free.

Trapped in The Doghouse with copyrightOur home was on several acres surrounded by beautiful piney woods. I enjoyed imagining we were way out in the country, but the truth was, we were only a few miles from a major metropolitan city. Still, my parents had a vegetable garden, cows, chickens, turkeys, ducks, cats, and of course, a dog.

Although the youngest child, I was the only one of we three who could milk a cow. I was so proud. In later years, my brother informed me that he, too, had milked the cow on occasion. I never knew. How could I have not known, he asked, about the time the cow put her foot right in the fresh can of milk he had just labored so hard to acquire? Beats me. But my ignorance of such a catastrophe was probably due to the fact that I rarely stayed in one place for very long. Things had to hold great promise for adventure for me to spend much time waiting.

Cow & Bucket 8-11-15

Life was carefree for me, there on the “farm” especially during the wonderful summer months. Going barefooted was one of my true joys. The only drawback that I could see was what I came to call “summer toe.” After just a few weeks of running, jumping, sliding, swimming, and climbing, my big toes would develop a flap on the bottom. Actually, it was a little painful, but nothing that I couldn’t endure. Soon the flap would heal and the toes would toughen up.

Mama would make me wash my feet as soon as I came in the house after a day of playing. I remember my method: I’d stand in the bathtub with the cold water running, then wash the bottom of one foot by rubbing it on the top of the other.

Washing my feet with copyright

Not the best way, but I was always in a hurry when it came to what seemed to be work. However, frequently I had to return to the tub with a rag and some scrubbing cleanser, to scrub it clean. Mama had inspected the tub.

Trapped in the Doghouse 8-11-15

 See you next time.

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Me, Pete and the Chickens

Adele and Pete for blog

Pete was a lively little Terrier, solid white. I don’t remember where he came from or when we got him. I do remember having great times with him. We had a lot in common; we liked to run and play, didn’t mind getting dirty, were picky eaters, were always too loud, and loved to be around friends.


However, there was a difference: Pete liked to work and I didn’t. I took advantage and showed Pete how to help me with my chores. Pete quickly learned to herd the chickens back into the chicken yard at the end of the day. He did it well. Each evening I stepped out the back door of the garage, slapped my leg and shouted “Shoo chickens!” That was Pete’s cue to action. He darted out to the back yard, barking wildly as he rounded up all the chickens. The chickens took it well. They didn’t seem to be afraid of Pete, though they did hustle themselves into the chicken yard. It was fun for me, too

Pete chasing chicken Revised

I felt like a country girl. Pete had a great attitude about his work. When duty called he answered immediately. I admired that in Pete. No nap in the sun was ever too important to cut short if he was needed elsewhere.

Pete was my constant companion, as long as I was outside. Dogs were not allowed in our house. He slept in the garage or with me when I camped out in our backyard. He ran along beside me as I rode my big brother’s bicycle. Pete and I had a hideout under the house. There was plenty of space for play. When I discovered that spiders liked it under the house, too, we never went back.

I’ll tell you more about me and Pete next time.

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Introduction to Pete box