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Palmer Grove Staff Brian A. Palmer Carri Bonner Rachel Flesch Kat Bonner

Editor in Chief Editorial Director Artistic Director Editorial Assistant

Jeff Lafferty Kyle Gordon

Columnist Graphic Designer

John Maguire

Photographic Designer

Cover Art: This month’s cover art was submitted by Rachel Flesch. Flesch lives in Columbus, Ohio and is the Art Director of Palmer Grove. She is a Graphic Design and Advertising major, and appreciates a good movie with a thought-provoking plot. Flesch spends her free time sketching, baking and writing. Rachel enjoys a good creepy mystery novel, and exploring local urban legends and lore. You can check out more of her artwork in the Slenderman article. The piece is called The End. It was inspired by the season change, and wanted to do something different. The covers have featured a number of beautiful, full trees, but never one that had that eerie, creepy feeling that a lot of trees get during the fall and winter months. Each issue Palmer Grove will feature work from local artists featuring our trademark Oak Tree. For more information on cover submissions, please contact us at

Palmer Grove a Generation Voices Publication P.O. Box 91286, Columbus, Ohio 43209 614-285-4314 | | 2 | Summer 2012

Palmer Grove

Table of Contents 05

Letter from the Editor


Restaurant Review: Mili Vietnamese Cuisine


Fall Date Nights


2012-2013 College Football Preview




Labor Day: How Did it Begin?




Pumpkin Carving


The Palmer Grove Photo Contest: Results


Rules for Living: Rule #42




You Are Not Alone


Brownie Cookie Cupcake

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Table of Contents 28

Top Seven Ohio Fall Festivals 2012


Teacher Tips: Get on Your Teacher’s Good Side


Contributor Spotlight: Kodjo Somana




Trick or Treat Safety Tips




Turning Forty


2013 NFL Season Preview


What Do We Call It?


Blessings in Disguise



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Letter from the Editor Dear Reader, Every issue I sit in my office and stare at this blank page. I ponder the words that I should write and worry over the message I wish to deliver to you. I often fear that the lines that I write will fall on deaf ears or possibly on no ears at all. This issue is no different. Back in April I was asked to speak at a summit in November and I gladly accepted. I have tossed around a few ideas, but haven’t currently spent any time to really develop my material. Well, today I received an email requesting a copy of my intended outline. Now the pressure to plan ahead and develop a powerful, inspirational presentation has been turned up a little higher. In addition to the release of this issue of Palmer Grove, the staff of Generation Voices Publications is also celebrating the release of the premier issue of our second publication, Underscore. Releasing two unique publications at the same time is something that we have been working toward for a while, but was more of an undertaking than we had anticipated. Successfully producing dual publications; the pressure continues to rise. September also ushers in the opening of our new graphics company, GVP Graphics. This allows us to provide our talents and expertise to a wide variety of organizations and businesses. It is amazing to me that we have arrived at this point in our development so soon. Developing a growing graphics firm builds onto the already mounting pressure of running two full fledge magazines. Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to discuss all that I do with a number of individuals. Near the end of each conversation, I am always asked the same question; “How do you do it all?” There are times that I wonder the same thing. Still, the answer is very easy for me to find. You are the reason that I do all that I do, no matter the weight of the pressure that these commitments may bring. Every reader, artist, writer, poet, photographer, and contributor provides me with endless inspiration. When I have the opportunity to speak with those who have contributed to the previous issues and hear the stories of the reception that they receive for their works, my heart is lightened and my soul smiles. Knowing that this work provides what may be the only outlet for someone’s voice is all the motivation that I need to power on through the next struggle. I hope that this community means as much to you and that you may find a home here! Sincerely, Brian A. Palmer Editor in Chief Palmer Grove a Generation Voices Publication

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Restaurant Review: Mi Li Vietnamese Cuisine

By Rachel Flesch Mi Li is one of those hidden treasures in Columbus. It’s a literal hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Columbus Square. I’d ordered takeout a few times before, and have always been pleased with it, this time I decided to dine in. I dragged my cousin and aunt along with me, insistent that they had to try the food. The space is small, but clean and they play a variety of Asian soap operas and music videos on the tvs in the place, as well as local news. Normally it seems crowded, although today, there was practically no one there between dinner and lunch. Our server seated us and gave us menus; the menus aren’t very descriptive, but the staff are willing to answer any questions you have. I did feel 6 | Summer 2012

a bit rushed by the server who wanted to take our food and drink orders all at once. I ordered the strawberry bubble tea; it was excellent! I’ve had bubble tea other places in Columbus, but theirs is extra sweet and they put a lot of tapioca bubbles in it as well. The price is a little high on it, but it’s pretty equivalent to any smoothies you’d order. For my meal I decided to go with Vermicelli with grilled pork and egg rolls. It’s rice noodles, mixed greens, bean sprouts, mint, peanuts, diced up egg rolls and grilled pork with a cold fish broth. The broth is quite pungent on its own, but when mixed in with everything else the flavors blend beautifully. There’s nothing fishy about it once you mix everything together. The meal is light and refreshing, but fills you up quickly. Their egg rolls are wonderful, and everything is full of flavor. The service was ok,

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we got our food quickly, our waitress wasn’t the friendliest, but the other server was nice, and the owner, whom I’ve spoken to before, stopped by to check on us and is always kind. I, personally, will still be ordering carry out from them; I’m not sure that the small seating area is quite my thing when it comes to eating in.

Address 5858 Emporium Sq. Columbus, OH 43231

Fall Date Nights: What to do? What to do? terfalls, a small lagoon and an area for paddle boating on Big Walnut Creek that runs through the heart of Gahanna. The development was a great success and it’s perfect for an autumn date night. There are several restaurants, ice cream shops, and charming shopping boutiques that allow you to wander freely and window shop to your heart’s content.

By Carri Bonner The evening air is becoming crisper, the leaves turning brilliant colors, and the smell of autumn is in the air. As the recession lingers on and more people are budget conscious, date night presents a unique challenge. I hear from friends all the time, “Dates are so expensive! Dinner then a movie or a club – it costs to much to date!” I began researching some inexpensive alternatives to traditional dinner and a movie/club for dinner. Most of these are based around Columbus, Ohio, however, I’m sure you can find ideas where you are as well. We always welcome ideas from our readers as well! If you have ideas you want to share, don’t hesitate to send them to us!

Creekside, Gahanna, Ohio Creekside is inspired by the San Antonio River Walk area. Gahanna approved designs that featured two natural wa-

The path is a romantic option, winding through the trees, offering several places for lovers to step aside for a kiss or embrace. In the fall, the colors are brilliant and I highly recommend it at sunset. After the leaves come off the trees, around the beginning of November, they light the entire area in Christmas lights and it’s similar to walking through a fairyland forest. An extremely romantic option for those looking to create a mood.

a casual, diner-style restaurant with meals under $10. From the reviews, the brunch is highly recommended and people are very pleased with the options and food quality. A few stores to explore:

Honey Grove Botanicals 126 Creekside Plaza Gahanna, OH

A store that features handmade, natural products to use in your home and on your body. Everything is wellmade, all natural and smells amazing! They have an online store as well, however, I highly recommend roaming the store to see all the interesting products they offer.

Two popular options for restaurants include:

Mezzo Italian Kithchen & Wine 130 Creekside Plaza Gahanna, OH.

This restaurant has 79 reviews and a rating of 4.5 stars. Their meals are $30 (including drinks) and under. Obviously the menu features Italian food and I’ve heard that it’s quite good.


For a morning/early afternoon date:

69 Mill Street Gahanna, OH

Café Creekside

53 Granville Streett Gahanna, OH. This restaurant has 18 reviews and a rating of 3.5 stars. This is

A mystical shop that offers classes to take together and encourages “new age” exploration. A fun place to take a date, discuss horoscopes

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and discover the mysterious side to each other.

Upscale Resale Furnishings 57 Granville St. Gahanna, OH

A little high-end but fun to browse, this furniture store offers pieces from Ethan Allen to funky, covering decades of furniture design.

-10 and even with hitting the concession stand, it’s a 2.5 hour date night with cheering, excitement and under $25 for two. Using the website,, the box below lists just some of the local teams and their state rankings. I’ve also included each school’s schedule, simply click the school you’d like to see and it’ll take you to their 2012 schedule.

The Chocolate Tree 800 Mill Street Creekside Plaza Gahanna, OH

A true treat shop, this store offers candies, fudge, cakes and more. A wonderful way to have a treat during a date, especially if on a budget and not eating dinner.

High School Football Games, Various High Schools across the nation Next up, a cheap and fun date on Friday nights is any of the local high school football games. It reminds you of being in high school, and it’s always fun to cheer for a local home team. Most of the time, tickets cost between $5

Special Events

The Short North offers several special events throughout the month, from festivals to wine tastings each offers a chance for romance and fun. Visit their Events calendar for more details.

The Short North Columbus, OH Gallery Hop The first Saturday of every month is Gallery Hop night! It’s a really fun way to spend an evening and offers a little romance as well. In the Short North, there are several art galleries and other

High School Pickerington Central High School Pickerington North High School Lincoln Gahanna High School Reynoldsburg High School New Albany High School Dublin Coffman High School St. Francis DeSales High School Hilliard Davidson High School 8 | Summer 2012

shops that stay open until around 10:00 pm on the first Saturday of the month. There’s normally a relaxed and enjoyable crowd roaming the Short North and simply enjoyable. Several of the restaurants offer discounts or extended happy hours allowing dating couples to sit and have a couple drinks, talk or if sitting outside, people watch. Roaming the galleries opens up several roads of conversation and doesn’t cost a dime. Parking will run you $5-10 if you use the garages, but most on-street parking is less expensive or free if you can find it.

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Rank 6 13 31 51 65 67 74 77

Franklin Park Conservatory Columbus, OH The Franklin Park Conservatory is one of the most beautiful places in Columbus featuring all sorts of botanical surprises from Jade Vines to traditional roses. There are several climates within the Conservatory featuring the plant life and some insect/ animal life housed in several biomes. Some biomes displayed are: Himalayan Mountains, Rain Forest, Desert, and Pacific Islands. Feel free to explore the website to see the different biomes and decide where you’d like to start for a romantic day of roaming through areas many of us will (Continued on page 9)

never see in their natural environments. On Thursday evenings, the Franklin Park Conservatory offers Cocktails at the Conservatory. It is $11 and you receive $10 in tokens to try different wines and foods. There are appetizers served and generally some form of entertainment outside wandering through the conservatory and seeing different exhibits. There’s also the Glassblowing Hot Shop which features artists working on current pieces and a beautiful display of glassblown art to purchase or simply admire. There are a number of events coming to the Conservatory so be sure to view their Calendar for more information.

In conclusion, there are many

things to see and do in each of the cities we live in. It’s worth exploring for a different date night that offers different levels of romanticism and excitement. Take the time to think outside the box

and find something that not only fits in your budget, but allows you to explore something you hadn’t thought of before!

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2012-2013 College Football Preview

By Jeff Lafferty College football fans have been making arguments for a play-off system to decide a national championship for years, and soon enough, we will have at least the college football champion decided on the field of play and not with computer matchups. That means no more undefeated teams without getting a chance to make their case on the field (at least we hope). Hopefully soon we won’t have preseason polls to help favor one team over another, thereby allowing a third -ranked team that loses no games to still wind up playing a bridesmaid. While not the most important challenge facing the nation, (have you seen the price of gas or your 401(k) statements lately?), the issue of 10 | Summer 2012

arguing about a playoff for now has been put aside because the major college presidents have finally agreed upon a four-team playoff starting in the year 2014. The number 1 through 4 teams in the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) play each other in a semi -finals on Jan. 1st in one of the major college football bowl games (Orange, Rose, Sugar, and Fiesta Bowls). Then a week later the winners play in a site to be determined for a national title game. This is a start so that now the argument can be which team got left out to play in the final four. I don’t know any serious college football fan who hasn’t thought that at least this is a good start to finally decide a national title in major college football. I mean this being a presidential election year and earlier in his tenure President Obama is quoted as saying “I’m going to throw my weight around a little bit. If there’s not a clear decisive win-

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ner we should be creating a play-off system.” Thank you Mr. President! If the recessions, the war in Afghanistan and North Korea’s problems are difficult enough to solve, at the very least college football can try to take care of something that has an obvious and easy solution. In the meantime, I have nothing against preseason polls, and with this being my first time doing a college football season prediction column, I can only hope that I can be as informative, entertaining, and accurate in my predictions for the upcoming college football season as any other publication that gives you this information. This year, three teams seem to stand out that will have a run for a national title: USC (University of Southern California), LSU, and Ala(Continued on page 11)

(Continued from page 10)

bama. Oregon, Georgia, and Oklahoma just may have some to say about it before the end of the season. I can see that Saturday November 3rd is going to have a nickname to it something like “Showdown Saturday”. LSU and Alabama will play in Baton Rouge Louisiana and about 2,400 miles away Oregon and USC have a huge matchup on Nov. 3rd in the LA Coliseum and both games will go along way with who will represent each conference in the BCS. A couple of schools are looking at some tough times this year. Ohio State and Penn State are not eligible for post season play so for the Big Ten Conference is paves the way for schools likes Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. If players from Penn State, in the light of the Sandusky scandal, decide that they want to transfer to other

schools they could have an impact on the college football landscape. Penn State, Ohio State, and recently USC are all premiere college football programs that have gone or are going through reduced scholarships for extra benefits or unethical conduct by people associated with the school’s football program. Extra benefits for college athletes that provide millions of dollars for the school when the students have issues paying for food is a divisive issue that until its resolved will always been a problem until it’s fixed. Until that happens, for this season what happens on the field stays on the field. New rule changes and new conference alignments for this season as well can be different at first to the college football fan. College football has taken the NFL’s kickoff rules and moved them up to try to prevent injuries, but on those plays in the team doesn’t run it out of the end zone the ball will be placed on the 25

yard line and not the 20. If a player loses his helmet during a play he must sit out the next play. Rules aren’t the only difference, some college teams have moved to different conferences. Missouri, TCU, Texas A/M, West Virginia, Hawaii, and Fresno State are some of the new schools that are calling new conferences home for this season as well. Every college football season, college football fans circle games on their favorite team’s calendars with the notion that these are the games that are going to make or break a season and possibly will cost a coach their job. Fanatical college football fans are hopeful that either their favorite team or their alma mater has a season to remember. So below is my prediction for the matchups in the BCS bowl games for the 2012-2013 year.

Jeff’s 2012-2013 College Football Picks The Rose Bowl Game:

Michigan vs. Oregon

Allstate Sugar Bowl Game:

Alabama vs. Wisconsin

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Game:

Oklahoma vs. Clemson

Discover Orange Bowl:

Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati

BCS Championship Game:


Winner National Champion:

USC Trojans.

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Palmer Grove

Slenderman: Boogeyman 2.0 by Mike Tuttle In 2006, film school student Alex Kralie was in the middle of a film project called "Marble Hornets". Partway through the project, Alex started acting strangely, snapping at his friends, and getting little sleep. He bought dozens of blank videotapes and started recording himself 24 hours a day. Then, without explanation, he abandoned the project and moved away. Before he left, a friend who had helped in the early stages of the film asked about his project. Alex gave his friend a box of unlabeled tapes and asked that they never speak of it again. Soon, he was gone. Alex's friend put the tapes away and eventually forgot about the whole thing. When he found the box in the top of a closet in 2009, he started looking through the tapes. What he found was so disturbing that he started editing clips together and putting them up on YouTube so others could see. The tapes revealed that Alex was being followed. Sometimes he would see someone on one of the film locations, a tall man in a dark business suit, simply standing at a distance, watching. Alex's friend found that this man was seldom shot on tape full-on, but was seen off to one side, quickly panned over. Some of the tapes had audio problems or lines and distortion through them. Some were missing audio altogether.

As the project went on, Alex had gotten increasingly paranoid about being followed. As he started taping himself, even while sleeping, more occurrences of seeing this man in the suit were caught on tape. He could be seen very briefly, standing outside Alex's window, on a playground near Alex's house, and, in one very creepy moment, in Alex's room as he slept. He was very tall, very thin, and had no discernible facial features. The YouTube videos of Alex's footage have been viewed millions of times. As word spread through Internet forums and chats, more people came forward with stories from family and communities about what was apparently the same man. An archive photograph taken in 1986 was found after a fire in a local library. The picture showed several children on a playground. Deep in the background of the photo is a tall, slender man in a suit, with multiple arms like tentacles. The photographer who snapped the image, one Mary Thomas, has been missing since June 16, 1986. Fourteen of the children in the town disappeared the day the picture was taken. On May 21, 2004, a newspaper in Wichita, Kansas carried a story of a local 8-year-old boy who disappeared. His mother reported seeing him play near the trees bordering their backyard shortly before his disappearance. Family and school officials reported to police that he had been irritable in the days leading up to his disappearance and had often complained of a tall, very thin man in a black suit.

Children's drawings in crayon depicting the tall, thin stranger are becoming more common. And stories of this Slender Man are not new. Tales that have been passed down through generations of family are now coming to light and being posted on the Internet. There is even a piece of 16th century German folklore about a being called "Der GroĂ&#x;mann", or "The Great Man". Another, called "Der Ritter" ("The Knight") concerns a 16th century woodcut featuring a knight dueling a multilimbed man. As the stories have been gathered and retold, certain characteristics of the Slender Man have been found in common. He is tall and thin, wearing a dark suit and tie. His face has no distinguishable features, a blank. He can grow taller and sprout multiple limbs. He follows his victims, often for days, watching from a distance until he chooses to strike. Then he gets steadily closer. He may distort film, video and other media. Other than the victim, most people will never notice he is there. As the Slender Man follows someone, and they become increasingly aware of his presence, a psychosis slowly sets in. This is called "slender sickness". A deep fear and sense of dread pervades the victim’s thoughts. They lose sleep. There are gaps in their memory. They may become physically ill, suffering from (Continued on page 14)

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coughing fits and nosebleeds. Some say he lures victims into nearby wooded areas, where his form is almost camouflaged in the tall thin trees, especially in low light. Here, he strikes. Bodies are never found. The advantage of the Internet as a tool in gathering far-flung information on the creature is a newer phenomenon. In the past, bits of information would be gathered over time, even generationally. Much would be lost and little would be archived from multiple sources to form a coherent picture of such an ominous threat. Slenderman is Boogeyman 2.0 - a monster for the Information Age. Evidence of his existence is readily had now in the form of pictures, video clips and audio recordings of police investigations. There's just one problem. Every last bit of that evidence is fake. It is one of the most elaborate constructions ever undertaken, made even more remarkable by the fact that none of the conspirators are actually working together. Slenderman is a crowd sourced myth, an urban legend cut out of whole cloth and embellished in retellings, clever mock-ups and ingenious edits all performed by people who do not know each other and have no common goal. Slenderman is being built right before our eyes in the 21st century on the Internet. And it appears to be picking up speed. The apparent birth of the phenomenon happened on 14 | Summer 2012

June 10, 2009 in a forum on the website A contest was suggested among forum posters to come up with the creepiest altered photographs they could, pictures suggesting the supernatural. A user going by the handle "Victor Surge" submitted the first photographs altered to include Slenderman. They were a hit. He later edited his entries to add additional information and backstory, including the story about the library archive photo. He added the mockup of the Wichita newspaper clipping, as well as other stories about hunters disappearing in the woods with a sole survivor telling the tale of a Slenderman. From here, the phenomenon slowly grew. Two film school students built the "Marble Hornets" clips, adding to the mystique and its believability. Other videos were made by other people. Recuts of all those were made with alternate voiceovers. Mock "documentaries" were constructed, gathering all the information available to that point. Fan fiction stories were written. Memes were launched. Whole discussion boards were spawned around the mythology of the Slenderman tales and experiences. It grew organically and freely. Now there are two video games that feature the Slenderman character. Both are very creepy to play, and gamers report having a hard time sleeping after the experience. There are Slenderman accounts on Facebook and Twitter. There are t-shirts and coffee mugs. One of the most remarkable things about the entire phenomenon is its grassroots development. Other tales have spread on the Internet from a concen-

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trated, organized central source. One of the most famous centered around the Blair Witch Project movie and campaign. There are often Hollywood efforts to get people in on something that feels real, such as the "Lost" television show and webisodes, which featured fake books on Amazon, complete with fake reviews and discussions. But this is happening now. A monster is being created and no one has the trademark. Soon there will likely be Slenderman costumes for Halloween. First they will be homemade. But within two years, maybe even one year, they will be mass-produced. The Google search occurrences about “slenderman� have spiked tremendously this year alone. One of these days, there will be a movie. In fact, there is already a film called "The Tall Man", starring Jessica Biel, which uses some loose pieces of the tales. It won't be long before someone plants a copyright flag and starts suing others. But, for now, the Internet has its own Frankenstein. Mary Shelley started that story when she was 18 years old. It was published when she was 21. It came about when Mary, her future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and friends Lord Byron and John Polidori had a contest to see who could write the scariest story. Mary's tale of a scientist who creates a monster from body parts of dead convicts has since become a solid part of our culture. No Halloween would be complete without a Frankenstein. There have been multiple movies, (Continued on page 15)

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spinoffs, the TV show "The Munsters", Tim Burton's first film "Frankenweenie", songs, and many more things inspired by that story. Perhaps one day we will hear Slenderman stories, see films, hear songs, listen to campfire tales told as true experiences and we will get to smile and remember that we were there when the whole thing started. But, wait. It gets better. You can actually be a part of pushing the whole idea further. Simply go to Google and search for "slenderman". Poke around for a bit on the sites you find. Look at the pictures on the Google Image Search. If you feel like commenting on a discussion board or writing your own fan fiction story for a website, do that. But even just a simple search will register as interest. Google advertising formulas

will shift ever so slightly around those keywords. Websites will launch. Domain names will be bought and sold. But the best thing you can do is to also tell a friend. But don't tell them it's fake. Just leave it at that and watch the whole thing take off. Congratulations. You just blew a little wind into the sails of something new.

Mike Tuttle has spent the past fifteen years working in theater on over one hundred different regional productions as managing producer, stage manager, sound designer, musician, and actor. Somewhere during that time he gigged playing in an acoustic blues music duo, produced an independent music podcast, and worked as a DJ at a radio station so small that he couldn't give away tickets to the tenth caller without talking to a few contestants twice. He is now



the Music and Theater correspondent for Business Lexington magazine. He has written hundreds of professional articles for, IBM's,,, and several other clients that provide content for business newsletters and websites. He lives in Lexington, subleasing small, loud corners of his own house from his wife, kids and dog. He also claims an office annex at the local Common Grounds Coffee House, rubbing elbows with underground screenplay writers, salesmen, hipster worship leaders, and one guy who is a dead ringer for "The Dude". Mike dabbles in armchair politics and is looking for the right losing campaign to give blood to. You can find him on Twitter as "miketuttle", on LinkedIn as "tuttlemike", and by email at

The staff of Generation Voices Publications and Palmer Grove announce the upcoming release of their next online publication.

Underscore Underscore is an online publication that focuses on college access and readiness. The focus of Underscore is to connect college access programs across the state of Ohio, further awareness of the work that these programs do, and to inform high school students and their families of pertinent information related to post-graduation educational attainment.

Check out on Monday, September 17, 2012 to catch the premier issue of Underscore and to obtain more information! Palmer Grove

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Labor Day: How Did it Begin?

By Carri Bonner


Labor Day as we know it is the first Monday in September each year. It was started as a citywide tribute to the contribution workers in New York City and in time became a standard national holiday in recognition of all the laborers who put in a hard day’s work every work day.

In 1885, it was celebrated by many industrial centers of the country. The first state bill was introduced into New York legislature but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. Later that year, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York all passed the holiday by legislative enactment.

It was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The CLU adopted the day to honor all union employees who were otherwise unrecognized. It adopted a Labor Day proposal although it is unclear whether than proposal was first suggested by Peter McGuire or Matthew Maguire. In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday and the CLU urged similar organizations in other cities to follow example and celebrate a “workingman’s holiday” on that

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By 1894, 26 other states adopted the holiday as well. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed the act to make the first Monday in September a legal holiday in Washington, DC and other territories. Later that year, President Grover Cleveland passed the holiday as a federal holiday to be honored by all states. The pattern for celebration was to start with a parade that exhibited to the public “the strength and spirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.” Following the parade, there was normally a festival for the workers and their families. In later years, there were also speeches by

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prominent men and women thanking the working class for their dedication. Today’s celebrations normally feature a parade in most large cities and then barbeques and drinks in people’s homes. American Federation of Labor passed a resolution in 1909 making the Sunday before “Labor Sunday” and dedicated that day to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement. Labor Day has now also come to signify the end of summer and the beginning of the school year for those still in school. In high society, Labor Day was also the last day it was fashionably appropriate to wear white and seersucker until Memorial Day at the end of May. Labor Day also is the unofficial start to the NFL football season as the first official “season” game is on the Thursday after Labor Day.

Shadowed By Cory Baker Searching for answers, but not willing to open my eyes Wanting to find myself, yet wanting someone by my side. Needing to find answers to who I really am. And looking too hard for the perfect woman so I can be the man. Hoping that the answer will make itself be known Feeling only the mistakes I’ve made not caring that I’ve grown. I got lost inside relationships; conformed too much to care. Trying so hard to try so hard; and never really aware that it wasn’t actually me before trying so hard to make it real. I was only a shell of myself; a hollowness that couldn’t feel. Just a shadow of a man fighting another useless fight. And realizing my own worthlessness when she turned on the light.

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Pumpkin Carving By Jonas Maguire

Pumpkin Carving Records 

On October 31, 2011 the city of Highwood, Illinois, gathered to break the world record for most jack-o’-lanterns carved and lit in one place. They managed to complete 30,919 over a one-week period and light them all on Halloween night. Scott Cully carved the world’s largest jack-o-lantern in 2010 when he took his tools to a 1,800pound pumpkin at the New York Botanical Garden beating his previous world record. He worked for two days and averaged 100 pounds carved an hour. Steven Clark has the world’s fastest time for carving a full ton of pumpkins only taking 3 hours 33 minutes and 49 seconds at Harrah’s Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey on October 29, 2008.

Tools for Pumpkin Carving     

 

Long thinly bladed knife X-Acto Knife Cutting Saw Poker Tool Grease Pencil or Dry Erase Markers if you plan on sketching it out or a pattern to tape onto the pumpkin. Spoons for gutting the pumpkin A box to store all of your tools

Tips 

 

You’re not racing. Be slow, steady, and gentle. (Unless you are racing. In that case fast, erratic, and hard probably works best.) You’re carving not stabbing. Hold the knife accordingly. To make your pumpkin last longer place petroleum jelly along the cut lines and spray the pumpkin with water.

The Tradition The tradition of carving pumpkins on Halloween comes from Ireland, and is based on the legend of the unsavory character Stingy Jack. Jack was the village drunkard, but he was quite quick on his feet and a master of deception. As the story goes the Devil himself heard tales of Stingy Jack’s exploits and decided to claim his soul for his own. On the fateful night Jack was wandering around in a drunken stupor when he came across the Devil. After pleasantries were exchanged Jack came to the sobering realization that his time had come, and begged the Devil for one last tasty ale before he departed for the underworld. The Devil feeling the urge to kick back and enjoy some brews agreed, and the two headed for the local pub. After several rounds and a serious buzz Stingy Jack lived up to his name and informed the Devil that he hadn’t bothered to bring his wallet, but he’d totally pick up the tab next time they went out. To settle up with the bartender Jack convinced the Devil to transform himself into a silver coin so they could be on their way. Jack then seized the opportunity for freedom by sticking the coin in his pocket next to his crucifix preventing the Devil from changing his form back, and turning him into Jack’s prisoner. In turn, for letting the Devil go, Jack made him promise to spare his soul, and with that the Devil returned back to the underworld. Years later Jack’s ways caught up with him and he found his soul at the gates of heaven face to face with Saint Peter. Jack was quickly informed his drunken lifestyle and all around malevolent behavior was frowned upon and he would not be welcomed into heaven. Distraught, Jack journeyed to the Gates of Hell and begged for the Devil to take his soul. The Devil, still fuming over being tricked by Jack, happily abided by their earlier deal and refused Jack’s soul condemning him to wander the earth for eternity with only an ember from the underworld inside of a hollowed turnip to light his way. The Irish brought this tradition of carving turnips when they immigrated to North America, but quickly discovered pumpkins to be bigger and more readily available. It quickly caught on and has since become one of the most recognizable images associated with the Halloween season, and the United States produces around 998 million pounds of pumpkins just for the tradition. Palmer Grove

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Circle of Life, Bionca Gravely [Overall]

The Palmer Grove Photo Contest: Results By Brian A. Palmer On July 2, 2012 the staff announced that we would be holding the first ever Palmer Grove Photo Contest. The contest was met with great success and we received a number of entries from readers across the nation. The staff reviewed, debated, argued, wrestled, warred, and worried over all of the submissions until we resolved to the six entries featured on these and the following two pages. Bionca Gravely’s piece Circle of Life, featured on the opposite page, was select-

ed as the winning entry of this year’s contest and will be awarded an official Palmer Grove tee-shirt. The remaining winning entries are as follows:

Andrew Hutchinson’s piece Shine, featured below, was selected as the winning entry in the Night Life category. Bionca Gravely’s piece Untitled, featured on the top left on the following page, was selected as the winning entry in the Portrait category. Jeanette Furbee’s piece New Dress, featured on the bottom left on the following page, was selected as the winning entry in

the Boudoir category. Erik Rasmussen’s piece Pastel Sunset, featured on the top right on the following page, was selected as the winning entry in the Nature category. Amanda Villeda’s piece Untited, featured on the bottom right on the following page, was selected as the winning entry in the Out of the Box category. The staff would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone that participated in the first Palmer Grove Photo contest and helped to truly make it a complete success.

Shine, Andrew Hutchinson [Night Life] Palmer Grove

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Untitled, Bionca Gravely [Portrait]

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New Dress, Jeanette Furbee [Boudoir]

Pastel Sunset, Erik Rasmussen [Nature]

Untitled, Amanda Villeda [Out of the Box] Palmer Grove

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Rules for Living: Rule #42

taught his players to understand the importance of living in the moment so that if something bad happens in a game they can continue. Coach Jackson’s ability to have his players live in the moment has given him the label of the best basketball coach in the history of the game.

Enjoy Everything While You Can! By Jeff Lafferty With this being the back to school issue of Palmer Grove, I wanted to write about a rule that I would think is really important for seniors, schoolchildren, and even parents. I have a senior in high school and I tell him all the time that this is the time he needs to cherish, embrace, and enjoy because this could be the best time of his life. I use my words very carefully. It could be the best time of his life but what he does with it and what all the seniors do with their lives after this year is completely up to that person. Being a huge sports fan, it has given me the ability to understand about how important it is to live within the moment. Phil Jackson, the coach with more NBA coaching titles in the history of the game, has a reputation of being a coach that has 24 | Summer 2012

Enjoy everything while you can, because nothing lasts forever is my Rule 42. Being a cancer survivor and somebody diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm makes this rule important to me and also to other cancer survivors, or really all people that face life altering news. Once you hear the news that you have this potentially fatal disease or condition, you understand the importance of not wasting a single day. I am sure that we all have those days that we wish we could go back and live over and over again similar to Bill Murray’s character in the 1993 comedy film “Groundhog Day”. It’s an important rule to understand the importance of not only living in the moment, but to also understand how important this moment can be in your life. There was a movie in 2004 that describes this called “The Butterfly Effect”. The Butterfly Effect is a theory is credited to Edward Lorenz. His theory’s example is a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before. Some people have believed in Mr. Lorenz’s chaos theory renamed by him as The Butterfly Effect. Some people also call this chaos theory the Snowball Effect because nobody truly knows which way the snowball will fall down the side of the hill, and a

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gust of wind can change the direction of the snowball. Both theories lead people to believe in these chaos theories. There’s another phrase that can also help me out here, and it’s from the television show “The West Wing”. This Latin phrase has stuck with me because it’s something that you would think happens and it makes you think, but then at times, it hardly ever happens. The phrase is “Post hoc ergo propter hoc”. The English translation is “after therefore because of it.” So if one thing happens, it leads to the next thing which then leads to the next thing. Some people can believe that this one moment has happened because of all the work that you have done to get to that point. So, it can be said that it’s true. Seniors aren’t going to be able to get their diplomas if they didn’t put in the work in the last 12 years of school to be able to graduate high school and move on to college. And after all that work, if you did not understand and appreciate all the hard work that a lot of people did to help get you to that point, you would not be able to give the appreciation to embrace, accept, and value all the other highlights and lowlights that will occur in your life outside of high school. It takes a special person to be able to focus on the things that are important at the moment they are important. Some people don’t understand and take it for granted until it’s way too late, and

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they have some form of regret for how they may have acted towards the people in that moment. We all know of somebody that can be classified in both categories, and by that time it could be too late for the person to repair the damage they caused because they didn’t take the time to understand the importance of appreciating the moment you have in front you. Right now, some of you could be thinking about a time in your life you believe were the happiest moments in your life. Why was it so important? Do you remember it like it was yesterday when it may have happened more than 6 months ago? Some of you could be thinking about a challenging time in your life that made you change the way you look at life. What about that moment made you say to yourself “I better

straighten this out right NOW!” Maybe some of you don’t have any of those feelings because you don’t think that way and that this way of thinking isn’t normal. I can understand this thinking, but someday you will have this thought. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, and who knows, maybe not even by the end of the year. You will sit and remember things with a family member, close friend, child, or grandchild and you will say to yourself “I wish that I would have some of that time back so that I can enjoy that part of my life more.” Being a cancer survivor, during the last round of chemotherapy, I was going through a lot of regret. I was too wound up in the things that at the time were what I thought was important, when later on in life, I realized what things should have been important. I know that I can’t go back and change what has happened. Because of that experience, cancer has given me the

ability to today, live in the moment, take everything in, and pay attention to the small details. So when I think back about a time, I can replay that moment in my head and think about how great of a moment in time it was for me in my life. I know that this is a back to school issue for Palmer Grove, but this rule is just as important for the rest of us. It needs to be a valuable message for not just the incoming seniors looking to celebrate their last year of high school, but for all school age kids to always remember to live in that moment because what you do today may change what you do tomorrow. If you don’t live in the moment and enjoy it while you can, you may end up with regrets. That’s why these words are Rule 42: “Enjoy Everything While You Can” because nothing lasts forever.

Love By Clinton Knisley Love Love Love Love

is is is is

two hearts beating together, always strong no matter the weather. a dove flying in the spring air, a couple sharing a pear.

Love Love Love Love

is is is is

a kiss on a warm summers day, two ladybugs on a stack of hay. a wildflower blowing in the wind, two people holding each other at the end...

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You Are Not Alone By Kay Rice I reach out to you in your sorrow, Perhaps you will answer, tomorrow. I feel your pain, I know your demons, I know the emptiness that remains. Someday you will understand, I know, The reasons I had to finally let go. Perhaps on that day you will realize, How much for you, I sacrificed. I I I I

know your heart is blackened with hate, must remain in the shadows and wait. pray for the day that you will see my face, wait, patiently, for the day of your embrace.

Life gives us choices to make each day, For me to live, I could no longer stay. You may believe that you were left behind, But you always remain in my heart and mind. Even as you try to cut me out of your life, I will remain with you in your time of strife. I will be there to lift you up when you are down, Though you may not see that I am around. When you feel lost, unable to find your way home, I will not desert you, you will not be left alone. I will be by your side, holding your hand tightly, Even if my shadow, you refuse to see. Someday, you will understand, I know, The reasons I had to finally let go. Perhaps on that day you will realize, How much of my life, for you, I sacrificed.

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Brownie Cookie Cupcakes By Rachel Flesch Ingredients  1 Box brownie mix, plus the ingredients required to make the mix typically 2 eggs, water, and oil or applesauce substitute  1 large mixing bowl  1 rubber spatula  1 ice cream scooper (optional)  24 cupcake wrappers  2 cupcake pans  1 mixer  24 chocolate cream sandwich cookies  2 dozen pull apart chocolate chip cookies This recipe is great for kids to be able to participate in! 1. Begin by preheating your oven to 325, making sure that your oven rack is in the middle. 2. Then put the cupcake wrapper into the pan. 3. Pull apart your cookies and press them into the liners. I prefer the pull apart cookies as they’re easiest for kids and come pre-greased so getting the wrappers off is easy. 4. Press the chocolate cream sandwich cookies on top of those. If your kids are able to handle this on their own have them go at it while you prepare the brownie mix according to the instructions 5. Begin to pour the batter into the cups filling them about halfway, try to coat the sandwich cookie if possible. An ice cream scooper can be useful for this to make sure they’re all equal, roughly about a scoop and a half. If you prefer though you can tip your bowl and use a rubber spatula. 6. Put the cupcakes in the oven for 25 minutes, remove and let cool for about 15 minutes. 7. Take them out and enjoy! These cupcakes are super sweet so I don’t recommend icing, but if you really want a sugar buzz a simple canned icing will suffice!

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Top Seven Ohio Fall Festivals of 2 0 1 2 By Rachel Flesch Let’s face it; Ohio and festivals go together like vinegar and fries. You can be sure that nearly every week of the year there’s at least one festival to attend, and in the summer and fall there just isn’t enough time to hit them all! No worries though, because I’m here to share with you my Top 7 Ohio Festivals of 2012!

local talent at the art show. If you’re looking for something outside of the normal rides and games there’s also the popular Bathtub Races and a 5-mile run to participate in! For more information, about parking and events check out their website: http://

2. Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival [9/14 – 9/16] Admission: $4

1. The Fredericktown Tomato Show [9/5 – 9/8] Growing up most of my breakfasts consisted of toast and tomato juice; which is still one of my absolute favorite things to drink. I remember going here as a kid and being absolutely thrilled that everyone got a free can of tomato juice going through the door. The Fredericktown Tomato Show is a fun foodthemed festival. You’ll have all the classic fair foods like sugary funnel cakes, and corn dogs as well as your fairthemed tomato smoothies and tomato bread. The festival has been going strong for 36 years now, crowning their royal courts, and exhibiting 28 | Summer 2012

The Ohio Shrimp and Fish Festival feature a delightful array of fresh seafood in all forms, and plenty of live music! Enjoy a family friendly atmosphere full of plenty of great activities for all ages. Don’t forget to check out the shrimp peeling and eating contest. Hours vary by day so check out their website at festival/ for more information!

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3. Edgar Allan Poe Fall Festival [10/14-10/15] Admission: $8 This is the first annual Edgar Allan Poe Fall Festival, the itinerary sounds too interesting and spooktacular to pass up! I wouldn’t recommend this for your little ones, but this sounds like a fun experience for those who don’t scare easily. From a unique horror movie themed fashion show, to a Warehouse Walking Ghost Tour, there’s bound to be something for everyone. There are also Edgar Allan Poe poetry readings, a cryptozoology display, an inside look at the making of a horror movie with a master of the craft, and a horror movie makeup artist how-to! There’s so much more so for more information, check out their website at: http:// www.theghostsofcanalfulton.c om/edgar_Allan_Poe.html

4. The Marion Popcorn Festival [9/6-9/8] This is a fun filled festival for the whole family! For fun events, check out the Corn Hole Classic, the Window

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Decorating Contest, and Pedal Tractor Pull just to name a few. This year, the free entertainment stage will feature Boyz II Men on Saturday September 8th as well as a Journey tribute band called The Ultimate Journey Xperience on Thursday the 6th. The midway is open 11am till midnight and features over 250 vendors. Don’t forget to grab some popcorn before you go! This year’s festival theme is The Wild, Wild, West so put on your boots and hats and get ready for a popping good time! See the full list of performances at their website: http://

5. The Columbus Italian Festival [10/5-10/7] Naturally, as an Italian, I have

to cover the Italian Festival. A highlight event is Taste of Italy, which features local Italian eateries serving up their best cuisine. Don’t forget to check out the Bocce Ball Competition, and ItaliaGate Tailgating event. There are also plenty of kids’ events, and the Streets of Yesteryear, which is fun for the whole family. Let’s not forget about the Parade and the crowning of Miss Italian Columbus! Check out their website for a full list of events: http:// www.columbusitalian

6. Circleville Pumpkin Show [10/18-10/22]

thing there are TONS of other activities available for the whole family! Check out their website for more information on all the events and activities: http://www.pumpkin

7. Columbus Oktoberfest [9/28-9/30] Check out a variety of Arts & Crafts Vendors, as well as an abundance of delicious food! Schmidt’s, Hey Hey, Cox BBQ and Mozarts are all vendors there, just to name a few! Unlike most other festivals, Oktoberfest has food that is purchasable through tickets. A strip of 10 costs $12, and you can view the redemption value of your favorite vendors on their website in advance. Don’t forget about a wide variety of local talent on two stages, a battle of the bands, cream puff stuff, and a wide variety of fun events for the whole family. Oh did I forget to mention the beer? Yeah, there’s lot of that too! Check out their website for more information, and to find out how many tickets each of your favorite foods cost: http://

The Circleville Pumpkin Show is one I NEVER miss. It’s a tradition that my friends and I go and enjoy pumpkin burgers, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin waffles. Let’s not forget checking out the field of pumpkins and gourds that local farmers have entered into the competition. The parade is always an entertaining highlight, and if typical festival antics aren’t your Palmer Grove

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Teacher Tips: Get on Your Teacher’s Good Side By Amber Rohly

After a year of teaching high school math, it has come to my attention that students don’t always know how to get on a teacher’s good side, even if they want to. It’s not hard… all we want is for students to listen, do their work, and not cause too much trouble. We enjoy quiet students, athletic students, geeky students, jokesters, those who do their work, some who don’t do their work… and tons more. The biggest issues include timing and attitude. Some of the smartest students drive us crazy, and some of the lowest scoring students we absolutely love. It’s more about personality than wits, and even if you’re one of those people who want to go unnoticed by the teacher, following this list could help make your year better.

Beware of the teacher’s code. If you talk bad about one teacher in front of another, it will likely get back to said teacher.

Maybe it should be common knowledge, but brown-nosing is just plain annoying. If you are one of those people, don’t drive your teacher crazy by your obnoxious remarks and continuous fake compliments. Play down the feigned niceness and be real with them. Or just don’t say anything. They usually like that, too.

If you have a problem with a teacher, try emailing or talking to them before heading to the administration. Many teachers appreciate student feedback and want to help, as long as it’s done in a respectful and amiable way. Most teachers enjoy good jokes and a sense of humor – just not in the middle of class. An appropriate joke at an appropriate time can put even a teacher in a bad mood on your side. While it’s easy to tell the teacher what they are doing wrong, try also telling the teacher what they are doing right.

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Contributor Spotlight: Kodjo Somana tions that I did.

What inspires you the most? My emotions are what inspire me as well as the influences of other artists around me and in my life. So since you’ve said other artists inspire you; who inspires you the most? Lee Hammond! Her work is my favorite, I really love her style and she is definitely an inspiration.

By Rachel Flesch Each issue we will select one of our wonderful contributors and take some time to get to know them a little better. This month the staff unanimously selected Kodjo Somana for our second Contributor Spotlight. I had the wonderful privilege of completing this interview. Kodjo, where are you from? I am from Togo. So you’re obviously pretty young, how old are you? I am eighteen years old. What made you decide to put so much of your time and life into art? Art is a way for me to express my feelings; I put things that happen to me in life into a lot of my drawings. When people see my art I want them to feel the same emo-

Tell me about your past and how it has influenced your art? Back in eighth grade, I was just another kid with a dream. I wanted to be really good at something, that’s when I found art. As soon as I picked up that pencil, I knew and was sure this is what I wanted to do with my life. I felt I was only ok at first but I didn't give up I kept going and it only took me five years to get where I am now. I’m proud of myself and impressed with how I went from horrible, to really good to nearly professional in only five years. So in those five years what has been your biggest obstacle to overcome? The biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome with my artwork has been my own patience. I just want to be able to finish a piece quickly and have it be perfect, but it doesn’t work like that. It takes time. What’s the longest you’ve spent on a piece? The most time I’ve dedicated to

one piece was four weeks. Not solid obviously, but it definitely tested my patience. What is your favorite thing to draw and what is your favorite medium? My favorite thing to draw is self-portraits. I’m always full of new ideas and when I draw myself I’m able to put all my ideas, feelings and emotions into it without second guessing myself. I tell stories about experiences in my past, and the feelings that I had at that time through these portraits. My favorite medium is charcoal because it really adds a mood to the story that the portrait is painting and helps to better communicate the emotions I want people to feel when they see my work. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 5 years, I see myself becoming a filmmaker and a professional artist with a unique style of art and storytelling. I see myself finally going out into the world, and becoming known by the masses, and when I do make it big, my goal is to inspire every kid out there with a dream to not stop until they become everything they want and more. What advice do you have for young budding artists? My advice to every young artist out there is: Life doesn’t make itself; you are the creator, controller and the artist. The only way to achieve all your goals is to keep going, and working hard to reach your dreams.

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Transcendence By Lori Caskey Sigety On the first day, I was to report to work at the minilibrary branch that was located in the Midwestern hamlet of North Liberty, Indiana. On the first day, I failed to make a right turn at the stoplight at the corner of County Road 4 and instead travelled down U.S. 31, Indiana’s main vein to the artery of Indianapolis, the state’s capital, blinked, drove through Lakeville and ended up in another town called Lapaz. On the first day, after desperately calling my supervisor on the cell phone, nearly in tears, I turned Greenie—my 2002 Honda Civic---around, travelled the mind-numbing stretch back to the stoplight, and turned left onto County Road 4. On the first day, shaken and unnerved by the loss of direction (and admittedly, change of venue), I hoped to make the right turn for the right opportunities, for the right position, with a stretch of road--and several library courses—bridging the gap between a paraprofessional and a professional librarian, and hoping I would not become lost along the way.

brown of edges of a neglected library shelf. Chicken fertilizer perfumed the landscaping from the farmland beyond the trees and adorned both the road and Greenie. I once informed library administrators that the smell was “fowl”. To the left, halfway down the eight mile stretch from the stoplight on the corner to the town of North Liberty, lives a cow commune to the left and back of a white Victorian house. The “girls” as I refer to them, inspired cheeky poetry and meaningful conversation, as a result of loneliness I experienced leaving the camaraderie, comforts, and crowds of a large library branch. To combat my loneliness, I wrote some “fowl-fresh” aromaticinspired haiku:

For the next two years, every day and every evening I worked, Greenie and I travelled the long road to and from the tiny library I would christen “The Hobbit Hole”, the proverbial home away from home, literally hundreds of times. The landscape, like a person’s day, fluctuated with barometric pressure and climate change. On windy days, the road is the dusty 32 | Summer 2012

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Zephyr of cow permeates the countryside— ruins my steak dinner. More “moovelous” conversation ensued with the girls, as each day I would wave and say hello and each night I would bid adieu, only once engaging in an out-of-mind cow conversation. On a lonely September morning, with the leaves still clinging with summery green hues, I pulled over on the right-hand side of the quieted country road, lowered my window, and emitted a hearty “MOO!” to greet my bovine friends. To my dismay, no one responded vocally, as most of the girls gently turned their heads (Continued on page 33)

County Road 4, North Liberty, IN LCS/January 2012

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and continued to nibble—and regurgitate—late summer’s green grasses as I thought we were alone, having an intimate chat across the deserted road. To my dismay, we weren’t alone. To my dismay, a man, who I assumed was the farmer and the keeper of the cows, was standing on a ladder pressed next to the side of the house. To my dismay, I turned as red as a cat’s tongue when the farmer caught me mooing at his cows. To save countenance, caught red-herded with Greenie still running, I honked and waved at the farmer before speeding away on the comforts on the long, winding road. On the right-hand side of the road more than halfway to town is a wonderful wilderness called Potato Creek State Park. This park is a lovely place to lose one’s inhibitions in the woods, and I took my husband Steve hiking in the first year of my transcendence to the North Liberty Branch. After impishly tormenting him with whispers of “Blair Witch”, I abated and we soon sauntered along the trails, with dried leaves crackling under our feet and those of others hiking a similar path, deterring a deer’s emergence, as it deftly nestled, hidden, in the safety of the woods. Instead, we admired and snapped photography of the scenery, one that would be enlarged by extended family and named “Lori’s Woods.” To our delight, we later discovered frogs on the logs near the lake in the woods, and watched them absorb the autumn sunshine. Steve and I lingered, and then we

left—and turned left—to travel home. The deer that hid in Potato Creek State Park loved to cross the road to get to the other side—or just stand there defiantly, especially at dusk and especially during autumn. Late autumn commences the mating season for deer, and so deerdodging became a daily sport. One night, one cold, clear, wintry night in the country, Steve and I returned from a library-related event in downtown North Liberty and noticed an enormous buck directly in the middle of the road. Oh, dear—deer! Standing magnificently, almost picturesque with his massive muscular legs and branch-like horns emerging from his head, displaying age, strength, and virility, his liquid brown eyes reflecting in the headlight of the car, all I could think of is that the buck stops here. The buck literally stops here. The days of deer-dodging while travelling on County Road 4 halted in autumn, two years after I earned my Master’s Degree in Library Science. The change was prophetic; the change came to me in a dream; I dreamed about the new job of branch manager I would interview for and was going to get. The dream occurred after two unnerving interviews and a swaying of minds, I was a green thirtyfour and there was speculation that I wasn’t ready for the position. The Library Director called and offered me the position. Impatient and temporarily annoyed by the hesitancy to offer me the position, I informed the Director that I would have to think about it and consult my husband. (Of course I accepted the position.) On the last day I reported to

work at the branch, a comfort rather than a challenge, as opposed to two years previously when I was figuratively and literally lost, I returned my key, said my farewell a community, and drove the stretch down County Road 4 for the last time, taking in the scenery for the last time, noticing the landmarks on the way were reversed; Potato Creek State Park was on the left, the cow commune on the right, and at the stoplight, I turn left onto U.S. 31 north, heading towards a new destination, since the old destination is no longer right. Seven years later, on a late Sunday morning, Steve and I again took to the countryside to remember. Above us, streaks of white cotton-clouds marked the azure sky. The late winter sun warms the earth to a balmy 34 degrees, and the rays are bright enough to warrant a pair of sunglasses, so I pull a purple pair out of my purse. We stop to gas up Kumi (Toyota Hybrid) and hit the grocery store for snacks to retrace the steps—or the wheels, more accurately---and we were on our way. I am excited—and a little apprehensive. Perhaps the landscape will be altered. Perhaps memories will overwhelm me. Perhaps I will have forgotten. We drive down Ironwood Road and turn right onto Kern Road. We look at the white house on the right hand side corner with a red bar and woods to its left. A horse named Hoofie used to frolic in those woods, sporting a sharp red horse blanket in the wintertime. Now the (Continued on page 34)

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woods are silent. We pass the Centre Township Branch Library on the left. We wave, although there is no one there on Sunday. The library is silent. We travel on U.S. 31 south and turn right at the stoplight. Newton Park is to our left. Next to the park is a housing development with a few more pricy homes than I once remembered. The familiar green sign to the right informs us that North Liberty is eight miles away and LaPorte, Indiana is twenty-five miles away. We notice the barren woods adorning both sides of the road; we notice horses, ponds, and wild grasses; we notice an adorable black cat sitting up in the amber field. I could not resist. We pulled over in efforts to capture the contrast of the cat in the field. However, the elusive cat disappeared. I went back into the car, we found a side road, and turned around. We looked to our left, and the cat was sitting up again, almost as a taunt. I took this as a dare. We turned around again and attempted to again capture a photograph of the cat. Again, when we slowed down, the cat disappeared, much like a flashback, a memory surfacing for a moment, and then disappears, hoping that the memory will stay. We continue on our drive to town and observe the cow commune, in hopes to say hello. It is different. The white, two–story, Victorian house remains. But the cows are missing. A dingy brown field remains. We stop and I step out of the car. A dog’s spo34 | Summer 2012

radic bark interrupts the overwhelming void. The cows, no longer, overshadow the landscape with silence, and after snapping a few photographs of the countryside, I silently step back into the car and we continue our travels. The familiar wooden sign of Potato Creek State Park comforts me and soon after a charming sign with snowflakes greets us with “A Winter Welcome to North Liberty.” Steve and I look all five ways on the 4 and 23 corner. When it is all clear, we drive across and pass the old North Liberty Branch with the one designated parking spot, replaced by a consignment store called “The Treasure Box”. The St. Joseph County Public Library Plate is still affixed to the red brick building and I recall parking in the 1st Source Bank lot (thanks to the generosity of the staff), sauntering up the little ramp with the charming white railings to the entrance of the door, rushing to the wall to disable the alarm and pray that I remembered the bypass code. There was one key for the front door, one key for the book drop, and one key for the post office, just like Mayberry. Outside, there was one parking spot. Inside, there was one stand-up computer, one cramped area in the corner for two desks, one closet for a break room, and one meeting room that held fifteen people “legally”. There was also one ghost confirmed by three people, including myself. I witnessed Esmerelda out of the peripheral vision of my left eye directly across from me in the children’s non-fiction section, which was always out of order. We also had one chipmunk (Alvin) trapped in the library for several days, nibbling on my plants rather than the peanut butter from the trap loaned from the Hu-

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mane Society. Eventually, my assistant opened the emergency door and the smallest library resident moved out, leaving gaping holes in the foliage that sustained it. Transcendence can be defined as “the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond usual limits”. As the library chipmunk surpassed its limits, so did I, just through sheer experience. Inside the branch, there was conflict at first and then comfort with the community. Not only did I have to contend with change, so did my patrons. Collaboratively through communication and trust-building we transcended from stranger to friend, and I am proud to have a part in the construction and design of the new facility. When I arrived, I was lonely and lost, only to find confidence, experiencing additional responsibilities and forming new friendships in the community. Steve and I passed the old library, drove by the charming post office with red brick, Dogwood Designs, the gas station, the Yum-Yum Shop, and finally turned into the parking lot of the new North Liberty Branch, which was bright and charming, with the electronic sign in the front and adorned with a front porch. We sat there and looked at the library for a while, remembered the years of transcendence, and headed home.

Ah yes, it’s almost that time again. It’s one of my favorite times of the year simply because there is free candy and good fun to be had. But mostly free candy. I can’t help but think of when my son Oliver turns three. The simple joy of a candy-filled mouth, giggling hysterically from all of the sugar, and the glazed-over look across my face when I’m staring at the pillowcase of candy my son has just landed me. Of course I’ll share some of it with him, but he won’t be able to eat all of it, he’ll spoil his dinner. But aside from the fun of the tricks and treats is a frightening feeling looming in every parent’s stomach. Here are a few safety tips for parents and children to remember this Halloween to ensure your little monsters make it home safely.





Children old enough can minimize risk by carrying a cell phone programmed with numbers to call. If your child will be carrying a cell phone, have them check in with you every hour.

Go to your state’s website on the Internet and research the sex offender database to locate where sex offenders are living. Find a neighborhood free of any offenders to minimize the risk.

Only trick-or-treat at houses where the porch light is on or well lit. Take a flashlight or wear reflective tape if you will be walking when it is dark.

Make sure you set a time for your child to be home by. Inform them of how important it is to call if they are going to be later than the expected arrival time.





Go over your child’s preplanned candy route to familiarize yourself with where they will be headed. Have your child either check in by phone or at home every hour. If your child will be checking in by phone, find out their location and make sure it is still on their planned route.

Make sure your children know how to cross the street properly. They should always check both ways before crossing and should only cross at corners or crosswalks. If there is more than one child, make sure they know to take the hand of the younger child while crossing any street.

It is always safer to accompany your child while they go trick-or-treating, but if you are unable to do so, ask a friend or family member if they would be willing to walk with your child. Always avoid trick-or-treating alone.

Teach your kids the importance of not talking to strangers or getting in a stranger’s vehicle. Explain to them that some strangers are bad and may want to hurt people, including children. Inform them of the dangers of going inside of a stranger’s house or car and if in trouble scream as loudly as possible to try and draw attention.

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Angel By Kay Rice An angel called my name tonight, Wrapping me in his wings of white. Cradling my broken body in his arms, Wiping away the blood, from years of harm. Whispering into my once deafened ears, “It’s time to face all of your fears, Your eyes are blinded from the dark, Life is a flame, ready to spark.” An angel knelt and cried over me tonight, His tears flood my eyes to give me sight. Cries and screams as my body lay worn, Unable to wake, frozen and burned. Calling and pleading over my form, Caressing my wounds, open and torn. Wings open and close in furious waves, My very life he attempted to save. An angel called my name tonight, Knowing I could not continue to fight. Broken and crushed, unable to heal, An angel became my own living shield. A torture so great to take on as his own, Healing open wounds and broken bones. An angel saved my life tonight, He gave up his own wings to stay by my side.

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Palmer Grove

Turning Forty

By Bethany Pearson So I’m turning the big FOURO. So, no big deal, right? It’s just a number. You’re only as old as you feel…blah blah blah. Actually, I’m freaking out a little bit. Forty sounds middle -aged. And indeed, it seems to be. I mean, forty is half of 80, which is when a lot of people ….ummm…stop living. So forty is like a midpoint of sorts. Middle-aged. Yuck. I don’t like the sound of that. Overall, though, I am very pleased with what I’ve accomplished in my life thus far. My goals since childhood have been pretty much the same. Grow up, go to college, marry a great guy, have kids, buy a big house on a couple of acres, have a job that I enjoy. Done, done, done, done, done and …wait for it…..done. So what’s next? I think that’s my big sticking point on turning forty. In all of my dreams of the future, my children were always young. Babies even. I never REALLY thought past that point; that seemed far enough away at

the time. Plus I never thought I’d actually accomplish all that. I used to think that there was one path to go down in life, and that would hopefully lead me to the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow. So I worked very hard to get down that path. I got good grades, went to college, went to physical therapy school, married my college sweetheart, had a girl, a boy, another boy, and another girl. We started out in a sensible but adorable first home in a cute and safe neighborhood. We saved and scrimped and borrowed and eventually built our dream home, moving in a couple of years ago. It is on a beautiful 2-acre lot, exactly what I had always dreamed about. My kids are beautiful, intelligent, funny, and kind. They each have unique talents that have been and continue to be fun and challenging to help them develop. Shawn is still the love of my life and we adore each other. My part-time job as an outpatient physical therapist is a good job with great hours, good pay, nice flexibility. So what is wrong with my life, if all my dreams have come true? NOTHING!!! (Other than some health issues, but that’s another story). I think my problem, if it can be called that, is that I’ve planned for all of ….THAT… for my entire life. So now what? What comes next? I never planned for after the kids got a little older. But, you know, the more I think about it, the more excited I become. Life can expand from here. It doesn’t have to be a straight path to get to the pot of gold anymore. Pot of gold reached!! Now, I can explore my

surroundings. I can choose new hobbies to begin, take the kids on new adventures, learn how to cook new foods, learn woodworking, expand my photography portfolio, write stories, travel, who knows what? In actuality, most of those things will be part of my new “in my future” plan, because in reality I am extremely busy, with four children, ranging in age from ‘almost 12’, 10, 8, and ‘almost 4’. I am a chauffeur, cook, housekeeper, laundress, arbitrator, comforter, party and event planner, landscaper, gardener, teacher, not to mention my career as a physical therapist that is challenging in and of itself. But that’s ok. It’s still part of my old dream, taking care of my dream house, my dream husband and my dream children. But now I can have new dreams and plans for my future, after the big 4-0. They can be more frivolous dreams than my old dreams. Who knows what they will be, but I know I will enjoy planning for them. When they come and go, I will have to yet again reevaluate my dreams and make some new ones. This life isn’t as straightforward as I used to think it was. Now it’s more of a tapestry of experiences that are woven together. That’s scary and also exciting. I have loved working toward and finding my pot of gold but at almost-forty years old, I can see beyond it and make some new plans that I’ve never even considered. It’s going to be a fun ride!!

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2013 NFL Season Preview

By Kyle Gordon No team has ever played a Super Bowl on their home field. This year, the New Orleans Saints will be trying to accomplish this because the Super Bowl will be played at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints have had a tough off season with “bounty gate”. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is suspended for the season. Interim coach, Joe Vitt, has been suspended for six games and Saints GM Mickey Loomis received at 8 games suspension as well. The Saints will have a hard time winning the NFC South with these suspensions. The only way they can is Drew Brees. He needs to have a monster season and contend for the league’s MVP. However, Drew will have enough money, because in the off38 | Summer 2012

season he agreed with the Saints for a 5-year $100 million dollar contract that includes $40 million in the first year. The Saints will go as far as Drew Brees takes them this season. The Saints took most of the headlines in the offseason. So far, the only bigger stories in the offseason has been NFL players being arrested where people are starting to question about whether there’s an epidemic. As of July 21, 2012, there have been 28 reported arrests involving NFL players throughout the country, with two players being arrested on two different occasions. Players arrest are nothing new for the NFL but with the Commissioner of the League Roger Goodell being tougher than any other commissioner in his sports regarding the players and the impact they have on the league, I wouldn’t be surprised if you start seeing some of these players really get hit hard and heavy,

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especially in the players pocket books. Big names like Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow, and Randy Moss all have new jerseys that they will be wearing this season. Peyton, a 4-time league MVP, is coming off of neck surgery and is calling Denver home after spending 14 seasons in Indianapolis for the Colts. Since the acquisition of Manning, Denver traded Tim Tebow to the New York Jets. The Jets will have a quarterback controversy for the whole season with everybody wanting Tebow to play and Mark Sanchez doesn’t play well. Randy Moss signed a free-agent agreement with the San Francisco 49er’s, and with that, he will be playing on his sixth different team in a 14-year career catching football as a receiver. These (Continued on page 39)

(Continued from page 38)

changes will interesting to see how much an impact they will have with their new teams this coming season. The great difference between the NFL and some other sports is that every fan, of every team, has a belief that their team, if a couple of games go their way, could have a season that they could remember. Those teams can include Cleveland

Browns, Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, and Buffalo Bills. All of the teams listed above all have their fans thinking that they may have a chance of changing their divisions and surprising some people if they win their division. Teams that are favored are the teams to win their divisions are the teams that you would normally hear about, New England Patriots, Green Bay

Packers, Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, defending Champions New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers are all teams that are expecting to win their division, and expect a playoff run to the Super Bowl. Below are my predictions for the upcoming NFL season.

Kyle’s 2013 NFL Football Picks NFC Conference

AFC Conference


Philadelphia Eagles


New England Patriots


Atlanta Falcons


Houston Texans


Green Bay Packers


Baltimore Ravens


San Francisco 49ers


Denver Broncos


Chicago Bears,


Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Redskins

New York Jets

Champions NFC

San Francisco 49ers


Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl

Baltimore Ravens

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What Do We Call It? By Cheryl Muller The people think we’re still in love. We smile and glance and look away. Inertia is what drives our lives. The time for change has gone astray. We do not love. We do not hate. We wink and nod and help the other. Are we unique? Are we a fraud? In the larger world is there another?

I blame Walt Disney for the untruth. We expected roses, mist and rhyme. Will someone kindly tell the truth?! It is what it is most of the time. Our ancestors knew the wedded state Was not a happy tale…..but wait… If he helps me and I the same… It’s life, it’s real and not a game. What do we call it? Marriage? Friendship? Does it have a name?

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Blessings in Disguise

By Bethany Pearson I am thankful for so much at this time in my life. Goodness knows that five months ago, I was dreading the upcoming few months, but I feel like I have grown just a little bit wiser since then. Let me tell you a little about my crazy life. I expect that many of you will relate.... In May, after our comfortable suburban home had sold much faster than we had anticipated, my husband and I scrambled to find temporary accommodations for ourselves, our four children, and our one fat hamster. We were in the process of building our dream home...well, ok....we were in the process of getting all the preliminary

permits needed to build our dream home (the building process itself would not start for awhile) when our house sold. This was a blessing and a real reason to be thankful, what with the real estate market in the toilet, but it did create a month of sheer panic, trying to find an apartment that was in our school district, was big enough for six people, was pet friendly to fat hamsters, was safe, and offered six month rentals. This was a huge undertaking, since there were either subdivisions or farms surrounding us. In fact, we found only one apartment complex that met all of the criteria and that one only had about 5 units with three bedrooms. We were trying to save as much money as possible so I told the landlady that we could live in a two bedroom apartment and keep the baby in the walk-in closet; this remark was greeted by horrified looks ( I think she was about to call Children's Services) when I clarified my statement. "I didn't mean all the time. I mean we could keep her crib in there. She could sleep there. It's a walk-in closet, right?" The look did not change. "You know, like

a smallish bedroom?" She still looked like she thought I was a horrible person. I decided to shut up. In the end, however, the two bedroom place was not an option anyway because a rule or law or something stated that a family of six required us to rent a 3 bedroom unit. None of the three bedrooms were available at that time. PANIC! The landlady looked up from her papers with a smile this time. "However, one will be opening up in two weeks. Will that work for you?" the young woman asked us. My husband and I looked at each other with complete relief. That was exactly when we needed it to be ready. This was the second big reason to be thankful. OK, so the three bedrooms were not exactly mammoth size, but they would work for a short term solution. OK so my three older kids were not exactly thrilled that they would all be sharing a very small bedroom, using mattresses on the floor, but it would work. The baby ended up with the other bedroom, by herself. This was not much different than sleeping in a walk in closet, as it turned out, because that room is where we put all the kids' dressers as they would not fit in their room. So it was cozy....very cozy, but we felt lucky that we had scored this place, in lieu of sleeping in tents on our land or renting a room at a local motel.

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(Continued from page 41)

One thing I was not ecstatic about, however, was learning that I would have to walk the kids out to the front of the complex every morning to catch the bus, then walk out again at noon to pick up my kindergartner. I was not thankful for this little development. My older two children could be trusted to get home from the bus themselves at 3:30, thank goodness, or that would have been three times a day for me and the baby. There were no sidewalks, so our choices were to walk either in the grass or in the street. The grass was too dewy in the mornings, so our choice was no real choice at all. We had to walk in the street. However, knowing that my 5 year old son would undoubtedly run out into the street, attempting to defend the world from aliens or Decepticons if he was without adult supervision, I went along to avoid that specific disaster. In addition, the kids had to wait for 10 to 15 minutes for the bus on many days, as one never knew exactly when the driver would arrive. Even my seven year old son could not resist the impending Decepticon battle for that long without diving headlong into the street, blissfully unaware that people trying to get to work may not be aware that he was saving the Earth from alien invasions, and accidentally hit him with their car, killing him instantly. Ok, ok so they got their vivid imagination from me. But seriously, it was not exactly safe to just let them walk to the bus stop here. This was much different from the house we just left, where I could blissfully watch from the 42 | Summer 2012

living room window with a mug of coffee as the school bus stopped directly in front of my home, the kids got on, I waved, and that was that. That brings me to my point. Now I had to wake the baby up, get her dressed, get the kids ready, get myself dressed, and walk out every day, twice a day, to the front of the development to wait for the school bus. This, I felt, would be a serious waste of my time, time that could be spent cleaning, cooking, paying bills, or drinking coffee. The first few days it was indeed a struggle to get into the new routine. Getting everyone out the door at the appropriate time, along with the fact that the bus driver was still learning her route and was 20 minutes late were valid reasons for me to whine and complain about this hiccup in my once serene life. (Just kidding there...serene?? I have four kids under the age of ten. I don't really know the meaning of the word.) So I did whine and complain. But then after about a week, I found myself actually (should I admit this?) enjoying the walk. I noticed things around me that I certainly didn't notice when I drove my car or when I went jogging at 10 at night after the kids were asleep. I noticed the birds singing in the trees in the mornings, and how the sun shone on the dewy grass creating diamonds all over the lawns. The kids noticed things too. My son liked to hear his new shoes crunch the gravel at the side of the road. My daughter noticed that the shadows were longer in the mornings. The air smelled fresher than it did later in the day. On my way out to pick up my son at noon, I was aware that the air was balmier, the sun brighter, and we could hear the

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happy sounds of little ones playing outside. My baby daughter seemed to enjoy the weather as well, as long as she had a full bottle and her sock monkey, she leaned back in her stroller and enjoyed the fresh air. Now that it's later in the fall, the air is crisper, and although we have to bundle up a little more, I am really enjoying the changing colors. The maple trees have turned scarlet, the crickets chirp nonstop, the grasses wave in the breezes. Pumpkins are decorating front porches and the kids love to jump on the crackling leaves. We all talk about the upcoming day to one another and I am able to really listen to my children, with a lack of other distractions. I find that I am more in tune to what they like about school this year, who their friends are and what they are nervous about. I must say that it has been an unexpected gift, this simple walk to the bus stop. This gift that I was so unwilling to accept has turned into a great blessing. I am dreading the day when it becomes too cold to take these walks and I will have to warm up the car and drive them to the bus stop. Although, perhaps when that day arrives, I will find a blessing in that as well. I am now open to the possibilities. I am still looking forward to when our new home is finished, but I am learning to enjoy every new experience and adventure. I am so thankful.

Focus By Cory Baker mind is fuzzy can't concentrate see an answer, a direction ten seconds too late standing on the line between laughter and tears can't jump either way self inflicted fears trying to stand high above all my pains; escaping light and sound but the tight rope I'm walking is laying flat on the ground the pain and sorrow are drawn in with every step but I continue to try walking above it all trying not to slip feeling my way through with unfocused eyes laughing out through inner tears no real surprise again

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Be sure to check out on Monday, November 5, 2012 to catch our second annual Holiday issue.

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Palmer Grove, Vol. 2 Iss. 2  
Palmer Grove, Vol. 2 Iss. 2  

The mission of Palmer Grove is to create a platform where creative individuals can share their work and interests through the publication of...