Not at all an unusual sight in our area. Often we see the riders in town too and using their cell phones while the horse makes its way seemingly unguided.
For the first time ever, we were directly affected by the power of nature—family members were in the direct path of Hurricane Willa.
Between Mexico to Canada phone calls, and obsessed with “needing to know,” I scoured the Internet for information becoming more and more frustrated with each passing minute. I read over and over again about the strength of the hurricane and the expected fury as it hit land.
Storm surge accompanied by “large and destructive waves” are forecast along portions of Mexico’s central and southwestern coast. Rainfall ranging from 6 to 12 inches could spawn life-threatening landslides and flash flooding in portions of the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa.
But as the storm approached the coast Tuesday, I could find no pertinent and timely information.
Isn’t the Internet supposed to be “all-knowing?”
Apparently not. I searched every weather site I could find, read (without understanding) the technical information on various government hurricane centers, studied the Accuweather Interactive Map, but none of those gave me what I needed. Many posts were “10 hours ago, 14 hours ago, a day ago.”
“Arrrgh! What’s happening now?”
Facebook was somewhat more helpful with locals posting pictures and videos. Posts by El Sol de Nayarit also helped, but none of these were at the same location as our family.
Fortunately, cell phone service was not lost and we were able to remain in contact throughout the days of the storm.
And even better, the storm did not cause any damage or flooding in our area.
The biggest “take away” from this experience?
I will never again read or watch news of natural disasters without feeling deep and sincere empathy with all those facing such situations.
I thought this book might be interesting. It’s not. It’s fascinating. And frustrating. As I read about each woman, I invariably wanted to know more.
What inspired Milholland to undertake the enormous task of gathering all these bits of information together? Billie writes, Women in our small Canadian prairie town didn’t have first names. They were Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Day, Baba Yewchin. The day I realized I didn’t know the first names of either of my own grandmothers was the day I began specific research of They Came.
The stories are often hilarious and more often harrowing.
Edith Vandiver Scoggins and her babies were alone on the homestead when her husband went away to work on a road construction crew. Their cows wandered everywhere because they had no fences. Every evening before Edith went looking for the cows, she tied the baby into a high chair in the yard. She stationed her toddler beside the chair, with strict instruction to sing at the top of her little lungs. The dog sat beside her and howled. As long as Edith could hear the racket, she knew her children were safe.
Milholland included a recipe from each of the women. Edith’s daughter remembers her mother’s good thick Potato Soup. I love this bit of Edith’s recipe. Cube potatoes as small as patience will allow, until you have a full pot.
European settlement of Western Canada was both rapid and dramatic. People came from all over the world to take advantage of cheap land ($10 for 160 acres/64.7 hectares). Women most often came with parents, or followed husbands and brothers. They traded extended family life in familiar landscapes imbued with ancient histories for life in an undeveloped country with few roads and rough, new communities full of people from diverse cultures, speaking dozens of different languages.
We know the stories of men who settled and developed the West, but of the women, except for a handful of rich and famous, we know little. They Came tells the heroic stories of 113 women who came to Western Canada from somewhere else between 1890 and 1950. Following each story is a recipe, something the children and grandchildren remember fondly….
See more here:
Who knew a book about math could be so entertaining. Thank you to my Venezuelan friend who introduced me to this book. Originally written in Portuguese, she received a Spanish translation and here it is in English.
May 6 was the National Day of Mathematics in Brazil. This day was chosen because it was the birthday of Julio Cesar de Mello e Souza, a maths teacher from Rio de Janeiro, who was also the author of Brazil’s most famous literary hoax, O Homem que Calculava (The Man Who Counted), which is also one of the most successful books ever written in Brazil.
It’s a hoax because when the book was first published in 1932, it was said to be the work of an Arabian author, Malba Tahan.
Melle e Souza created Tahan because he realized that it was easier to get published in Brazil, during the 1930s, if you used a foreign pseudonym. Apparently Brazilian publishers didn’t have much faith in local authors.
When Mello e Souza began writing as Malba Tahan, only the proprietor of the newspaper that printed the stories was in on the joke. For several years no-one knew that the famous Arab author was actually a local maths teacher whose other passion was collecting porcelain frogs. When eventually Malba Tahan was outed as humble Julio Cesar de Mello e Souza, however, he was famous enough for it not to matter.
These (there were two of them) sitting in front of a restaurant.
And these for sale in a butcher shop.
Incredibly well written novel providing insights that feel 100% genuine. What happens to families grieving the loss of loved ones, manipulated by external forces, and torn apart by circumstances often beyond their control? Home Fire explores all of this which has the reader feeling empathy even for the “enemy.” The brainwashing (and that is not nearly a strong enough word for what happens to Parvaiz) is heart rending as is Aneeka’s grief. This story will haunt you and have you asking “why? how? but?” as you watch the news which you will no longer take at face value. Powerful stuff.
Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she’s accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Isma’s worst fears are confirmed.
Then Eamonn enters the sisters’ lives. Son of a powerful political figure, he has his own birthright to live up to—or defy. Is he to be a chance at love? The means of Parvaiz’s salvation? Suddenly, two families’ fates are inextricably, devastatingly entwined, in this searing novel that asks: What sacrifices will we make in the name of love?