My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
purchase it at B & N, Amazon or (click on image of cover)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Time To Enjoy Summer Reading

I have been delayed this year in writing a post about Summer reading programs but finally getting around to it. I do hope I can finish my PhD dissertation in a year so I can have it behind me and move more into a wider variety of reading and doing more writing here in my blog.

For the past month in my counseling practice I have been reminding parents of teens and children I counsel, to keep their minds active during the Summer with reading at their local library . Some of my young clients enjoy that idea and others put on a sour face when I make the suggestion. Seeing those responses reminds me that those clients who enjoy reading usually have better progress in the counseling process. It would be an interesting study to compare those who enjoy reading and those who do not as to how well they improve in their counseling therapy.

Reading has always been one of my favorite Summer activities. (of course for me it is year round as well). In Summer I usually look at Oprah’s magazine just to see what books she is suggesting. I have always appreciated her promotion of the importance of reading. In the O magazine for July, Oprah had this to say about reading: “Nothing, not one thing or activity; can replace the experience of a good read – being transported to a different land, a different realm, through words and language.” That thought of being transported took my mind back to my early reading experiences at the Barberton Public Library as a child. The fiction books I gravitated to were about other lands so I remember being transported in my imagination to other areas of the world and learning of other people around the world.

Back in May when we visited Barberton I stopped by the library where I spent many Summers in my elementary years. Then in my high school years I worked part time through high school there. I noticed during my visit there they were advertising their Barberton Public Library Summer Reading Club. Here is the weblink if you want to see how they do their Summer reading program-- For children their theme is "On Your Mark, Get Set...READ!". For the adults, I liked the theme thought of “Exercise Your Mind”. For a vibrant life it is so important at every to exercise the mind.

My local library here in New Braunfels, Texas is promoting a “Read for the Win” Summer reading program. Here is the link to explore their program. They state on their program website this about reading-- “Reading isn't just fun - it keeps us up to date on what's happening in the world, helps us connect with people in other places and times, and helps us keep our brains sharp. Reading is like exercising your mind!” Summer is an excellent time for outdoor activities to exercise our bodies and to be in physical shape. We must remind ourselves though as both libraries are emphasizing in their Summer reading programs exercise for the mind is just as important.

Someone on Facebook posted the quote picture I have listed here of a reading thought by UK author, Neal Gaiman, “The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is… to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means finding books that they enjoy, and letting them read them.” His thought is so important in today's world. Public Library Summer reading programs is one of the best ways to allow children to find the books they will enjoy. That is the beginning of a literary life. Librarians are there to help children and teens to find books that tap into their passionate interests. This Summer take your children or grandchildren to your local library to be involved in their reading programs. They have programs for adults as well so pick up books for yourself at the same time.

Fell free to comment on any thoughts you have about Summer Reading.

Reflection: What books are you reading this Summer? How can you encourage those in your circle of influence to involve themselves at their local library?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Enjoying Ohio’s Natural Splendor

On our recent vacation to Ohio we made it a point to enjoy some of Ohio’s parks. As I mention in my book, Living More Than OK, taking time to enjoy the splendor of nature is one way to improve in living a more than ok life. Going to nature parks adds to life by slowing down and being awed by the amazing details of God’s creation in nature. I am going to mention several of the parks that stood out in our last Ohio trip.

Holden Arboretum

The first place we visited was Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio. The arboretum was started in the 1930’s by the from a gift from the Holden family. Over the years the Holden Arboretum has grown to 3,600 acres in Lake and Geauga counties. We started off the time there with a short tram tour which took us around the main areas describing the plants and trees and a history lesson on the development of the arboretum. Then the rest of the time there we went back to some of the areas we wanted to look at in more detail. Here is the website if you want to learn more about the arboretum -

The flowers and the trees were kept well. The experience gave an awareness of how some people of great wealth use their money wisely so that future generations can enjoy learning about and appreciating nature.

Tinkers Creek Gorge Overlook

This nature site I went to with my brother who enjoys hiking in the many metro parks in Ohio. The Tinker's Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook offered a spectacular view of the wooded area. Tinker's Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook is located off Gorge Parkway in the Bedford Reservation in the Cleveland area. As you can see from the pictures the hiking paths are heavily shaded and think with a variety of trees. Even it was a warm day the trees’ shade created a natural air conditioning. There were also a variety of wildflowers growing along the pathways to enjoy as well. The area is a great place for a morning or afternoon hike. Here is a the website for more information:

Silver Creek Metro Park

The third and last park we enjoyed in our week visit to Ohio was Sliver Creek Metro Part near Norton, Ohio actual address is listed as Doylestown. We had stayed in Norton several times in the past and never knew of this park. The park is 1,008 acres with a 50 acre spring fed lake. The experience there was so peaceful especially as we sat at a bench just reflecting on the lake with the peaceful water. We just took a short 2 mile hike of the Chippewa Trail. Along that trail there was a pine tree lined pond with frogs croaking. Here is the website for information on this park:

I have included pictures from each park. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words so I hope you will enjoy the pictures.

Reflection: What is the favorite park you have visited? On your vacations do you make it a point to visit nature parks? What do you learn from experiencing nature parks?