Mary E. Adair
The way we spend our time is one of the most distinctive things that makes us individuals. Much ado has been made recently over the man who took three years of his life to travel the route originally traced by Lewis and Clark expeditioners who had been commissioned to map the area northwest of Saint Louis, Missouri. He returned in only one month more of elapsed time than the original trek, because he also did not use any motorized modes of transportation. Now, I assume that the first expedition was a commercial venture, and suspect that this one is, or will be also. If the man was not sponsored before, he will surely recoup expenses by writing a book about his adventure, and include any mis-adventures along the way to keep the readers' interest focused.
Others have chosen various modes of transportation for their own quests: the lonesome seafarer, the elevated balloonist, the bi-plane pilots, etc. People seem to stand in awe, or perhaps more factually, sit in front of their TV screens in awe of such journeys. Is it the loss of daily chores--time the rest of us have put in willingly or unwillingly while they trudged, jogged, biked, soared or sailed on their escape from those chores--that intrigues us? Do we wonder where the funds for such an adventure were scraped together? Do we secretly yearn to simply disappear from our regimens, and admire others who have successfully done so? Or are we amazed by trying to understand their personal motivation in such hermetical tours?
Five females of our family recently took our own tour from Texas up to Ontario Canada and back, meeting along the way another generation female, making four generations on that day who were taking time out of their usual routines. I have to admit we had a an extraordinary trip that suited us to a tee. Not only are we blood-kin, but we are friends. That, in itself, seems unusual to many people who expressed concerns that we would be bored traveling with 'just family.' It was time well spent for us.
And speaking of time, can it truly be October already?
Just checked the calendar, and sure enough, that's what it says. Now I know why all the serious and somewhat frightening literary material has crossed my email desk. The month of hobgoblins and jack o'lanterns has rolled around again.
Not that all the submissions this month are on the 'other side' of flowers and light, for some are as wholesome as ... well, Western Swing Dancing. That is one of our articles, in fact, "A Short History of Western Swing" by Leo C. Helmer. Not only does he discuss the originators of this styling, but he also lists some of the tunes that embody Western Swing.
Another article you won't want to miss is "The Staff" by our capable Webmaster, Mike Craner. He has a definite viewpoint about nature that will have you considering all those trees you drive by as a realm of their own.
"On The Other Hand" also gives you a new perspective on something that happens to you... at least once a year. Connie Anast's idea may be one you will want to try for yourself.
"Cassandra's World" always provides a certain enchantment, as this lady continues to stay abreast of technology reports and scientific discoveries. Cassandra has a unique way of putting them into context with her living style, and remembering what is really important in her life.
When you start thinking of others, and nice things you can do to show your love to them, don't miss the avenues featured in "Great Reviews (and Shameless Plugs)" by Amanda Speed.
Another stop and read again column is the "Provocations" by pbobby. His writing is well named because it does provoke ... questions, amazement, agreement, and puzzlement more often than not. As with the other columnists, you can post your own questions or comments at the end of the page.
We are so pleased to welcome Cheri Kennedy back to her column of "Cheri and Mary Explore The Movies" where she points out some home truths about hate in her review.
Leo C. Helmer explains the best method to prepare wholesome sandwiches in "Cookin' With Leo" in a recipe that you might want to consider if you are packing or carrying lunches.
Only a couple of things were restored from previous issues wiped out in the Fall of '99 crash of our site. One is the intriguing story by Virginia Allen who was (will be again, hopefully) one of our columnists, called "Ginger's Ghost Tale". We vouch for Virginia's veracity in relating this story, as she is well known to us.
The short story "The Youth Setana" was originally published in Hobbie$, Etc., the newspaper format magazine that is the forerunner of Pencil Stubs Online. This author is new to this e-zine format, however, but further material from William Goble is expected.
Bruce Clifford is first time author to our magazine. Be sure to read his "Looking Through" poem. Other first-timers, Jennafer Shaffer - "Road Trip" poem, and Jeanne Wakefield - "The Devil's Own" have submitted their versions of life when it really gets too uncomfortable.
Kenneth Rea Berry's poem "Red Herrings" falls in this category, as does Shell Heller's "Angel" and more than one of Blinder's poems. Blinder does have one jolly poem, "Pint O' Ale" while Phil Hennesy, LSeeker, M. Jay Mansfield and your editor search for resolutions.
Some of our columnists, their time embroiled in the first semester of school, and/or new jobs or locations, didn't submit their words for this issue. We wish them well in their individual pursuits. . .and wonder if any of them have set off on a tour fulfilling their own dreams. If so, we certainly expect a wonderful report from them in the future!
See you in November!