Archive for April, 2014

My Life with a Wounded Warrior: Essays by Pamela FosterMy Life with a Wounded Warrior: Essays by Pamela Foster by Pamela Foster

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pamela Foster writes with humor and honesty about the realities of living with and loving a combat vet afflicted with PTSD. An intriguing mix of desperation, determination, dignity, and almost-despair, and that tiny voice from Pandora’s box: hope. This is a MUST READ for anyone with connections to someone who struggles with PTSD.

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is dead.  Across the chasm of the unshared that separates me from him, I see a firing squad, feel the memory of ice, chill on my skin.  I smell blood and fire.  And there is war, and there, a ruined ship in the jungle.  And I’m not sure whether I’m really remembering any of this accurately or whether they are sensations created in my mind alone, suggested but not specified in One Hundred Years of Solitude.

New York Times

The Atlantic

The Yellow Trolley Car in Barcelona, and Other Visions (William Kennedy interview with GGM, The Atlantic, 1973)

I read the novel a few years ago and it fascinated me–the work itself and the “genre” of magical realism (if you can limit this approach to a genre).  It’s odd how death reignites our interests.

 One Hundred Years of Solitude:        Amazon   BN    Goodreads

Magical Realism:     Princeton (brief)     Wikipedia (90+ references)     Writing World      Magical Realism


Magical Realism Shelf (Goodreads)


I hope GGM would be pleased that his words prompted an expanded awareness of the world around me, of his world and of mine.  I’m grateful he shared them with me.





Over the years, I’ve accumulated a small collection of ‘Hiking (fill in the state) with Kids’ guidebooks.  I pulled this one from my shelves again because I thought the gentler kids’ hikes would be good for the recuperative process I’m going through since breaking my leg badly just after Christmas.

Last year we day-hiked around Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  (You can read more about it here, and hereabouts.)   This year we’re staying closer to home.

If you’d like to read my “review” of the book, it’s here.  One of my favorite features is the month-by-month rundown of hiking conditions in the state.  I come from the West, and hiking is different there than in the Middle South.  For instance, I never thought about checking the weather forecast for tornadoes.  Getting local information to augment the generalities of hiking how-to makes for a much more pleasant experience. This is true whether or not you are hiking with children.

I’m putting in a plug here for these types of books.  They are a great resource if you have children or grandchildren, or you are recovering from an injury, just getting started hiking, or simply looking for more easier hikes.  They are available for many states (perhaps all, though I could not attest to that) and are easily found, in my experience, in the local interest sections of bookstores.  Pick them up for dayhikes or camping trips close to home, or check them out for a fresh air break from driving, side trip, or destination when you are traveling farther afield.

Almost forgot: Here’s a link to Hike Arkansas, website by Tim Ernst, co-author of this book, well-known nature photographer and outdoor guidebook guru.