Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wonderfully Opinionated Women

I've long wished that I could join a readers group. What could be more fun than being part of a sisterhood that all read the same book and then gets together and talks about it? For someone like me it would be like food. And I love food, almost any kind. Sadly, my schedule doesn't allow for such fun, but my need to make it happen has been stirred up. I'm searching for a way.

Recently, I was invited to be a guest at a local Readers Group called Wonderfully Opinionated Women--better known as WOW. What a great evening I had! These gals were terrific!

My book Valley of Promises and I were the topics of discussion. I've visited writers' groups before, but always as a guest speaker, not as part of the group. This was a one of a kind experience.

WOW is a pretty large group and has been meeting for several years. The camaraderie was immediately evident. Even so, the ladies made me feel like part of them. After sharing a delicious meal that they'd taken from the book, we jumped into a stimulating discussion. They had lots of questions about the book and the story about the Haspers, how I found the story and the characters and their names, about me and my faith and how I started writing and more.

Time passed quickly. The ladies were funny and intelligent. It was pure pleasure. And my desire for a reading group was reenergized. I feel a little like that pink bunny you see on television that just keeps going and going. Well now, I'm praying for a way to make time for this kind of fun.

If you love to read, join a group or put one together yourself. Each group has its own personality. Not everyone will have the same taste in literature, but that's part of the fun. You'll discover books and authors you otherwise never would have. And what a great way to make new and long-lasting friendships.

I'd love to visit more groups. I'm just waiting for invitations. :-)

Thank you WOW for inviting me and for being so gracious. You were definitely one of the highlights of my year.

Blessings from Bonnie

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Senior Gentlemen

Today was a good day. A group of senior gentlemen who meet once a month at the Roseburg Country Club and call themselves the Lunch Bunch, invited me to speak. Some of the men attending are friends of mine. I looked forward to the afternoon, knowing I'd enjoy myself. I did.

The time I spent with this group of special men (and their wives), got me to thinking and longing for something that's missing in this world--cordialness. The dictionary describes cordial as courteous, gracious; warm. That describes these guys.

From the moment I arrived, they were attentive and polite and they made me feel special and respected. And something more; when I looked into their eyes--everyone one of them--I could see goodness. And these fellows looked back at me as if they truly saw me. When I spoke they listened and then actually considered what I'd said. They were inquisitive and asked intelligent, meaningful questions.

After the luncheon was over I went on my way, but I felt a longing to spend more time with quality people like these. They made my day, my week, and maybe even more than that. I saw something in these fellows that I do not see in my generation and the generations following me--cordialness.

Where have the gentlemen gone? Too many men (and women) are too busy to spend time with others, too self-absorbed to be courteous, and sometimes too arrogant to truly listen to a female. I apologize if I sound discontent, but I guess I am. I long for something more to happen when people meet. I want to connect, not just pass each other by.

Perhaps the men I met yesterday were brash in their youth, as youth have a habit of being, and have only now learned to savor the moment. But these "Old Timers" possess a special quality, something our young men are missing or maybe it's simply something that's been lost as generations have passed.

Wouldn't it be great if men like the ones I met today could bestow some of their cordialness to others, especially to the young men coming up. If only the young would pay attention--they'd learn a thing or two. I entreat the "Old Timers" to connect with the young. They . . . we need you to pass on the qualities that make a gentleman, that is . . . a gentle man. For that's what you are and that's what we need more of.