3.17.2013

Over The Moon

Tonight I'm over the moon because we enjoyed such beautiful spring weather on our last day of spring break. Since it's St. Patrick's Day, today marks what would have been my Grandma Natzke's 103rd birthday. 

She has been on my mind 
and in my heart all day.

Here's a treasured picture of her and Grandpa from my bedside nightstand.



She lived to be 98 years old, each of them happy years 
because Grandma knew that happiness is a choice. 
Think happy, be happy.
 I have so many great childhood memories of Grandma Natzke because she lived on the farm with us, in the house just down the lane. One of my favorite things about going to her house was the gum drawer, probably because we didn't have one, and she did. 
Sometimes we'd sneak an extra stick of Juicy Fruit. 
She never let on, but I suspect she always knew.
Another thing I loved is that she was always humming. 
Our Joshua hums, too, and it reminds me of her.

The weather was so mild that we worked on our vegetable garden ...


 and our rose garden before sitting poolside with a relaxing read.


That leads me to the point of this late-night post. See that book on my little table? It came in the mail yesterday from the author. He thought I'd like it, that it would be a good fit for me, and he was right! 
I picked it up and could not put it down. 


Maggie Vaults Over The Moon by Grant Overstake is a young adult novel set in rural Grain Valley, so its first connection to me is that Maggie, like me, is a farmer's daughter. When she's driving the tractor, I could smell the straw that she was helping harvest and feel how itchy it is. When she wins a ribbon showing her lamb at the Fair, it took me back to that day when I won Showmanship at the Brown County Fair so many years ago. And when she's in the hay loft, I could feel the breeze on my face as I swung to the rafters on that barn swing. Another connection is the small town she lives in and 3A school she attends. When she was running the halls as she trains for track, I was right alongside of her in the halls of Reedsville High where I experienced the exact same workout my senior (and first) year on the track team. A third connection is the special bond she has with ... you guessed it ... her Grandmother

It truly is serendipitous to be reading a book that totally could have been my story on my Grandma's birthday. But would this novel still resonate with me without all of those uncanny connections? Without a doubt. Events that come crashing our way very early in the book will undoubtedly engage any reader, and endear him or her to Maggie, a likable teen with an indomitable spirit, and to her family as they courageously face their feelings and move forward. What might have stopped someone else dead in their tracks instead vaults Maggie to new heights as she processes her grief and loss and makes peace with her new normal.

Have I piqued your interest? 
Would you like to read it next? 
I'll send my copy to the first reader who comments.
Check out this book; 
I enthusiastically recommend it.


8 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book. I grew up on a farm too. My grandma has been gone 20 years and I still miss her a bunch.

    Julie

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  2. This book sounds a lot like Wisconsin to me Barbara! Get in that pool to heal your body too.

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  3. Maybe it's "serendipitous" that it's pouring rain outside and I can't walk so instead I ambled over to The Corner this morning and may be the first one to comment! I love YA literature and like you, had a special bond with a (great) grandmother. I'd love to read Maggie's story! Thanks for an uplifting and sentimental post. (My grandma kept Dentyne in her gum drawer....) Wishing you a peace and joy-filled day back after Spring Break!

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  4. Wishing I could give you the little "heart" symbol here! :)

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  5. Spring is here, too! Glad you were able to get out and do some gardening.
    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

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  6. Memories of on "The Farm" with Grandma are precious. Black cows to drink, the hay loft during haying season, climbing fences to feed the animals, and learning to drive the tractor. Wow--grandma was one special lady who had all the time in world for us. Can't wait to read the book.

    Little jealous of the lovely weather and pool. It snowing again in WI, another four inches with windchill below zero for the next day. Do you miss it?

    Hope you are doing much better! Thoughts and prayers. Kathy

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  7. I liked hearing about your Grandmother. Grandma's are special folks! Nice story. Thanks!

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  8. Now those are indeed some connections!! I LOVED this book as well! I'm going to book talk it to my 5/6 graders after spring break. I would love to read about Maggie in future books!!! :)

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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