The other day I was in the staff room at work and heard a discussion about how humanities subjects were thought less of than maths and science. It was also suggested that geography and history should be combined.
Well, I have long believed that learning about geography has a value for everyone, in every occupation. So here are a few reasons why:
Structural Engineers need to know where and how rivers flow to best plan the location of bridges. They also need to know about rock formations and the type of soil in the area.
Taxi Drivers need to know the best roads to take and to know which roads will lead them to their passenger's desired destination. Paramedics, Firemen and Police Officers need to know the fastest routes to take.
Doctors need to know about where someone has travelled from because some diseases are only found in certain countries/regions.
Town Planners need to know about the population - where it is growing, how fast and what those people want and need in the way of infrastructure.
Surveyors need to know about the contours of the land - where there are hills and mountains, the paths of rivers, the locations of old mine shafts and other things.
Seismologists, Vulcanologists and Geologists need to know about landforms - how they change, how they looked in the past and what they look like know to be able to predict the effect earthquakes and volcanoes will have on the land.
Architects need to know about wind forces, landforms, population and a range of other things to make buildings safe and able to withstand everything that may possibly happen in the life of that building.
There are many other occupations that I could list, but these are just a few.
Finally, everyone needs to know how to get from "A" to "B" and what the weather will be.
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
LISA BERGREN is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty books, with more than two million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time working as a freelance editor and writer while parenting three children with her husband, Tim, and dreaming of the family’s next visit to Taos.
Krista Mueller is in a good place. She’s got a successful career as a professor of history; she’s respected and well-liked; and she lives hundreds of miles from her hometown and the distant mother she could never please. It’s been more than a decade since Alzheimer’s disease first claimed Charlotte Mueller’s mind, but Krista has dutifully kept her mother in a first-class nursing home.
Now Charlotte is dying of heart failure and, surprised by her own emotions, Krista rushes to Taos, New Mexico, to sit at her estranged mother’s side as she slips away. Battling feelings of loss, abandonment, and relief, Krista is also unsettled by her proximity to Dane McConnell, director of the nursing home—and, once upon a time, her first love. Dane’s kind and gentle spirit—and a surprising discovery about her mother—make Krista wonder if she can at last close the distance between her and her mother … and open the part of her heart she thought was lost forever.
“A timeless tale, to be kept every day in the heart as a reminder
that forgiveness is a gift to self.”
—PATRICIA HICKMAN, author of The Pirate Queen
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (August 16, 2011)
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
“She’s dying, Krista.”
I took a long, slow breath. “She died a long time ago, Dane.”
He paused, and I could picture him formulating his next words, something that would move me. Why was my relationship with my mother so important to him? I mean, other than the fact that she was a patient in his care. “There’s still time, Kristabelle.”
I sighed. Dane knew that his old nickname for me always got to me. “For what? For long, deep conversations?” I winced at the harsh slice of sarcasm in my tone.
“You never know,” he said quietly. “An aide found something you should see.”
“Come. I’ll keep it here in my office until you arrive. Consider it a Christmas present.”
“It’s December ninth.”
“Okay, consider it an early present.”
It was typical of him to hold out a mysterious hook like that. “I don’t know, Dane. The school term isn’t over yet. It’s a hard time to get someone to cover for me.” It wasn’t the whole truth. I had an assistant professor who could handle things on her own. And I could get back for finals. Maybe. Unless Dane wasn’t overstating the facts.
“Krista. She’s dying. Her doctor tells me she has a few weeks, tops. Tell your department chair. He’ll let you go. This is the end.” I stared out my cottage window to the old pines that covered my yard in shadows. The end. The end had always seemed so far away. Too far away. In some ways I wanted an end to my relationship with my mother, the mother who had never loved me as I longed to be loved. When she started disappearing, with her went so many
of my hopes for what could have been. The road to this place had been long and lonely. Except for Dane. He had always been there, had always waited. I owed it to him to show. “I’ll be there on Saturday.”
“I’ll be here. Come and find me.”
“Okay. I teach a Saturday morning class. I can get out of here after lunch and down there by five or six.”
“I’ll make you dinner.”
“Dinner. At seven.”
I slowly let my mouth close and paused. I was in no mood to argue with him now. “I’ll meet you at Cimarron,” I said.
“Great. It will be good to see you, Kristabelle.” I closed my eyes, imagining him in his office at Cimarron Care Center. Brushing his too-long hair out of his eyes as he looked through his own window.
“It will be good to see you, too, Dane. Good-bye.”
He hung up then without another word, and it left me feeling slightly bereft. I hung on to the telephone receiver as if I could catch one more word, one more breath, one more connection with the man who had stolen my heart at sixteen.
Dane McConnell remained on my mind as I wrapped up things at the college, prepped my assistant, Alissa, to handle my history classes for the following week, and then drove the scenic route down to Taos from Colorado Springs, about a five-hour trip. My old Honda Prelude hugged the roads along the magnificent San Luis Valley. The valley’s shoulders were still covered in late spring snow, her belly carpeted in a rich, verdant green. It was here that in 1862 Maggie O’Neil single-handedly led a wagon train to settle a town in western Colorado, and nearby Cecilia Gaines went so
crazy one winter they named a waterway in her honor—“Woman Hollering Creek.”
I drove too fast but liked the way the speed made my scalp tingle when I rounded a corner and dipped, sending my stomach flying. Dane had never driven too fast. He was methodical in everything he did, quietly moving ever forward. He had done much in his years since grad school, establishing Cimarron and making it a national think tank for those involved in gerontology. After high school we had essentially ceased communication for years before Cimarron came about. Then when Mother finally got to the point in her descent into Alzheimer’s that she needed fulltime institutionalized care, I gave him a call. I hadn’t been able to find a facility that I was satisfied with for more than a year, when a college friend had shown me the magazine article on the opening of Cimarron and its patron saint, Dane McConnell.
“Good looking and nice to old people,” she had moaned. “Why can’t I meet a guy like that?”
“I know him,” I said, staring at the black-and-white photograph.
“I do. Or did. We used to be…together.”
“What happened?” she asked, her eyes dripping disbelief.
“I’m not sure.”
I still wasn’t sure. Things between us had simply faded over the years. But when I saw him again, it all seemed to come back. Or at least a part of what we had once had. There always seemed to be a submerged wall between us, something we couldn’t quite bridge or blast through. So we had simply gone swimming toward different shores.
Mother’s care had brought us back together over the last five years. With the congestive heart failure that was taking her body, I supposed the link between us would finally be severed. I would retreat to Colorado, and he would remain in our beloved Taos, the place of our youth, of our beginnings, of our hearts. And any lingering dream of living happily ever after with Dane McConnell could be buried forever with my unhappy memories of Mother.
I loosened my hands on the wheel, realizing that I was gripping
it so hard my knuckles were white. I glanced in the rearview mirror, knowing that my reverie was distracting me from paying attention to the road. It was just that Dane was a hard man to get over. His unique ancestry had gifted him with the looks of a Scottish Highlander and the sultry, earthy ways of the Taos Indians. A curious, inspiring mix that left him with both a leader’s stance and a wise man’s knowing eyes. Grounded but visionary. A driving force, yet empathetic at the same time. His employees loved working for him. Women routinely fell in love with him.
I didn’t know why I could never get my act together so we could finally fall in love and stay in love. He’d certainly done his part. For some reason I’d always sensed that Dane was waiting for me, of all people. Why messed-up, confused me? Yet there he was. I’d found my reluctance easy to blame on my mother. She didn’t love me as a mother should, yada-yada, but I’d had enough time with my counselor to know that there are reasons beyond her. Reasons that circle back to myself.
I’d always felt as if I was chasing after parental love, but the longer I chased it, the further it receded from my reach. It left a hole in my heart that I was hard-pressed to fill. God had come close to doing the job. Close. But there was still something there, another blockade I had yet to blast away. I would probably be working on my “issues” my whole life. But as my friend Michaela says, “Everyone’s got issues.” Supposedly I need to embrace them. I just want them to go away.
“Yeah,” I muttered. Dane McConnell was better off without me. Who needed a woman still foundering in her past?
I had to focus on Mother. If this was indeed the end, I needed to wrap things up with her. Find closure. Some measure of peace. Even if she couldn’t say the words I longed to hear.
I love you, Krista.
Why was it that she had never been able to force those four words from her lips?
1. In November, I most look forward to getting going with plans for Christmas.
The last parent has arrived...phew!
3. It's right there, in the
4. You can have peace of mind.
5. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
6. I can't remember
what my grandmother used to say!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm
looking forward to a quiet night at home, tomorrow my plans include
collecting a parcel from the post office and Sunday, I want to enjoy the fellowship at church and wear a new outfit!
Amber from Seasons of Humility is hosting a book swap. Unfortunatly I can't swap any books with her because I am in Australia and she is in the US, so I was wondering if any of my Australian friends would be interested in swapping some books.
The following is what I put as a comment on her blog.
I'm prepared to give away: Mary Connealy books ~Petticoat Ranch ~Calico Canyon ~Gingham Mountain ~Montana Rose ~The Husband Tree ~Wildflower Bride ~Doctor in Petticoats ~Wrangler in Petticoats ~Sharpshooter in Petticoats
Liz Curtis Higgs books: ~Thorn in My Heart ~Fair is the Rose ~Whence Came a Prince ~Grace in Thine Eyes
The Youngest Hero by Jerry Jenkins
I'm looking for: Robin Jones Gunn Books: ~Christy Miller series ~Sierra Jensen series ~Departures ~Christy and Todd: The College Years ~Katie Weldon series ~Christie Miller's Diary
Mary Grant Bruce books: I have all of the Billaabong series and Golden Fiddles, but if anyone has any of her other books I'd be interested in them.
So if there is anyone is Australia looking for the books I listed or has any of the ones I am searching for available, please leave a comment.