I’ve been in Kalispell with my son, daughter, and son-in-law, but moved to Bigfork in time for the “Wild Mile” – an annual event where kayakers from far and wide test their skills against a rush of whitewater. The Swan River drops quickly from Swan Lake, through Bigfork, and makes its way into Flathead Lake.
Looking at the serene picture above, one might miss the danger and uncertainty these kayakers braved. I feel a kinship (although I have no desire to try my hand at this particular sport). Life has been a wild ride for most of us, and we’re ready for it to slow down and mellow out.
This trip has allowed me to work on a project that is dear to my heart. I call it, “Share a Cup of Gratitude.” You can read more about it under that heading on my web page. It’s a tool to reconnect us, lighten our conversations that have taken a dark turn, and hopefully bring back some humor as we collectively focus on gratitude.
“Thanks is what multiplies the joy and makes any life large, and I hunger for it.” Ann Voskamp
I hope you’ll imbibe! It’s not ready to release yet, but soon I hope you’ll choose to Share a Cup of Gratitude with those you love!
This year brought huge changes for me, as it did for most of us. My gracious mom passed in March at eighty-eight; I ended a thirty-six-year marriage in April and moved into my fifth wheel; we sold our home in May; I put the few belongings I wanted to keep into a ten-by-ten storage unit in June. Though dealing with the weight of grief, my life feels…untethered. Light.
Through all the heartbreak, God has met me. Friends, who are further along on this road of aloneness, are helping me build hope that good things are yet to come. In this new season, I will pass on that hope while it is fresh and trust it will make a difference.
And so, I begin this journey across the country and invite you to join me on what I sense will be an exciting, productive time for me. And for the characters in my novels. I hope to publish “Astoria: City of Rumors,” Book One of the “Get Eaven” suspense series this year, followed by “Charleston Tides,” Book Two that I hope to finish this summer. You will be the first to know when they are available.
Thank you for enjoying my novels and your good wishes, Cheryl
While I was touring Tuscany, a local merchant asked if I had seen the sword in the stone located less than fifteen kilometers away. He gave directions to a hill called Montesiepi and the next day my husband and I visited the most enchanting place I’ve ever been: the Abbey of San Galgano.
The roofless abbey is spectacular and hosts concerts and weddings in this century of its life. But its past is even more gripping.
We hiked past a vineyard up to the chapel of San Galgano – named for Galgano Guidotti, a wayward knight. In a vision, the archangel Michael told Galgano to cease his violent ways, the knight replied that would be as easy as plunging his sword into the stone at his feet. He later said the stone melted like butter as his sword entered. No one has been able to pull it out.
This event happened a year before this story appeared in the King Arthur tales. Hmm.
Galgano became a hermit on the hilltop of Montesiepi, which soon became a Catholic pilgrimage. Galgano was sainted and the chapel built around the sword.
A beautiful Cistercian abbey followed, built in the fertile land below.
Its current history is also fascinating. A few years ago, vandals broke off and stole the hilt of the sword. It was recovered, the metal tested, and guess what? It is definitely an 11th-century sword.
This story plays a big part in my novel, “The Proof,” yet in a way I didn’t expect. It adds richness to the story. Where history was silent, I added a few vivid details.
For more info and pics, visit: http://www.italiantourism.com/news03.htm