If you are between 8 and 108 years old and like to read middle grade books, then you are especially welcome here!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted: May 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

On a beautiful day like today, I suggest you take your mom to a National Park!

Find a National Park near you.

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Happy Easter!

Posted: April 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

At Easter I think of bunny ears in all their glory, ending with my favorite kind: the ones atop a delicious coconut bunny cake.

My love for this holiday treat started early. Here I am, your not-so-humble author, proudly showing an Easter bunny cake I helped create. I haven’t made one since. It’s baking time!

Happy Easter, everybody!

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Sing along!

Posted: December 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

I have written about my distant relative, American songwriter Cornelius Power, and his fierce, artistic rivalry with his BFF, composer James Lord Pierpont, author of the immortal classic “Jingle Bells.”

Cornelius’s sleigh-ride song, “Horsey Snow Ride,” is not as well-known. The sheet music has been lost in the sands of time, sadly, but the lyrics can be sung to the tune of “America the Beautiful.” Whether or not it’s snowing outside, it makes a rousing holiday number. Let’s all sing along!

HORSEY SNOW RIDE by Cornelius Power (1821-1915)

Let’s take a sleigh ride on the snow

And travel to and fro

While snowflakes pile on our heads

As we cry, “Here we go!”

Oh horsey ride, oh horsey ride,

You are so fast and fun!

You make us glad that winter’s here.

God bless us, every one!

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A holiday letter

Posted: December 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

This is my second cousin once removed, composer Cornelius Power.

Composer Cornelius Power (April 1, 1821 – July 4, 1915)

Cornelius loved writing letters, and every year at holiday time, the Power family turns to one of them in particular, which has been handed down through the generations. It is dated December 17, 1856, and I’d like to share it with you.

Greetings, Holiday People!

You’ll never guess what I’m doing right now. I am actually dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh. Contrary to expectations, I am not laughing all the way. It is far too cold here in this winter wonderland for that. As it is, I am bundled up from head to toe in warm clothing, but I think I’ll burrow down deep into the cozy quilts and blankets that my sleigh driver has so thoughtfully provided.

Sleigh driver? Ha! It is my BFF, James Lord Pierpont, the famous organist and composer and my comradely rival in all musical endeavors. James has got a thing about one-horse open sleighs. The only thing he cares more about than composing catchy songs is dashing through the snow. He is working on a new song about it now, but I can’t see it going anywhere. He calls it “Jingle Bells,” and it’s fairly simpleminded, not at all up to the high standard he set with “Ring the Bell, Fanny.”

How I long for a cup of hot cocoa! We brought a whole lake of it in a thermos, but it spilled all over the floor of the sleigh thanks to James’s erratic driving. He’s up there now on the absolute edge of his seat, cracking the whip and singing at the top of his lungs. I’m burrowing further into the blankets and quilts. It’s a well-known fact in these parts that survivors of sleigh crashes are nearly always found closest to the floor of the vehicle.

I can only imagine how wondrous one-horse sleighs will be one hundred and fifty or so years from now, but I daresay holiday wishes will have remained exactly the same. By then, no doubt poor James’s simpleminded ditty “Jingle Bells” will have been long relegated to the dustbin and some other songwriter will have come along to better describe how fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh. I am far too humble to be referring to myself, of course, although some say my sleigh song “Horsey Snow Ride” is the catchiest number they’ve ever heard.

Darn it, James! That turn was much too sharp. Ohhhhhhhh!!!!

(At this point the letter ends in a series of jagged marks.)

Of course, as history shows, Cousin Cornelius was wrong about “Jingle Bells.” James Lord Pierpont’s sleigh-ride song went on to become one of the best known and most commonly sung winter songs in the world, whereas, sadly, Cornelius’s own sleigh song “Horsey Snow Ride” has been completely ignored. But he was right about holiday wishes. They’ve remained exactly the same.

Give thanks for blessings.

Say a prayer for peace.

Give a donation where it’s needed.

Resolve to be a little more patient, a little more forgiving, and a lot more helpful.

Amen to that!

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