Cool facts about cicadas. Why it's a good idea to allow those bright and beautiful dandelions to grow in your lawn, and keep them clean of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Where the poets are giving local readings. How to snow plow and how long your skis should be. How to tell a great story and maybe even help your exceptionally bright and gifted child express themselves with art.
Many of the most interesting and talented folks I've ever met have been sponges--meaning, they've got a huge array of interests and they drink up knowledge like a good cookie soaks up milk.
Some folks with those characteristics hoard what they've learned, while others love to share their discoveries.
The sharing doesn't come from an innate need to brag with these people. It comes from a compulsion to help others learn and enjoy many of the same things they do. Sometimes they do this in a classroom. Sometimes while working in whatever field(s) they've developed expertise in while on the job.
Some of the best classrooms though, are in the corners of coffee shops, on shady park benches and even church pews.
Ann Rains, a Mt. Vernon native, has had some amazing adventures during her time spent away from Posey County, Indiana. She spent several years as a ski instructor, taught gifted children at a private school, became an EMT and worked with her local ski team of emergency med techs, was a college professor and has authored and illustrated three children's books that are not yet published but given a bit of time, don't be surprised to see her doing book signings at a library near you!
After more than 40 years away, many folks in Posey County are thrilled to have her back, especially a few of us who've only recently had the privilege of meeting her.
Thankfully, she didn't come back to Posey County and settle in as a total retiree. This lady has far too much to offer and too much energy to spend, and we're very privileged to have her work currently gracing the pages of the New-Harmony Gazette and the Posey Observer.
When we (my sister and I) first met Ann, it was at a get-together with some other other local journalists hosted by the New-Harmony Gazette.
Everyone attending was interesting and talented and Alicia and I thoroughly enjoyed getting acquainted with each of them. Since then, I've been making my way through recent and back issues of the Gazette, in both a physical and online format. Ann's articles have figured prominently in my reading. I've found her journalism to be fresh, timely and diverse.
Here's a list of some of her more recent work I hope you'll bookmark and check out ...
In Ann, the Gazette's got it's very own Julia Sugarbaker with one big difference, she gets a gold-star in congeniality, which the Sugarbaker women never seemed to be into.
Like most gentle-souled Southern ladies, she's quick with a smile and to put her company and colleagues at ease. If ever you have the privilege of meeting her, Ann is a perfect example of a fact that Southern elegance and manner by no means reflects weakness, mentally or physically. She's impressively agile with both.
Since Southwestern Indiana doesn't usually produce enough snow for skiing, Ann's love and enthusiasm for sports hasn't been diminished--she just found another way to feed the crave. These days instead of locking on skis and hitting the slopes, she's paddling a kayak and hiking with friends and her beautiful rescued K9, Pepper, who accompanied her to our interview.
Yet another reason ...
The work of this lovely lady is yet another reason to subscribe to the New-Harmony Gazette and experience the charm of Ann's expertise in many editions.
She's community oriented, staying informed of current events and is active in the local indie-biz and artisans' communities. Now that you've seen her in this article, I hope if you're out and about and happen to cross paths with her, you'll not mind to stop and introduce yourself. For some, that'd be really easy to do since one of the perks of being a writer in a small village is that you actually get to meet some of your readers in person.
It's always nice to extend a compliment where it's earned for work well done, and Ann easily qualifies for that. But, if you're not in the area, you can also contact her via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the New-Harmony Gazette or The Posey Observer (they currently share a website) and leave a comment at the end of any articles you enjoy. It's an easy-peasy process and there's no charge involved.
My thanks to Ann Rains for making for such a fun and fascinating interview and for being a beautifully inspiring asset to the rivers' land. We appreciate your work and dedication to community, education, the indie biz and artisan community.
I'd also like to thank Alicia Jaye Phillips of On Story Street for her photography services during this interview.
And, to ensure I give credit where it's due ... Pepper, you were such a good boy through the whole affair. Thank you for being so well mannered while we visited!
That's it for this one!
God bless you, thanks for the read and please don't forget to thank a veteran at your next opportunity!
The smallest tip goes the longest way--like a good cup of coffee.
marcoujor, Virtual Buskers' Guild
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Thanks for your support of the indie biz community--Live long and prosper!
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