Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Delightful Day on a Mountaintop

Nadine, Ash, and Vicki



Nadine, Ash and Glenda
On this beautiful autumn day I was invited to join four former writing students at the home of Nadine J. on top of a mountain in north Georgia. We sat on her nicely appointed deck and feasted on a lovely lunch, enjoyed a bottle of wine with various desserts and laughed at the clever remarks of our dear friend, Ginny.

One of the nicest perks of teaching adults is finding friendships in the class. When the course ended, Ash Rothlein, a WWII veteran, enjoyed the others so much he invited them to the home he shares with his lovely wife, Liz, where they continued sharing their stories. I was included. Since that time, several years ago, we have all come to love each other.

Nadine's gritty and memorable stories about her childhood growing up in a coal mining camp will soon be compiled in a memoir. Meanwhile she designs interiors for fine homes all over the country.

Ash is involved in trying to reach descendants of those brave men buried above the beach in Normandy where he plans to be on the seventieth anniversary of that battle and on his 90th birthday. His writing consists of articles about his mission on D-Day for the Citizen-Times and other newspapers. Today he said he wants to motivate people to think about the lives lost in that war and the way our country came together as one after the fighting was over. Ash believes America can return to the way we were then. He is speaking to college students and sharing his story with all who listen, and those who listen find him captivating.

Writing has brought me joy in many ways, but finding friends such as Ginny, Vicki, Nadine, Ash and Liz is like the cherry on top of the whipped cream on the hot fudge sundae. We wrote down what we are thankful for in 2011, and these good friends were at the top of my list.

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