Colorful Journey by Sue Anne Bottomley {book review}


Colorful Journey by Sue Anne Bottomley {book review}  An Artist’s Adventure:  Drawing Every Town in New Hampshire

Colorful Journey

Library book. Loved it!

This book began as project DRAW-NH.

“Upon moving back to New Hampshire after 40 years away, I started to draw my surroundings, both our town and those nearby…”,

quoting the author. She proceeded to draw all 234 towns (and cities) within two year’s time.

The book is divided into the seven New Hampshire regions, and has an index of towns in the back. There is no map of towns, the reader either needs to know his geography or bring his own map.

Each drawing is unique. Some focus on a particular building. The artist lends more detail to certain styles than others. Some focus on a mountain or lake. Some show a vignette of the town with mountains peeking in the background. The drawings include all four seasons, as the artist was on a tight schedule, drawing in all manner of weather.

Accompanying each drawing is brief narrative, tastefully divided into a group of three per page. often included are the artist’s childhood memories, when the town was settled and incorporated, what activities or industry it was known for, and an explanation of what she drew, sometimes including the weather.

Having recently moved back to New Hampshire myself this book was a delight to read. The drawings and text are a delightful way of seeing New Hampshire through the artist’s eye. her sketches are not comprehensive, but rather representative of what is important to the artist. in sharing her beloved New Hampshire she has also shared a piece of herself.

I highly recommend this book to all readers, young and old, artists and non-artists, those who love New Hampshire as well as those who have never seen it. New Hampshire is a place everyone should visit. It will not disappoint, and neither will this book, Colorful Journey by Sue Anne Bottomley.

To see more of Sue Anne Bottomley’s drawings check out her blog.

You may purchase Colorful Journey on her website or on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and at local independent bookstores such as Main Street Bookends in Warner, New Hampshire.

And if you are trying not to add to your book collection, you may borrow Colorful Journey from your local public library.

My Goodreads review.

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Where Am I? {chronicle}


If you’re wondering where I am, and what’s going on, this the answer to your question, Where Am I?   {I’ll warn you, this post is longer than most.}

It’s been three months since I quit my job, packed my worldly belongings into a rental truck, loaded my car on a car carrier, drove 750 miles east to where my daughter and I packed it all into a storage unit.  Except those things which belonged to my mother, which went to my kids.

Thus ended the plan.  Since then I have engaged in job-hunting, house-hunting, church-hunting and sightseeing (not in any particular order).  And mostly I have prayed .. for wisdom, for direction, for protection, for God’s will and not mine.

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So three months later, Where Am I?  I’m at the end of the first leg of my search in New Hampshire.  I’ve been staying at campgrounds, sometimes at rest areas.  I’ve been in New Hampshire for a month.  I’ve found a wonderful church.  I’ve found towns I love.  I’ve applied for jobs.  I’ve had rejections.  I haven’t had any calls for interviews.

Apparently a host of more qualified people are applying for the same positions in hordes, overwhelming the human resources at these potential places of employment.  Some of them encourage me to keep trying.  Some of them are not that gracious.

What these human resource people don’t know is that God has a job for me somewhere.  I only need one, and eventually I’ll find it, because God has promised to provide for me.

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I’ve met some interesting people in the past month.  I camp in state park campgrounds.  Park Rangers are very interesting people.  They are helpful to someone like me who wants to know about the local area as a potential place to live.  Who ever said New Englanders were ‘cold’ hasn’t met a NH park ranger!

I stayed in a park where you couldn’t hear anything but the birds and an occasional airplane.  I stayed in a park where you had to yell to be heard over the road noise.   I’ve stayed at a rest area where people were standing outside their cars watching the lunar eclipse.

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I’ve traveled through the White Mountains.  I’ve gone to lakes.  I’ve watched horse and oxen pulling at local fairs.  I’ve enjoyed local food.  I’ve spent days in local libraries.  I’ve photographed the State House, covered bridges,  weathervanes,  colonial houses {instead of that awful yellow brick of the midwest}, farmers using old-fashioned hay-balers, and a myriad of other New England-ish things that you may or may not appreciate.

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I’ve immersed myself in the culture of this state where I grew up, and the people who think as I do.  I have shopped in the famous Market Basket stores which the Artie DeMoulas — well, one nearly destroyed, and the other saved.  Let me tell you, those employees love their job!  And they are friendly, too.

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So, what am I telling you all this for?  Without boring you with the details, I am telling you why I have not gotten back on my blogging schedule.  And if you are praying for me, how you might continue to so do.

What I mean to convey is this.  That in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, for whatever reason, no matter what the timing, God is in control.  Whatever we ask, He hears.  He answers.  Not always in the way we expect.  But He is always faithful.

And this.  When we pray and ask God to lead us, we had better stay back and let Him do the leading, not run out in front.  It is so natural to expect an immediate answer, and to get discouraged when we have to wait.  It is our human nature to have a picture of what the answer should look like, and thereby we miss the answer.

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And this.  I have learned, if nothing else, to genuinely say ‘Thank You’ to God for every thing.  Oh, I’m not always happy to have whatever it is, but I say thank You now.  Because I know it is right.  And I ask for help more, though this is still an issue for me.  Why do I not ask — because I think ‘I’ve got this, LORD.’  Ha!  will I ever learn?

My routine on the road:  daily Bible reading schedule, Scripture Memorization — I am up-to-date on memorizing 2 Corinthians, believe it or not, and keeping my laptop and camera batteries charged.  Other things have had to slide somewhat, not by choice.

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Where is God taking me?  I do not know.  I am going back to spend time with my family and regroup.  To be honest I’m quite tired.  I would like to go home, wherever that is.  And I know that I will when God provides for me.  For now, home is where I am.

I’ve tried not to draw attention to my circumstances in writing this.  I’ve learned that everyone has them, and they are all different, and we can all be distracted by focusing on them.  I read Joshua 6 this morning, where the Israelites marched around the walls of the city of Jericho which God destroyed for them.

Sunday night the evangelist reminded us of the Israelites’ crossing of the Red Sea on dry land.  God may not knock down city walls or stand up the waters for me to pass on dry land, but He is leading me through this set of circumstances, and He will never leave me.  He is my strength from day to day.  His Words are faithful and true.  He is unchanging.

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No matter what goes through my mind, no matter how much the climate ‘changes’, or how many thousands of refugees are displaced, or how many of us are homeless and unemployed, or how many suffer with chronic illness or the dreaded cancer(s), or heroin addiction, or the effects of war, poverty, abuse, or natural disaster, no matter what — God is Who He says He is, He cannot change, He loves me (and you), He is intimately involved in the details of our lives when we trust Him, and He provides peace and strength and comfort and hope and faith for every step of the way.

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Where Am I?  Physically I am sitting at a table in the Baker Free Library in Bow, New Hampshire, typing on my laptop.  My soul is redeemed by the blood of Jesus, I am standing in Christ’s Righteousness as a child of the Almighty Father God  Who is providing every thing that I need at every moment.  I am under His wings, safely abiding in His care.  And I pray you are as well.

If you are praying, please pray for wisdom and discipline in the job search and the housing search, and for physical strength and discipline while living outside my ‘comfort zone’.  I love New Hampshire, but it may not be where I should live.  I need wisdom in this decision.  And I need wisdom in knowing what to do meanwhile to provide for myself.

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The Blog.  If you’ve read this far, perhaps you’ll read this too.  It’s about this blog.  If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know that I floundered around a bit trying to cover so many areas.  At some point in  my praying over it, I came to the current order of Categories, which put God first, hence the emphasis on the Vessels’ posts with the daily Bible Reading Schedule, and the Heart Hiding posts, with the Scripture Memorization posts.

Both of which are merely my own creations to keep myself going in these areas.  Not polished or fancy, but encouragements to myself and others.

God has used these both to keep my spirits up in this search.  They have been an anchor to keep me focused on Him.  All of that to say, God knew I would need these, and this blog, during this time.  He was answering my prayer before I ever knew what I needed.  I’m so glad I listened to Him!

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I am extremely grateful for You, my dear reader.  Thank you for your encouragement to me to be faithful, and for your prayers and comments.

Where Are You?  I would love to hear how God has worked in your life, how He is providing for you in your areas of need.  Please share in the comment box, or to share privately use the Contact form at the top of the page.

God’s Blessings to You, my Friend!

 

Home Town Flavor – Part 2 {Chronicle}


Part 2 of  Home Town Flavor {Chronicle}.   This is the second of four parts.  Part 1 shows the streets, their intersections, and the view of the Upper Valley.  [The Upper Valley is comprised of Lebanon and Hanover, NH, and Hartford, VT, located in the valley formed by the intersection of the White and Connecticut Rivers.]

The main destination of my 2013 Road Trip was the town in New Hampshire where I grew up,  West Lebanon.  This series of posts is an overall view.  You may view a post on the houses I lived in here { From Main Street to the Corner House}.

The photos in this post are not shared for their photography,

but for their sentiment.  They are a bit random.

I lived in W.Lebanon in the 60s and early 70s.

There were three churches in town then, all on Maple Street.  From what I saw there are only two now, both on Maple Street.  The old buildings are there, empty and forsaken.

Everyone in my class was either a Congregationalist or a Catholic, except the mailman’s daughter, who didn’t go to church.  And me.  I was am a Baptist.  My church was across the river in Hartford.  We’ll get to that in another post.

This is the Congregational Church, or Congo church as we called it.  From its website it appears to be an active church.  I recognized a couple of names in a newsletter.

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This is the Catholic Church.  I’m not sure what the name of it was.  I want to say Holy Redeemer, but I’m not sure.  The French, Italian and Irish families attended, along with some others.  There was no discrimination among us.  We accepted each other as we were.

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I’m not sure what happened to this church.  I can’t find a Catholic church in W. Lebanon online, nor did I see a new building.  This one is quite deserted.  Back in the day the parking lot was huge.  I was secretly pleased to see a new church building where part of the parking lot had been.  Here it is.

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At the far end of Maple Street was the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Estabrook School.  I was sure surprised to see it standing empty and forlorn.  Our downstairs neighbors at 68 Maple were Seventh Day Adventists.  The school was quite active, though I never knew any of the students.

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I kept on the lookout as I traveled about, and was not surprised to find a new Estabrook School in neighboring Plainfield, NH.

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That’s it for the churches in W. Lebanon, on Maple Street at any rate.  Now that I think of it there was one more on Seminary Hill by the time I was in high school.  I did not drive by there on this trip, so can’t say.

If you know of other new additions or gaps in my memory, feel free to contribute to the comments.

Hope you enjoyed Home Town Flavor {Chronicle}.  The tour is not all-inclusive, but a good representation of the town for the purpose of remembering my childhood.  The day these pictures were taken was extremely hot and humid.  I hope to go back when it’s cooler to walk more.  This is Part 2 of 4 — more to come next month!