Tuesday, June 18, 2013


"I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because sometimes I type so fast, I don't even make sense to myself!"

Lake George
How did we become the people we are today? Do you remember the things that shaped your childhood? Every time I go back to my hometown, Whiting, IN, I'm surrounded by those things that bring back wonderful memories. On my last visit, a few weeks ago, I once again visited and took pictures of a place that truly was special to me and to many of my friends ... we'd skip rocks, cut cattails, pick flowers, catch bugs, watch frogs, and ice skate there in the winter ...  Sometimes, when I needed a quiet spot to write or think, I'd go to this special place and sit on the train tracks and watch the sun sparkle on the water, or the tall grasses dancing in the breeze. Were the times simpler? Maybe ... but nature is still around us everyday - the sky, the trees, the flowers, bugs ... sometimes you just walk on by it - but it's there. I was lucky when I was little, there were things right outside my door, but a truly wonderful place was really close, all I had to do was walk down to the end of my block and there it was ...

In my first two books, The Life of Bud & A Simpler Time, I share with children and parents my love of nature ... I'd like to share with you where that love began.

Where It All Began ...
This is the house where I grew up
on Atchison Avenue.
It was built by my grandfather
Paul Demkovich who was a bricklayer.
When I was really little, my dad would tell us
we could only ride our bikes to the
pole & back!  I couldn't wait to go
past the pole!

My hometown is surrounded by three lakes -- Wolf Lake, Lake Michigan (yes, I lived less than 10 blocks from one of the Great Lakes!) and right at the end or our street is Lake George. I am really grateful for having grown up in a small town, built by industry, but also surrounded by very peaceful, beautiful places. It gave me balance; and gave me many entries in the journal I kept as a child; and, to this day, many wonderful memories. I believe the lake is even a more beautiful place today than when I was a child!

This is what I discovered once I got to go PAST the pole! This super cool wonderland at the end of my street.  It was nature in all it's glory. I would bring home leaves and different plants and press them in waxed paper and place them between encyclopedias in our basement! We'd collect rocks, make mud pies, catch tadpoles and grasshoppers ... it was heaven to me!
We'd bring shovels in the winter and clear away snow on the ice and pretend we were Olympic Ice Skaters! It was really beautiful, fun & cold skating on the lake!

The swans off in the distance! 
For some years now, there is a mating pair of swans on the lake!
LOVE THEM! There were many ducks and geese there when I was little.
This path used to be where the train tracks were and trains would be pulling into the Federated Metals Plant! It was cool to put coins on the tracks and have them get squished by the train. The plant is no more and I'm glad that this path is there now, it connects to miles of bike paths in the area and it is just gorgeous to walk along! The trees and all the birds singing just make me smile! It was such a pretty day that taking a walk on this path just brought back MANY great childhood memories ...
This is just a glimpse of my childhood that I wanted to share with you! Growing up next to a place that was full of new things blooming all the time definitely had a huge influence on me and I hope that that love of nature does shine through in my books and my writing!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a small piece of  MY ROOTS!

If you would like me to come to your school to read one of my books, The Life of Bud or A Simpler Time, and assist your students in setting up a Science Journal -- please contact me at thelifeofbud@aol.com for more details.

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"I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because sometimes I type so fast, I don't even make sense to myself!"

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