About the Author
A graduate with a BA in Education from charming Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan,
Ann McAllister Clark is a teacher, a journalist, fiction writer, and used bookseller.
She now lives and writes in a small cottage in the Nation’s Oldest City, St. Augustine, Florida.
please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in a small suburb near Grand Rapids, Michigan. There were two lakes in our village for us to enjoy swimming all summer and ice skating in the freezing winter months. The larger of the two lakes hosted a Yacht Club with weekly sailing races all summer long. The village Police/Fire departments both located in a large, red ‘fire house’ were also at the shore of the bigger lake. My father would not let us go ice skating until he first called the fire department to see if, after their morning ice checking we could be safe to go out on the frozen lake to skate. On wintery, freezing Sunday afternoons ice sailboats thrilled us while they skittered at high speeds across the ice.
We could safely walk home at midnight after babysitting, I don’t remember one murder or even a random shooting. The police knew most of the families and would call our parents at the drop of a teenage cigarette butt. Can you believe it? We were safe and never frightened by the police officers, walks after dark alone or anything stronger then a high school history exam. We had one high school and one junior high school.
For nearly a decade of my adulthood I owned a 40 acre Michigan farm. I raised a 15 ewe flock of Dorset sheep – the kind that seem to be smiling all the time and once a year my ewes birthed twins and one happy morning one ewe birthed a set of triplets. A sheep shearer came to the farm each spring to shear all the adult sheep leaving me with large full pelts of wool to be carded and spun and then perhaps sold for crafting. I gathered eggs from beneath the silky, warm and willing hens for breakfast each morning. The farm had a 30 foot hedge of raspberries I could eat by the handful as I drove my little red, riding mower past. Each night, when I went down into the barn to feed and water the sheep, I spent extra time enjoying the solitude while watching the sheep grind their grain in their jaws, a rooster quiet down for the evening on a corner railing, and a large goose wander in to find shelter for the night.
I now live in the south and haven’t ice skated on a lake for many years. I have no worries of blizzards icing up the barn eves and the water buckets. I do, however, have to worry yearly about the half-year hurricane season.
All these things and so many more infuse my writing each day.