Sunday, June 26, 2016

Helping a Stranger


It is what Americans do when devastation or tragedy strikes--they reach out and help.

Right now I am trying to help a young single mother who lost everything in the recent West Virginia floods. I prefer myself to give directly to an individual rather than through agencies so I know the money does the most immediate good. Money is the most immediate need; later she will need stuff. But for now, she and her two daughters are living with her father in his trailer, and she has nowhere to put anything. So stuff can come later, right now they just need to get through the next few weeks until they can figure out what their next steps must be.

If you would like to help please send an email to me at susannaholstein@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook and I will send you more information. Every little bit, no matter how small, will help.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

The Flood: Day 3

It is not so easy to return to everyday life, knowing what is going on in 44 of West Virginia's 55 counties. The photos of flood damage are horrifying. I find myself looking at them again and again, trying to wrap my mind around what happened, what is happening.

For now, I only look at the pictures and feel overwhelming sadness. I am waiting to find out which of my friends are affected and how best I can help them. I travel all over West Virginia telling stories and I have friends in so many places in this state. Clendenin and Richwood are two of the places close to my heart and to see this devastation is so hard. Right now I know the best thing I can do is stay out of the way of the emergency workers. I want to be there, but I know I'm old, and I'm not in shape for the work required. But it's not so easy to just watch, knowing how terrible it is. I'll donate what I can; that's all I can do.

If you want to see more, here is a link to a Facebook post with almost 400 photos. Many of these places are places I know and have been often--some of them as recently as this past Sunday. How strange it is, and how sad, to see them now.




Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rose Moon, Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon, Birthday Moon

Native Americans had names for each full moon, instead of names for each month. Sometimes the moon of a particular time had more than one name, like June. I added one: Birthday Moon, because the full moon came on my birthday this year, the Summer Solstice.

Whatever you call her, she was beautiful as she rose over the high Alleghenies. We drove up to the Scenic Highway, hoping for a glimpse even though the forecast was for rain showers. We got lucky.

We walked back a trail to an overlook with a breathtaking view. As we waited and talked, we noticed clouds rolling in. But then, there she was, pink with the rays of the setting sun:


A little hide-and seek, but finally, 


 then back to being shy,


and ahhhh...


It was getting too dark for me to take photos. I am not very good at night photography, but I did like this one,


but this, I think, was my favorite all evening. The transition of the moon from pink to gold to silver was heart-stopping. I could have stayed all night.


We stayed a long time though, just talking, sharing moon legends and a song or two. 
Kirk, our instructor, recites a poem
Checking out the softness of a spruce tree's new growth.

It was a night to remember, the night of beauty before the rains came.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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