When I think of the word connect my mind immediately goes to the visual of building with leggo blocks. Each one fits together to create something beautiful, like family, and friends, and neighbors. Recently our world has been turned upside down, and connecting with one another has become very difficult. Life as we use to know it - isn't as beautiful, but it could be.
Those smiles that made our hearts skip a beat, those handshakes that affirmed our belonging, and those long conversations over coffee seem miles away from becoming a reality again. We have technology, and I am thankful for Facetime, less so for Zoom calls, if there's too many scheduled in a week, but there are other creative ways we can reach out to say we care.
This month I have decided to experiment with my first GIVE AWAY through Instagram, and the reason is - connection.
Five years ago this March our eldest daughter and son-n-law moved to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, with their little girl of almost three and brand new baby boy. I was so happy for their sense of adventure, pursuing their dreams, and trying new things, but curious as to how they were going to cope without us, and how we were going to cope as a new Grandparents separated from our children and grandchildren.
It wasn't long before Willow called me on Facetime, with the help of her Mom of course. She asked me for tea and couldn't figure out why I didn't just show up. When our conversation was over I was miserable. She didn't understand what the miles between us meant.
In a nutshell that is how the book To Willow's House for Tea came to be. I wanted to stay connected with my family, and the book continues to accomplish that in so many ways. The professional illustrator is my niece. Our emailing back and forth about her sketches kept us connected. As our extended family has grown, the children's book has been a blessing to their little ones, and so on.
Do you have someone you would like to connect to today? Why not check out my Instagram Give Away and enter your name (see instructions at #cindypalin. You could win a book, and a cake decorated with everyone's favorite character 'Yellow' the balloon. Thank you to Candace at Cocoa Tree Bake Shoppe for her collaboration in this effort. You could connect and share it with your immediate family, or you could choose to give it away and connect with someone who has been in lock down for months. Maybe your Grandmother would love to get this gift? There is no reason this gift, can't be delivered safely. Knock on the door, wear your mask, and wave hello. The book and cake will say the rest.
If our kids had not chosen to move away, I may not have ever discovered how my songwriting could also incorporate children's books and music. I can't wait to collaborate with someone else in the community with my Willow's Lullaby book. I have other titles not published yet, waiting in the wings, No More Mail Goo, Every Once and a Magical Dittle; to mention a few. If nothing else I can use this space in time to create more opportunities to connect.
With love and joy and hope for our future,
*Special thanks to
Illustrator Desiree Abt-Tomkow @desiree.vianne
Cake Baker/Owner Candace, @cocoatreebake
Word Guild of Canada (To Willow's House for Tea) was a finalist in Write Canada.