Western history

Indian Summer

Aspen Leaves

Transitional shoulder months in Colorado are full of beauty and surprises. One minute, a blizzard sends you scurrying toward the hearth and a pile of quilts, then the sun pops out and lures you outdoors to linger among crunchy leaves and inhale the warm breath of Indian Summer.

As shadows lengthen and the days grow shorter, activities related to collecting, preserving and enjoying pioneer history return indoors. During a recent snowstorm, I set aside research and read a book entitled, Prayers For Sale, by Sandra Dallas. As a longtime fan of  Sandra Dallas, I would be hard pressed to find fault with anything she writes. She is a lovely person, and a terrific role model for a writer on a quest to produce worthy and worthwhile historical books and articles.

Prayers For Sale is enjoyable on many levels. It is appealing to those who savor great historical fiction and to those who simply relish a darn good read. Dallas does her usual outstanding job of characterization while weaving, or rather quilting, an intriguing and well-crafted story thread set in a Colorado mining camp. Themes of pioneer courage, friendship, mentoring, enduring love, and forgiveness enrich the story, provoking thought and delighting historical sensibilities. When I need inspiration, or I wish to be transported to an earlier time and place, Sandra Dallas always delivers. The story motivated me to resume my needlework, always a centering activity.

To learn more about Sandra Dallas, go to: www.sandradallas.com

This coming Saturday, November 14, my writing path leads to the town of Elbert, on the plains southeast of Denver. Librarian Gayle Gresham has invited members of Women Writing the West to meet and greet the public at the Elbert Library Open House. Book displays and authors will be available between 1 and 3 p.m. in the public library, which shares space with the school library, at 24489 Main Street. Come out to Elbert to mingle with the authors and enjoy cider and cookies. Elbert Public Library is home of the Women Writing the West collection, over 100 books donated to their library by the non-profit national writing organization.

Joyce B. Lohse, 11/10/09