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Report by Paula Antolini
April 14, 2015 2:38PM EDT
Today we have another wonderful written piece from Jeanne Claire Probst, in our continuing literary series. We are thrilled to have author/poet/blogger Jeanne Claire Probst join Bethel Advocate as a contributor, sharing her “Thought and Poem” written works with us. Her work covers many topics. She is excited to be fulfilling a life-long dream of writing a novel of which “The Fifteen Houses, a Novel” is her first published work. I think you will enjoy! (Read more about Jeanne Claire Probst below.)
THOUGHT AND POEM
Written By Jeanne Claire Probst
This is Part III where I again dwell on the impact writing has left in my heart, and fictionally I find myself basking in the memories of the days when my children were younger and we did things together as a family. The benefits reaped from writing in the first person, is that I can actually desire these moments to come true in real life even if they had not.
For many families, their favorite places may have been a walk to the park, a day at the beach, but for us, it was taking our family camping trips.
When I think back on all the times I really did take my children camping, I don’t focus on the bugs, the smoky fires, but I focus on the moments that we had together where we bonded and allowed ourselves to express the dreams and desires of our hearts and where we allowed the warmth building inside us to suppress the chilled night airs around us. Even all these years later, we can look back on our good times and see how they helped us to grow as a family.
What about you? Do you have memories of good times with your family and can you see how these moments helped you to bond with your loved ones? Share your thoughts with us…
The Family Camping Trip
The morning air was cooler than it should be for mid-August, and I found myself slipping deeper into my sleeping bag searching for added warmth. I glanced quickly around the tent, and saw that my young ones, Elizabeth and George were also properly covered. My husband Jack, of ten years, was in his sleeping bag next to me, and as I opened my eyes and looked his way, our eyes met and his lips formed the words every woman loves to hear. “I love you.” He reached his arm out of his sleeping bag to look for my hand, but I wouldn’t give it to him and I whispered it was too cold. He smiled and moved his bag closer to mine so that we could snuggle. We were happy, we had a happy family and together we were enjoying the last bits of our family summer vacation.
The children had awakened, and we all made a mad dash to the car that would take us to the rest rooms. Jack drove and stayed in the car while we went in to wash and changed into warmer clothing, and when I was finished, I traded places with him at the wheel so he could also wash and dress appropriately for the new day. The car was warm, and I sat waiting with the heat blasting, while at the same time enjoying the morning sun.
With all of us back in the car, we headed to our campsite to prepare our breakfast. It did not take long to get the fire going. And, it was not too long after that we all sat at the picnic table eating eggs and bacon, while the aroma of the bacon filled the morning air around us. While we ate, we sat recapping enjoyable moments of our two weeks together at the heavily wooded campground. We have been fishing, swimming, hiking, and sitting around the campfire at night roasting marshmallows under the stars. Doing things together and strengthening our bonds.
Excitement was bubbling forth from around the table and it did not take a “rocket scientist” to detect that their joys of our time together blended in with mine Our trip was full of outdoor activities which tested our strengths and courage and our ability to work as a unit to achieve our goal. I might add, thankfully, that there was no indication of poison ivy and there were no broken bones…the perfect family vacation.
Not long after, we broke camp, packed our car and headed for home. We all agreed that we should do things like this more often, as the quality time greatly lifted our family spirit.
Startled by the sound of the alarm clock, I had awakened. It was six thirty a.m. Glancing over at Jack, who was snoring, gave me the added push to I needed to get out of bed. He had not heard the alarm, and he did not move one iota when the bed creaked and moved as I left the warm covers. Down the hall Elizabeth was standing by the bathroom door yelling at her brother to hurry up as she too needed to use the “facilities.” A small argument was brewing as I breezed past them on my way to the kitchen.
I turned up the thermostat, as there was a chill in the air. After grabbing a couple boxes of cereal, the bowls and spoons, and the milk and juice, I next poured my first cup of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table trying to remember the “dream” I was enjoying before the alarm clock forced me back to the real world and reality. I sighed and loudly yelled, “Breakfast is ready!” In just moments, we were all silently sitting around the table eating our breakfast, after which we all went our separate ways. I found myself longing for nighttime to come so I could reunite with the family I wished we could be… the one in my dreams. This time, I am taking Jack, Elizabeth and George with me so we could all enjoy the experience many families only dream about.
Jeanne Claire Probst
TIMES WE SPENT TOGETHER
Written by Jeanne Claire Probst
We traveled a long way
But we got to where we were going by the latter part of the day
We set up our tents and laid out our sleep bags all in a row
Then we sat around the campfire watching the fire glow.
There wasn’t much to do as it was too dark
We sang songs; and we talked
We shared out dreams and what was happening
And these moments helped us to strengthen our bonds as a family.
We can remember later as we grow older
That it wasn’t the money spent or how the night grew colder
But it was the warmth of our hearts that helped us through
And together as a family… we grew.
Jeanne Claire Probst
The Fifteen Houses, a Novel
The Fifteen Houses is the first book of this new and exciting series to be published. Staged in the beautiful and scenic palate of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, in the early 1950’s, the main character delves into her reoccurring and discomforting memories of her younger, formative years. Searching for answers to questions that have resurfaced in her mind over and over again during her time away from her family, she seeks to find rhyme and reasons to her insecurities, anger, phobias, fears, and life’s choices. Julianne Marguerite, one of eleven children, is determined to uncover the “mystery” that resulted in the downfall of her family. As you turn the pages in the book, each series of memories, will open a different door, to the different homes, (“Fifteen” to be exact).
ABOUT JEANNE CLAIRE PROBST
Jeanne Claire Probst was born and raised in the New England state of Massachusetts, is retired an lives in Ludlow. She is excited to be fulfilling a life-long dream of writing a novel of which “The Fifteen Houses, a Novel” is her first published work.
Jeanne shares her poetry blog, “Thought and Poem,” on her Facebook Page: Jeanneclaire Probst that is aimed to encourage, comfort, and share with others what it feels like to be human! She is also doing her part in bringing awareness around bullying and finding solutions to redirect anger and disappointments and her blog: Breaking Down the Bully Wall – One Action at a Time can also be followed on Facebook.
For more information about the author, her book and poetry visit: