It’s freezing cold, and most of us have experienced some level of what we Southerners call, “the white stuff.” Snow! Sleet! Icicles! Frost patterns on the window panes! If you are like my family, including Otis and Oxford, you may be dreaming of warmer days, maybe some green grass and yellow flowers, the blue ocean and the “white stuff” that I prefer: the hot-to-my-bare-feet, sugary sands of the Gulf beaches. While you’ll never, ever find me complaining of the heat and humidity of the seasons higher up on the thermometer, I’ll admit I do tend to hanker for bear-like hibernation during winter. Otis is in full agreement, he assures me, as he miraculously cuddles into a tight, furry ball in my lap, ignoring his status as a near 70-pound lab/spaniel/chow mix. He can make for a somewhat crushing blanket, but I’ll take it! I’m warm and cozy, so I’ll ignore the fact that I can’t quite take in a full breath of air.
Children don’t always see the cold months this way, and often plead for outside adventures, oblivious to the blue tint on their shivering lips, insisting, “No-o-o-o-o Mommy, it’s-s-s-s not-t-t-t c-c-c-cold-d-d-d-d…” It’s tempting to offer something fun or tasty to lure them back indoors! But of course, they do deserve the chance to explore and discover all God’s seasons. He has a reason for all of them, and there are treasures in each one. Our children’s curiosity is a big reminder to appreciate today, and everything it has to offer, because it’s definitely not a mistake. And it’s definitely not happening again.
Otis will go anywhere in any kind of weather, as long as his three favorite children are going. He loves to pretend he’s a miniature lap dog when I’m in the rocking chair, and play-wrestling with Oxford is a new favorite pastime, but his chosen position is sidekick to his tall boy, pixie girl, and baby (who is now three!). That includes outdoor winter adventures.
To that end, I’d like to share with you the series, “Ella and the Little Red Wagon.” Currently, it is a four-part series of books, one for each season. In each story, Ella takes her little red wagon and goes out into the world around her, discovering the beautiful treasures of each and every season. Otis goes right along beside her, protective of and always faithful to his charge and his role. Winter poses a new challenge, because treasures to gather in the wagon are not quite as obvious as in warmer months. Ella and Otis lovingly discover that there is purpose and heavenly artistry in all of creation.
We are now bringing the series to local preschools and kindergartens! If you know of a school or library that would be interested in a reading, please contact us (there is a form at the conclusion of this post) and we will put you on the calendar! And of course, if you’d like a visit from Otis, he is always glad to come along and greet the students.
(Front cover, above)
(Back cover, above)
Blessings to all of you as you stay warm this winter. Remember the wonderful joys of this season… snowmen, snow cream, snow days home from school, bright red cardinals, roaring fires, melting marshmallows in your hot chocolate or coffee… and, my personal favorite, a marked decrease in the skeeter population come summertime!
Please use the form below to request a reading of Ella and the Little Red Wagon – WINTER. Please feel free to request a reading of Otis Goes to School, as well. We look forward to contacting you!