Welcome Update #67


Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

First and foremost, let me say I love Palmer Grove. I do; I love what we do and while we’re still improving how we do it, I love how we do it. However, lately, I find myself questioning why I bother. Perhaps it’s a case of the blahs, perhaps it’s the weather, but lately I feel like no one is reading it, and if they are, they certainly aren’t commenting on it or giving any kind of response about it.

I feel like I’ve put a ton of my time, my energy, and my creativeness into writing something that even some members of my own family don’t read.  I feel like we have so much talent that we want to bring to the world and no one is truly seeing it. I feel like we have such hopes and dreams for it, yet maybe they’ll never be realized. 

I know this is a negative update from me, however, after a lot of thought, I decided to write it anyway. If you read Palmer Grove and enjoy it, let us know why. If you read Palmer Grove and don’t enjoy it, we want to know why as well. For us to grow, and for us to know we’re not doing this in vain, we have to get some kind of feedback. Good or bad, we have to know what our readers are thinking and why they think that way. 

Who knows … maybe writing this will inspire a few to let us know what they think. But sadly, I have the odd feeling only a handful of people will read this. 

Peace out, 

Tina Palmer
09/24/2012 22:00

Since you love it, be encouraged and keep giving it what you are and more as you grow. I subscribe to several print magazines and I don’t always read them as soon as they arrive. On occasion it is after the next one comes in the mail. With that said though, I love the magazines and do finally get around to reading them. I would be very disappointed if they stopped publication.
Palmer Grove, the magazine you work so hard on, is enjoyed by myself and many others. It is so varied in topic that there is something for everyone.  

Julie Spicer
11/12/2012 22:52

I agree with you Tina! I enjoy reading every publication. With our busy lives it is easy to read and go on with no feedback. I thought I would take the time,this time to let all of you on staff at Palmer grove that this is a wonderful publication. I enjoy each and every issue!! 

Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

I have put off doing the Weekly Update until the day it is due, again. Why? Why must I always procrastinate? It isn’t that I don’t care. I truly do. It isn’t that I don’t feel it’s important. I know it is important to touch base with our readers each week. It isn’t that I don’t have things to write about. I have TONS to write about. 

I could write about Ethan’s broken ankle and going through rehab with it while trying to maintain a spot on the high school football team. I could write about my youngest daughter maturing to a beautiful, smart, gracious young woman literally over the summer. I could write about my older daughter getting “slapped” in the face with adulthood, finally finding a job and getting ready to start college. 

I could write about the goals and dreams we’re setting for Generation Voices, our publications company. I could write about the personal goals I’m setting for Palmer Grove. 

I could write about politics and the combination of politics with religion that our society seems to be pushing even harder toward. I could write about Chick-Fil-A and all that brouhaha. 

I could write about the beginning of school, ending of summer and how that makes me feel. I could write about falling off my diet and gaining back 7 of the 30 pounds I’ve lost. I could write about the fall TV shows that have my attention. 

I could … I could … I could….  But I won’t. Instead I’ll simply wish everyone a happy week and remind you that summer is ending soon, celebrate the sun! Have a BBQ! Throw a Frisbee! Walk downtown, visit a garden. Enjoy the warmth; the cold will be here soon enough!

Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

The Night the Lights Went Out in Ohio

 A little over a week ago, the lights went out in Ohio. For several people, they struggled not only with the heat but with boredom. Why? Because our society is reliant upon electricity; from food storage to climate control to entertainment, we have lost the ability to think off the grid. 

In our house, the lack of electricity was amusing at first. The children were allowed to play with flashlights, the adults talked by candlelight. However, the novelty quickly wore off as we discovered we could use car chargers to keep our phones from dying and we could somewhat return to our electronic world. The second day, we decided to get out, see what was going on and find something to do. 

We landed on the library. Our local library was closing early – they had opened for a few hours to allow patrons to check out some books, however, without power, they couldn’t offer much comfort. We found out though, that the Gahanna library was open. Never had I seen the library so incredibly busy! Not only were people using the computers, but they were browsing and discussing books. The Gahanna library has several comfortable arm chairs and seating scattered throughout and nearly every seat was filled. Granted, some of it was out of need to be inside air conditioning, however, some of it was people who were turning back to books as a form of entertainment. 

It hit me that as Kindles, Nooks and Android Apps fill our screens with the latest books, the actual library is becoming endangered. As the price of these electronic devices falls, the cost of losing such a valuable public resource is rising astronomically. How long will it be until public libraries go the way of video stores? Where the simple act of piling the family in the car and going to browse the actual bookshelves simply becomes “too much effort” and it’s easier to just stream a book, just as it has become with renting a movie? 

What will happen when the electricity goes out a few years from now, and there is no library to go to for entertainment?
Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

I volunteered to write this Update for this week on this day because I thought it would come to me easily. I thought I would be able to express my joy and pride in my daughter eloquently and verbosely. 
Instead, I sit here a little stunned, very teary, and wondering where the time went. Eighteen years ago today, I brought this little tiny person into the world and wondered what I was going to do. How would I be a good mother? How would I teach her everything she needed to know? How would I raise her to be a strong, amazing woman? I marveled at her tiny fingers and toes, stroked her dark hair (before it fell out and turned blonde), and amazed at the light in her eyes. 
Now I sit here asking myself the same questions. Was I a good mother? Did I teach her everything she needed to know? Only the last question is one I have an answer to. I helped raise a strong, amazing young woman. I didn’t do it alone, but I did my best from my end. She is kind and while a little short-tempered like her mama, she never tries to intentionally hurt anyone and therefore does have her heart break when she is hurt. She is intelligent and quietly so. She offers opinions and thoughts, but doesn’t use hers to degrade others or over-ride someone else’s. She has confidence when she allows herself to, but isn’t cocky. People gravitate to her, to be near her, to listen to her. 
And when she smiles, she lights up the room. I cannot help but smile when she is smiling and I notice that others do as well. 
So today, June 3rd, she turns 18 and walks down the aisle to receive her high school diploma. She will walk with her usual grace, and I will sit in the audience blubbering like a baby. No longer do I have my little girl, but an amazing woman to share my life with. And I cannot wait to see where she will take us.

Welcome Update #36


Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

I cannot believe it's already mid-February. For some reason this year seems to be flying by!  So much has happened and so much more is going to happen this year I just want it to slow down and stop disappearing in a blink! 
Due to some heart issues, I had to undergo a sleep study.  While I don't know the results of it yet, I did walk away with something.  Last night, after getting all wired up and settled in a bed to kill time before they wanted me to sleep, I noticed the quiet. The pure, unadulterated quiet. In a house with three teens, a husband and a friend living with us, I don't seem to get this sense of peace and quiet. I had brought a book and a notebook and what I noticed is that in the quiet, I was finally able to think. Think like I have thought in years. 
Today, even when we have peace and quiet, it's never truly peaceful or quiet.  There's a TV on, a phone beeping with messages, a computer to attract our attention. How many of us truly take the time to sit in a quiet room, without technology, and simply contemplate our own thoughts?  I cannot remember the last time I did so before last night. 
So as we go through our normal days, take the time. Find a quiet place and take a notebook and simply think. Think about your dreams. Think about your hopes. Think about things you'd like to change. Take time to bask in memories, to wonder where those memories can take us. 
Take time to enjoy the silence.

Welcome Update #33


Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

I can’t believe January is almost over. This month seems to have flown by!  By now, many of us are wavering on resolutions made and I want to stress the importance of sticking to them!  Take the time to reassess why you made that resolution to start with and recommit to it. If you need a buddy to help, reach out. There’s no shame in asking a friend to help you stick to a resolution and indeed, because we humans are by nature social creatures, it could be easier to stick to it if you have a diet buddy, a work-out buddy, a volunteer buddy, a knitting buddy, a going-to-the-games buddy, a hiking buddy. Whatever your resolution may be, everyone can benefit from asking for help. 

By societal standards, it’s hard for us to ask for help. By nature, humans are social creatures that live in “packs” in order to survive. However, our society has evolved to the point that asking for help is seen as a weakness, and it really shouldn’t be. Less than a century ago, women came together to knit quilts, bake, and volunteer. Men came together to build things needed for the home, volunteer, and play sports. Somewhere along the way, we lost the sense of accomplishing things together as a community. 

If nothing else this month, reach out in one area where people are “forced” to work together. Experience the feeling of accomplishing something as part of a group and then choose from there if you want more of that feeling, or if you’re truly ok working solo 90% of the time. Go to one gathering you normally wouldn’t, volunteer at one place where a team of people have to work together, join one club just to see if it gives you a different sense of accomplishment and a greater sense of community. 

If not, you’ve only lost a bit of your time. If you suddenly feel more connected, it opens up a whole new world in your town that can help you achieve your personal goals!

Welcome Update #29


Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

So, I sit here to write this and wonder what should I write?  This time of year is chaotic and contemplative all at the same time.  

I could write about my son who turned 15 today.  I marvel every day at the amazing young man he is becoming. 

I could write about my oldest daughter who got her driving permit today. I have daily anxiety about the fact that she now is turning into an adult before my very eyes. First a permit, later this year a graduation and turning 18. 

I could write about my youngest daughter who makes me feel as though I'm losing my baby. She is maturing so quickly, I've nearly forgotten what she was like as a little girl. 

I could write about being sick with sinus infections and bronchitis. Truly, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. 

I could write about the fact that I actually enjoyed the "holiday rush" this year. Unlike previous years, I had a little extra to splurge on those I love and didn't mind the crowds while doing so. 

I could write about being a gamer and having disappointment in a game that's brought me so much pleasure until recently. I wonder why gaming companies think that to succeed, they must be like every other gaming company. 

I could write about how I miss my mom and mother-in-law. This time of year reminds me of that empty space in my heart that simply cannot be filled. 

I could write about how amazingly grateful I am to have friends I consider family in my life. Every day I smile because I feel blessed with a family of my choosing. 

I could write about how unorganized I sometimes feel and how unmotivated I am to get better organized.  However, if I go into detail on that, I just might make our editor in chief have a brain aneurysm. 

I could write about how I want to make cookies this week for friends and family. Holiday cookies are one of the simplest pleasures I enjoy making and giving this time of year. 

Or I could write about the thoughts that swim through my head this time of year.  Oh yeah, I just did. 

Have a wonderful holiday everyone! Happy Yule, Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanza! I hope that no matter what spiritual path you follow, you find joy and peace in celebrating this season.

Welcome Post #21


Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

The smell of a friend’s perfume … that is what inspired this update for this week.  Yes, a simple smell.  You see, I had requested on Facebook that if anyone had a corset I could borrow, I would appreciate it. This friend, Necie, didn’t hesitate to step up and said she had a corset she would send. It arrived today from Louisiana and it’s gorgeous. But more than the look of the corset, it smelled of Necie’s perfume. Suddenly, I felt loved and cherished by this friend. Suddenly, I felt wrapped up in a hug from her, and inhaled deeply her perfume. And it changed my view on this season. 

Autumn always brings me a little melancholy and I tend to reevaluate my life far more than I should this time of year.  September, October and November are rough months for me. My mother and mother-in-law passed away the same year, within two months of each other, in September and November respectively. Their birthdays fall in September and October. My biological mother’s birthday also falls in September and I haven’t had a relationship with her in 15 years.  So, I find myself struggling, at a loss without a female mentor to guide me in this part of my life. These months in particular, remind me strongly of that loss and the hole in my heart. 

This year, much of that has changed.  This year, when I opened up about missing my mom on the anniversary of her death, someone reached out to me and completely caught me by surprise. She’s more like an older sister figure, however, it touched my heart and really opened my eyes to accepting people in my life that I wouldn’t have thought I had connect with. It reminded me that we all have connections to make with people and that we should never look over someone. It reminded me that we all have our own struggles, and sometimes, just sometimes, we can connect with someone that needs us as much as we need them. 

This year, I turn 40. This year, with more than my moms to think about, I face the fact that at one point doctors said that I would not make it to 40. One of my dearest friends wanted to throw me a birthday party to celebrate that not only did I survive cancer, but I am hitting 40 this year. Fab 40!  I’ve thrown myself into preparation for the party, getting excited about people coming in from out of town to be here for it, thinking about how important it is to celebrate this milestone. Unlike most women, I cherish every year that my birthday brings. I cherish every wrinkle that has appeared on my face, every line that tells its story. 

But even with connecting with a new friend, even with having this wonderful party, I struggled with my own inner demons. I struggled with the fact that my biological mother could just walk away. I struggled with missing my mom and mother-in-law. I struggled with wondering how I could improve my life and why I wasn’t where I dreamed I would be at this age. 

And just like that, the whiff of Necie’s perfume on an item she so lovingly sent me to borrow cured a lot of my blues.  It reminded me that I am someone to be loved. It reminded me that I should indeed celebrate my birthday as my life has a lot in it to be celebrated. It reminded me that I am blessed with friends who care enough to step up and be my family, who are willing to travel to see me and be part of that celebration. 

And it reminded me that sometimes, all it takes is the simple gesture of loaning something we cherish to someone we cherish to remind them that they are loved and cared about. Sometimes, that’s all we really need to know. 

Welcome Update #16


Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

Honoring the Memory of 9/11: Have You? 

Ten years ago, our lives were changed irrevocably. Ten years ago, on a bright, sunny September morning, the unthinkable happened and our lives would never be the same. I could rehash what happened, but to do so is repetitive. It’s ingrained in our minds forever. We will never forget that morning or the aftermath of it. For many of us, it was the first time we felt something of this magnitude on our own soil, in our own backyard, so to speak.  Police officers, firemen and EMS workers became heroes once again, as our generation had let them slip to “ordinary people” status. The people of United Flight 93 showed us what sacrifice and true love is as they gave the ultimate gift for the lives of many. 

For many of us, it was the first time we truly felt our patriotism rear its head. For many of us, it was the first time we truly felt outrage, despair, and hopelessness regarding our nationality. For many of us, we vowed to make more of our lives: to cherish, to love, to live, to celebrate more.  We vowed to follow our dreams and to respect the life we still had, when so many had lost their hopes and dreams. 

We started honoring our service members more so than ever again, cheering them as they headed off to war against an almost invisible enemy. We thanked them when they came home, acknowledging their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their family. Many of us vowed to help them more, sending care-packages overseas, volunteering at places where their families gathered. 

As we sat, glued to our television sets, tears streaming from our eyes as we watched the hopelessness and chaos unfold before us, we vowed to be better. To be more American, to be better parents, to be better spouses, to honor those around us. As we watched the rescue workers dig frantically for those buried, as we saw husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers grieve as they described their missing loved one, we promised that we would never take life for granted again. As we boarded planes in fear, altered travel plans, accepted the way we view life as forever changed, we vowed to get our strength back, to move forward, and to be a stronger nation. 

Now, I ask you, have you?  Have you truly honored the promises and vows we made that day? Have you moved forward in positivity and hope or allowed the petty things in life to get you down?  Have you followed even just one dream or have you allowed them to fall to the side and get lost in the mundane repetition of life? Have you celebrated even one small thing and not just the major life events? 

Today I challenge you, as you remember those that have fallen, do something to celebrate their lives.  One thing, today, to remind yourself that you are alive and you appreciate their sacrifice. Take one step toward following a dream. If you have always wanted to write, write one sentence today. If you have always wanted to act, stand in front of the mirror and act out one scene today. If you have always wanted to give back more, find one way to do so today, donate one can of food to a food bank, give a bag of old clothes to a homeless shelter. 

Take that step today. And thank those that died today for the inspiration, the drive, and the motivation to remind us to be “more” than what we were ten years ago. 

Honor the loss of their lives by living ours, without fear, without negativity, and without weakness. Rest in peace, our hearts will never forget you. 

Welcome Update #9


Carri Bonner, Editorial Director

Wow! I can't believe it's been three weeks already since our premier issue released!  We've received some wonderful responses to the magazine and are already receiving submissions for our next issue. I'm very excited about the content in our next issue and am eager to see what else we will receive to enhance this issue. 

For me, this time of year is the quiet before the storm. My oldest daughter will be a senior in high school this year and have all of the excitement and drama that comes with your final year of high school. She'll be applying to colleges and trying to enjoy her last moments of the "freedom" of being a carefree teen. My son is a freshman this year and is already swamped with all his football stuff. It's a huge transition from middle school ball to high school ball and he's working hard to buff up and run with the big dogs. My youngest daughter is going into the 7th grade and is trying to figure out her niche in school. She's got varied interests and is trying to figure out exactly what she would like to focus on. 

On a personal level, all of this should feel overwhelming and chaotic, however, my kids have their heads on pretty straight and are fairly focused when they find something they like. While it's a huge amount of change, I don't feel the stress ...yet. I have a feeling once school actually begins, I'll feel it all pretty quick and the storm will hit, sweeping my children around like a tempest in a teacup. I feel more focused on myself than I have in years which is an odd feeling for me. While I still have things that I need to do with them, they've all gotten fairly independent and for the first time in several years, I am able to sit and write for hours with minimal disruptions. For me, Palmer Grove is a lifeline as I begin to face pre-empty nest syndrome as my children already become so busy in their own lives, they have much less need for me. I am looking ahead a few years and not dreading the children being gone as I once did, but adjusting to the idea that I'll have something else to nurture and help grow as they move on without me. 

So, as the final weeks of summer start approaching, I look forward to the next school year. I look forward to seeing a lovely young woman graduate high school and move into the future she has envisioned. I look forward to seeing a young man gain confidence and begin to look at where his future might take him. I look forward to seeing a sweet young girl growing into a strong young woman. And I look forward to what Palmer Grove will add to my life as well, as writers open my world and allow me to read their own creations and enhance my own writing.