Mary described herself and her books (which she will be selling at the convention) to the DVC like this:
I grew up in Mankato, MN and went to school here from nursery school through college, left for a few years, came back and have lived here full-time since 1970. From the age of 2 years old until 6 years old I lived in Tib's house. Some of us who lived there over the years are gathering May 9 to share stories from Tib's porch.
I retired early (2001) from my faculty position in the School of Nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Since that time I have participated in writing and publishing three books, two of which I would love to be able to have on display and available for purchase during the July Convention.
One book is titled: A Mirthful Spirit: Embracing Laughter for Wellness, published 2007. My co-author, Edna Thayer, and I are both retired nurses and write about the benefits of laughter for healing and wellness. In February Edna Thayer and I did a presentaton at Tacy's House and I told some stories about the Mirthful Spirits of Betsy, Tacy, and Tib. In March I was invited to attend the Young Writer's Conference and assist with a breakout session related to Betsy, Tacy, and Tib books. I shared some of my writing and related it to BTT stories. More info is on our web site, A Mirthful Spirit.
The second book is titled: Amazing Attributes of Aging: Silly & Sacred Stories of Blue Garter Friends. My longtime friend, Judy Strand Appel and I are the lead co-authors of the book. The Blue Garter Friends consist of 36 girls who grew up in Mankato (Deep Valley) and went to elementary, junior and senior high school together. After graduating from high school we all planned to go to college. We wanted to stay connected as our friendships had grown so important to us over the years--just like the Betsy, Tacy, Tib girl friends. We formed the Blue Garter Group and the book tells our story. Now, most of us have retired and we have developed a unique section of the book that relates to aging. We have selected 3 words from each letter of the alphabet that depict aging women. Quotes from well known women enhance this dictionary style section of the book. Our group now consists of 27 women who stay connected. Fifteen of us wrote stories for the book. Recipes from our annual gatherings are included. One of our blue garter friends is a watercolor artist and created the painting of the blue garter used on the cover of the book. More info is on our web site Amazing Aging.
Doesn't she sound great? I personally can't wait to meet her at the convention. She had me at "I lived in Tib's house" - the great attitude on aging is just a bonus!
Next up, Melody Murray - bead artist and voracious reader.