Gallant Woods working farm preserve



My book club was very eventful on the last Wednesday of September.

I met a woman named Nancy who was walking from the parking lot. I told her I had not been in a book club for quite some time (1982 – 1985) and was eager to meet the group.

I asked her if she had brought her book and she replied,
“Some people take notes, some bring books and others not.”

A man who wore a butterfly mask and wings answered the door of the faded, peeling white painted farmhouse.

Nancy and I chuckled as she introduced him,
“Robin, this is Steve who is our unofficial host.”

(Folks who are interested, he is married and wife was present.)

I entered the house where I met a woman in an old-fashioned apron, she had oven mitts on, while pulling baked apple turnovers out. She turned to the counter and put a pie in.

I learned the cook’s name is Robin, too.

Later, after the meeting, I found out it was a savory cheesy tomato pie.

We walked around and Nancy pleasantly introduced me to members who had been attending since January, 2014. They take the “summer off” for vacation schedules.

There was a naturalist who was setting out lovely, thick pamphlets. She stacked three in each pile, one about moths, another about butterflies and the last was about butterfly plants and gardens.

The book we read was, “Flight Behavior,” written by Barbara Kingsolver. I learned from a member named Colleen H. that Ms. Kingsolver has a science background and includes it in most of her books.

We went around and said our names out loud. There were eight women and 2 men plus Robin, the farm’s caretaker, Liz, the Columbus Metroparks naturalist and me.

I listened to many people talking about the characters, the naturalist talking about Monarch butterflies and their long journey from Mexico up sometimes as far North as Canada, along with what global warming is doing to their life’s cycle and longevity.

A fact she mentioned that was very memorable was that not too long ago, the hills in Mexico had 45 acres of treesΒ  covered with Monarchs. Now, there are less than 3 acres. We all were silent, imaging this. I took photos of Liz’s three butterflies and the special netted box that includes flowers, shells of their crysalises.

Liz had us each put our forefinger out and she gently put it on each of our fingers.Β  The butterfly’s wings were also displayed by her, showing us a black spot on the bottom wing on both sides. This determines it was a male.

When we finally discussed the plot some people said it got “slow” and others did not have a problem with it. One woman, Mary, liked figuring out “Why?” the chapters had such strange titles, another never noticed any of them.

When discussing characters some did not like the main female character, while I did. I kept waiting to see if there was a time I could give my thoughts on her.

When Steve asked if anyone wanted to share their thoughts on our favorite part of the book, I finally spoke up. I told of a moment I got teary-eyed, the woman had come so far, learned how to handle sheep and in a serious situation showed maturity and inner strength.

Steve nodded his head and said that was one of two places he cried.

Others talked more favorably about the female character. Nancy said she felt the woman had to choose a new path in her life believing it best for her children.

There is a big chunk of this book which has funny comments between two characters through texting, which lightens a serious plot.

This book is current, published in 2012.
We ended our meeting after an hour
and a half.

We went into the kitchen, getting pieces of the quiche like “tomato pie” which what Robin called it. We had a half turnover pie each. Each of these had delicious flaky pie crust. I talked a short while with Robin and Nancy. The men took their plates into the parlor.

This home had an antique stove with a long vent through the ceiling. It was white porcelain covered metal, with black hinges and details. I liked the antique tea pot with hibiscus flower tea, there was honey to add or sugar.
Over the kitchen sink there were old flour bags made into cafe curtains.

When I used the bathroom, there was a claw footed bathtub, a wooden potty chair with a removable tin metal “pot.” The towels were cotton with cross stitch on them.

The living room/ parlor had beautiful caned chairs, an ornate desk and a fireplace with old sepia and cream photos framed and set on the mantle. There was a large braided rug on the floor.

The dining room, where Liz had set out pamphlets snd had her butterflies had a nice hutch with a shelf attached with an oblong mirror. This had porcelain plates and a soup tureen set out on it. This reminded me of my grandmother’s, although hers was Victorian snd this one appeared as Early American.

I said goodbye to the four women left and walked out to my car. I felt it was a nice experience and on Thursday asked the library to “send a request” to get the next book we will read, ” The Glass Castle,” which sounds like a memoir written by Jennifer Walls about her own childhood. The Cleveland library will be mailing the library a copy if the much less lengthy book, half the pages of last month’s.

When I told my coworkers about the book club, Karen who passes me mysteries said it sounded “intense.” While Tammy thought it sounded “interesting.”

Melvin cracked me up,
“Now, serving a meal of homemade farm cooking at the end of the meeting. . . That is MY kind of book club!”

In the dining room no chairs around dining table, since we had moved them into other room. The hutch had an oblong mirror which reminded me of my grandmother’s.

The next meeting of the Gallant Woods book club will be on last Wednesday,   October 28th. I look forward to this and will keep you posted.

Have you tried going to a meeting or joining something you have not tried before?
It had been years since I belonged to a Lancaster, Ohio book club. It had been a branch of our Welcome Wagon. I enjoyed meeting new people who were on the “same playing field” newcomers to a strange town.


About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

28 responses »

    • Thank you for really reading this and taking the time to wrote all sorts of nice comments. I need to head off to bed but will hope we can start again and I will hope to stay in better touch.

  1. One day, in a cafΓ© bar, I was pleasantly surprised to see an aquaintance sitting with friends around a table, discussing a book. Clearly, an english reading, and speaking book club. But I did’nt have the courage to butt in.

    • Oh my dear V. Thanks for sharing this. They would have welcomed you. I know how it feels to step out of your “comfort zone,” but I have been pushing myself to try. I do think aging helps a little with this, sort of like a “bon vivant” feeling mixed with “Who cares what others think?” πŸ™‚

  2. I like Kingsolver and haven’t read that book. Now I’m intrigued. I was part of a book club when I lived in Vermont. I always enjoyed it and you are so right that it’s an easy and interesting way to meet people. Plus you might get tomato pie πŸ™‚

    • This was nice and good connections between group members which indicates a “healthy” atmosphere. Sometimes you may choose a group where some power struggles or personal differences may make it uncomfortable. You would like this book and if you read it, I will tell you two of my favorite parts!
      I liked how you finished your kind comment. πŸ™‚

    • Rasmi, it was very nice yo be served a pie with egg cooked mixtire, like a tomato onion quiche. We like mushroom and cheese quiche or spinach and onion. I had never had tomato pie. πŸ™‚ Thanks for finding parts you liked, too. πŸ™‚

  3. Good for you for going to the Book Club, Robin!! Sounds like a good group and that they do some good reads…I loved The Glass Castle, btw…hope you do, too. Very intense.
    Teresa loves everything by Barbara Kingsolver…she was in a book club for many years but the group finally dissipated a couple of years ago, and she hasn’t found another good one.

    • Sheila, I am so happy that Teresa liked this wild, reckless memoir! I would like to try her fictional books soon, too. I am only 1/4 way through book.
      It is nice to be encouraged by you and also knowing Teresa felt it hard to find a good book club makes me Ike this one more. Thank you, Sheila. Hi to Red, the other pets, Pretty and Slow. πŸ™‚ β™‘

  4. what a pretty place, robin. i joined a book club here, made up of some old friends as well as some new, and i’ve really enjoyed it. no hard work, just fun, interesting conversation, a little food and wine and a relaxed social time.

    • I like your m as NY friends you meet in and around Ann Arbor, Beth. Our book store went out of business but I used to like book readings, author visits and poetry readings. I can see your being a fun and thoughtful asset to any book club, Beth. β™‘

  5. I hope you enjoy your book club Robin. I go to a very small group, we have been meeting for years, just friends really. Sometimes reading the book is a bit of a chore – I have so many titles on my own reading pile that I have CHOSEN to read that reading someone else’s choice is a nuisance! But generally it’s good fun and we get to chat on about other things too. We meet every six weeks in a different pub. Until we started doing this none of us had any idea there were so many different pubs in our local area!

    • I like the idea of a more casual gathering of bibliophiles, Jenny. Ha ha! Like my classy word? This group was intense, analytical and somewhat above my head. I will feel challenged and would gladly join a second kind of group of readers. I have an overflowing basket of books! Argh!

      • Ooh, I don’t think I could be bothered to do too much heavy analysing these days. Just an appreciation ( or not) of the book read, that’s enough for me. Chatting about the minutiae of life is much more appealing πŸ˜€

    • P.S. Dear Jenny, I like your nice, new gravatar. Outdoors and looking young, too. 2 pluses! Did you have a professional take it? Are you going to have a book cover reveal soon? With our Jill publishing her book and I like other authors: Anneli, Lana, Carol, D. Peach, Cindy, Danica, Christopher,Daniel, too. I am sure their great writing skills will eventually rub off on me.

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