Mid-July I had the pleasure of seeing “Cadi & the Cursed Oak” displayed at the Children’s Flower Shower at Birchard Public Library in Fremont, Ohio. Every summer members of Whispering Meadows Garden Club select a children’s book, create a floral design for the book and then donate the book to the library. The gardening club has been sponsoring the event for 10 years.
Donna Foss, a master gardener and member of Whispering Meadows for 22 years, chose “Cadi” and designed this beautiful display. (Thank you, Donna.)
“The story of ‘Cadi’ and the oak tree inspired me to use an old knot from a tree I had,” she says. “Along with oak leaves, hydrangea flowers, acorns and a small silver cup, it just seemed to support the story. Of course, a skeleton was hidden in the tree.”
Donna has been gardening for 50 years. She grew up on a farm and says both of her parents gardened – they had a large vegetable garden and many flower beds.
“Now it feels like I just have to get outside and play in the dirt,” she says.
That afternoon I picked up my twin sons who were visiting my aunt Ellen and uncle Skip. They had spent several days working – raising a Quonset hut, moving logs, filling in potholes in a gravel lane, clearing out a shed – and playing. They also came home with a generous gift. My uncle had spent the year prior collecting tools for them. And during the visit, he helped them each build a toolbox.
Cadi’s grandmother: “Our stories, they are roots do you see? Every story being told right now, every story waiting to be told, they are all connected to the roots of our past.”
Every Lost Art Press author I’ve interviewed for a profile talks about the people who have come before them, blood-related and not.
Cadi thought about her grandmother’s stories, passed from mothers to daughters who then became mothers. Over and again. She thought about her own mum and her many retellings of loved tales. She thought about the spirits’ stories, now inside her, and she thought about the stories yet to come.
Cadi leaned down and hollowed out a bit of earth. In it, she placed an acorn, and she gifted it a story.”
For every planted seed, every driven nail, every story told, someone is watching.
— Kara Gebhart Uhl
11 thoughts on “Bloodlines”
Thank you Kara for reminding me to purchase a copy so I may share some quality time with my grandchildren.
Aw, thank you! I hope your grandchildren enjoy the book!
Such a wonderful blog post. I must get the book. For my own inner kid first. Once I’ve lavished over it I will donate it to our very tiny local library.
That is so kind, thank you, Lynette.
It is a beautiful book and I am happy to hear that a library is using it. It will be part of the lore in the crafting community for centuries to come I think. You guys did a good job on it.
Thank you – I love Elin’s illustrations so much!
That’s just really sweet. It must be a great feeling to see your work on display. Very nice.
It was so fun!
i wish more news sources would tell these kinds of wonderful stories. I’d bet a large sum there are way more of these than what’s usually told.
I love this book, Kara. I know it would fly off the shelves at the Denver Botanic Garden (and probably several others around the country plus Kew). I know it’s a different world for LAP. But, hey, in a way, so are tools and videos …
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