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FoxSchoolBack to School!
This past week on social media a lot of my friends with young children have been posting pictures of their progeny on their first day of school. And a lot of my teacher friends have been posting pictures of their newly redecorated classrooms. All of this is filled with the excitement of launching another school year, igniting imaginations and sparking curiosity. Yes, I do miss being a parent of young children. And yes, I also miss the excitement of meeting a new group of students from my days as a classroom teacher. But I always look forward to the school visits, artist-in-residency programs, family literacy nights, home-school programs, teacher training workshops, teacher conferences, and all of the other ways I get to interact with the educational community! To help launch another successful year of teaching and learning allow me to share a few stories, lesson plans and program suggestions to get folks off on the right foot:


Fox as herndon webHow To Have a Happy, Cold, Wet, Flood-Soaked Summer!
Yes, we did have a tornado touch down in a small town near us, but luckily no lives were lost and Bishop Hill was untouched. But a little rain shouldn’t dampen summer fun. I just spent a week on the Spirit of Peoria riverboat during a record flood, a truly exciting time to see the river! We changed the schedule hourly to avoid calamity, and the guest said it was a wonderful experience. My annual Birthday Poem was inspired by the adventure. We have another campfire storytelling July 17th and a lovely concert July 19th. And this summer we are hosting several Chautauqua, all geared towards being the spark on a cold, wet, moon-dark night. Will you join us as a light unto the darkness:
foxsantaA Good Year Gone and A Great Year Coming!
It has been a rich and rewarding first full year in Bishop Hill, Illinois, with a dozen things to smile about: Lucia Nights just wrapped up; we had a wonderful series of Dreaming Tree house concerts and storytelling around the bonfire: we hosted our second annual well-attended Chautauqua; created a few new websites for www.historicunitedstates.com; and most of the heavy lifting is done with remodeling the Twinflower Inn. This weekend we are hosting our annual Winter Solstice programs in Bishop Hill and at The Fox Pub in Peoria. And next year is already brimmingly full with another writers' retreat, my History...In Person project coming to fruition, a few more web sites under construction and several new Chautauqua in the works. Following are a few presents for my friends. Please share this newsletter and spread the good cheer!'


foxoctoberTo everything, turn, turn, turn,
There is a season turn, turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven
- Pete Seeger’s adaptation of the Ecclesiastes
I often break out into song when feeling in love with life. I was walking home through the enchanted dusk late last evening, absolutely in love, and this song kept running through my head. I do love the way the past few days have gone from 100 degrees heat index to frosty nights, summer fun to school days, a field full of flowers to a tinge of autumn color in the forest edges. This autumn is bountiful with new projects, A Harvest Moon, more Ghosts Stories at the Twinflower Inn, another Springdale Cemetery Tour, and an abundance of family stories! Will you join us for the fun?