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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” ~ John Muir

On Sunday, I joined my son, JP, his two daughters, and my granddaughter, Poppy, on a hike to one of The Balls—a series of rock outcroppings above Jackass Meadow.

Here’s the view from the meadow, looking east. Look at that carpet of wildflowers!

Our first stop was at Globe Rock, which truly seems to defy gravity.

Having the trail to ourselves and a view that takes your breath away once we got to the top is something you can’t put a price on.

I took a quick—breathless—video from the top, then we picnicked.

Jon-Paul’s friend Michael Olwyler shared two of the three photos below that provide a fascinating historical perspective of the same view of Jackass Meadow from 1910, 1997 and 2020.

~Photo credit: Herman Philip Ralph, 1910

~Photo credit: Connie Popelish, 1997

~Photo credit: Deb Salonen May 31, 2020

Here’s Poppy at a small creek on our way down. It was a pretty steep climb in spots, but she was a great sport. We like to start our outdoors enthusiasts young around here. 😉

I LOVE you guys. Last week’s question got the most votes ever!

And the winning title is: HER COWBOY VALENTINE

I sent the title to my cover designer who was waiting patiently. Still making a few tweaks, but I will share with you soon!

As promised last week, here are a couple more “High-Five Salutes to 2020 Grads.”

Anna Zuniga’s nephew, Anthony Zuniga, is a high school graduate. He is the valedictorian of his high school. Our community has really gone all out to recognize our graduates. My nephew has been interviewed by the local newspapers and by a TV reporter. He will be heading to the University of Texas in Austin. (BTW, he was born a week after 9-11.)

Ollie Woods’ granddaughter, Destiny Middleton, missed her high school graduation but “the school did let them come in their caps and gowns to pick up their diploma.”

Amy Jenick's youngest daughter, Jenica Jenick, just participated in a “drive-in” graduation and “final drive” parade this weekend. It was a disappointing end to a disappointing senior year but the kids made the best of it and had some fun with it! So happy to recognize Jenica and the graduating class of Pymatuning Valley High School! Jenica will be heading to Kent State University as a member of their Honors College. She will be majoring in theater studies.

I send my heartfelt love and congratulations to every 2020 graduate.

UPDATE: I’m happy to report that my Property Sisters Grand Prize winner contacted me and her prize is on its way to Louisiana.

I might do another prize later this summer to drum up excitement for Book 3: ALL THE STARS ON MONTANA.

Last week’s Q&A was: Pick my winning title, please?

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Sarah Taylor – Both
Cindy Weeks – Her Cowboy Valentine

(Sarah and Cindy congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&A: Do you play a musical instrument? Yes or No?

(If yes, I’m dying to know what type.) Next week, I’ll tell you the instrument I learned to play when I was 10.)

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways: email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Stay well, my friends!

Happy reading,


Next week: fishing and the fine art of RV camping…



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen