All Good Gifts

As summer turns to autumn each year, I think about the song "All Good Gifts" from the musical "Godspell". I am especially thinking about it this year, since I am in rehearsals for "Godspell" right now, and will be performing it on stage in November.

As I harvested my garden this week, and walked around my yard taking pictures, this song came to mind, and I felt it was a fitting song to accompany the pictures of my September Gardens.



Seeds of Literary Analysis Planted at KHS

I gave this week's sibling assignment. I asked my siblings to think of a time in one of their Kellogg High School classes that really made an impression on them, and write about it.

One of my English teachers while at KHS was named Dale Bachman. When I was in high school, the English classes were set up when you could choose a different class each nine weeks. One nine weeks I chose to study Poetry. Mr. Bachman was my teacher.

One of the assignments we did was to bring a song we liked, and share the lyrics, showing how song lyrics were actually a type of poetry.

As an example, Mr. Bachman shared one of his favorite songs, "The Devil Went Down To Georgia". He talked about the song, and explained how this was a kind of story poem.

I chose a song from "A Chorus Line", titled " At The Ballet". This is a song about three girls and their troubles growing up, and how the ballet helped them out. I chose this version because Kelly Bishop from "The Gilmore Girls" sings it, and it sounds really good. Thesethree originated the roles on Broadway. If I remember correctly, we brought in the lyrics, and talked about what they meant, and analyzed them in front of the class.

This lesson has always stuck with me, and I still remember Mr. Bachman jumping around the room, acting out "The Devil Went Down To Georgia". I think it stuck with me, because my teacher was excited about what he was doing, and really got into this lesson.

I still love analyzing literature, whether it is poetry, essays, short stories or novels.

I love it and believe the seeds were planted right here in this class at KHS.


A Day of Rest

Today was a day that doesn't come around very often. I had nowhere I had to be. I didn't have to leave the house. I could stay home all day and be LAZY.

What a wonderful feeling. I slept in until 10 a.m. I read some of my book. I worked on some little things. But I did all this while laying in my bed. Then I slept some more. Then I did some things on the computer.

Then I slept some more. Then PKR and I watched the season premire of "Criminal Minds". Now we are enjoying a snack, and watching a show on DVD.

What a wonderful feeling to just have a day of rest. My cold was still holding on, so I think I'm feeling much better now after taking it easy all day.

So, this blog post is tiring me out. Time to get some rest. Until later....


Singing for Navy Veterans

USS Bennion (DD-662) was a Fletcher-class destroyer of the United States Navy, named for Captain Mervyn S. Bennion (1887–1941).

Bennion was launched 4 July 1943 by Boston Navy Yard, sponsored by Mrs. M. S. Bennion, Captain Bennion's widow; and commissioned 14 December 1943, Commander J. W. Cooper in command.
Bennion departed Philadelphia, Pa. 3 March 1944 escorting Bataan (CVL-29) to the Pacific. Arriving at Pearl Harbor 22 March, she trained and patrolled in Hawaiian waters until 29 May 1944. Moving westward she served as a fighter director and radar picket ship during
the Saipan seizure (15 June–24 July 1944);
Tinian occupation (24 July–2 August),
Palaus occupation (2–29 September);
Leyte invasion (18 October–18 November) during which she was slightly damaged by a shore battery;
Mindoro landings (13–17 December);
Lingayen Gulf landings (7–20 January 1945),
Iwo Jima invasion (18 February–12 March),
Okinawa seizure (26 March–8 June) during which the near miss of a kamikaze suicide plane caused slight damage;
and the 3rd Fleet raids against Japan (18–29 July).
Bennion returned to Puget Sound Navy Yard 27 October 1945 and went out of commission in reserve at Long Beach, Calif., 20 June 1946.

Tonight I had the wonderful opportunity to perform for a group of World War Two Navy Veterans. They made me cry.

Rick Shaffer, who manages the Wallace Inn in Wallace, was going to host the reunion of the USS Bennion at the hotel, and wanted some entertainment for the participants. Rick's father was one of the men who served on the USS Bennion.

So those of us who performed in the August show this past summer decided to come together again and perform our Kelly's Alley Review for the evening. What a delightful time it was.

I do confess, I wasn't that thrilled Friday afternoon to do it. It had been a very long week, and I had been working with 8th graders all day, and I was very tired.

But, by the time we got to the hotel, and had rehearsed a bit before things got started, I was getting excited to perform the show again.

The reunion included men who had served on the USS Bennion, as well as family members. There was probably around 30 in the room.

All summer long we would end the review with a patriotic medley, and the last song we sang was "God Bless The USA". PKR would always invite the veterans in the audience to stand so we could honor them as we sang through the chorus one more time. I never lost it once all summer. I came close, but was always able to keep it together.

But there was something about being in a room with about 15 World War II Navy veterans who stood during the final number, as family members were crying and hugging their fathers and I was singing that last verse with quivering lips and tears coming from my eyes.

Boy, that is a good feeling. It makes all you do feel like it was for a purpose, to honor these gentlemen who risked their lives for our country.


Bonus Trip to Boise

Last Wednesday evening I flew to Boise to attend my fall Gear Up training I am required to do for my job.

My friend AK picked me up at the airport, and we had a nice visit after she dropped me off at my hotel.

Thursday morning Gear Up Site Coordinators from around the state descended upon Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa for a morning of "Challenge Course" exercises. What a great way to begin our training. We were out in the beautiful, (sometimes way too hot) sun, and learned about one another, learned to work together as a team, and learned to think outside the box. It was really great.

I gave a couple of presentations about some of the sessions I attended at our national conference in DC last summer, and another program we do with our students called Dependable Strengths. Everyone did a wonderful job of presenting great information.

The next day we spend at Boise State University having more meetings, and getting a tour of the campus. It is a really great college, but I found it interesting that, as other coordinators shopped in the BSU Bookstore for shirts and sweatshirts for family members, I could not buy anything that was blue and orange with a bronco placed on it. Sorry, but I guess my U of I Vandal roots go stronger than I thought.

As a sidenote, The Princess was talking about what school she would eventually tranfer to after she was done at NIC, and she likes Boise, since that is where she lived until she was 10, and said she was considering BSU. I jokingly told her that would be just fine, as long as she knew she would pay for it herself!! (Okay, maybe I wasn't joking after all!!)

Then came the bonus part of the trip. I decided to stay in Boise through Sunday and spend some time with friends.

My sister-in-law Laurie picked me up after our day at BSU, and we went to eat, then were joined by my wonderful friend Nita Jo. (You can find out more about Laurie here, and you can find Nita Jo's beautiful writings on her blog here.)

Laurie shared with me some of her writings, and we talked about them, and then watched Season One of "Slings and Arrows". Well, we got through 3 episodes Friday night, and finished the rest on Saturday morning. What a wonderful program. More topics were discussed, and it came to an end all too soon.

That evening, I went out with my friend ML for dinner, then we were joined later by AK. We had dessert and got caught up on life, and the interesting places in our lives. ML had my favorite quote of the weekend:

"You know, I thought life would get easier once my kids graduated from high school and were on their own, but that is when it started getting hard."

AK is experiencing "empty nest syndrome" for the first time, with all three kids now out of the house. Her daughter still lives in Boise, while her two sons have headed off to college this fall, one in Oregon and one at University of Idaho. So, you can only imagine how hard of an adjustment that has been.

ML, AK and myself are all the same age. In 1993, the year we all turned 30 years old, we decided to start taking each other out for our birthdays, and do a little shopping along the way. I kind of messed things up by moving up to Kellogg 8 years ago, but we still can get together and share our lives, and pray for one another, and lean on one another when needed.

On Sunday morning I attended church at Meridian Gospel Tabernacle where we attended when we lived down there. I briefly saw more family, old friends, and our former pastors who are now pastors at this church. It was a really great service, and a special time.

The only downfall of the whole weekend was the cold that progressively got worse while I was there. PKR and The Princess picked me up at the airport and we stopped at the store to get some supplies for The Princess, a I bought some Zicam nasal spray gel after having it highly recommended to me my one of the other site coordinators. I must admit, it did wonders stopping my congestion.

But the cold bug has taken its toll on this household. PKR used some Zicam swabs to stop his cold, and I think it is working. Z2 is still suffering. The Princess has been hit the worse. Our phone rang at 5 a.m. this morning with a tearful daughter on the phone who hadn't slept all night, was stuffed up, and her ears were aching, and she was miserable. PKR and I prayed with her, told her we would see what we could do, and called her back to let her know Dad was on the way to get her. I think a day at home will get her rested up and over her cold faster than alone in her dorm room. In fact, I think she was out the moment she hit the pillow. Ah...the adjustments of the college freshman.

As I reflect upon my time in Boise, I marvel at the incredible women I have in my life. The majority of site coordinators (all but one actually) are women, and I was able to renew old friendships with many, and make new friendships with new coordinators, and gain valuable information from many to help me serve the students better at my job.

Then my friends I spent time with over the weekend was such a blessing. There were things I needed to voice my opinion on and get out, there were other times I needed to just sit and listen. But I came away renewed.

One more kind of fun note from the trip. As the plane landing, and we were getting ready to get off the plane in Spokane, the woman in front of me said something about living in Pine Creek (an area here in the Silver Valley). I kept looking at her, and realized I had been sitting behind one of my very good friends who I had worked with at the newspaper, and have know for years. We got a big laugh out of that one. Then, as I stood up and look behind me, PKR's cousins were sitting in the seats behind me. So I exclaimed, "Well, I guess I know the people sitting behind me as well."

PKR had two cousins on both sides of his family who married one another. One is a first cousin on his mom's side, and one is something like a fifth cousin on his dad's side. They live in Boise, and were traveling to watch their daughter play in a golf match in Missoula. She is on the University of Montana golf team. So it was nice seeing them for a moment, and PKR enjoyed saying hello to them in the airport.

Well, my Bonus Trip To Boise was very enjoyable. And being with people you love and care about is what life is all about.

The Beauty of Central Idaho in the Fall

Our latest sibling assignment posed to us by Inland Empire Girl is this:

As autumn approaches think of a perfect fall day you have experienced. Using words and pictures recapture that day.

For this assignment, I'm going to focus on, not only a day, but a perfect fall three day trip PKR and I took about 10 years ago.

I think it was one of those times where life was getting a bit overwhelming, and we decided it was time to get away by ourselves for a few days. It was in October, I believe, and we had relatives who could take care of the girls, so we headed toward unchartered territory...central Idaho.

The first night, on Thursday, we drove to Gooding, Idaho, a small town about 1 1/2 hours from Meridian. You take Interstate 84 east to Bliss, then go east on US26/US30 to Gooding. We stayed in a little home owned motel, and it was delightful.

Our theme for the trip was, "let's go wherever the road takes us". We made not plans, no reservations, no anything. If something looked interesting, we explored it.

Waking up Friday morning, we started on our journey. One sign we saw said "Little City of Rocks" so we turned down the road and visited an area with strange rock formations.

Another road we went down provided us with an up close and personal view of a family of bighorn sheep.

We eventually ended up in Challis, Idaho for the night. There was one important thing I remembered about Challis, Idaho. Challis got a bit of a shake up on October 28, 1983 when the Challis area was the epicenter for a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, which raised Mt. Borah 7 feet higher. I was a student at the University of Idaho at the time, and I still remember being in bed on the top bunk on the sleeping porch at the Tri-Delt house, and one of my sorority sisters, who was from California and familiar with these things, comes running onto the porch yelling, "It's an earthquake, everyone get out!!"

I remember when it began, I was half dreaming, thinking there were people outside the sorority building trying to move it back and forth.

PKR, who was across campus in Upham Hall, one of the men's dorms, slept through all the excitement. With his bed moving back and forth, and banging up against the wall, he just thought someone was knocking on his door. It was too early to get up, so he just put the pillow over his head, and fell back to sleep.

So, now we were in a motel room in Challis. As I recall, it was a bit of a dive, and it seemed like there were big cracks in the walls, almost as if they were cracked during the earthquake, but never quite repaired correctly.

When we left Challis, we traveled to Mt. Borah, and saw for ourselves how the highest peak in Idaho actually gained 7 more feet because of the earthquake. It was very interesting.

Our last night was spent in Salmon, Idaho. What a beautiful town in the middle of nowhere. I remember we traveled along the north fork of the Salmon River to Shoup. As I recall we picked up some kid who had been fishing and needed a ride back to town.

I also remember driving through Mackay. I always wondered about this town, because my friend TM worked there one summer for the CCC. We also visited some old mining areas around Salmon, and enjoyed beautiful weather, fall foilage, and a relaxing time.

I remember one of the other fun things we did on that trip was go to the Boise Coop, a grocery store in Boise that had fabulous wine and cheese, and we purchased many different kinds of cheeses to eat on our trip, and some wonderful bread.

One particular type of cheese we purchased was called Manchego. We actually bought two kinds; one was about 3 years old, and the other kind was 25 years old. Manchego is a sheep's milk cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain.

I know I have pictures from this trip, and, if I can find them, I will add them to this post.

On the drive home, we traveled up through the Sawtooth Mountains, through Stanley, to Lowman, and into Garden Valley, then on toward Meridian. I remember stopping at the natural hot springs along the river, and enjoying a dip. We decided not to stop at the same hot springs where the naked men were enjoying their dip in the water. I remember on the road around Lowman there were signs telling the story of a forest fire that went through there. It was fascinating reading about the fire.

This trip was a definate highlight in my life. It was so enjoyable traveling alone with PKR, having no plans or agenda, and enjoying the beauty of Idaho during my favorite time of the year, fall.

I'll keep look for those pictures, and hopefully add some soon.


Absurdities of War

What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood. ~Aldous Huxley

I didn't really set out to make it World War I weekend, but that is what it turned out to be.

I had been reading a book called "Passchendaele", a book based on a screenplay written by Paul Gross about a battle during World War I.

The germination of the story came from a tale Gross heard his grandfather tell him on a fishing trip when he was 14 years old. His grandfather told him about being in Belgium and fighting in World War I for Canada, and taking his bayonet and stabbing a young German soldier. The image haunted his grandfather his whole life. And the story changed Gross' life.

This book, and eventually the movie, that opens up next month in Canada, shared about the battle of Paschendaele, and the conditions the men fought in while in this battle. They lived in a muddy, cratered landscape, where the soil and water were filled with dead, bloated bodies, and chemicals from the gas warfare the German's used. It was amazing men survived in such conditions.

I vividly remember learning about World War II in high school, but don't remember being taught about World War I. My latest rememberance of learning a bit about the effects of this war was reading Madeliene L'Engle's memoirs, and she wrote about her father who had respirtory difficulties because of being gassed in the war.

The movie I watched was called "Gallipoli". This was a story based on a battle the Australian army fought against the Turks. The ending battle scene shows the men basically leaving their trenches with no possible way of surviving. They knew they were going to die. And it was because of an error made by the commanding officers who were not even in the vicinity. It was such a sad story.

I remember one of the things that struck me when I visited Washington D.C. for the first time, and visiting all the memorials was the feeling that war was absurd. And as you read the quotes from the American Revolution, to the War of 1812, to the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, see the memorials dedicated to many of these conflicts, it seems like we just don't learn from history.

I love my country. I am proud of the men and women who make the choice to defend our country. But I often wonder if the price it too high?

To me, the Korean War Memorial is the most hauntingly beautiful memorial that I saw. As you look at the faces on the men portrayed in the statues, you see their pain, and struggles. And the quote that is next to the memorial is so true..."Freedom Is Not Free".

I pray for the men and women at war. I pray for their families. I pray for peace.


Sting--Sing To Me a Lullaby

I love hearing Sting sing this song. It is just like a lullaby.

I was searching for a song on ITunes tonight, and came across "Fields of Gold". So beautiful. Enjoy.


Book Binge

"Books can speak to us like God, like men, or like the noise of the city.... They speak to us like God when they bring us light and peace and fill us with silence...when we desire never to leave them. They speak to us like men when we desire to hear them again. They speak to us like the noise of the city when they hold us captive by a weariness that tells us nothing, gives us no peace, and no support, nothing to remember, and yet will not let us escape." - Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968)

I've been on a bit of a "book binge" lately, and absolutely loving it. I seem to go in cycles with reading, and I am definately on the upswing now in reading books. Here are some books I have read recently:

"The Shack" by William P. Young. A bestselling Christian fiction book that has you take a look at who God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit really can be. Has been scrutinized by some Christian evangelicals because of theological differences, but my response is, it is a book of FICTION, and wasn't written as a theological dissertation. I think it if gets people to think about their relationship with God in a new and different way, then so be it. I highly recommend this book.

"A Year By The Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman" by Joan Anderson. This tells the story of a woman who goes and lives by the sea at Cape Code for a year, and learns about herself. Her time alone not only strengthened herself, but strengthened her marriage as well. A wonderful book about learning to take time for yourself, and learning to take risks.

"Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson " by Mitch Albom. This is one of those books I have wanted to read for years, because I wanted to watch the movie they made based on the book. But I refused to watch the movie until I read the book. What a delightful book showing a wonderful perspective on life. Someday I'll have to do a blog post on some of the things Morrie shared with Mitch. A book everyone should take time to read.
"Shoofly Pie" (Bugman Series #1) by Tim Downs. I heard Tim Downs interviewed on a Christian radio program this summer, and he was talking about these books he had written, where the main character was a forensic entomologist. The main character, Dr. Nick Polchack, studies bugs on corpses to find out about their death. It was a pretty good read. A little predictable, but a fun read. The forensic entomology part was very interesting to learn about, and he goes into pretty good detail about those proceedures throughout the book. My personal reading patterns tend to go in cycles, and I'm glad I am on the upswing these days. I can't wait to dive into the next book, based on a the screenplay of a Canadian film opening next month called "Passchendaele". To find out more about the upcoming movie, go here.

And I'm still making my way through all the used books I purchased this summer.

So many books...so little time


Cool Things We've Taught Our Kids

While having conversations with my daughters over the summer, I enjoy discovering things they have learned along the way that PKR and I haven't intentionally sat down and wanted to teach them, but they have learned anyway. Here are a few of those discoveries.

* The Princess shared with the girls in her cabin at church camp that the people she knew that were the most in love were her parents. She said she had never seen us fight, either. Then she a bit taken back when her counselor said that we probably fight behind closed doors. I hate to break it to the counselor, but no, we don't fight, behind closed doors or otherwise. Sure, we disagree, and I can give the silent treatment for a while, but we really don't have fights.

* Z2's friends are amazed at some of the cultural things she knows. They couldn't believe she knew the words to the song "Consider Yourself" from the musical "Oliver". Or that she loves to listen to and watch musicals, for that matter. I was also proud that she was one of the only people in her choir class of over 50 kids who knew what the term "give me some skin" meant.

* Today, Kiki Aru's Language Arts teachers was telling me how much she enjoyed having Kiki in class, and how she is understanding some of the more subtle things from the text of "Tom Sawyer". Of my three girls, Kiki is the one who reads the least, and I told her she needs to start reading some good books. I'm so glad they are reading "Tom Sawyer", and that she is enjoying the book.

Loving parents, musical lyrics and literature...to some it may seem trivial, but I think it is pretty cool.

But then, we have three pretty cool daughters.


Delicious Autumn!

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot

Autumn is soon officially upon us..my favorite season of the year. We have had some beautiful fall days, and I look forward to many more.

The school year has started off quite well this year. Everyone is busy going many different directions, but what is new?

Kiki Aru just turned 13 last Friday, and is now officially a teenager. She had a fun birthday party on Saturday with about 15 friends. It is now official. We now have three teenage daughters. I'm actually rather enjoying it. Kiki tried out for the volleyball team, a new experience for her. She was excited to be chosen for the "A" team. I look forward to attending volleyball matches and watching her in a new sport.

Z2 started high school, and is now a freshman at Kellogg High School. She seems to be fitting into things quite nicely at KHS. She is running Cross Country this fall, which is an adjustment. In middle school they run 1.5 miles, and in high school, they run 3.1 miles, so it takes some getting used to. But she is doing well. Lots of sore leg muscles, though. She is also busy with pep band, and will start marching band soon, as well as singing in choir, and taking drama. Even though Z2 is an introvert, she sure enjoys performing (not unlike her father).

The Princess is really enjoying NIC and is making new friends and enjoying her classes. She tried out for a play. She didn't get a part, but thought is was a really fun and positive experience, and received very positive feedback from the director, which made her feel good. I'm also adjusting to not having her here, and am very excited she is enjoying her new college life.

PKR's drama program at KHS had grown like crazy this year. Last year he had one section with about 30 kids. This year, he has two sections, with about 55 drama kids. He just had tryouts for his fall production, and will also be performing in "Godspell" at the Sixth Street Theater. Yes, he realizes he is nuts, but such is the crazy life of the introverted thespian.

I am still at Kellogg Middle School with the Gear Up program, and am also at KHS with my program as well. I'm also in "Godspell". We started rehearsals this week, and I can't wait to put this production on the stage. This is the first musical I saw on the stage, when I was in junior high. Raymond Pert's first wife took me to a production of it at Whitworth College in Spokane, and I have loved it ever since. I have had the soundtrack since junior high, and know every song on the album by heart. (This is sure coming in handy as we learn the music!!)

PKR and I have always been involved on the worship team at our church. But, because of some changes at church, we are now the worship leaders. Actually, the whole family is involved. PKR does lead vocals, and hopes to get back on the drums occasionally. The Princess does vocals when she is home on the weekends. Z2 plays keyboard and vocals. Kiki Aru does keyboard, drums and vocals. And I do vocals and occasionally pull out my flute to play. What a blessing as a family to have us all helping our church worship the Lord.

That is the news from the homefront here in the Silver Valley. Even though computer problems continue to persist at our house, I hope to be a bit more consistent with my blog posts.


The Relevance of the Essay

Inland Empire Girls has been keeping us on track this summer with our sibling assignments. This week she posed this assignment:

"As we near the start of the school year here is the assignment. Write about a school experience that was significant to your school life. Describe the experience and why it was significant."
Entering college was a wakeup call when it came to learning to write compositions. I remember entering English 103 at the University of Idaho and finding out exactly what the term essay meant, and what my teacher's expectations were in writing an essay.

Unfortunately, what I was taught in high school didn't resemble this form of writing. English 103 at the University of Idaho focused a lot on learning how to write an introductory paragraph and learning the form and basics of essay writing.

I passed English 103, and entered English 104. This class provided me one of those "Ah-ha" moments as a student.

I don't remember the teaching assistant's name that taught the class, but I do remember the day he brought in the Rolling Stones Magazine. He was kind of a hippie looking guy, and it didn't surprise me that he would bring in this magazine to share with the students in class.

But, what he did next was share some writing from the magazine, and, in doing so, he gave us a really good example of what essay writing was all about.

I was blown away.

I'm not sure it was ever explained to me in any of my English classes that essay writing was a type of writing, and that there were people who actually wrote essays on purpose.
This is the definition of an essay: a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.

Essay writing had a purpose. It was not a writing exercise students were forced to repeat over and over again with much repetition. People actually wrote essays and earned money for doing this writing feat.

I wish I could go back and find this TA and thank him for this revelation. I would like to thank him for the wisdom he showed to this group of freshmen writers who needed to give their writing a bit of purpose, a bit of relevance.
I can even recommend a couple books if you would like to explore the genre of essay writing. Two of my favorites are "Having Everything Right: Essays of Place" by Kim Stafford, a collection of essays which revolves around the history, folklore, and physical beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Kim Stafford writes poetic and evocative prose as he reflects on such subjects as Indian place names, bears, and local eccentrics. (As described on amazon.com)

Another recommendation is Barbara Kingsolver's book of essays titled "High Tide in Tucson"."

Displaying a diverse background and multiple interests, Kingsolver has written about subjects as varied as the biological clock of hermit crabs, tourist wanderings in Benin, and visiting an obsolete Titan missile site. The recurring themes here are the wonder and excitement of parenting; the respect for all creatures, religions, and points of view; and the importance of the natural world in our lives. She weaves these themes throughout her essays and presents readers with a vision of beliefs too often undervalued in our modern world. The author, a skilled observer of both people and nature, claims "to want to know and to write, about the places where disparate points of view rub together?the spaces between." These essays are her attempts to open the doors for her readers to see into those spaces.

Penny Stevens, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

If you have never read really good essays, because you still remember having to write those essays back in school, I encourage you to try either of these essayists books, or search for some of your own.

Then you, like myself, will realize that essays do have a purpose, and are very relevent.
To read more on this sibling post, here is Inland Empire Girl's post about becoming a poet, here, and Raymond Pert's post will one day be here.