Swimming

 

 

I learned to swim later in life. I learned well after I wrote a book about a girl who swims against great odds and in the face of personal tragedy, a fictionalized account of my mother’s young life. Read a synopsis of RIVER, CROSS MY HEART I learned to swim well after the death of my only child in an accidental fall. He’d been a swimmer. It means a lot to me to have learned this skill at age 49. It’s the linchpin of my health and fitness routine. I was brought to tears recently by the story of a young man who rescued seventeen people and a dog because he could swim because he was determined because he was courageous because his heart was strong. Most of all because he knew how to swim and was unafraid of the water. Virgil’s story  He was unafraid to act and I’m glad he’s getting a Civilian Medal of Honor. Check out the surprise his community gave him.  https://youtu.be/7y8HjalvoaM

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Virgil Smith (l) with his friend, Keyshaun whose life he saved

And then there were the two sisters, one of whom competed in the Rio Olympics on the refugee team, who swam for three hours in the Aegean Sea to prevent a boatload of refugees from sinking to their deaths. They were the only swimmers aboard and they saved eighteen people and themselves.  The two women leaped out of the boat, into cold waters and pushed the boat for three hours in open water to prevent it from capsizing — eventually making land.  Young Syrian woman saves a boatload of refugees   

 

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Yusra Mardini

 

As summer approaches let’s make sure each child has the opportunity to learn to swim. In many cities, access to pools and swimming lessons is sparse. Be sure your municipality offers swimming instruction and access to safe pool environments for all young people. Encourage your youngsters to learn this valuable life skill. They may save a life, their own or others. They will acquire a lifelong practice that will help maintain fitness, promote confidence, and create a healthy mental state.  Check here for swimming classes in Jersey City Swimming classes for children and adults

Google your town for places offering swimming instruction and access. You may be nurturing someone who has the courage and intelligence to save others. They just need the skills. Make sure your child learns to swim.

For more about Breena Clarke’s books, go to  www.BreenaClarke.com

 

 

Personal Blueberry Cobbler

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Mountain blueberries, held to have the power of magic healing in these environs, benefited the girl immediately. She gorged on them in a bowl of milk. It was said by lowlanders who had seen the mountain folk that they grew long-tall and lanky for reaching so far above their heads to dine on blueberries on the bushy tufts in the crevices of the highlands. Through the summertime in Russell’s Knob, few of the children’s mouths were colored anything other than dark purple. Each one a contented and laughing face.

——  from Angels Make Their Hope Here by Breena Clarke read an excerpt

Highbush Blueberry

Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored berries. They are classified in the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium. Vaccinium also includes cranberries. Commercial “blueberries” are native to North America, and the “highbush” varieties were not introduced into Europe until the 1930s. – wikipedia

Dossie waited and let them ride up and tie the horse. She stood when Hat came onto the porch, and Hat nodded to her with formal courtesy as the woman of the house. Hat held out the buckets of blueberries and grinned.

——  from Angels Make Their Hope Here by Breena Clarke read an excerpt

Blueberries are considered a superfood for their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Arthritis sufferers, get some. Click here for useful Blueberry Facts

I enjoy this low-sugar, portion-controlled blueberry dessert as often as possible.

 

Personal Blueberry Cobblers

for the diabetes-friendly diet

Four small ramekins

Two cups of fresh blueberries

One frozen pie crust

2/3 to 3/4 cup of Truvia baking blend – read the package for complete info

Two tablespoons of cornstarch

One teaspoon of ground cinnamon – also useful for arthritis

Two teas. of lemon juice

Two tablespoons of butter

Combine cornstarch, Truvia and cinnamon, add rinsed blueberries and lemon juice. Stir to coat the fruit. Fill each ramekin halfway. Cut four circles of dough with a large biscuit cutter or cup. Put strips of dough in berries. Fill ramekins, dot with small bits of butter, cover each with a circle of dough. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes until filling is bubbly and crust is lightly browned. Let cool.

For more about Breena Clarke’s books, go to www.BreenaClarke.com

 

 

 

Maroon New Jersey

Tim Knox interviews Breena Clarke for the website, PLACING LITERATURE, about the setting of ANGELS MAKE THEIR HOPE HERE 

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http://bit.ly/1oi1cLM

ANGELS MAKE THEIR HOPE HERE is set in an imagined community in a mountainous area roughly north and west of Paterson, New Jersey in the 19th century. Russell’s Knob is a hidden, secretive place settled by people who might be described today as bi-racial or tri-racial. The inhabitants describe themselves as runaways and stay-aways. They are people who reject the limiting definitions of racial identity and character of 19th century, mid-Atlantic, North America and live outside of the “white” towns. They are spoken of derisively as “amalgamators” and “race mixers” though their true history is as complex as is the history of settlement in the region.

 

for more information on about BreenaClarke’s books: www.BreenaClarke.com