Last fall I was preparing to take a drive to a magical farmhouse for a few days. I rent it every year. The dates were no longer working out with friends and family. As a result, I was making the drive alone. I didn’t want to cancel, as Mom had just passed away after a long time spent in hospice for her Alzheimer’s. I knew I really needed the trip. On my way out of town, I stopped by my library to grab an audio book to keep me company in the car. I chose ” Izzy and Lenore” by Jon Katz.
I’d heard of him. I knew he wrote books about a farm in upstate New York, and his dogs. http://www.bedlamfarm.com/ Since my canine clan was riding in the back of the Subaru, and I was going to a farm, I figured it had to be the perfect choice. It was, but there was something in the book I hadn’t expected.
Crossing the state line, Katz had me in tears. He talked about his volunteer hospice work, with a dog named Izzy, and working with clients with Alzheimer’s. It couldn’t have been a better time for me to hear the beautifully written stories read aloud.
I became an instant fan, and found my way to his blog in a snowstorm back in January. That’s when I discovered that sometimes the Internet can be a wonderful thing!
Although I’ve never met Jon Katz in person, through his support of his local independent bookstore, and through his blog, he has ‘introduced’ me to some amazing people via my computer.
First, I discovered booksellers Connie and Kate one morning at Battenkill Books. They are both so knowledgable and always enclose the kindest hand written notes in my packages. http://www.battenkillbooks.com/ Next, through a call to the bookstore another day for some thoughtful reading recommendations, Katz introduced me to a compassionate, supportive writer named Diane Flore. Diane also blogs about Alzheimer’s. http://merganserscrossing.wordpress.com/
Finally, through his “blogs I follows section”, I’ve been introduced to several other remarkable bloggers. One is Katz’s wife, fiber artist Maria Wulf.
Maria just finished a beautiful quilt for my sister using fabric from several members of our family who have passed away from Alzheimer’s and dementia. I’m having one made too. It is bringing some closure to our more recent losses.
Jon, thank you for creating a truly unique and supportive virtual community. Sometimes support comes in the most unexpected ways.