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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

May You See Me

The Hamptons
May You See Me
May you see me in the colors of a budding flower, deep shades of purple, flickers of white, peering out on the tip of a stem.
May you see me in the shapes of the wispy clouds, floating by gently, whispering to you “hello”.
May you see me in a smile of a child, as laughter arises into endless bubbles of giggles.
May you see me n the meld of your dogs eyes, reflecting back the love that you are.
May you see me in the early morning sun rays, reaching through the branches, touching you with warmth.
May you see me in the ripples of the water pushing up against the pebbly shore as you walk along.
May you see me in your hand, the smooth bay stone, flipping it over, scouting the canvas for its beauty.
May you see me in the swirls of your coffee as you drink in the savoring flavor from each sip.
May you see me in each turn of the road, as your wheels glide along the curves, rocking you ever so tenderly.
May you see me in the shapely rise of a glass, filled with soft subtle hues of pink beckoning to you.
May you see me in the words on the page echoing the Elizabethan times before swiping to the next.
May you see me in your mind as the lyrics play a harmonizing melody, even if it's one of your favorite Patti Smith tunes.
May you see me in your pain of your memories softly wiping away your tears with complete understanding.
May you see me in the creases of your hand with our fingers entwined as you hear me say “I love you”.
May You See Me
by Jane Landers

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Sunday Hello ~ 19


Only as I keep getting older do I truly understand and embrace the beauty of motherhood. Being child number 8 leaves me the beauty of being part of the second wind of motherhood or the experience of the eighth time around which comes with advantages I’m sure, no more deer in headlights or what do we do with this one or lets perfect and correct from experience, but more of a live and breathe mode as life was up and running with the previous seven. My honorable spot was being seated to your left at dinner time, perched on the couch during every riveting soap opera event, and observant of your attention to detail in every task all the way to the way you wrapped presents, nothing went done without care and a touch of love added to it.  

I have drifted in and out throughout all my 53 years as your baby girl, your Eliza Dolittle…Jane Elizabeth on some occasions, staying in touch, extending my love and more times than not needing yours. With my life being distant not only in what I shared, but in miles too, often left me in tears at all our goodbyes in person and on the phone. I have learned, I have felt, I have treasured the place in my heart where I can tap into quite easily, the space filled with immense love for you. It leaves me breathless at times, and made my heart swell to the brim over the last year or two with my move to New York City. Two people believed in my journey without a doubt, without hesitation, and YOU are the biggest cheerleader of the two. Yes, you mom, who has been always there, always cheering me on, always in all ways, extending your love, I just didn’t quite believe I could or should deserve it. You were there for me when I was ready to receive your love. 

With my eyes wide open in utter joy, I have walked the streets of New York City with you, conversing over the phone every step of the way, sharing in the wonderment that life has come to for me. Expressing what I see and feel with you has heightened my experiences here. Oh, what joy I have when I drop my little tidbits of journal writing in the mail to you, all the way to Park Forest, home, home where I know I can always find you. The pleasure you share with me over each and every one has brought even more of an appreciation to my life, for my life. Not only do I look at New York with brand new eyes, in the array of wonderment with each step, each energetic pulse the city has to offer, but I bring you with me, in my thoughts, in those conversations in my head, which sometimes come to you with a phone call or in a letter, but more times than not in my wonders…I wonder what mom would think, I bet she would love this, I know she would love to hear about this one, to the most often felt emotion…I wish she was here with me right now.

I am so thankful for you in ways I’ve come to know as a woman, as a mother, as a teacher, as a writer, as an adventurer seeking out her life's calling, a sense of you always with me, a part of me in all I do. Thank you for walking along side me. Thank you for upholding me when the weight of the world seemed to consuming. Thank you for your spirit, your soul, you and birthing me into being. Thank you mom. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day from your number eighth child of nine.

ps… I wish you were here with me right now.


Jane Elizabeth, Eliza Dolittle

May 3, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Sunday Evening Hello ~ 18

My Sunday Hello From NYC, 

Life has been moving right along here in New York City, sometimes at breakneck speed other times, the speed of a turtle BUT never at a standstill. I have been bus hopping, subway stopping, taxi hailing, to being chauffeured door to door this past week. Crazy beautiful, even glamorous is the best way to describe my life here. I am constantly in awe of my surroundings, peering at the reflection on the marbled walls, yes, that’s me, experiencing the grandeur of the city, stunned at how different life has become for me. From sitting at a teacher’s desk lesson planning to drinking in the stunning views from one of the finest entertainment venues in all of New York, Jazz at Lincoln Center-The Appel Room. Tucked into my seat at this venue, I had one of my New York moments. Sitting there, I was amazed by the dramatic 50’ft glass wall behind the stage. Through the glass view, was New York City’s greatest backdrop-Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, overlooking Columbus Circle and the traffic below. Undeniably alive, pulsating heart racing, symphonically in-tuned with the traffic below, tears stained cheeks of joy from these dream like moments, find me continually in a state of awe-my life here in New York City.

A heaviness fell on my heart this week amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, as I try to stay connected to all I know; reading FB posts hearing about the loss of loved ones, seeing pictures and feeling the physical distance from those I love, and not having the words to console, not even myself; viscerally realizing how important life is and how fragile it is all at once. I find myself reading the stories, some very personal, some humorous, glancing at the sayings that inspire others, pausing at the photos, and mostly loving the comfort this social network has given, through the changes, the sorrows, and the celebrations of life.

New York Fashion week has arrived in the city, where the style and spirits of the crowds gather around the runways abound, as the temperatures plunge. My style to say the least is devastatingly, time-staking painful to watch and to do. Layers upon layers before I finally sinch up the three little buttons on my coat, as I head out the door emerging into the coldest weather yet, that I have experienced since I have moved here. Uber, subway, taxi, walk…the choice to make, is the quickest way out of the cold, that’s for sure.

As I write, snuggled under down filled blankets, warm from the bitter arctic chill outdoors, exhaustion is setting in. With my hair astray, jammies on, eyelids drooping—Penelope and Moxie require my attention, nudging closer and closer, waiting for their chance for a treat and a potty break one last time before the lights go out. It has been a fun-filled day trying on clothes from a NYC designer at Madewell, walking into a fairy tale of couture gowns by Jacqueline de Ribes exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the pallet pleasing delights from the boulangerie, Le Pain Quotidien for lunch. Today's fun, this Valentine’s Day, has been a welcomed joy, even from the bitter cold.
At the museum exhibit today, a quote from Jacqueline de Ribes, inspired me;
“Glamorous people bring something to others. They are seductive, attractive—and it has nothing to do with frivolity. Glamour sticks to people. An object is not glamorous, but places where people go are glamorous. That's why New York is the glamour capital of the world.”

My life is rather glamorous at times, mainly due to living in the metropolis we call, New York City. Glamour can exude from anywhere, from anyone at any time, I believe when you follow your heart. Within the playful innovation and unbounded freedom of following your heart in life and work, like Jacqueline, there is a celebration of all who embrace their individuality and follow their creative vision, wherever it may lead, even if it takes you to New York City!

Love, hugs and doggie kisses,

Jane and Penelope


A Sunday Evening Hello ~ 17

Penelope and I have been on our own little venture today. We have finally landed at our last stop, Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Yummy diet of hot chocolate and doggie treats, haircut at Lily's on UES, visiting ol' friends and boss at Pier 1(I loved it!), shoe shopping and boot shine, with a new harness in hand, a stroll through Central Park, 2 buses later and a train ride yet to go...Miss Penelope has been oogled, sweet talked, petted, butt sniffed, carried and walked, now People watching for a welcomed reprieve before we get busy holiday shopping and then home. I love my girl!!!!

Love, Hugs, & Doggie Kisses,

Jane & Penelope

  • ❤ 🐶


A Sunday Evening Hello ~ 15

A quick Sunday Evening Hello from New York City...It's been 1 YEAR!!!

Went out and about today doing what I love to do here in New York, being amongst children’s books and those who love them too! When I read, “Little Elliot, Big City”, where the big city holds many new and challenging experiences, I felt so connected to this story and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet Mike Curato, the author at his new book launch, “Little Elliot's, Big Family”. Rays of sunshine pours out of me each and every time I step into this realm, the writing world and that of children's books, that I can barely feel my feet moving on the ground.

It has been one whole year, YAY!!!, since I’ve moved here to Manhattan, being free to follow my inner longing, which is something I am doing just for me, a HUGE shift from where I used to be. Wow!! What a ride and some of the best moments ever…getting clarity about my career, building my new life, having fun getting to know different people, and mostly…building a community of friends. There is still so much change going on in my career and it sure does help to have some emotional support on FaceBook with all of you, and from my new friends here in the city.

Looking back on the year in amazement, and how all the turn of events keeps pushing me onward, is simply beautiful. From a day at Random House, Scholastic event, the Hamptons, Lindy's NYC Visit, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Meeting many children's authors, books festivals, film screenings, bee festivals, EB White Celebration, the "King and I", subways, buses, and taxi's, being on CBS Sunday Morning News at the Grolier Club, the fireworks, all of Penelope's adventures, Philharmonic in Central Park, summer movies on the pier, museums upon museums, Grand Central Station during the holidays, the Grand New York City Library, lake house in CT, and a new community of friends...BOY OH BOY!!!

I could never have dreamt this journey as well as it is going. Being in the city feels so natural, so easy, as if something bigger and grandeur is in play then just lil ‘ol me. I love it!

"What’s better than a cupcake? A friend to share it with! " ~MC
Thank you all!

Love, hugs and doggie kisses,
Jane and Penelope


A Sunday Evening Hello ~ 16

My Sunday Hello from NYC,

So magical, dazzling, instantaneous delightful my adventures have been, especially Christmas Time in New York City!

From my very first exciting moment seeing the yellow Macy's star balloons coming towards me in the Thanksgiving Day Parade a year ago, to this very moment, laying on my bed listening to Christmas Carols with good 'ol Penelope snuggled up against me, I have been in love with this city.

As a parent with my own children, I would observe this exciting time of year in the technicolor screen from my home in Arizona.

Back then, on Thanksgiving morning, I watched the parade eagerly waiting for Santa Claus to make his appearance, shouting across the house to the kids, "Hurry Santa is coming!" knowing that the holidays have officially began. A few days later, watching New York's most famous tree come aglow at Rockefeller Center while enjoying the wonderment of sparkles on our own tree. Oh, and many New Years' Eve's ushering in the New Year by counting down to "One!" as the colorful crystal ball dropped in Times Square. What a spectacle! Never did I imagine that one day I might be living in New York City and experience all this enchantment firsthand.
Here is a photo of me today, on my last stop before heading home to Miss Penelope, glancing out the windows 20 flights up, in an exquisite apartment amidst a lovely group of people, smiling, laughing, and celebrating the season. Touched. Touched by my life.

On my bedroom floor, I see out of the corner of my eye, a suitcase propped open awaiting to be packed for my Christmas trip home to Arizona to see my kids, loved ones, and friends. I wonder what it will feel like to be back? I keep telling Penelope that we have a big trip coming up, barely able to contain my excitement, as her ears perk up each and every time, which is probably 1/2 dozen times a day lately! I had a slight dose of what it might feel like when I faced time with my Chicago family,(Karen Saalman Barnett, Susan Allgood, Pat Saalman Schultz, Laura Saalman, Debra Saalman Belcher, Leenie Saalman Keyes, and Scott Saalman, my brother and sisters!) during their yearly Christmas Party yesterday. Tears rolled down my face, not able to contain the love I felt upon seeing all their faces, as I walked around, showing them my apartment, and Miss Penelope, yep, in her spot on my bed. Pure bliss! I imagine, I will be a blubbering fool, with pools and pools of tears from the joy upon seeing, touching, smelling, and loving on my kids in 4 days!

So Magical, dazzling….is life along with the joy and peace of the season here in the Big Apple.

Love, hugs, and doggie kisses,
Jane and Penelope