Friday, November 15, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: At Home in Dogwood Mudhole

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It's an "unforgettable story of one family's attempt to live an authentic life" and it's a story that calls deep to my soul.  Actually, it's a way of life that beckons to me and makes me long for more . . . or less, as it were.  More and more these last few years, I find myself searching for special times and special places and special memories that we can call our own. As my children grow up, I want to pull them all back in close.   I have a deep desire that we be real, and whole, and true -- I want us to live an authentic life.  When I first heard about this book, I knew I wanted to review Franklin Sanders' At Home in Dogwood Mudhole so that I could read it to ME, for ME -- because more than ever I want to laugh and smile and draw my family in tight.  Is this my age showing?  Midlife crisis looming?  The pangs of a mother as she watches her children grow up?

Maybe it is a little bit of all of the above.  Whatever it is, I am finding that my heart yearns for its very own Dogwood Mudhole -- and I am actively seeking it out.  

 photo Franklin_Deal-300x451_zpsb3f59745.jpgAuthor Franklin Sanders shares his heart and his family's adventure as they attempt to leave the city life behind and find rest and comfort in the country.  Through personal vignettes that were originally letters to the readers of his newsletter, The Moneychanger, Sanders shares the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens of his family's search for a new kind of real and a new way of life and does so in a poignant way that will bring you right to the brink of tears and pull you away with gales of laughter.  {And did I mention he will speak to your soul and take a hold of your heart in the process?}  A series of books, At Home in Dogwood Mudhole is divided into three volumes that will remind you of the way things should be; the way things CAN be.

As a family, we read Farmer Boy aloud just for fun the first few weeks of school and it really opened up a deep longing for me for "the way things were."   I have found myself struggling with the day-to-day of this world we live in and I'm feeling pangs for what "should have been" or what "could have been."    On a very adult level, At Home in Dogwood Mudhole has renewed my hope.  We don't farm and I don't even know how to plant a garden.  BUT . . . after reading through the true tales of Volume One:  Nothing That Eats, I believe I can learn.  During the past few months, I've learned how to put up corn and process pumpkins and make homemade applesauce and apple butter.  I'm filling my freezer up with veggies and goodies for the winter -- and cornmeal and sugar and flour, too.  Reading through the pages of this delightful book has been a welcome refresher for me -- knowing that someone was truly able to leave the craziness of the world behind and settle into a life designed by GOD.

I feel like I've missed out on some of the best that life has to offer and I am longing to bring it back to my family.  I asked the MainMost just recently if it was too late to make some major life changes.  Reading through the 379-pages of At Home in Dogwood Mudhole has helped me to remember to focus more on the good and the hopeful and the fun in my everyday life and is acting to encourage me in my daily walk.

The stories of love and encouragement are just what this 45-year-old mom needs to read.  And furthermore, they are just the stories for me to share with my children.  Multi-generational family bonding is exactly what I desire more than anything else.  I am delighted with tales of travel and love that Mr. Sanders shares their experiences in a very real way.  He shares the great places that they eat, the battlefields that they visit, the problems encountered with cars that won't go and lawn mowers that can't cut.  He is open with failures and with successes and honest about forging a way that brings a whole new appreciation for HOME, sweet HOME.

I cannot recommend these books to you highly enough.  If you have felt the call to something more fulfilling and the desire to make a change, you will NEED to hold these books in your hands and let the stories speak to your soul.  Need more convincing?  Check out the story of the persuasive pig in this sample chapter.  Available in paperback for $22.95 or in Kindle/ePUB/PDF for $16.95, you can begin reading Volume One today.  Volume Two:  Best Thing We Ever Did is also available and Volume Three will soon be released.  You'll enjoy this Southern storytelling -- and you'll be searching for your own Mudhole to call home.

Why don't you join me on this venture?  I'd be happy to have the company and would be honored to hear your thoughts.

Remembering that This Day has GREAT Potential,


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I was given the opportunity to review Franklin Sanders' At Home in Dogwood Mudhole as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

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1 comment:

  1. On behalf of the Sanders family, thank you for taking the time to read the book and post your review. We would like to let your readers know they can get free shipping (for up to 2 books, to US addresses only) by using the discount code TOSFREE at checkout. Thanks again, and God bless!

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with me!