WALTON COUNTY SNOWBIRDS: Book club embarking on stories of women in war

Tom Mahar
Snowbirds sampled food vendor wares at a recent general meeting. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

The contribution of the novel to western culture is that it enables us to share stories that teach us about our world on a human scale, often from a historical perspective. The Walton County Snowbirds selected three such novels for discussion during the present season, the first of which was reviewed on Jan. 17 when the snowbirds discussed "Evidence of Things Unseen" by Marianne Wiggins, a novel set on the brink of the atomic age during the period between World War I and World War II. Wiggins recounts the life of a couple who, inspired by the prospect of a future that holds more promise than peril, embark on a course that questions the wisdom of blind trust.

Next, on Thursday, Jan. 31, the group takes up "Lilac Girls," a novel by Martha Hall Kelly that gives the reader a first-hand look at Ravensbrück, an actual World War II concentration camp for women where horror follows horror. Continuing with the theme of describing the experiences and exploits of women during wartime is "The Alice Network," a historical novel based on a real life World War I espionage network led by a woman. The book by Kate Quinn is set for discussion on Thursday, Feb. 21. Discussions get underway at 1:45 p.m. at the Santa Rosa Beach Community Church, 3524 Highway 98. Arrive 15 minutes earlier to exchange books. For details, email Pat Weigle at pweigle6gmail.com.

Coming up this week for the fast-paced snowbirds is the second of two January general meetings. The meeting held Jan. 9 turned out a large crowd thanks to the many vendors who, including Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer, Surf Hut, and 790 On the Gulf among others, contributed samples of their fare to the festive spirit that permeated the Destin Life Center of the Destin United Methodist Church, 200 Beach Drive. The featured entertainer, Sputzy, delivered a mix of lively vocals that brought the 600-member audience to its feet in a standing ovation. Next up on Wednesday, Jan. 23, is Chuck Lawson who brings a Caribbean beat to the stage. Music, door prizes, a 50-25-25 raffle, terrific vendors and a chance to hang out with the coolest people on the Emerald Coast — snowbirds. Don’t miss it! Same place, same time, 10 a.m. until lunchtime (but come early for the fun of it and don’t forget your membership card. You need it for a chance to enter the door prize winner’s circle.)

If all the excitement generated by the snowbirds is getting to you then here is a chance to calm your nerves. Join Kathleen Caught’s Kundalini Yoga Class held each Wednesday that, according to her handout, promises to help you combine a number of elements to, among other benefits, strengthen the nervous system. The 90-minute session begins at 4 p.m. at Faith Assembly Hall, 306 South Geronimo Street in Miramar Beach. For more information, it’s kcaught@aol.com.

Tom Mahar writes for the Walton County Snowbirds. Reach him at tkmahar@aol.com.