Tag Archives: Cheryl Unruh

Go read this book now: Waiting on the Sky by Cheryl Unruh

Waiting on the Sky: More Flyover People EssaysI try, really try, to articulate the soulful bond I feel with the Kansas earth and Kansas sky, but I doubt I will ever do it as skillfully as author Cheryl Unruh, a native Kansan whose second book, Waiting on the Sky: More Flyover People Essays, just hit the Kansas bookstore shelves earlier this month.

Unruh wrote a column for the Emporia Gazette for more than a decade, and I rarely missed it. Even though her book is a compilation of those columns, she’s edited and arranged them in a way that makes them fresh and meaningful and provides a window into her own heart as well as the heart of every Kansan who knows what it means to pull over on a country road and look west because a sunset is too beautiful to ignore.

Waiting on the Sky is a biography, and Unruh guides us through her life and her relationship to the world around through carefully selected essays on community, death, childhood, and the act of being. Her pieces on lost family members, especially her father, are reverent, and I was particularly moved by her descriptions of the everyday moments with her father–maintaining the local cemetery, working in his woodworking shop.

Waiting on the Sky is also the story of the bond between Kansans and the earth and the sky, and why, once we have that connection, we’re loathe to want to live anywhere else because Kansas is part of who we are. Or, as Unruh writes, “The skies over Kansas have absorbed our stories, our conversations…Our existence here has been noted. This geography holds our biography.”

If you’ve ever felt a little weepy at the magnificence of the Kansas prairie, if you’ve ever felt your worries blow away while watching the the wind push the clouds across the sky, if you’ve ever found your inner peace driving down a gravel road without another soul passing you by–you’ll find your kindred spirit in Cheryl Unruh and Waiting on the Sky.

Shadow on the Hill is mentioned in the Emporia Gazette! Flyover People Daily News » Keim Bakery

On March 16, I attended a presentation in LeRoy by the same Diana Staresinic-Deane mentioned above.

Her talk at the LeRoy Public Library was about the 1925 brutal killing of a young mother, Florence Knoblock, in Coffey County. After extensive research on the case, Diana wrote “Shadow on the Hill: the true story of a 1925 Kansas murder.” Her novelized version of this real-life crime, the investigation and trials, will be released this spring. (I’ll write more about her book after it’s been published.)

I decided to make it a Diana-themed day. Well, you know where this is headed. After all, I was kind of, sort of, in the Ottawa area, well – about an hour away. Because Keim’s had been pestering my mind for months now, I decided to wander my way to the bakery.

Follow the link to the rest of the story. And if you’re ever in Ottawa, stop by Keim Bakery. It’s a fabulous place to eat.

Flyover People Daily News » Keim Bakery.