October 17, 2022 | Author Friend Promo

By Linda Lee Greene, Author/Artist

Opening onto the sliding glass doors of the bedroom of my previous house was a three-season room. I called it my solarium because it was a space of windows more than of walls, a lovely and light-filled area facing due south—ideal for potted plants tucked among wicker chairs and wrought-iron pieces in warm weather but scorching hot for human beings and other mammals. The windows were single-paned, drafty, and ill-fitting, and the walls and roof were slabs of Styrofoam clad in aluminum sheets. In winter it was a freezing space suitable only for hanging slabs of beef, if I had been of a mind to use it for such a purpose. In fact, the months of April and October were the only times of year during which it was fit for living beings of any species. All the other months of the year, it was either too cold or too hot to be functional.

Despite its negative aspects, my solarium had a vital redeeming quality: it gained me access to the rain. Actually, the inspiration for much of my writing came from the sound of rain that washed the sides and battered the roof of my metal solarium. As I stretched out on my bed with my laptop astraddle my thighs, the sliding glass doors were open to my solarium, open to the sound of the rain, a sound that carried me back to the rains of my childhood, rains that are the source of my love of rain, and one of the most enduring connections to my past.

The sound of rain on the metal roof of the porch below the window of my room in our West Second Avenue house in Columbus, Ohio often pulled me to a joyful waking when I was a child. If it happened to be a Saturday morning, my family and I would pile into our car and drive eighty-five miles south to the farm of my maternal grandparents for the weekend. Featuring a red barn, whitewashed chicken houses, and raw-wood pigpens, the saltbox farmhouse rose to two-stories within its whitewashed clapboard sides and pitched metal roof.

The farmhouse sat on the south rim of the star-wound crater in Peebles, Adams County, Ohio, which is the bedrock of the world famous “Great Serpent Mound.” The metal-roofed front porch of the farmhouse offered an unfettered view of the crater as well as its backdrop of the Appalachian Mountain foothills, preferably taken in while sitting in the front porch swing.

From the porch one stepped into the parlor of the farmhouse, its focal point a chugging wood-burning stove in winter. Adjacent to this central room were two bedrooms, a kitchen, and at the back, a summer kitchen. A door from the summer kitchen opened to a long path that terminated at a gelid in winter and malodorous in summer outhouse.

Tucked behind the front entrance of the farmhouse was the door to the steep staircase to the upper floor, and at the head of the stairs was a small bedroom that housed a full-sized bed and a mirror-topped chest of drawers. I recall some of my younger cousins being folded cozily into the spacious bottom drawer of that chest in lieu of a bassinette when they were babies. A doorway in this first bedroom opened to the largest room in the house, a sleeping room set up with several beds in dormitory fashion, all of them topped with feather-stuffed mattresses. The enormous collection of feathers had been plucked over the years from the farm’s chickens before they were fried to a crisp in my grandmother’s enormous iron skillet. In that dormitory bedroom, my mother, my aunts, my brother, my baby sisters, our young cousins and I were crooned to sleep to the sound of rain dancing on the metal-capped roof of the farmhouse.

The farm featured in the above essay forms the backdrop of Guardians and Other Angels, multi-award-winning author, Linda Lee Greene’s novel that chronicles the story of two heroic families played out against the bad and the good of the early to mid-twentieth century, years of worldwide economic depression and war, as well as the spawning of the “Greatest Generation.” Firsthand accounts of the times in authentic letters written by members of the families are peppered throughout the book.


Available in paperback and eBook on Amazon

Multi-award-winning author and artist Linda Lee Greene describes her life as a telescope that when trained on her past reveals how each piece of it, whether good or bad or in-between, was necessary in the unfoldment of her fine art and literary paths.

Greene moved from farm-girl to city-girl; dance instructor to wife, mother, and homemaker; divorcee to single-working-mom and adult-college-student; and interior designer to multi-award-winning artist and author, essayist, and blogger. It was decades of challenging life experiences and debilitating, chronic illness that gave birth to her dormant flair for art and writing. Greene was three days shy of her fifty-seventh birthday when her creative spirit took a hold of her.

She found her way to her lonely easel soon thereafter. Since then Greene has accepted commissions and displayed her artwork in shows and galleries in and around the USA. She is also a member of artist and writer associations.

Visit Linda on her blog and join her on Facebook.

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