Bonnie Holland shares life’s story with rotary

Published 11:00 pm Friday, May 11, 2012


The review from Amazon online bookstore gave Bonnie Holland’s latest release, “Rural Home: Recollections and Reflections,” a thumbs-up from Kat Kaycera.

The review cites “Rural Home” as “anything but dull” and “insightful and positive” – a little bit “Fried Green Tomatoes” and a little “Forest Gump.”

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Holland told the members of the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday that she’ll take all of that but in stride.

Holland is a Pike Countian who has two award-winning cookbooks to her credit. She is also a botanical artist. Holland continues to write and create works of art even though she has been “grounded” by post-polio syndrome.

“Rotary was a little too late for me,” she told the Rotarians, alluding to Rotary’s contribution to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. “I contracted polio as a young child and will probably be the among the first generation that will be affected by post polio.”

Holland said that post-polio syndrome is a condition that affects polio survivors years after recovery from an initial acute attack of polio.

“There is a gradual weakening in the muscles that were previously affected by the polio, she said. “I cannot stand for a long period of time and I’m in a wheelchair most of the time. But I’m not sick and I’m not handicapped. I can still write and I can still do my artwork.” She then added with a laugh, “I just can’t run the vacuum, mop, wash dishes or clothes.”

The purpose of the book, “Rural Home” was for Holland to find her true self, she said. She did so by thumbing through 30 years of journal entries as fodder for the writer’s mill.

“By uncovering myself, I am no longer whispering but shouting out loud,” Holland said. “In my past, pretense was, on occasion, necessary for survival.”

For Holland, there is no longer an occasion for pretense. She shares her life’s story in hopes that others will also find the heart of who they are.

“I didn’t write ‘Rural Home’ as an autobiography because I wanted to continue writing my life’s story, so I wrote it as a memoir,” she said.

What exactly is ahead for Holland the author, she’s not sure. But she’s looking ahead with great but guarded optimism.

“‘Rural Home’ is being considered for a Hollywood storyline but that would be too much of a dream,” she said. “Right now, I’m looking toward writing a sequel and anxious to get that first royalty check. I’m enjoying every day of life with my wonderful husband, Gene. I’m at a very good place to be and life is good.”