It is often said that friends are the family we choose. Whether your circle of friends is wide or narrow, having people to connect with, receive support, and bond with is an inherent need for most humans.
Author Sally Lake-Dolejsi’s book “The Wind, the Flowers, the Bamboos: A Story of Friendship” explores the bond between friends through the ups and downs of the four seasons.
The book’s characters – Mrs. Fox, Mrs. Owl, Mrs. Bobcat, Mrs. Bunny and Mrs. Goat and Mrs. Field Mouse – get together monthly for food, fellowship and to play mahjong.
“The owl is me in the book. I had an owl that lived in the back forest of my property, and it just seemed to fit in,” Lake-Dolejsi said. “I’ve always been a huge Beatrix Potter fan, so there was a bit of influence from her.”
As the group of ladies go through the different seasons together, they feel a “new wind” of joy, happiness, loneliness and thanks.
“I lived in a cul-de-sac where I became really good friends with a few women,” Lake-Dolejsi said. “Every week we got together and played mahjong. The evolution of these friendships helped me through a difficult time in my life. The images and colors of the illustrations in the book were also directly influenced by the tiles used in mahjong – the game that brought us together each week.
Although the theme of the book is more adult-oriented, it is written and illustrated in a way that appeals to all ages.
“Mrs. Owl felt loss and sadness, but her friends stayed by her side and surrounded her with love, friendship and comfort. — “The wind, the flowers, the bamboos”
“It has beautiful illustrations and beautiful colors, so it’s a great children’s book, but the storyline is very focused on adult themes of friendship,” Lake-Dolejsi said. “It’s based on when I lost my husband five years ago and how my friends supported me. It’s a sweet story of friendship.
Trying to weave “all the random thoughts and feelings” into a single story was a challenge for Lake-Dolejsi when she wrote the book.
“I was trying to get over the pain of losing my husband, and what helped me was building it around the game of mahjong, using seasons and dividing it into quarters and using colors,” said Lake-Dolejsi. “It helped me put a bit of discipline behind the writing. So that was the challenge: to take all those thoughts and create a very simple story.”
Lake-Dolejsi wrote “The Wind, the Flowers, the Bamboos” while working on her memoir. The budding author originally planned to publish her memoir before anything else, but like the seasons described in her book, things have changed.
“It kind of came first, and it’s my first published book,” she said.
The book is self-published by Archway Publishing and is illustrated by Karla Browder Little.
“The Wind, the Flowers, the Bamboos: A Story of Friendship” can be purchased from Amazon, Archway Publishing, and Barnes and Noble. The book is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.
Lake-Dolejsi’s memoir will focus on his unique and interesting childhood growing up with his family overseas in Latin America as well as his work in aviation.
“My dad, who’s from Texas, was in the oil business, and before the kids all arrived, he met my mom, who’s Chilean,” Lake-Dolejsi said. “I have two older brothers, so we all started our lives in Venezuela, then we moved to Ecuador. We lived in Latin America for about nine years, then we moved to the Middle East, to the Pacific, then in Africa.
“By the time I got to the middle of college, I came back to the United States to complete my degree.”
After finishing college, Lake-Dolejsi began a career in aviation working on a fighter jet program until his retirement five years ago.
While enjoying her time off, Lake-Dolejsi came out of retirement during COVID to resume working remotely at her old company.
“I help get the plane to where they need to go, whether it’s an aircraft carrier or an off-site base overseas, I make sure they get all their parts and everything they need. need to keep flying,” she said.
When she’s not working on writing projects or working, Lake-Dolejsi dabbles in photography, travels, and enjoys life on her 150-acre estate in south-central Texas.