Reprinted from San Tan Sun News October 5, 2013
Local Writer Raised to Live for Adventure
By Ana Anguiano
When Chandler resident Ann Kronwald isn’t running a business with her husband or chasing after her grandchildren, she writes.
Kronwald was recently published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade” with her beautiful story about ﬁnding adventure and happiness in her upbringing in a single-parent home.
“Whenever someone asks me to characterize my life—especially my younger years—I always say ‘adventure,’” Kronwald says.
“It was way too boring to do something twice and I know I got that from mom. She was a true adventurer and we did a lot of that growing up.”
Her piece titled “Adventures in Staying” is a bit of a detour from her everyday writing. Kronwald enjoys studying the different Hebrew names of God and writing about the lessons in each name. She also takes plenty of inspiration from her amusing grandchildren, but her “Chicken Soup for the Soul” entry is all about her.
Kronwald and her three sisters spent part of her childhood on a black angus cattle ranch in southern Arizona but she spent her days following after her father and looking up to him for all of his wild and crazy antics. Kronwald was a bit of a daddy’s girl and idealized every part of his colorful personality.
But after her parents divorced and her father moved away, her relationship with her mother changed. She realized she wasn’t just the rule enforcer; she was just as adventurous.
“She did what she wanted to do and carried us along. We were swept up in her sense of adventure and deﬁnitely my kids beneﬁtted from that,” Kronwald says.
After her father relocated, her mother moved the four children around the state, making ends meet as best she could. While they were lacking in money, they never lacked in entertainment. Kronwald says they found excitement in nature and around the house every day. They would turn over rocks just to see what lay underneath.
“I think the main thing is our past does not have to deﬁne us,” she says. “I know a lot of people carry around bitterness and hang ups from the past… I realized then you can’t be looking back.”
“Adventures in Staying” is the heartwarming and truly amazing story of how one mother kept a family together without much more than determination and a sense of adventure.
Kronwald went on to graduate from Arizona State University with her bachelor’s and earned her master’s degree from the University of Hawaii. It was in college that she realized the way you view your past shapes the way you live your life.
“It’s important to see how God has blessed you and focus on that and not be bitter about what you lost,” she says.
For Kronwald, the best part of being published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul” is the chance to share her mother.
“It was honoring my mom and she’s always been so supportive of me and it was nice to have a piece out that (says) this is your mom,” she says.
Welcome back to our Thursday interview series. This week we are speaking with Ann Kronwald, who wrote the story “Jack’s Fear,” the concluding story in our book. In this story, Ann has offered to partner with her daughter by helping to take care of the kids while their mom was on bed rest. Ann’s oldest grandson, Jack, had many fears, and Ann had to come up with some creative ways of teaching him to look to God during those times when he was afraid. One method she used was to teach Jack the various names of God and how we can use them to bring hope and comfort.
Let’s hear from Ann now regarding her story and life as a grandma:
GTO: What are you hoping our readers will gain or learn from your story?
Ann: God’s names have been a life raft in my daily struggles. The attributes they represent address my neediness in amazing ways. The grandkids tend to be sponges, so I’ve tried to pass this resource on. Sometimes they stare at me blankly. But occasionally they really get it. I want my story to encourage other grandparents to help their wee folk also rely on God’s incredible character.
GTO: Teaching them about God’s names is a perfect way to show His character. So, tell us, what are some recent developments with your grandchildren since writing your story?
Ann: Jack is still somewhat cautious, most recently wondering how dangerous a crawdad might be. But he has made tremendous strides. His ease at conversing with adults now warms my heart.
GTO: I’m sure much of his progress has been due to your diligence in working with him. What can you tell our readers to encourage them to not give up on their kids or grandkids no matter how bad their situation might look?
Ann: I have been discouraged at times by parenting situations in my children, only to find later that God had been at work through those very circumstances. I often think of Joseph—how God turned his horrible sufferings into a position of honor that saved a nation. I’m so grateful that God sees the bigger picture and also hears the prayers of His children.
GTO: Yes, I think we can all be very grateful for that! What advice can you give our readers to help them become more intentional about imparting spiritual truths and values into their grandchildren?
Ann: I would say to find a time and method that seems to work for that stage. The toddlers around my house tend to stay busy during the day. But before nap or bed time, a small window of impact opens. A story is requested, and I have a captive audience, so I take advantage with some adventurous storytelling that happens to incorporate redemptive themes.
GTO: Opportunities are all around us. We just need to learn how to look for them and see the situations through God’s eyes. Jack and his siblings are blessed to have you for a grandma!
Ann, thanks so much for sharing your story in our book and for sharing your grandkids with us!
For a quick look into the meaning of some of God’s names, take a look at this “Many Names of God” article. Also, many books have been written on this subject as well.