Join author Joyce L. Kieffer as she takes us through a fascinating historical adventure of life in the forests of central PA!
Joyce L. Kieffer is the author of The Trees Remember – a historical trilogy set in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Drawing on her career in women’s health and inspired by the forests of Juniata County, Pennsylvania where she helped build a log cabin, Joyce envisioned a young woman’s coming-of-age story—beginning her journey to become a healer set against the backdrop of the State’s burgeoning lumber industry as thousands of acres of virgin timber fell to ever-wealthier lumber barons. We follow her odyssey from her family farm in the forest foothills— to the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses— and back again to her forest homeland where she works for the town doctor caring for people whose only hospital is more than seven hours away on horseback— and in the primitive and dangerous lumber camps. The Trees Inspire, The Trees Endure and The Trees Remember are about love, courage, and above all, truth.
Although the novels are set over a century ago, Joyce addresses issues relevant to today: environmental; racial; socioeconomic; and gender. Superimposed on these themes are the lush, beautiful forests and the flora and fauna that call them home, the rich cultural stories of life in rural Pennsylvania where farming is a way of life, and the Native American wisdom and respect for the plants, soil, and water we all share.
In this Nature Hour, Joyce will give us an overview of the rich story she weaves in her historical trilogy, and how it connects to the history of the forests throughout central PA.
About Your Presenter
Joyce began her nursing career after graduating from the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing as a pediatric nurse while working her way through Millersville University. After graduating, she became an instructor of obstetric nursing at Harrisburg Hospital School of Nursing.
She became a pioneer in establishing the first organized childbirth classes, and eight years later Joyce was recruited by Harrisburg Hospital to build a comprehensive childbirth education program that included a team of teachers that provided a wide variety of childbirth preparation methods, breast feeding support, and educational offerings for grandparents, babysitters, siblings and doulas. Her leadership in promoting and establishing Family-Centered Maternity Care was instrumental in changing birth practices and bringing a more collaborative relationship between parents and their caregivers.
Parallel to her work in childbirth education, Joyce wrote To Have . . . To Hold, a Parents Guide to Childbirth and Early Parenting with nearly a million copies sold in seven editions between 1979 and 2001. She was a prominent speaker at hospitals where her book was used as a “textbook” to promote wellness and active participation in pregnancy, childbirth and the early weeks as new parents.
A pioneering champion of women’s health throughout her 55-year career, Joyce followed her passion for health education and prevention of disease by co-developing health education and resource centers for women, until retiring from her career in 2001. She then began a parish nursing practice, serving her congregation while also contributing to a team of philanthropists establishing a new tuition-free school for inner-city middle school boys.
After her “second career” where she worked with a cadre of nurses providing health screenings for businesses and the public, she retired for the final time and once again picked up her author’s pen to take on her lifelong dream of writing a historic novel.
Joyce lives with her husband in central Pennsylvania, her daughters and their families nearby—a short hour’s drive away from the mountain cabin in the Shade Mountains that birthed the story.
Phone: (717) 392-7891
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603