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Virtual Book Tour-First Stop!

Posted by on Jul 21, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Welcome to the first of seven days of a virtual book tour for All I Have Needed-A Legacy for Life.  The first host for this tour is Gloria Ashby. I met Gloria at the Christian Communicators Conference last fall and she has been such an encouragement and blessing to me.  Gloria is a gifted teacher, speaker, and writer. I know I always receive a blessing whenever I am allowed to read or hear her heart. She also has a servant’s heart and is a person of integrity. I am thankful to call her friend.  Thank you for visiting my blog today and thank you, Gloria for bravely offering to be the first on this grand experiment!  Please click on the link below and you will be directed to today’s blog post! http://gloriaashby.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/a-legacy-should-not-be-wasted/...

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Come Travel With Me!

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Do you like to travel? I sure do. I enjoy going new places and seeing new faces. I find that it’s the best way for me to really learn about the world. In fact, I have a difficult time really comprehending the reality of other people and places unless I see them for myself. Weird I know, but it is how God made me. When I travel I learn things I would never have thought to dream about. I gain new perspectives. I find new friends. Ones I want to return to visit again. I like to say that if I went to the moon and there were people there, I would love it and want to stay. So, I’m sure it’s not hard for you to imagine that one of my favorite things to do is travel around and speak about the writing process in schools, speak to ladies groups about legacy, and have book signings. This has proven to be a great way to let people know about my books. With the recent release of my latest book All I Have Needed-A Legacy For Life I am working hard at promotion and sales. This leads to the subject of book tours. I would love to be able to do an honest-to-goodness book tour. However, with the price of gas, our scheduled move, and the fact that I am simultaneously sprinting to the finish line with the revisions on my third children’s mystery, that is NOT going to happen. Sad, but true fact. What’s a girl to do? Well, here is the scoop. I learned recently about something called a virtual book tour, or sometimes they are called blog tours. The idea is that other bloggers host my blogs for several days. Every day I will post the link on my sites to the other blog site my post is visiting. You click the link, and voila, you are traveling to another blog. You get to see content from me on someone else’s site. Maybe, just maybe you will even read some of their previous posts. Perhaps—like me when I travel—you will gain a new perspective, make a new friend, or learn something new! My blog tour starts this Sunday, July 21st and will continue all week through Saturday, July 27th. It will be occurring on both www.doublecousins.wordpress.com, and  www.miriamjonesbradley.wordpress.com. So, pack your virtual bags and get ready for this travel opportunity! Hope to see you...

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All She Could Say Was “Wow”!

Posted by on Jul 16, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 3 comments

This morning I made a friend in my new town. I took a walk with my husband from my house to the college. I found a writers group. I made a friend. I received the name of a lawn maintenance man. I enjoyed the beauty of a mountain town. I was reminded of two of my sets of grandparents. I made a new friend. Let me explain. We drove up to Banner Elk yesterday bringing a pickup full of essential belongings and set ourselves up for a short stay. We are both fulfilling pre-job tasks this week so we loaded just what we needed and here we are. This morning we had a lovely start to the day with a nice breakfast and then made our plan for the day. My major plan needed to be revise, revise, revise. My third Double Cousins Mystery is due to the publisher the first of August and it still needs a lot of work. In addition, I needed to write and publish a blog post. It should have been posted yesterday, but due to exhaustion and lack of internet that didn’t happen. Besides, I was sadly lacking in ideas and motivation. First things first though. We decided to take a walk. Our new home is just a block from the walking path that leads first to the city park, then on into town and over to the college. We would walk to Bruce’s work, and then I would walk home. Hopefully I would find inspiration for both the blog post and my revision work. The sky is blue, hardly a cloud visible today (something of a miracle by itself here in NC this summer) so we walked through the sunshine, verdant green plants, and looming mountain vistas. The path meanders along beside the creek that runs through town and as I walked my senses lit my mind up with memories of visits to my Grandma and Grandpa McKnight in Mariposa, CA and later in Gunnison, CO—both mountain towns. Oh, this new place already held memories. My spirit felt lighter. After a short twenty minute walk we arrived at the college. “I’m going to stop in at the Chamber of Commerce on the way home,” I announced to Bruce. I could almost hear him cheering internally. Maybe just maybe she will use up some of her 50,000 words for the day and I won’t have to listen to all of them this afternoon and evening. That’s what he was thinking, I’m pretty sure! Anyway, at the Chamber I asked about the availability of free Wi-Fi in the downtown area. I explained that we were moving to the area, didn’t have internet yet, and I’m an author. Well, this lady jumped right into it and gave me the name of a writers group, something I hadn’t thought to ask about. In addition to resources on writers in the area and suggestions of books about the area, she also gave me the name of a reliable person...

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Stimulating Memories, Reconnecting Friends

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

I love hearing from readers with their comments about how my book, All I Have Needed–A Legacy for Life affected them.  Every few days I get an email, a phone call, or just someone stopping me to tell me their reactions to the stories in my book. Almost invariably they say something like, “It makes me think of my grandparents”, or “it made me start sorting through those old photos,” or in the case of my aunt, “It reminded me of that notebook I have that belonged to your mother.” I couldn’t be happier. You see, my goal in writing this book isn’t just to tell stories. Oh sure. I love telling stories. It is who I am. But, there is more. I believe that unless we tell stories, unless we save our memories, unless we listen to our elders and record their memories we lose. We lose a lot of wisdom. We lose a lot of humor. We lose a lot that God intends for us to have for years to come. One of my best friends called the other day. She was wound up. This friend knows my family so well she almost knows them better than I do. We have been friends since 1991 so she has had many opportunities to hear my stories. She had just finished my book that morning. She was delighted with the stories.  After all, she knew many of them. To her it was like reading about her own family. But that’s not why she called. When she called she was on her way home from a restaurant where she enjoyed a meal with her parents and some friends from church. These friends are a retired minister and his wife who moved from California to Pennsylvania to be near their daughter. So, my friend was sitting there eating her supper when she thought to herself. This man reminds me so much of Miriam’s dad. His mannerisms. His way of speaking. I wonder if they know each other. After all, Miriam’s dad went to seminary in California and had three churches out there. And this pastor went to Pillsbury. Miriam’s dad went to Pillsbury. I wonder. So she asked. “Do you know Pastor Marvin Jones?” Well. Did he? Oh yeah! Turns out this man grew up in Estherville, Iowa where Grandpa McKnight was Pastor when my parents married. My daddy was his Sunday School teacher. He was in the youth group with my Aunt. My grandpa preached at his ordination service. My sister visited his church when she was on deputation. He knows three generations of my family and has a deep respect for my daddy and grandpa. My friend was stunned. So, she shared about the book and he is reading it. And, just the other day, I received an email from this Pastor. A man I have heard about my entire life. You see, my family held him in high esteem too. I love the way this book helped us reconnect...

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Parenting Advice from the Past

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

This week I was given a notebook that belonged to my mother. It holds a collection of poems, sayings, messages, her lesson notes, and interesting pieces. These are two of those. I don’t necessarily hold that all of these are just how I would look at things, but I find it interesting. My mother died in 1973, so keep that in mind as you read through this first piece. I’m afraid too many parents are following the first one, and too few the second.   Twelve Rules For Raising Delinquent Children Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he’s cute. It will also encourage him to pick up “cuter” phrases that will blow off the top of your head later. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21 and then let him “decide for himself”. Avoid the use of the word “wrong”. It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted. Pick up everything he leaves lying around—books, shoes, and clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silver-ware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later. Give a child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as you had them? Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, and policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child. When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, “I never could do anything with him.” Prepare for a life of grief. You will be likely to have it. (Issued by the Police Department, Houston, Texas—sometime before 1973.)     Susannah Wesley’s Rules for Parents This famous mother (20 January 1669 – 23 July 1742), of nineteen including John and Charles Wesley set down these rules.   Allow no eating between meals. Put all children to bed by eight o’clock. Require them to take medicine without complaining. Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together with God to save his soul. Teach each one to pray as soon as he can speak. Give them nothing that they cry for, and only that which they ask for politely. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented of. Never allow a sinful act to...

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Better?

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Last night my nephew made a statement that made me think. He said, “Once you have seen the Lead, SD fireworks nothing really compares.”   I’ve never seen the Lead, SD fireworks so I can’t comment on the veracity of his statement.   However, it reminded me of a memory, an experience. I don’t think Andrew and I are alone. I think we all have this happen.   When I read his statement, my mind instantly went to Gunnison, Colorado. It was in the mid 1970’s and we were visiting Grandpa and Grandma McKnight. We were there around the 4th of July and the University put on a display like nothing I had ever seen. And, I have to admit I’ve never seen its equal in real life.   These fireworks actually exploded in pictures. It was amazing. Every time I see fireworks, my mind automatically compares them to the fireworks in Gunnison.   Then there is the comparison of parades. As a child, living in North Platte, Nebraska I had the benefit of seeing the Nebraska Land Days Parade each year. It was great but I really had no idea how great.   Several years later though, we went to a parade in Colorado with our other grandparents. Grandpa McKnight said, “Let’s go to a parade today.”   “Yippee,” we responded.   However, this parade was in a very small town. It didn’t compare in any way, shape, or form to the parade in North Platte. That was the first time I realized just how much seeing something great can affect seeing something smaller. It can become a disappointment.   My favorite parade though is the parade in Broken Bow, Nebraska. We go every other year because it falls on the weekend of the family reunion. It’s not as great as the one in North Platte, but I like it better. The one in Broken Bow has more family associations.   Maybe this explains at least some of my nephews delight in the fireworks in Lead, SD. For years their extended family has gone there to see the fireworks. They must be great! Everyone keeps saying so. But, could it at least a little bit because he’s with the people he loves the most when the sky lights...

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A Legacy Must Not Be Wasted

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I am sitting up waiting for my second dose of night-time cough syrup to kick in. It seems the kindest thing I can do for my husband.   I am reminded of another night some fourteen years ago this Spring. That night I also sat up with a cough. Only it was worse. I’m hopeful this time won’t be as bad. That time I was S-I-Double-ICK!   But, just like this time I had someone else to think of waking. My sister was visiting with her children so my small apartment was full of sleeping bodies.   At any rate, that was the night the idea for my Legacy book was born.   Yep, that’s right!   As I sat at the table drinking my hot tea and trying to stifle the harsh cough I jotted notes in a journal. This was May of 1999 and just a little over a year after three of my grandparents died only six weeks apart.   Losing all three in such a short time was a shock. Oh, it shouldn’t have been I guess. After all I was well into my thirties and I had all of my natural grandparents still living. That’s unusual, no doubt. But I guess when they just keep on living you think they WILL just keep on living.   At any rate, it was a difficult time. That kind of loss takes a toll. I think I was in a bit of a fog for several months. Then as I came out of it I began to think more and more of the legacy these grandparents left for me. They weren’t wealthy so it wasn’t money. It was character, love, and personalities galore!   That night I listed them, the different legacies I had received. Love, humor, hard work, common sense, kind words, holy lives, peacemakers, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, and on the list went. As I looked at the list it struck me that so many of these were part of the fruit of the spirit listed in the Bible.   That would make sense. My grandparents were all believers. They had put their trust in Jesus Christ. These attributes that made up my legacy didn’t come from them; they came instead from the Holy Spirit.   So, I have a renewed understanding of my legacy, the legacy that pushed me to write my latest book. It isn’t just the legacy my grandparents left me; it’s the legacy God gave me through my grandparents.   A legacy which must not be wasted....

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The Chair Speaks

Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

When we were on vacation we visited a local fast-food restaurant with family. Suddenly into the midst of our peaceful family time a crash erupted.  Across the room a tall stool holding a healthy young man collapsed. The table fell over on top of the man and the chair lay there in ruins. The joints gave way. Fortunately the man jumped up and appeared unhurt. After dusting himself off he gingerly sat in another chair and continued reading his magazine. I couldn’t help but think of the illustration on faith I heard my daddy use many times when I was young. He would pull out a chair and put it on the platform. Then he would sit in the chair and share this object lesson. When we sit in a chair do we sit gingerly? No, we just sit down. Confidently! That is faith. We have faith the chair will hold us. We don’t stop to think about it. We don’t test it. We just sit down. The chair will hold. Unless the joints give way! Faith in God is like a chair only better. We can simply rest in the character of God. He is trustworthy. We don’t have to stop and think, “Is he dependable? Can he be trusted? Will he do what he says?” No, God is 100% trustworthy. He has never failed and he never will. He is unchanging and perfect. We can “sit” in the chair of God without fear and we can know without a doubt that it will hold us. God’s joints never give way! Amazon Author...

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A Field of Flowers

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

This morning I drove my cousin Phyllis to the airport in Charlotte so she could return home to Kansas. I’m going to miss her. I did my best to convince her to stay, but she seemed intent on getting home. We left early this morning and enjoyed the drive; it’s a beautiful time of year here in the Carolinas. One of my favorite things about the scenery here are the flowers in the medians. At some point in the past the locals planted patches of flowers in medians and along the edges of the roads. You will be driving along and all of a sudden there is a mass of yellow, red, purple, or pink flowers. It’s breathtaking. As Phyllis pointed out it is also practical since it cuts down on the area needing mowed. I focus on the breathtaking part though. My eyes soak up the glorious colors and I dream of planting some in my garden. I couldn’t help but think this morning of our recent trip out to the site of the sod house in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Other than the grove my great-grandpa’s family planted and a windmill there isn’t anything left in that valley. Nothing but prairie grass, cow manure, and wildflowers. I couldn’t help but wonder if Grandma picked some of those wildflowers for her sod house. I would have. Maybe in the morning she got up and went outside with her little boys. Maybe she walked over the hills and collected the flowers into a bunch, carried them to the house, and put them in a mason jar on the table. Maybe her little boys picked some for their mommy while they were outside playing. I know they picked “cow chips” for fuel, but maybe once in awhile they picked something that smelled better! The few flowers we spotted in that vast valley hardly compare in beauty to the mass along the road. But, I couldn’t help but think that my grandma probably enjoyed them more, especially after the long winters in that tiny sod house. It’s all in your perspective, isn’t...

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Grandma’s “Chickens”

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

We slept with the window open last night and I awoke to the sound of the birds chirping this morning. I love hearing birds sing. They are so joyful and can cheer me up even when I’m blue. I also love sitting on my porch where I can watch the birds flitting in and out of the big maple tree in the yard. On our recent trip out west we went to my cousin’s ranch and traveled up into the hills to see the place of my daddy’s birth. It was an awesome day. We were thrilled with every part of it and would have loved to have stayed longer, but we needed to get on the road. A couple of miles from my cousin’s ranch we heard a bird. We recognized it right away. It was the Western Meadowlark. I glanced out the window and there it was, sitting on the fencepost along the road. I couldn’t believe it. The bird sitting on the fencepost singing its little heart out  looked just like the one I sent to Grandma Jones in the mail. In the mail? Yep, you read it right! One day I was in the grocery store in Newberry, South Carolina when something caught my eye over by the card section. There was a rack of stuffed toy birds from the Audubon Society. When you pushed on top they chirped with the actual real-to-life bird call. I picked out two, the Western Meadowlark because that was one that I knew Grandma would recognize and love, and the Cardinal because they don’t have those in Nebraska. We packed them in a box and shipped them to Grandma at the nursing home. They were a big hit. She loved “her chickens” as she called them. One day, we walked into her room and Bruce saw the birds. He went over and pushed the top of one and it chirped. “You found my chickens,” Grandma said. Her face lit up like it was Christmas. I’ll never forget that look. Grandma always did love birds. In the nursing home she was delighted when they were able to move her to a room with a bird feeder right outside her window. She enjoyed watching them from her chair. Standing out in the beautiful valley where Daddy was born and imagining her as a young bride there in that lonesome place, I couldn’t help but notice the sound of the birds chirping. No wonder so many homesteaders and pioneers kept canaries in their homes. When Grandma went to heaven we brought the birds home. They sit in our living room and every once in awhile I push the top of the bird and smile remembering my grandma and her “chickens.” Now, I’ll not only remember Grandma, but the beautiful lonely place my daddy was...

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Phone A Friend – Cold Waters to a Thirsty Soul

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

I woke up this morning with a stress-headache and feeling fragile and exhausted. I guess I shouldn’t b e surprised. The past few weeks have been a mad dash, and while I enjoyed every experience it has been tiring.   I knew I just needed to get through today and a twelve hour day at work tomorrow, and then I could crash. However, that meant I would have to leave out something I had said I would do.   My husband says once I make a plan it becomes a moral obligation in my mind. He’s pretty much right. If I say I’ll do something I’ll go to great lengths to do it. It’s just the way I am.   But, my mind, body, husband, and cousin were telling me that wisdom would be to say, “I can’t.” I guess I need to start saying no and stop making unrealistic plans. But, honestly the plan wasn’t realistic. It’s just that things like great opportunities and an air conditioner that needed work interjected themselves into “my plan” and changed the timeline.   Anyway, I phoned a friend. The friend I was going to disappoint. As I knew she would she ended up loving on me over the phone and encouraging me. By the time we finished talking, the headache was gone, the stress had lifted, and I had the energy I knew I would need.   I am an extrovert so it isn’t unusual for a good conversation to lift my spirits, but I think there was more to it than that. There is a verse in the Bible somewhere about this. I’m sure my daddy preached on it at some point. Let me see if I can find it. Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. What a precious gift my friend gave me this morning. The gift of love, mercy, and...

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A Goodly Heritage

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 3 comments

This morning my cousin, Alice made me cry. Another friend re-posted one of the posters promoting my new book and Alice posted a verse in the comment section. Here is the poster: Here is the verse she posted. Psalm 61:5b “…thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.” It made me cry. Now, admittedly I am tired after just arriving home from a long road trip that followed a busy but awesome time of memory reviewing and building. One of the highlights of the trip occurred on the first day of the trip home. Our cousin, Gordon who lives in the Sandhills offered to take us to the site of the sod house where Daddy was born. Here is a picture of the sod house. In addition he offered to take us by to see the barn my great-grandpa built on his property in Jones Grove, half a mile from the sod house. It has since been moved and beautifully maintained. Here is a picture of the barn. So, we decided to rearrange our trip home and take advantage of the opportunity! Lesson one of this post—take advantage of the opportunities you are handed to learn more about your heritage. I suggested my parents come down as far as the Sandhills with us and then they could see it too. So, Thursday morning bright and early we left Rapid City with Mom and Daddy following. When we arrived at Gordon’s ranch his wife Jan had prepared a picnic lunch to take with us. We all piled into his double cab pickup and off we went. First we visited the barn and it was AWESOME. To think that this barn was built almost 100 years ago and is still being used! It was moved across country on wheels—an amazing feat in and of itself. Then we proceeded to the site of the sod house. It turns out that the rancher who now owns the land and the barn remembered exactly where the sod house stood. He was there as a boy and it was etched firmly in his mind. (More on Mr. Burr and his memories another time.) We stood in this beautiful valley, so green with the spring rains they have been blessed with. I imagined Grandma enjoying the spring air. Then I thought about winter and I couldn’t help but remember her statement about “the good old days.” I took a picture of Daddy on the site of his birth. We traveled over the valley to the Jones Grove planted by my grandpa and his parents and siblings. We tromped through the fallen branches and looked for evidence of old foundations. We ate a picnic lunch. Then we discovered it. The foundation of the barn. So, when Alice posted that verse this morning I couldn’t help but think of another verse—one I put in my book. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places, yea I have a goodly heritage (Psalm 16:6).  ...

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Kaleidoscope Memories

Posted by on Jun 8, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

Do you remember the kaleidoscopes we had as kids? Those long cardboard tubes with the little eye-hole in one end. We would peer through the hole, hold it to the light, and slowly turn the cylinder. As it turned we ooh’d and ahh’d over the different patterns of color and light that appeared in the kaleidoscope. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en My mind feels like one of those toys today. All of the sites from the past week at home and with family are flashing through my mind, shifting back and forth, up and down, sideways. I see one in my mind’s eye and I think—oh that would make a great post—but then another memory floods in and shifts the focus away. I’ve started a list because right now I can’t focus enough on any of them to write it down. Besides, we’ve been too busy to stop and write. But one of these days I’ll be able to grab my list and pull up a particular memory. I love the fact that God gave our brains the ability to remember things we have seen and heard. That’s what happens when we sleep. Our experiences are filed away into long-term memory during sleep. Maybe that’s my problem. With the time-change and busy days I haven’t been sleeping as well as usual. Maybe when I get home and get some solid sleep my memories will file themselves away in a more orderly format. Then instead of a kaleidoscope my memories will be like a view master! That’s another of my favorite childhood...

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Sitting Behind Miss Gerda

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 3 comments

The first time we ever visited our church in Newberry, SC Miss Gerda sat in front of us. Or, I guess we sat behind her, since she always sat in the same place. Miss Gerda was not a Miss, but this being the South, women many times are called Miss. Miss Gerda was the widowed mother of the pastor’s wife. She was nearly ninety. Miss Gerda welcomed us with her bright smile, her kind voice, and her straightforward speech. She told us some of the history of the church and how long her son-in-law had been there. She shared a couple of the hard times the church had been through. She told me just what I—a Pastor’s daughter—needed to know. This church loved and supported its pastor. That means a lot to me. Through the years at Lighthouse Miss Gerda was always one of my favorite friends. I loved the fact that every Sunday morning she would get up between Sunday School and church and march around the auditorium with her cane. She was limbering up, she said. There were times when I thought I would be better served marching around than her. She seemed to be more limber than me. Miss Gerda loved her family and was so thankful for the home she had with her daughter and son-in-law but she missed her own home in Florida. One year she, along with her daughter and grand-daughter, decided to make the trek down to Florida to visit some of her friends. When I asked her about it, saying, “I hear it’s going to be a girl’s trip,” she gave a cheer. No, I mean literally. Her right arm went up, her left arm down, her left leg up and she did a little hop as she said, “YES!” I’m pretty sure I was speechless. A couple of years ago it became evident that her Alzheimer’s was progressing quickly. She still came and sat in her seat, marched around the church between services, and prayed with all her heart during prayer meeting. But, she was fading. All it took was a fall and a broken hip and her memory slipped away. A few days ago Miss Gerda slipped quietly into heaven while sleeping. Now she is rejoicing with her husband, singing for Jesus, marching around heaven—and I’m sure—doing a little cheer for the joy of being able to think clearly once again! Maybe someday when I get to heaven I can slip in and sit behind her at the feet of Jesus. I would like...

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Pigs, Pinterest, and Focus Groups

Posted by on May 29, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 2 comments

One of the things I learned at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference was the power of social networking. I am going to be doing my best to be more active in more ways so more people can find out about my books. It seems that it is not just a “good” thing to do, but necessary. One benefit, of course, is that I can do it from my front porch. It’s a beautiful day out here! One of the suggestions was to make posters that can be pinned on Pinterest. Since I didn’t have a Pinterest account and had never been on Pinterest, I wasn’t very familiar with it, but my mind caught the vision anyway. In my mind instead of Pinterest I saw Facebook! We all get them and pass them on, those funny, cute, thought-provoking, tear-jerking, or irritating posters that people create to make a point. My mind also quickly realized that my new book, All I Have Needed-A Legacy for Life which is centered around quotes and sayings from my parents and grandparents lends itself perfectly to this marketing technique. I don’t even have to search for the quotes. They are already pulled out and displayed right there in front of God and everyone! Awesome! So, I came home and told my secret weapon, AKA my husband, about this new idea. He agreed it’s awesome. Now, I need to tell you something about this writing business. I write the books but he does all of the computer stuff. He makes the website. He creates anything that is creative on the computer. I just type it in. So, I knew that this was going to be another task for him. He has a lot on his plate already and I am realizing that I need to be braver and learn some of this “stuff” myself. I’m bright. I can learn. Yes, I can. Ugh. So, he created a couple of posters for me and I decided to try one myself. I thought it looked great. Then I asked his opinion. Now, if you really want to know what an analytical chemist thinks, ask him. However, if you are just looking for affirmation you need to tell him that ahead of time. Let’s just say that he gave me his opinion. So, we had a difference of opinion. He believes more explanation is needed than just the quote and the photo. I felt that it might be more likely to go viral if there is less tying it directly to my book. We decided to put them both on Facebook and see what my “friends” thought. So, up they went and that’s when we realized we had our very own focus group. What did the focus group decide? There’s another thing you need to know about analytical scientists. They are almost always right. He was. The...

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Broken Beads

Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 2 comments

I love wearing beads. I don’t wear them all of the time, but I do like wearing them when I dress up. I guess it comes from the fact that my mother wore beads. I actually have some of hers. One set has red, white, and blue beads and they look like gumballs. I know they look like gumballs because I was informed of that at church one Sunday by a boy who was really, really, really impressed with them. Turns out, he LOVES gum. He couldn’t take his eyes off my necklace. However, bead necklaces can be a problem. They can break. The “patriotic gumball necklace” is an example. It broke once and I had it restrung. Problem solved. In March, while at a conference one of my favorite bead necklaces from Thailand broke as I was walking down a hall. Fortunately a friend came to my rescue and helped pull the beads from around my neck while catching those that were falling. I stuffed them all in my canvas bag and I’ll have to take them in to be restrung. The problem is it probably won’t look exactly the same. It’s a much more complicated pattern than red, white, and blue gum balls. I couldn’t help but think that it is like our lives sometimes. We have things happen which cause broken places in our life. We can be put back together, but we may not look the same. Oh, sometimes we may have all the pieces and we can have an exact fix. Other times it doesn’t work that way. We may be missing something important to the complete “necklace.” We may have an awkward pattern. Or, if we let God work it out our new normal could be much more beautiful than we can...

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