Posts Tagged "The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure"

A New View

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Blog, Double Cousins |

A New View

Today I experienced a long-time tradition with a new-found awareness.  This evening I accompanied some of my nieces and nephews to Storybook Island in Rapid City, SD. I have been coming to this wonderland since the late 70’s when I watched my little sister delight in the discovery of this incredible storybook world. Ever since, I’ve taken every opportunity to experience the park with the children in my life! Today was no different. But, yet—it was. After our visit to the park we gathered around a table along one of the Rapid Creek tributaries and enjoyed a picnic with my brother and his family. We sat just a few hundred yards from Rapid Creek and the former site of Storybook Island; the site that was completely destroyed by the Flood of 72. We are very aware of the flood, especially this year. As you may have noticed in the news the Great Plains have experienced a LOT of rain this year. Rapid Creek is really high and is over its banks in several places throughout Rapid. As it flows into the waterways placed there to hold   the excess and spreads out across the flood plain we are reminded of the reason for the beautiful park system that winds through Rapid City.  It is there to prevent another disaster the size of the one that happened June 9, 1972.   In the third Double Cousins Mystery, the cousins learned about the devastation and loss of that night. As I researched for that book I learned many things I didn’t know.  Though I lived in Rapid City for ten years, I still didn’t “get” how terrible that day was. Every year I would hear the reports; 238 people died, thousands of vehicles destroyed, entire neighborhoods devastated. Yet, I didn’t understand. Not until I read first person accounts. Now, I will never look at the creek the same way again. I will never enjoy Storybook Island without a hint of sadness for the loss of the original park mixed with gratitude for those who rebuilt. I think of those lost in the flood every time I walk on the bike path. And, when I re-read one particular scene in The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure, I cry. Every time. Researching the history of my town changed my life. I bet if you went to your library or local museum you would find information that would bring your town’s biggest historic events to life. Then, like me you will gain a more complete appreciation of your...

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More Than A Casserole And A Bag Of Toilet Paper!

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Blog, Double Cousins |

More Than A Casserole And A Bag Of Toilet Paper!

  “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 “Mom you know what Mrs. Mount told me tonight?” Dorie rested her hand on Carly’s shoulder and leaned forward from the back seat of the van. “What, dear?” Mrs. Rawson turned sideways in her seat. “Did you know she and her husband lost their house in a fire years ago?” Mrs. Rawson looked at her husband. “I don’t think I knew that. Did you, honey?” Mr. Rawson scratched his head. “Yeah, I think I did. It was twenty years ago, or more.” Carly turned sideways in her seat so she could see Dorie. “That’s awful.” Dorie nodded. “Well, she mentioned it tonight when she was signing up for the cookies. She said cookies were the least she could do for Mr. Crosby. Evidently, Mr. Crosby and his wife paid for three months of rent for them in an apartment after the fire. Mrs. Mount said that without them, she didn’t believe they would have ever gotten back on their feet.” Max shook his head. “I knew Mr. Crosby liked to help people, but three months of rent? That’s more than a casserole and a bag of toilet paper, isn’t it?” “It sure is,” said Carly. The van turned onto 8th Avenue, then pulled into the driveway. Carly leaned against the window and stared out into the darkness. Across the street Mr. Crosby’s store looked lonely. No wonder Mr. Crosby doesn’t have the money to fix up his store. We have to help him. We all do. But will we be able to get enough money? Excerpt from The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure, pg....

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A Glorious Day

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Blog, Double Cousins | 1 comment

One thing about this author’s path is the continuous stream of forced new learning experiences. I’m not exactly a fan of new experiences. The problem with new experiences or opportunities is that I’m not good at them yet and I can’t have confidence in the outcome. Yet, here I am time after time doing something I’ve never done before. Like a book launch party.   I had no idea what to expect with this party. It was a risk. I was spending money on a room, food, door prizes, decorations, and advertising and I had no idea who would show up. I remember telling several people, “I don’t know if it will be the 15 or 20 local people who love me most—my family—or half the town. But, with the help of my family we rushed to the finish line, the decorations were put up, the food was prepared, the other guests of honor were invited, and the day arrived.   Half the town didn’t come. But, thankfully it wasn’t just my family either. The numbers though weren’t the real story. As I watched my nieces and nephews throw themselves into helping with the event, and then as I listened as the special speakers shared their stories I realized something.   Once again, my plan wasn’t God’s. My plan was to promote the book by getting hoards of people to my party. God’s was different. Yes, the book was promoted. After all two TV stations showed up. The attendees bought books. It was great fun!   But more than that, as the director of Storybook Island shared the importance of the free children’s park in her childhood, and the continued determination to keep it free I saw heads nod. I saw my nieces and nephews gaining a new appreciation of the playground of their childhood.   As Mr. and Mrs. Masters stood and shared how God sustained them in the face of the horrific loss of their three boys in the flood of ’72 a new understanding dawned on the faces of the listeners.  Recognition of the impact of this historic flood. A reminder of the amazing power and provision of God’s grace.   So, what I thought would be a promotional event turned into a time that caused me to say, “How Great Is Our God!” And that makes it worth every penny spent and every hour of work. Because—after all—isn’t glorifying God what it’s all...

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A Kaleidoscope of Memories!

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Blog, Double Cousins |

A Kaleidoscope of Memories!

The last couple of days at work friends have asked me one of several questions. How has it been going? How was your trip? How are the book sales? What have you been up to lately?”   I find myself answering with a generic response. “Oh, great. Busy. We’ve been busy.”   Um. That really doesn’t begin to describe it, does it?   Have you ever found yourself trying to describe a torrent from a fire hydrant with a trickle of words? That’s how I feel. There is just so much to tell you about, I don’t even know where to begin.   I could go with the words of one great song. . . “Where do I begin. . . to tell the story. . .” or, I could go with the words of another great song, “Start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. . . “   But, the truth is that there is such an explosion of memories in my mind, a kaleidoscope of experiences waiting to be told, that I’m just at a loss.   So, for the past week or so, each day I planned to write a blog post; one that would share one of the great experiences of the past two weeks. Maybe about the awesome book launch party for The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure. The one where I thought I knew what the highlights would be. I was wrong about those highlights!   Or maybe about the wonderful time I had with the students at the Homeschool  events. The ones that went “above and beyond all that I could ask or think.” But you know how much I love speaking to students so that was a no-brainer, wasn’t it?   Or maybe even the last event, the one in which I ended up speaking about Passing theTorch. The one where when I looked out into the audience I realized I was speaking to many who were responsible for lighting a torch for me, as well as several of “my girls” from a Sunday School class I taught back in 1990.   But, those are just the events and a snapshot of their importance. A very tiny, blurry snapshot. You see, there is more.   I sold 91 books. I was on TV twice.  But those are just facts.   More importantly, memories swirl of making mints and wordless book bracelets with my nieces and nephews, holding my great niece, shopping with my sisters, watching my parents watch me on TV, hearing survivors of the Flood of 72, watching my nieces and nephews throw themselves into helping host the book launch party, and too many other moments to mention.   So, over the next few posts I hope to drill down into this pile of memories, pull out a few brightly colored pieces of glass from the kaleidoscope, and give you just a little idea of the glorious moments of the past two...

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A Kindred Spirit-A Great Book!

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Blog, Double Cousins |

A Kindred Spirit-A Great Book!

This morning when I sat down at my computer I immediately went to weather.com. I didn’t check Banner Elk. I didn’t even check Rapid City, SD. First I checked the radar map to see what it was doing in Alzada, MT.   Alzada Where? Where is that? Why?   Let me explain. Back in January my newest book, The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Rushmore Treasure launched. Many friends helped by sharing my Facebook posts on their own wall. (An awesome way to help an author, by the way.) One of those friends is a lady who was a missionary kid when my step-mom was working in Uruguay. All through the past forty years—Mom left the field forty years ago today to come marry my daddy—I’ve known Deb. She was close to my mom and even after she went to college, married, and had children she would send a Christmas letter to my parents. I read them. I still do when I go home.   With the advent of Facebook we became “friends.” Deb was so excited about my books that she arranged for me to come speak to her class in Chicago. Yes, Chicago. It was a wonderful time.   Fast forward a few years to this January and Deb once again shares my post. Her friend from Bible College, Drusilla Dye saw it. The title captured her attention. She grew up near Rapid City, SD and Mount Rushmore. She read the review. She was further captivated because she was between her Jr. and Senior years of high school when the flood of ’72 hit. She even had the same name as a little girl who died in that flood. So, when she went back to Lead High School the next Fall there were some surprised folks.   Anyway, Drusilla contacted me and I  began to suspect that we were kindred spirits. We had many similarities in our background and life stories. And to top it off, Grandpa Onstott was her Pastor. Yes, that’s right. In addition she went to college with my youth leader and his wife, Clayton and Sally. Yep. It’s a small world after all.   I learned after talking to Drusilla that she lived on a ranch in Montana. She is a teacher. She is a writer. She writes pieces about lessons she has learned living on the ranch. Well! Of course I did. I ordered her book—Life on the Ranch-Life Lessons I Learned on the Ranch—and then I really knew we were kindred spirits. As I read her pieces I laughed, I cried, I said “ouch” when what she wrote stepped on my toes, and God spoke to me through her writing. So, when this latest storm came up in the Great Plains I started praying. Praying for my new friend and her husband. Praying for their livestock. Praying that the mama cows would deliver their babies safely. And, thanking God for the lessons I’ve learned from this new friend! http://drusilladye.blogspot.com/...

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