Friday, July 31, 2009


Nobody Knows It But Me

There's a place I travel when I want to roam,
and nobody knows it but me.
The roads don't go there and the signs stay home,
and nobody knows it but me.
It's far, far away and way, way afar,
it's over the moon and sea,
and wherever you're going that's wherever you are.
And nobody knows it but me.

Patrick O'Leary

Friday, July 10, 2009


In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Baby!!

My youngest son, who is 17, is my baby. He's going to be a senior this fall, and this afternoon we went and had his graduation photos taken.

Gulp! I can't believe my little boy is so grown up. I waited so long to be a mother, and it's gone by so very fast. I wish I had one of those "way back machines" Mr. Peabody had so I could go back and send another day with my children when they were 3 and 5 and play in the wading pool with them, take our sandwiches to the park for a picnic, and cuddle up on the sofa all together and read a bunch of their Little Golden Books. Such treasured memories.

The greatest accomplishment of my life, and my greastest joy, has been my children. I'm so glad I was given this gift of motherhood. If you feel the same way, go give your little ones (or, as in my case, my tall ones) a big hug!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What do you think?

As some of you may or may not know, our computer crashed a couple of weeks ago. I'm still having problems with the darned thing. Luckily when I got on last week I was able to enter all my blogging and set them up to post at later dates. Crazy machine. When did I get so dependent on a computer??

Anyway, in the midst of all this rigamarole, I lost all my writings -- short stories, articles, plot outlines for future books, all the revisions of all three books, as well as my listings of the agents and publishers I've submitted to and what their responses were. I have tried downloading my old copies and have had no success at all. It's like trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner on a hot plate. I am so frustrated.

It has occurred to me that perhaps this is a message for me. It could be God's way of telling me that writing is something I should not be doing; to give it up and let it go. Or, it could be a test to see if I have the heart and the strength to keep at it and not let a roadblock get me down. I can't decide.

So, I'm asking those of you who may read my blog, and those who may have read my work, what do you think??

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Remembering those who served

A couple of years ago Stan and I visited the travelling Viet Nam Memorial that came here to town over July 4th weekend. Since I had the opportunity to visit the original in Washington D.C. a couple of times I wanted Stan to experience what that was like. It is hard to explain to someone the solemnity of the site unless you have been there.

I found the situation to be the same as it was back east. It almost feels as if you are on sacred ground as you walk along these black walls etched with the names of those who gave their lives in service to our country. It was very moving.

One thing that always bothered me was how the veterans from that war were treated after they returned home. They served, bled, fought and died the same as other veterans from other wars, yet these men and women were treated as if they were scum. It wasn't right, and I've always wished that it were different.

As Stan and I walked along we were both deeply moved. We passed a man sitting there watching us. Partially bald, the hair he did have was grey and hung just past his shoulders. He had a moustache and wore a t-shirt with a leather vest and jeans. He looked like the men I remembered who had served in that war, and part of me thought he looked a little scary. He asked us if we would like him to take our picture at the memorial.

After he took our photo he handed back the camera and asked Stan if he'd served there. Stan told him no, and the man nodded and stepped back away from us.

"Did you?" I asked.

He looked up at me, his eyes locked with mine. I wondered if he was going to answer me, when finally he quietly nodded. I stepped closer to him and held out my hand.

"Thank you," I said.

He looked up at me with a surprised look on his face and took my hand.

"Thank you for what you did. I want you to know I appreciate it."

And that sweet man, that tough looking, patriotic man, broke down in tears. I wondered if anyone had ever said that to him before.

So, if you meet a veteran this holiday weekend, or anytime; from the Viet Nam war, WWII or even our current war, take a moment to shake their hand and thank them. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, July 3, 2009


And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
John F. Kennedy
From his Inaugural Address,
January 20, 1061

Thursday, July 2, 2009


My Uncle, Rollin Oscar Smith, Jr., died this morning. He was my mother's younger brother; her only brother, and a wonderful sweet man who will be deeply missed. He was 85 years old.

His whole life he was known simply as Bud. Uncle Bud was a good man. He served in the Pacific in World War II. When he was wounded he was sent to a field hospital where one of the orderlies turned out to be Uncle Pete. I imagine it was a bit of a mini-family reunion there in the middle of the war. I'm sure my grandmother and his sisters were grateful to know that a family member was with him during that time.

One of my favorite stories was when he was a small boy. He and my mother were out playing one day, leaning up against a fence trying to imitate an actor they had witnessed in a movie. They probably thought there were very grown-up and cool looking as they leaned there.

Anyway, in the small Nebraska town where they grew up also lived a man who was a bootlegger. Neither of them knew exactly what a bootlegger was, but they knew it was bad, and I'm sure the word probably scared them a little. He had a teenaged son who happened to walk by as they were playing there. He looked at my uncle and said "Hiya, Bud" which scared the two of them to death.

How did he know Bud's name? What should they do? They ran home to their mother, terrified and shaking, only to be told that a lot of people called boys that. There was probably some relief, and also some question as to how other boys had that name. I've always liked that story.

He died surrounded by his wife and children. The room was full of peace and love and his passing was gentle and sweet. And I still will miss him.