Photo by Mallory

Photo by Mallory


Today is another day on our life's journey.

Perhaps here you can find encouragement

for wherever your journeys may take you.

Welcome to my thinking place where you can

read insightful posts.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Last One


Each day of our lives we make deposits
in the memory banks of our children.
–Charles R. Swindoll


Another classic from Erma Bombeck…last one, I promise:

A young mother writes: “I know you’ve written before about the empty nest syndrome—that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?”

OK. One of these days you’ll shout, “Why don’t you kids grow up and act your age!” And they will. Or, “You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do…and don’t slam the door!” And they won’t.

You’ll straighten up the boys’ bedroom neat and tidy—bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you’ll say out loud, “Now I want it to stay this way.” And it will.

You’ll say, “I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?” And you’ll have it.

No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti. No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms. No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps. No more clothespins under the sofa. No more playpens to arrange a room around.


No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent. No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathrooms. No more iron-on patches; wet, knotted shoe strings, tight boots, or rubber bands for pony tails.

Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it. No baby sitter for New Year’s Eve. Washing only once a week. Seeing a steak that isn’t ground. Having your teeth cleaned with a baby on your lap.

No PTA meetings. No car pools. No blaring radios. No one washing her hair at 11 o’clock at night. Having your own roll of Scotch tape.

Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste. No more sloppy oatmeal kisses. No more tooth fairy. No giggles in the dark. No knees to heal, no responsibility.

Only a voice crying, “Why don’t you grow up?” and the silence echoing, “I did.”

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.




My latest book has released - With Good Intentions, a novella. Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book here. You can read the first chapter of the book on my website.








Monday, March 6, 2017

How Will Your Life Read?


Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever
is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy—think
about such things.”
--Philippians 4:8, NIV

Do you keep a written account of your days? Used to we called it writing in a diary. Today, people call it journaling when they write their thoughts each day. This practice is as old as history and as new as space travel.

On cave walls, discovered scribblings reveal thoughts from minds of long ago. And among their many tasks, our space travelers keep a daily log of their activities.

By whatever name we use—logbook, diary, journal, calendar, daybook—many folks keep a daily written record of experiences, observations, and feelings. If you already do so, what kind of reading material are you leaving behind?

Recently someone suggested this exercise: each day write down something good about that day. It could be something that happened to you, something you saw around you, some emotion you experienced. But everything you write would have to be pleasing, uplifting.



What a great way that would be to keep our minds fixed on a positive train of thought. Like the Bible verse quoted above. And Proverbs 23:7 reads, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Descartes, the French philosopher and mathematician, spoke the Proverbs verse personally when he said, “I think, therefore I am.”

Clearing our minds of disturbing, disagreeable, and gloomy thoughts would help remove negative aspects from our lifestyle. Maybe we could stop focusing constantly on things with which we disagree or don’t like. A better plan might be to think more often on favorable things, bringing improvement to who we really are.

Beyond the exercise of writing down good things, we could take it a step further. After noticing and writing down these happy moments, we could keep them in mind. We could think about them throughout the day or recall them the next day. Doing so would probably bring several smiles to our face and make us friendlier to look at.

Are you up to the task? Will you find something good in each day? Will you write it down? Will you continue to think about it? Allow positive thoughts to brush away the cobwebs of negative thoughts in your mind. Because, like the philosopher Descartes, you probably are the way you think.

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



My latest book has released - With Good Intentions, a novella. Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book here. You can read the first chapter of the book on my website.


Monday, February 20, 2017

A Classic by Erma


"Life is like a ten-speed bike.
Most of us have gears we never use."
--Charles M. Schultz, creator of Charlie Brown


I recently found some yellowed newspaper clippings stuffed in a notebook. According to the Editor’s note they were “classic” articles written by Erma Bombeck. Remember her? She was a witty and humorous writer who was nationally known and loved. All the articles I found were excellent, but three of them I want to share with you. Here’s the first one and I’ll share the others at a later date. Here’s Erma:

“I have a friend who lives by a three-word philosophy: ‘Seize the moment.’ Just possibly, she may be the wisest woman on this planet. Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from the routine.

“I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who had passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to ‘cut back.’ From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.


Titanic Grand Staircase

Titanic A La Carte Restaurant
“How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t suggest going out to dinner until after something had [already] been thawed? Does the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing to you?

“I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, ‘How about going to lunch in a half hour?’ She would gasp and stammer, ‘I can’t.” Check one: ‘I have clothes on the line.’ ‘My hair is dirty.’ ‘I wish I had known yesterday.’ ‘I had a late breakfast.’ ‘It looks like rain.’ And my personal favorite, ‘It’s Monday.’

“She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

“Because Americans cram so much into our lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect. We’ll go back and visit the grandparents…when we get Stevie toilet-trained. We’ll entertain…when we replace the living room carpet. We’ll go on a second honeymoon…when we get two more kids out of college.

"Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I plan on’ and ‘Someday, when things are settled down a bit.’

“When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.”

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.


You can keep up to date with my writing by signing up for my mailing list. You'll receive a free quarterly e-newsletter and timely announcements about happenings of interest. I have a monthly drawing among those who sign up for my mailing list for the first time, and the winner receives a free eBook copy of their choice of one of my books.

On my website, you can read the first chapters of all my novels and novellas.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Be Done With It


Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist,
poet and philosopher (1803-82)


Many times, our to-do list includes more than we get done in a day. When that happens, we have to add the undone from today to the list for tomorrow. And that’s okay.

Each day, after we’ve done what absolutely has to be done, human nature dictates that we probably then do first what we want to do or what is the easiest task. However, some experts write we should tackle the tough things first and get them out of the way. These experts say if we put off doing the harder things, then we have longer to dread them.


Take housekeeping for an example—my least favorite task is dusting. In my house, I’ve added light-colored wood when possible because dust isn’t as noticeable as it is on dark wood. Dusting is the last thing I want to do. I’ve been this way for so long, I don’t dread dusting, I just don’t put it on my schedule.

As the quotation above points out, on any given day you’ve done what you could. Sometimes it’s difficult but we must learn to finish the day, be done with it, and not worry about what we didn’t get to.

If you’ve read much of what I write, you know how I feel about worry—it usually doesn’t change anything and sometimes only succeeds in additionally upsetting us.

Not worrying is a command from Jesus, not simply a suggestion. In the Bible, Jesus says, “…do not worry…who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:25, 27, NIV).”

Mr. Emerson may not have had Bible Scriptures in mind when he said the quotation above, but his words ring true. Worrying usually causes us to frown, and frowning causes wrinkles. It takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown and thereby probably leaves fewer wrinkles.

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.


You can keep up to date with my writing by signing up for my mailing list. You'll receive a free quarterly e-newsletter and timely announcements about happenings of interest. I have a monthly drawing among those who sign up for my mailing list for the first time, and the winner receives a free eBook copy of their choice of one of my books.

On my website, you can read the first chapters of all my novels and novellas.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Only Time We Have


Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times,
it is the only time we have.”

–Art Buchwald, American
Pulitzer Prize-winning satirist (1925-2007)

In the quotation above, Mr. Buchwald refers to the opening words of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. After Mr. Dickens begins with “It is the best of times, it is the worst of times” he goes on to compare wisdom and foolishness; belief and incredulity; light and darkness; hope and despair.

But the beginning used by Mr. Dickens sums up all other comparisons by using the words best and worst. It’s usually either/or in our lives: either best or worst, good or bad. If we recall the past, we see that on certain occasions we have been wise or foolish in our decision-making and our behavior.

In our day-to-day living we’ve either been hopeful or desperate. We either believe or we doubt. When you get right down to it, we are many times an either/or civilization. Rarely do we reside for long in a middle ground. Those who hesitate between commitment to either bad or good, wise or foolish, usually give in to compromise. I’ll leave it to you to decide if compromise is a valuable place for you to be.

But back to the original quotation above: “Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, it is the only time we have.” As a high school basketball player, I didn’t enjoy the times we lost a game. But there was no changing the fact that we had lost. Those losses brought about the worst of times, but it was what it was—we lost, and we had to live with that fact.



In Ephesians 5:16, the Bible speaks of “redeeming the time.” In other words, make the most of your time. Are you gainfully using each moment, each day? We would be well-advised to be very aware of our time. If we aren’t careful, many seconds, minutes, and hours will slip by unproductively. Wasted time is irretrievable; it cannot be brought back.

I'm not saying we need to be constantly productive. We must take care of ourselves, giving our bodies their required rest. According to the Bible book of Genesis, even God rested.

So, today may be the best of times for you or today may be the worst of times for you. Either way, remember Mr. Buchwald’s words and realize that whatever way your time is, it’s the only time you have.

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.


You can keep up to date with my writing by signing up for my mailing list. You'll receive a free quarterly e-newsletter and timely announcements about happenings of interest. I have a monthly drawing among those who sign up for my mailing list for the first time, and the winner receives a free eBook copy of their choice of one of my books.

On my website, you can read the first chapters of all my novels and novellas.



Monday, January 9, 2017

Any Thoughts?


Last year, I collected some worthy quotations and shared them with you along with my thoughts about the subject of a specific quotation. Throughout 2016, I came across several meaningful quotations I wanted to comment about, but I could never come up with anything that would improve the original quotation.

Below, I share with you some of those quotations to which I couldn’t add anything to make them more insightful than they were. Do you have any thoughts about any of these quotations? 

“You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.” –Stanislaw J. Lee, Polish author (1909-1966)

"A wise man without a book is like a workman with no tools.” –Moroccan proverb

“We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power.” –William Ellery Channing, American clergyman (1780-1842)

“When a friend speaks to me, whatever he says is interesting.” –Jean Renoir, Frank movie director (1894-1979)

“There are two great days in a person’s life—the day we are born and the day we discover why.” –William Barclay, Scottish theologian (1907-1978)

“Men and from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.” –George Carlin, American comedian (1937-2008)

“The truth is lived, not taught.” –Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet and author

“Forgetfulness is a form of freedom.” –Khalil Gibran, American poet and artist (1883-1931)

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” –Milton Berle, American comedian (1908-2002)

“Trouble is a part of your life—if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.” –Dinah Shore, American singer (1916-1994)

“Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude.” –Ralph Marston, American football player (1907-1967)

“We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves. –Eric Hoffer, American philosopher (1898-1083)

“There are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown helpless about them.” –Clare Boothe Luce, American author (1903-1967)

“Knowledge is proud that it knows so much; wisdom is humble that it knows no more.” –William Cowper, English poet (1731-1800)

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.



My latest novel has released - Tidewater Summer! Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book here. You can read the beginning of the book on my website.



Monday, December 19, 2016

The Reason for the Season!


"And she brought forth her firstborn son,
and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,
and laid in in a manger; because
there was no room for them
in the inn." Luke 2:7



The Sunday newspaper almost contained more retail flyers than it did news sections. Retail stores have extended their shopping hours, opening earlier and closing later.

Did you shop on “black Friday”? Or on cyber Monday? I read that on the day after Thanksgiving some stores had super bargains—but super enough to pitch a tent on Monday to be the first in the store on Friday? But, you know what, yesterday’s flyers showed the same stores still have most of those black Friday super bargains.

In this economy when we’re all supposed to be in a bind financially or not employed, people sure are spending money. Or, rather they are spending plastic—credit cards. It wouldn’t surprise me if it may take some shoppers all next year to pay for what they buy between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Our country has been buying things this way for a while but it seems this year folks are behaving more materialistic than before. Shoppers are frantic and racking up staggering debt on stuff.

Well and good if that’s what floats your boat. But it’s so obvious that the true meaning of Christmas is again pushed to the end of the line by those who love their material things. They behave as if they don’t remember, or maybe never knew, the real meaning of Christmas. That saddens my heart.

As we compile our wish lists for Christmas, may we remember the words of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale: “The magic message of Christmas is that God gives us so much more than we can possibly give back! He gave the world the greatest gift of all time. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given (Isaiah 9:6).’”

I hope you will have an enjoyable Christmas season of parties, shopping, opening presents, and decorating the tree. And I also hope you receive a gift that will bring a smile to your face and you’ll remember the truth of the season.

NOTE: If you received this blog post in an email and you'd like to leave a comment or check out something on the sidebar, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website where you can do that.


My latest novel has released - Tidewater Summer! Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book here. You can read the beginning of the book on my website.