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. On Mondays

read insightful posts here.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

How Long is Childhood?


It takes courage to grow up
and become who you really are.”
–E. E. Cummings, American author, 1892-1962


How long does a childhood last? Is the duration of childhood the same for everyone?

During World War II, the military draft interrupted some childhoods when young men barely past eighteen were yanked away to serve their country. Many went to foreign lands where they witnessed the atrocities of war and lost their childhood years of innocence.

At the same time, because all able-bodied men went into the military, our women filled their jobs at many places, especially in the plants where war supplies were made. These women also had to grow up and become what they’d probably thought they would never be—the primary wage owners.

Even today, without our government activating the military draft, our young men and women are serving in distant lands and coming home different than when they left. They display the courage to grow up in adverse situations.

Did you experience a growing-up time that required you to have courage? The few times America has been at total peace, did you see incidents where folks were forced to become grown-ups?

When responsibilities of life hit us like a load of bricks, growing up becomes essential. We must face our circumstances with courage unavailable to children. We have to shed the cloak of childhood that protects us from accountability.

On the brighter side, we can always refuse to grow up and, instead, be like the chimney sweep in the movie, Mary Poppins, played by Dick Van Dyke. He danced and sang with children and penguins, seemingly without a care in the world. 




Remember in that movie when he, Mary Poppins, and the two children left the carousel on their ponies and galloped away? Do you ever wish you could do that?
  
An old song sung by the Statler Brothers goes like this: “Life gets complicated when you pass eighteen.” The song tells of the adult lives of members of a high school graduating class—how well some have done and also how some have led miserable lives. 

The truth of that song is that life does get complicated when you outgrow your childhood. And to become responsible citizens, we must at some point, leave childhood behind. However, through the small children in our surroundings, we can sometimes experience childhood again, if only for brief periods of time.

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

Monday, September 19, 2016

Do You Think You're Normal?


"Normal is nothing more than a
cycle on a washing machine."
--Whoopi Goldberg


Bernice Kanner spent two years asking Americans questions about their life, and put her research in a book titled, Are You Normal? Below are some of the questions she asked, followed by the responses. Just for fun, read on and see if you’re normal.

How long does your shower last? Most of us think it takes about ten minutes; the average actual shower takes only four minutes.

Do you know how much your spouse makes? Three out of ten wives and husbands don’t know.

Do you floss your teeth? Four of every ten Americans surveyed claim to floss daily. One in five admit they never floss.

Do you put the cap back on the toothpaste tube? Most people say they do.

Do you let sleeping dogs lie…with you, that is? Just under half of all dog owners welcome their dog onto the bed, though they claim they hate the bouncing.



Can you snap your fingers? Thirty-two percent of us can’t. Southpaws and Southerners have the most trouble.

Do you give away gifts that were given to you? More than half of those asked admitted they did.

What do you and your significant other fight about the most? Money. Twenty-nine percent of couples said they argue more about their mate’s spending than anything else.

Do you skip meals? More than one in five skip lunch while less than one in ten passes up breakfast. A normal person spends just over an hour a day eating.

If you could change anything about yourself… More than half said they would drop some weight. Another thirty-two percent wanted to alter their bodies, their age, or their intelligence, and a fifth of us would love to change our height or our hair. Twenty-five percent of men admitted they yearn for a full, healthy head of hair so much they’d consider giving up five years of their lives in exchange for that.

Among the numbers above, did you find yourself to be normal or do you agree with the opening quotation that infers there is really no normal person? What about the last item? Anything you’d like to change about yourself?

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.



Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, September 12, 2016

What Gives a Big Shadow?


Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.”
—Swedish Proverb


My anxiety level was over the top. I had a doctor’s appointment—routine, I hoped. I was concerned that they would find something wrong and give me a shot. I use the word concerned, not worried, because I diligently try not to worry.

As I waited at the doctor’s office, I even thought I would surely get blood drawn, which to me is a fate worse than any injection. But, you know, worrying about things will not change them.



Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life … Who of you by worrying can add a single hour in his life” –Matthew 6:25, 27, NIV

And you know, the usual long time in a doctor's waiting room allows plenty of time for dread to sprout wings. Finally, I met with the doctor. Routine, as I had hoped. No shot, no blood drawn. Whew! But what if I had allowed myself to really worry about all these things I’d dreaded? I could have worked myself into a dither. And for what? None of my concerns came to fruition.

Someone said, “Do what you can do and let God do what you cannot do.” What a great outlook to have on our present and future. Let’s all give it a try. Do you worry about things in your life? Do you worry too much?     

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.




Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Times, They Are A-Changing?



"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Alphonse Karr, French journalist (1808-1890)


In my last blog post I wrote about insulating our children and I asked: Why don’t they know right from wrong?

Since then, while cleaning out bookshelves, I found a yellowed newspaper clipping that just might give us some answers. At least it gives us something to think about. The clipping is a “Dear Abby” column dated 1975, titled “In Defense of Kids” (Abigail Van Buren, copyright 1975 by Chicago Tribune-N.Y. News Synd. Inc.). In light of my earlier questions, I’ll quote the letter from one of Dear Abby’s readers.

“Dear Abby: It’s about time someone spoke up for the much maligned younger generation:



“When Johnny was 6, he was with his father when they were caught speeding. He saw his father hand the officer a $5 bill with his driver’s license. No ticket.

“When Johnny was 10, he broke his glasses on the way to school. He heard his mother tell the man from the insurance company that they had been ‘stolen,’ and they collected $27.

“When Johnny was 15, he made right guard on the high school football team. His coach taught him to block and, at the same time, grab the opposing end by the shirt so the official couldn’t see it.

“When he was 16, he took a summer job at a big market. His job was to put the over-ripe tomatoes in the bottom of the boxes and good ones on top.

“When Johnny went to college, he was approached by an upperclassman who offered him the answers to an English exam for $3. ‘It’s O.K., kid,’ he was told, ‘everybody does it.’ Johnny was caught and sent home in disgrace.

"‘How could you do this to your mother and me?’ his father asked. ‘You never learned anything like that at home!’

“If there’s one thing the adult world can’t stand, it’s a kid who cheats.” This “Dear Abby” letter was from Roy R., San Diego.

But that was 1975, you say, what does all that have to do with the behavior of some of our children today?

Surely, you may say, our children don’t believe anything is okay just because everybody does it. They don’t? Adults don’t either? Have some behaviors really changed since 1975? Is current thinking very much different than in 1975?


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.




Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Who Will Insulate Our Children?


“Insulate: 1. to add a material or substance to (something) in order to stop heat, electricity,
or sound from going into or out of it;
2. to keep (someone or something) separate from something unpleasant, dangerous, etc."
Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary



Have you ever thought about the advantages of insulation? Applying the #1 definition above to residential windows will show how accurate it is. Modern windows are designed with double-pane glass to better separate the inside from the outside weather. Therefore, heat of summer will less likely enter a room and more of winter’s cold will likely stay outside.

Thinking about this matter of insulation, I wondered about today’s children. Why can’t we apply the #2 definition above and insulate children against influences on their lives that directly defy the standards we want our children to live by?

Some are quick to criticize youngsters because they seem not to know right from wrong. Has all the violence without punishment or pain present in their entertainment clouded their senses until they don’t know real from imaginary? An apparent question, then, is why don’t the children realize what they’re doing; why don’t they know right from wrong?

Children need some insulation. Just as double-pane windows better ward off heat and cold, children need adequate protection between them and our world’s unwholesome pressures.



When Moses relayed the Ten Commandments to his people, he told them about the importance of those commandments: These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

And this promise follows, Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you (Deuteronomy 6:18). With God’s help let us equip our children with wisdom to always know right from wrong and the difference between reality and make-believe.

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.


Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Sweet Humor


"Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes.  It's unbridled, it's unplanned, it's full of surprises."
--Erma Bombeck
   

Last week, I wrote about our sense of humor and shared a clean joke with you about the cost of male and female brains. 


Please allow me to share one more clean joke with you this time. This joke is more of a chuckle instead of a belly laugh—it’s a sweet reminder that children do listen when we talk. Sometimes they put a different slant on what the speaker may have meant and that’s what makes this little story endearing to me. Here it is:

One early morning a dad and his young son were in
the pickup truck on their way to a fishing hole.

"Dad," the boy said, "look at that pretty sunrise."


"You're right, it sure is pretty," his dad said.


"And just think, Dad, God made it with His left hand."


"What do you mean?"


"Well, He had to make the sunrise with His left hand because Jesus is sitting on His right hand."


Along with humor, our children and grandchildren are a blessing, a gift from God.


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.


Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mankind's Greatest Blessing?


Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.” –Mark Twain


Much has been written about humankind’s sense of humor. For example, some think that a sense of humor prevents insanity, is necessary for a successful marriage, or is the pole that helps to balance your life.


The Bible mentions humor several times: Proverbs tell us a cheerful heart is like medicine, and Sarah laughed when she overheard the angel say she would have a child in her old age.

I enjoy a clean joke now and then, so I’ll test your sense of humor by giving you a funny one here. Gentlemen readers, please remember this is just a joke. Ladies, you'll probably like this one.



In the hospital where their family member lay gravely ill, the relatives gathered in the waiting room. Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and somber.


"I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news," he said, as he surveyed the worried faces. "The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It's an experimental procedure, semi-risky and you will have to pay for the brain yourselves."



The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a great length of time, someone asked, "Well, how much does a brain cost?"

The doctor quickly responded, $5,000 for a male brain, and $1,000 for a female brain."


The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile, avoiding eye contact with the women, but some actually smirked. A man, unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask, "Why is the male brain so much more?"


The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and so to the entire group said, "It's just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark down the price of the female brains, because they've been used!"


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.



Thanks for reading my blog! My recently released novella, Donna’s Detour, is included in a boxed set of 10 romantic novellas, and all take place on the historic U.S. Route 66, a two-lane highway that ran from Chicago to California's west coast. Available in eBook at Amazon.