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, 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.








Monday, December 12, 2016

Love or Paper Work?


What the world really needs
is more love and less paper work.”
–Pearl Bailey, American entertainer (1918-1990)


When I discovered the quotation above, my first thought was, Wish I had said that!

The words above of Ms. Bailey are so true. Even in our age of all things electronic, everyone hasn’t yet gone totally digital.

I find a prime example of that fact every time I go to a doctor. The first thing to happen after I sign in for a doctor’s appointment is: someone hands me a clipboard containing a sheaf of paper and says, “Please fill out these forms, front and back, and sign where I’ve marked with an X.”

I haven’t moved for twenty years and have no plans to do so. My telephone number is the original one we got when we moved here. My medical history hasn’t changed. But it’s useless to tell the person that all my information is the same. When I try to do that, they give me a blank look and say, “We’re updating our records.”



What a chore to fill out those papers! No wonder the doctor’s office tells you to come fifteen minutes early for your appointment.

However, at one doctor’s appointment this year, I had a unique experience with the doctor’s forms. Instead of the usual clipboard, they handed me a bulky, bright orange tablet-looking, touch-screen thing and briefly instructed me how to update my information on it. Thank goodness, I had some computer knowledge, so doing this was fairly simple for me.

When I had arrived at the doctor’s office, I noticed a lady leaning over her knees where one of these orange contraptions lay. When I sat with my orange up-date machine, I looked across the waiting room and saw that the lady I’d seen earlier was indeed using another tablet like the one they’d handed to me.

Oh, was she laboring with her task! Apparently, she had no conception of such an electronic thing. She intently went about the business of tapping the screen to log in her information. She didn’t appear frustrated or angry with what she’d been asked to do. I had to admire her for her apparent determination.

I finished my up-dating and carried the tablet to the front desk. Whether with pen and paper or an orange tablet, I had once again up-dated my information that hadn’t changed. Yes, too much paper work!

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



My latest novel is out –Tidewater Summer! I'm having a GIVEAWAY of three paperback copies of the book on Goodreads. You can enter the giveaway here or on my website through December 15, 2016.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Do You Prefer Reality or Dreams?


To know things as they are is better than
to believe things as they seem.”
—Tom Wicker, American journalist (1926-2011)

I'd like to break down the above quotation with some definitions. Things as they are would be reality. Things as they seem would be a dream. 

So, with the above definitions, the quotation would read: To know reality is better than to believe a dream. 

Who hasn’t at some point in life wished they could swap unkind reality for a dream? Sometimes life is just not lovable and on those days we’d like to go back to bed and get up when things had improved. But we can’t turn back the clock or stop time.

Facing reality is how we learn so many life lessons. Dreaming of things as we would wish them to be can only last so long.Sooner or later we must pack away our dreams and face what’s real: people will disappoint us, grandparents will die, and experiences will teach us to learn the hard way. 

I knew a dreamer. From all outward appearances, this person never took life seriously but, instead, always looked forward as if life would have a happily-ever-after ending. Measured by our world’s standards, this person never achieved success, never amounted to much. But on the happy scale, this person ranked at the top—always had a positive outlook, trusted everyone, and was okay with his lot in life.



Now, who’s better off—this dreamer or the person who never dreams, never focuses on anything but harsh reality? The answer to that question would be like comparing two characters in Winnie the Pooh: Eeyore who is a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, old gray stuffed donkey; and Tigger who is cheerful, outgoing, competitive in a friendly way, and has complete confidence in himself.

To smooth out the bumps in the road, we all would probably benefit from having a workable mixture of reality and dreams. But, then, there are some days when we must choose reality over dreams in order to survive—we must face what life is.

I try to gain encouragement for those days of reality from this Scripture verse: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV).


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.