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.

ADD_THIS

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.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Can Life Be Easier?


Life is easier to take than you’d think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without
the indispensable and bear the intolerable.” 
–Kathleen Norris, American author (1880-1960)

Most of us on any given day would probably want life to be easier. Easier to cope with the frustrations that seem inevitable, easier to battle the innumerable delays to our plans, easier to absorb disappointments and get up again to start another day.

In the above quotation are three biggies that Ms. Norris mentions as a way to make life easier. Let’s look at each of them.

Accept the impossible. If something is truly impossible, it would seem natural that an impossibility would not even exist and, therefore, we wouldn’t have to accept it.

Do without the indispensable. By definition, indispensable means “extremely important and necessary” (Merriam-Webster dictionary). We cannot survive without some of those extremely necessary things in our life: eating, breathing, and sleeping.

Bear the intolerable. Of course, if something is intolerable we cannot bear it—we wouldn’t survive living at the North Pole without suitable clothing, and we couldn’t live in the desert without water.


In life, we sometimes feel frustration, failure, disappointment, anger, defeat. My high school principal told the senior class: "When you feel like you've come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

So, in my opinion, what Ms. Norris means in the above quotation is that if we could accept the impossible, could do without the indispensable, and could bear the intolerable, yes, life would be easier. Of course it would! But we can’t do those things, and life won’t get easier.

There's a solution that would help life to be better—not easier, but better. We can react to the impossible, the indispensable and the intolerable with a loving attitude and our days can improve. If we believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will dwell within us. Then, guess what the fruit of the Holy Spirit does? The Holy Spirit will produce in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). 

Notice that the first three things we can have through the Holy Spirit are love, joy, and peace—necessary things to possess when facing life with all its ups and downs. All these attributes—gifts from God—mentioned above in the Bible verse will enable us to better meet the unfavorable things of life.

How can you have the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Find a Bible, read John 3:16, and become a whosoever. Believe and obey God and He will give you love, joy, peace… They are His gift to us. But, as with any gift, we have to reach out and accept it.

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, October 31, 2016

Do Women Really Talk More Than Men?



“Talking comes by nature, silence by wisdom.”
—Author Unknown

Yes, it does—talking does come by nature. Do you remember the excitement you experienced when your children said their first words? And more excitement when they began to string those words into sentences!

Then some days when their toothless smiles have turned into what we say in the south—they’re talking up a blue streak—and you may wonder that those peaceful days of relative silence have disappeared.

According to The Daily Mail online, February 20, 2013, research claims that women speak 20,000 words a day—some 13,000 more than the average man. Research also shows that girls learn to speak earlier and more quickly than boys.

So, ladies, research and our development shows that we really didn’t have much say-so about our gender being the talkative one. Therefore, should we give our significant others a little slack, instead of complaining that they won’t talk and share with us as much as we want?

But the second part of the quotation above—that silence comes by wisdom—is the significant part of that statement. I can attest to that. An incident from many years ago when I spoke my mind too quickly still bothers me. Words can so easily slip past our lips before we think. Once we speak our words, they’re out there forever; we cannot retrieve them or wish them away.

But the incident I mentioned above gave me some measure of wisdom for the future. Wisdom to weigh my words and opinions carefully before sharing them. Yes, silence is golden, and sometimes we truly should be seen and not heard, even as adults.

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 below is a bit about the book. On my website, you can read the beginning of the book.

Will Rose find the solitude she seeks during her island summer or is solitude what she really wants? 

A compelling story of one woman’s pursuit of restoration from physical abuse at the hands of her fiancĂ©. Rose Marie Henley’s Great-Aunt Clara convinces Rose to spend the summer at her South Carolina beach house. 

Aunt Clara’s handyman sends his nephew to repair Rose’s water heater. A year ago, Rose would have been excited to see his over-the-top handsome nephew, Frank Sutton. But now she doesn’t want any man in her life again. 

Frank has an instant attraction to Rose. Can he break through her defenses? He’ll do anything to protect her, but will she open her heart to trust him? 

Monday, October 17, 2016

First a Dream


As you dream, so shall you become. The greatest achievement was at first and for a time, a dream.
–From As A Man Thinketh by James Allen, British philosophical writer, 1864-1912 


Thank goodness for dreams. Where would we be without them?

I can imagine the Wright Brothers’ parents and teachers were concerned because the boys perhaps daydreamed instead of doing homework and chores. Probably not many believed the boys would accomplish such lofty dreams. Who back then would have imagined we’d be flying nonstop across oceans just because the first airplane started as a dream?

First air flight by the Wright Brothers

Maybe Thomas Edison dreamed of having sufficient lighting by which to do his tasks. Then he put his dreams to the trial-and-error tests of invention. Because of Edison’s dream, we can now illuminate 100,000-seat arenas at night, using them as if it were the middle of the day.

Moving a dream from the stage of being a dream, over into reality, requires decision-making. Making the decision to be willing to pay the price. Have you ever wondered what a dream costs? But, you might say, dreams are free, aren’t they? It doesn’t cost anything to dream.

Correct, but what’s the cost of a “dream come true?” Perhaps one price the Wright Brothers paid for their dream was the scoffing and ridicule from those unbelievers around them. 

Dreams come in all sizes and in all areas of our life. Sometimes we go after dreams we shouldn’t. And sometimes we turn loose of worthwhile dreams. We can realize some dreams easily, others are more difficult to reach. The price of my dream is not the price of your dream, and vice versa.

We’ve all probably had dreams for ourselves, our family, our community, our world. Have you ever realized a dream? Have you ever had a dream die?

Dreams are hopeful things. They challenge us and keep us growing. 

Carl Sandburg said, “Nothing happens unless first a dream.”

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, October 3, 2016

Change in Schedule


Two years ago this month, I started Lifelines blog and enjoy spending time with you. Beginning this month, instead of posting here each week I'll post less frequently, hopefully twice a month.

Those of you who are subscribed to this blog by email will still receive future blog posts in your inbox. I hope you will continue to read my posts, although they will not appear weekly. Thank you for your loyalty and understanding!

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, 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.

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. When you do, 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 each month 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, 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.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Zika, Anyone?


 “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.
Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or
predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
–William Faulkner


The 2016 Olympics Summer Games began this past weekend in Brazil where the best of the best will compete athletically. 



Will you watch them on TV? Would you want your child or other loved one competing in that location? Newscasters and papers continue to tell us of increasing incidences of the Zika virus.

I saw this recently in The DailyMail.com: “Could rampant Zika virus that causes deformed babies stop the Olympics? Rio faces crisis as female spectators and athletes are warned not to go.“Rio’s Olympics are on the verge of disaster as fear grows over the Zika, which has left more than 4,000 newborns with shrunken heads.


“Female spectators and even athletes of childbearing age are being warned by countries and medical professionals around the world to reconsider their plans to travel to Brazil for fear of what could happen to their unborn children after the country was overrun by the mosquito-borne disease.”


But as the adage goes, “The show must go on.” Or, in this case, the games must go on. I admire the athletes from America and other countries who qualify to compete in the Olympics. To reach that goal, they’re all profoundly dedicated and determined. However, I wonder about the wisdom of holding the games in Brazil this summer in the face of even medical personnel advice not to do so.


This year’s Olympics will be subjecting the participants to potential tragedy by bringing them into the current environment in Rio. Athletic competition has become paramount, from pre-school through professional sports. I’m not opposed to athletic endeavors and have enjoyed watching my share over the years.


But when we put athletes in harm’s way, be it from bodily injury or the Zika virus, we’re dismissing reasonable thought. I can only hope and pray for any athlete that faces potential and unnecessary damage anywhere.

 
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 is titled Donna’s Detour. The story is set in 1956 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 1, 2016

What's Your Inside Age?


"We are always the same age inside."
–Gertrude Stein, American novelist, 1874-1946

I’ve heard many people say age is relative, that you’re as old as you feel. Do you agree with that? Some folks have said about others that they’re old before their time.


When I look at pictures from history, it’s obvious the lifestyle forced upon many did age them early. Those living before adequate or knowledgeable health care were available aged, grew infirm, and had a shorter life span than we do today.

In high school, when my daddy turned forty, I thought he was an old man. Now, age forty looks very attractive to me. Most thing are indeed relative. The perspective from the other side of forty is different than through my eyes as a teenager.

Sophia Loren, Italian film actress and Oscar winner talked with People magazine in their April 4, 2016 issue. On the topic of age, she said, “When you are 20 years old, you don't think that you will turn 80, but when you do, you still can't believe it." She went on to say she still feels like she’s that 20-year-old.

As a young person, I don’t remember ever thinking of myself as growing old. I don’t think my thoughts ever went too far into the future. Of course, I did my high school homework to prepare for tomorrow. I studied for upcoming exams in college. But I didn’t plot or plan for the future.


Then along comes marriage and children and you look into the mirror and suddenly wonder where that carefree person is. You begin to think of others more than of yourself, and you’re concerned for their welfare. Your priorities change and your focus shifts to less selfish pursuits.


Even now, I still don’t look too far ahead. I’ve heard folks say, “It is what it is.” So true. I try not to be concerned about things I can’t change. Sometimes it most certainly is not easy, but I try. I remind myself that if I don’t have a responsibility in a situation, then it’s none of my business. That’s sometimes not easy as well.


A wise move would be to learn, like the apostle Paul, to be content in our circumstances. (Philippians 4:11) We all experience aging. We can choose to accept our age—both outside and inside—and cherish the days we have been given.


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 is titled Donna’s Detour. The story is set in 1956 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, July 25, 2016

Do You Have a Bad Habit?


Anything done twice becomes easier to do.” –Unknown 

When someone mentions the word “habit,” do you automatically think bad habit? Many times we remember people by their habits. It’s a shame these memories sometimes rest on negative implications.


Scientific studies show it takes twenty-one days to establish a habit, whether it’s good or bad. So, since a bad habit and a good habit require the same amount of time to set up, why not put that effort toward something good instead of the opposite?


We all probably have at least one bad habit if we’d admit it. But do we think that habit is bad enough to break or to exchange for a good one? Maybe bad habits are like beauty—deemed so in the eye of the beholder, not in the mind of the person with the habit.


Our habits flavor our daily behavior and sometimes speak volumes about us. We’re often known by our habits. Is there possibly some bad behavior we could exchange for good behavior? After all, we could have a good habit going in just three weeks.


How about replacing impatience with patience? How about swapping hate for love? And what about more kindness instead of violence? A smile instead of a frown?

And we could do without anger and dishonesty and gossip and greed and jealousy and pessimism and pride and rebellion and revenge and worry. The list could to one and one.


But this isn’t a perfect world. We all sometimes display undesirable habits and behavior. But just think of what redirecting our efforts could accomplish if we tried to make a more positive impact on our own life and on those around us.


We can form good habits or bad habits. It’s our choice. 


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 is titled Donna’s Detour. The story is set in 1956 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.