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, November 13, 2017

Thankful For What Didn't Happen

"Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining -- it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn't solve any problems."
--Zig Ziglar

I guess most people pause however briefly, and try to be thankful for their blessings around this time of year. Usually we include things we take for granted all year. But, have we ever stopped to be thankful for things that we don’t have; for things that didn’t happen?

I’m grateful that our community wasn’t devastated by a fierce tornado or hurricane this year. I’m glad no trees fell across the roof or through a window, and no power lines lay tangled in the yard.

I’m thankful that El Nino hasn’t yet lashed across our state with abnormal weather: raging fires that consume everything in their path; rolling waters that climb across shoelines, flooding homes and businesses; blizzard conditions that blanket a town and halt all activity. 

I’m glad my community didn’t have an outbreak of dreaded infection or contagious disease. I’m grateful that malnutrition and hunger didn’t bring pain to children’s faces in my community.

I’m thankful I didn’t spend time the past year as a hospital patient. I’m thankful I wasn’t in an accident that left me injured, with a long recovery time.


At the same I’m being thankful for having missed some bad events of the past year, I’m also thankful for the good things.

I’m thankful for the privileges I have because I live in America and for the responsibilities those privileges bring to me. I’m grateful for teachers, from pre-school through college, who teach because they love the student and want to help the student discover learning.

I’m thankful for my town’s police department and fire department that provide for the safety and well-being of our citizens. I’m grateful for every health care worker and medical professional in my area who remains dedicated to the health and welfare of their patients.

I’m thankful for all things electronic. They make my life easier and more interesting even though I can’t understand them.

I’m grateful for neighbors who care. I’m thankful for books to read, sunsets to enjoy, and grandchildren to love.

Most of all, as I count my blessings on Thanksgiving Day, I’m glad I have Someone to thank. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).


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 – Betty’s Blessing, a novella, book #2 in the California Bound series. (Book #1 in the series is Donna’s Detour.) Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here


Monday, October 30, 2017

False Faces


Please allow me to repeat this post from 2015


False Faces


"A grandmother pretends she doesn't know
who you are on Halloween."
--Erma Bombeck



When I was a youngster enjoying the treats of Halloween, most of our costumes were home-made. We didn’t have the difficult decision as to which store-bought gear we would dress up in on Halloween night. Supplies for costumes were scarce and, so, creativity suffered. Some were fortunate enough to have a spare sheet in the house which led to several ghosts floating around the neighborhood every year. 

But most of us would bundle up against the cold of a Tennessee October evening wearing our own clothes. In the tradition of the holiday, however, we felt it necessary to hide our faces. Thinking that the person who answered our knock at the door couldn’t tell who we were added to the excitement.

The extent of my Halloween costumes usually was just a covering for my face. In my childhood we called these “false faces.” What a highlight it was to go to the drugstore and select a false face for Halloween.

I wonder if grown-ups ever wear false faces. Surely not. Surely we see everyone as they honestly are, never any imitations. Do I ever deal with a false face instead of the real person before me?

Trustworthiness can only thrive in the absence of deception. There can be no honor in one’s word if there is dishonesty in that word.

From individuals to bureaucracies, integrity can pave the way toward principled morality. And if all relationships are bathed in such a freedom from deceit, honest dealings could result. Wouldn’t it be great to replace all fraud with uprightness? To swap suspicions for trust?

Let’s leave the costumes and face covering for the children to enjoy. Deception by adults only brings the need to deceive again and again to maintain the false face. It’s simpler to live in accord with what is right.

Let’s get out from behind those false faces! Let’s discard the adult false faces and walk in honesty with all persons.

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 – Betty’s Blessing, a novella, book #2 in the California Bound series. (Book #1 in the series is Donna’s Detour.) Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here




Monday, October 16, 2017

Is America Civilized?



"Always do right. This will gratify some people
and astonish the rest."
—Mark Twain

A Nevada parole board recently decided O.J. Simpson should be freed after the former NFL star apologized for his role in a 2007 armed robbery, said he'd been a model prisoner, and promised that he'd have no conflicts if released.

Back in the 1990s when Simpson was tried in a court of law and found not guilty for the murder of his wife, his trial seemed to be on TV continually. At that time I heard someone say, “How could he do such a brutal thing to the mother of his children?” My question remains now as it did then, “How could anybody do such a brutal thing to another person?”

Simpson’s trial in the 1990s highlighted America’s crime problems. But The People vs. Simpson trial only previewed the depth of our country’s daily carnage. It’s not The People vs. Anybody. It’s people vs. people.


The frequency of crime we’re seeing is a people-to-people thing: the kidnapping of a girl asleep with friends in her own bedroom; the killing of parents by their children; the drive-by shooting of innocent children walking in their neighborhoods.

There seems to be no feeling, no guilt, no conscience. Any justification to commit violence, even the taking of a life, seems to be all that’s needed to gain sympathy for the criminal.

History books describe America as a civilization. But do we behave civilized? Don’t civilized people show respect for one another? Aren’t civilized people courteous and polite? Doesn’t civilized society succeed for the common good?

Our country’s every-increasing crime rate dictates that we return to whatever worked better decades ago. Why don’t we try a return to traditional family values and respect for others? Why can’t we admit there really is a right and wrong? Why not practice more individual responsibility, moral integrity, brotherly love, and love for God?

May each of us do our part so our children and grandchildren will grow older in a more peaceful and loving world.

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 – Betty’s Blessing, a novella, book #2 in the California Bound series. (Book #1 in the series is Donna’s Detour.) Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here

Monday, October 2, 2017

Do You Know a PC?


What do the letters PC bring to mind? Personal computer? Or, maybe, politically correct?

Even though today’s technological terms flit through my mind when I hear PC, I can’t completely forget what those letters stood for a few decades ago: Privileged Character.

When we’d see a vehicle parked illegally, for the convenience of the driver, someone would inevitably say, “That car must belong to a PC.” This was uttered insincerely and uncomplimentary. Back then, unless you thought of yourself as arrogant and above others’ opinions, PC was not a title you worked hard to earn.

Do you know anybody you’d like to label a PC—a Privileged Character?

How about those people who park illegally in the handicapped parking spaces? Of course it’s aggravating to spot a parking place up close, only to get there and see the blue markings reserving the space for those who need it. But that’s one of the boundaries of life we happily adjust to.

And how about those people sitting in your numbered seat when you arrive a little late to an event? A Privileged Character? How dare they poach on your territory! You either have to risk a confrontation if the person insists on staying put, or hunt up an usher for assistance.


And how about those folks who park along the curb on a rainy day in front of the grocery store? I mean PARK—turn off the motor, get out, and go inside, leaving their car in the fire lane area. It’s almost impossible then to find empty curb space when it’s necessary to let anyone out of the car or pick them up. Those parked cars must belong to a PC—Privileged Character.

Nowadays, if I must think “personal computer” when I see PC, I don’t have to think for long because my computer knowledge is sadly lacking.

But the best politically correct label I’ve seen yet appeared in a “Family Circus” cartoon: The four children are watching TV when their mother brings a big bowl of popcorn into the room for them. The oldest child looks up and exclaims, “Oh, boy! MOMCORN!”

Aren’t word games fun?!

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 – Betty’s Blessing, a novella, book #2 in the California Bound series. (Book #1 in the series is Donna’s Detour.) Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here


Monday, September 18, 2017

Remote Control


Television is the most perfect democracy. You sit there with your remote control and vote.
Aaron Brown

Some years ago, I read a futuristic story (true or not?) about a buried, frozen society from the past. Explorers found the body of a man preserved in a sitting position with legs outstretched and both arms bent at the elbows in right angles. He faced straight ahead as if he had been in a trance when his life ended.

The fingers of his right hand were wrapped around a flat, rectangular object. The explorers couldn’t identify the hand-held object. Finally they decided it had been a form of life-sustaining equipment that the man never parted with.

The story drew no conclusions for the reader. But it’s obvious this body was that of an American of the 1990s, watching TV from a recliner. The object gripped in the right hand? A remote control, of course.


In a typical day, how many times does a remote control make your life a little easier? The TV comes to mind first. A misplaced TV remote control brings instant frustration. We fuss and fume, looking high and low for the remote. In our search, we use more time and effort than it would take to walk to the TV set, turn it on, and sit in our favorite chair.

Of course, remote control can also dictate movement of garage doors from the comfort of a car. I recall my first experience with a remotely controlled garage door. I’d walked through an opened garage, stood at the kitchen door, and pushed the doorbell.

Except what I thought to be the doorbell, was in fact the control for the garage door. Instantly, the garage door responded, starting its downward journey like a secret trap door. At first, I had no clue why the garage had kidnapped me.

Trying to put two and two together, I timidly pressed the same doorbell again. To my relief, the garage door limbered back up to rest where it had been when I entered the garage. I then knocked on the door, happy when no was home.

What dependence remote controls command! As nice as they are, will we allow remote controls to turn us all into some degree of an inactive couch potato? Have we already done so? Would a futuristic story depict the remote control as our life-support system?

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 4, 2017

Practice for War


"Courage is being scared to death—
and saddling up anyway."
—John Wayne

Along with war bonds, ration coupon books, and the first peacetime military draft, World War II brought dreaded air raid drills. In the early 1940s, air raid sirens pierced calm evenings with instant fear: Could this one be for real?

I’d watched my parents adapt to limitations the war thrust upon them. They bought less sugar, meat, butter, and gasoline, using priceless ration coupons to purchase such scarce items.

At the first note from warning sirens, the required black-out window shades were pulled down and all lights were turned off. We’d sit, unmoving and quiet, the sirens wailing like a singer going up and down on music scale.


The airplanes would rumble through the black sky, flying so low their noise closed the darkness tighter around us. They made crisscrossing passes over our town, their crews searching for telltale fingers of lights that might help potential enemies locate bombing targets.

Satisfied they had surveyed every inch of the area, the drone of the airplanes’ propellers would grow faint as they returned to base. Even after they flew beyond earshot, we endured more agonizing time in the dark, waiting for the all-clear short siren blasts before trying to recapture our evening as it had been.

Those air raid drills produced a claustrophobia that manifested itself when denied light. Even now I remain immobile whenever power outages hurl me into darkness.

But, just as fire tempers steel, living with World War II’s limitations helped to fine-tune character. Experiencing the war’s scares, sacrifices, and interruptions taught us about commitment, sincerity, and honesty—valuable lessons for any generation.

Some think another war looms on the horizon in light of the obvious threats from North Korea’s leader. If so, in this nuclear age we probably wouldn’t have to endure air raid practice drills—there wouldn’t be enough time for that. Obliteration would come rapidly, denying the learning of any life lessons.

P.S. Now you know why I’m uncomfortable in the dark! 

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 when you sign 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, August 21, 2017

Do You Fear the Dark?


And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament…And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night…and God saw that it was good."
--Genesis 1:14, 16 (KJV)

Where or how did you watch the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017?

I usually don’t assume anything, but I think I’m safe to assume that you did watch the eclipse from some source, if not the actual event. Reports anticipated a record number would witness the eclipse because of our present technology—TV, computer, tablet, cell phone.


This year’s total eclipse hasn’t occurred over our continent for about 99 years, and won’t do so again for about another 100 years. The eclipse occurs when the moon travels between the earth and the sun. It’s a phenomenon involving the two great lights God made as recorded in the Scripture cited above.

Did the total eclipse cause your area to become dark at mid-day?

In my childhood I was afraid of the dark. I remember as a young child how grateful I was for the glow of one small light bulb to dispell the darkness around me. Even now, I’m uncomfortable in total darkness—two table lamps burn in my home 24/7.

From experience I know that even the light from a tiny birthday candle makes a difference in a dark room. Any light makes its most profound effect in total darkness.

I would probably not be comfortable living in Alaska where I hear the nights are much longer than I'm used to. I’ll be content to stay in my present location where total mid-day darkness only occurs about every 100 years. 

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.