The Big Four Bridge and Hillbilly Tea!

The last Thursday of June followed huge thunderstorms rolling through our area, dumping several inches of rain on the Bluegrass. Along with a hefty helping of lightning. I got up this morning and checked our yard for fallen trees. Always glad to see them still standing.

I hope your summer is a grand one, filled with happy memories. I’ve walked across the Ohio River on the Big Four Bridge, with my youngest son, Todd. Once a railroad bridge, it’s now refurbished as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge. It adorns the new Riverfront Park in downtown Louisville. It’s free and lots of fun. Good exercise, too. I applaud Metro Louisville for their efforts.

We visited a restaurant downtown called Hillbilly Tea, located in an old warehouse. They serve some fantastic teas, and something called bamboo ash biscuits. If you can get past the gray color of the biscuit, I think you’ll enjoy the taste.

A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed a favorite author, Fay Lamb, regarding her new release, Stalking Willow. I gave away a print copy of her book to Debbie Malone, then a couple of weeks later, Linda Hillenbrand won the ebook copy. I love giving things away, especially since I enjoyed this book so much. By the way––you can read my review of Stalking Willow here.

I hope your summer is measuring out fun for you. If not, maybe you need to go out and find it. Take some time off or spend a Saturday out roaming around. Visit places of interest, historical sites, or museums. Walk along a riverbank in the quiet of the afternoon, or relax by the pool. Spend time with your family and take lots of pictures. Remember to relax and enjoy life a little. Sunshine seems to make everything better.

Thanks for stopping by and if I don’t see you before then, Happy 4th of July!

Work Less Summer

It’s been a different kind of summer for us. My husband lost his job when the company closed. He’s been off since January. In April, our youngest son moved home to look for work. Then middle son announced he was changing jobs. All three of them were job-hunting at the same time.

Yes, I was tempted to worry. But I had an inner assurance. I kept my mind focused on the outcome. I’ll admit, it took longer than I’d hoped. Now, six months into the year, middle son found a job. My youngest just got the news he’d been hired. And my husband has two really good possibilities. Things are happening quickly, and all at once.

I was thinking about being on your own with no job. We had a lot of friends and connections who played roles in our job hunt. But what if you were down and out in a new town, with few skills and no prospects? That was the situation I was working through in my latest story. Two widows are trying to make a fresh start in a small southern town in the mid ’50’s.

Times were hard, but they had friends and family helping them out. They had church friends who dropped everything and came to their aid when they needed some work done on their house. Friends who put together enough staple food items to get them through the winter.

Though their basic needs are met, their struggles are not over. It’d be a pretty dull story without some juicy gossip and a good dose of prejudice. Not to mention, a bigoted lawyer and a run-in with the local “K.”

There’s nothing so compelling as a lifelike story and I’ve definitely been able to pull on my personal experience to tell this one. I’m so glad you stopped by today. I’m planning some special guest posts in July. Four really talented young readers and writers are set to share their thoughts. And I’m looking forward to a spectacular end to my summer! How about you?

Thanks for reading,

The Things We Remember Most

My dad was a funny guy. He was the youngest child of four and his father died when he was only two, so he got away with a lot of stuff. Sometimes he would get this mischievous look in his eye and I’d know he had something up his sleeve. I especially loved to watch him interact with his sisters, when he’d tease them or startle them with a silly noise. They’d laugh and often launch into a quick dance. Yes, a dance––usually swing steps.

Dad’s been gone for nearly seven years, but I still see him occasionally, in the smiles and antics of my sons as they carry on the humor and mischief. They’re fully grown and two of them are dads now. I know for certain they cut up with their kids. Sometimes becoming a kid themselves for a brief moment, enjoying the luxury of a full-on belly laugh or just a knowing smile.

My husband was only twelve when he lost his father. He didn’t really know how to be a dad, but some things just come natural. He put forth his best effort and as all dads do, he has a few regrets about those years. He often wishes he’d spent more time with them or hadn’t taken everything so seriously. We’ve got three fine sons these days. All of them living good lives and serving God. No complaints here.

This Father’s Day, we plan to spend time together. I’m sure there’ll be those moments of reminiscing. One thing I know, there will be laughter. If you have a father in your life to celebrate, do it. Celebrate the good things, the shining moments, the best times. Those are the ones worth remembering. All the other stuff, well, you can set them out at the curb and let the trash pick them up. Time is precious––life is precious––don’t waste it on regrets.

There’s still time to drop me a note if you’re interested in a free ebook. Fay Lamb is giving away a copy of Stalking Willow. If you read romantic suspense, you’ll love this one. And it could be free! Comment here or find me on Facebook.
As always, thanks for reading!

What Lies Ahead

What lies ahead? This question can be taken several ways.
(1) What lies ahead? Beware of liars. Lies can cause you pain.
(2) What lies ahead? Is that a tree in the road? Or a crocodile? Will the road I travel be worry-free? Or fraught with troubles?
(3) What lies, a head? Okay, that’s stretching it. Kind of like, “What you got on, your mind?”

What lies ahead for me is a little difficult to see right now. But with preparation and planning, my future will seem less of an obstacle. Light shining in the darkness dispels fear. Well, unless it shines on a big, hairy monster under my bed. But if it’s a big, blue hairy monster with a crooked grin…not so scary (Disney’s Monsters, Inc. for those of you not Disney savvy).

I’m trying to turn my scary future into a big, blue monster with a crooked grin. Something cuter and more cuddly than the looming unknown I see now. Thus the charts and graphs in my life. The timetables and calendars. I’m trying to gain control of a seemingly uncontrollable entity––time.

And then, there’s the other factor. Salability (is that a word?). Am I salable? Yep, it’s a word, looked it up. The real question is, “Can I produce work that will sell?” Well, I’ve already done that, to a degree. My books continue to seep out on the internet. I continue to receive funds in various accounts. Small, seemingly insignificant amounts, but there. I want to do more, so I have to make a push for something bigger and better.

So, what lies ahead for me? One of my favorite scriptures comes from Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

The context of these scriptures is this: God is speaking through Jeremiah about Israel’s return from captivity. Their future is bright; if they will follow His commands and seek Him with all their hearts.

Here, in this place, nearly halfway through 2013, I’m endeavoring to follow God’s commands and search out His road to my future. I’m writing down my vision, for without a vision, I can’t accomplish what I’m setting out to do.

I hope you’ll be encouraged by my ramblings, and plan your future also. Running willy-nilly towards the future is like cringing in the dark, afraid of monsters. Make a plan and stick to it. Accomplish your dreams.

As always, thanks for reading!

Contest winner!

May’s book give away winner is: Deborah Malone. You have won a copy of Fay Lamb’s Stalking Willow.

Thanks, all of you who took the time to enter my contest. I hope you will look for and find Fay’s books online. They are well worth the price of a download or purchase.

Expiration Date: June 15, 2013
It’s Not Over! This contest hasn’t ended. Until June 15th, you can still enter to win! Fay is giving away the Ebook Stalking Willow. Please leave a comment here and let me know if you want the Ebook!