WITH LOVE, . . . Whatever I Was

June 20, 2017

Nurse Dandi

I just ran across this photo yesterday. (And I probably should have kept running.) It’s funny because last week Joe (my wonderful husband) asked me if I ever wanted to be a nurse or doctor like my parents. I said no. I always wanted to be a horse trainer or a writer. And yet, here I am, nursing a bandaged doll. But I didn’t play with dolls. I preferred plastic horses. My big sister, Maureen, wanted to be a nurse from the moment she was born . . . until her biology class had to pith a frog. She loved to play hospital with her dolls. So I’m guessing she made me do it.

WHEREVER YOU ARE…WAITING

June 15, 2017

Just HelenAll that I know about this picture is that it’s my mother, Helen Eberhart Daley, Lieutenant and nurse, serving in France toward the end of WW2. But it’s the kind of photo that creates a scene, a story, in my mind. I imagine her staring out to sea, maybe from Marseilles, taking a rare break from the hospital, hoping to glimpse a ship that could take her home. Or, maybe she’s looking for Frank, hoping he received her code letter telling him where she was, where they could meet. What do you guys imagine?

Check out: http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMpbNFs687A

 

WITH LOVE . . . TO MY SISTER

June 12, 2017

Maureen and Dandi

The cute blonde is my sister–my older sister by 3 years–Maureen Mae Daley (now Pento). Growing up in our little town of Hamilton, MO, I think we were best friends. We rode our horses bareback, swam in the pond, played with our dogs, cats, ducks, birds. We built forts in the summer and igloos and snowmen in the winter. At night, we slept in our bunk beds and whispered in the dark. When we both got the measles at the same time, we shared glorious days missing school and reading books and comic books together.

Maureen is still my best friend. She’s been more exited about WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE than I have, and she’s done more marketing and publicity too. If you’ve read the book, you have an idea where Maureen got her name. Everybody loves Maureen, especially her sister.

WITH LOVE, CAPTAIN DALEY

June 8, 2017

Captain Promotion

You are now looking at a “RESTRICTED” special order from WW2. If you’ve read WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, this 72-year old piece of paper may make sense. F.R. Daley, MD, and his fellow doctors entered the war as First Lieutenants, with the promise of a very swift promotion to Captain. Thanks to a certain American Colonel’s negligence, or animosity, Lt. Daley and friends missed the promotion deadline, and promotions were frozen as soon as they arrived in Europe. Frank didn’t crave the elevated honor of becoming a captain, but he did crave the increased captain’s pay.

Anyone remember that Colonel’s name?

http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

 

BOOK SALE–BACKYARD HORSES

June 5, 2017

Horse Dreams

Every now and then, my publisher puts a book on sale for a few days or a month. I love that! But I confess I dropped the ball on this one, since we’re already into June. (How did that happen?) For the month of June, wherever they sell books, the first e-book in BACKYARD HORSES,  a series of juvenile novels, is $1.99 (which always sounds better than $2). It’s set in Hamilton, MO, where I grew up, where I rode our “backyard horses,” un-fancy horses boarded in our backyard or a near pasture–definitely not in a fancy stable.

DAD & DANDI

May 31, 2017
Dad and Dandi


Hamilton, Missouri

Since my last blog featured Mom (Helen) and my big sister, Maureen, I decided to share these photos of Dad (Frank) and me, taken in the home where I grew up, the first and last house my parents owned. I loved growing up in a small town (population 1,701, before the shoe factory closed).

If you’ve read With Love, Wherever You Are, you know from the letters he wrote that Frank was a very good writer. Being a doctor, however, did get in the way of becoming an author. Still, the American Medical Association kept electing him secretary because they loved to read his witty versions of their boring meetings. Once, he had a cartoon in Reader’s Digest. And during a time before the Vietnam war became unpopular, he wrote an anti-war editorial for the Kansas City Star. I can still remember defending my dad’s stance when I went to school the day after the article came out, although none of us had a clue about Vietnam or war.

May 26, 2017

sillouettes

If all goes as expected, I should be arriving in Hamilton tonight, after a 2-day drive with Joe and Ellie and Cassie, ages 6 and 9. Then tomorrow we’ll all be at the public library/J.C. Penney Museum for two talks/readings/book signings. At 10, I get to talk mainly to kids. At 11, I’ll talk about the stories and letters behind WITH LOVE WHEREVER YOU ARE.

My roots are deep in Hamilton, and this picture is of my family. Dad was the family photographer, but Mom created these silhouettes. I remember sitting behind a sheet while lights and camera clicked on the other side of the sheet. In case you can’t guess, Mom and Dad are on top. Then Maureen (left) and Dandi. And last, Susie, our Dalmatian. Apparently, my first word was “Susie.”sillouettes (2)

I tried to lighten the silhouettes, but I’m not sure if these are better or worse. So, I’m including both. Sorry!

MOM & MAUREEN

May 23, 2017

Maureen and Mom (3)

Helen Eberhart Daley and Maureen Mae Daley

If you’ve read With Love, Wherever You Are, you might remember what Nurse Helen wanted to name their first baby. Things didn’t work out as planned. But after sadness and struggles, came Maureen, born in Washington D.C. She might not have come safely into the world if her dad, Dr. Frank Daley, hadn’t read recent articles about Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian-American, who had won a Nobel prize in 1930 for discovering that all human blood wasn’t the same. He saw that humans have “types” of blood, which he categorized as A, B, and C (later called O). In 1940, Landsteiner discovered another property of blood, a blood factor antigen, known as Rh factor. Soon, married couples had to take blood tests. And if an RH negative mother-to-be had an RH positive husband, pregnancy meant danger for baby and mother.

That was the dilemma Frank and Helen Daley faced soon after their return from the war. Frank researched until he found a doctor who would agree to treat Helen with a new (and not approved) immunization to offset the RH factor. And Baby Maureen Daley was born, though not without incident. The birth was hard, and Helen only glimpsed her baby before the nurse took her away. But Helen, still a nurse herself, had seen enough to know her daughter was a “blue baby,” lacking needed oxygen. She waited and waited. Finally, a nurse stood by her bed and said, “I’m so sorry to tell you that Baby Maureen Daley didn’t make it.” They nurse left Helen in tears. Then a different nurse came in, carrying a baby girl. This was Helen’s Baby Maureen Daley. The woman across the hall, named “Mrs. Daily,” had named her stillborn baby Maureen.

If you know my sister, Maureen Daley Pento, you understand what a gift she was and is.

THE BRIDE AND GROOM

May 18, 2017

wedding-photo

Lt. Helen Marie Eberhart, Army nurse, and Lt. Frank R. Daley, M.D., fell in love in wartime, during Army training. After a whirlwind romance, they got married in Chicago (waiting in line for their turn at the altar, as other couples marched down the aisle before them).  A couple of weeks later, they were sent overseas to the front–and to different countries. It’s a miracle that their marriage held together during war, separations, and eventually 52 years of life and love.

As I wrote their story, WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, this is the photo that hung on the wall in my office, directly in front of me.

If you haven’t watched the trailer and the video clip yet, here are the links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJL59-UsAyo&t=1s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMpbNFs687A

MY HAMILTON HOME–Wherever we are..

May 16, 2017

Soon I’ll be back in Hamilton, Missouri, where I grew up. If you’ve read WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you know that Frank (my dad) grew up in Hamilton too. After WW2 ended, Frank and Helen (my mom) had big plans to set up a practice out East. They liked the Washington D.C. area and Arlington, where they were finishing their stint as Army doctor and Army nurse. Frank dreamed of starting his own practice in Florida, close to a beach and good tennis courts. Helen wasn’t a fan of the heat, but she wanted to live in a big city.

They ended up in Hamilton, Missouri, a small town with no beach, no tennis court, and no city, unless you drove an hour south to Kansas City. Dr. Frank Daley took over the practice of his dad, Dr. Daley, “temporarily,” when Pete had a heart attack. Helen and Frank never left. They built their first house–that’s it in the bottom left picture, with the oil drum in view. A few years later, they’d saved enough money to build onto the house. I think you can figure out the stages in the pictures from over the years, as they saved, then added on. My husband, Joe, and I adopted the same policy and only built onto our house when we’d saved the money to do it. I guess this is only one of the many things learned in Hamilton.

http://www.dandibooks.com