Archive for the ‘Bible stories’ Category

WITH LOVE–Hamilton, Missouri

May 11, 2017

In about 2 weeks, I’m going “home” to Hamilton, Missouri. I grew up in this small town, where we rode horses bareback, never locked our doors, and left the keys in the car. (Yes, I do realize times have changed.) Both of these pictures were taken before my time. The train no longer chugs across Main Street, and I’m pretty sure the Penney store closed. Hamilton was the birthplace and hometown of J.C. Penney, who went to school with my grandfather. The Penney Farm was just up the gravel/dirt road from our house. I graduated from Penney High School. And on Saturday, May 27th, I’ll be speaking and reading and signing books at the public library, which is in the Penney Museum. That night I’m speaking at the Alumni banquet. I am so excited and so very grateful!

I’m hoping to post a few more old pictures and memories before Joe and I and Ellie and Cassie, our 6 and 8-year-old granddaughters, head for Hamilton. Stay tuned!

WARTIME COOKIE JAR

February 25, 2017

cookie-jar

This Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar sat on top of our refrigerator for as long as I can remember–longer, in fact, before I was born. I loved it, but only because every now and then, it would fill with wonderful cookies. It was a landmark day when I was able to reach it and pull out my own cookie, instead of standing on a chair to get one. But the old jar became much more than a cookie holder when I read one of Dad’s war/love letters to Mom: “Darling, you’ll never believe what the guys got us for our wedding gift.”

You guessed it. Dad’s war buddies bought Little Red Riding Hood. The gift meant so much to Dad that he carried it on his lap when he took the train to meet his bride-to-be on their wedding day. And they took it on their honeymoon. The cookie jar, minus cookies, has moved from the top of our fridge to the top of our war cabinet. Wouldn’t it be great if we all asked for the stories that go with family heirlooms? And we can pass along those stories to the next generation…and the next…and the next….

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

 

WWII MEDALS

January 26, 2017

wartime-medals-cropped

My parents had never mentioned their medals or what they did in World War II to merit medals. Yet when I delved into the trunk, I unearthed small blue boxes of medals, suggesting stories I hadn’t heard . . . yet.

I could guess what some of the medals represented. The black, red, and white medal that said “Germany” at the top had to be Dad’s. I knew he had joined a battlefield unit that pushed into Germany. I knew, as an Army doctor, he had set up a battalion aid unit in Germany toward the end of the fighting. But what about the medal with bars that read: Marksman, Carbine, Rifle, Submachine? Or the one with soldiers on front and a very large bird on the back? Was that my mother’s? I loved the medal that read: Freedom from Fear and Want, Freedom of Speech and Religion. And a Purple Heart. That one surprised me, though I had a good idea where it came from.

I knew I would never know the whole story of each medal, not until I’d read every letter in that Army trunk.

 

THE TALKING TRUNK

January 24, 2017

On my knees in front of the open trunk, I stared at the stacks and stacks of letters, most written while both of my parents served overseas A few of the letters had been penned from the States, as they waited in different staging areas of the country. I picked the nearest stack and carefully wriggled one letter from the boot strings. The envelope said it was from Lt. Helen Eberhart to Lt. Frank Daley. My hands shook as I lifted out the letter are began reading.

One sentence (“I miss you so much, my darling.”), and I had to return the letter to its envelop, into its stack, its home for over 70 years. I couldn’t hear those voices–not yet.

Fortunately, there were other treasures in that chest, discoveries that intrigued me, rather than sent me into tears. Each soldier had been given a Bible, and President Roosevelt sent a letter to each soldier. In case you don’t have “eagle eyes” (an expression Dad used frequently), here’s what it says on that Bible page:

THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON  To the Armed Forces:

As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel, and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest experiences of the human soul.

Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt

And yet, there were even more intriguing artifacts to discover in the old, but enduring Army trunk….

STORY

January 10, 2017

When I was a kid, my two favorite words were “‘Member when. . .?” The words came out soft as clouds and steeped in magic, words that could unlock the past and let me in. I was blessed to be born into a family of great storytellers. My mom, Helen Eberhart Daley, had 10 brothers and sisters, who married and gave me dozens of cousins. At our yearly reunion, those words, “‘Member when…?” sparked and fired around the dinner table, ushering in tales of ships crossing the ocean to America, of horse trading and working the land, of love and loss.

And of war. Five of Mom’s brothers fought in WWII, and so did she. That’s where Nurse Helen met the dashing Frank Daley, an Army doctor. I grew up on their true stories of war, sacrifice, and love. March 7th is the release of WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, A Novel based on their amazing true story. It’s a book I’ve been writing since childhood, when I steeped myself in their memories. My hope is that their story would honor them and others like them. I’ll be blogging about the stories behind the story. Hope you stay tuned!

I’m glad that while I could, I pestered my parents for “‘Member whens.” And now, my grandkids are pestering me.

PLEASE CHECK OUT:  www.withlovebook.dandibooks.com

 

Ellie-Nee book gig

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

September 26, 2016

DONKEY

My Christmas card is usually the first one in your mailbox. But I admit this greeting is early, even for me. My Christmas book this year doubles as an all-year message that God has big plans for little ones.

RULES OF SCHOOLS

September 2, 2016

Cassie Classic

It’s here. School. So I asked kids what rules reign at their schools:

“No crossing your eyes on purpose.”

“No pouting.”

“Don’t pick on kids who are bigger than you.”

“Thou shalt not suck on a marker…because the colors will come off on your teeth and everybody will know you did it. Plus, they don’t really taste than good.”

 

KIDS STILL SAY . . .

August 31, 2016

E in boxKid in a Box — a vain attempt to keep them from growing up

Here are some more insights from children I interviewed:

Me (to boys K-2nd): Who’s the boss at your house?

  • “My dad’s the boss of our house because my mom said so.”
  • “My mom is the boss of our house. She’s so good at it she’s even the boss of her work.”
  • “My dad really is the boss of our house . . . till Grandma comes over. Then he’s just one of us.”

Me (to girls K-2nd): What was your mom like when she was your age?

  • “I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be . . .pretty bossy.”
  • “They say she used to be nice!”

Me: Why do you think we even have mothers?

2nd-grade boy: “She’s the only one who knows where the Scotch tape is?”

 

WHAT ABOUT THE FISH?

August 27, 2016

When I teach creative writing workshops, I love to highlight POV (point of view). One exercise that almost always works is to break into groups of two or three and start an argument. After a few minutes, each person records that argument, complete with dialog, gestures, and thoughts from his or her point of view. The difference in those accounts is usually startling, especially if the passion is for real.

Jonah

Most of us know the story of Jonah and the big fish . . . from Jonah’s point of view. But what about that big fish? True, I had to imagine this part, but I wanted to look at things from a different angle. So…imagine a fish who’d long felt he’d been created to do one mighty deed. Yet now he’s old, and no deed has come. Then with a storm at sea, the Fish sees a man tossed overboard. I watched till I heard the Creator’s strange plan: “Your brave and bold deed is to swallow this man!” He obeys, but worries about the man in his belly…until Jonah prays and the Creator commands the Fish to spit the man onto the shore. He landed–kerplop!–and he tumbled a bit./Who knew my great deed would be SWALLOW AND SPIT?