Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE

August 3, 2018

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Believe it or not, this wedding-cake topper dates back to August 4, 1944, the anniversary of Helen and Frank Daley, my parents. Actually, the wedding dress should be an Army uniform too. I’ll be posting (and re-posting) a few pictures in August because my publisher has selected WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE for their August promotional, offering the e-book version for $2.99.

I’ve written a lot of books, and I’ve been grateful for each opportunity to tell or create stories. But in the back of my mind was this story of my parents’ experiences as Army doctor and nurse in WW2. For a couple of decades, I’d been writing down stories I grew up on, amazing stories full of details of the war and how my parents met in boot camp, married, then had nothing to keep them together but their letters, since they both served overseas in different countries. Until my dad died, I had no idea that they’d managed to keep every one of those 600+ letters. I inherited that treasure, packed inside an old Army trunk in the attic. Eventually, I was able to blend the letters, stories, and research into WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE.

 

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MEANWHILE, MISTY & I . . .

May 19, 2018

Misty tank

Meanwhile, Misty and I enjoyed every day together. As you can see, she kindly shared her water tank with me in the summer. Misty and I also swam in the pond down at the pasture, but this water trough didn’t have craw-daddies, which made it my favorite cooling-off spot.

In I Kings 4.26, it says that Solomon had 4,000 stalls for his chariot horses, and he had 12,000 horses. As for me, I was perfectly content with one, my Misty. And this is how my characters seem to feel about their horses too: Ellie in Backyard Horses; Sarah Coop (“Scoop”) in Horsefeathers! Jen in A Horse Named Bob; Dakota in Starlight Animal Rescue; Winnie in Winnie the Horse Gentler; and Young Winnie in Winnie: The Early Years.

 

BUTCH

May 11, 2018

Butch

While I continued to enjoy Misty, my “backyard horse” and bestest friend, my older sister, Maureen, began to dream of fancier horses. At first, she just wanted a “tall, skinny” horse. And eventually, Butch came into our lives, thanks to a previous owner, who seemed happy to give the gelding a new home for a token amount of money. Up to this point, every horse we’d encountered had been good-natured and bomb-proof. So we weren’t at all surprised when Butch unloaded at our house and backed down from the truck with no problem.

I had to admit Butch was a handsome horse. Not only that, but he seemed friendly and calm. He led easily to the barn, where he seemed to feel right at home. He didn’t bite or buck or rear. We could not wait to ride him.

And then Maureen rode him. I can still see my sister sitting tall in the saddle on a sunny afternoon, urging Butch to walk up our dirt road. Only Butch had his own ideas. He walked backward. And backward. Maureen stopped and started over. Butch walked backward. When urged on, he trotted backward.

That horse never walked forward–not one step, not with a rider on his back. We didn’t have Butch for long. In fact, I have to admit that this picture isn’t actually our Butch, though the resemblance is nearly perfect. Neither Maureen nor I could come up with a single picture of Butch. I suppose Maureen wasn’t in a picture-taking mood, and I was laughing too hard to take a good one.

I haven’t yet started writing the fourth book in the new series, Winnie the Horse Gentler: The Early Years. But I’m planning on giving Winnie a problem horse that only wants to go backward. Should be interesting to see how she handles the problem. . . .

BEST (HORSE) FRIEND EVER

May 8, 2018

My Misty (2)

Although Misty doesn’t look his best here, he was always his best. And he looks a lot better than this Dandi anyway, if you ask me. I remember the day Dad took this picture. I’d rushed home from school to see Misty. As usual, my friend met me at the fence and put his head in my lap for a snuggle and a good scratching. Later, I’m sure I brushed that mud from his winter coat and went for a ride, bareback. We likely stayed out until supper. We would have stayed out longer if it hadn’t been for that annoying activity called homework.

In the Winnie the Horse Gentler: The Early Years series, Winnie forms a deep friendship with a big ol’ plow horse named Chief. Winnie often climbs the top rung of the fence so Chief will join her and put his head in her lap for a snuggle and a good scratch. Sound familiar?

I hope I never took Misty for granted. I remember being grateful for the gift of Misty’s friendship. But I didn’t know then that all good gifts come from God. And it was only later that I came to understand friendship with God through Christ. I’m still thankful for Misty. And now I’m not only thankful, but I know the One I’m thanking. I know Who deserves my thanks.

SALE: WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE– $2.99 for 2 weeks, the e-book everywhere

February 1, 2018

with-love

This is the day I’ve been building up to in these posts. Thanks for sticking with me this far. For the 2 weeks of the sale, I’ll be posting more war photos and hoping you’re not tired of me. . . or of my parents’ story.

HAPPY (HORSEY) NEW YEAR!

January 1, 2018

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The pretty one in this photo is Angel, obviously. He was the first colt born to one of our mares, Rocket (not pictured). Angel did not like the big red bow we stuck on his forehead. Shortly after this photo was taken, our sweet “Angel” turned and bit me. Ah, memories…. But I learned a lot about horses as we grew together.

The first day of a New Year makes me think of God’s amazing forgiveness, a grace offered to us through Jesus Christ. We get a fresh start, a clean slate, something no one else can give us. I pray that 2018 will draw us closer to God, to family and friends. Resolutions–they can help or depress me. My amazing husband gives me a gift every year, something I’ve never heard any other person willing to do. He lets me give him 5 things I’d like him to change about himself. Can you believe that? He’s such a good guy that over the years, he’s stopped chewing gum (like a 12 year old) in my presence; refrained from shutting down my backseat driving; started cheering for Mizzou, the Cards, and the Chiefs. I hate to admit it, but I’m running out of resolutions for him.

Anyone feel like sharing New Year’s Resolutions, past or present??

MERRY CHRISTMAS #6

December 23, 2017

Santa

Santa. This is the real Santa, the one at Macy’s in Kansas City, Mo.–not the skinny Santas (elves in disguise, of course) who stood on sidewalk corners and rang bells. Can’t fool me. Can you tell that Little Dandi is inspecting that beard and mustache, getting ready to test Santa by asking intimate details about his reindeer? Meanwhile, Maureen, my trusting sister, shakes Santa’s hand and gives him a smile. I was probably asking for a horse for Christmas. My big sister undoubtedly was beseeching Santa to help the poor and bring about world peace.

Merry Christmas, one and all!

MERRY CHRISTMAS #5

December 21, 2017

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Tradition! I’ve been reading up on the history of wreathes, and most accounts credit the ancient Persians for using the wreathe as a symbol of wealth and success. Later, the Greeks placed wreathes on the heads of winners of the Olympic Games. And in ancient Rome, rulers like Caesar wore wreathes as crowns. So why do we hang these things at Christmas? I try not to get too caught up in the origin of our traditions because we can claim traditions for ourselves and use the symbols to take us deeper into the meaning of Christ’s birth. We can use an evergreen wreathe, long-lasting and circular, never-ending,  to tell our children about the everlasting life God’s promised us through Jesus.

In this photo, it looks like my sister and I are holding hymnals. So, what are some of your favorite Christmas hymns?

MERRY CHRISTMAS #4

December 19, 2017

Christmas2

I recognize several intriguing features of this Christmas card, assembled by my dad and undoubtedly sent out by my hardworking mom. The background is a chalkboard that resided on our kitchen wall my entire childhood (and adulthood). We left messages there, practiced arithmetic and math, drew stick figures, and did Christmas countdowns.

Before anyone points out the “X” replacing “Christ” in Christmas, I can assure you nothing was intended, except extra space. Besides, the early church combined the Greek letter “chi,” (pronounced Kye), the first letter in Christ, with the second letter to form a symbol for “Christ.” It looks like an X with a P on top of it.

The town shown is Hamilton, Missouri, where Dr. Frank and Nurse Helen Daley served around 50 years and where I grew up. Maureen and I as angels–well, that would take some fancy convincing (although my sis did come close).

MERRY CHRISTMAS#3

December 14, 2017

Christmas 5

Merry Christmas, once again! True, this is a pretty funny card, pasted together by my dad. But it makes me think about the way my multitude of Christmas memories bounce around in my mind. At the time, this was my family (minus Santa): Mom and Dad looking much as I picture them in their WW2 days, young and handsome; my sister, Maureen, urging me to be quiet; Sugar, our first and beloved horse; Susie, our Dalmatian dog (I think that’s Susie at Santa’s feet.); a hint of house and fireplace; and a book. I’m not sure how much I understood about the true meaning of Christ’s birth, but that would come. Merry Christmas!

I would love to hear about your favorite Christmas memories!