Archive for the ‘Hamilton, Missouri, memories’ Category

A Sale–WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE

August 30, 2018

Sale

Since my publisher, Tyndale House, selected WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE as their August promotional, I’ve been posting about this novel, the story of my parents, who served overseas in WW2 as Army Dr. and Army nurse. They met in training, fell in love, and married after a couple of weeks. For the remainder of the war, with Mom in England, then France and Dad ending up in a mobile unit pushing into Germany, they wrote each other 2-3 times a day. Those letters (over 600 of them preserved in an Army trunk, unknown to me), along with their stories, formed the basis for my novel. Tomorrow is the last day of the promo, the last chance to get the e-book of WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, for $2.99. Sept. 1, the price goes back to $9.99.

Thanks for reminiscing with me!

 

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SOLDIERS–WITH LOVE, WHEREVER THEY WERE

August 14, 2018

Helen and Frank – with heavy loads

Life got rougher once my mom (Helen) and my dad (Frank) reached their first overseas assignments–Helen starting in Liverpool in England; Frank through England to France in the beginning. They joined other nurses and doctors and soldiers in guarded hospitals, bombed-out factories-turned-hospitals, and battlefield tent-surgeries, but they were always stationed far from each other. Not only did they have to do their best to care for patients suffering from every kind of malady and injury, but they worried about each other. I hope the letters I was able to include in With Love, Wherever You Are revealed their character. Even as they wrote 2-3 letters or V-mails a day, Frank’s thoughts were on Helen, and hers on him. Through those letters, which I never knew existed until Dad told me right before he died, I got to know my parents as young lovers, newlyweds. Eventually, after reading and re-reading over 600 letters, I began to detect the depth of the worry and strain they tried to conceal. But I think their love and hope and faith shine through (most of the time…), along with their avid desire to see each other, if only for a day or two.

Please remember to share with friends who might be interested in With Love, Wherever You Are. The e-book is on sale everywhere for $2.99 for the rest of this month (Aug., in case you’ve lost track).

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE (Signed: Frankie or “Tiny”/Helen)

August 11, 2018

I did warn you that I’d be sending pictures and writing about Helen and Frank and their WW2 experiences during the August sale of WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. I believe these pictures were taken shortly after their marriage (which came quite shortly after their meeting in the Army hospital, Percy Jones) during WW2. Helen is in the nurses’ dorm in Battle Creek, MI, awaiting her overseas assignment. Frank is either in a staging area, waiting for a ship to England and beyond, or already in  Europe. I like to think that Helen is writing her first letter to her new husband, and he is reading it.

WITH LOVE–IN WARTIME MARSEILLES

August 7, 2018

Marseille Stroll

This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom and dad, Lt. Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley, and Captain Dr. Frank R. Daley. If you’ve read WITH LOVE WHEREVER YOU ARE, maybe you remember their rare and romantic getaway in Marseilles, underneath the barn of a French Resistance farmer. Some days young Frank and Helen believed the war would end that very week, and other days they wrote that it felt like the war would never end.

I’m so thankful for the emails and letters I’ve received from sons and daughters of WW2 parents. We all honor our heroes in different ways and still feel a connection.

This month, the e-book of WITH LOVE is on sale everywhere for $2.99. I’m using the sale as an excuse to reminisce.

A Sale: WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE

August 1, 2018

Sale

Tyndale House, my publisher, has selected my novel, WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, for their August promotional, which I think is pretty cool. That means if you’re into e-books, starting today you pay $2.99 instead of $9.99 for an electronic version (if you get it before Sept.1). Plus, it gives me an excuse to post and re-post some of the WW2 pictures of my parents, (seen above on the book cover), Dr. Frank Daley and Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley, who served in the Army during the war. They met in training, fell in love, married, and were shipped to different countries, with only their letters to keep them together. So they wrote 2-3 times a day, and many of their detailed letters are part of the book. Helen worked in France in a bombed-out factory/makeshift hospital, where she cared for Allied soldiers, concentration camp survivors, and German prisoners of war. Frank worked in Alsace-Lorraine, then joined a mobile unit (MASH unit) that pressed into Germany. He performed surgeries he hadn’t trained for on soldiers carried from the battlefield to small tents with mud floors, like the ones pictured on the book cover.   (Sale works at any bookstore or outlet, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., and at Tyndale’s ebookdeals.net.)

 

READER’S CHOICE AWARD

July 19, 2018

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE just won the Faith, Hope Love READER’S CHOICE AWARD for historical fiction! Normally, I wouldn’t toot my own horn like this (and I still feel a bit weird to be writing this). But it doesn’t feel like my award at all. This is my parents’ story, built on over 600 letters they left me in an old Army trunk in their attic, letters they’d written as newlyweds serving as Dr. and nurse overseas, in different countries, during WW2. The book contains stories my sister, Maureen, and I grew up hearing in detail from two great storytellers. I’m honored for our parents’ sake, Lt./Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley and Captain/Dr. Frank R. Daley. How cool to think of readers choosing With Love, Wherever You Are and that maybe more readers will be reading about Mom and Dad.

CHEYENNE

June 8, 2018

Joe and I began looking for a horse we could afford. limiting our search to local trades and newspapers and word of mouth. We wanted a bombproof horse Joe and our kids could ride, but a horse that had enough spirit for me to really enjoy riding. We soon learned how hard it is now to find a horse that you can trust. I don’t know how many horses we investigated, but they were all nervous. Most had disappointed their owners, who had hoped to show them. The two Quarter Horses that were close to what we were looking for cost much more than we could afford.

Finally, one evening we drove to a farm to look at a horse of undetermined breeds. He was a sweetheart and calm enough for anyone to ride. I admit I feared he might be too calm for me. But I wanted a safe horse for our family. We decided to sleep on it. When we woke up, we agreed that it was a good horse and in our price range. We called the owners–the horse was sold. “But we have another horse you might want to look at,” said the owner. We sped to the farm, determined not to be outdone by another horse seeker. Running in the pasture was a beautiful Quarter Horse Paint. The mare was in a small herd, and they all charged in to be fed. Sure, she bucked at the other horses on that brisk morning–why not? And when I asked to ride her bareback and she wanted to run with me, the owner said she’d never been ridden bareback and the other horses were upsetting her. And besides, her ground manners were so friendly. And we didn’t want to lose out again.

We bought Cheyenne. There’s a reason I’ve included two pictures of her. Working with Cheyenne on the ground was a pleasure. She was a cuddler (picture on the left) and so sweet. She loved to be scratched and brushed, and she’d follow me anywhere. The picture on the right shows the “other Cheyenne,” the horse she turned into with a rider on her back. Can you see the tension? Her eyes weren’t actually glowing like they appear in that picture, but she’d get very wide-eyed. Right away I loved riding the spirited, ready-to-run Cheyenne, but she was far from bombproof and definitely not a kid’s or beginner’s horse. The kids could sit in a saddle while I led her. Joe, however, had no desire to ride the “wild” horse. Eventually, our oldest daughter could ride her, but I never relaxed when she did. I’ve always loved riding Cheyenne . . .except one day in early March, the first hint of Spring after a too-long winter. I should have lunged Cheyenne and taken it slowly, but I couldn’t stop myself. I hopped on her bareback. She wasn’t ready for me, and she bucked and reared until I slid off her backside in mid-buck. Her hooves connected, twice, and left me with two cracked ribs and a trip to the ER. Totally my fault, though Joe still hasn’t forgiven her.

ASH BILL

June 1, 2018

Bill

In her last years of high school, my sister, Maureen, decided she wanted a calm horse she could trust. I suggested we look for a Quarter Horse gelding, and we found this beautiful chestnut Quarter Horse in a stable near Kansas City. We didn’t know the people there, so we wanted to be cautious. I asked if I could ride “Ash Bill” to see how he handled. He was terrific, getting every lead, neck-reining, responding to the slightest signal. Just standing beside him, I could tell how sweet and calm he was.

We drove Bill home and helped him get used to Towaco and our barn. Everything went great–Ash Bill felt right at home. The next day we saddled him, and Maureen took her first ride on her new horse. He limped. Poor Bill was as sweet as could be, but he was lame in his left foreleg at the pastern (ankle). We couldn’t stand thinking of Bill in pain, so we called Dad, a medical doctor (for humans), to hurry home for lunch and to bring his doctor’s bag with him. Dad confirmed that the horse was lame and had likely been lame for a long time. He even found evidence of a syringe having been used on that leg, and he surmised that the owners had injected a dose of Bute (Butazolidin) to numb the problem right before our visit to the stable. The previous owner, of course, denied knowledge of a limp, though we later discovered the stable had a shady reputation. It wouldn’t have mattered. We’d already fallen in love with Bill and wouldn’t have given him back. Thanks to Dad, we helped Bill live with his infirmity. Heat rubs and wraps made the limp go away. And when that didn’t work, Dad had a backup supply of Bute on hand. Turns out that Butazolidin is one of the few horse medicines allowed on raceday.

Winnie’s mom (in Winnie the Horse Gentler) is said to have owned a favorite horse, a Quarter Horse. Anyone remember the name?

CINDY SUE

May 22, 2018

whole Cindy Sue and MCindy Sue and Maureen (2)

Maureen found her perfect horse in Cindy Sue–tall, skinny, flaxen mane and tail, high-stepping American Saddlebred, 5-gaited (walk (prance), trot, canter, rack, and stepping pace). Cindy was a show horse, and Maureen did win some ribbons with her. That horse (and my sister) deserved ribbons–both beautiful.

But Cindy wasn’t easy to handle. She was high-strung and frequently nervous. Several times she jumped our fence. We built up another rung, but that didn’t stop her completely. Cindy behaved better in a show ring than she did on fun rides in the pasture or on dirt roads and trails. Rabbits, cars, and sudden movements frightened her, and she’d shy. Still, she was a pleasure to look at, one of the most beautiful horses I’ve ever seen.

But she was no Misty. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (I Samuel 16.7)

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.