Archive for the ‘library’ Category

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. . . .

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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.

MISTY

May 3, 2018

Misty (2)

After the loss of my first horse, I was afraid I’d never find as good a friend as Sugar. I was so wrong. This amazing black gelding came into my life: MISTY.

My Misty was the sweetest, most wonderful horse a kid could have. We were never sure of his breed, but I always considered him a Morgan. Misty had a Morgan’s calm, trustworthy nature and good sense. We bonded instantly. I could ride him bareback the first day, barely signaling turns and gaits, as if he could read my mind. In the mornings, I’d open my window, and Misty would stick in his beautiful head to say hello. I could hardly wait until school was over so I could see my friend again.

4-H Horsemanship came to town, and Misty was the perfect horse to teach me the tricks of the trade. He was a natural, getting the right lead before I even knew what that meant (leading with the inside leg at a canter). He rode as well with an English saddle as he did with western gear, so I was able to learn both.

In the first book of the new series, Horse Gentler in Training, from Winnie the Horse Gentler: The Early Years,  young Winnie teaches a horse o say yes and no.  I really did teach my horse to say yes and no, much as Winnie teaches Royal Princess in this book. Misty proved over and over that a horse can definitely be a kid’s best friend.

 

WITH LOVE, FRANK’S PHOTOS

January 25, 2018

write table vittel fr (2)

My last post showed a picture Helen sent to Frank. On the back of that photo, Helen wrote: “Don’t miss the background–someone always close.” The background showed her pictures of Frank. I wish this photo were clearer, but it’s evident that Frank had the same idea. On the back of this photo, he wrote: “my writing table.” The last years of Mom’s life, first in Missouri, then in Ohio with us, on her dresser she had pictures of Frank. And on the window ledge beside her bed sat their wedding picture, the framed photo above, on the right, the couple in their Army uniforms on their wedding day. It was the last thing she saw every night. I’m looking at it now, as it’s on the wall just to the right of my computer screen.  What special pictures do you keep close?

WITH LOVE…WHATEVER YOUR BAGGAGE

January 16, 2018

baggage (2)

I love the smile on Lt. Helen Eberhart’s face here. This photo doesn’t give her location, but I’m guessing someone snapped the picture early in her WW2 service as an Army nurse in England and France. Look at those un-Army shoes, which soldiers weren’t to wear, and this must have been one of the few times she wore her helmet (She hated all Army “hats.”). And yet . . . look at that smile.

ANOTHER COST OF WAR

November 16, 2017

Last night I looked through my parents’ old WW2 Army trunk and came up with these forms filled in by my mom (Helen in With Love, Wherever You Are). You may have to take out your magnifying glass, but each item is something soldiers (and Army doctors and nurses) were either issued or had to buy for themselves. Looks like only 4 or 5 were given. Items to be purchased: seersucker nurse’s cap, nurse’s cape (both mentioned or pictured in the book), jackets, gloves, leggings, overcoat, raincoat, skirts, sweater, some shoes, canteen, and on and on!

I know I’m blessed to have so many items preserved from my parents’ time in WW2. But many things are not in the old Army trunk. Still, I remember their re-purposed overcoats and a pair of old Army boots. And I did find the duffle bag and canteen and sleeping bag. I remember Dad always keeping an “Army blanket” in the car. Now it’s in mine.

AUNT DOT’S STORIES

October 24, 2017

Dot and Pete

If you’ve read With Love, Wherever You Are, you’ve heard a bit about my Aunt Dot and read a few of her letters. Nurse Dorothea Daley, big sis to Dr. Frank Daley, joined the Army before the outbreak of WW2 and was sent to the Philippines. The Japanese bombed her hospital the day after Pearl Harbor, forcing surviving nurses to drag patients into the jungle. I remember Aunt Dot’s stories of brave wounded soldiers who helped in any way they could, then returned to battle. She met “Boots” there and married him in a foxhole during bombings. He was captured and forced into the “Death March of Bataan.” She never saw him again, but spent the rest of her life trying to find him and waiting for his return. So many stories . . .

READING . . .

September 26, 2017

Dad on step

This is my dad (Frank from WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE) reading on our back step in Hamilton, MO. I think I was in high school when I took this picture. Just this morning I read an article that explained how reading creates more white matter in the brain and expands learning areas of the brain, enhancing intelligence and empathy. Dad read every chance he got–everything from novels to medical journals, how-to books to Alfred Hitchcock magazines. I remember Mom laughing over funny novels, like Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, while Maureen and I read novels . . . and comic books. What books do you guys remember reading when you were kids? What did your parents read? What are you reading now?

WW2, BASEBALL, & ROCK AND ROLL

September 21, 2017

Rock and roll

I had the best time when I took the family back to Hamilton, MO, my hometown, birth through college (at Mizzou, of course). I loved sharing Hamilton with Joe and our granddaughters. In a library talk, Ellie (short for Helen) dressed in Mom’s (Helen’s) Army jacket when I talked about WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She changed into her rock ‘n’ roll persona when I read ROCK AWAY GRANNY. But I got to wear my Royals’ jersey as K.C. Batgirl for A GIRL NAMED DAN. Dream come true for this small-town gal!

WITH LOVE, HELEN EBERHART DALEY

September 19, 2017

Ohio Mom

This is my mom from 2009, Helen from WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She was as lovely then as in her WW2 days. We convinced her to come live with us in Ohio, and to leave Hamilton, MO, her home with Frank, my dad, for 60 years or so. It wasn’t an easy battle with this feisty gal! But once committed, she never complained, but looked for new ways to share the Spirit that lived inside her and touched everyone she met. Those last 5 years were my best with my mom. I pumped her for war stories, never mentioning the stacks of letters secure in the Army trunk and untouched since 1945, letters she and Dad wrote as newlyweds on different war fronts, letters I wasn’t allowed to open until she joined Dad in heaven.