Wednesday, August 30, 2017


We're right in the middle of the most devastating natural disaster this country as ever seen.
Hurricane Harvey has sucker-punched the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is not finished the battering just yet as Port Arthur, TX  is today feeling his wrath.

The pictures we see are awful but cannot even begin to convey the confusion, fear, smell, dampness, darkness, coldness and loss.  The elderly, little ones, pets and livestock are particularly threatened.

After the record rainfall, 52 inches in some places, the flooding still happens.  Once clear streets are now roaring rivers and there is no place for all that water to go. The death toll is bound to rise once cars and homes are inspected for missing loved ones. The nation is experiencing overwhelming sadness as something far beyond anyone's control is raging.

Houston is experiencing a disaster.

Houston is also experiencing and displaying the most incredible goodness!

There are untold stories to be shared, some happening at this very minute.

People of every nationality, political persuasion, sexual orientation, color, ethnic background, size, age, social economic status, education, intellect, and title were forced by an "act of God" to CHOOSE to come together and help each other OR perish.  And the world is watching.

I am watching the miracle of citizen helping citizen with no agenda of financial, political or status gain.  People came out of their houses SEARCHING for a way to help their neighbor with anything that floats.  An army of personally owned flat boats, pick up trucks, dump trucks, kayaks, & blow-up pool toys appeared almost magically.  No government direction of any kind to organize or encourage was needed. And it continues!!  Thankfully!

What a refreshing sight right in the midst of one of the most politically and racially charged cultures of our day!

Help is being organized in other cities and states and is on the way.  Churches, stores and convention centers are open for shelter. And it will be needed for a long time. Huge trucks are being loaded in my neighborhood even as I write this. Supplies of all kinds for all ages and needs are being gathered.

One mattress store in Houston opened it's doors immediately and hundreds of folks are sleeping on that new merchandise. Beds and comfy chairs are filled with wet weary folks. That owner is one of my heroes!

There will be many heroic stories in the days to come.

And there will be a need for many more heroes to step up.  And the beauty of that is:  I have NO doubt that they will.

Americans are good folks! What is happening in Houston is REAL.  What is happening on the internet, & social media is NOT!

Americans know how to love each other. Those folks helping today are the silent strong bedrock of this nation. We are seeing LOVE IN ACTION.

It's IS possible to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF, regardless of differences.

WHAT A LIFE LESSON!  I'm praying that the hurting, angry, offended, disenfranchised, lonely and violent are watching.  LOVE is available to them as well. There are people waiting and willing to rescue them right out of their disasters, whether self-inflicted OR something beyond their control.

I say to them:  Put down your guns, clubs, masks, hoods, hatred, violent and vile rhetoric and look for it....OR  perish.

                   "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."  Isaiah 43:2

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


NO, I'm not endorsing witchcraft, satanic worship or any of those other cultish things.

I'm singing the praises of a darling little book that started my "book lovin' life."

When this story was first published in 1953 it came out in a hardback edition, turquoise in color.

I discovered it on the "library" shelf at the back of the room in our little brick school house in central Illinois.  There were not many students at the school and each room held two grades. I was in the 5th. There were two rows of 5th graders on one side of the room, two rows of 6th graders on the other.

Mr. McAllister, principle and one of three teachers in the whole school, would pull up a chair in front of the youngsters on one side of the room, teach spelling or arithmetic, then take his chair to the other side to teach the older students science or history.  What an arrangement!  The only way that set-up would work today would be at the "home school" classroom.

Our school library consisted of two shelves along half of the back side of the room. (I OWN more books now than was shelved there.)

On a particular afternoon, because I was bored I'm sure, I picked up the little turquoise book and took it home.  I'm sure the color was the reason for my attention.

Little Witch, Anna Elizabeth Bennet, Sky Pony Press, 1953
Illustrated by Helen Stone

I remember that evening as clearly as I remember the monumental historical events of my life. Events such as the assassination of President Kennedy, 9-11 attacks, and the total eclipse of yesterday.

I remember reading the book STRAIGHT THROUGH.  Yep, finished it in one night.

And I learned that words on a page became pictures in my mind and I still love that little 9 year old girl of the story.  Her name is Minikin Snickasnee.  She is the daughter of a real witch and wants nothing more than to go to school and make friends her own age. The feisty little gal learns all about courage and standing up for what is right. The whole town is affected by her innocent antics and eventually enjoys her broomstick.  It's great!

This book was named #7 in a School Library Journal poll of the top 100 Children's Novels.
In 2013 it was published again as a celebration of it's 60th Anniversary.  I'm SO glad. It's now on my grown-up bookshelf and available for any grandchild that also wants to grasp it's magic.

The "magic" that happened for me was a new respect, love and voracious desire to read. Many fabulous books have followed Minikin's story.

That summer after my 5th grade discovery I read about a lending library program at the State Library in Springfield, Illinois.  I think the article was in the Weekly Reader, remember that???
I wrote to the head librarian and asked if he/she would SEND me books to read over the summer. I requested adventure stories.  THEY SENT ME A HUGE BOX  OF BOOKS!  It was like Christmas in July!  I read every one and returned them promptly.  They sent me ANOTHER BOX FULL OF BOOKS.  Go figure!  That would never happen today.

After that summer the program ended even though I wrote and begged for more.  I had to find another resource. And the story goes on.

I've read thousands of books since "Little Witch" some good, some not so good, but ALL enlightening. The summer I read "Gone With The Wind" I woke up on those hot summer mornings wondering why I couldn't hear the canons.  After a few minutes I realized I was NOT living during the Civil War but was actually safe in my own bed.  Call that immersion in the story!

I've also joined others of the same disease in book clubs, discussion groups and book reviews. Only other people that love books understand the addiction!

Let me recommend a FEW that I keep on my many bookshelves.

1000 White Women
The Poisonwood Bible
My Sister's Keeper
First Hostage
Woman of God
Time to Kill (read this one straight through too)
The Bible, NIV, Amplified, NASB, The Living, KJV
The Prodigal God
Small Great Things
Best Little Christmas Pageant Ever (read this one EVERY December)

Oh so many more!

My point?  It is SO important to expose children to good books, to read to them, to encourage imagination, to introduce different ideas, locations and people. Thank you Anna Bennet for introducing me to the magical gift of reading.

Today I will think of Minikin and smile....when I get my broom out of the closet.

Monday, August 21, 2017


You just never know what you're going to see on the incredibly busy roads in Dallas.

Yesterday we were sitting at a stoplight at a busy intersection in Frisco. The light turned green, the car in front of us did not move.  No big deal.  That's a very common occurrence given that EVERYONE checks their phones at the stop lights these days and do not notice the change of color.

We waited.  Others behind us waited! The light turned red AGAIN....we all waited.

It turned green AGAIN....we all waited.

NOW, everybody in the line got concerned.  The driver in the non-responsive car was well,  non-responsive.  Several drivers and passengers stared. Was he sick?  Was he dead? Was he high?  Was he reading something important on his phone?

I put down my window, waved,  and started shouting....HEY...HEY...are you OK?

A young man in the car behind us jumped out and ran up to the drivers window and knocked on the glass. We wondered if we were about to see an ambush. Road rage?

The drive WOKE UP.  Nodded his head once or twice and remembered where he was.

The light turned green AGAIN....and he motored off.  We all followed!

YEP.  A young man about 35 years old fell asleep while sitting at a stop light, as it cycled through the colors a couple of times.

We've got to take care of each other on the roads these days.  Every slice of humanity, emotion, health problem, etc. is right out there.

How many times have we seen some confused immigrant slice through 6 lanes of traffic as he realized his exit was imminent?  We are convinced that many international drivers in our area are car owners yet not licensed to drive that vehicle.  Many can't read the road signs let alone the drivers test. And there are many countries that do not have "rules of the road." They're just motoring about as they would in their country.

Also, it's no longer legal to text while you're driving down the tollway at 75 miles an hour.  And everybody STILL does it.  The policemen could make a fortune by sitting on the shoulder and monitoring all the texting that is happening. Talk about distracting!

We are constantly amazed at the low number of wrecks and fatalities on the high speed highways in this area. When one does occur you can just kiss your "arrival time" goodbye.  Lines of cars waiting on a stalled car or fender bender could reach all the way to Oklahoma.  But, you know, when you're waiting and waiting and waiting, you have no idea that there are 17 miles of cars ahead of you, also waiting. There's always the hope of "it'll break up here in a minute."  45 minutes later, you realize your patience will not be rewarded.

Sometimes the answer to "backup" is the trusty GPS app.  If there is a red line on that little screen all the way down the tollway, skip it! Take your chances on the stoplights on the side roads.  If you're lucky the 20 min. drive will now take 57 minutes and not the projected 60!

And if someone WAKES UP the driver that is asleep, you might just arrive before dark thirty.

IF I'm on the road during rush hour, I try to always pack a lunch, plenty of water, phone, phone charger, extra can of gas, a good book and a blankie....just in case I need a nap!

Be safe out there!