Grandpa Sam’s 80th Birthday Party

Grandpa Sam’s 80th Birthday Party

Great Grandpa Sam, born in 1863, was honored with a party for his 80th birthday. My great grandfather Samuel Brinser Martin's birthday party was even written up in the Middleton (Pennsylvania) newspaper. I don't know whether my family was invited to the party,...

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Slights and Offenses: How Do You Handle Them?

Slights and Offenses: How Do You Handle Them?

“Uh, oh, look here.” Husband Cliff was perusing local news online in our city newspaper. “Here’s a photo of Kitty and Karl Ellison’s house. A big, old live oak fell on their roof yesterday!” I shivered as I glanced at the disturbing sight. Seconds later, I felt a...

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School Opens: Aunt Ruthie’s Diary Speaks

School Opens: Aunt Ruthie’s Diary Speaks

At Rheems Elementary School in Pennsylvania, classes began right after Labor Day, just like clockwork. My aunt was my teacher in the first four grades, the charms and challenges of which I describe in my memoir.   Miss Longenecker, aka my Aunt Ruthie, taught...

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Girl, Wash Your Face

Girl, Wash Your Face

Rachel Hollis is In your face Real Relevant   Author Rachel Hollis' story is a rags to riches narrative, the heroine moving from Weedpatch (actual name!), California, to luxurious Bel Air, near Hollywood. Her book, published by Thomas Nelson in 2018, is also a...

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The Astonishing Story of Little Ruby Bridges

The Astonishing Story of Little Ruby Bridges

Little black girl Smartly dressed in white Beginning first grade in New Orleans   Who is Ruby Bridges?   Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African American girl, is pictured on her first day of class at the William Frantz School in New Orleans, Louisiana....

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Taking Steps

Taking Steps

A breeze brushes my face as I walk through our neighborhood. Homes in the early morning sit politely on manicured lawns, some with pulsing arcs of water irrigating the grass. Here and there, crepe myrtle trees tout torches of fuchsia, lavender, or cream. I spot a fire...

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Compensation: A Wedding Anniversary Meditation

Compensation: A Wedding Anniversary Meditation

How is a married couple like a herd of African wildebeests and zebras?     Herds of African wildebeests and zebras migrate together because their strengths compensate for their weaknesses, making them more compatible and less vulnerable to attack....

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Guess Who’s Turning 80 in July!

Guess Who’s Turning 80 in July!

It’s not me . . . at least not yet (Gotcha going there, didn't I!)   Not long ago, Peggy Wheatcroft turned 80, and she did something amazing to mark the milestone. Rather than receive presents, she gave one, a gigantic one! Her gift(s) became a birthday surprise...

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Fresh!

Fresh!

“The ground is terrible here. You can’t grow anything decent in this dirt!” Years ago, that was my dad’s pronouncement when he assessed the state of affairs in my sister Janice’s garden close to our house in Florida. True, in a land where juicy oranges, plump...

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A Toilet Tissue Tale, Ukraine Style

A Toilet Tissue Tale, Ukraine Style

Toilet paper and lecturer’s chalk, these were two essential items, which preceded our arrival in Kiev, Ukraine, nine years ago in April 2011. Dozens of toilet paper rolls cushioned the fragile sticks of chalk, needed for the nineteen art & music performances...

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Secrets from the Game Girl Vault

Secrets from the Game Girl Vault

I like to play games! Check all that apply: ___ Board games ___Solitaire ___Sudoku ___Crossword puzzles ___Other (__________________)     I hate playing games! Check all that apply: ___Games are pointless, a waste of time. ___I never win. ___I’d rather talk to...

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Mennonite Daughter: Creating a Book Trailer

Mennonite Daughter: Creating a Book Trailer

What happens after a festive book launch and a fruitful book tour? Mennonite Daughter is still peddling. The Story of a Plain Girl is still logging “book-mobile” miles. But now she has a book trailer!   A book trailer helps build hype for your book. It interjects...

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Picturing Beauty through a 2020 Lens

Picturing Beauty through a 2020 Lens

I chose B-E-A-U-T-Y as my focus word for 2020. Even if dozens of leviathans had dropped from the sky from Mars, never would I have imagined the impact world events would have on our collective experience in the first 5 months of this year. Wow, oh, wow! Below, you can...

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Simple Snack or Supper for this Season

Simple Snack or Supper for this Season

Avocado Toast is yummy! Have you tried it? Great for mid-morning snack, 4 o'clock tea, or simple supper   Assemble your ingredients: 2 small or l large avocado; seasonings, salt and red pepper flakes; tomato slices (optional). Avocado, nature's butter, is...

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