Sunday, April 17, 2011


Ambition is alive and thriving in Michigan.  We hear so much about the dismal Michigan economy that it would be easy to fall into the "bah humbug" trap.  Yesterday I met a group of people that smiled, lifted others up and are definitely looking forward to the future. These people understand sacrificing for a dream.  They understand the cost of moon lighting at a second job while pursuing a better future for themselves and their families.  Pursuing that dream is the number 1 priority of this group.  They all have a dream.  I am talking about writers. 

Authors from far and wide met for the Michigan Spring Book Festival.  One woman I spoke with had traveled from New Jersey to be at the Festival.  She sat at a table with her family, a husband and two darling small children.  She proudly displayed her children's book.  Her name was Antoinette Gelin.  Antoinette shared her frustration with me about the trials and tribulations of publication.  But frustration was tempered with a willingness to share the joy of seeing her book in publication.  As she sat there her husband was working on the illustrations for her next book.  You can reach Antoinette at

A bubbly young mother who is originally from France and still speaks with a French accent was generous with her time and knowledge.  Her children's book is currently in use in French public schools.  She has just recently published here in the US.  She also sat with her family as they visited with shoppers at the mall and other authors.  Her name is Gwen Bocher Pion and you reach her at  Absolutely charming.

I spoke with the author and his family that had also self-published a children's book about bullies. He has another book in progress and is planning to do his own illustrations with this new book.  Talent was everywhere you looked yesterday.  You can find David L. Watkins at

Not everyone there at the Festival is new to promotion.  I visited with Harriet Cammock and anyone living in the Metro Detroit  area would recognize the name.  She is very active in our community, hosting a radio program every Sunday afternoon.  She has written a book about domestic violence.  She speaks from experience.  She was delightful and informative. The name of her book is, "Through the Fire".  You can reach Harriot at

My spirit was in need of fellowship with other authors.  I could have used the word networking but it just does not explain the camaraderie that was present yesterday.  Yes, Michigan Governor Snyder would have stood proud at the self determination of the writers.  I am looking forward to next year when my husband and I will have a table with my dream baby, "Jesus to the Rescue".  It's all good in the neighborhood.


Saturday, April 16, 2011


My family's fascination with our country's space travel has always been active.  I recently wrote about my trip to Florida and the Space Center. There is another story to tell. Years ago when my children were still all at home we had an opportunity to see the space shuttle land at Edwards Air Force Base in California.  Tickets were free and available locally. This was a once in a life time treat for our cash strapped family. They were expecting people in the thousands to attend and watch the shuttle landing. 

The children piled into our newly purchased used car, I patted my pocket to make sure I had the ticket and off we went across the desert for the 60 miles to the Base.  The closer we got to the base we saw larger and larger numbers of cars and buses.  Finally we were in a long line of vehicles waiting to enter the Base. Military police personnel would stop each vehicle or bus and then wave it on to the right at a branch in the road.  When it was our turn the young man stooped slightly toward the window and said, "Good afternoon.   Do you have a ticket?"  He was but a few years older than my oldest son.  When he told me to take the road to the left I questioned him.  But he insisted.  " Just keep to the left and you will go around a curve.  Keep going and you will see a group of vehicles off to the right.  Just pull in there and you will have a good view of the landing."

The older children were frowning and were confused as I was.  But...............for some reason I felt we should comply.  After all, he was the military police. As we pulled onto the dirt area that he had directed us to, there were other cars parked there and people were getting out of their vehicles.  As we moved to the edge of what appeared to be a drop off I realized we were on one side of the air runway and on the other side there were hoards of people.  The bleachers were over flowing and military police were trying their best to keep the people in the bleachers.  The children and I stood there in shock as we realized that we were with some kind of privileged group.

A person in the group yelled here it comes and we all looked up and had I been 7 feet tall I could have touched the bottom of the shuttle as it went right over our heads. Today I still get chills just thinking of it.  There are not enough words to describe that moment.  It was magnificent, thrilling, engulfing, and it was American. Many of us stood there and cried. And if this post was going to go snail mail you would find a few splatters on the paper from today's tears.  

As people began to get back into their vehicles to leave I realized that most of the men were in uniform. Then I understood. The previous owner had been in the military and had not removed the sticker when he sold the car to us.  The guard at the gate had mistaken us for a military family. It was an unexpected blessing for my family. Was this a coincidence?  Not hardly. I once read that there are no coincidences.  Only blessings and miracles where God may choose to remain anonymous.   


Friday, April 15, 2011


Florida is a favorite winter vacation spot for many of us living in Michigan.  In the winter Florida is warm and welcoming and offers such attractions as alligators, manatees, the Everglades and beaches where seniors gather.  But for me the most important attraction is the Space Center, which chronicles a proud space history spanning over 40 years.   A human first went into space in 1961 and that was the beginning of the Apollo space program for the US.  In the 1990's many private interests began to look at space as a possible profit center.  Just the idea of space travel brought forth dreams of a space adventure for my family.  When Star Trek hit the TV scene we never missed a segment.  But now with the new Administration in Washington, the space program is being cut to the bone.

At the Space Center we soon realized that we needed to take one of the tour buses or we would miss much of what there was to see.  Our old bones just couldn't take us to every exhibit that we wanted to explore.  After paying the ticket price of the tour we scrambled aboard the bus and snagged a seat behind the driver. The bus driver provided a canned presentation about the space program and how each building and site is used. But in between areas of interest we were able to talk with him privately.  Knowing that the space program was going to be dismantled soon it was a treasured moment as he provided insight and his passion for the program.  I never knew before that the Space Center is the only Federal program that actually makes a profit.  To this day I can not get my head wrapped around why we are abandoning a profit center such as the Space Center.

Aside from financial considerations I believe we must consider the issue of national pride.  Because a launch was planned for the next day, the "ship" was standing erect on the launch pad.  We were somber in the knowledge that it may have been the last. We saw it clearly from a third level viewing tower.  My husband and I stood there in reverence, holding hands knowing that this was a special moment.  Perhaps it was the last time that any of us that day would ever see such a magnificent sight again.  I wanted to turn to the other vacationers and lead the Pledge of Allegiance, but I didn't.  Or perhaps we should have started singing the "Star Spangled Banner".  I know others would have joined us.  Or the Center should have been playing the National Anthem over the PA system. Perhaps, this was a missed opportunity. I know that this country is not perfect but it is still the best nation in the world.  It is my nation and it is yours. We must be vigilant in preserving our history. God bless American.  

Monday, April 4, 2011


Blogging has been a constant pastime for many people for years.  For me, it is a new adventure.  I am wondering when I will no longer enjoy surfing the blogs.  Sometimes I feel like I am intruding into a person's life and family. Blogs are sometimes painfully personal and some are trivial in their content.  And of course we have to admit that what is trivial to one person may not be to another. This morning I came across a site where the parent was sharing about the struggle to emotionally and physically survive a life threatening illness of their child. I clicked onto the next blog and it also was about an ill child and the next and next.  I soon realized that I was following a thread of parents sharing and finding support among other parents facing the possible death of their child.  Having experienced miscarriages and not the loss of a child after you have held him or her in your arms, I can only imagine the pain. Some of the entries on the sites ended last year with the going home of the child. Bless the heart of some parents that have maintained the site after their child's death so that they can continue to minister to other parents still in the fight. Most of these parents would never have met or been able to communicate with such a large number of families without meeting on blogs. 

There are untold numbers of family blogs that just make you smile.  They are sweet or rugged, and cultured or raw. They are wonderful! This morning while I should have been changing the linens I was surfing and read a mother's struggle to convince her young child that he needed to go to the nursery, which I am assuming is at church.  She listed all the possible solutions that she had tried that had failed. She talked about how the teachers did everything possible to make the child feel safe and comfortable.  She spoke with a teacher regarding her frustrations and everything that she had tried to solve the problem.  The teacher provided priceless advice.  "Pray for him.  Pray for him to have a brave heart."  Lissa shared that it worked! I couldn't help but think what a great prayer for any family. You can read about Lissa and her family at:  twoagainstone.blogspot


Saturday, April 2, 2011


Yesterday was April Fools Day.  No one tried to fool me and I made no effort to plan and execute a prank on someone else.  When the day was over I wasn't sure if I should be pleased to be missed as a target of a prank or disappointed that I had missed some fun.  In years past I have participated in good natured fun with a harmless April Fools joke.  Perhaps I should start planning now for next year's prank.

The one thing that we all can be sure of is that God does not play pranks on us.  We may try our best to circumvent His guidance and thus cause misery to our selves. And yet he is merciful even when we try to blame someone else for our folly.  There is always one person that I can blame but really would rather not.  She has given me some really rotten advice in the past. Her name is Marty.  I am sure that there is not a person alive that has not listened to their own voice and not the voice of God at least once in their life time. Sometimes God has taken me to the wood shed and I always have deserved the correction.  But God does not play pranks on us.  His word is clear and his correction is balanced with mercy for those who love Him.

"His mercies are new every morning". Lamentations 3:22