Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago today I clearly remember the principal of the school I worked at coming in with a shocked look on his face. He sat down on one of the tables and told my coworker and me that an airplane had just attacked the World Trade Center. We sat shocked. Why would someone attack? As the day wore on, we learned of more devastation and innocent lives destroyed because of the evil that dwells in this world. I remember sitting in front of the television when I got home. I could not stop watching the footage and I could not stop wondering, why.

Today I think about the families and friends who lost loved ones that day. Yesterday I read about the babies who lost their fathers and how they have grown up without that important person in their lives. I think about the firefighters, policemen, citizens, and so many others who tried to help. Some of them lost their lives, too.

Sadness fills my heart for these people and for the enemy who must be filled with evil. I pray that God bless those left behind and those who have this memory seared into their minds. May God bring peace to us all.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What's Inside

Confined to my living room, for several days after surgery, left me too much opportunity to watch television. Since I work Monday through Friday I don’t usually view daytime television. I am happy to say that I have not missed one thing. Every show I turned on talked about improving how a person looks, mostly aimed at women. Hair color, weight loss, the right clothes, the right undergarments, the make-up, the nail polish, and on and on it went. No one spoke about how a person lives, what they think, how they feel, what they read, what they believe. The shows focused on what other people see who pass me on the street. How sad. I saw women who have anchored television talk shows for over twenty years, still trying to look twenty. My question is “What’s the point?”

God created me to grow and age gracefully. He wants me to seek is face and fill my heart with his word. Some of the most beautiful women I know wear very little to no make-up, but they have an internal glow that shines through because they are at peace with God and know his plans for their life. Some of us are overweight, but that doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful, it means I’m blessed with an abundance of food. I am really tired of the focus being on the outside and for our young women to only see what they view from the mirror. If you have influence over young women, encourage them to take care of themselves, but that the really important side of them is the inside. Fill them with love, a caring spirit, patience, peace, joy and all the attributes that create the person God wants them to be.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rising in my Heart

The rolling hills and summer green trees welcomed my coworker, Natalie, and me to Ohio University’s campus. We traveled to Athens to attend the Ohio Library Support Staff Symposium. The trip reminded me of the many journeys I made with Tim to visit our two daughters who graduated from this wonderful institution. My memory drifted to many hugs, smiles and tears shared in both leaving them here and visiting on weekends. As I pulled on to campus I sensed a part of the past rising in my heart. We drove by Kati’s old apartment building and Maggie’s dorm. I remembered slipping into the back of Nelson Hall to visit Kati at work and lugging boxes and furniture into dorm rooms too small for occupants. In my mind I saw Maggie standing in front of her dorm waving good-bye, through tears, her first time away from home.

Years passed, the girls moved on with life and here I am missing those days when our children still belonged to us. Life changed the rules as the kids outgrew being children. What they may not know yet is that in our hearts they will always be the ones we tucked in and kissed good-night. I miss those days as much as I embrace their adulthood and love who they have become.
Good-night from Athens and God bless.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Good-bye Borders

When I heard that the baby giraffe at the Cincinnati zoo died, I almost cried. The pictures of that sweet little animal made me smile, so cute. But he was not long for this world. Yesterday, I visited the zoo with my co-workers for a staff retreat and I stopped by to see how momma and papa were doing. They looked sad and the zookeeper said they are in mourning. They miss their young one. The older I am the more death, closings, and endings weigh on me, maybe because I know I am closer to the end than the beginning now.

Yesterday, I received an email telling me that my favorite store is going out of business. Border books closes their doors after 40 years of bookselling.  A sad day for me, I did my first and only book signing at the store in Eastgate. The event manager helped me set up and allowed me, a first time author with just a segment in a Chicken Soup book to take center stage. My family surrounded me, my husband stood by me, my friends gathered and even a few people I did not know stopped by. What a great memory. So I am mourning the closing of this wonderful store where I met many kind and fun people, including the tall, young man who always gave excellent customer service and could sell an Eskimo ice. Best wishes to all the employees who provided excellent service, you will be missed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Up, Up and Away

Since I’ve reached a certain age, the preciousness of time greets me when I wake up and reminds me to appreciate my days when I go to bed. Now that we live in a so-called empty nest, Tim and I have a bit more time to do some of the things we enjoy. And that includes pursuing activities that we’ve always wanted to do. I enjoy writing and until a few years ago, I have not taken the time to sit at my computer and peck away at the keys. What I write may never be published (except on my blogs) but I continue to pursue my dream of publishing a book someday. Along with that dream comes research for my writing.

Yesterday Tim and I drove to Middletown, Ohio where I hoped to go up in a hot air balloon. The balloon would have been tethered, meaning that it only rose a hundred or so feet in the air, but I would have experienced something new and so would Tim. The balloonists made a fine effort to accommodate us, but the wind won out. As we stood in line with hundreds of other people, we enjoyed the soft breeze blowing away the humid heat. Unfortunately, that same breeze caused safety issues with the balloons. We never did get to rise into the sky, but we did see how the balloonists prepare for flight, we watched forty or more balloons rise up to the challenge of a race and we sat amazed at the beauty of balloons lit up in the dark for the annual balloon glow. We may never get to ride in a balloon, but at least we tried. Turning fifty taught me one thing—put my fears aside and move toward my dreams.

Maybe we will even go back next year and try again. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Watching Tow Mater

Saturday, I took my grandson Zeke to a movie. His mom warned me that he might be too young, he is right at 18 months. But never the less, I thought an air conditioned movie about colorful racing cars might just keep us cool and occupied for a few hours. Sure enough, he loved the race scenes, the cars flying after each other and he  watched anytime that lights flashed off and on. But, about half way through the movie, he crawled up on my lap and drifted off into his dreams. 

So that left me to listen to Larry the Cable Guy as he portrayed Tow Mater the Tow truck and helped out a couple of fancy spy cars. I never thought I would admit that I enjoyed watching animated cars act like people, but with that sweet little boy cuddled on my lap, trusting me to take care of him, I could have watched just about anything. I love the Grammy *Babaw side of fifty. 

*Babaw is what my grandkids call me :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Older and Wiser?

I hear the rumble. The voice calling to me, but I'm not ready yet. It's coming ... ohhh ... another birthday. One that puts me almost to the halfway point, the one that holds me closer to 50 than 60. Oh yes, next week I will be blessed with 54 years on this earth. When I think about everything that I have experienced in these years, I stand amazed at the gifts from God, the lessons learned, the people loved and the mercy given.

I recently read a book called Leota's Garden  written by Francine Rivers. In the story Leota, a woman in her eighties has lived a life that tested her armor. She sacrificed when those closest to her did not even realize. She gave without taking and in the end, finally received abundant blessings. The story reminded me to love more, criticize less, think about the other person's circumstances and look to God for answers.

Hopefully, getting older means that I'm getting wiser. We'll see.

But hey--next year when I turn 55 I can eat off the senior's menu. Something to look forward to!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Maybe by 60

Since I turned 50 I've experienced a colonoscopy (and that is quite an experience), carpal tunnel surgery- both wrists, deviated septum corrective surgery and physical therapy for my back. More than one doctor encouraged me to lose weight and I cannot forget the delightful onset of perimenopause. (Did I mention that I can be sarcastic)

Today I found out that I need an MRI on my knee. Before Easter I fell over my ninety pound dog, Tater, then I went to sit down with my grandson and must have twisted my knee because I felt an excruciating pop accompanied by searing pain. Sometimes this type of injury heals itself, no such luck. So maybe the doctor knows a magic formula that will restore my crotchety old knee and send me on my way dancing and singing.  

I'm thinking that by the time I am 60 I will be patched back together, good as new. I love being an optimist.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


One thing I've learned about myself since I turned 50 is that I don't seem to care what other people think of the way I dress. Today for instance, I went to the splashpark with two of my daughters and three grandchildren. We had a blast. I played in the water in my mismatched bathing suit and I was not in least bit worried about anyone else looking at me. I dressed in a modest two piece, the bottom has a skirt and the top was long. The two pieces were purchased on sale at two different stores, so the colors were a bit off-but as long as they covered me, and there is plenty to cover, I was happy.  

We splashed and sprayed each other with the chlorinated water and watched the five year old slide down the water slide over and over. The two wee ones had fun trying to catch the water, a few times in their mouth, yuck. The freedom to enjoy the simple things in life comes with age. I no longer think about what would so-and-so say or worry about how I look. Enjoying time with the people I love is much more important and I'm thankful God gives me the opportunity to do just that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

People Joy

Ahhh...back home. I must have missed my bed because I slept about 10 hours last night. 

With a few days of vacation before I return to work next week, I plan to enjoy some quiet time (doing laundry) and spend time with family and friends. The older I get, the more I realize that people are the most important part of my life. I enjoyed gathering books and doodads at the conference and I love the artwork and items that fill my home, but without people to share all of this with what would be the point. 

As I walked through the CVG airport yesterday I heard voices calling, "Mom, mom!". I looked up and at the railing stood two of my daughters, Maggie and Sara, and my sweet little grandson, Eli. He grinned from ear to ear. Then when Maggie took me home, my dog tater was beside himself, seriously, he jumped back and forth and barked and barked. Olive tried to keep up, but she is a small dog and she had to wait her turn. And what a joy to see my husband Tim, my encourager and best friend. 

Yes, after 50 I've learned that people (and my dogs) make all the difference in my life. God has blessed me and I thank him for that.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heading Home

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...home. New Orleans has treated me well. I've enjoyed the hospitality, the history and the beauty of this part of  America. I loved experiencing the seafood and the spicy soups. The beignets pleased my tastebuds, but now I am ready to bite into a juicy Wendy's cheeseburger or a slice of LaRosa's pizza.

I've learned that new experiences stretch me and keep me from being stagnant and I appreciate them so much. But I am looking forward to hugging my hubby, hearing my dogs bark as they jump on me and hanging with my kids and grandkids. When Maggie picks me up at CVG, she will find a tired but happy mama. I've lived in bookland for five days and now I must go home and incorporate all I've absorbed and learned into my world. One of the things I loved about this event was meeting so many kind authors, all so friendly and giving of advice. I worked on my own novel some and have ideas for a picture book story I've been trying to write for a few years. I am blessed!

With my trip coming to an end, I will continue blogging about life after 50.

So much could happen...

Monday, June 27, 2011


Today I stood along the mighty Mississippi River. A few paddle boats cruised by as the sun beat down and hurried me back into the air conditioning. I walked through the Riverwalk Mall and met a delightful woman who designed all the clothes in her store, as well as dyed the fabric. She told me she could tell I was an artsy girl. I took that as a compliment (especially the "girl" part). 

In the afternoon I attended what I consider the highlight of the conference, the Gale Authors Tea. Nevada Barr, Susan Wiggs and her daughter,  Eleanor Brown, Dorthea Frank, and Amanda Williams entertained us with stories about their experience as authors. Amanda Williams shared her struggles with dyslexia and how she eventually learned to read and pursue a career as a writer. What an inspiration. Three of the authors are New York Times best selling authors, the others first time authors. I enjoyed hearing from them all.

I have been blessed to attend the conference and I am thankful for the experience. And now...I am ready to go home. 

Flying out tomorrow at 11:10.

Maggie-please remember to pick me up :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Encouragement and Discovery

Sunday in the Big Easy turned out to be another amazing day. Despite a wave of homesickness, I trekked around the convention center one more time and discovered that two of my favorite children's authors were signing their books. I found Lois Elhert, an incredible artist who writes and illustrates her own books and Will Hillenbrand who lives in Terrace Park (Cincinnati) and draws some adorable characters. Later I hit the Swap and Shop to find fun ideas for our library's publications.Then, this afternoon I heard from six writers whose first book is currently being published. I found encouragement and hope for my writing. 

I have to say that the folks in Louisiana are some of the kindest people I have ever met. Every waiter, waitress, shuttle driver, door attendant, concierge, etc. have been so helpful. I am thankful to be surrounded by courteous folks. 

Now if I can just get my back and legs rested up for tomorrow, I'll be all set! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oh My Goodness

Yesterday evening the security people opened the doors to the ALA Exhibit Hall. All I can say is wow. Vendors ranging from publishers to those who supply library furnishings filled a football field size room from wall-to-wall. And glory be, many of them were giving away books-yes free books! Most of you know that for twelve years I worked as a children's librarian. The joy I find in children's literature still dwells in my heart. I love kid's books, and before I knew it I was sucked right into the booths carrying reads that my grandchildren would love. I was in trouble. I only have so much room in my suitcase for books and I had a few that others are depending on me to get, so sad to say, I had to pass some of them up. But I did get a beautiful picture book autographed by both the author and illustrator.

This morning I sat on the floor outside the exhibit hall for a little over an hour, so that I could stand in line inside the hall for twenty more minutes in order to get an autograph from Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. (Yes, Sara your momma loves you!) It was great fun! I met a librarian who sat and stood with me the whole time so we could get pictures of each other with author. She was a delightful lady who reminded me of Dharma from the TV show, Dharma and Greg. After that I enjoyed Jeff Kinney's comical rendition of how he came about publishing his delightful books. What a great morning!

This afternoon I gathered good ideas for marketing the reference services in our library from five experienced ladies. Later, I listened to stories from five women who wrote very different memoirs, some sad and others filled with humor.

Bonus of the day, I found a Starbucks!

Good night from New Orleans...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tired Feet

Woke up at 6am and made my way to Jackson Square by 8am. There I met some lovely library folks from Mississippi. We were all prepared to visit the French Quarter. A stop at the Cafe Du Monde covered us with powdered sugar. The beignets melt in your mouth. They reminded me of the county fair and the funnel cakes that you drip all over yourself as you eat them. On to many historic places where some of America's finest literature and art were created; including the residence of Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and John James Audubon. 

The antique buildings in the French Quarter reflect the celebration spirit of the city with their colorful faces and trims. The numerous balconies wore draping, vining plants. We walked by a mask factory, and we heard street music. We also walked by Bourbon street and to be honest the odor was rather unpleasant. Oh well, it is a city. I love the palm trees, so many different kinds, squatty, towering, clumped together. They offer some much needed shade. The temps are high but a nice breeze kept us from overheating. 

I enjoyed the tour and I loved finding the odd little details, and here there are many. Now off to register officially for the conference and scope out the conference center. Hope all is well in Ohio.

A la prochaine / See you later...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Up in the Air

My feet hit the New Orleans pavement about 4:25 today. I can say that landing in that plane made my day. From the time we left the ground until we landed we kept our seat belts on as the windy skies bumped us from time to time. Even with the turbulence, I enjoyed the clouds kissed with sunshine. As the airplane's decent introduced us to the Mississippi River and the outlying wet land, I wondered if the abundance of water usually covered so much land or if the recent rain left them flooded. 

I am hoping to see some of the city tomorrow as I tour the French Quarter with one of the library groups. Now, off to bed. Good night all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Stories They Tell

I am packed. Except for the last minute items, my bags are sitting waiting for pick up tomorrow. These same bags just traveled to Wyoming and back with my daughter and her family. Sometimes I think about objects from a human point of view and wonder what stories they could tell. Like a house that welcomed many different families over the years, or a shopping cart used by so many different people; would they speak kindly of their occupant or tell some wild and crazy story. 

Tomorrow I might wonder about my airplane seat and who sat in it before me. Were they traveling to meet a loved one or were they running away to a new life. Perhaps a relaxing vacation or a reunion with old schoolmates awaited them. At any rate, I hope that seat keeps me safe and makes my travels easy. 

Lunch with Sara, Maggie and Eli, supper with Tim and a few hours to relax... then off to the conference. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Driving through the Storm

As I left work today, a thunderstorm swirled around the college. I stopped to use the restroom and the electric went out (that is one dark place without the lights-thank goodness for emergency back-up). By the time I reached my car, the wind blew the rain sideways and pounded my Jeep. I tried to drive out of the parking lot, but only made it as far as the front of the building. I watched the rain pour, the trees bend and leafy debris sail to the ground. This was the beginning of my journey to New Orleans. Before I could pack my bags and fly to the Big Easy, I had to get home. 

About twenty minutes later than usual, I rolled into my driveway and walked into my house to find my dog Tater terribly upset. He hates storms. So he and I commiserated over the torrential rain and loud wind and settled in for an evening comfort with Tim and Olive. A nice respite before I pack my bags tomorrow.