Friday, August 21, 2015

Letter to My Children

Did I tell you the importance of teaching your own the vital things of life? Of making sure you pass on to the next generation all the good you have discovered - all the good you have learned? And teaching them what to avoid so they won't be hurt as you have been.

Did I tell you to laugh, to dance, to sing? There is a lot in life that is hard, but take it as it comes and find the good....then make time to sing, to read, to pray.

Did I tell you to be creative - to explore the seed within you? Find your creative spirit and let it grow!

And did I tell you the joy and challenge of being a woman? The joy of having a child...knowing and sharing a new life. The joy of making a home...the center but not the limit for the lives of those you love. The joy of exploring a third dimension....a world of your own, discovering and fulfilling your own capabilities.

Did I tell you these things as we went along the way? If I did, I am humbly grateful. If I did not, it is never too late to learn them - to choose for yourself to integrate them into your life.

Did I tell you to search for truth and good? When you find it, and it has meaning, accept it and make it your own. If it does not, discard it. Your life is yours to build as you choose.

And did I tell you? I hope it will be a good life. Mine has been.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Falling To the End of Summer

There is a definite zing in the air in this mountain valley--letting us know that summer is on the decline, and fall is just around the corner. Temperatures have dropped into the mid to upper 30's at night, causing those of us who braved planting a garden a bit of stress. Such is life in our neck of the woods. ;)

The huckleberries came on early, and I'm hearing that the chokecherries are not far behind. These are signs that the frantic pace of the past three months will soon be replaced by the equally crazy months of autumn. Some of us will be canning various items from our gardens/farmer's markets. Some will be gathering firewood for the cold months ahead. Others will be prepping for hunting season. Still others are trying desperately to cram in a few more summertime activities before school starts again.

To me, this time of year signals a fresh start. I know for most people, the beginning of a new year offers a blank page for life. Others herald spring as a time of rejuvenation, renewal, etc. Myself, I have always considered fall to be a time for a changing perspective. I suppose that tendency started during my grade school years. Each fall as we began a new school year, we prepared by purchasing new shoes, clothes, and school supplies. There was an excitement in the air as the first day of the school year approached. It was a new beginning--a magical time of endless possibilities.

Each fall it seemed like there were intriguing challenges, unique things to learn, and social skills to master. It was a chance to improve upon the year before, and to verify that we were retaining items already learned. (Sometimes.)

I love all of the seasons, but I do possess an especially warm spot in my heart for fall--a time for sweaters, fun fall camping adventures, welcoming fires, and cold noses. (Mostly at night.) Leaves magically turn impressive colors. Life seems to slow down before the holiday rush. Hot chocolate appeals, as well as pumpkin pie spice, and beautiful sunflowers.

This year we will be welcoming our newest member of the family about mid October. That will also make fall a favorite time of year. =) Little Spud Crane will be welcomed into the family with open arms. =D As one of his grandmothers, I can hardly wait.

So, don't be too sad as summer winds down. Though I love the summer months, to my way of thinking, there is always something fun to anticipate as time marches on. I doubt there's anything any of us can do to stop it from pressing on, so make the best of the last of the nice, warm days, and savor the season that is coming.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Yay! I have two releases scheduled within the next six months.  My novel By the River is scheduled for November and the compilation of three love stories which will include my novella Rescuing Bailey is set for January. The other two writers who are joining me in this endeavor are Aubrey Mace and K. C. Grant.

Having just read a couple of romance novels, attended two family weddings, celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary, will attend a party for a brother's fiftieth anniversary this weekend, and finished the edit of Rescuing Bailey, I've been thinking about weddings more than usual. Then recently I sat at lunch with a group of friends and the conversation turned to weddings.  No, not more of that wedding stuff. One of my friends remarked, "Something goes wrong at every wedding no matter how hard everyone tries to make it perfect." Her comments brought on a flurry of stories of personal disasters.

One said her mother took over her wedding and wouldn't let her have any invitations to send to her friends. Her mother insisted it was her party and she was paying for it, so she was only going to invite her (the mother's) friends. The bride knew very few of the guests at her reception.

At one wedding the bride's mother wanted to make the wedding cake. She arrived late for the wedding with undecorated cake layers and a big bowl of icing. She said she just hadn't had time to finish it.

When I got married my parents and most of my family didn't make it to the wedding or open house afterward because a blizzard caused the highway patrol to close the road and they couldn't get through. I didn't have a cake because my mother made it and was planning to bring it with them. So my one brother who lived in the same city I did rushed out to buy cookies and lemonade.

At my older sister's wedding, mothers of both the bride and groom sat with a broken leg propped on a chair in front of them.

A large ceramic vase full of flowers was positioned too close to the father of the groom at a recent wedding reception. As he turned to embrace a guest, the vase went flying to shatter all over the area where the reception line had formed.

We followed the snowplow from our house to a brother's wedding in Montana that was four hours late due to the roads being impassable. (My family really should learn to avoid winter weddings.)

We survived the weddings of all five of our children and that of a grandson. Each one was an adventure. Working at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, I see a lot of brides which is fun. I often see and meet their mothers, attendants, and other family and friends. I can truthfully say most bridal parties laugh off the forgotten recommends, missing rings, impatient photographers, squashed bouquets, awkward attempts at humor by well-meaning guests, and ignore some of the more absurd attendants' dresses. Most couples see only each other and the beautiful ceremony.

Someone once said those who focus on the details and mishaps of the wedding will never be as  happy as those who enter into marriage only seeing each other. Those who are unaware or laugh off the mishaps are destined for a much happier marriage than those who bemoan the quirks that "ruined" their marriage. This is as true in novels as in real life; the best romances are those that focus on the relationship instead of on exotic settings, fabulous wardrobes, or detailed graphics. After all it's Three Little Words that really matter and that's to be the title of our compilation.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Good Advice!

I'm still cleaning out files and came across this Postscript from a Real Simple Rewards magazine from 2006. It was good advice then - still good today:

The best reason to take your time is that this time is the only time you'll ever have. You must take it, or it will be taken from you. It is telling that the phrase "taking your time" is synonymous with slowing down. If we want to live life fully, we do best to slow down. I don't suggest that we turn back the clock, trying to retrieve a bygone era when life was slower. We couldn't, even if we wanted to. But I don't believe we should want to. We should revel in our electronically super charged, unbounded world. But, to make the most out of this new world, to avoid feeling overbooked, overstretched, and about to snap, to make modern life become better than life has ever been, a person must learn how to do what matters most first. Otherwise, you will bulldoze over life's best moments. You won't notice the little charms that adorn each day, nor will you ever transform the mundane into the extraordinary."  Excerpted from Crazybusy by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.

Discovering what matters most is definitely the key. So here's to taking our time, deciding on priorities, noticing the little charms that make life enjoyable, and savoring those extraordinary moments instead of rushing through them!