For Sure and For Certain


I love the Amish!  I love everything about them, from their clothes, meticulous farms, buggies and horses, to their home cooking and unique way of life. Each time I travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I am in awe of the fresh air that fills my lungs, clean clothes hanging on the clothesline, children running barefoot through the yard, mothers, daughters and grandmothers  quilting together, and fathers, grandfathers and sons working in the fields. I love their selflessness and their willingness to help each other on any given day.  Most of all, I love how deeply they care for their elderly.

My curiosity with the Amish started several years ago when I stayed at the lovely  Churchtown Inn, in the small village of Narvon, Pa. The Inn is located right across the street from one of the oldest churches in the area.  While I was visiting, I spent a few hours a day, walking on the back roads around the Inn. I passed some lovely farms and waved at the children, as they ran through their yards having fun; as children love to do.  While the children enjoyed their summer afternoon, two Amish ladies were sitting on their porch snapping beans. Being friendly, I waved and to my surprise, they waved back.

As I continued my walk, I was awe struck at the beauty of the land. Every where I looked, the colors, scents, order, and pride of ownership, was evident.  My first walk, paved the way for me to really want to get to know those ” plain and simple” people.  I wanted to know everything about them; their likes and dislikes, favorite foods, family life and quilting. But most all, I wanted and needed to understand their deep faith in God.

How it all started…….

My broken heart…….

The year was 1994. It was fourteen days before Christmas, when my husband had a massive heart attack. He died instantly. He was fifty-one and I was forty-six. Needless to say, I was in shock, devastated, and  could not understand how this happened to the man I loved so dearly. I had to be strong for our four grown children.But inside, I was beyond hurt; so beyond, that I lost my faith.

Mother’s Day 1995…

On Mother’s Day, my four children and their families, gave me a very nice gift certificate to the Churchtown Inn.  Their generosity gifted me with a three night stay. I was ready for a change of scenery. The months leading up to May, were overwhelming. I needed time to sort things out. I needed to try  and find a way back to being me; or at least to find some peace.   I made my reservation for the third week in June.  It was a sunny, warm, summer day when I started on my journey, a journey that would change my life forever.

The Inn……….

The Inn was beautiful; my cup of tea. The owners at that time, took me under their wings and became almost like a family to me; and that was only the first day.  I remember sitting out in the back yard of the Inn, surrounded by the most  beautiful flowers, I have even seen. Admiring the panorama view of green grass, rolling hills dotted with splashes of colors and farms, I felt more relaxed than I had in months.

For the next few days, I walked the nearby country roads filling my senses with a purity that only this area seems to have.  Some folks waved from their buggies and some passed with their eyes glued to the road.  I passed a farm with beautiful quilts hanging on a clothesline. As I stood by the road amazed at the colors and patterns of the quilts, an older woman motion for me to come and take a closer look.  I was flattered. Up close, I could see the beautiful quilting stitches. It filled my heart with joy. She was very nice to me and thanked me for stopping by.

As I continued  walking, I noticed children working in the garden. I could hear their laughter as they pulled weeds and picked vegetables. A  little further down the road, I spied a farm nestled at the end of a fairly long lane.  An Amish man was behind a horse drawn plow. I stood, watched and thought, ” What hard work!”

On my way back to the Inn, I stopped by a little bridge and just listened. It was quiet except for some birds singing their beautiful songs, almost in harmony. It was at that bridge that something start stirring in my heart…


It was Sunday morning when Stu suggested I bring my coffee out to the front of the Inn.  He was waiting for me at a small white metal table. Stu held his finger up to his lips and said, ” Listen.”  Soon I could hear the clopping of horses hooves hitting the macadam road.  And there right in front of the Inn was a parade of buggies, heading to someone’s home for Sunday worship. It was a beautiful sight! Stu and I sat at that table for a long while. He became my teacher that Sunday morning and I became his student. He taught me that the Amish believe religion should be practiced everyday and not be adorning.  They also believe that God called them into a simple life of faith and humility putting family and helping others at the top of their daily lives.

As I listened, the bells from the church across the street, started to ring and Stu invited to go with him. It was quaint but beautiful. The people were friendly.  As I sat their, I thought about what Stu had taught me and prayed for God to help me find peace. A simple peace of starting over.

The next day, I took what I thought would be my last walk on a road behind the Inn. It was a beautiful morning. The road I chose had a small pond and of course a farm. As I walked by, I once again thought of Stu’s lessons. I thought about the folks living in the house with the green shades and the gray buggy sitting outside the barn, minus the horse.  Then suddenly, my mind changed gears, and I could almost see the beautiful prayer caps that the woman and  girls wore each and everyday. It was a simple thin white cap that was put on early in the morning and taken off before bed.  A cap that invited prayer throughout the day. It was on that walk that I decided to stay a few more days at the Inn.


Stu invited me to ride along to the Amish farm I had walked by the day before.  He did not have to ask me twice!  He told me that Anna made the best shoe fly pies in the area. When we arrived, he introduced me to the family. They were very nice and polite. As Stu talked with Anna for a few minutes, I tried to a take in all the sights that I could. The children were doing their chores and looked up from time to time.  Their home was very simple but very clean and orderly. My eyes kept going to the pray cap. I just could not understand why that was so important to me. Was God using the cap to help me find the peace I was looking for?

Could it be that simple?……..

That afternoon, I sat in the garden thinking about the last few days. In my mind, I could see the prayer cap, the simple life that the Amish lived,  their love of family and their plain ways.  I looked up to Heaven and asked God, ” Could it be that simple?” Right then and there, I prayed, first, asking God to forgive me , then asking for peace. A peace that would heal my heart.  After I prayed that simple prayer, I thanked Him for leading me to the Churchtown Inn and the lessons I learned from the Amish.

My heartfelt thoughts…….

I believe that God works in mysterious ways. I believe that He nudged my children to give me a gift certificate to the Inn. I also believe that he worked through Stu to teach me a little about the Amish ,and that He guided my steps on those back roads. I was so filled with grief that I pushed Him aside. But as always, He gently brought me back in His time.

The Amish have a saying. ” For sure and for certain.”    Well, I am for sure and for certain, that found my peace in a garden at the Churchtown  Inn. A peace in knowing that God is always with me, no matter what happens in my life.

One more thought…..

Fifteen years ago, I married a wonderful man, whom I believe my first husband would have approved of one hundred percent. He is a kind and gentle man who shares my strong and simple fa



















Spring Into Easter

This is not a story about Easter baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and brightly colored eggs. It is not about  beautiful Easter outfits, hats, and shoes that go with the season. This is a story that started two days before Palm Sunday when I walked home from my art class on a sunny, windy day……..

Friday, two days before Palm Sunday….

Art class was over, I packed up my supplies, and headed out the door for my walk home. I always take the side streets, since it is a direct route to my home. As I crossed the street, I noticed how windy it had become.  It felt chilly but refreshing as it hit my face.

Halfway up the street, the meandering sound of church hymns encircled my senses and filled me with a desire to just stop and listen, but I continued my walk, passing other folks walking on this beautiful day. Half way home, Amazing Grace brought me to a stop. It is one of my favorite hymns. I stood near a pie shop and just listened, letting the music go straight to my heart, as it always does. Music is a precious gift; one that I love.

As I continued home, I noticed  a few trees bursting with the beautiful colors of spring. Just then,  patches of yellow daffodils caught my eye and the reason for the season caught in my throat.  Ironically, at that exact moment, the church around the circle, pumped out, The Old Rugged Cross, which always brings a tear.  I stopped again not wanting to miss a single note of that precious song.

As I gazed around, I thought about part of a scripture: To everything, there is a season and to every purpose under heaven…….

To me, spring is a time of rebirth, a time for new growth, a time of beauty,  and a time to reflect on my life.

Palm Sunday……….

I love to close my eyes and picture Jesus riding on a donkey into Jerusalem. In front of him, on the road are beautiful palms leading the way. On either side, children of all ages carrying and waving their palms to show their love for the man who loved them so dearly. Standing behind the children, are their parents, relatives, and all those whose lives were changed because of a pure heart.

Little do they know what lies ahead for the man that taught so many beautiful lessons and touched so many lives……

During the week, so many things changed for the Son of God.  Once again, I close my eyes and  see the betrayal, the horrific beating, the nails intruding from His hands, the breaking of His legs, and the nail that holds His feet to the rough wood.  I hear his Mother sobbing as they place a crown of thorns on His head. My heart breaks as they pulled and pushed the cross getting it in a place where He would spend what time he had left.  It is finished. My heart cries for the Man who died for my sins.

Three days later, He is Risen….. Hallelujah!

My Heartfelt Thoughts……

We all wait for spring. The anticipation of the change from winter to spring leaves us counting the days and longing for the budding trees, flowering plants and warmer weather.

Spring is a beautiful change that warms our hearts and tickles our senses with its colors, smells, and sounds of outside activities.  It is also a time to look within our own hearts and see where our love for other’s, leads us. Perhaps, the change will help us in reaching out to someone who desperately needs a shoulder, or simply a hug.  Maybe, it will lead us to look for ways to help the homeless, seniors, the lonely, our veterans, or those who are sick.


Jesus died on the cross for all of us.  When we forgive others, we help our hearts grow. Who can you forgive today?

One more thought……….

My heart breaks for the sadness that seems to fill our very souls. Whether it is losing a loved one through sickness, the terrible drug epidemic, terrorist, beatings, killings, or whatever the case, it needs to come to an end.  I pray every day that it will. It is because of my feelings, I have decided to end my story with the following: strive for love. Love everything you do. Love your neighbor, Love your family, Love your work, Love those who are different, Love those who are in need, for when we have love in our hearts, faith and hope will follow.

Wishing everyone a blessed Easter!

The Enchanting Weeping Willow

A few days ago, I drove slowly by my childhood home, reminiscing about a simpler time: a time without the hustle and bustle, a time without fear, and  a time without a care in the world.

Oh, the memories of long ago………

The house still looked the same; although a different color and definitely smaller than I remembered. The barn was the same; just looked its age. Our orchard where we climbed trees, and sometimes ate apples with an occasional worm, was totally wiped off the earth. The egg house where we weighed and candled eggs was in pretty good shape, but the old smoke house, where I sometimes played was only half standing.

I also notice the pear tree that produced the biggest and most delicious pears was missing. Just thinking of those pears, made my mouth water. The outhouse was gone too!  I should note that the pear tree grew next to the outhouse. That might explain the size and great taste!

However, I have managed to push the memory of the outhouse, and the cold seat in winter, way back in my mind!  Although, Mom did have it looking pretty nice with a picture and a few magazines.

As I scanned the lower part of the yard, I noticed the outdoor fireplace where Mom grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, was still standing.  Then, something caught my eye and prompt a feeling of emptiness, as I realized that my favorite place, a place where I read, acted out stories and could be anyone or anything I wanted to be, was gone.


Dad loved to read! I can still see him sitting in his chair after a hard day with an open Lonesome Dove book.  Dad also loved to go to auctions, where he would bid and sometimes buy a box lot or two, filled with many contents. Sometimes, there would be books appropriate for me to read, and read them I did! One time there were two Nancy Drew books! I read them both within a couple of days. Dad made a real effort to look for box lots that had books in them. Needless to say,  I always looked forward to seeing the surprises he brought home.

Thank you Dad, who now resides in heaven, for inspiring me and providing me with countless books that took me on adventures, stories that made me laugh, and stories that made me cry. But, most of all, stories that made me believe that I really could be anyone and anything I wanted to be.

The enchanting weeping willow……..

During the summer, I would hurry to get my chores done, then head down to the weeping willow tree, with the long branches holding slender, soft leaves. One summer, I asked Dad not to cut the branches, which were already quite long. He agreed, and the enchanting weeping willow took on a new look  for me.

As I walked out the door with my book, Mom called me back and gave me an old blanket and pillow to use under my tree.  I smiled and ran down the little hill, past the peony bush and through the branches. I shook the blanket like Mom did when she was putting new sheets on my bed, then, plopped the pillow down and got comfortable. It felt like I was sitting on a magic carpet.

On that afternoon, and every afternoon that summer, I entered through the branches, to a place that was just for me. A place where I could enjoy my books, and become one with each character. Each book took me on a new adventure and places I could only dream about. I acted out parts of my favorite stories, danced around the branches, sang songs, and daydreamed about living in a castle; and even wore my blanket like a queen’s robe.

Sometimes, I would drift off while reading and wake up to the sound of soft breezes meandering through feather like branches. It was very peaceful and very special.  The weeping willow became a part of me that summer, and for many summers to come. As my love of reading grew so did my love of the willow.

I often found myself going under the branches when I wanted to think, when I was bullied, or when I wanted to cry. It was a place that always made me feel better. Just thinking about it now, brings back nice memories that tickle my heart.

My heartfelt wishes…….

The weeping willow was my enchanted place. Being under the branches allowed me a special place where I could be me. So dear readers, where is your enchanted place?

I would like to encourage  you to  find a special place for your children to read their  favorite books. A place that stimulates their imagination and allows them to travel to places they can only dream about. Load up on the type of stories your child likes to read but also introduce different genres. Children are a wonderful blessing, read with them, encourage them and love them unconditionally.








Don’t Name the Puppies!

I grew up on a small farm in rural Pennsylvania. Along with a variety of animals, we also had puppies, and from time to time, a few young dogs.  It all started with my dad’s deep love for animals of all kinds; especially the four legged ones that barked.

It was not uncommon for Dad to bring home a stray on any given day.His love grew into a small business in which my dad would take in puppies that were not wanted, or young dogs who frustrated their owners.

At times, Dad had several dogs, and  it was advised that he apply for a kennel license. We certainly had our share of puppies when the word got out. Dad took wonderful care of  each one. He worked with a local veterinarian, who came to the farm to make sure the puppies and dogs were healthy. Most of the puppies were a mixed breed with an occasional pure bred.

Each time a new puppy or dog arrived, Dad would say, ” Don’t name the puppies!”  I would look up at him, smile, as the wheels of my brain starting thinking, of the perfect name for each one.  Little did Dad know, how much I loved the little darlings.  I use to sneak out to the barn just to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and white dare devils rolling, wrestling, and nipping  at each other. It was pure love.. and I wanted to keep them all.

Oh no, get the tissues…….

The day came when the first puppy had to leave. Dad made me stay in the house, since I was already crying in my cereal.  My two younger sisters were bawling their eyes out, and our baby brother was crying just because we were crying.  We were a mess.  I begged Mom to let me go out to the barn to say my last good-bye to Jimmy.

Dad saw me coming and smiled. He left me hug the brown little puppy who had captured my heart.  I knew Jimmy’s new owners would take care of him, but I loved him so much. I felt the tears filling my eyes, turned, and ran back to the house.

When Dad came in,  we could tell his heart was as heavy as ours.  He looked at each one of us with a tear in his eyes and said, ” Don’t name the puppies.”

Dad’s advice…….

During the time Dad had his kennel, I would hear, ” Don’t name the puppies,” many, many times. It was hard to take Dad’s advice because of my young age. Besides, I really, really, wanted to keep each one of those beautiful creatures. My heart would break as each puppy and dog left, but I kept naming them until the day Dad could no longer keep up with the kennel.

Don’t name the stray cats, birds, squirrels……..

The story I just wrote, happened over fifty -five years ago, and guess what? I am still naming the birds that sit in my tree, the cats that walk over my deck and the squirrels that comes for their daily peanuts.  I am an animal lover and proud of it.


Why do people abuse animals?  I wish I knew. Each time, I read an article in the paper or see a news report on the television, my heart literally breaks. Sometimes, I think I can almost hear Dad crying from heaven and asking the same question; why?

My heartfelt wish…..

I dream of the day, when all animals will be treated with love. I pray that they will not be abused, or dropped off on the side of the road.  I wish, that they all will have food and a loving home, where they feel safe and wanted.

With love….

This story is important to me because, I loved my dear Dad so very much. I can still see his twinkly brown eyes and hear his voice when he talked  to the puppies, dogs, and the animals on our farm. Dad didn’t make much money on the kennel. He charged very little for the dogs. Dad mainly charged enough to cover the food, vet and a little extra for his family.  He was a wonderful father and taught me a lot. His love of animals, crept into my heart where it will live until I take my last breath.

One more thought..

There are many ways of helping animals. Volunteer at a local shelter or animal hospital, donate dog, cat, bird, and rabbit food and supplies, help out at a horse farm for retired horses, or buy an extra can of dog or cat food for a senior who has a cat or dog.  Parents, when considering a pet for your child, try and make sure the pet and child are compatible. I am sure you can think of many other ways to help. Your help will definitely make a difference! Be a hero!

My heart speaks……

Dear readers, above all, love your pets unconditionally. Hug them, kiss them, play with them. You will not regret it. The more love we show our pets, the more our pets will love us back.

Happy Birthday Dad……

Today, March 10th, would have been Dad’s 94th birthday. I know that he is celebrating  with Mom in heaven, surrounded by all the animals he always loved. Happy Birthday dear Dad. I miss you more with each passing day and remember your famous words, ” Don’t name the puppies!”











The Many Faces of Hope, Faith and Love

This is a story about hope, faith and love; and, the lessons, changes, and miracles that can happen when we believe.


The definition of hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a sure thing to happen.  The archaic description: a sense of trust.

Those who are less fortunate………..

I like to help others.  One of my favorite places to visit and help out is at our local homeless shelter.  Each time I volunteer, I am amazed at the growing number of people needing this vital service.  The residents of the shelter come from all walks of life.  Some are recovering addicts, some have lost their jobs, some have lost their homes, and some are veterans with emotional issues. Before they came to the shelter, they felt helpless.

I remember talking with a lovely woman who had lost her job and apartment, due to an illness, which led to surgery,  followed by many weeks of recuperation.  She felt so helpless.

During the day, folks who do not reside at the shelter but are struggling financially can drop in for lunch. I have seen whole families when serving at the twelve o’clock hour. It is not uncommon to help seventy, eighty, or more people at that time of day.

These wonderful folks have very few material things and depend on donations of clothes, shoes and the necessities of life, to help them get their lives back on track.

The men and women who call the shelter home may stay up to one year while they work on getting themselves together through counseling, working on their GED, and learning a new skill; hopefully leading to better job opportunities.

You are probably thinking, where is this story going? What does it have to do with the title? Why is she talking so much about the less fortunate?  Hang in there, I promise it will all come together.


The definition of faith: 1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 2.belief in the existence of God, or a higher being, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

Those who are ill…….

Every family has someone facing a severe illness.  It seems to be all around us. Some have a disease that is easy to heal, and some have an illness that meanders down a steep road to recovery. We cannot forget those that suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Those going through illnesses feel helpless. In reality, illnesses can happen to anyone at any age. When our loved ones are sick, we feel powerless.

Losing a loved one…

When a loved one dies, a big part of us goes with them. Whether we lose them through an illness, an accident, a drug overdose, or suicide; we are never the same. Along with the many questions we have, helplessness creeps in and plans on staying for a very long time.

Those serving in the military……

When we have a loved one serving in the military, our thoughts are always on their well being. The separation the family endures is overwhelming, and the longing to be together is forever present. Those serving have a helpless feeling when things are not going just right at home, and those at home feel helpless when their loved one is in danger.


The definition of love: 1. an intense feeling of deep affection. 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment, or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend

The shelter is a beacon of hope for all those who are going through a rough patch in life.  It is a place where the failures of life can be turned around; fostering a new way of thinking, and a possible change of heart.

Although the home is made of wood and bricks, it is an environment that allows those struggling, to feel the warmth of caring staff members and volunteers. Programs provided for the residents are stepping stones to success. It is the hope that all the residents will use the learned skills to make better choices, find jobs, and gain the confidence to live healthy, happy lives.

Families stopping by for daily lunch, know that they are not alone in their struggles through the delicious meal prepared and served by those wanting to make a difference.  The love that floats through the air in the shelter is like a magnet that touches each person as they step up to the serving counter.

Family members more than often, pull together when there is an illness. They do what they can to take care of those they love.  They pray, and ask God, to take away the sickness, lessen the pain, and make them whole. Their prayers, faith, and love mingle together to form a powerful border; a border of unconditional love that leads to hope.

Those of us who have lost a loved one, grieve each and every day in our own ways. There is no time limit on grieving but having support, and knowing that friends and relatives are there for us and truly love us, help the healing process begin. It is through hope, faith, and love that we begin to live again.

Last words……

So dear readers, if you have not guessed, The Many Faces of Hope, Faith, and Love, really is about each and every one of us. It is about; helping those less fortunate; caring and supporting those who are ill; reaching out to family and friends who have lost a loved one, and showing respect and love to each and every serviceman and woman, and their families.

I firmly believe in my heart, that when we do for others, hope, faith, and love grow like beautiful flowers. Just imagine, the gardens we could each grow if we reached out to those who desperately need us!   Our beautiful gardens could become miracles for those we love.  My question to you is:  What grows in your garden?





Live Your Dreams

When I was a young girl, my mom told me that I could be anything I wanted to be, so I started dreaming…..

Memories; the good and the bad……

I have many wonderful memories of my childhood, like growing up on a farm, being around animals, reading under the weeping willow tree, eating fresh strawberries from my mom’s garden, and roller skating from the house to the barn. I loved living on the farm.

I loved helping my mother work in her garden. In fact, I remember picking beans for her, then eating most of them, before returning to the kitchen, with an almost empty pot. Mom just laughed and told me to go pick some more, or the time, Dad tried to teach me how to ride a used, old looking, riding mower, and I ended up going around and around in a big circle. Dad laughed so hard, as he chased the mower to rescue me.

I loved telling the kittens stories, and singing along with my favorite singer, Connie Francis; holding my hairbrush, and swaying around my bedroom. The farm was a place that allowed me to be me.

I also have some sad memories of my childhood, like being bullied in school because I wore the same outfit three or more times a week; because I was  short and chubby; because I had a freckled face; because I sported a yearly tight perm; because I ate the same lunch everyday, and because I was not very good in math. The more I tried, the more mistakes I made, which always ended up, with me being called stupid.

I am not afraid to say, that school was not a happy place for me.  It was a place that changed me into two people. A quiet shy girl who rarely raised her hand, even when she knew the answer. A girl who was falsely accused of the cat, having her tongue, and the girl who never volunteered for anything.

I rode the bus in silence to school and home.  The only good thing about the ride home was that the big yellow bus took me to my safe haven, where I could be the real me. Where I could sing and dance, talk to the animals and be with my family. I talked from the time my foot hit the last step on the bus and stopped when I closed my eyes at night. I loved my family and I never let them know what was happening to me at school.

Dream a little dream…….

When I was little, I loved to play school. I would line up anything stuffed to be my students. Mom, once told me I even tried to get the cats to sit still for a lesson, which lasted all of two seconds. She shared with me, how much she enjoyed listening to the one way  conversations, I had with my pretend students. I remember playing school a lot all through my elementary school years. It’s funny, math wasn’t hard in my pretend classroom and I never made any of my pretend students feel stupid. I dreamed of being a teacher someday.  I kept that dream, my secret.

As a child, I love to make up stories about the animals on the farm. I would tell those stories to Mom, and my two much younger sisters. Of course, the cats, kittens and the animals  on the farm were my sounding boards for the adventures I conjured up.  I dreamed of being a storyteller and writer someday. I kept that dream my secret.

I dreamed of being a mother, just like my mom……

As the story goes……..

I was happy when I left elementary school and went to junior high, then high school, but honestly nothing changed. The bullies were still there, just older and bigger. They were still cruel, and I was still the quiet girl. I worked hard in school and earned pretty good grades. Back then, I knew my parents would not have the money to send me to college, so I took business classes, in which, I did quite well. But, I knew that my dream of being a teacher was not going to happen.

As the story goes, I worked after high school, got married and raised four children. When my youngest child, was in high school, the dream of becoming a teacher, tugged at my heart. I was 35  when I had a conversation with my husband about my dream. He gave me his blessing. I was on cloud nine until, some folks told me that I was out of my mind. But I was grown-up now. I had confidence in myself. I knew it would be hard work, but I was not afraid.  I had to try.

My next step was to talk to an advisor at our local community college.  They welcomed me with open arms as did, East Stroudsburg University. I was thirty six when I started. It was not easy, but, I was determined. I was doing this for my dream. I wanted to be a teacher that would make a difference, one that would encourage not discourage. I needed to prove to myself that I could accomplish something positive, unlike, what I heard throughout my school years from my peers, and some teachers.

Something wonderful happened to me at college, I enjoyed it! Every minute of it. I made friends, laughed and never felt alone. I always made sure to treat everyone with respect and kindness.   However, the best experience, was when I graduated. I made it, Honors and all.

I taught for twenty-three years and enjoyed every minute of it. I loved my students! The year I retired, I started on my next dream, writing.  It is my hope to make a difference with my words. I  am a published author and am now working on my first novel.

Still dreaming……

I will never stop dreaming and neither should you! The sky is the limit. Go For It!

My heartfelt prayer…..

Each day, I pray that the bullying will stop.  The pain and memories can last a life time. We are all important, and we all have dreams. We are all in this life together. Let’s reach out to one another, and build relationships that grow and inspire, all those we love, and know; encouraging not discouraging. So dear readers, always remember; when we help others, we help ourselves.

My question to you: How can we change a bully’s heart?











The Rebel Rouser Rooster

I grew up on a small farm in rural Pennsylvania.  Our farm was not a dairy farm or a horse farm, but a farm with a menagerie of animals; rabbits, ducks, pigs, a few heifers, one bull,  several cats, and a beagle named, Buddy.  Oh, I left out the dreaded chickens, a few possessed roosters, and three or four guinea hens that acted like terrorists. The first list of animals were sweet, cute, and always brought a smile to my face. However, the second list scared the daylights out of me!

A journey down memory lane……..

I remember begging Mom not to send me to the hen house. She looked at me with her twinkly sky blue eyes,  straight face, and listened as I gave my reasons for not collecting the eggs. As I remember it went something like this, ” But Mom, the chicken’s don’t like me.  They won’t give up their eggs. The rooster pecks at my legs. And Mom, you will never guess what that dumb red rooster did yesterday!”  Mom just kept staring at me, not saying a word. I continued, ” Mom, that rooster started scratching the straw on the floor, then, ran and flew high, and landed right on top of my head!”  She kept looking at me, then said, ” Now, Cindy, they are just being chickens, and stop exaggerating about the rooster. He never bothers me. Now go do your chores.”   ” But Mom!”   “Go,” replied Mom as I slowly walked out the door. I took baby steps with my head hung low, dreading those chickens, when suddenly, I heard Mom, laughing and saying, ” That Cindy, she sure does have an overactive imagination!”   I sighed and thought, ” I am not making it up, those chickens really don’t like me!”   As I passed each cat and kitten,  I shared my story about the wretched chickens. When, suddenly, I heard a voice, that made me pick of the speed. ” Cynthia! You have fifteen minutes to feed the chickens and collect the eggs!  It was Dad. I knew better than to doddle. Then, as I quickly told the last cat my dreaded story, I had an idea.

The plan………..

I quickly ran back into the house and swiped my mother’s straw hat off the hook in the kitchen.  It was the hat, Mom wore when she worked in the garden.  Then, I ran up to the orchard and found a long stick, longer than my arm. I was ready!

As I entered the barn, I saw Dad feeding the heifers, so I bent over and quickly and quietly ran through the barn. However, I forgot that the back barn door squeaked and as I pushed it opened, all I heard was, creak, then a slam. Once again, I heard laughing, this time. is was Dad.  I kept thinking, ” What is it with all the laughing today?”

Please say a prayer for me…….

I would be brave. I was prepared. I would conquer the red rooster, and I would get those eggs!  As I stood at the dreaded door, I took a deep breath, checked to see if my  hat was on right, grabbed hold of the stick, and slowly opened the door.  I walked in, scanned the room, and to my surprise, the alien red rooster was eating and not paying attention to me.

The hens seemed content sitting in their boxes. I softly left out a breath and walked over to the first hen.  I took my stick  and very gently  lifted her up just far enough to reach in and get her large, white egg. When suddenly, I realized that I had forgotten the egg basket!

I turned and went back out the door, opened the squeaky barn  door, bent down, and quickly ran back, through the barn, hoping dad would not see me. As I approached the small white shed where we kept the egg basket, I remembered, Mom had taken it in the house.

So, I took Mom’s straw hat off, put the stick by the door and ran as fast as I could up the sidewalk. I opened the back door and stopped to see if my mother was in the kitchen.  She wasn’t there, however, I heard her beautiful voice singing one of her favorite songs.  Mom was nearby. I dashed over to the sink, grabbed the basket and flew out the door, ran back  to the white shed, put on Mom’s hat, grabbed the stick,  stood by the door, check to see where Dad was, heard him talking to Blackie, the bull, bent down, ran through, the barn, opened the squeaky door, and once again, heard Dad laugh.

I stood by the chicken coop door, caught my breath, as I fixed the tan hat, held the stick, and opened the door very slowly. This time, the red rooster was nowhere to be found. I decided to start at the last hen box since the rooster was not there to bother me.  I used my stick to raise the hen, and as that white, cackling girl, pecked at the wood, I grabbed her egg!  That was easy.  In fact, the rest of the hens cooperated very nicely. My hen stick really worked!  When all of a sudden, I heard something familiar. As I turned around,  there he was in all of his glory, standing tall like a statue, right by the little chicken door that led out to the barnyard.

I swallowed hard and slowly started walking over to the door. The rooster started scratching at the straw, then stopped and looked at me. I froze and for a few seconds, it looked like we were having a staring contest. You know, like the contest, to see who would laugh first. But I wasn’t laughing. The rooster headed toward me and before I knew it, he was on top on Mom’s hat!  His claws dug into the hat several times while I shook my head. Finally, he flew off and I ran out the door. As I stood shaking, I took my mother’s hat off and there it was……..

I put my hat back on my head and this time walked with my head held high back through the barn, put the basket of eggs in the shed, and headed to the house.  Mom and Dad were having  coffee, as I walked in the kitchen. They both stopped and looked at me for a few minutes. I stood there and did not say a word. The hat said it all!

My heartfelt feelings……..

Writing this story brought back a lot of fond memories of life on the farm. Even though I struggled with those chickens and that rebel rouser rooster, I would not have traded that time in my life for anything.

What is your favorite memory from your childhood?