Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Golden Years

Just received the cover of my next book, The Golden Years Ain't For Wimps, the fourth in my ". . .Ain't For Wimps" series. I'm falling in love with this couple that appears on all the book covers––in different phases of life. The two remind me of my husband and myself. We're smack dab in the middle of the 'happy' golden years! I look in the mirror and can't believe I've arrived at this point in life. But here I am. I don't like getting older but I'm not complaining either. I feel good and life is full of blessings. How privileged I am to have made it this far. 'Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you" (Isaiah 46:4).

Monday, August 27, 2007

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

We're home from Tahoe--and a week of hiking, camping, laughter, good food and wonderful fellowship around the evening campfire. One of the women is a Mary Kay director so she treated all the ladies to a foot bath and then shared sweet-smelling products so we could massage our aching feet after hours on the trail. One of the men took Charles and me for a speed boat ride around the lake in his beautiful vessel--another treat. There is nothing like a few days in the 'wild' to put life in order and to regain perspective. I'm grateful for God's creation and all the people who have worked hard over the years to preserve it for future generations.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

To the mountains!

Off we go to Lake Tahoe for a week of kicking back, hiking, sitting, reading and hanging out with good friends who love the wilderness as much as we do. Will post my thoughts when I return. Have a great week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Yesterday I picked up a broom from the garage and strolled to the backyard where I planned to sweep up the clippings from some plants I had pruned. Suddenly I realized it was an O-Cedar product--the company where my father had worked his way up from errand boy to vice president during the 1940s and 50s. I remember Daddy taking my sister June and me for tours of the executive cubicles, and the factory filled with busy workers creating mops and brooms and polishes. I was so proud of my father and all he accomplished there and I enjoyed the attention June and I received from the various employees. The treat for the day was having lunch with Dad in the company's cafeteria. My father always chose cherry pie for dessert--his favorite. As the reverie faded, I wiped a stray tear from my cheek and continued sweeping, smiling inside at the lovely memories that such a mundane task evoked. I thanked God for Phil O'Connor and the life he made possible for me, and I thanked God for the gift of my dad--not a perfect man--but the perfect father for me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Beauty All Around

Today, Charles and I took my car in for its 5,000-mile checkup in Seaside, California--on the Monterey Peninsula. The view of the farmland and the Pacific Ocean from the highway is breathtaking. As we sailed down the road I couldn't help but notice all the men and women picking crops to take to market for all of us to enjoy. Hundreds of people in sweat shirts and jeans were bent over picking artichokes, lettuce, strawberries and more. It is so easy to overlook such individuals when my usual contact with produce is in a large air-conditioned supermarket. But now that I live in an agricultural community I'm aware of what it takes to move a fruit or vegetable from seed to shelf. It's a lot of back-breaking work. I felt humbled and grateful as I watched these men and women, and said a prayer of thanksgiving for each one. I doubt I'll ever again purchase a watermelon or a sack of apples or a head of lettuce without considering what it took to bring it to me.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Walkin' With God Ain't For Wimps

This week I'm celebrating the publication of my new book, Walkin' With God Ain't For Wimps--the third in my 'Wimps' series (two more to follow). The book will also be produced on a CD and be released this month. I remember when I talked about the idea with one of the staff at Harvest House (my publisher) she replied to the title with a cute comment, "Sure Ain't." Isn't that true? It takes courage and commitment to walk with God. No place for wimps. But when we get onboard with God and walk in his ways and follow his leading, what a 'walk' it is. He'll never leave us nor forsake us and he promises to give us life in all its fullness (John 10:10). Today I'm going to walk the talk––by his grace.

Monday, August 06, 2007

New Front Yard

Today Charles is out front directing traffic! A large skipload of pavers will arrive shortly. We're finally 'doing' our front yard landscape after mulling it over for nearly a year. The builder provided every new house owner a few plants and some 'gorilla hair' to keep down the weeds, which was fine for a few months, but now we're ready for grass and flowers and bushes and pretty pavers to line the planter areas. I want lots of color. We looked at roses and hibiscus and begonias yesterday at the nursery. I want them all. They are so beautiful. But I have to make some choices. That's what life's about, right? Constant choices. I like the opportunity to choose, but there's always a bit of stress involved--at least for me. I want to make the kind I won't regret. But how realistic is that? Not very. So for today I am grateful to have a life that offers choices, a God who guides my thinking so I'll do my best, and the chance to re-choose if I get myself in a pickle. Meanwhile, I can hardly wait to get my hands in the dirt and to watch something living and lovely take root in my yard and trust me for its care.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Working Late

I'm still at my computer finishing unfinished business--deadlines, etc. I didn't want to go to bed before leaving a few comments here. I've had a good productive day and it feels satisfying to have met my goal. Charles and I fit in a walk in the late afternoon, but I didn't cook dinner tonight. We had a grab-and-go sort of meal with what we have on hand. Sometimes it's like that. I'm learning to go with it instead of against it. Tomorrow I'll be going to lunch with a friend, my daughter, and my grandchildren. I'm looking forward to a day away from the computer! Some exciting news arrived in my e-mail box late today. Harvest House wants me to do another book in the WIMPS series. Yeah! I'll talk more about that when details are in place. For now I am simply grateful.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Oh Those Grand Kids!

This week has been about grandchildren. Our 19-year-old adopted granddaughter Sarah visited us on Monday and stayed overnight on her way home from a trip north. Our nine-year-old granddaughter Mairin stayed over last night. She lives near us. In fact, she's one of the 'reasons' we moved to Watsonville. We are enjoying these 'delightful interruptions' to our routine. Young people have a way of helping us feel youthful again. They remind us to look 'hip' by leaving our shirts hanging out instead of tucking them in, and they tell us they love the peace and quiet in our house. They thrive on the special meals we make just for them, surprise outings, even going along on errands. They don't care. They just want to be with us--and we love being with them. Times are a-changing, for sure. We are watching them grow up and they are watching us grow old. That's okay. It's the way it should be. There is a time for everything under heaven--a time for being young and playful and a time for being older and playful! I'm grateful for the time. And I'm paying attention to what I do with it.