It’s a Wrap!

“That’s all folks!” said Porky Pig of Loony Toons fame.

The End is an all time finale signaling the conclusion of a movie.

“It’s a wrap!” is a well known term in the filming industry to signal the end of a scene.

These are some of the ways to acknowledge the last segment of an undertaking. In this case it is the final assignment of #everydayinspiration, a twenty day series of blogs wherein prompts and inspiration were offered to those taking part.

It was a fine learning experience for me. I found discipline and a much needed release from my usual procrastination habit. Admittedly I’m behind on the twenty days but that’s because I didn’t blog on the weekends.

The post that was the most receptive to my Facebook followers was day eleven’s If We Were Having Coffee Right Nowtwo-hundred-and-eighty-three views. Day two’s The List was the next favorite at two-hundred-and-seven.

It was a fun experience for me and I looked forward to each assignment and met some new people in the blogging world whose writing also inspired me.

I shouldn’t fall prey to writer’s block any time soon because there is a stockpile of topics just waiting to find their way into a daily writing routine…not necessarily from WordPress, but things that came to mind during the entire process. I look forward to their unfolding.

But for now…that’s all folks…the end…it’s a wrap!


Be My Guests

Today we are to “feature a guest” as #everydayinspiration nineteen. Ideally this guest should be one from the participants of these assignments, but I am choosing to invite all readers as my guests, and instead, feature two people from my favorite church in the world, St. Andrew’s Scarborough. (Everyone has their favorite.)

The first is our Pastor Duncan. Wow! This man uplifts me week after week, and has been the inspiration for many of my writing topics, today’s included. Lately he’s been talking about Jonah and how God got his attention by allowing him to spend three days and three nights in the belly of a big fish. Most people think of a whale as being the only fish big enough to swallow a whole man. Now, you’re thinking what’s so inspirational about that? The crux of the story is that Jonah, as a man of God, was supposed to warn the City of Ninevah to change their disobedient ways or their city would be destroyed in forty days. Jonah didn’t want to have anything to do with saving the sinful city and so refused God’s instructions. Hence the time out in the whale’s gut.

So, what’s that got to do with you and me? Only one thing. We are here to uphold God’s will for a perfect world, and if it means going to our own Ninevah to try to instill some sense into those whose intentional or unintentional behavior takes the lives of others, either physically or emotionally, then so be it. Those are our marching orders. I learned on Sunday that I either start to march or face the fate that Jonah did. God, help me!

The second person to uplift me that day was a soloist from our choir. “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The words were sung with strength, clarity, power and joy. Our singer has recently seen the inside of a whale’s gut…that place of dark unknown. Just two weeks ago she spent three days in hospital when some unknown malady robbed her of her speaking voice, let alone singing voice. She could have begged off Sunday’s commitment citing that episode, but despite her visible nervousness, she got up there and inspired the whole congregation. Wow!

So whether you are face to face with a huge fish or waiting for God to reel you in for His own purposes, I’m delighted that you took this time out to be my guests. I hope you had a whale of a time. oops 🙂




Angel on the Infield.

Everyone loves baseball, right? I hope so because that’s my theme for Day Eighteen of this assignment…A Series of Anecdotes.

The first one is taken from a chapter in my book, My Precious Life, where an eight-year-old boy is being berated by an irate parent who doesn’t like the way he is playing his position at second base. Her constant yelling and criticizing causes the player to hang his head in dejection. When a neighbor of mine gets to the game a little late and asks me where my son is playing, I answer loud enough for the woman to hear, “Second base. My son is playing second base.” With that the woman’s comments were silenced. The kid on second gained some confidence and the heckler hopefully gained some common sense.

The second story is about my stint at coaching a girls’ softball team. We were a pretty small team, in stature, but not in heart, and had a pretty good standing in the community league. What we lacked in size, we made up for in really fast base running. When the championship games came along the first team we were to play  looked like they had been raised on the Jolly Green Giant’s diet. They were big girls…I mean big girls. Our girls were mortified until I told them an old saying I had heard when I was their age. “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” It was about tree cutting and how the biggest tree cut fell the hardest. For some reason it had stayed in my psyche and the girls loved it. They ran those bases so fast that the bigger team couldn’t keep up with where they were. We won not only that game but the championship as well and the girls learned to not judge by appearances. Bigger is not necessarily better.

The third anecdote is about a young ball player I know. He loves baseball to the nth degree but has a difficult time being the player he dreams of being; mainly due to his less than perfect batting skills…much less than perfect. Seeing the torment his son went through every time he muffed a turn at bat, Dad contemplated extra batting coaching. But he didn’t go that route. Being somewhat of a ball player himself, he took the teenager to a diamond in the park to practice. The balls were going nowhere and both father and son were frustrated. A stranger wandered onto the infield and offered some helpful hints to improve the boy’s stance and swing. Before long the balls were sailing over Dad’s head and his son was wearing a grin only an SOS scouring pad could remove. Would you believe the stranger was a retired professional ball player who just “happened by”? I truly believe he was an angel on the infield!

And then there was Blue Jay’s Jose Bautista’s famous…or infamous bat flip after his three-run home run hit against Texas on October 14, 2015.


A Map for a Muse


Breakfast in Italy, lunch in Austria, dinner in Bavaria…three meals in one day, in three different countries…it was a trip of a lifetime.

In October 2004, my youngest daughter who lives in the Channel Islands was running a marathon in Venice. We began our journey in Jersey, traveled by ferry to Saint Malo, France, and on to Venice where Lynn completed her marathon in less than four hours, which was her goal. Our travels included the Italian and Swiss Alps and a tour of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. .Everyone except me ventured onto the Marion Bridge. For one thing it was too high, and being a suspension bridge there was too much swaying for my liking. I stayed behind and hugged a tree.

In Paris we of course went up the Eiffel Tower, visited the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and strolled the Champs-Elysees.

The final stop on our tour was Normandy Landing Beaches. I felt a mixture of sadness and triumph as the story of that era was unveiled during our brief stop there.

My son-in-law, Brian, provided the following map, which I have chosen for Day Seventeen in the #everydayinspiration assignment, “A Map as Your Muse”.  The purple outline shows our route. This assignment brought back many wonderful memories and I am happy to relive them.


Getting Along With Others

“Mine your own material” was assignment sixteen from #everydayinspiration. Well, I spent quite a few hours doing some mining and came up with the following, due to so much unrest in today’s world. It’s material from a past post which I’ve edited for this one…words of wisdom from various sources for peaceful living.

If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you…The Purpose Driven Life – page 143.

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments because you know they produce quarrels…be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful…2 Timothy 2:23, 24

Thoughtless words can leave lasting wounds. God did not put us on earth to hurt people’s feelings. (Source unknown)

I am resolved in all human contact to meet petulance with patience, questionings with kindness, hatred with love, eager always to do the kindly deed that brings the joy of service and that alone makes human life truly human…Ralph Waldo Trine, In Tune with the Infinite.

Love your enemies for they tell you your faults….Benjamin Franklin.

…Encourage each other daily….Hebrews 3:13.

Compassion is to share with another whatever it is that circumstances are bringing to bear on that other. It means to be with, to share, to overlap, no matter how difficult or painful it may be…Madeleine L’Engle, Author…A Wrinkle in Time among other books.

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can…John Wesley.

Let everyone you meet be happier for having met you, for having spoken to you. This you can do by spreading joy….Edgar Cayce.

…Never hold grudges…Forgive the person who offends you…Col. 3:1

…Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippi9ans 2:3,4.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people…Romans 12:18

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

When the choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow…Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead…Just walk beside me and be my friend…Albert Camus, French Novelist 1913-1960

Our world right now is in much need of getting along with others, and we all need to do our part, however small it may be, however infinitesimal, be it ours to do by all the means we can as John Wesley so wisely said.





Thanks for the Cue

Day fifteen of the #everydayinspiration challenge suggested taking a cue from your reader for this blog. The reader I chose is arwen1968 who, in response to my June 30th blog, “To Write or Not to Wrie”  suggested many things to write about including books. I chose books by one author in particular…Frederick Beuchner…mainly because of one of his quotes: “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”

Another reason I chose this author was due to a Facebook comment that took exception to another of his quotes, surely due to misinterpretation.

I have posted about Frederick Beuchner once before, with good response, and a few questions about the man, so included in this blog is a bit from Wikipedia:

Carl Frederick Buechner (born July 11, 1926) is an American writer and theologian. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and the author of more than thirty published books.[1] His work encompasses different genres, including fiction, autobiography, essays and sermons, and his career has spanned six decades. Buechner’s books have been translated into many languages for publication around the world. He is best known for his works A Long Day’s Dying (his first work, published in 1950); The Book of Bebb, a tetralogy based on the character Leo Bebb published in 1979;Godric, a first person narrative of the life of the medieval saint, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1981; Brendan, a second novel narrating a saint’s life, published in 1987; Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner (1992); and his autobiographical works The Sacred Journey (1982), Now and Then (1983), Telling Secrets (1991), and The Eyes of the Heart: Memoirs of the Lost and Found (1999). He has been called “Major talent” and “…a very good writer indeed” by the New York Times, and “one of our most original storytellers” by USA Today.Annie Dillard (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) says: “Frederick Buechner is one of our finest writers.” [2]

Buechner’s work has often been praised for its ability to inspire readers to see the grace in their daily lives. As stated in the London Free Press, “He is one of our great novelists because he is one of our finest religious writers.”[3] He has been a finalist for the National Book Award[4]Presented by the National Book Foundation and the Pulitzer Prize,[5] and has been awarded eight honorary degrees from such institutions asYale University[6] and the Virginia Theological Seminary.[7] In addition, Buechner has been the recipient of the O. Henry Award,[8] the Rosenthal Award, the Christianity and Literature Belles Lettres Prize, and has been recognized by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.[9]He is continually listed among the most read authors by Christian audiences.[citation needed

To you, arwen1968, I say, “Thanks for the cue.”



The Time Had Come

It was 11:56 a.m. on October 26th, 1996 that I stubbed out a stinking cigarette and told myself once again how much I hated this abominable habit. I walked out to the deck to get a breath of fresh air before making lunch.

The stairs collapsed and took me with them.  My cries for help brought my neighbor, Sheila, running to my rescue. After one look at my ashen face and peculiarly angled left arm and leg, she called an ambulance.

The heel bone was broken away from the Achilles tendon in my left foot and my left wrist was fractured.

“Nasty break,” said the orthopedic surgeon. “It will be a long time before you’ll walk again.”  “We’ll have you in surgery as soon as possible.”

“Can I have a cigarette?” I asked longingly.

“NO!” he yelled at me, glaring over his shoulder as he left the room.

“No smoking!”

Surgery left me bed-ridden, fitted with casts and slings in a non-smoking hospital for five days.

“Mom, you look so miserable,” said my son, Kelly, on one of his frequent visits.

“I need a smoke,” I moaned.

“I’ll take you outside for a puff”.

He had always detested my smoking.

“Do I look like I can walk outside?” I grumped.

“Mom, I’ll get a wheel chair.” He was so patient.

“I don’t have any cigarettes,” I whined.

“I’ll go across to the store and get you some.”

I stared at this handsome young man who had pleaded with me to quit smoking for at least 22 of his 29 years, always gently reminding me, “Mom, it’s not good for you.”

And here he was offering to buy me cigarettes, take me out in a wheelchair to smoke them and stand by in the cold night air watching me indulge my wretched habit.

As I looked at the love and empathy on his face I felt deep down in my soul that now was my time to quit.

I often wonder how many angels it took to knock those stairs out from under me when God took me up on my prayer to suffer anything to quit smoking. The time had come.

(This is an excerpt from my book My Precious Life; it seemed a perfect fit for day fourteen of the #everydayinspiration assignment on WordPress, to write about an hour or day event in my life.)

Deep Sea Beauty

Years ago I took an online writing course in which I was instructed to edit the following piece of writing by cutting the word count and tightening up the story. It will serve as  day thirteen’s “play with word count” assignment. (Please bear with me!)

Original By Instructor: When Henry went on vacation to the south sea island of Bognor he went for several deep sea dives in and around the island country’s enchantingly beautiful coastal caverns. He found it to be a totally mesmerizing adventure under the glorious crystal clear sea. And then one day, as he was about to finish a dive, he saw her. Glenda. He saw her while still 30 feet underwater. She was like a glorious, mesmerizing, enchanting sea mermaid with long long silky golden blonde hair flowing in the currants of the crystal clear sea waters off the coast of Bognor.

He knew from the start, deep down in his heart, that she and he never were meant to be apart. But suddenly and totally unexpectedly, as he floated lazily toward her, watching her golden locks float above the coral reef, a strong current intervened and ripped them apart.

Henry lost his mask and air regulator. And soon, as he floated down down down towards the murky depth of the sea bed, he lost total consciousness…

My Edited Version: While vacationing on the south sea island of Bognor, Henry went deep sea diving daily. He was mesmerized by the beautiful coastal caverns and pristine waters. On the last day of his vacation, while taking his final dive, he saw her. He was 30 feet underwater, enjoying the flora and fauna. She was gliding in his direction, golden hair gently flowing behind her. As the distance between them closed, Henry was struck by her serene beauty. With sudden clarity he knew this was the woman of his dreams. He reached out to her, and as she glided into his arms, his world went black.

She had disconnected his air regulator, removed his mask and swam away. Glenda did not like deep sea divers.

A Critique of Sorts

When day twelve of this twenty day inspiration assignment arrived with its challenge to critique any piece of work, I wondered what on earth I was going to write about; and then on Sunday, a member of our church choir sang a solo. I’m not going to critique him, but the hymn, although I was quite moved by Ed’s beautiful rendition of “Because He Lives”.

It is another one of those hymns whose words implant themselves into our psyche (if we are so inclined) and are there to inspire, uplift, encourage, and increase our awareness of just how much it means to have the most famous man who ever lived, live today in the hearts and minds of those who answered His call. The song was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. I hope this hymn does for many what it has done for me over the years…let me face many uncertain tomorrows because He lives.

Click on the title to hear this beautiful, uplifting hymn.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow – YouTube

If We Were Having Coffee Right Now


If we were having coffee right now, I would ask you, “So, what’s new and interesting in your life?” Hopefully, you would then relate to me your hopes and dreams and sorrows. You would tell me about your son having cancer, your daughter finding a nice place to live with her boyfriend to whom she recently became engaged; your brand new baby girl being the new center of your universe; your hopes to be a catalyst in restoring harmony to fractured friendships.

If we were having coffee right now, I would share that my book, My Precious Life, has caught the eye of an Indigo/Chapters store and a future book signing is in the offing. I would tell you that a new and extremely expensive cholesterol lowering drug has been offered to me, and is completely covered by my drug plan, allowing me access to a potentially life-saving medication.

If we were having coffee right now, I would thank you for being in my life and tell you how much I appreciate you. I would thank you for being my friend, my family, my go-to in times of happiness and in times of distress. If we were having coffee right now, I wouldn’t be sitting here all alone blogging up a storm.

If we were having coffee right now, I would explain that WordPress began a twenty day blogging assignment offering an assortment of topics to write about. This is number eleven and is about a virtual coffee date. I wouldn’t want you thinking that my latest posts were my own idea. They stemmed from #everydayinspiration and have been really good discipline for me to pick up a theme and run with it. Some have been very well received and some not so much, but in the end I’ve noticed many new followers, and more comments than usual.

If we were having coffee right now, it would be time for me to bid you adieu and thank you for being here and sharing this virtual coffee date. Until next time…