Friday, May 25, 2018


There is something so intriguing about a DOOR.  After all, when a door is closed we can’t see what is on the other side; we can only imagine.  I have had a fascination with doors for many years.  As a young teacher, I attended an art workshop and the presenter was not only an artist but also a very gifted photographer.  I remember that she showed us a slide show (well, that certainly dates me!) and each photo was of a different door that she had photographed in her journeys.  There were all types, sizes, and colors of doors; some were old, some were new; some were large, some were small; they were all beautiful or interesting in their own way and they each had their own story.  I don’t know why this has stuck with me for so many years, but it has.  And so, began my love affair with doors.

One of my favorite quotes has always been:  when one door closes, another opens.  And because I have lived for many years and can look back over those years and see lessons learned, I know this statement to be true.  Many doors have closed in my life; some I closed myself, others God closed for me.  And each time, a new door opened …maybe not right away and not always the door  I wanted to open, but still a new door opened.

When I was 13 years old, the door to my life up until that time closed because my parents divorced and my younger brother and I moved with my mother to a new town.  Then a new door opened to a new school (which was better than the school system I had previously attended) and to new friends, many of whom are still close friends today.  

When my parents divorced, the door closed on my family as I knew it.  But later a new door opened and I gained a wonderful man for my step-father and my one and only sister.

The door closed on a relationship I was involved in while in high school…and a new door opened to a new relationship which has resulted in almost 48 years of a marriage that I cherish with all my heart.

The door closed on the future career that I thought I wanted…the one my college major prepared me for.  Then very unexpectedly a new door opened that led me to become a teacher…something I had never even thought of but now realize I was created to be.

Those were all instances where the “new door” brought new experiences that enriched my life.  But there have also been doors to close that I wish never had to do so…the loss of a daughter and my step-father; the loss of dreams that never came true; the change of plans that I didn’t want to give up. 

Life is full of doors….one closes, another opens.  Sometimes we get so focused on the doors that close that we fail to see all the doors that God has opened for us.  Sometimes we want to turn around and go back through the door that closed.  But life isn’t about going backwards…it’s about going forwards.

I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson that said:  Be an opener of doors.  I like that thought.  I hope as I continue through this journey called life that I will be willing to open new doors and that I will also be willing to help others open their new doors.  After all…when one door closes, another  opens; life isn’t static.  So.....
                    let’s embrace OPEN DOORS.

pictures courtesy of Google and Pinterest...and some very talented photographers

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


When was the last time you received a hand-written letter?  If you had asked me that question a month ago, I would have told you it had been so long ago that I didn’t even remember it!  However, about 3 weeks ago I received a wonderful letter….from my high school English teacher๐Ÿ˜Š

Let me explain.  One day recently I was going through some old papers, and I came across my high school senior term paper and also a composition I had written the same year.  (Not bragging, but I made A on one and A+ on the other…don’t ask me how I did in Algebra though.)  Both papers had very nice comments from my teacher, Mrs. Betty Cleveland.  I got to thinking about her and how she had taught me to love words and how she had encouraged my writing.  So….I decided it was way past time I wrote her a letter and told her THANK YOU .

I never expected Mrs. Cleveland to write me back, but she did.  It was a wonderful letter that I will cherish.  She is now 88 years old, still lives in her home, and from what I was told by a friend takes a “brisk” two mile walk every day. 

Now that we have email, texting, and facebook, I imagine the postal service sees far fewer hand-written letters than in years past.  And although I enjoy all of these types of communication, I really do miss the excitement of pulling a letter from the mailbox, tearing open the envelope, and seeing the handwriting of a friend or loved one. 

When we had been married only a year, my husband had to spend four months at National Guard training camp.  We sure kept the mailman busy with our letters….you can read about that here:

Today hand-written letters are referred to as SNAIL MAIL…although I just found out that that term was actually first used in 1942 in a news article about slow mail delivery.  Today there are actually facebook groups dedicated to writing an actual letter.  And…there are also groups you can join to receive HAPPY MAIL (another name for hand-written letters).  To find some of these groups you can go here:

Some people really go all out for letter writing and even artistically decorate their envelopes. 

So…why should we write letters instead of using email?  After all, email is quicker and typing (for most people) is faster.  Well, if you are in a hurry email is the way to go; but I got to thinking about it and here are a few reasons why I think we shouldn’t ever stop pulling out our stationery, envelopes, and stamps:

1.  Hand-written letters are just more special.  Seeing someone’s handwriting, knowing that they took time to actually “write” the letter just says “you’re special” and that you value them.

2.  Stationery is so much prettier than a message on the computer.

3.  You get to use all those hand-writing skills you learned in elementary school….no need to let those many lines of letter drills go to waste!


4.  You can begin a stamp collection (if you don’t already have one).

5.  You might get a return letter….just like I got from my teacher๐Ÿ˜Š  And then you will have the excitement of opening that envelope!

I am so glad I took the time to write to Mrs. Cleveland and so thankful she chose to write me back.  Now….who can you think of that would appreciate you taking the time to pull out your stationery and put pen to paper?  Try it…I think you’ll be happy you did.  After all, SNAIL MAIL can become HAPPY MAIL for both the writer and the recipient.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Life has so many twists and turns.  It can be like a roller coaster with "ups" that lift our spirits, make us joyful, & remind us of the blessings that life can bring; but also with "downs" which bring us to our knees and make us question “why”.  Last week was one of those “downs”. 

We have lived across the street from very good friends for MANY years; our children grew up together; we went on family vacations together for years.  On Friday these friends’ 7-month-old granddaughter ASHLYNN was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.  Ashlynn’s sweet daddy and uncle were both former second-grade students of mine.  These young men are like part of my family.  My heart aches for all of them. 

From what I understand at this point, the tumor is where the optic nerves cross.  A biopsy has been done and we are awaiting results.  The dr. “thinks” it may be a cancer that can be treated with medication and chemo; that would be the best scenario.  Whatever the results, little Ashlynn and her family have a long road ahead of them.  Therefore, I am asking anyone who reads this and believes in prayer to PLEASE pray.  Miracles happen everyday and this child needs a miracle.  I know her parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends will appreciate each and every prayer.  PLEASE PRAY. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018


I learned something new today…something that both warms and saddens my heart at the same time.  Today is INTERNATIONAL BEREAVED MOTHER’S DAY.  Evidently it has been recognized each year since 2010 the Sunday before the long-standing national Mother’s Day, but I only learned of it today when my cousin posted about it on facebook. It warms my heart because I understand that the “real” Mother’s Day can be very difficult for the mothers who have lost a child and the mothers who have miscarried and perhaps this day can be a day when these mothers can be remembered.  It saddens me because in 1986 I became an unwilling member of the club of bereaved mothers, and even after all these years Mother’s Day is difficult for me.  It is a day of both joy and sadness…joy for the blessings of my son and my two grandchildren; sadness because I still miss our sweet daughter that we lost at the age of nine.

Today we placed flowers in the church in memory of our darling Mandy.  Had I known what today was, I would also have dedicated the flowers to all the other mothers who are members of the club that none of us wanted to join. 

So…if you know a mother who has lost a child, give her an extra hug, an extra smile today and lift up a prayer for her.  We would very much appreciate it.

*If you’d like to read more about INTERNATIONAL BEREAVED MOTHER’S DAY, here is a link: