Non-Traditional Bride

When I was growing up, it was common for girls to plan their weddings in their head. Sometimes the groom had a face– and sometimes he didn’t.

Some of the things in these daydreams were:

A beautiful dress.

A familiar church.

Family and friends providing laughter over good food.

hiding places

is a sweet romance (with a touch of suspense) with a bride. Her wedding takes place in June, but Mona’s ceremony is a lot different from any she may have imagined.

Click on the Hiding Places tab above for full back cover copy and links to order.


Interior Seating

A comfortable place to sit.

While individuals differ on the description — almost everyone likes the idea.

We spend money, and time selecting the seating in our homes. And we supply ideas and trust others to select chairs, benches, and pews for more public places.

A small town church with over a century of history is one example.

The church board, or committee, which selected these pews chose well. It is my understanding that they have been “turned around” twice when the building was remodeled. The cushions are new since by last visit to the interior. We used to “slide” from one end to the other while waiting for the Sunday school teacher. The flooring under them has changed. The hymnal racks remain in use.

Imagine for a moment: The hands which have gripped the smooth tops.

An elderly person reaches for a little extra stability.

A grieving spouse, child, or parent needs balance following a casket.

A toddler demonstrate how high they can reach.

An usher touches the wood and leans forward to have a word.



A Strong Tradition

Today, or this evening, is the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend in the United States. It is a time to remember and honor those who sacrificed for an idea, form of government, and human rights larger than themselves.

In recent years, I’ve come to view it as my dad’s holiday.

He was the combat veteran in the family. (Some of my uncles also — but they lived a distance away).

Every Memorial Day dad would join with the other members of the local American Legion post in the ceremonies to honor those who had gone before. They made sure every veteran’s grave had a small flag. Then in the morning, accompanied by the high school marching band, they visited each assigned cemetery. (Legion posts cooperated to cover the country cemeteries.) They stood in formation for a short prayer. Then two my two, they escorted young girls (and boy scouts) to each grave to lay a spray of evergreen with poppies. When the decorating was complete — they fired three volleys — and a lone bugle played “Taps”.

Later in the day there were speeches and food and lots and lots of visiting.

Father and daughter ready for the ceremonies.

Memorial Day celebrations have changed a little through the years in this small town. Fewer veterans are decorating more graves. The children dress more casual. The band is smaller. But the emotions in the families watching, waiting, listening to the volleys and shivering at “Taps” stays constant.


Stitched History

Centennials get celebrated in many different ways.

A person — let’s have a party with cake and balloons.

A war or tragedy — a solemn ceremony with bells, candles, and prayers.

A town or school or church — this requires a multi-part celebration. Let’s do enough that everyone is included in at least a portion.

This brings us to today’s photograph.

Before the celebration, each household in the church was encouraged to take home a quilt square and decorate it with embroidery or paint with something representing the family, including the name. When the squares were returned, several ladies of the church sewed them together to make this unique wall hanging — displayed at the back of the worship area.

Years have passed. Several of the households represented in fabric have dissolved through death or divorce.

For the infrequent visitor, it’s a quiet, delightful way to stir memories. A small town church, remembering their own.


Bonus Art Show

Libraries hold more than books. They even contain more than the extended list of magazines, music CD’s, and movies which many people would tack on behind books. (Or maybe in front.)

People — employees and patrons — also populate the library building. Numbers depend on the size of the library.

And some libraries hold surprises. The day I visited the library in a mid-size Wisconsin city — I was donating books — I went to the upstairs level and browsed in an art show.

Talented hands to craft any item in this display.


She needs a safe place…

Sometimes life happens fast.

Forty-eight hours after her first sight of him, Mona (a city girl) is sitting with Linc Dray in the small beginnings of an apple orchard.

“No, the problem is, the way my grandparents wrote their will, I can only inherit the farm if I’m married.”

She lowered the water bottle before it reached her lips. Her fingers curled tight around the plastic.

“Within eleven days.”

What? She listened to her heart skip a beat, like a kettle of water the instant before a boil. “Who?” Mona gazed down at her hand clenching her drink. “Who is this girl you’re going to marry?”

For more of Linc and Mona’s convenient (or inconvenient) marriage story– check out Hiding Places. (Click on the tab at the top of the page for complete blurb and purchase link.)

Ebook at the reasonable price of $1.99

Print edition a bargain at $9.99



The Giraffe and the Robin

Several years ago, our zoo installed a large, complicated metal sculpture.

This work of art greets visitors as they turn the corner or swirl around in the round-about at one end of the zoo grounds. Due to this location, I’d only glimpsed it while driving past — keeping my attention on traffic.

Recently I walked to the structure and got a better view. Here’s one portion.

As you can see…many animals and several types of plants are represented–including our friend, the giraffe. The lacy construction indicates color pattern, and gave an opportunity for a more common animal to set up housekeeping.

The Robin family has found a unique home site.


Summer Entertainment

The field is waiting. Have we had our last snow? Will the rain do as much damage as good? Will the creek flood the outfield?

In small town parks across the nation these and other questions are on the minds of the people responsible for the baseball field.

Mowers are checked, fresh fluids or perhaps a new spark plug or two installed. Rakes and bags and even home plate is taken out of storage and inspected.

The players are practicing on their own, contacting teammates, trying on their shoes. Neither the players nor the spectators expect fancy — you don’t need shiny or new to have an exciting game.

On the other hand…

The recently constructed dug-outs provide welcome shade when players are off the field.




One More Page

Today we’re going to muse about two moments of happiness. (The world needs more sprinkles of happiness and joy. Don’t you agree?)

There’s a moment when you walk out of the library clutching a new book — you just can’t wait to open the pages. What will you find? Will it be new information? Travels to a far away time or place? A story featuring a clever person who solves a problem and looks like me?

And then, two or three weeks later, there’s a moment when the book needs to be returned. So others can read it — adults try to explain. But…but…just one more time…please.

New book? Or one last look before return?

This charming bench is outside the Plum City Public Library in Pierce County Wisconsin. It is one of four libraries in the area where you will find the Crystal Springs Romances: Starr Tree Farm, Hiding Places, and Seed of Desire.