River Street

River Street. Wharf Street. Water Street.

Small towns and large cities alike frequently have streets with one or more of the above names.

Yes, they often parallel a river — whether the river marks the city limits and cuts through the center of town. It’s a natural — rivers served as liquid highways (many still do) long before the network of roads in the United States was developed to support more than a man leading a pack horse.

Roads have improved — in number and quality. Often they served the many factories which were built along the rivers. Transportation has always been important to industry. A large number of the factories, many outdated, others closed for dozens of other reasons, no longer receive or ship goods on the rivers. Instead, fleets of trucks arrive with raw materials and depart with finished product.

Exceptions do exist.

A freighter passes through a draw bridge while using the Fox River as a liquid highway. From a riverside path (re-purposed railroad right-of-way) we followed along at a brisk walk as the ship headed toward the third and final drawbridge before entering Green Bay — leaving the city, entering the bay.

Can you imagine traveling this way from one city to the next in the Great Lakes?


Read a good book?

Have you read a book in the last week? Month? Six months?

Did you like it? Did you laugh? Learn something? Do you want to find another that’s similar?

If you answered any of the above questions with “yes” –I urge you to write and post a review.

You don’t need to be fancy. Forget about the paragraphs or columns you find from professional reviewers in your local newspaper or popular internet feed. Can you string a couple sentences together? That’s all it takes.

Where to post? Reviews are generally welcome on any internet site where books are sold. You can post to the large retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple) or find author oriented sites like Goodreads or Bookbub. Post on your favorite social media site — remember, short is okay!

Reviews welcome by authors with the initial “B”.

And authors who write blogs twice a week.


Party Perfect

Have you been to a party recently?

No? Me neither. But some of my friends have attended special occasions such as birthday parties. Or allowed children to attend at a neighbor or friend’s house.

When I was a child — some of my friends held birthday parties every year. Others had one or two over the years in elementary school. We went to their home — played games outside (if weather permitted) laughed, oohed and aahed when gifts were opened, and enjoyed cake.

My children attended a few parties for their friends. Often at an arcade, bowling alley, or skating rink. Fun and food were the result.

What does it take to make a party these days? How do you dress?

Yes, Mama–I’ll mind my manners and wear my mask.


Dreams in the Field

When I grow up — I want to be a Christmas Tree.

Can you picture me — tall, trunk straight, branches full — I’ll hold your precious, antique ornaments of glass, wood, paper, or fabric. My green fingers have room for new ones too — gifts, crafts assembled by children, strings of beads, popcorn, or cranberries.

Do I look fine? Am I ready?

The workers have done a fine job shearing me into shape each year.

Want to make me a good house guest in December? Keep my water dish filled — some days I’ll drink more than others — the better to keep my needles firm on the twigs.

When the gifts have been exchanged and the wrapping paper discarded — don’t forget about me. Many towns and cities have special collection sites and will turn me into mulch for spring gardens. (Or check with the local zoo — elephants think I’m a special snack.)

Thinking Christmas trees? Check out Starr Tree Farm — a sweet romance with a touch of suspense. You never know what will have on a Christmas tree farm in January.

Kindle readers:

Nook readers:


Swim for your Supper

Yum, yum — fresh fish.

Today we’re talking birds — one particular species.

After having a rather rough time of it fifty or sixty years ago, the species now appears along waterways and in bays and inlets throughout most of North America.

Need to keep social distance? With a wingspan of up to 10 feet — this bird’s got you covered.

Born and raised in colonies — an island is good to escape foxes and coyotes — you find them either as singles or groups as adults. They will cooperate when feeding — fish while swimming (a sport I’d never participate in).

Enough with the beak jokes!

The proper name is throat sac. It serves me well when the small fish, frogs, and other tasty morsels are plentiful.

Name? My name is GLIDER– the best of the American White Pelicans in this zoo.


Classic Location

A Midwest story which opens in a church basement.

Oh — the tales the walls could tell — but gossiping is wrong — so they will stay silent.

Let’s take a tour. Kitchen with commercial stove and two refrigerators. A nice island counter with storage for all the cooks and helpers to gather around. A deep sink – double or triple. Don’t forget the serving counter. A piano in the main area — you’ll hear it during Sunday school opening and at other events. Restrooms — a necessity and so welcome. And the ever-popular smooth, round support posts. (Great fun for children of all ages to swing around until dizzy.)

Upstairs you’ll find the cloakroom — no cloaks but plenty of jackets, coats, and boots in the winter — an entry and the worship area.

Let’s return to the basement — and the party. Yes, in the fictional village of Crystal Springs — the church hosts a New Year’s Eve party — with music, food, and games. Don’t forget the midnight toast!

The model for Springs Community Church

The first of the three Crystal Spring Romances is currently available for 0.99 — this is the perfect time to sample some sweet romance with a touch of suspense.

Available at all major on-line retailers.


The Ninety-two year Difference

How long ago? Ninety-two years! That takes a person back to…1929?

Close to a century scary when you think about it. In my childhood, it seemed as if all adults were born before then. However, I need to remember…my childhood was more than two decades ago.

So think back with me…close your eyes and imagine the streets of a medium-sized city…the county seat perhaps.

Here comes the newest from Mr. Ford…

and it’s not even black!

Watch as it chugs down the street giving a smooth ride to the driver and passengers. Oh– look!

A special seat just for the teens. Hold your girl tight on the curves, Young Sir!


Need a Rest?

Long-time readers of this blog — or people who know me in person — are aware I enjoy zoos.

Recently I visited a New-to-me location.

While smaller than the local zoo (St. Louis is rated world class) this medium-sized facility presented a variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles in both people and animal friendly displays.

Perhaps I’m getting older. One of the things which caught my attention was not an animal at all — a bench with a clever design.

A smooth, simple place to sit and watch the animals — and people. Slide to the end for a stylish arm to assist standing.

Do you admire benches in public places? Want to see more? Click here for a link to my Pinterest collection.