Adventures

Having Fun at the Mediavine Conference 2019

“Blogging is so much more than writing,” the woman told me when I introduced myself as a writer at the Mediavine conference I recently attended. Her words were a meer peek into what I would learn in the next three days.

I have been a professional freelance writer for 30 years. I am a retired nurse and health educator, so I have written for many health venues, but as a Christian writer and speaker, my passion is to write stories that educate and encourage my readers.

The difference between writers and blogger...

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My Vietnam Soldier’s Story

My husband was a cook in the Vietnam war. One morning after praying for God’s protection for himself and his comrades, he felt he should go into the mess hall early to prepare for his baking duties. He had to convince the head cook to do his work during the evening meal. Typically, he started baking after dinner and worked late while the soldiers stayed in the lighted building to write their letters and play cards. After finishing his kitchen duties, they all had to leave because it was his job to close the facility.

Nex...

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You’re Almost There….

"When it was over, I lay spent and exhausted on the cold, hard earth…never to be ranked with the average and mediocre..." This is a quote from one of our late presidents; my daughter sent me when I was toiling with one of life's many problems. She continued with, "In essence…I am a winner, and I will not say it's over until I have given everything. Until there is nothing left in me to give. That makes me special and unique." I keep this close to me and read it when I struggle or want to feel my children’s strength.

T...

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Going Back to School at 54!

Not long after I retired from nursing, I decided to go back to school. We had just moved a couple of blocks from the University of Texas, Pan Am, and I wanted to teach health education.

I was 54, and my brain had to open a folder I had put away a long time ago. The most challenging class I had to take was Calculus. I was never very good with numbers. Algebra had always been like electrical wires in my brain, connecting the positives and negatives at the right time. However, it may be true that repetition helps, much like giving allerg...

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There is More to His Story

When I was a writer in South Texas, one of my first assignments was to accompany Fort Worth students to cover the International Science Fair. Each day, with my laptop, slung over my shoulder, I walked to the convention center to observe and interact with the students to write about their reactions to being a part of an international event.

Walking by the park near the convention center, I noticed a homeless man lying on a bench. I couldn’t help but gaze longer than I should, and feel a need to sit down next to him and talk.

...

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Trails, like rules, are there for a reason

“Trails are there for a reason; my husband always told me when we were hiking.  The high grass and wooded areas can be dangerous”. His warnings were usually confirmed by the posted signs that instructed people to stay on the trails.

The problem was that I had a hard time staying on the trail.  My curiosity about what I couldn’t see compelled me to follow sounds that I couldn’t identify.  Often I went off the trails to get photos of birds, such as the Painted Bunting and the Scarlet Tanager soaring out of my cam...

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Fishing On The Fly

I watched with interest as my husband worked on his casting technique with his new fly rod. Fly-fishing has always been an appealing sport because it requires more activity than just standing and waiting for a fish to pull your floater underwater.

I was assigned to watch over the other four fishing poles he had brought with us. They were baited with live shrimp and had bright green, orange, and yellow floaters bobbing on top of the water. I wanted to try casting the line too, but it was his pole, and I figured I would wait for him to ...

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Be careful what you wish for

While on a road trip to Alaska, my photo fantasy was a big black bear standing on his hind legs looking directly into my camera lens.

According to the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, black bears rarely attack humans unprovoked. Usually, when they stand erect, it is better to look at you and show their size as a warning not to get too close.  I had no intention of getting too close or feeding or petting a bear. I just wanted a great photo.

Black bears and their cubs were plentiful on the side of the road as we drove our RV throug...

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Armed Forces Day in May

“Museums are a great way to teach our young people history. They are our future. We have to let them know. Sometimes kids are not receptive to lectures, but coming in here for Kid’s camp, movies, games, and experiencing the reenactments make them walk away with history without even knowing it.” John Houston, founder, and Director of the Texas Air Museum in Rio Hondo, Texas.

The first Armed Forces Appreciation Day I attended was at the Texas Air Museum. It was hot, Texas, hot! Our plan was to go in, look around, say h...

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We Are More Than Occupants

I was hoping the plane seat next to me would be empty. But, as I opened my magazine, I thought how comfortable it would be to spread my things out and relax without talking to anyone.

However, the voice that made me look up told me that would not happen. The petite young girl standing before me wore brown baggy shorts too large for her and an equally baggy gray shirt with a guy’s name on it.

She had pulled her hair back in a tight ponytail, and her face looked tired. She already had headphones hanging around her neck, and...

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An Educational Gift for My Children

The older gentleman in the hall outside the classroom was dressed very professionally. He wore a brown tweed jacket, dark brown trousers, a striped shirt, and a sharp-looking tie. His hair was gray, and his glasses made him look very wise. So I figured he must be the professor of the class I was about to enter.

When the door opened, 25-30 college students, dressed in an array of youthful outfits, funneled in and sat down, ready to start the new semester.

I sat in the middle near the wall just in case I changed my mind and decid...

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Taking Care of Yourself

The flight attendant stood at the front of the plane mechanically, giving safety instructions for the flight. It was apparent that she could probably give those same instructions in her sleep because she had done it many times.

 I had heard them many times before, but something she said caught my attention this time. “In the event of an emergency, the oxygen mask will drop from overhead. Put the mask over your nose and mouth. If you are traveling with a small child or an infant, put your mask on first, then help the child.”...

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Enjoy the Journey

“Stand still,” my husband whispered. “I think I've got it.” I tried not to move, even though something was scratching my feet. I glanced down to see prickly little bushes pressing against my legs.

He moved in closer, aimed, and clicked, but not quickly enough.  The fickle little orange butterfly fluttered out of the camera's view to another blossom a few feet away. We tried to follow it, but we were waist-deep in yellow wildflowers and losing sight of our feet altogether.

“Wait, I told him. Here's ...

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Reacting Without Thinking

He was just a man sitting in a crowd watching a baseball game. His face and clothes blended in with all the other faces in the crowd at the Wrigley Field baseball stadium. The Chicago Cubs were holding a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, and suddenly the ball was hit to the left-field directly in the path of the man sitting in the front row.

Without hesitation or thought, he stood up and reached his left hand out and literally caught the ball inches above the hands of the Chicago Cubs ...

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The Fireworks In A Veteran’s Mind

We were hypnotized by millions of colors drizzling down into the lake’s reflection. Our daughter said it looked like a box of Crayola crayons shot out of a cannon into the sky. The crowd applauded the Veterans Day extravagant fireworks display paired with a musical salute to our nation’s veterans as the town lit up around us.

We hurried with our two children to the best spot near the lake. We were lying on our backs on a thick plaid blanket I had brought to keep us dry and comfortable. Our children lay between us, ...

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Under The Same Sky

Our daughter, Christy, said she stood on a pier looking into the Black Sea. “I understood that if I wanted to feel those waters, I should jump in at that moment. I knew the odds were I’d never get another chance. So I jumped in the freezing water with my clothes on and swam in the Black Sea.”

The Black Sea is near Russia’s recently bombed Odesa Opera house in Ukraine.

In 1994, she and seven other students from a Christian University in the U.S. volunteered to go to the National University in Poltava, Ukr...

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Crying Child

Nothing is worse than being stuck in an airplane with a screaming child. “That mother needs the kid under control,” he said loud enough for the young mother to hear the comment.

The little girl making all the noise was about 18 months old, and no amount of consoling from her frazzled mother would soothe her.

I was flying home from a conference in Atlanta and felt sorry for the young woman trying to get her child to stop crying. But, unfortunately, acquiring “Mom” doesn’t mean you always know what t...

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Barefoot Summer

Our bare feet grew tough, our hair turned to gold, and our bodies browned and freckled in the sun that pursued us on long hot summer days.

Across the dirt road where we lived, there was an old abandoned building. Bushes, high grass, and broken tree limbs hid it from the road, but we found it and made it our secret clubhouse.

We swept the dust from one side of the room to the other and put a cardboard box in the middle of the vast open space for a table and cement blocks around for chairs.

We hid our peanut butter and cra...

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Blinders

The day was perfect. The soft snow highlighted everything beautiful in the Denver, Colorado, area. There was still some colorful fall leaves swaying in the cold, and seeing it all while riding in a lovely horse-drawn carriage was breathtaking!

I always feel bad for the horses because they have to wear blinders. But, I know they are necessary to help the horse focus and stay on course.

The blinders, made of leather flaps, are also used on-farm horses and mules to pull plows or wagons. Limiting the horse’s peripheral vision...

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