I Cannot Live Without Books

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This sign hangs in my library/office.  And it is true.  As a young girl I discovered books and my love for them has never faded.

As a child, there was Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.  Through Charles Dickens I met memorable characters such as David Copperfield, Pip, Oliver Twist and of course, Tiny Tim and Scrooge.

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As a teenager I loved the books by Grace Livingston Hill.  Hill’s books were romantic stories where the heroine was either a Christian or came to be a Christian in the course of the story.

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Then I found mystery books and loved Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson along with Agatha Christie’s detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

My favorite book as a child was Hurlbut’s  Bible for Young and Old.  Here I met characters like David, Daniel, Deborah, Ruth and had my first introduction to poetry through the book of Psalms.  As you can see, this book is well worn.  Although I do not read it now it sits in a favorite spot on my bookcase.

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When I had my own children I bought them more books than toys.  Through the years my collection of books continued to grow.  Even when our budget was tight, I always found room for a book.  One friend told me if I sold my books, I could get completely out of debt.  But there was no way I could survive without my books.

Last year when we downsized from a nine-room home to a five-room condo, I knew some books would have to go.  But how to decide what to keep, what to give away.  We donated over ten boxes of books to a local Christian school.  It was painful to part with them.

Now I am down to just three bookcases.  No room for more.  Yet I find myself still buying books.  Appealing to my husband to help me stop this obsession with books, he came home from local yard sales this week with more books he found for me.

My favorite category of books is biographies of the leaders of our nation.  From our presidents George Washington to Theodore Roosevelt to George W Bush to others who  like Henry Clay, Benjamin Franklin, Sojourner Truth, Marie Curie, Jeannette Rankin and Frederick Douglas played a big role in our history.

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Of course, I always love books on Christian beliefs.

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I am always reading at least two or three books at the same time.  Many books I read more than once.

Right now my stack of books to read include:

  • Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg
  • Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw
  • America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laaura Kamoie
  • Daughters of the Church by Ruth A Tucker and Walter Liefeld
  • President Lincoln, the Duty of a Statesman by William Lee Miller

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I need to get through them because I have two books on order from the library.  Novels about the early history of Mackinaw Island.  And one of my favorite bloggers has written a novel, The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles- Skelly’s Square.  On order from Amazon  I definitely will put that one at the top of my list of books I must read.

Books are my friends.  They take me to places I will never be able to visit in person.  They introduce me to people whom I will never meet.  They challenge me with new thoughts and ideas.

What about you?

Do you love to read?

What genre of books do you like?

What is one of your favorite books?

 

 

 

 

 

Not Following the Guidelines

I love to write.  For years I have kept a journal.  My entries range from routine, boring comments about the weather to reflections of my feelings during a battle with cancer.

A few years ago I entered the world of blogging.  Really having no idea how to have a successful blog, I have read other blogs, articles and books on the subject.

Most have said that you need to “find” your audience, to write for them.  A lot recommended that your blog stick to one idea or theme.  Reading other blogs I have seen many seem to follow that pattern.

  • Blogs writing about travel
  • Blogs writing about mental health
  • Blogs writing about raising children
  • Blogs writing about the Bible

I started out thinking my blog would be sharing stories from the years I was a pastor’s wife.  There were stories that were funny and others that I thought might be inspiring.  I named my blog Grandma’s Ramblings because I also wanted to share stories of my beautiful grandchildren.

But after writing a blog since late 2014 it seems my blogs are all over the place.  My husband and I love to take road trips and I enjoy sharing pictures of those trips.  A Christian who loves Bible studies I also share thoughts from my devotions.  An history nut I love to research and share stories about our country’s history.  Then my family gives me much to write about.  From one blog to another I often have no idea where I am going until I start writing.  I just have this need to write.

Being concerned that I seem to have no “theme” I went back to the tag line I made when I started this blog.

Stories of a lifetime to make you laugh, cry and hopefully walk away encouraged!

That really has been my purpose – just to give someone a good laugh, maybe a challenging thought or words that might encourage.

My idea of success?  It’s encouraging to see the number of those following my blog increasing, but the real success I find is when someone comments that I did make them laugh, cry or be encouraged.

So I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing – and we will see where it all leads.

For those of you who follow my blog – thank you.  For those of you who have shared comments, thanks for your encouragement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabin Fever

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Here we go again!  Another winter advisory!  Ice, then snow and strong winds causing drifting snow, and low visibility.  It looks like we are stuck in a time warp where we keep repeating the same scenario over and over.

Moving last fall further north from our home in Illinois we worried that the winter would be more severe.  Fortunately we were wrong.  Folks back home have had colder temperatures and more snow than we have had here in Michigan.

But just as I was feeling kind of smug about that, we also have been hit by cold temps and snow and now ice.

Stuck inside the house for a couple of weeks now I’m getting cabin fever.

At first, being stuck inside seemed kind of nice.  After all I am retired and do not have to go anywhere.  I could sit with the fireplace on, a hot cup of coffee and watch the snow fall on the trees.  Our back yard looked like a winter wonderland.

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There was so much I could do.

  • Read the latest books I had bought and not got around to reading
  • Indulge my Scrabble addiction and play this word game with my husband
  • Binge watch TV shows that I love
  • Write and read other bloggers that I have been wanting to check out

But the magic of sitting and watching the snow fall is losing its appeal.  I have ventured out only to go to church on Sunday mornings and to my daughter’s home to celebrate my granddaughter’s birthday.

After watching all four seasons of Poldark, all six seasons of Downton Abbey and working my way through the first three seasons of Blue Bloods – I want out of here!

My husband suggested taking a flight to Hawaii – but since I have eye surgery scheduled for March that is not going to happen.

Come on spring!

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How’s the weather where you are?

How are you coping with all the freezing temps and snow?

To Blog or Not to Blog

I started my blog in 2014 but I was hit and miss – some months not posting at all and never any consistency to my posts until the past few months.

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Throughout my life I have loved to write.  I was a guest columnist for the local newspaper a few years ago and I also submitted a few articles in contests where I either won or was given honorary mention.  As a pastor’s wife I also wrote curriculum for Sunday School classes and children’s’ programs.

For years I have kept a journal writing about local events, family outings and life experiences.  When I had cancer I found writing really was a blessing.

So in 2014 I started a blog.  In my description of the purpose of my blog I wrote:

Stories of a lifetime to make you laugh, cry and hopefully walk away encouraged!

That was my purpose.  I never wanted my blog to be so popular I could attract sponsors.  I certainly applaud those who have been able to do that.  But at my age I just truly wanted to write to make others laugh, cry, be challenged or encouraged.

I kept starting and stopping on the blog because I thought

Who do I think I am that my writing would be of benefit to others?

Of course, by not being consistent I did not attract too many followers.  But moving to another state last fall seemed to shake me out of my lethargy – not only in writing but in other areas of my life where I seemed to have lost my enthusiasm.  It has done the same for my husband as he has returned to his love of painting.

As I have been more consistent I have gained more followers.  Still, I look at some of the blogs that I love and recommend and see the followers they have and I begin to wonder again.

Why am I doing this?  Do I really think I am helping anyone?

But every time I think I will stop blogging I get a comment from someone saying how much my post made them laugh and gave them a good day.  Or, how it encouraged them and was just what they needed.

So I ask myself again.

Why am I doing this?  Am I just wanting to collect a lot of followers?  To consider myself a big success in the blogging world?

Or

Do I really just want to encourage someone, make someone laugh?

Is it all that important that I reach thousands – or that I help two or three?

So I have decided to continue and to be more consistent in my posts.  And whether my followers grow or not, I will take joy in knowing I have helped someone.