Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial day musings

Thanks so very much to my dear friend, Mary, for this award! To share the joy I'll pass on to 3 new blog buddies:

Julia: Dark Glass Ponderings
Casey: Enjoying the Writing Craft
Amber: Seasons of Humility

These bloggers show true versatility in their posts and are devoted to writing and reading and encouraging authors. I wish I had more time to peruse blogs and leave comments as there are so many good ones out there. Blogs really can become a ministry as the above 4 show. Please check them out - they are truly unique!

I was so thankful for a long weekend - and very thankful for our veterans and those we love and remember. My boys are still young enough that they don't really understand the meaning of Memorial Day, even though we explain it as best we can. No one near to them has passed away and they know few in the military. But it will all come clear in time. They may even join the military someday. Since I've spent time researching the Revolutionary War for this third book, I have so much more compassion and appreciation for the men (and women) who have served. But Memorial Day can include anyone we want to remember, I think. It's a bittersweet holiday, for sure.

It's amazing all that can be stuffed into a three day weekend. For us it was a birthday party, a sleepover, a long, cold walk in the rain, coconut cream pie and a BBQ, editing, reading Ransome's Honor, catching up on laundry, a little fiddling, sleeping till 8:00 am (a far cry from our usual 5 o'clock wake up time), getting reader mail (always a delight), talking with my mom on the phone and hearing about Kentucky's 90 degree temps... This week promises to be a busy one with one day already gone.

Do you enjoy long weekends? Any blessings or highlights from this one? Any good books to share? I'd love to hear:)


  1. Oh, thank you Laura! I will have to add your name to the blog award slide show. :)

    I do love long weekends. My mom works for the school district, so when she gets a long weekend, we all benefit. So nice and relaxing too. I wrote 5K today!! A great start to the week. :)

  2. Casey, I am sure this award is only one of many coming your way! My mom was a teacher, too, so I have fond memories of holiday weekends like you. So happy to hear you snuck 5K in - that is sure to make a weekend shine:) I always love when I get my work done, especially when it doesn't feel like work:)

  3. I'll have to check these blogs out! thanks for the links!
    We had a good holiday, sounds like you did too. I put some flowers out at some old family stones that dont get much attention--- my great great grandmother who I've been researching and 'getting to know' and a little baby sister of my great-grandfather. She died as an infant in 1916, but still lives on today in family stories. I wanted her to know she wasnt forgotten.

    You'll be so proud, I finished Sacajawea yesterday! I miss her as if I knew her. But isnt tomorrow the release day for Morrow? I cant wait to hear that she's shipped to me! Til then I have a whole stack of books...including one on midwifery. You never know what will appear on my bookshelf ;)

    Happy writing this week! And enjoy the debut of your second book!~

  4. Heather,
    So good to hear you miss Sac:) You should after that 1,000 page love affair! I admire you for staying till the very end - it is a very good book. Just BIG.

    I like to think of you putting those flowers out for your family and your connection to them now. That really is so meaningful. I think they would be so touched if they could see that. And who's to say they can't? my imagination wants to say.

    YES, Morrow is supposed to debut tomorrow though it was originally July 1:) I feel like a parent who's not quite ready for some reason! I'm waiting for my author copies. Can't wait! Please tell me when you get yours. I'd so love to know. Wouldn't it be a hoot if you got her before I did:)

  5. Hey Laura! Thanks for the heads up on those blogs :)

    I don't have anyone close to me that serves in our military but those men and women hold a special place in my heart none the less and I am so grateful and thankful for all the sacrifices they make on our behalf. I received an email one day that had an awesome quote in it and I added it to the end of the message on my house and business answering machines. It said, "Only two defining forces ever offered to die for you- Jesus Christ and the American soldier. One died for your soul and the other for your freedom."

    Your long weekend was a little more eventful then mine. I guess I have a highlight though (if you want to call it that?)… so we’ve been having some humid-need-the-AC weather lately in the Ocean State. But today, low and behold our wind finally shifted and came a blowin’ in from the North. The humidity was gone but then a smoky haziness settled over us that smelt like something was burning. My cousin called (who lives 30 min away from me) and said it was the same up at her house. So I turned on the news and apparently there’s over 100,000 acres of forest burning in Canada and the wind took it right to my backyard! I know right? Who’d a thought?

    But on a happier note, I reread “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers! And I’m so excited because this week “Seeds of Summer” by: Deborah Vogts and “The Falcon and The Sparrow” by: MaryLu Tyndall will be arriving at my door!! Early b-day gifts to myself :)

    I’m off to go order Morrow on Christianbook! I was trying to hold out for Amazon but they’re not expected to get it till July 1st, and well, patience was never a virtue ;)

    Amanda Stanley

  6. I think our community was especially sentimental this memorial day. We lost another young soldier only a few weeks ago (son of my Veterinarian), a dear friend from church lost her son last summer.

    This weekend was pretty low key since my men all had to work, between the 3 of them every day. So I just relaxed, took a few photos nearby, and enjoyed reading The Anonymous Bride.

    Thanks for sharing Julia, Casey, and Amber's blogs and congrats on your award.

  7. Thanks so much, Laura! I'm honored! I still have to figure out how to post up on my blog, I'm still somewhat confused with my new format...but I like the look so I can't seem to give it up! I'm honored to be mentioned with Casey, I love her blog and she is so encouraging. I'm a more recent follower of Amber and I love her title and her seasonal ratings for the books.

    Heather, Your book on Sacajawea sounds fascinating! I would love to read a book on her so please keep us posted.

  8. Carla, I'm so sorry to hear about the losses so near to you. I'm always mindful that this is a really difficult day for some while many just treat it as a holiday, not having experienced that pain.

    Glad you had some down time and were able to relax and read. With your busy schedule, I know that is precious time indeed! Thanks so much for commenting. I've missed you!

  9. Bittersweet is definitely a good term for Memorial Day. This was the first one since my grandmother passed away, so it was a little difficult at times. I bought the flowers for her grave, and they turned out looking very good.

    My weekend was very busy. I didn't even take the computer out of it's bag, which is very strange for me. We brought my grandfather home from the nursing home for a cookout on Saturday, which he really enjoyed. Then we went to the cemeteries on Sunday. We have family on three cemeteries, it's always hot on Memorial Day.

    Both of my grandfathers served in World War II. My paternal grandfather was a corporal in the Army. He served in Europe. Went ashore about two days after the D-Day invasion. He was also a part of the occupation army for awhile. My maternal grandfather was in the Navy. He served in the Pacific.

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

  10. Amanda,
    That is the most moving quote! And so true! It gives a whole new meaning to Memorial Day and Veteran's Day - and any day! You always find the best quotes and remember them so well. The rest of us are blessed by it. Thanks so much for that.

    Isn't it amazing how those forest fires travel? We were in Glacier National Park a couple of years ago when they were having fires and the mountains were really hazy and that Montana wind really blew that smoke around. Glad you got a break from the high temps and humidity. I sure miss the heat but forget how icky the humidity makes you feel.

    Oh your reading this weekend sounds divine! I read Redeeming Love so long ago but it really is an amazing book I remember even now. I'm still trying to read an Marylu book. If you have a favorite of hers you think I should start with I'd love to know! I'm almost finished with Ransome's Honor and enjoying it very much. Have about 25 pages left so will try to sneak that in today.

    It's a JOY to think of you ordering Morrow! I'm a bit mystified as to why her release date is listed as today when it is really July 1. CBD is ahead of Amazon as far as getting the books in and getting them out to readers. Wish I knew more about the shipping side of things. Bless you so much for ordering. Can't wait to hear when you get it:) Bless you today!

  11. I checked amazon and they are saying they'll mail it to me June 6. They better be quicker than that! I have no patience ;) You must be so excited! And oy....why oh why would you have to wake at 5 a.m.?!

  12. Julia, I'm the same way - I only recently figured out how to post these things on my blog. Trial and error all the way:) You have a wonderful blog and it's a privilege to get to know you and Amber and Casey and Mary. Everyone has such a unique perspective and it comes through in what they're posting. I love Amber's seasonal ratings system too! How clever and winsome is that!? And Casey is a HUGE encourager which is quite a gift to the rest of us.

    Hope you have a wonderful day in NY!

  13. Oh my word, Heather! That's the end of this week! WOW! Thanks so much for telling me! Yowzah...

  14. Michelle, I was hoping you would share about your weekend here. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. My granny is gone also and I miss her so much. So neat that you could share time with your grandfather and then visit the cemeteries. The flowers sound lovely. Mom told me it was plenty hot back there. I miss that, too.

    You have such an impressive history of service with your grandfathers. That must make you so proud! Yesterday in church our pastor had folks stand up who had a family member who'd served. It was neat to see how many did. He also said more than 600 thousand lives had been lost in the last 100 years in service to our country. That makes Amanda's quote even more meaningful.

    Glad you left that laptop alone:) It's hard to do. I'm trying to wean myself off mine when it comes to fiddle camp this summer and the ACFW conference. They're hard to lug around on planes, etc. I'm always afraid of damage. Or theft. Sometimes I'm a dizzy blonde in airports:)

    Bless you bunches this week! And try to beat that heat! I am so homesick!

  15. Laura, it sounds like you had a great weekend! Ours was good, too. And we LIVED the 90 degree temps, sitting by the pool at my brother-in-law's house on Sunday afternoon! Wish you'd been there to soak up some sun between showers!

    I've not had any experience with losing someone in the military. I come from a family whose men were farmers, too old, or too young when wartime came, and my husband's family was fortunate that they didn't lose any of the several soldiers in the family during WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

    I've got to check out these blogs! I think that's my new hobby! LOL

    Have a great June 1!

  16. Oh Laura you would LOVE MaryLu and I encourage you to get anything by her you can get your hands on! She is so incredibly talented and I think she’s the only Christian author who writes about pirates :) Seriously, she makes you want to sail the high seas and have your ship (and your heart) commandeered by a handsome, brooding pirate- who is really a good man underneath it all and becomes a GREAT man once God gets hold of him! *sigh*

    I have only read her “Charles Towne Belles” series, because her first series “The King’s Pirates” is hard to find because they’re out of print :( But CTB was AMAZING! I do recommend reading them in order, but of that series my favorite book by far was the 3rd book “The Raven Saint”- I knew it was gonna be good when she under the Dedication she wrote- “To the bit of Pharisee in all of us.” ;)

    I’ve been wanting to read “The Falcon and The Sparrow” for a while now and then yesterday I saw Amazon had it for $4.39- well, I snatched that up faster than you can say “shiver me timbers!” And her new book “Surrender the Heart” (which is the 1st in her new “Surrender to Destiny” series) is coming out in August.

    I hope you can get around to reading her stuff and let me know what you think when you do, okay? Praying you have a beautiful week :)

    Amanda Stanley

  17. Oh, I love long weekends! We spent ours at the lake house. I just posted with a bunch of pictures.

    Sounds like you had a nice weekend also. I would love to hear your son play the fiddle!
    And coconut cream pie.......yum!!

  18. Oh, that sunny Kentucky pool sounds heavenly, Regina! One of my fondest memories (no kidding) is the smell of chlorine! You have had a fine start to summer:) I'm sure if we had been together we would have talked writing and books and gotten little swimming done!

    I'm glad you've not lost any family through the service. I haven't either, at least that I know of. My mind had to reach far back and recall that my great-great grandfather fought for the Union in the Civil War. He was with the Kentucky cavalry and was captured on the Tennessee line and imprisoned at Andersonville. Not a happy story. When he came home he was never the same. He was a farmer, too, not a soldier. But he must have been a fine horseman to have been in the cavalry.

    Hope you are having a great week!

  19. Amanda, Thanks so much! I will order the first CTB. I enjoy pirate stories (anything with ships, actually) and she is so unique in that genre like you said. I really, really like her blog though I don't get over there as much as I like. You've probably seen her new cover which I think is the best yet. It is very different than her others and so appealing and a bit more mysterious-looking. Love the colors and font and everything.

    You are a wonderful resource. Now we're into the birthday countdown for you:) May it bring you lots of good books!!

  20. Lisa, I thought of you this weekend and wondered if you were at the lake house! You and your bunch are in for such a fun summer!! That place is just beautiful! I'm off to see your pics now...

  21. Who doesn't love long weekends? Hahaha! It sounds like your holiday was fun. I didn't get much reading done but I did start Beautiful Bandit by Loree Lough and I'm enjoying it so far. Unfortunately I did eat too much and will have to make it up on the ellipitcal this week before I go to the beach, who can resist BBQ ribs ya know?

    Congrats on the award!

    XOXO~ Renee

  22. Thank you so much, Laura! What a nice surprise to visit your blog and find out you passed on such a great award to me! I'm honored! :)

    This weekend was rather busy for us. :) I did some work for my new data entry job on Saturday, and my family and I went to see the new Shrek movie in theaters. Then on Sunday we took down our old gazebo and put up a brand new one! It looks very nice and elegant. :) Yesterday we went to a Memorial Day service, and it was bittersweet (as you said). It was a great reminder of the sacrifice so many have made for us--for our freedom. Later on Memorial Day, my grandparents and my uncle came over for dinner. All in all, it was a good weekend. :)

    I hope you have a wonderful week, and feel free to stop by for the Toy Story themed week on my blog if you get a chance! ;)

    Thanks again!


  23. Renee, I hear you about overdoing on the eating. That pie I made yesterday was gone by last night - and I ate two pieces:( A long walk is in the works today but I'm dreading it somehow. Your elliptical sounds much more fun! I'm so glad to hear you're headed to the beach! Several readers here are. Remember to take that Bandit book along - it sounds like a good one:)

  24. Hi Amber, Oh your gazebo sounds so very nice - love things like that! That just says summer to me. I hope your new job is going well for you. I remember being in college and having to work summers and how glad I was to get back to school.

    It's so neat (though bittersweet), hearing how everyone spent their weekend. Sounds like lots of family time was had by all - always a plus. My boys keep wanting to see the Shrek movie. Personally, I love that Scottish accent myself:)

    Am heading to your blog now for that party!

  25. Thanks for visiting my blog, Laura! I'll have to catch up on all the great comments in a moment! ;)

    I have enjoyed all of the Shrek movies, but I my favorite is definitely the second one. :D This latest one had a good message and some fun parts to it, but my mom and I agreed that it was a little more serious/"darker" than the other ones. But it was still fun to go see it in theaters with my family!

    Thanks again for everything! I'm really blessed by your support and encouragement! :)


  26. Hi Laura, I'm back to visit again.
    I was reading my most recent book from the library this afternoon during baseball practice and thought of you. You often ask us what we are reading or if we have a book to recommend.
    I do!!!
    Rekindled by Tamera Alexander!! I'm lovin' it!
    It's one of those hard-to-put-down stories that totally draws you into the characters. The hero is so rugged yet vulnerable, you can't help but fall in love with him.
    If you haven't read this one, check it out.
    It's book #1 in the Fountain Creek Chronicles. I will definitely be reading the next in the series!

  27. Lisa, I love hearing what you're reading - the plot line of that one sounds so interesting as I looked it up:) Thanks so much! She is a very popular writer. I think she has a new one coming out this fall - the cover is very pretty. You'd better stock up on books to take to the lake! Or maybe you have so much fun there you won't have time to read!!

  28. Amber, I know you're having a FUN week your way blogwise:) Glad to know about Shrek. I have one son who still gets scared with darker themed movies and one son who thrives on them.

    And thanks so much for taking time to come over to my blog. That means so much! It's fun to share writing and reading and life joys with each other.

  29. For me, this genre is so comforting. In this day and time, the world is a complicated and sometimes frightening place. The simplicity of life, although it was very difficult, appeals to me.

  30. Judy, So well said - comforting is the perfect word for Amish fiction. I know there are thousands who feel that way as evidenced by how popular the books are. Please consider yourself entered in the drawing!