Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunshine, Traditions, and Easter

Family ties are cherished things, forged in childhood days, by love of parents, deep and true, and sweet familiar ways.- Terri Burritt
Easter Sunday - a day to celebrate with our church families and a day to gather with our extended families. Thinking about Easter gatherings seems to fit right in with my Grandmother theme the last few weeks. Did you celebrate the holiday with your family? What traditional things do you do for Easter?

 When my kids were young, we always went to my husband's parents house on Easter. The holiday was very important to my mother-in-law and she expected her children to come "home" on that Sunday. She loved having us all in church with her on Easter. She also enjoyed having a corsage on Easter. Ladies in the church wearing corsages on Easter used to be common, but it's been years since I've seen somebody show up with flowers pinned to their new Easter finery. Didn't see a single hat in church today either. No wait, one of our church kids who just turned two looked adorable in a very cute hat.

But when I was a teenager, hats were required church attire. All the ladies wore hats. I didn't like hats even then, but got by with wearing little veil hats that somebody told me were called whimsies. Gloves were expected too. No matter the weather. I had white gloves and tan gloves. Most people had on new clothes too. The kids in church today had new clothes, but it used to be everybody had a new Easter frock. In past years, I did a lot of sewing to get us ready for Easter. Now I just wear something I already have and don't even think about getting a new dress for Easter. I certainly don't think about sewing a new dress. It's been years since I sewed anything more than a ripped seam. So did you shop for new finery for Easter for yourself or your family? Or maybe fashion an outfit with your own needle?

Now, on Easter, my sons and their families usually make it home for a visit on Easter weekend. They came on Saturday this year and a good thing since we had a beautiful day of sunshine for the Easter egg hunt and then rain this a.m. It's absolutely amazing how fast seven kids can find one hundred plus stuffed plastic eggs. In the picture up top, they're waiting for the word go and posing for the camera. It is almost impossible to get nine kids to sit still and look at the camera all at the same time. But the photo op happened and the Easter egg hunt began. Then because it was such a nice day, we went for a walk. At least seven of the grandkids and one son and me. It's a challenge keeping that many kids moving forward along the same path and in the same direction.

But the grandkids love being on the farm. Walking in the fields is as fun to them as hunting those Easter eggs. Maybe more fun. They like finding new trails in under the trees and playing in dry creek beds. Well, they don't really care if the creek beds are dry or not, but their grammy does. The bottoms of tennis shoes are mud magnets that hold onto that dirt until they're walking around inside the house! But a little dried mud on the floor is a small price to pay for sharing farm fun with the kids. One of the twins did have to be disappointed and not get to go see the cows. He didn't think about asking his pa to take him until his parents were almost ready to go home.

So the weekend was good. Family home Saturday. Sunrise service this a.m. Fellowship breakfast. One son and his family came to church to help me pack our pew this morning. Leftovers for lunch, so I didn't have to cook. A little candy still hanging around that didn't go into a grandkid's sack. Sunshine to walk this p.m.

I am blessed. Did you get to gather with your family today?

Love your family. Spend time, be kind; serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised; today is short. 
                                                                         (Unknown author)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grandmothers Say the Funniest Things

All right, what funny things did your grandmother say? I know there's probably something. Some odd turn of phrase or perhaps mispronunciation, something that still makes you smile when you remember. Jackie called her grandmother's wise little saying "grandma-isms." So here are a few of those grandma-isms I gleaned out of your e-mails and comments.
Susan said her grandmother would load down the table with food and then say, "If there's something you want that's not here, just tell me and we'll hunt it up!"

LuAnn's grandmother-in-law said this to LuAnn's husband because he had waited so long to bring his family to visit her. "I oughtta throw you across the yard." 

Sandi says her grandmother was ready with "that'll do" whenever they were "acting up." I heard that one some when I was a kid and know I said it a few times myself. My mom was also fond of "cut the comedy." Her father told her the same thing and she said she got in a lot of trouble once when she told him she would if he'd let her have the scissors. I knew better than to ask for the scissors.

Teresa says her grandmother's favorite saying was that she "loved us all the same." And that she meant it even if she did have 50 grandchildren to love the same. She'd stand at the door and kiss every child who came through the door. 

 Patty used to spend the night with her grandma and no matter the temp outside she would load the bed with quilts. Patty says, "She would have so many of those heavy quilts on the bed I couldn't move! When I thought she was asleep I would wiggle out from under those quilts (not only were they heavy, I was burning up. Summer is way to hot for quilts!) get cooled off and comfortable and then I would hear grandma say "poor little thing is going to get cold" and all those quilts would cover me up! 

It's a fact that grandparents are determined to not let their grandkids catch a chill. My father-in-law used to build up the fire until we'd be roasting and thinking it might be good to go sit on the front porch in the middle of January. But he made sure the "babies" didn't get cold.

My aunt who was like a grandmother to me said "bum" for bomb. Every time I heard her I had to think twice about what she meant. She also liked to say "You'll never notice it on a galloping horse" whenever a seam in something I was sewing wasn't perfect. And when we took sponge baths at her house, she'd tell us to wash as far down as possible and then as far up as possible and then wash possible. 

My other grandmother was famous for saying "Go to sleep. You'll feel better in the morning" whenever any of her children complained with any kind of ache or pain. I've been known to say the same and more often than not, it turned out to be true. One of my other favorite sayings for my kids was "If you don't like, don't eat it." I don't say that to the grandkids as much. I just ask if they'd like a little candy instead. :) My kids have plenty of my oddities to grin about, but if they get to grinning too much, I'll just tell them to cut the comedy and dare them to ask for the scissors.
I want to thank all of you for sharing your grandmothers with me. Some shared about loved ones who acted the grandmother role for them. Others of you shared how you never knew your grandparents but that you were making the most of being grandmothers yourself. I always enjoy my giveaways more when the stories come in with the entries. You didn't have to share a grandmother story to enter, but I'm glad a lot of you wanted to walk down memory lane and remember your grandmothers. I also hope you've enjoyed the stories I was able to share forward.

Monday I'll be drawing for the winner of the lilac Grandmother's Bible, so there are still a few days to throw your name in my hat if you haven't already entered. The picture up top is the Bible open to one of the devotionals "The Art of Grandparenting." I'm quite confident that many of you have that art figured out.

Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear something your grandmother said that maybe made you smile.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Jewel of a Grandmother

"The history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children's children. It is into us that the lives of grandparents have gone. It is in us that their history becomes a future." ~Charles and Ann Morse
One more week to enter my Scent of Lilacs Celebration Giveaway, so if you haven't entered yet, you still have time. Just send me an e-mail form my website or leave a comment here with a way to contact you should you be one of the winners. And tell me about your grandmothers if you want. 
I have had such a great time reading about the grandmothers who have blessed your lives and about the blessing you hope to be to your own grandchildren. I hope you're not tired of grandmother stories, because I have a wonderful story to share tonight. In Scent of Lilacs, there's an older character named Aunt Love who is anything but a loving grandmother figure. She's crochety and beginning to lose her memory. She drives Jocie crazy, but there are things Jocie doesn't know about Aunt Love.
That can be so very true about all our grandparents and great aunts and uncles. We don't know their whole stories. I'm not sure we can ever know anybody's whole story no matter how many of those stories they've shared with us. That's true with the story BH shares about her grandmother who experienced some hard times through no fault of her own, but her family loved her and helped her through her troubles. It wasn't until much later that BH knew more about her grandmother's story, but she always cherished the one visit she had with her when she was a child. A visit that it turned out her grandmother cherished just as much. Here's her story.
Never really having grandparents in my life, as my maternal grandparents had passed on in my early age leaving me, an only child, with only my paternal grandmother who lived in another state. My father was her only child.
A very reserved and quiet lady who never really talked much, she lived in the family home which was 150 yrs. old with my aunt and uncle who lovingly watched over her. She loved collecting costume jewelry and would sometimes take the necklaces and bracelets she received apart and restring them into new and unique pieces.
One Christmas my parents decided to take the long trip to Iowa and visit everyone. There were no young cousins or children around so I spent a lot of time with my dolly sitting on the couch with my grandmother watching her restring all her beautiful baubles. She amazed me with her smooth graceful hands and fingers and the way she made each one look so beautiful, never saying a word, just smiling with seeing what she had just created.

After a couple days of sitting and watching her, she asked me if I would like to make something. Of course I was thrilled but scared I might break her precious jewels. She slowly guided me on how to hold the needle without sticking myself and how to slide each gem and pearl into its rightful place.

That first necklace was full of many colors and I felt so proud of how beautiful it had turned out. In making it, I would look up at her and she would smile, never saying a word, but I knew she was pleased and that made me very proud of my new learned craft. The second necklace I made she told me I could have and take home. The first necklace I liked the best but she said she wanted to keep it. I wasn’t sure why and didn’t question her reason, just feeling happy that I could wear one and take it home with me.

Our stay was short and we never visited again until I was grown & married with our daughters. My girls loved our visits each summer back to Iowa and watching our Grammy restring her jewels.

When she passed on, my aunt gave me her old cedar jewelry box full of many pieces of jewelry. I noticed a couple pieces we had sent her for her birthday and Christmas that she had never taken apart to restring. Plus, there was that first little necklace I had made that Christmas. When I mentioned that to my aunt, she said the ones we'd given her were her very favorite pieces that she wore to church each Sunday. That really touched my heart to think she cherished those the most and had also kept that little necklace I had made while sitting next to her on the couch that Christmas.

To this day I can still see my Grammy sitting on that couch, restringing her beautiful treasures with that smile on her face and feeling grateful she and I had that short time to get to know one another and share her beloved hobby.

Thank you for letting me share a very fond and loving memory of my grandmother~

And thank all of you for sharing your grandmother stories with me. I couldn't share them all forward, but I hope you've enjoyed the ones I have shared. If your grandparents are still living and able to share their stories, I hope you will take time to enjoy the treasure of their memories.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Grandmothers Matter

A garden of Love grows in a Grandmother's heart. ~ Unknown

Grandmothers do matter. That they matter a lot has certainly been clear from all the wonderful grandmother stories I'm receiving. Even those of you who didn't really have a chance to know your grandmothers, realize you missed out on something special and now you're making up for your loss by being wonderful grandmothers to your own grandchildren. 

The lilac Grandmother's Bible would be so perfect for many of you. It's a big print edition and truly a lovely Bible. And I did find a lilac scented candle to give to the winner of the "never win anything" contest. If you haven't entered yet, you still have time. Just shoot me an e-mail from my website or leave a comment here with a way to get in touch should you win. Four prizes total, counting the runner-up prizes. Get the full details on my events page on my website. Just remember to tell me you never win if you never win!

Also have a few blog visits going with chances to win a copy of Scent of Lilacs. Check out my guest posts. "Dark Valley Roads and Bright Mountain Trails" on A Fictional Life  or "Heart of Hollyhill" on Giveaway Lady.

Now on to a grandmother story. First Margie tells us about her remarkable grandmother.

I was born in the home of my maternal grandmother in 1950. One of my aunts and a cousin’s wife acted as midwives….more than likely delivered me before the doctor could make it the 10 or so miles to her house…since there was no telephone, someone had to be dispatched to fetch him! I spent my first 5 years living in Grandmama’s house with my Dad, Mom, older sister, and 2 younger brothers. How I loved my Grandmama! She was widowed shortly after the end of WWII, finished raising their 10 children on her own, never had a job outside the home, and never learned to drive a car. As a tribute to her, all of her children grew up to become productive members of society. There were 6 boys and 4 girls. At least 4 of the boys served in WWII and all the girls learned to cook, sew, can, and quilt. I have wonderful memories of Sunday gatherings at Grandmama’s when all the children and their children would come. That old house overflowed with people, laughter, and love!! My Grandmama was always the heart of our family and we still have a reunion every May in her honor. She was a redhead and she was strong-willed, tough, and independent…and she followed her heart! Her parents had arranged for her to marry a wealthy member of their close-knit community, but just days before their wedding, she eloped with the man who, though many years her senior, was the love of her life. She bore him 12 children and all but 2 survived. She was a woman with an indomitable spirit who taught me many life lessons sitting on her front porch. She’s been gone home to glory for over 30 years and I still miss her so much. There’s going to be a lot of catching up to do when I get home.
This comment I got today from Robin. It's short, but it says so much about grandmothers and something I've heard over and over from so many of you - how your grandmothers were faithful Christian examples to you.

"My grandmother was a very strong influence in my life & brought me to the Lord. She has been gone for 35 years now, I still miss talking with her." 
That comment made me remember my husband's mother. She loved the grandkids calling her Mama Chris. She was an example of Christian faithfulness to her children and grandchildren. She moved on up to heaven several years back, but we have many wonderful stories to remember her by. She had dementia and ended up in a nursing home after having her leg amputated due to diabetes. But the Lord blessed her with peace of mind in her forgetfulness and she was never agitated or unhappy the way my mother often is. In ways, it was a blessing that she didn't remember because she had long had a horror of having her legs amputated because of diabetic complications. She never seemed to realize her legs were gone. Another blessing. Before she had to go in the nursing home, she went with me to a lot of Darrell's singings. By then, she was already forgetting what she'd said and tended to say the same things when she saw certain things along the road. I rarely go through where a hill has been blasted away to make a straight road without remembering how she would say, with a hint of awe, "We'd have never known all these rocks were under the ground if it weren't for these roads." Other times she'd look at all the cars on the road and say, "I don't know how the gas holds out." But my favorite was when we'd get to church and it would be raining and I would have forgotten the umbrella. She'd smile and say, "It's okay. We're Baptists. We're not afraid of the water." She was a wonderful mother and mother-in-law who loved her grandchildren and loved to laugh. 

If nothing is going well, call your grandmother. -Italian Proverb

Thanks for reading. What fun things did your grandmothers say?  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

When Things Go Wrong

Some days are harder than other days. Some days we get up and whatever can go wrong seems to be in a hurry to head down that road. I had one of those afternoons last week. A day when everything seemed to pile on. I had a lot to do. Words for the new story weren't exactly spilling out. The new room was sounding good, but promising extra work. Other extra chores showing up.

Time seemed to be in very short supply even though I knew the days all still had the same amount of hours and minutes. But how was I going to fit everything into those hours and minutes? Especially with the hours I was going to be spending at Mom's. And then my dog, Oscar, didn't get out of the way of one of the workers building our new room. The truck ran over his leg and broke it. I was sitting with Mom when the call came, but I couldn't leave to see about him. Mom can't be alone. So I had to wait until my husband could go home to check on him a couple of hours later. Then he was off to the vet's where Oscar has been ever since in the doggie hospital after surgery on his back leg.

It was frustrating to not be able to go see if Oscar was all right. I know he's only a dog, but he's my dog and a very good dog at that. But then the afternoon just got worse with a call that a dear friend of my sister's had died suddenly. Amelia was a beautiful lady that we will all miss. Perhaps Mom sensed my upset because she became agitated and determined to go home to her childhood home because "her mother expected her." She didn't know who I was and said I was definitely "not her daughter." She had to be married to have daughters. Meanwhile my daughter was on the way home for a visit for the first time since Christmas, and I was anxious to be at home to see her. Things went from bad to worse on my stress meter when Mom's night sitter didn't show up due to a mix-up. And I didn't have her telephone number.

A bad afternoon. But you know, everybody has those kinds of days. And when I stopped having my "pity party" I knew I had plenty of blessings to count, among them that Oscar most likely will be okay, although perhaps with a bum leg. Mom settled down and remembered I was her daughter the next day. My daughter made it home safely. I have more weeks to try to find the right words for my story. My grandchildren are beautiful and healthy. I have friends who love me enough to pray for my mother, for my sister's friend's family, and even for my sweet dog. Prayer makes a difference when you're having a bad day and makes good days better.
And Mom had a birthday yesterday that turned into a pretty good day for her. She was 93. Sometimes she even realizes that, but most of the time she isn't happy to hear that number. She used to tell us all the time that she wanted to live to be 100, but she never imagined having dementia that was going to steal the joy out of those 100 years. But she did have some joy on her birthday. She got roses from a dear friend. She got hugs from some of her great grandchildren. She got flowers and presents and cards from us. I fixed her an Angel food cake with strawberries and she gave all the strawberries off her plate to the littlest great granddaughter who loves strawberries. We also had chocolate pie that my daughter and I made from my mother's recipe. It was okay, but it wasn't as good as Mom's used to be.
But some of her family was able to come and share a little time with her. While they were here, she was almost like her old self. Loving the kids. Laughing when somebody was talking to her. Blowing out the two candles on her cake. Looking at her presents and cards that were new over and over since she didn't remember looking at them before. A good afternoon for her and an answer to prayer.
So thank you for reading about my bad day and my good day. Please remember Amelia's family in your prayers. Their bad day is ongoing for they will be missing their mother and grandmother and wife for a long time as many of you are still missing your grandmothers. I do have a few more grandmother stories I'm going to share in the days to come. And I'd still love to hear yours if you want to share a story. The contest for the Grandmother's Bible is still open, so pitch your name in my hat for the drawing if you haven't already. Just leave a comment on this blog or on Jocie's blog or send me an e-mail from my website.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Grandmother's Time

A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.  ~Author Unknown

Time - it's been on my mind this week because of Daylight Savings Time. Mom can't adjust to the time change very well because while she's forgotten many things, she hasn't forgotten that meals come at certain daylight times. Manipulating the hands of a clock doesn't change that overnight. And the numbers on a clock mean little to someone who has spent years on a farm ruled by sun time instead of artificially legislated time. My father refused to observe Daylight Savings Time and just did the math when it was necessary to deal with the world.  

Time is also something a grandmother understands well and by the time she has grandchildren, she knows how quickly time slides past. She has walked through the garden of life gathering experience and wisdom. And patience and love. A grandmother is a gift and a joy and for many of her grandchildren, a lesson in fortitude and hard work. Tonight we have a couple of stories that show that. First from R.D.
"My grandmaw lived for 98 yrs at the home she went to as a bride at 14. She could outwork most until a few years before she passed away. We all called her Maw. She dipped snuff. Was a tiny little thing. She could tell you about more history in the area than a  book...she would call the area the trail. The Indians would cross that area. Many people found buckets of arrow heads,and artifacts. She picked cotton,had ten children; the youngest (85 now) is still living there and never lived anywhere else. He had 8 kids. Some others had 8-9-10 kids. Some 2. Her only daughter living is 96 and still lives at home with a great mind and still cooks her pintos and fried taters. Maw used to stay with us some growing up. We loved it. She was quarter Indian,and we loved that we were kin to Indians. Maw was so special. We always visited her,(and all our grandparents)but she was the one that I keep in my heart close. She gave me a very ugly whatnot and I’d never been prouder of a gift. It was special to her, thus to me. I miss her."

Holly also had a special grandmother who made it through some hard times. Here are some memories she shares of her grandmother.

"My grandmother was a hard working woman who raised 5 children during the depression by herself.  My grandfather passed away when my Dad was only 4 years old. She took in laundry, babysat, and worked however she could in order to provide for herself and the children. I remember her as a happy person who tried to find the good in everything. She knew how to make do with what she had.  I know that she has a beautiful mansion in heaven now!"

The good Lord knew what he was doing when he provided us with grandmothers. Helpers. Teachers. Friends. Dispensers of pure love. 

More grandmother stories are on the way. And if you haven't entered my Scent of Lilacs Giveaway Celebration, you still have time. Just leave a comment here with a way to contact you or send me an e-mail from my website. Great first prize of a Grandmother's Bible. Jocie told a grandmother story on her blog post on her Hollyhill Book that I think you might like. She loved her Mama Mae the way so many of you loved your grandmothers. Please keep sharing your stories. I love hearing them and hope you are enjoying reading those stories I've been able to share forward. 

  Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.  ~Author Unknown

Sunday, March 10, 2013

More Grandmother Stories to Make You Smile

My grandmother always taught me, "If you don't have a home, family, and church, you don't have anything." ~Jennifer Hudson

See the beautiful grandmothers here. At my book event today, I asked the grandmothers to raise their hands and almost everybody there did. Well, there were a couple of guys in the back who didn't. But I love grandmothers. Often when I'm at a book fair or festival, young people will stop at my table and buy my books for their grandmothers. While I happen to think my books are good reading for anybody, I'm fine with grandmothers reading them. And I was fine with having so many wonderful grandmothers come to my book event today. Thanks to all of you and to the rest of you who wanted to come, but too many miles or other circumstances kept you away. Maybe I'll have another book party in the summer when Small Town Girl is released.

Now on to a couple of grandmother stories. The first one is from Diana.

Grandmothers are very special. I only had one growing up. I remember her walking over 20 miles one way to work to support her family. The laundry was done by a wringer washer and I would get to help hang the clothes up on the line. She smelled of peppermint and in the spring her home smelled of fresh lilacs which is also my most favorite thing. When I smell those things I think of her. I have a picture of her, probably one of the last ones taken of her, sitting and reading her bible. O, it is so precious to me. Loved my grandma B so much.
Another thing I can remember is as we were growing up she would teach us our ABC's. Only her version was we had to learn them backwards. I must say I never got it. She went to be with the Lord in 1998. But the day she died I had visited her. I think it was the holy spirit that told be to visit her that day. For it was our last time together. Now grandma hadn't really talked at all much in the last couple years of her life. But this day while I was visiting, she said Diana, have you learned you ABC's yet? I said sorry I had not. She said ok let's do this one more time.  I said ok. So she starts to say them and she said them the right way not backwards. My grandma had alzheimer's  for a lot of years. So I know God was there for her to have one good day with us. My grandma B went to be with the Lord that night. I miss her. But I'm always reminded of her in the smell of lilacs and her peppermint candy.
Thanks, Diana, for sharing about your Grandma B. I love that you had that last time to get the "ABC's" right, even if your grandmother had to change the way to do that. It's interesting how smells can lure us into the past and take us back to times with our grandparents or loved ones. 
Sue has a different kind of grandmother's story, but one I think will make you smile. She said her grandmother had a little trouble with left and right. I was one of those slow learners about left and right too. Who had time to think about all that when there were Jacks games to play? I was really good at Jacks. I did finally start getting the left and right bit straight in the 3rd grade when I got a ring to wear on my left hand. Sue says her grandmother was even a bit slower on the direction finding than me. Here's Sue's story.
When I was a kid, my official job was navigator when we took long trips. I would give my grandmother ample warning when we were going to change directions, because she could never remember which hand was left or right, and she told me not to point, that she had it under control. (HAH) So on one trip, after turning the wrong way and looking for somewhere to turn around I got pretty upset and said, LOOK, I'm gonna straighten you out once and for all. Your RIGHT hand is the one you WRITE with and your LEFT hand is the one LEFT over, GOT IT? She said she would be able to remember that and off we went. After another half hour or so, we had to make a turn. I told her way ahead where to turn, so she could think about it awhile. I had told her to go left and sure enough, we went (you guessed it) right. When we stopped to turn around, I got out of the car and said I was just going to walk, I would get there faster. After that, she let me point the way without complaint.
Isn't that the best thing about grandmothers? How they make us smile as we remember. I'm sure Sue wishes she could do some more navigating with her grandmother now. So many of you were fortunate enough to live close to a grandmother or to have one of them live with your family for a while. Patricia remembers going to visit her grandmother. 

My grandmother lived on the next farm so it was our custom to run across the field multiple times a day to visit. Nany taught us to make cookies, told us stories, and watched tv with us. She died at the age of 93 in 1990. I think that I will miss her for the rest of my life.
And her grandmother will always be alive in her memory. Thanks to all of you who have been sharing your memories. If you haven't entered, there's plenty of time. The deadline for entering in April 1, and we'd love to hear your grandmother stories too, with your permission, of course. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Setting a High Mark - Your Grandmother Would

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark." ~Michelangelo

Last week I got to proof the pages of my Rosey Corner novel, Small Town Girl, that will release this July. When a writer gets the pages to proof, the book is almost ready for the printer with the pages as they will look in the book. Here you can make minor changes and correct typos and other typesetting errors. It's a writer's last chance before the book is published to make it as right as she can. I never mind doing these edits. To me this is the easy part, the icing on the cake. 

This time it was even better because when I started leafing through the pages to get to Chapter 1, I came across this page 4. And it hit me that this was a dream come true for me. When I first began trying to write for publication, I used to open up books of favorite authors and look at their "Books by" pages and dream of someday having a page like that. And now I do! This isn't all the books I've published, but it shows the books that are in print or soon will be. The list isn't as long as many authors might have in the front of their books, but it's my list. 

When I looked at it last week, I had the feeling that yes, I've been blessed with stories. Blessed to have those stories published. Blessed to have readers who want to read those stories. Blessed to have these books in print. That's what a writer wants. His or her stories to be out there for readers. That's easier now than when I began writing. Then most of us wouldn't have ever imagined reading an entire book on an electronic device you can hold in your hand. A device that can store hundreds of books for you. We thought a book would always need paper and a printer and binder as well as a bookshelf. Now even after the paper copy is off that shelf, it's easy to have the e-copy stay on the electronic bookshelf for readers. That's been true of my Heart of Hollyhill books, but being an old fashioned reader, I'm thrilled to have my Hollyhill books back out in paper for readers too. You can have a chance to win one of those paper Scent of Lilacs books now by checking out Jocie's interview on Margaret Daley's blog. Jocie had fun answering her questions.

Don't worry. I haven't forgotten about the wonderful grandmother stories. In fact, many of the stories you're shared fit right into this theme of setting a high mark for our dreams and goals. Your grandmothers could imagine you doing wonderful things. They dreamed big for you and encouraged you and were proud of your successes. Here's a story from Connie L. about her grandmother encouraging her to use her talents for the Lord.

"What I remember about my grandmother was that she was always singing. I can still hear her singing 'Tell it to Jesus.'  Both my grandmother and my mother instilled a love of music in me. Their desire was that I would serve God with music. I became a church organist, and played at church for many years. Now I sing in the choir, and fill in on the organ when needed. I will always be grateful to my grandmother for her love of music."

When Connie wrote to give me permission to use her story, she said she's looking forward to singing with her grandmother again in heaven someday. 

I'll share more of your Grandmother stories on Sunday. Patricia said it for so many of you when she wrote this after telling me her grandmother story. "I think I will miss her for the rest of my life."
Thanks for reading and you still have plenty of time to enter my giveaway and share your grandmother stories. Deadline for entries is midnight EST April 1, 2013. I sent out copies of Scent of Lilacs to two of the winners in my blog giveaway, but one of the winners turned her prize back over for another winner. Pam, you're it. I'll get in touch.