Prompted to Remember

(Photo from 1962, Silver Star Pharmacy)

I am a part of a writer’s group that provides a writing prompt once a week in order to help us keep the creative juices flowing. This past week’s prompt led me down an unexpected path. The following is the prompt and what I wrote in response.

Wednesday Writer’s Prompt:

What place, or kind of place, elicits fond memories of the past?

Opening the door was an entry to my childhood. A time capsule bursting open in celebration of what once was.

The soda fountain served guests a daily special prepared by our beloved cook, Flossie. She was like a grandmother to me, always making sure I had enough food in my belly to fuel my curiosity. The clattering of dishes passing through the triple sinks to wash, rinse and sanitize were the background music of life in my Dad’s Pharmacy.

The regular customers provided a cadence call of life in our small town, beckoning us to participate together in life’s difficult moments.

But the center of it all was my dad’s caring heart. Each customer knew they had a faithful friend who would sacrifice time with his family in order to provide for their needs in crisis. He listened to their laments and carried their concerns to God in prayer.

But that was then.

Sadness cloaks me with a familiar comfort. Gone are the customers, the needs, the community of friends who called my Dad “Doc”. Gone are the rich smells of comfort food served with a smile. Gone are the days of my childhood.

Yet the memories linger as I sign the paper ending an era. Soon this building will belong to someone new.

(Photo from 2017)

We will go our separate ways to live our dreams and provide for those to whom God has given us to care and provide.

Tomorrow’s memories are being written on the walls of today. Each day matters; make them count for eternity.

Well Said

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Have you ever happened upon a You Tube video that so affected your life you wish you could take credit for the wisdom shared? I just did! Our son shared the link to this video on his Facebook page and I watched it mesmerized by the way the creator of it managed to share such wisdom. I pray you’ll take a few minutes and watch it in its entirety. It’s worth it!

Write Your Story

Touchstones are everywhere in movies, in songs and in books. It’s something that touches your heart because you can relate to what’s being shared.
Whenever I come across a touchstone I know because it usually makes me cry.

I just heard a song that affected me in such a powerful way. It’s a new release by Francesca Battistelli, titled Write Your Story.

No matter what we’re going through what a comfort it is to realize God is faithful to write His Story on our hearts. I’ve posted the lyrics below with a link to the song in the title.

May God encourage you today with touchstones of the heart.

Write Your Story

They say
You’re the King of everything
The One who taught the wind to sing
The Source of the rhythm my heart keeps beating

They say
You can give the blind their sight
And You can bring the dead to life
You can be the hope my soul’s been seekin’

I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I do, that You can make me new, oh

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

My life
I know it’s never really been mine
So do with it whatever You like
I don’t know what Your plan is
But I know it’s good, yeah

I wanna tell You now that I believe in
I wanna tell You now that I believe in
In You, so do what You do, oh

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

I want my history
To be Your legacy
Go ahead and show this world
What You’ve done in me
And when the music fades
I want my life to say

I let You write Your story, write Your story
Write Your story, write Your story

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart
[x2]

Making Connections On The Timeline Of History

Sorry for my absence. My husband took a bad fall last Monday, and I didn’t have time to post. He is recovering slowly, but we’re grateful to God that he didn’t break any bones. He’s just very sore.

Photo Credit: brighthorizonsacademy.com

Photo Credit: brighthorizonsacademy.com

We homeschooled our three children through most of their primary education years. It was a privilege to do so, but it wasn’t easy. I tend to be a quitter when things get too hard for me. But by the grace of God I haven’t quit my marriage, nor did I quit my goal in being primarily responsible for the education of my children. Doing this allowed me the privilege of teaching my kids history, which is a subject I’m passionate about. Mostly, I loved doing biographies and seeing how God’s hand provided for them in their trouble.

When we began I set up a timeline in our laundry room that covered both B.C. and A.D. centuries. When reading the Bible we were able to place those people on their place in the timeline of history. It was a great visual. When we began studying the Industrial Revolution it was astounding to me. I had never put all the facts I had learned in school together on a timeline to see the progression of this time period. I discovered famous people who were friends and how God used those friendships to facilitate new discoveries.

Photo from Flicker

Photo from Flicker

One of my favorite stories is of a young boy who was born in a little village outside of Paris, France, in 1809. His father was a tanner and made leather goods of all kinds. The boy was a smart three year old and was already starting to read. He had always been curious and even though his father had forbidden him to touch his tools, he couldn’t resist. One day while attempting to punch a hole in a leather strap like he had seen his father do many times, the awl slipped and pierced his eye. Within days his eye became so infected and spread to his other eye, which in turn caused him to go blind.

The boy had loved learning to read. He was saddened when he realized there weren’t many books for the blind. This was due to the fact that they were made up of raised letters in the alphabet. Each page contained only a couple of sentences, making them cumbersome to handle and difficult to read. Each book was so large and expensive to make that there were only a few in existence.

This is the story of Louis Braille. His curiosity and love for reading compelled him to discover a way for the blind to read as easily as those who had sight. What you may not realize is that it was his discovery which enabled Helen Keller, who was born deaf and blind, to lead a normal and productive life. She was invited to honor him a hundred years after his death when his coffin was relocated to Paris during a solemn ceremony to honor his accomplishments for the blind community. This video is live footage of the ceremony.

Another interesting connection is the friendship which developed between Helen Keller and Thomas Edison, who was partially deaf. Seeing how God used both of their disabilities to motivate new inventions that helped those with similar disabilities function independently in life is inspiring. I love making these connections and seeing how trouble and/or weaknesses can end up being used for good.

“Professor Johnston often said that if you didn’t know history, you didn’t know anything. You were a leaf that didn’t know it was part of a tree.”
― Michael CrichtonTimeline

This helps me look for the bigger picture when I’m facing trouble, and I’m hoping it will help you as well. Knowing history helps us make sense of our own story as it’s being written. After all, it’s all His Story and for His glory!

What stories on your timeline have inspired you? Have you made important connections by stepping back and looking at the bigger picture? 

Did I Ever Tell You About The Time…

Think of the many stories you have bouncing around in your head that your family has told over and over. You know them so well, you most likely roll your eyes whenever it’s being told for umpteenth time. But do you realize these stories only last for two, maybe three generations? Then, they’re lost forever. Unless someone takes the time to write them down.

How could you preserve your family stories? Here are a few suggestions:

1.  Write them in a family Bible or journal made for this purpose.

2.  Video your family telling the story.

3.  Make a photo journal using Snapfish or the like including pictures of family gatherings where these stories were always told. Be sure to include the names of all present as well as the date.

It isn’t hard to do this, it just takes planning. What stories come to mind that are worth preserving in your family?

Do You Know Her Story? Everyone should!

Irene Sendler

Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
Warsaw, Poland

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.

Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.

Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.

Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi’s broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out, In a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
She was not selected.
Al Gore won for a slide show on Global Warming.

(What an amazing story that should be told and honored. I hope she is nominated again. She should have won, imho.

A Cabin, An Alpaca Farm and A Book Review

Barefoot Cabin Banner Elk, NC Elevation 4200'

Barefoot Cabin
Banner Elk, NC
Elevation 4200′

I’ve had some exciting opportunities come my way for marketing Through The Eyes Of Grace.  As you may or may not know, my husband and I have purchased a cabin in Banner Elk, NC. It is exactly where we have always wanted to own property, and the cabin is even better than we had dreamed. While we were there in June we took our grandchildren to Apple Hill Farm which is only 5 miles from our front door. The photo at the top of my blog is all 5 of them staring at the alpacas. It is a great place–they raise Alpacas, Llamas, Donkeys, Goats, Sheep, Horses, Pigs, Chickens, and much more. You can even buy skeins of Alpaca wool to knit or crochet the softest scarves and blankets ever! Anyway, the owner found out about my book, purchased a copy, started reading it and asked if she could sell it in their store. 🙂 Oh my, this takes a bit getting used to. She even asked me to sign the three copies she purchased. What an amazing privilege.

Next, my publisher called to see if I would be available for a television interview to talk about my book. I had to think about it for one second! Of course, I said yes, even though the thought of being on TV is way out of my comfort zone. I will adjust, I’m sure.

What I would really like to figure out is how to set up a blog tour of my book. If any of you have any information that would help me find this information, I would be grateful. 

Finally, I want to review a book I recently read. It was given to me because it reminded my friend of Through The Eyes Of Grace.

Soft As Steel

Book Title:      Soft Like Steel

Author:           Barbara Malek

Review:           Soft As Steel is the true story of the author’s grandmother. She discovered her story by reading her grandmother’s journals. In them she finds out how remarkable a woman she was. She endured great hardship as a young, Mennonite wife, not only because of the Great Depression sweeping the nation in the 1930’s, but because of the selfishness and sin of her husband. Time after time he disappoints and hurts her, but she devotes herself to believing the best, until one day she has a breakthrough…You’ll have to read the book yourself to see what happens. You may also like to know that this marriage produced 9 children in spite of all the trouble. And they all grew up to have a close relationship with each other and with their own spouse and children. I couldn’t put this book down, and I finished it in a couple of sittings.  Barbara is an excellent story-teller as you’ll soon find out if you decide to read it yourself.

My Rating:    ****

When A Blog Goes Silent…

…it doesn’t mean I’m not mulling over in my heart and mind what to post next. It just means life has gotten the best of me, which is a good thing.

A silent blog means:

  • I have a life outside of writing about it.
  • There are friends I need to call
  • There are funerals I must attend
  • There are church meetings to help grow my faith
  • There are floors to clean
  • There is laundry to wash
  • There are quiet times to enjoy
  • There are grandchildren to play with
  • There are vacations to plan
  • And walking routes to pursue
  • And most of all–a husband to spend time with

I love writing. It isn’t an effort to do so. But I can easily get caught up with my blogging life to the neglect of my highest priorities. And family is high on my list.

Since I last posted on May 21st this is what has happened:

  • My youngest daughter turned 27
  • We bought and renovated a cabin in Banner Elk, NC. See Barefoot Cabin.
  • We had our first family vacation there
  • Three dear friends passed from this life to their eternal home
  • One friend got married to the love of her life
  • Attended the baby shower for my niece who is expecting her third child, first boy.
  • Went with my daughter-in-love to her 4D sonogram appt. where I got to see my 6th grandchild’s little face for the first time. He is due in September.
  • Had appointments with our attorney to help with my late-mother’s property.

My list could go on and on, and I’m sure you have a similar one. Life is full. Life is good. And everyday stories are being written that would help others know us better if we could but record them somehow. This is my passion. I love hearing stories that teach a lesson. Do you have one you could share? Or maybe a story you want to make sure your children and grandchildren know? I would love to hear it! This is why I began the tab at the top titled, Share Your Story. Won’t you consider taking some time to write it out. Then once it’s published you can share the link with your family and friends who may not have heard it yet. I hope you’ll consider it.

My next post will be such a story inspired by the questionnaire found at the back of my book.

Thanks for stopping by. I’ve missed you.

♥ Debi

A Short Love Story

Photo Credit: curvewire.com

Photo Credit: curvewire.com

Today I want to share with you a short story I wrote awhile ago. I’ve posted it on The Romantic Vineyard, since it’s a love story. But it also fits well with this blog on family history. I hope it stirs in your memory similar stories you’ve heard from parents or grandparents. Be sure your children and grandchildren know these stories, for it’s part of who they are. Knowing them also gives them direction for who they’ll become.

Click on the following title to read the story:

Vito’s Coffee Shop

The Story Old Photos Speak

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My husband and I love to travel, especially road trips. There’s something about being in the car that stirs conversation in a way just sitting at a table or couch doesn’t do. Maybe it’s just us, but I don’t think so.

I remember my parents’ talking about taking a road trip with my grandparents back in the late 40’s. They traveled west and saw all kinds of amazing places: the Petrified Forest, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, the Great Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park and Yosemite to name a few. It was a memorable trip. My Mom and Dad are no longer with us, so I can’t ask them any questions about their time together. But in going through their home to get ready to sell, I found lots of photos from that trip. The color has turned sepia without any effects from Instagram! Time has settled upon the photos giving them a nostalgic look on this trip of their lifetime.

The sad part is I can no longer ask my Mom about specific things in the pictures. She would know the story behind every photo, but I don’t. The pictures mean nothing to me, but to her they were the connection to wonderful memories from her past.

Everyone most likely has similar memories and probably the photos to go with them. But we don’t take the time to let our elders talk about them…

This brings me to Question #14–

What photos do you have from trips you enjoyed long ago? Of all the

places you’ve been, which place was your favorite and why?

 

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This is post #14 in the challenge to post everyday in April.

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