Sunshine and Clouds

Last night’s storm produced a gorgeous landscape this morning.

I’ve been trying to capture the beauty – certainly wish Lance were here – he’d do a far better job. But still, I keep snapping shots.

These two look a lot alike, but the second highlights the sunshine a bit more. A little difference in perspective. Put together with the photos Lance sent of Iowa’s ice storm last week, it’s all about glistening and shimmering.


Not to mention frigid and frustrating to people with plans for the day.

But consider the shimmering. The storm immersed every single centimeter of each twig, blade of dried grass, and object in its path. No escape, for ice makes no exception.
As my husband says about situations we must accept, “it is what it is.” And from a purely aesthetic viewpoint, ice slashing down from the skies creates a beautiful scene.

Now, the storm that hit here last night is headed north, and I doubt many are looking forward to more cold and snow. Thankfully, winter cannot last forever.

Recently, a neighbor from my childhood contacted me. We’ve been sharing our perspectives and I’m learning so much. Our families weren’t close, so her perceptions of “the way we were” shine a fresh light on the past. Kind of like sunshine on snow.

Our correspondence takes me back…way back. And that, of course reminds me of Addie on her Iowa farm back in World War II, and her bff Kate writing her encouraging letters from London. An avid reader recently wrote me that she stayed up nights for two weeks reading this novel and its sequels.

In my youth, I’d NEVER have imagined I’d one day create such a series, though books were my best friends. The ups and downs back then, though, shaped me into a writer. It is what it is, and I’m determined to seek the sunshine



Never Too Late for Friendship and Thanks

I just spent some extended time with a new friend, and she shared this little saying with me. We don’t know the author, but she/he certainly coined a powerful metaphor.


Note the essential elements:

focus – concentrate on a task or need

capture – this reminds me of “Carpe Diem”, seize the day

develop – use our creative abilities

The final verb, “take”, comes into play when plans go awry, as they often do. I hope to waste far less time bemoaning my failures and mistakes during the rest of my life than I have in the past. What a waste!

And I’d also like to practice gratitude far more faithfully. I can start easily this week: Thank you to everyone who helped me by hosting me on their blog or left an encouraging comment, posted a review, or bought my new release, With Each New Dawn, I’m truly grateful for all the support.

Just as it’s never too late to develop a new friendship, it’s always the right time to say a hearty thank you.

Finding One’s Tribe


Winter can be daunting. The cold, unproductive seasons of our lives can be, too. Perhaps these wild Iowa turkeys find comfort in facing the blizzardy February weather together.

My husband shot these photos near Osage, Iowa, during weeks of below-zero temperatures.  He focused in on one bird in the next picture, and this fellow looks awfully lonely. 


Last weekend, my husband also held the annual confirmation retreat–the weather cooperated this time. Take a look at these kids out sledding–nothing like racing down a freezing hill…together.


The beauty of it is, cold or no cold, life’s brighter with companionship. I see this in my writing world, too–we can get so involved with our characters, they seem  more real than the REAL FOLKS, and discovering new friends online or meeting them in person makes a world of difference.

During this Valentine’s week, I’d love to hear how making a new acquaintance or a deepening  friendship has brightened your day/week/year.