Daring to Bloom

My website’s name, Dare To Bloom, is no accident. Blooming requires tenacity and courage. This summer, I kept a close eye on a certain plant in one of our planters. As the season moved toward its end, I marveled that the flowers took such a long time blossoming.

What could be wrong? I made sure to water it through dry times, leaned into its leaves and whispered, “Bloom!” Finally, as mid-September rolled around, I moved this baby to a spot with more sunshine. The risk seemed worth it–striving a whole season without showing your colors is a sad thing.

Mid-October brought some tight green buds.



I watered more, and whispered, like a mom with a child slow to take that first step. A fewIMG_0472 IMG_0473 buds started to show red.


Then one day, a single petal strayed from its bud. And as the sunshine cooperated, a few more emerged.





Over the next fees days, individual petals straggled out to create a feeble show.






But this past week, glory time came! Take a look.

Plants are meant to bloom. And so are we. The old adage, “Bloom where you’re planted,” sounds simple, but blooming can be downright difficult. You have to develop confidence that your colors matter to the world, for one thing, that what you have to offer will make a difference.

A couple of days ago, someone called to say my memoir was exactly what she needed to read right now. It doesn’t get better than that, since I’ve always wanted to contribute, to help.

This weekend, my husband spoke over in Eastern Iowa for a Veterans’ Day service, noting that soldiers, policemen, and firemen put their lives on the line for others.

We honor our veterans this week, and I’ll be taking even more photos of this amazing daisy that’s been blooming for about two weeks now. I imagine it’ll continue until Jack Frost says it’s time to stop.

On November 18, my first women’s fiction will release, too. Five full boxes adorn the corner of my little office right now, and I hope this story’s colors–its characters and the growth they experience–will brighten the lives of many readers. That’s what it’s all about.

Past the Middle of July …

You can tell by the flowers, especially the petunias– and this summer, by one petunia in particular. It’s a pink one, gigantic, beautiful.

But summer’s at its height, leaning toward the waning side. I pick off probably fifteen faded blossoms a day, but because of the intense afternoon heat, the plant shows signs of wear. It’s getting just plain tired.


So I water it more, knowing it can’t last forever. GATHER YE ROSEBUDS WHILE YE MAY, eh?

Last week, I finished the final edits on one of my World War II novels. Yes, it seemed ready, but the stories never stop. Thankfully, I’m now hard at work on its sequel.

How was it for women of that era when they watered their plants at night, with a loved one in Europe or the Pacific? My uncle was a Ranger in Japan. When my Grandma went out to tend her flowers, did she see him in every blossom? Actually, she had another son in the infantry, too. I can’t imagine.

My debut novel will soon have its release date – can’t wait! The heroine lost a son in WWII, making her a Gold Star mother. And she loves gardening.

IMG_3719For us, this year’s spectacular lily medley was all about glory – wouldn’t you say? Now, they’ve gone by summer’s wayside.

But while they were here, they help with our questions … they cheer us through the wallows of life. And they last, in pictures, through winter’s storms.

I’d like to take each of you for a walk through our courtyard, a simple square behind the house, bordered by a garage and a fence. But this will have to do.

May the rest of your summer be filled with beauty and great photos!