People sometimes ask me if I believe in miracles. My answer is an emphatic YES. Over the years I have seen God's hand in my life literally dozens of times. Probably one of the most profound moments had to do with publishing my first book. I'd received a devastating rejection--the editor told me to throw my manuscript away--that no amount of rewriting would make it publishable. Choosing to ignore her advice I wrote a query letter to a different publisher and waited for a reply. When none came I grew frustrated and decided I didn't care if the publisher wanted to see that book or not, I was mailing it off. On my return from the post office I stopped to pick up the mail. Inside was a reply to my query letter. The editor said DO NOT MAIL US YOUR MANUSCRIPT. Too late. I'd already sent it to New York. Three weeks later that publisher purchased my book, Heartsong. If I'd waited a half hour I would never have mailed the manuscript. Yes, I believe in miracles. My first book sale was one.
Wayne and I celebrated our anniversary this weekend. It's hard to believe we've been married 46 years. I was a starry-eyed teenager when we married, fresh out of high school, and he was the dashing prince who swept me off my feet. We celebrated our anniversary weekend with friends that were married a week after we were. We were in each other’s wedding parties. As part of our anniversary celebration, Wayne and I played music and danced on our patio under the moonlight, reminiscing about the days when our dance moves had a bit more bounce and how fast the years have flown by. Forty-six years later we're still in love and believe the best is yet to come.
Grandparents Day is this weekend, which means my grandkids are on my mind! Wayne and I have been blessed with nine grandchildren. Six boys and three girls. I don't mean to brag--well, actually, I do--but it is a widely known fact that our grandchildren are the most gifted, creative, talented, good-looking children in the universe (Okay, I'll agree that many other grandparents proudly claim the same titles for their equally special grandchildren). I have committed my time, energy, and love to my grandchildren, creating special times and adventures with them. They know they can talk to me about anything without judgment or censure. Whether you're a grandparent or not, I urge you to spend time with a child, listen and enjoy their spirit and their hearts. You won't believe the rewards. Happy Grandparents Day!
Just a note to let everyone know Wayne and I, along with our daughter and two granddaughters, will be in Africa for the next two plus weeks. We're traveling with a team from World Vision. We’ll distribute many of the sweaters donated through the Knit for Kids program and also visit a girl’s school in a poor community where young girls often do not continue to go to school past the age of 14. These girls are changing the tides of their culture as they persist in their pursuit of education. It is sure to be a life changing experience for us all. I'll be back by the end of August with tales to tell. To learn more about my trip to Africa, click here. To learn more about World Vision’s work in Africa and with Knit for Kids click here.
Fourteen years ago Wayne and I took an amazing trip to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. On the island of Rarotonga there were no big hotels or fast food restaurants. The entire island closed down after noon on Saturday to get ready for Sunday church services. In fact, we were hard pressed to find restaurants open on Sunday. The people were amazing. I brought candy to give to the children and they gave me the oddest looks and said, "Why would we want candy when we can pick fruit off the trees?” Why indeed. The Cook Islands are unspoiled and beautiful with some of the most amazing plants and animals imaginable. It was a totally relaxing vacation and I would return in a heartbeat.
From the time I was a kid I was a dreamer and a list maker. I rarely shared my hopes and dreams with others. I mean, really, what would people say to a dyslexic young girl who barely scraped through school when she said she wanted to write books? Such is the stuff of… well, dreamers. Yet dream I did.
Although I must confess that seeing my Cedar Cove series come to life on the screen was above and beyond anything I could have ever hoped or imagined. To have such an incredible and amazing cast is a blessing beyond measure. And now here we are ready to launch season two. Season two… wow!
I can hear the clatter and excitement now. Everyone is talking about it. Olivia and Grace, Justine and Seth, Cliff and Warren… everyone at Cedar Cove is eager for you to catch up on what's been happening! You're gonna be enthralled!
One of my joys is to pull out my latest knitting project, slip a DVD in the player, and settle back to enjoy a carefree afternoon or evening. Usually Wayne will make popcorn and Bogie will nestle between us and snore through the movie. (You’ve heard what they say about dogs and their masters taking on the same character traits?)
This week will be fun and incredible for a couple of big reasons. First and foremost, Saturday night is the launch of the second season of Cedar Cove starring Andie MacDowell and Dylan Neal. I can’t wait to see it! Secondly, the release of the Cedar Cove DVD for the first season happens today... reviewing the first season is a great way to dive back into Cedar Cove. Wayne's got the popcorn ready and I have my knitting project in hand!
The premiere will air this Saturday night, July 19th at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel. Don't miss it!
Wayne had a special birthday last month. One with a big fat zero in it. He kind of hates to think of himself as getting older and in order to cheer him up I held a surprise birthday party for him with family and friends. (The party included a Marilyn Monroe look-alike jumping out of a cake.)
My gift to Wayne is a Mediterranean cruise to the Greek islands, a trip he's been wanting to take for years. And so the adventure begins. Wayne and I leave this Sunday, Father's Day (that's a 2fer for sure, birthday and Father's Day!) for Rome and then on to Florence and Venice before we board the cruise ship. I'll be sending messages along the way, and photos too.
My Dad has been on my mind a lot lately, mostly because of the 70th anniversary of D-Day just recently. He was part of that great invasion and as I've mentioned before, was later captured and held as a POW inside Germany until the end of the war.
We'll be celebrating Father's Day this weekend. My father was a special man, full of personality, laughter and warmth. After I moved away from home, my dad wrote me a letter, one I treasure to this day. It was filled with love and wisdom as I ventured into the world. I tucked it inside the pages of my diary and have kept it all these years. It's one of the most beautiful love letters I've ever received. Thank you, Dad. I hope you're celebrating Father's Day in heaven.