Stressing Over Books-What’s Up with That?

I’m writing in the library lately to help avoid distractions at home. Because I’m working on a children’s project, I’ve been taking out research materials; too many actually and it’s causing me stress. So, I returned an armful of children’s books, and a writers’ market guide. Then, I checked out picture books that came in from other libraries that were recommended by Ann Whitford Paul in her Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication, copyrighted 2009. Writer’s Digest Books published her book; they are an imprint of F & W Media, Inc., of Cincinnati, OH.

I ended up with six less than I started with, so it’s a beginning. I needed about six of them renewed last week including two young adult novels and the man gave me one week. One week! I thought, he obviously doesn’t realize the library director likes people to take out books to boost her circulation numbers.

So, I scanned two young adult novels and returned them. I read one as soon as I could and returned it four days early. I will be returning magazines today and on the seventh, so that will help as well.

I don’t know why I overdo with books and food and chocolate on occasion, but now I’m reigning them all in. I don’t need self-induced stress. I hope this finds you well!

May God bless you!

Perfect Peace

 

Isa 26:3, (NKJV): You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

 

I have been living in circumstances that required me to cry out to God. This week, a close relative needed surgery to save his life and the doctors were not optimistic of the outcome. Lots of people prayed for him and he came through the procedure with a bit less needing to be done than they anticipated. Now, he needs to heal up after the invasion to his system.

 

My daughter and son and her four children came down to visit and before long they showed symptoms which included fever. One had strep throat, another an ear infection, the next-possibly strep throat, and the next-a sinus infection. The youngest child didn’t get better once on the antibiotic and his fever spiked to 102.9 degrees Fahrenheit. When the on-call doctor returned our telephone call, she wasn’t worried even though 103.5 is dangerous. She said, “I’m more concerned that you keep him hydrated.”

 

So, we gave him sips of water or juice or bites of frozen fruit juice confections every fifteen minutes and put a cold wash cloth on his forehead. She washed down his chest and back with cool water and we kept praying. His cheeks were bright red and his big brown eyes looked dully at us, all glassy. She’d text people to pray and I’d text others to pray as well. Finally, after a few hours, the fever broke.

 

This morning, the oldest came down with a fever, but just like he was all week, while everyone else suffered, he seems fine. The four other adults seem to be okay, although I have to admit, I’m praying for all of us to stay okay, and I’m drinking echinacea tea at least once a day.

 

My sister is moving out tonight after all these months. I don’t think she’ll miss all the noise. She’s single and a houseful of adults and children can strain the nerves when you’re a senior citizen. I remember when we all moved in with my father-in-law when we were selling a house and waiting to close on the next home. He and his house mate got stretched at times. We had four children at the time, although our oldest son was on his own then.

 

As I’ve dealt with the stresses of illness and new ministries and friends that are hurting and other things, I got reminded that if I’ll turn to God and rest in His promises and continually forgive those that offend and ask forgiveness of those that I offend, things work out according to God’s good purposes. He is kind and caring and has taken care of everything we’ve had need of, continuously.

 

I’m off to church for Celebrate Recovery. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I pray you’ll seek God. He is faithful, even if sometimes He says wait or no.

 

My youngest grandson is almost back to normal, a little less energetic than normal and they’re all taking a long nap now.

 

May God bless you!

 

 

 

Glorious God

Sometimes, not often enough, I get caught up in the wonder, the beauty of God. Today was such a day. I gathered with many Christian women to meet old friends and to make new friends and to sing to our glorious God.

I listened to a speaker as she shared her dreams that she had handed over to God and then released them and forgot about them and found many years later that He did not forget. As a human being and as a writer, I needed to hear her message today. I can hold on to my dreams and rest in the arms of the Great “I Am,” as He called Himself for Moses’ benefit in Exodus 3:14.

He gave her the desires of her heart twenty years after she first expected to see them come to pass. Ten years after she decided it wasn’t for her; she must have misunderstood God’s plan for her life. Then God seemed to say, “Now that you’re forty years old, I’m going to give you a baby from your innermost being.”

She and her husband adopted three children over the span of ten years and they were perfectly content. Yet, the tiny germ of desire for a child with their DNA which laid dormant inside uncoiled as the seemingly impossible occurred. She, the one doctor’s called “highly improbable” to ever have children, twenty years after her wedding, finally got pregnant. She now has a three month old baby and I can’t tell you her name because I didn’t take the time to get the information from the brochures that came my way.

Some people, not having read the Bible, might not understand why God doesn’t give us our way or respond to prayers in our timing. She sounds like an incredible, normal mom. I’m sure she would have loved her baby if she’d had him at age 21 or 22. When she first showed pictures of her children spaced apart, we didn’t know she had adopted those kids. She said in her heart, they feel no different to her than the one she gave birth to. Yet, I think the very fact that she calls this little baby a miracle begs the point that she probably will appreciate him and the other three children more than a mom that didn’t agonize over ever having the opportunity to hear the cries and laughter of children for ten long years.

That’s my opinion, anyway, for all that it’s worth.

This mom and her husband, from the sounds of it, are in total agreement that it is worth praising God and learning more about Him through the trials and the sunshiny days. She exhorted us to go about our business in life and in the faith while waiting for our answers to prayer.

So many people don’t understand how beautiful and loving and kind and just and merciful our God is because they haven’t had the opportunity to read the Bible or people in authority disdained God or withheld permission from their children to search for God.

It’s too bad, really. As it says in 1John_4:16, (ESV): So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

God is love and love is beautiful. God is worthy of our praises for so many reasons.

May God bless you.

Remember Who You Are

Our Wednesday morning Bible study had a lady attending who belonged to another church. She used to be a member at our church many years ago and then left. Part of her heart is still with us, so she attended Wednesday mornings for years. This year near the end of the year she backed out because her sister got a life threatening disease and she’s spending more time with her. I miss her because she’s a likable person and she added to the group.

Unfortunately, as Christians we may be well aware of our sins and shortcomings and spend more time on them than God may want us to. In the psalms, we are told that God loves us and forgives us.

Psalm 103:11, (ESV):  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

Psa 103:12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Psa 103:13  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Once we truly repent, He does not expect us to continually beat ourselves up. He expects us to love ourselves in a healthy way, not a narcissistic way. These verses show God’s high regard for us loving Him and loving ourselves and loving others.

Mark 12:28, (ESV)  And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Mar 12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Mar 12:31  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mar 12:32  And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.

Mar 12:33  And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Mar 12:34  And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

So, as I was saying, this lady attended our group and if we got down on ourselves, she would nicely tell us to remember who we are in Christ. We are forgiven. God calls us righteous in His sight because of the shed blood of Jesus for our sins. He took on the payment of our sins so when we stand before God at judgment day, we can claim that Jesus covered our debt or He wiped our slate clean so there’s no mark against us.

We must continue to seek God, despite distractions, despite our flesh crying out for entertainment or more money or whatever it is that keeps us from opening the Word of God. Thursday and today I intended to read the Word early in the day. Today it was almost one thirty in the afternoon. I’d done laundry, finished a writer’s magazine, did dishes, got myself ready for the day, called people, etc. My husband and I needed to be somewhere around four and I had to prepare some things before getting there. Plus, I needed to go to the store.

I made myself sit down and focus on the Lord. I remember doing that when the children were little. Putting all else aside for a short period of time and concentrating on the Lord. I told them to behave and to be quiet while I spent time with God and they did. When I don’t give time to the Lord the cares of this world press down on me, I feel lonely inside, I may become fearful over things. All those things are alleviated by spending time in God’s Word.

Hebrews 4:12, (ESV)  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Heb 4:13  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Heb 4:14  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Heb 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Heb 4:16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When the lady at Bible study reminds us that we belong to God by our own choosing, and that He makes us righteous, it always brings a smile to my face and to the others. She hasn’t had to say it a lot, but more than once.

We’re praying for her sister to recover and be perfectly whole.

May God bless you and yours.

Hallelujah Halloween

Our church joined with another church of a different denomination to host a Halloween party this evening. My husband, the introvert worked with the doughnuts on a string where children try to eat the doughnut swinging in the air. I had that job two years ago. I worked behind the blue fabric of a fishing booth, hidden from sight, the extrovert. 🙂

It’s so nice to open the fellowship hall to children in their costumes with their parents and to see everyone play games. Eating candy, drinking cider, sharing a meal and people sorry to leave at the end of the event made for a great time.

We gave out information about God’s plan for salvation and prayed all would go well beforehand.

What a pleasant evening.

May God bless you.

Wisdom for All Things

I love reading Proverbs, even when some of the pearls of wisdom hit me hard. My daughter-in-law, husband, son and I went to a Christian bookstore today and she bought a book entitled Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul, by Sarah Mae, copyrighted 2016, published by Tyndale Momentum, Carol Stream, IL. I told her I could write a book on housekeeping and organizing from all the books and articles I’ve read on the subject, but because I still struggle with the actual doing of it all, I couldn’t help but scan the WHOLE thing. I really liked it. She had so many good ideas and fresh insights, and she quotes others with their individual points of view.

 

She mentioned some of what Proverbs said, although many of her verses were not from Proverbs. The Bible often confirms itself in other books with the same insights. One thing Proverbs says is in Prov_6:9 (KJV): “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?”

 

Sarah Mae suggests experimenting with your sleep schedule to see how much sleep actually refreshes you and how much makes you feel logey. I’ve recently discovered that seven hours seems better for me.

 

Proverbs tells us how to raise our children, Prov_22:6, (KJV): Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

 

Proverbs encourages married folks to be content with each other even into their old age in Proverbs 5:19. It also warns people about the dangers of adultery and alcoholism. Proverbs tells how to handle money:  Prov_22:7, (KJV) says, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

 

So if you can possibly do it, don’t borrow money. If you’ve had to, try and pay it back as soon as possible. It will relieve stress in your life.

 

Well, I guess that’s all the pearls of wisdom I’m going to speak of tonight. My grandson wants me to blog about the Ten Commandments, so I’ll begin that tomorrow. I’ll ask him to remind me.

 

May God bless you!

 

Parenting by Choice

I’ve been spending time with family more than usual lately. I asked my husband what the date was today and realized the end of the month is closing in. I still haven’t sent out the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” stories which are due by June 30. So, I’m going to look at them one more time and then send them out.

 

I also realized I’d slipped up on my commitment to blog daily except for Sundays lately. So, even though I’m a bit weary, I revved up the computer and here goes.

 

My son and his wife paid for his children and his sister’s children to go to an indoor jumping, climbing, etc. type of facility. What an excellent opportunity for family fun and exercise and it’s a way to avoid inclement weather. We weren’t sure if it might rain. So, we went with them and it didn’t hurt to have two more sets of hands and eyes on the active youngsters.

 

I love having grandchildren. We laughed with them and later, I got ice for one of the boys when he hurt his knee. He seems fine tonight.

 

Psa_127:3,(KJV) Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

 

When I was a young lady, I wondered if I should have children or not. The culture seemed to be preaching against having children. It would be bad for the overextended planet. It’s hard to bring children into a messed up world, etc., etc. What about the mother and her right to work or play unrestricted?

 

I remember speaking to my older brother about it. He leaned more towards having children. They’ve added so much to my life and provision always came along. I’m so glad I ignored societies’ subtle and not so subtle injunction to severely limit child bearing. My life would be much different without offspring.

 

God bless!

 

How to Choose the “Right” Spouse

I chose to write this draft today during my quiet time with God because He re-arranged my thinking. Blog first, novel second, dishes third. I intended to do the dishes first. My husband might ask, “Are you sure you heard from God?”

LOL. I asked my incredible husband if he had any ideas for this blog. He told me he didn’t think there was any one right way to choose the “right” spouse.

I had a list of qualifications for the person I wanted to marry. My apologies if I happened to date you and it didn’t work out and by some miracle you are reading this. Possibly, most probably, God in His infinite wisdom, had a different plan for the both of us.

Anyway, on my list which I never wrote down, which I will swear is not true if you quote me, I wanted a man smarter than me. Being a Christian, I’ll refrain from lying, but I won’t like it. So, this is why I often quote my husband, because as annoying as it sometimes is, he is smarter than I am, and I get to take advantage of it.

I probably wrote this before, but at age nineteen when we decided we were crazy in love and heading for marriage, he said, “I will never leave you, but if you ever want to leave me, just light up a cigarette and I’ll know you want me gone. You’ll be free.”

He hated the smell of cigarettes. I knew that. I didn’t take it well. Craig and I are opposite in many ways, including how we perceive the world. That can be a blessing, or not. I felt the heat rise and I said, “Well, if that’s how you feel, I’ll say the same thing to you. If you and I marry, I will commit to you forever, but if you want to leave, feel free.”

That was almost forty years ago now. For the rest of my list, if you’re interested:

1.) He had to be a Christian because I was a Christian.

2.) I wanted to feel comfortable around him. This list is not in order of importance after #1. This is something I didn’t realize was important to me until after our second date and I could eat with ease in front of him.

3.) He had to have a sense of humor.

4.) I needed to like his looks, his way of carrying himself, all the personal stuff. I dated a guy in college that took judo, like Craig did. He dumped me. That hurt, but one thing I hated was him coming over right after gym smelling like the gym plus some. Craig came over after showering up. Yay!

5.) Okay, I’m being brutally honest here, I came from a home where my dad worked hard and my mom raised all of us kids, sewed, cleaned, baked, etc. I wanted a husband to work hard at a job to provide for the family so we could have kids and I could be a mother at home. Craig and I were on the same page with that.

6.) Communication and honesty are huge on my list. If I couldn’t talk to my husband and be real with him and be vulnerable with him, and strong in my opinions with him, we would have never made it.

7.) I wanted a husband worthy of respect who would respect me.

8.) I wanted a guy my family would approve of, that my friends would approve of. When I was in college, my friends started telling me, “Connie, you’ve got to meet this guy.” His friends were telling him, “Craig, there’s this girl…”

The night before our wedding, after three years of dating (and he never got mad at me during all that time, “can you imagine that?”), I talked to my younger sister, “I hope I’m not making a mistake” for hours. I was crazy about Craig, but I hadn’t dated much and I knew I was committing for life. FOR LIFE. Aughh! How could I be sure?

When he got mad at me the first time, I thought, “Oh, God!”

I am an extrovert, he is an introvert. Introverts, in my experience, get quiet and avoid their spouse when they’re upset. Very unnerving to an extrovert. Anyway, no marriage is perfect.

As a sociology and psychology major in college, it seems I learned that:

9.) It’s best to marry someone in your own socio-economic level. If you are poor and you want to get rich, just do it together. I would add to that, learn all the differences in the culture so you’re able to adapt along the way.

My aunt always wanted to go to college and she didn’t get started until she was in her fifties. She told her husband that if she went, she wanted him to go with her, figuratively speaking. She wanted him to grow along with her so that they didn’t grow apart. He was agreeable. They stayed married until death parted them.

So, how do you pick the right person?

1.) Pray like crazy.

2.) Notice every thing that annoys you and remember you are committing to it for the rest of your life. Most of it will not change. Being in love makes one overly optimistic.

3.) Be compatible with your religious beliefs.

4.) Talk about how you handle money and how your family handled money. Many marriages break up over money problems. Whoever is better in handling the finances needs to do so. Once again, communication is imperative. Talk about this stuff before you get married.

5.) Be sure you can communicate in a loving manner. Talking; Listening; Repeating what you think you heard them say back to them; Respecting their opinion; Listening until they’ve finished; Listening without formulating a come-back as they’re talking; giving them the benefit of the doubt if they’ve been honest in the past; Listening as if it were you talking to them; and then talking only if you’re not about to spout ugly, hurtful things at them. If you are tempted to hurl anger and pain at your loved one, then stop and say, “I need some time to sort out my response, please.”

If you can’t do these things while you are dating, it will only get worse when you get married. People tend to hide their worst things, unintentionally or sometimes, sad but true, intentionally. If their basic character is sound, and you can weather the storms, you will have a successful marriage and a bonding like no other.

If you find yourself making excuses for your perspective spouse’s behavior continually, don’t get married. There are many people on this planet, you have time or you may continue in a saner, happier single life. If the issues can be worked out, great, but take your time!!!

Joining lives with someone is a serious commitment. According to “Focus on the Family,” many people that live together first and then decide to marry, end up breaking up. Maybe the man doesn’t respect her, but it’s usually him that leaves.

There are wonderful men and women out there, please don’t get me wrong. If you are single and reading this, live your life to the fullest and prepare yourself to be ready to serve and love and to respect, and to receive love and respect and service. It’s a life-time work that gets sweeter and sweeter and is hard hit by the media and by co-workers and by other negative forces. Like Paul said, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in 1 Corinthians 12:31, “Keep on desiring the better gifts. And now I will show you the best way of all.”

He then leads them into the famous chapter on love – 1 Corinthians 13.

My husband, the man I love more now than I did in the 1970’s, says the one you are married to now is the “right spouse” for you, unless they are cheating on you or abusing you. Cheating, Jesus said, is grounds for divorce, although God never intended for people to divorce. Abuse is grounds for separation in my opinion and many professional’s opinions, as well.

God made us in His image to love Him and to be loved by Him and to be loved by your family. If a spouse is not loving you, but hurting you, you need to get out, especially if children are watching and soaking up the behavior into their impressionable brains and spirits.

If you are afraid to date, pray and venture forth in safe places. God says in Genesis that He set Adam and Eve in a family. That was a model for us. It is a good thing if done well.

We got pre-marital counseling before we got married and the one thing I remember is hearing, “Don’t hit your partner below the belt.”

When fighting, and you will disagree, don’t bring up a ton of stuff – stick to the issue at hand and don’t be mean about it – or hit below the belt. That left an impression. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” in  the book of Matthew.

You should enjoy the person you’re intending to spend the rest of your life with. I still smile almost every time I greet my husband as he enters our home. If you don’t like them, he or she is the wrong one, something’s missing. Jump ship.

To Divorce or not to Divorce?

There are times in my quiet time with God that I think He is saying “Feed My sheep.”

Then I ponder what He might want me to say. Lately, I’ve been running into people that are married and struggling, married and about ready to bail out of the marriage, and/or divorced and dealing with the downside of their choice – custody issues and money issues and the hurting children. I thank God that there are many married and doing well in their relationship!

My daughter recommended a Christian blog called ElisabethKlein.com. It’s for women in crisis relationships. According to my daughter, Elisabeth never advises anyone when they ask, “Should I divorce?”

The thing with couples, there’s always two sides to the story. Each may sound perfectly true from their own perspective. The real picture is only clear to God. So that sounds to me like Elisabeth Klein has wisdom in not telling people to divorce or to stay together.

When I was younger, my husband and I had very close friends that began to have marital problems. We started to take sides. I said, “We’d better not get involved here or we’ll damage our relationship.”

My husband had been thinking along the same lines. So we supported our friends the best that we could and we left “he said, she said,” out of our conversations.

I chose to write about marriage, so I did a lot of research. In “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study,” a book by
Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee says children suffer greatly from divorce, especially if they change homes every week. It’s hard for them to make friends and to make plans with the friends.

That’s only one downside. Yet, if their home is extremely volatile and they may be forever damaged being there, what can a mom or dad do? It’s no easy question.

I feel fortunate that I married a man that respects me and whom I respect. We never call each other names, even when we’re mad. We talk things out so we understand the other persons’ viewpoint. We offer grace when the other person isn’t getting it. We dated just about every week along the years, and still do, almost forty years into our marriage. We allow each other the freedom to explore hobbies and interests that the other is not interested in, when we can afford the money to do so.

My husband and I recently got online to take the Meyers-Briggs personality test and I told my youngest daughter that I’d bet we were totally opposite. Yep. So we thrive amidst the obvious tensions that can and do arise. We talk things out; we try to comprehend the other person’s viewpoint. I’ve gritted my teeth and held on for dear life a time or two when I really wanted to leave. Once, in an extended struggle, I called his best friends and told them I needed their help. They got in his face and told him a few things I never could have. He needed prodding to get outside his shell.

He stuck with me when some of my bad habits quietly eroded his well-being. I never knew that until a few years ago. I’m more of a confront-er; he’s quiet and ponders things deeply before he speaks. He told another friend that he was advising – on how to save his marriage – that he decided he loved me more than my inability to keep the laundry caught up and to keep the clutter away – my lifelong struggle. How important was the guy’s marriage to him? Could he overlook some things as well?

Maybe it’s because I keep trying to change, with God’s help, and he’s changed because of God’s influence in his life, that the longer we’re married, and the more we walk in the other person’s shoes, so to speak, the better it gets. I tuned in to Focus On the Family radio program often in my life and purchased helpful resources. Their website’s value seems priceless to me.

God hates divorce. Jesus speaks strongly about divorce in Mark 10:2-12. My oldest daughter thinks it’s because God knows the damage it causes. Many years ago, my in-laws divorced, so I researched divorce. One author said divorce caused grief worse than a death because the wounds keep getting re-opened when you deal with the other person. Plus, there’s no rejection in a death.

If you are thinking of divorce, think long and hard about it, I urge. Proverbs 11:14 (ASV) states, “Where no wise guidance is, the people falleth; But in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

Above all, pray. God may ask you to be patient; God may ask you to work on your own failings and ignore the other persons faults; God may say to separate because of the lack of safety for the spouse and/or the children. Another Proverb warns against acting hastily. Proverbs 25:8a (ASV): “Go not forth hastily to strive, Lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof…”

I’m writing this because people I care about have divorced or are considering divorce and it breaks my heart, along with hoping to make an impact on others. Strong marriages are great for society and as Christians, marriage is a representation of Christ’s love for the church, as portrayed in Ephesians 5:21-33.
These verses speak on the roles of husbands and wives and their responsibilities toward each other. May God be glorified in our lives.

Jane Eyre

I started reading Jane Eyre in earnest this week. Sometimes I get too many books out of the library, and near their due date I read like crazy to get them done. 🙂 My son took a course in a SUNY college on Women’s Literature, it might have had a feminist bent in the course title. He bought the book, Jane Eyre for the course and I told him I’d never read it. So, it is now in my possession.

I either caught a bug or ate contaminated food, but I thought I’d never been so sick in my life. Two years ago, after a too strong antibiotic I contracted C-Diff and through series of miscommunications, I couldn’t seem to get the counter-medication to reverse the effects. I thought I was going to die. This bug seemed worse than that for severity. After asking friends for prayer and begging my husband to come home for support, which I don’t like to do, I felt like a healthy switch turned on and I improved speedily. 🙂

But, in my weakened state, I was forced to lay around. What better way to lay around than with a book that became more and more interesting, the longer I read it? I got hooked right away, but in my busy world, I would read a page or two and reluctantly put it aside. I am in what would have been Part 3, if the book was formatted as it was in the past. So, please don’t spoil the ending for me. If I were Charlotte Bronte, I would say, “Gentle Reader, …”

I don’t care for that intrusion from the author and have been warned against the author inserting themselves into the story. Now I see why.

She makes me want to go to northern England to see what heath looks like. I had that desire after reading Wuthering Heights, perhaps. I never finished it, maybe I never started it. I saw the movie years and years ago. It was too dark and melancholy for my tastes, so I left it.

My children and a handful of grandchildren are about to descend from Northern climes to our fair town. So I intend to take a week and play hide and go seek, wash dishes, change diapers, go to playgrounds and ignore writing of any kind, if I can stand it. I will continue to read. How can a writer not read?

I chose some easy readers, level one, for one of the children.