What’s this all about?

Follow my blog with BloglovinEdi and I

I’m 76 years old and married for 50 years. Most of the wrinkles on my face are reminders of smiles rather than frowns. That’s also true of my wife, Edi. Half a century together and we still like each other! Our three daughters – Michelle, Katherine, and Jennifer – also like us, as do our four grandkids. This blog is an attempt to figure out how that could possibly happen in a world that doesn’t often produce such results.

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Retreating to move forward

tave-and-i-at-computerThis blog is about nine months old – time to give birth to something more dynamic and exciting. I started it with a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish with it, but with no blogging experience and therefore no knowledge about how to accomplish it. All that I’ve managed to do is to shoot away in the dark, succeeding only in wounding the original idea. So it’s time to turn on some lights, put the shotgun away, reassess, redesign, refocus, improve my aim, and redefine the target.

I would appreciate your comments, telling me what you like about the blog, what was a waste, and what you would like to see more of.

More specifically, what do you think of:

I thought about suspending the blog while I work on improving it. Instead, I will resurrect some of my favorite posts – and yours, if you let me know what they are. That would also help my assessment of the blog as a whole.

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Let’s Write a Story 4: Completed

Booksigning

Famous author signing his books

I didn’t receive any additions to Let’s write a Story 3, so I guess it’s time to end it already. Here are the original sentence and all that you added:

The hill was very steep.
This made the boys wonder, because just yesterday it was only a slight incline.
The grass also seemed to be a bit more blue than it had yesterday.
They stood at the top, thinking that it would be the perfect hill to roll down.
But then they spied the elephant! It was a bit giddy, having just rolled down the hill, too!
As they watched, the elephant started flapping her enormous ears, slowly lifted into the air, and began flying from flower to flower.

Here’s what I did with it: Continue reading

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Life Story: Esther Templeton Jones Boyle

Every Monday, I post an excerpt from one of the stories in my Lives of Quiet Inspiration series of books. 


Esther Templeton Jones

In 1940, seventeen-year-old Hickory High School junior Esther Templeton fell in love with a guy named Bill Jones and quit school to marry him.

“My mother cried when we walked in and announced that we were married,” Esther said. “She was broken hearted. But I shrugged it off, thinking she’ll never miss me because there were still seven more girls and four brothers at home.”

During her first year of marriage, Esther would have laughed if anyone had suggested she would become a contestant in a Mrs. America contest some day. Or more likely, she would have cried.

“After we were married a couple of months,” she said, “the honeymoon was over. Continue reading

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Let’s write a story – 3

My grandson Connor Young

My grandson Connor Young

You and I are writing a story, one line at a time, for kids maybe ten to twelve years old. Here’s what we have so far. I invite you to add another sentence. You can also suggest SUBSTITUTING a line that has already been added: just let me know in a comment what you would like deleted, and what substituted for it. Or simply comment on the process: how can we improve it?

Can you name and describe the boys?

 The hill was very steep. This made the boys wonder, because just yesterday it was only a slight incline. The grass also seemed to be a bit more blue than it had yesterday. They stood at the top, thinking that it would be the perfect hill to roll down.

But then they spied the elephant! It was a bit giddy, having just rolled down the hill, too! As they watched, the elephant started flapping her enormous ears, slowly lifted into the air, and began flying from flower to flower.

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Let’s write a story – 2

My grandson Connor Young

Grandson Connor

You and I are writing a story for kids maybe ten to twelve years old. I started with a sentence: The hill was very steep. Four people suggested additional sentences. Anyone can suggest another sentence. Just submit a comment with the sentence in it.

My original plan was to pick one of the sentences to continue the story. But the four sentences I received fit very well together, so I put them all in. We’ll continue to do this and see what emerges. 

Here is the result:

The hill was very steep. This made the boys wonder, because just yesterday it was only a slight incline. The grass also seemed to be a bit more blue than it had yesterday. They stood at the top, thinking that it would be the perfect hill to roll down. But then they spied the elephant!

Thanks, Jenn, Jen, Joanne, and Michelle!

You can also submit pictures of kids reading or being read to. Connor shouldn’t get all the glory!

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In the Presence of Heroes

George in high school

Young George Lowe

“Being in the presence of my father and his contemporaries is to be in the presence of heroes,” said Tamara Lowe, daughter of Dr. George Lowe of Farrell, PA.

The heroism was not achieved by fighting in war or playing on a sports field, although he did both. It came through overcoming difficulties in life that conquer many other men.

In 1929, his father, Henry Lowe, was seriously injured in a steel mill accident in Aliquippa, PA. He was black, so no hospital in Aliquippa would treat him. By the time he arrived at a hospital in Pittsburgh, it was too late to save his life.

That left his wife Fannie as a black single mother of Ruth, a seven-year-old daughter, and George, a five-year-old son. Continue reading

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Let’s write a story

My grandson Connor Young

My grandson Connor Young

When my grandsons are visiting, they always ask me to tell them a story at bedtime. I completely make the stories up while I am telling them. Sometimes I’ll start with just a name, or maybe a situation, or a character (often an animal). Sometimes I start with something that happened to us that day. Some stories don’t turn out very well, but some do. With the best ones, they’ll ask for a continuation the next evening.

Regardless 0f whether they turn out well or not, one thing is certain: the stories are always fun for both them and me. They don’t know what will happen next. Nor do I.

So let’s have some fun. I’ll start with a sentence. You can write the second sentence. Send them to me as a comment. I’ll pick one or two as a continuation. Then next week I’ll post the story to date, and you can add another sentence.

I picture this as a book for kids about the age of my grandsons David and Connor – let’s say about ten to twelve years old.

Here’s the sentence:

The hill was very steep.

 

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Rules are made to be tested

Edi on a good day in Fort Huachuca

Edi on a good day in Fort Huachuca

You’ve probably heard that sage bit of advice for married couples: never go to bed angry with each other. Edi and I both knew that rule before we got married. But it’s one thing to know a rule, and quite another to be tested on it in real life. We both clearly remember the night it became real for us.

I frequently tell people that we never had an argument during our first year of marriage. I even say it was easy. That’s because for almost the entire year, I was in Vietnam and Edi was in Perth, Australia. That was many years before such things as cell phones and the Internet; Continue reading

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“My mother gave me my wings,” said Mary Fisher

Every Monday I post a Life story from my books, Lives of Quiet Inspiration.


fisher-birthday-cake

Mary never had a birthday cake while she was growing up. The first one she ever came after she got married.

“My mother gave me my wings,” said Mary Fisher. “She told me to look for the good in others, and forget all else.”

Her mother’s philosophy is simple, but it takes courage, discipline, creativity, and love to live it consistently for 94 years as Mary did – especially when you were one of thirteen children in an immigrant family, a teen during the Depression, then an elementary school teacher, and a mother of four.

Even with those traits, wings don’t always guarantee the gift of graceful flight. Eagles soar, seagulls glide, but chickens flutter around on the ground. Mary turned out to be a kin of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Continue reading

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Arrogance and abject self-doubt: flip sides of a blogger

5-goldfishI’ve heard that a goldfish’s memory is so short that every lap around the tank is a new adventure. Sometimes I feel like that. True, my brain is larger than a goldfish’s, but the universe is infinitely larger than the average fish tank. Images from the Hubble space telescope suggest that the universe extends at least 10 billion light years away from us in every direction. Considering the ratios, the fish obviously has a distinct intellectual advantage. Yet here am I, trying to write a blog about marriage and family – or more broadly, about life, and maybe someday consolidate it into a book.

There are already zillions of blogs out there, so what makes me think I can establish a better one? Continue reading

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