Wednesday, September 27, 2017

An Author and her a real delight....

in Delight, Arkansas, that is!!

On September 30, my friend Mary Cooke (who writes as Mary Lou Cheatham) will be at the Delight Music Festival Super Signing with many other authors.

Delight, the hometown of Music Legend Glen Campbell (who passed away recently) is a small town in southwest Arkansas (population less that 300) near Murfreesboro and the Crater of Diamonds State Park.....where you can go dig for diamonds!!

This is the third annual Super Signing at the Delight Music Fest and it is being sponsored by the Delight Branch Library. Writers from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas will be at the signing, with their books. 

Mary Lou will have 'Secret Promise,' 'The Dream Bucket,' 'Manuela Blayne,'  'Miss Loretta Larson,' as well as 'Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek,' the novel that she invited me to coauthor with her. Mary Lou's books are based on the area in which I now live and where she grew up in and around a town called Taylorsburg.

If you happen to be in Arkansas this weekend - I'm sure Mary Lou would love to see a friendly, familiar face. What a delightful way to spend a weekend - in Delight, AR!

Mary Lou's writings can also be found on either of her blogs: or

Saturday, September 16, 2017

When You Think You've Seen Everything.....

We are at a lovely RV Park in Arlington, with lots of shade trees.

And, just like in Emporia, we were sitting at the table this morning, and thank goodness I was facing the right direction. Of course, either direction provided a view....but my view turned out to be the most interesting.

There is a small travel trailer parked next to us with a young couple who had been in and out the trailer door at least a dozen times (and so had their dog.)

They busy themselves around the outside of the trailer - back and forth to their pickup. I look up, occasionally, and see them. Then.....

Suddenly the young man goes to the back of the trailer, and opens a small window. (I'm assuming it's the bedroom.) He puts a bucket under the window, but he DOES NOT turn it upside down. At this point, I'm really paying attention!

He tries to step on the top of the bucket (yes, the opening) and his foot slips in. Not to be deterred, he does it again and successfully stands on the rim of the top of the bucket....without turning the bucket over and without his foot slipping in, again. (That, to me, is a major feat.)  He opens the small window and he, with a modicum of effort, climbs in the small window.

The young woman stands outside... by the door to the trailer and keeps yelling, "open the door, open the door."  (Our window isn't open but she's talking loudly enough I can hear.)

He looks out the window and says something back to her. She picks up a dog food bowl that is sitting outside, near the front door, and takes it back to the window and he reaches out and gets the bowl.

She then asks....."Are you coming back out?" I don't know what he said, but he did come back out.

The same way he went in!

Yep, he did.....he climbed back out the window.....just like it was the right thing to do.

Just when you think you've seen everything..............(and they got in their pickup and drove away.)

Friday, September 15, 2017

There's Always A Story.......

Okay, we are in an RV Park in Emporia, KS the last exit before we have to get on the Turnpike. It's the same park where we stopped, in the Spring, It's where we saw "The Bounty Hunter" (no, not the REAL Bounty Hunter.)
We're sitting, with laptops on the table, looking out the window at the comings and going (there's not much). A SUV enters the campground - not pulling a camper - and drives around several times. Perhaps they are searching for someone.
Finally, it (SUV) backs into a spot across and down from us, and a woman gets out. Soon after she backs in several work trucks pull in and begin to park at campers already in spots.
Maybe she's with one of them.She gets a pink baby stroller out of the car but we're unable to see her put the baby in the stroller. Off she goes, taking the stroller and the baby, for a walk.......but she doesn't stop at any of the campers. Okay, now this has become a mystery. a woman with a baby.....and no camper....backed into a spot in an RV campground.
It's probably time for us to do our nightly exercise. What? You didn't know we took nightly walks. Sometimes, they are just necessary. No, I'm not nosey. I'm a writer! This just may be a story. And, of course, we walk in the direction where we'll just HAVE to meet her!
Here she comes. "May we see your baby?" we ask. It's not a baby! It's a two-year-old cat in the pink baby stroller.
She has driven, cross country, from Georgia to "sew with a friend" and she's on her way back home. She sleeps, in her car or in a pup tent, and her cat travels with her. She oftens Roadside Parks. Hmmm, not me.
And then, we heard the story about the trip she took to Pennsylvania and the accident and how the cat got lost. Okay, it was now time to have a reason to go back into our RV!
I think we need to make regular trips to this RV Park.......there's always a story......

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Meal Without Meat.......

We southerners don't care for "sweet cornbread" .....that's a northern thing. The only exception to that, as far as I was concerned, was when I was still consulting. I had a client in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, and we would often go out to eat at a local restaurant. A favorite appetizer was Cornbread served in a small black skillet with a sweet honey topping and it was oh, so good!!

I awoke one morning hungry for a southern meal of veggies and cornbread. And even though I once had a boss who would say "a meal without meat is a meal incomplete"......I don't have to have meat, and I often don't.

Early one morning, while fixing my breakfast, I put a pot of Purple Hull Peas on to cook......and the aroma of those peas permeated the house and brought back memories of my Granny's kitchen and the wonderful meals that filled the dinner table and our bellies.

I knew that just peas and cornbread wouldn't be enough to satisfy this hunger, so I began to think about cooking a small pot of butterbeans and making a Corn Casserole 

An online Facebook group to which I belong had recently posted a recipe that included a box of Jiffy Cornbread Mix, two cans of Cream Style Corn, one egg and a stick of melted butter. I mixed and baked as directed and it was absolutely delicious!

My peas, butterbeans, corn casserole and cornbread and a glass of sweet ice tea.....made my day complete!!  (A perfect southern meal.)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Man Worth Remembering.....

Celebrating Dick Peterson and others like him on this Memorial Day.....

He fought in WWII and he'll be 100 on August 10th..........Dick Peterson is definitely a man worth remembering. After interviewing him earlier this year, I wrote the following article for my "From the Front Porch" column, in our Taylorsville Post.

He was born in Broadland, SD in August, 1917 and just 4 months later his mother died during the Spanish Flu Epidemic. His father made the decision for his Aunt Clara (his father’s youngest sister) to take him and his two older sisters. The aunt, who later learned she was expecting a baby, decided it would be in the best interest of everyone if she kept his sisters, and he went to live with her sister, Mathilda. On April Fool’s Day in 1919 – when he was almost 8 months old, he went to live with Aunt Tillie and Uncle John who had two grown daughters.

He remembered that he always called her Aunt Tillie – never mom – even though she had taken him in when he was just a baby. Aunt Tillie wasn’t warm and loving, but she and Uncle John provided a good life.

His father remarried and had another family and he saw him only a few times during his growing up years.

Richard “Dick” Peterson will be 100 years old on August 10, 2017. His wife, Phyllis, with whom he’d been married 72 years passed away in December 2013. She had been his high school sweetheart……a Freshman when he’d been a Senior. He graduated and went to Iowa State University but continued to date Phyllis. In his words, “she was the pick of the litter and so was I.”

Dick is busy. He lives alone in a townhouse in Johnston, Iowa where he still drives. He was President of the Men’s Garden Club for 10 years and his yard is immaculate and beautiful, and he’s the one who does the planting and maintenance! The Gazebo in the Garden Clubs of America park was built, in his honor, and has a plaque with his name.

Dick is a wiry little man with a wonderful sense of humor even though he has Macular Degeneration and receives injections in his eyes. His townhouse has a basement and he amazed me with his agility as he hurried down the carpeted stairs. (He arrived at the bottom and I had barely begun my descent.)

I had gone to visit with him and to see his WWII "Memorabilia Room" - but I received a tour of his home and saw so much more. In his finished basement was a very neat room with a work bench and tools. In another room under lights, with timers, were plants that he was "wintering" and awaiting the coming of Spring so he could plant them in his beds. My favorite room held a table with notebooks of Family Data and hundreds of pages, typed by one of his sons, of "Richard's Ramblings" and his poetry. The walls held family photos .....of him with Aunt Tillie's family, of his father and his family, and the only photo that he had of his mother.

Dick and Phyllis got married in August, 1940 and in August, 1941 he was “ordered” to active duty at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. He had received his Commission at Iowa State as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers Reserve.

Just as we all remember “where we were” when historical events happened, in the world…..Dick remembers that he and Phyllis were in St. Louis, MO at the movies when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Dick was at Normandy, and on Omaha Beach, and on Utah Beach. I want to know what valiant effort was recognized by the Bronze Medal he received. I want to know more about the WWII Memorabilia Room…..and I hope I’m here to help celebrate number 100….in August!!

Dick Peterson…..a man worth remembering!