Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Which Hole? Kathleen Gibson

My daughter and I, along with several other women from our church, stood in our friend Loretta’s driveway, preparing to leave on a weekend retreat. As her husband helped load her luggage into their van, I noticed a small circular cutout in the driveway under the van's bumper. The shallow hole, a few inches in diameter, encased something metal.

 “Arnold,” I said, pointing. “What’s that hole for?” “Oh,” he said, tossing in the last suitcase. “I use it to get my spare out.”

I didn't mean to be dense, but it occurred to me suddenly that in all the years the Preacher and I have owned vehicles, we've never had to drive on top of a hole in our driveway to retrieve our spare tire.

“I don't get it. How?” “Well,” said Arnold, "I put a little tool in that hole so I can lift the floor to get at the tire."

I stood, bewildered. “Is that the only way to get your spare out?” “Yes,” he said, though my question seemed to confound him.

Desperate to understand this new method of spare tire extraction, I ploughed on. “I’m just curious. What happens if you have to change a tire when you’re not here in the driveway. In the middle of nowhere, for instance?” Beside the highway. In the dark. I really wondered.

We tossed the hole problem back and forth a few more times, neither of us comprehending why the other couldn't understand. Finally Arnold had no more answers and I had no more questions. There we stood, him scratching his head, me staring down at the hole. Utterly baffled.

Finally, one of the other women, none of whom had so far even peeped, broke the impasse with a remarkable question. “Uh…Arnold, do you know which hole Kathleen is talking about?” 

He shrugged, stretched out his hand, bent over and touched the hole he’d just spend an entire week's worth of words explaining. A small hole—on the floor of the back of the van. The hole in which he inserts some kind of tool that lets him access his spare tire, wherever and whenever he needs it.

My fellow females and I began hooting like a parliament of owls as we realized that given his added height and his proximity to the van tailgate, Arnold couldn’t even see the hole I'd noticed in his driveway. And I hadn’t noticed the small hole he’d tried so hard to explain. The one in the floor of the van itself.

After we clarified our holes, after the hooting stopped, we started over. This time, he explained what I didn't understand in one simple sentence. "That hole is the shut-off valve for our city water."

Whether discussing holes or the holy things of faith—God, the Bible, Jesus, salvation—that conversation demonstrates a vital principle of effective dialogue:

Be sure everyone is pointing at the same hole.


All that reminds me of this little conversation between Bill Cosby and a member of his audience:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO1kmfLmGRA

Kathleen Gibson ponders faith and life in her newspaper column, Sunny Side Up, and on her radio spots, Simple Words, aired weekdays on numerous Christian stations.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Quick and Simple Task - M. Laycock

I have never been an early riser. It was always a struggle for me to get out of bed in the morning when I was young. My sluggishness likely had a lot to do with the fact that I hid under the blankets with a flashlight reading until the wee hours. As the morning sunlight lit my room my mom would call several times before my toes would finally slip over the side and touch the floor. Then it took a long time in the shower to really wake up before heading downstairs for breakfast. And when I got to the kitchen the refrain was always the same. 

“Did you make your bed?”

I’d groan and trudge back upstairs, knowing there would be no breakfast until that small task was done. One morning I asked my mother why she always insisted that I make my bed.
“It’s a good start,” she said. “It means you’re ready for the day.”

I couldn’t help but think about my mom’s words this past Sunday as my husband preached on Acts 9 verses 32-43. It was verse 34 that triggered the memory. Peter had stopped in the town of Lydda where a man named Aeneas, a paralytic, caught his attention. He stopped long enough to heal the man, saying, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” That last sentence made me sit up straight. Why did Peter tell him to take care of his mat? Was it in the way? Was it unsightly? Or was Peter saying something more to Aeneas? I wondered if perhaps he was saying, get ready Aeneas, a new day is beginning, things are about to happen and there’s a purpose for you in them.

And that made we wonder about the purpose of the healing, the purpose of the blessing. God does not act randomly or without reason. His actions, and most especially his blessings, always have purpose.
That made me think of all the blessings I’ve been given in my life. It’s a long list and the realization that it all has purpose made me begin to think about what God intends me to do. He’s given me wealth so I should share it, food and a home to open to others. He’s given me health so I can do His will on this earth. He’s given me family that I might raise them to go into the world and bless others. He’s given me the talent of writing so that I might glorify His name through story. All of his blessings have an outward slant, none are intended to be hidden or hoarded.

My mother trained me well. Making my bed is still something I do each morning. It makes me feel that the day has started and I’m ready for it. This morning, as I did that quick and simple task I wondered what God had in store for me today. What am I to be ready for? Ready to hear his voice, ready to move when he says “go,” ready to speak when His Spirit directs. Yes, all of these things and more. I’m to be ready to receive His blessings and use them for His purposes.

What about you? Have you made your bed?

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Marcia's second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards. Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded here. Visit Marcia’s website


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How to Write a Book Review - Laura J. Davis

What type of people review books today? Do you have to have certain qualifications? Should you charge for book reviews? Do I have to be a professional writer? These are questions I get asked all the time, and so I thought it might be helpful to share with you, on how to get a review started.

There are tons of people on the web today who review books. Some of them are professional writers, others are just people who have read a good book and want to tell everyone what they thought about it. Still, there are those who love to read and love to get free books and feel it is a way to give back.

Others find themselves in the unenviable position of having a friend ask them to review their "just released" book. They say yes, start reading and then find themselves in a pickle. Why? Because the book is horrible! What will they say to their friend? How can they break it to them gently without ruining their friendship? Some get so concerned about hurting an author's feelings that they give up reviewing books altogether. It doesn't have to be that hard. I have read books by all kinds of different authors, some of them I liked and some ... well ... they just weren't my cup of tea. But being afraid of hurting someone's feelings shouldn't put you off reviewing a book. You don't have to be mean about it and if the author you are reviewing is smart they will keep your thoughts in mind as they begin their next book. It is a wise author who can look at a review as they would a critique and learn from it. They may not be able to change the book just reviewed, but they can remember those suggestions and use them to improve their next book.

So, how do you start a review? I begin with the overall feeling I had when I finished the book. Did it move me to tears or laughter? Was I sighing with satisfaction? Or, was I just glad to get it over with? Very rarely do I find a book that I don't enjoy or learn something from. But sometimes I do come across books that leave me groaning aloud, longing for it to end. I will tell  you what I do in that situation in a minute. For now, let's concentrate on a book you have just finished reading. How did it make you feel? Did you learn anything? What was the major theme of the book? These three questions help me write my opening lines. Below are a few examples of opening lines to books I have recently reviewed, to give you a better idea on how I begin.

"Once again Ann H. Gabhart has blown me away with another great book. She never disappoints and Scent of Lilacs will bring you to tears, make you laugh and if you grew up in a small town in the 60's like I did, bring back fond memories."

"I review for several publishing houses, but once in a while I like to read something self-published, because I always find gems. Melody's Song by author Kathleen Friesen is my latest find."

"If you are new to writing, have a million questions and don't quite know where to go to get them - have I got a book for you! Duke the Chihuahua Writes, by award-winning author Donna Fawcett (and Duke the Chihuahua of course) is a delightful book for the beginning writer."

As you can see, all three of these books made an impression on me and so I try to convey that feeling in the first opening lines. As it is in writing a story, the same is true of reviews. You need an opening line. Something that will draw the reader in enough to keep them reading until the end. You do not want to jump in and start describing the story and characters right away. That comes next. The opening lines are personal. They should reach out to your audience as if they were in the room with you and you were discussing the book over tea. They should express an eagerness to share with the world the "gem" you just found. Also, please note the titles of books should be in italics and the author's name should be in bold. In addition, try to limit your reviews to no more than 350 words. Some newspapers require less than that. So be aware of your word count.

The next paragraph or two, will involve introducing the characters without giving away the ending. In other words, a general outline of the story. The following are examples:

"After losing her husband to cancer, the author began to chronicle her thoughts and experiences of what she was going through. She begins with the statement, "By the end of this month, I expect to know my own name." This sets the tone of the book and guides the reader along with the author on her journey to self-discovery. The result is a book that will bring much comfort to anyone who has lost a spouse - widow or widower."

"Melody Jamison has recently moved to Saskatoon. While her move was necessary (she could no longer keep up the farm after her husband died), she also hoped that the nightmares of her husband's tragic death would go away in a new setting. Unfortunately for Melody, changing locations doesn't work. In addition to the nightmares that plague her, she worries over her son Will, who left home determined to prove he didn't need his parents, God, or anyone else. As Melody tries to lift her concerns to the Lord, she begins to doubt her faith in God and demonic attacks soon set in. But God is bigger than Satan and He uses the people in her new neighbourhood to not only strengthen her faith, but confirm to those around her that God is real and loves them."

Both of these examples are very different. One is of a non-fiction book, the other is a novel. The first book impacted me so much, I wrote three paragraphs on what I learned (disobeying my own rule of keeping reviews to 350 words or less). The novel on the other hand, required only one paragraph to best describe what was inside the book. Sometimes, for novels, I may take two paragraphs in order to highlight the important characters.

The next part of the review becomes personal. Imagine you are in your kitchen having tea with a friend and you are expressing what you loved the most about a book you read and how it impacted you. Now write what you felt. This is also where you gently let the author know what would have helped the book if you were disappointed in it, what you found distracting, or to point out improper formatting, excessive typos, etc. This is not where you are mean. There is never any call to be mean. Pretend you are in a critique group and "sandwich" your review. In other words, start out positive then suggest areas that could use improvement - if it is necessary. Don't look for things to criticize, just to be critical. If you enjoyed the book then what is the point of telling the author she had a typo on page 258? It doesn't add to your review and makes you look petty. After you have made your suggestions end on a positive note.

You do not have to give glowing reviews everytime. Let's face it, some books just miss the mark. If you can't find anything good about the book, then don't write a review! Email the author and explain why you had a hard time with it and why you cannot post your review. If however, you are being paid to write a review then you have no choice. Please let the author down gently. You don't know how old they are - they could just be starting out. Don't discourage them, encourage them by focusing on what they did right and then suggesting what could be improved.

I finish all my reviews with a final line and a rating. For example:

With lots of romance and intrigue this is another Tracie Peterson book you will want on your shelf. I give it 5/5 stars!

I hope these examples help you as you write your next review! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Retain or Remove

“Don’t worry,” the saleslady told me when I ordered laminate flooring for our main floor, “Our workers will move the furniture as they install. They’ll move everything to one side, do that side then move it all to the other side of the room.”

That sounded wonderful.  I have children and grandchildren who could help, but they all have busy lives.  If the workmen would move the furniture, I wouldn’t have to bother them. 
The first thing I saw when I came home and started imagining the ratty, stained carpet replaced by shining laminate, was the big glass cupboard fashioned by my loving husband, full of dishes—good dishes that seldom get used.  If the workmen tried to move that with the dishes inside, they’d probably not able to budge it, and if they did, the dishes would go for a slide.  Obviously, I will have to take the dishes out.  What if I found other places for those I don’t really need?  That would de-clutter my life and make it easier to keep clean. 

I moved to my office.  As a writer, and a bit of a sentimental pack rat, I have files and files of interesting items I might need some time (emphasis on might and some.)  My bookshelf is full of books about writing and for writing.  Some I use often, others I have barely scratched the surface of the pool of wisdom contained in them.  I have copies of talks given and revised for a slightly different setting.  Oh, they’re on my computer too, but I might need them sometime in the future.  There are CD’s and installation discs for computer programs that have long ago become extinct. I began to sort and decipher which of those items need to be kept and which need to go.  But the flooring people are due to come next week.

Reluctantly, I began to put things in boxes and marking them as to contents, storing them in our garage with the aim to sort when I return my office to working order after the floors are installed.  In the back of my mind I wonder how long that is going to take and fear that some of those boxes may never see the light of day.

This morning as we read or daily devotional and God’s word, it dawned on me how much my life and my mind resemble my office.  In today’s world we are assaulted with information from so many directions.  I love facts about just about everything.  I’m interested in people and love to be able to respond to needs to encourage those going through difficult times, to remember birthdays and anniversaries, and to send cards for different occasions or no occasion at all.  I like to stay in touch with friends from long ago and friends currently in my life.  I am involved in many committees and organizations doing all kinds of good things: when I’m involved I don’t want to be only an observer, so I often chair the committee, take minutes or participate in an active way.  Often my mind feels like my office—books, binders, reference materials, pictures, articles in files and drawers, stacked on shelves and overflowing—a whole pile of information waiting to be filed, and sometimes lost in the plethora, the overabundance of material.

When it comes to my office and my mind, it seems to be not just a question of whether, but a necessary action that must be taken.  I realize I’m not getting younger.  My mind is still active and I want to keep it that way.  However like many machines, if I keep feeding it too much and too fast, it can get overloaded and perhaps my grind to a halt.  I need to discern more closely what is necessary, what is expedient and what is superfluous, what can be left for others to do.  For some people, the super organizers, that may come naturally.  I’ve always had distaste for those who sit back and say “Someone else can do that.”  I fear becoming one of those people, so it’s hard for me to let go.  I need counsel and wisdom to help me know what to discard from my life and what to retain—both in my office and in my mind. 

How glad I am for James 1:5—“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” 

Ruth Smith Meyer is included in the anthology, "Fifty Shades of Grace."

She is also author of two adult novels, "Not Easily Broken," and the sequel "Not Far from the Tree," and a children's book dealing with grief, "Tyson's Sad Bad Day." 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Heart-Swell — Peter Black

Modified slightly from original post-Thanksgiving article, written for P-Pep! column and published in the Southwestern Ontario newspaper, The Guide-Advocate – October 17, 2013.                                       
How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Sweet . . . or bitter? Perhaps bittersweet?
Bittersweet – I’m sure that’s a how a friend of ours felt about hers, for while she is grateful for her wonderful family, she cannot help but recall the sudden death of her husband two years ago, which occurred within several days of the Thanksgiving weekend.
My wife and I enjoyed lunch and a pleasant visit with her last week. It was evident, though – and perfectly understandable, that a clear element of sadness surfaced, especially in view of the approaching anniversary of her loss and the holiday weekend.
We were glad and honoured to have known Ron and worked with him many years ago, when I was the couple’s pastor. He was an upstanding man in the community, who was unashamed of his Christian faith, but who quietly lived it, taking an interest in people and performing deeds of kindness, without fanfare, behind the scenes. It’s mostly since his death that I’ve learned more about how active he’d been in this way.
I look back to a particular day before the Thanksgiving weekend in which I experienced a great sense of what I’ll call ‘heart-swell.’ It happened when May and I took an hour out of a busy flurry and went for a walk on a community trail by the golfing greens; something we’d done less of this year. It was an absolutely glorious fall day.
A brilliant sun lit up the goldenrod, and purples, whites and yellows of wayside flowers, contrasted by beige and brown of broad-leafed tall grass and bulrushes. Acres of golfing greens flanked the open areas, and in places we swished our way through fallen leaves and enjoyed the music of creek waters singing through rapids. 
My private sentiments on that walk were similar to those I expressed in a recent article, about how I’d wished that everyone on the globe were blessed with the beauty and tranquillity that I enjoyed at that moment. On our trail walk I breathed in deeply and thanked God for sight and hearing and the ability to be out enjoying these wonders. I also spared a thought for those who lack those faculties.  
The heart-swell included my sister Marg and her husband’s safe return from the UK, and also relief that our recent musical stint at a church’s anniversary service went well, and that our voices held out so we could fulfil that commitment. Gratitude for many more blessings of everyday life, of family members and friends, and of our community and country flooded my heart and mind. Nature’s beauty has a capacity for elevating wonder and intensifying appreciation.
What stands out as you reflect on the fall season thus far and your Thanksgiving weekend? Your heart aches for someone who passed away since last year or one now living too distant to journey home? A relational difficulty’s left an empty chair? I hope you experienced some heart-swell too. Making a modest contribution of items towards a local food bank is a simple and effective way for expressing gratitude, and that connects you to other people’s lives and homes, even if you don’t know them.
David expresses heart-swell in numerous psalms. For example: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise . . .” (from Psalm 8:1-2a).
May heart-swell prompt heart-felt praise from our lips as children of God.

Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children's / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing). (Finalist -- Word Alive Press ISBN 1897373-21-X)
His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Guide-Advocate. His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario. Peter’s current book project comprises a collection of 52 column articles.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Forgotten Joys - Eleanor Shepherd

 I am still trying to figure out what makes grandchildren grab your heart the way they do.  I find there is nothing quite like the experience of time spent with them.  I am trying to understand what the magic is that they bring into our worlds.
It seems to be more than just their joy at beholding the unfolding of life.  I remember watching with fascination as my own children discovered the world around them and found names to put on their experiences.  I watched with wonderment as they observed and began to interact with their world.  The process was part of the bonding with us as they began exploring those things that were a part of our lives.  However, with grandchildren the adventure seems to go beyond new discoveries.  With the unfolding of the treasures of each new day comes an incredible exuberance.  Perhaps our focus on being good parents blinds us to this in our children.
As I was reflecting about this infectious excitement of our little granddaughter this morning, I wondered if the secret weapon that she holds that unlocks our hearts in a way nothing else can is her ability to remind us of forgotten joys.
By the time that our children have grown and we have been through the challenges of their teens and early adulthood we can find ourselves somewhat jaded and worn down by the obstacles and unexpected events that we have had to overcome and work through.  The lustre has faded on our parenting experience.  Then into our lives comes a new generation and hope returns.
It sneaks up on us in unexpected ways.  Last evening I had a business meeting and went to my daughter’s home, near my office for a quick bite of supper with her family.  When I arrived little Sanna was just waking from her nap.  With bright eyes she beckoned me to come in.  She wanted to share with me all the toys on her bed, introducing me to each one with joy.  As her little hand beckons me to ‘’Come in, Gamma,’’ I cannot resist and a smile spreads over my face as joy springs up within.  I have forgotten the joy of just being able to delight in new discoveries with someone you love.
As she hops out of bed, she asks me if I want to, ‘’Play toys, Gamma?’’  With great delight she systematically pulls all of the toys off her shelves to share them with me.  Together we talk to the animals, make music with the shaker and xylophone and flip though a couple of her books, before she decides it is time to turn to her easel and create a masterpiece with markers.  As we move from one thing to another together, I sense the load of cares from my busy adult life slipping away.  In its place returns the joy of pleasure in simple things. I remember again what is really important.
Last week, this little girl turned two years old.  We had a celebration and her eyes lit up with glee when we turned out the lights and lit the two candles on the pumpkin pie, which she prefers to cake.  We sang the song that she calls, ‘’Happy to you.’’  The word birthday is still a little too sophisticated for her vocabulary, but she knows that the essence of that song is that she is important and it is being sung to her.  She reminds me again of the joy that each of us realize when we discover the unique contribution that we make to our world.  At the moment her most significant contribution is the joy that she spreads wherever she goes and maybe that is the greatest gift that I can give as well.  I find myself refueled with a sense of hope and well-being as I share her life.  Perhaps that is the secret weapon of grandchildren – the ability to rekindle forgotten joys.    


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thanksgiving is a Life-Style/MANN

Thanksgiving is not just a season, it's a lifestyle. It's not just a feast with opportunity to gather the family around the table—it's an accumulation of blessings focused on a time and day. While writing my last two historical novels, I was reminded of the difference in the way that Eastern and Western Canada celebrated over the years. It had been called the Season of Abundant Harvest at one time. 

Wainwright Star stated Sunday was a time of remembering and giving thanks in spite of the summer's drought and failed crops. This season celebrated mainly in the church and around the family table was also emphasized around Armistice Day as a day of Remembrance and Thanksgiving and to offer thanks (Wainwright Star Oct. 1, 1919).  Another perspective of thanksgiving is shown in this child's experience of her offering in the 90s: 

"Being used to inserting my offering in the small envelope provided in the church pew when I visit a church, I picked up the only one available when it came time for the offering. Quickly I noticed that my six year old granddaughter had playfully drawn pictures and printed her name and address across it. Thinking she wouldn't mind, I carefully rubbed her name and addresses off the face of the envelope so the church wouldn't send her a receipt for my five-dollar bill. 

Shades of playing the board game "Life" the previous day, explained her boldly written request "I want $100.00 followed by a happy-face." Rather than having the church elders think I was expecting a reverse offering, I rubbed her request off the envelope before placing the envelope on the plate as it was passed by me. 

Unknown to me, my granddaughter spotted her envelope with her carefully drawn row of daisies across the top, as it rode along in the offering plate. Much to the dismay of her father, she attempted to take her envelope out, to which he gently pulled her hand away.

Being confused as to why her daisy trimmed envelope had suddenly gone into the hands of adults unknown to her, she began to pout and sulked down in her seat. During the children's story, she refused to go to the front of the church and continued to play with her fingers and look down at her feet. I reached behind to the back of my pew, retrieved two new blank envelopes and offered them to her. But to no avail—forgiveness was not an option at this time. She continued to withdraw, although she had moved out into the aisle and was watching from a distance.

Acknowledging she had misunderstood the use of the envelopes, I went over and knelt beside her in the aisle of the church and said, "Thank you for preparing the envelope. Grandma put some money in it and gave it to God. It was such a nice present with your pretty flowers. I'm sorry if I gave away something you wanted. For you to give to God that which you wanted to keep for yourself  makes it very special—that is a true offering.  Is it all right to give it to God?" 
She nodded and tried to smile. With that, she pushed back into the seat, prepared another envelope identical to the first one—without the rub-offs and went on her way to Sunday school. This was an active act of forgiveness within a service of forgiveness—holy ground.

Coming soon: 
Aggie's Voice - Agnes Macphail in Stratford. The final book in the Aggie trilogy
A Rare Find - Ethel Ayres Bullymore:  Legend of an Epic Canadian Midwife

Monday, October 14, 2013

Learning to give thanks—Carolyn R. Wilker

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has marked thankfulness to God for plentiful harvests and has included feasting, prayer and thankfulness for the blessings received in the past year. 

Living on a farm in a rural Ontario, my family did all of the above on such a day— attended worship and gave thanks. Later we’d have a big dinner with family and friends. Sometimes it was just our own family, but it was always a good meal—a capon, potatoes, vegetables, salad, some of our pickles from the summer canning, and dessert too, probably a pie or two.

It’s not hard to give thanks, surrounded by so much good food and bounty, but what if I hadn’t learned to be thankful? What if I had come to feel that all this was mine for the taking? 

Giving thanks is not in a young child’s nature; it’s something we teach through words and actions, just as we teach them to say “please” and “thank you.”  

In Sunday School, our teachers taught thankfulness through our lessons and song as well. We sang “Count your blessings,” written by Johnson Oatman, Junior:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!

I guess my Mom had sung it enough in her Sunday School that the opening line became a mantra in our home. We’d hear it often, but just because we sang that hymn, and others, did not mean we always remembered to show appreciation for what we had. 

When Mom was a member of the Women’s Institute, we had a picture posted on the door of our refrigerator of a child in Korea. The group sponsored this girl for a time, and Mom would tell us how their contribution helped provide good food and an education for her.

I could see that we had food and to spare, especially in summer. We had clothing enough, but not a full closet, and always warm winter coats and boots when we needed them. We had toys, a television, and we were able to go to school.

Over time, I learned from lessons such as this and watched my parents show generosity as they were able—sharing from the abundance of our garden, helping with community projects with some of their time and energy. And so I have learned to be thankful and share from what I have been given— time, energy and resources.

I know I have often forgotten to say thank you to others and to God. Thanksgiving is a life-long lesson, I guess, for I’m still learning. My grandchildren are learning to see beyond themselves too, and to say “thank you” too, and for that I am glad.

Blessings to you this Thanksgiving!

Carolyn R. Wilker, author, editor and storyteller

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