Whether traveling around the world or around the block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness on our journey , so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lady Traveler recalls her gutsy year, 2015

Our front yard Christmas 2008

Stand at the crossroads and look...
ask where the good way is,
and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Jeremiah 6:16

January was the hardest month of this year for me.
I lost my dear mother-in-law, Marcella Leaf,
my sweet South Carolina cousin, Ronnie McLeod,
and my true friend, Debbie Kreitzer.
I'm still grieving the loss of these precious people.

But now, in the midst of December, I'm walking in sunshine!
And I have to tell somebody...so here goes....

Christmas at the Leaf's

Since this is the last year of my 60th decade,
I decided to make a few gutsy changes
before I entered the
Decade of my 70's.

So in April I agreed to make a gutsy decision...

Robinski and I bought a vintage motor home
and committed to volunteer with
Christ In Action (CIA)
for two years.
We have been on two flood deployments,
Wimberley TX (June) and Kingstree SC (October)

On the road with Resti2
I swam my summer away to keep in shape,
slowly losing a few pounds.
Then I made another gutsy decision to get on board the
IsaGenix bandwagon.
I'm so glad I did because
I reached 3 of my major health goals:
I lost 20+ pounds
AND
with the blessings of my doctor,
I was able to go off my
blood pressure and cholesterol meds
YAY!

While praying one day,
I made a gutsy deal with Jesus.
I told him that I would say yes
to whatever he asked me to do.
The next day I received an invitation
to speak at a local women's conference.
What was I thinking?
All I could answer was meek, gutsy yes.
Princess Popcorn waiting for Christmas

I celebrated my upcoming January 70th birthday
in August by having my son, Shawn,
fly here from Springfield, MO.
Having my two kids here with me for a week,
something we haven't done in years,
was all this so-called gutsy lady needed.
(I know you moms understand)
So blessed! Jacquie and Shawn...together once more August 2015


Happy early 70th Birthday to me!
As Christmas draws near,
I am proclaiming that I have had a grand ol' gutsy 69th year.
and I am more excited than ever to see what
my gutsy 70th decade has in store for me.
Why?
Because as I have traveled near and far on this somewhat challenging journey,
I know that it is NEVER too late for your gutsy dreams to come true.

So, my friends, remember ...

You can never discover new oceans
until you are willing to
lose sight of the shore.


My gutsy anthology is published in the book, My Gutsy Story Anthology 2, by author Sonia Marsh.
www.soniamarsh.com
www.sharonleaf.com
www.christinaction.com


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Home again for Lady Traveler

My autumns in Zion with Daddy and brother John
2008-2012

Autumn has blown in
And I'm back home after our 
Deployment to Kingstree, South Carolina,
A town still reeling from the
Destruction of the 1,000-year flood.
I was blessed to be a small part of the Christ In Action (CIA) team who
Traveled from near and far to 
Bring hope to America's families in South Carolina.
Ready for action
Now, back in my comfortable surroundings,
It all seems like a bad dream.
But the people who we left behind
Are still struggling with the
Reality of the horrendous waters
That raged through their homes.

When I know there are so many hurting people,
Sometimes I find it hard...
but I have to take a deep breath,
call a friend,
and laugh a little.
Friends are a wonderful gift.
Never take them for granted.
One of many piles...from molded walls to precious memories...

This is my second deployment and
Hopefully not my last.
The memories and my feelings are difficult to put into words 
So I will simply ask you,
My readers, my friends,
To continue to pray for the families who are in need.
Thank you.

My favorite pastime ... laughing!

For pictures of the Kingstree, South Carolina flood, go to

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overflow you...
Isaiah 43:2

I wish you oceans of blessings for the
Thanksgiving Season

Friday, October 16, 2015

South Carolina's "Thousand-year Flood"...Lady traveler on the road again

My new Pedego E-bike from
Pedego Bike Shop in Myrtle Beach

Too busy + plus having too much fun =
No recent blogs.  
A week at Ocean Lakes Campground in Myrtle Beach +
a week in Dreher Island State Park with our new Pedego bikes =
Biking.  Relaxing.  Writing.
Flag flying high in South Carolina
Photo by Shawn Watson Photography

Then in October the maddening floods flowed throughout
my sweet state of South Carolina.
They call it the 1,000-year Flood.
Thousands of homes were destroyed.
Dams burst and overflowed.
Our raging 12-mile Creek rushed up to our backyard deck.
Hundreds of bridges out.
Roads closed indefinitely.

First the devastation.
Now the restoration...
People helping people,
Strangers no more.

I'm thankful for my church home,
NewSpring.
We sprang into action across the state
to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Rob and I are also volunteers with
Christ In Action (CIA)
to help bring HOPE to America's families.

Rob was part of the CIA team who drove to 
Virginia to the CIA base camp,
to help drive the convoy down to 
Williamsburg County.

My traveling cowboy is home now, but in the next few days
Rob and I will be driving our motor home, RESTi2,
to Williamsburg County where we'll stay indefinitely.
There are 50-100 homes underwater
There is much work to be done.
But that is all in a day's work.
(for some reason I'm not able to publish flood photos from my iPhone at this time)

Christ In Action has posted pictures on their website,
when CIA deployed to Wimberley, Texas in June.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we
endeavor to bring HOPE
to American families.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and 
with all your soul and with all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:37

www.christinaction.com
www.newspringchurch.org
www.sharonleaf.com



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Hobo Travels to South Carolina for ...

Celebrating an 'early 70th birthday' with my two great kids
August 2015

To know someone here or there with 
whom you feel there is an understanding in spite of 
distances or thoughts  unexpressed -- 
that can make of this earth a garden.
~Goethe~

I recently experienced one of the most favorite weeks of my life.

I began months ago thinking...
 how do I want to celebrate my BIG 70th birthday?
Without a doubt, I knew what I wanted, 
and I shared my special birthday wish with Jesus.
"I want to spend some special time with my two kids...together."

Well, Jesus must have whispered my birthday wish in Rob's ear 
because before I knew it,
Rob was making plans to fly Shawn 
from Springfield, MO to our home in South Carolina.
An overdue reunion was in the making.
The timing was perfect.
  For me.  For Jacquie.  For Shawn.  
And for the sultry southern weather.

Six years since we've been together, 
so our week was filled with laughing, singing, and reminiscing.

We sang.
We pontooned on Lake Murray.
Shawn: "Who are those crazy girls?
Oh, yeah, my sis and niece."
We went to church together.  
We toured South Carolina's capital, Columbia.
A morning tour of Columbia, South Carolina

Then we toured Charleston.
Simply, we had a wild and wonderful week that I will cherish forever.
Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you, Rob.  
And thank you, my sweet Shawn and Jacquie.


All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
Psalm 84:10


Monday, August 24, 2015

Lady Traveler loves those Christian Chapel Singles of '87-'91

Women's Retreat 1987
Can you recognize any of these singles?

If we never met again in our lives
I should feel that somehow the whole adventure of existence 
was justified by my having met you.


Hello all of you former Christian Chapel Singles out there in blog land.  
This blog is for you.
Yesterday while I was swimming -- glub, glub -- my thoughts turned to those
wonderful days long ago when we were all together
serving Jesus. 
Friday Night Singles, summer camps, winter camps, and all of the fun times in between.  
Many of you, including Rob and I, agree that those days were very special and
can never be replaced or forgotten.  
Why?  Because God showed up.
Lasting friendships were born.
And all those weddings, including mine--yay!
Our Wedding 1998
I miss all of you.
We are now spread across the globe.
For this reason I'm thankful for Facebook, emails, and blogging
so we can keep connected
as we travel on our personal journeys and share
the joyful times of marriage, births of children, healings, 
and the more challenging times of personal heartaches, illness, and the loss of loved ones.
And through it all, God is with us.
His love never fails.
Our testimonies are a witness of His faithfulness.

Why am I writing?
The days ahead are questionable.
Our days on earth are numbered.
But through it all --
We must continue to be a light in the midst of darkness.
So I encourage you all to stir up the gifts that are in you.
Read your Bible.
Pray for one another. Laugh together.
Why?
Because the best is yet to come!

A little older but us girls still wanna have fun!
Here's wishing you oceans of blessings!

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.
Fix your attention on God
You'll be changed from the inside out.
Romans 12:1-2 the message



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Aunt Eunice the Traveler

Sharon's Aunt Eunice

Hi Y'all!  If your wonderin' where my niece, Shaaren is, 
I'd be happy to tell you, but I don't know myself.  
It's summer, so she takes this time to wander around here and there.  

That's why I decided to post this short blog for her.  I'm sure she won't mind.  I hope.

I'm thrilled beyond recognition that Shaaren and that husband of hers ... 
... whats his name ... 
Jesse, Robinski ... oh yeah!  Robin, er Rob.  
Anyway, I'm thrilled that they finally broke down and purchased one of those 
homes on wheels ... 
... what do they call em?  Engine houses?  
Oh yeah, motor homes.

I thought since they weren't going to use it for the next few weeks that
 I would borrow it and 
take my longtime friend, Betty White, on a trip across America, 
like Oprah and her best friend Gail did a few years ago.  
Well, when I mentioned it to them, they looked at each other 
with a look of fear that I hadn't seen since 
that skunk ran across their backyard last year.

Resti2 in background; 'Rent-A-Ride-Across-America' in foreground
"Honey, I don't think you can drive that big thing," Sharon said gently.  
Rob added loudly, "You will not drive that big thing!"  
And that was that.  
I learned a long time ago that you can't argue with these youngins, 
so I quietly made my exit,
 took a taxi down the road to "Rent a Ride Across America" and rented one!
  
Me and Betty will be headin' out next week.  
If I have time I'll write you a post card, or a letter, or what do they call that new technology?  
Oh yes ... or a tweeter!

Bye for now y'all and Happy Summertime!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

To Wimberley, Texas with Love, Part 2

June 2015: Flood waters in Wimberley, Texas destroyed bridge

Inasmuch, as you did it not to one of the least of these brothers and sisters, 
you did for Me.
Matthew 25:45


Where do I begin to tell you of both the heartbreak and restoration of the people
that Christ In Action (CIA) was able to touch 
physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
It's all about restoration.

A hard days work, but so rewarding

Rob and I spent seven days working with our CIA team at various locations.
Rob at Camp Hope, doing what he does best:
fixing what is not working.

Me?
I was out in the field, 8:30am to 5pm.
Scraping mud and mold, top to bottom, in order to save someone's beloved home.
After CIA's large machinery moved trees and rubble to the edge of streets for eventual pick-up.
our ground team began shoveling, sweeping, picking up tree limbs and debris, then 
wheelbarrowing to large piles near streets for pickup.
Over and over.  Hour after hour.
My daily 'work pack'
This says it all; my green spray bottle of water was refreshing in 98+ degree weather

How did this almost-70-year-old lady do it?
I told the Lord,
"If you have called me to do this,
then you will have to give me the strength."
And He did!
Several of the young, sweet gals whispered to me,
"Sharon, can you slow down just a little?
You are running circles around us!"
That was music to this old gal's ears.
Honestly, with my left knee waiting for a knee-replacement,
I know it was Jesus who gave me the strength
for those seven long, hot days.
As the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 6:14:

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Then there was the tearing down of those houses that were condemned.
That was the hardest task.

The sadness of it all.
It makes you stop and take notice.
One moment your sleeping comfortable in your home.
Then in the next minute,
your world changes forever as 
flood waters come crashing into your haven of peace.

One story:  An 82-year-old man was chest-deep in water before he knew what was happening.
He climbed in his truck and drove to the highest hill he could find.
After assessing, he was told that his little house would have to be torn down.
But smiling, he pointed to the seat of his old truck and said, 
"At least I saved my favorite hat."  
After he repeated that several times, our CIA team leader told him,
 "We can help you with the process, free of charge...tomorrow"  
His face lit up, and hope was born in his heart.

This cabin, like so many, had to be torn down
So many heartbreaking stories.
The family that lost their lives when their summer home was swept away by the overflowing river.
The town of Wimberley still mourns.
There is no looting because this town stands together as they rebuild.
They are humbled and thankful at the hope that Christ In Action,
and other organizations, have brought to their small town.

CIA will be in Wimberley until July 14.
If any of you have the time, you can volunteer for a 3-day minimum.
You will be fed three hot meals and you will have a place to sleep (AND showers!).
And you will meet the most fantastic, loving people as you work side by side.
Or you can give a donation.
And you can pray.
For more stories, go to


In my next blog, Part 2, I will share our 21-day challenging and fun road trek to and from
Wimberley, Texas.


Until then ... I wish you oceans of summer blessings!




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lady Traveler off to Wimberley, Texas Part 1

The MH* Restoration2  2015
(*MotorHome)
Here she is, our new vintage mini-home.  
Out of nowhere, she appeared.  
My friend, Iron Mary, mentioned her over breakfast a few weeks ago, 
then I mentioned her to Rob, 
so we took a drive out to the country and looked her over.  
"Great condition for an old gal," I said as I checked out the mini-great-room.
The whole time I was thinking,
If we do buy this, I'll turn her into a shabby chic MH.
We drove.  We went home.  We prayed.
  
Then the next day God placed a vision in our hearts but Rob verbalized first.
"Hey, why don't we buy the old RV and volunteer for two years with Christ In Action?" www.christinaction.com 
Amazingly, I agreed.
  Here we go again, I thought.

MS* Restoration1 1994-95
(*MercyShip)

In 1994 Rob and I volunteered on an old World War 2 ship
MS* Restoration
(*MercyShip).
We were on the maiden voyage
to help rescue Russian Jews from
Sochi, Russia to Haifa, Israel.

The two ladies have several parallels.
Both thought their glory days were over.
Wrong.
God saved them both for such a time as this,
and He is giving us our very own MercyMotorHome.

Same colors, blue and white.
Same mission: to help those in need.

Together, Rob, me, and Resti2
--I had to give her a nickname!--
 will journey towards God's vision.
Mile by mile.

Our first destination is
Wemberley, Texas
The recent flood has devastated thousands.
We can be a small part of making a big difference
in the lives of our fellow Americans.

Pray for us as we hit the road this week.
I was hoping for a few 'test runs' with Resti.
A local KOA in the country.
A few days in Myrtle Beach.
But God has different plans. 

You can travel with us via my Facebook page.
I'll be posting some inside photos along the way.
Until then, we covet your prayers as we take
Resti2 on the road.

Oh, by the way,
what is God preparing you for?
Adventure could be just around the corner.
So get ready.
And remember,
IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!!

Our road will be smooth and untroubled
no matter what care life may send;
if we travel the pathway together, and
walk side by side with friends.

I know what it is to be in need,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content.
Philippians 4:11-12 NIV


Monday, May 18, 2015

Lady Traveler's Road-trip to Missouri and other fine states

Japanese gardens near son's home in Springfield, Missouri 2015

Road tripping can be fun if you plan right.
I take that back.
When Rob and I rented a car in Costa Rica last year, we didn't plan.
We just drove.  And it was perfect!
We didn't have a GPS.  Just an old fashioned road map.
And it worked.
Only took three wrong turns the whole two weeks.
We should get some kind of reward for that.

Road tripping through Costa Rica 2014

But we planned this 10-day road trip to Springfield, Missouri, and it worked too.

Day 1:  Rob and I departed Lexington, SC at 6 am to
arrive at our first destination, Nashville, TN, by 2pm.  
Due to Atlanta traffic (we took the southern route: never again!) 
we were delayed by almost an hour.  
But we pulled into the retro hotel that our friends found online
(for a great price) 
in time for a fun evening in down town Nashville to eat and
listen to some real country music.
Nashville, Tennessee 2015 with friends

Day 2: Departure time 9am to arrive in Springfield by 5pm.  
Due to a major river bridge shutdown in Kentucky 
(yes, we had to detour through Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois), 
we arrived at The Hampton Inn, right off I-60 at 5:45pm.
Not bad.  
After a grand tour of their new home, we took our son and daughter-in-law to a 
steak house for dinner and lots of catch-up chatter.

Six days in Springfield including a day trip to
Branson (just 30 minutes south), 
lunch in the Ozarks at the famous Lambert's Cafe (throw the rolls!)
www.throwdrolls.com with our friend David Kreitzer,
and a rewarding photo shoot by www.thehobosphotos.com with son, Shawn Watson
we felt right at home in this lovely town.
Photo shoot in Springfield, MO with The Hobo's Photos
  
I'm sure Frances and Shawn will enjoy their new hometown and careers.  
Frances is the weekend anchor woman and journalist for ABC TV 
(she gave us a grand tour of the studio), 
and Shawn is excited to be on the photography team at the
Bass Pro headquarters. www.basspro.com/springfield
p.s.  the Bass Pro Shop ia absolutely amazing!
The Watson's treated us to brunch at their upstairs restaurant--
I didn't want to leave so we lingered over way too many cups of coffee.

Enjoying our day trip to Branson, Missouri with Shawn and Frances
Day 8: Homeward bound, we stopped at Jim Bakker's Morningside headquarters for
lunch and to pick up some special water purification bottles.
Lunch at Morningside, Branson MO 2015
We ate dinner and spent the night in a little town the gateway to the Ozarks.

Day 9: We planned for the closed river bridge so we arrived in
Gatlinburg, Tennessee around 5-ish.
We stayed in the town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the
Great Smoky Mountains at the rustic
River Terrace Resort. www.riverterraceresort.com
Oh how I loved the quaint ambiance.
Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee

Day 10: Driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway and
traveling through the Smoky Mountains is like a bit of heaven on earth.
After stopping for lunch in Maggie Valley
we hit I-26 and never stopped until we reached home.


It is so true ... No matter where you roam,
there is no place like home.

Home for almost two weeks, 
I am still thanking the Lord for a safe trip and a very special time with my son.
An answer to a Mother's prayers.

"There is a real pleasure in finding oneself under one's own roof, 
in the midst of one's people, one's animals and one's furniture...
...when one comes to it...in search of solitude and repose."
George Sand

www.sharonleaf.com

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Lady Traveler's Birthday Girl. My Daughter. My Blessing.


Mother loves Daughter
and vise versa!
Words cannot describe my 
absolute adoration for my daughter, Jacqueline Shayne.  
Most mothers will totally understand,  
so I won't go on and on about my girl.
Instead, I decided to share a little story that my mother wrote four years after Jacquie was born.  
My Mother, the writer.  My Mother, the doting grandmother.  
So I went to my office and found the torn manila envelope tucked in a drawer
where my mother's stories are kept of times past.
Thanks, Mom, for this one.  Once again, it brought new tears to my eyes.


"Introducing Jacquie"
written by Kathryn Sue Cook (Mama Cook)

Hello. My name is Jacquie.  
I am four years old. Normal in size.  Brown hair, brown eyes.
Mommy is brunette and pretty.
Daddy is blond and handsome.
I call my Grama Mama Cook because all my mother's friends rush in and yell,
"Hi Mama Cook!"
Grampa Cook I call--yuk--BowWow.
I tried saying grampa but it came out BowWow.
Now and then I hear the grownups trying to explain it away.
If you watch close they will give each other a look that says,
those people are coo-coo.
Gram Watson is my other grandmother and Papa is my other grampa.
No one ever has to explain them or watch for a strange glance.

One day Mama Cook told me how GOD sent me
'Special Delivery' to my Mom:

"God has millions of little souls in a very beautiful, beautiful place.
He loves and cares for them all.
Some go to black people, some to white, others to different races ... "
(Mama Cook is far-out sometimes;
she said God has these chutes, similar to laundry chutes)

Mama Cook had my attention, so she continued:

"It was a very busy day on that special day in April.
The chutes were going full blast all over the world.
The angels were working overtime, sending down girls, boys, twins, et cetera.
Some got a boy when they already had four boys,
and vise versa with the girls.
Probably a few parents were disappointed,
but once their little conceived idea made its public debut,
no one ever thought of sending theirs back.

"On the eleventh morning in April,
the chutes suddenly stopped!
Pandemonium set in!
You could hear the faint fluttering of angels wings,
For next on the format came into view
a little soul marked
'PRECIOUS',
written with God's own hand.
Everyone knew what that meant:
The mother had to be one who could mold and make a human life that would bring 
honor and glory to their Creator.
Without hesitation, it was agreeable to whom
the mother of  PRECIOUS should be,
so with all of heaven looking on
--and the heavenly choir singing--
down to earth and into the loving arms of a dear sweet girl named Sharon,
the Lord sent this magnificent and priceless gif t... a little soul."

Now, this is the story that my Mama Cook tells.
Parts of it are believable,
and I must admit that it sounds better than other stories I've heard from my little friends.
One said her parents found her in a cabbage patch.
Another said she was told that a stork flew her in.
From these three stories, you can make your choice.
Or perhaps you have another and better one and it is also far-out.
But as for me ... well, shucks ... I'm stickin' with Mama Cook's version.
It'll make her feel good if I believe,
and I like to make folks feel good if I can, don't you??

End

Note: A fiction story that Jacquie half believed.

So that is exactly how it happened forty-nine years ago.  
I believe every word.  Why?
Because I was there.


Happy Birthday, dear daughter of mine.
You are a lovely Proverbs 31 lady.

Favor is deceitful,
and beauty is vain;
but a woman that feareth the LORD,
she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:31

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lady Traveler asks: Writer's Blog...or Writer's Block?

Paris 2014

~God doesn't want us to live in the past
any more than He wanted St. Paul to~


Today my mind is wandering.
Dreaming about past journeys to Belize, Costa Rica,
Sweden, Russia, Greece, 
Israel...on and on.
Thinking about spring and our upcoming road trip to Missouri.
Facebook flashing now and then.
Pondering our autumn road trip to the Florida Keys.
Praying about a mission trip to the Philippines.
And all the while feeling slightly guilty for not
working enough on my latest project, Lady on the Run.

Are there any writers, artists, musicians out there in Lady Traveler blogland
who are wondering if the project you're working on will be as good as your last?
Although I have published a book, Lady and the Sea,
each process -- 
the writing, re-writing, editing, publishing, marketing --
seems a bit overwhelming to me now.
Is it because I'm turning seventy next year and 
my time is of greater value to me?

Istanbul 2008

I'll be honest,
I'm not looking forward to all the hours needed to research
finding the right editor, deciding which way to go in the publishing field.
And then there's the marketing.
Is there anyone out there who is experiencing these same feelings?

I'm thinking about publishing one chapter a week of
Lady on the Run
on my Lady Traveler Blog.
Nine chapters in nine weeks.
There. Done.
Just like the musicians who post their songs on YouTube.
Right?

Belize 2010

I know, I know.
I must pray.
For guidance, wisdom, patience.
I know, I know.

Oh, great.
I just read an article on a writer's blog with a warning:
Don't whine and complain about the writing process on your blog
incase a publisher might read it.
Yeah, I'm sure a publishing house is going to
read my blog.
(laughing out loud)

In the world's scheme of things,
Lady on the Run
is not so important.
BUT
if God called me to finish His story,
then I must.

Thanks for listening.
Thanks for praying.

Coffee always helps!
Until next time
I wish you oceans of Easter blessings!

I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Philippians 3:12


www.sharonleaf.com

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lady Traveler's ideas on Reading, Writing, Traveling versus Relationships

Paris is always a good idea ~ Audrey Hepburn


Wake up, Sharon!
You're not in Paris anymore.
There's work to be done.
A book to finish...
Lady on the Run
"How to run your physical race and your spiritual race--at your own pace"
I was an avid runner in the 70's, taught a running class, and I'm writing a book about my journey.
Lady on the Run
Me and My 90-year-old mentor and friend, Mary in 2013
at her home in Morro Bay.
We ran a 1/2 marathon together in the late '70's

... A conference to prepare for.
And, oh yes, the book club next week.

Book signing at "Living Real Conference" March 2015
Book Club March 2015


Business cards, flyers, poster, pens, Square, etc.

Yes, the almost-famous author has a full schedule.
But when it comes down to it,
what is really important in life?
You have it right.
Relationships.
With God.
With family.
With friends.
My true friend, Debbie Kreitzer,
Laguna Beach, CA 2007
There is no 'distance barrier' with
God, family, or friends.
Although Debbie went to heaven almost two months ago,
I can still hear her whispering in my ear,
"It is what it is."
"Get over it."
Thanks, Debbie, I needed that.
Confession: 
When I can't hear her voice in my ear,
I listen to a Voicemail she left me when she was
still able to talk.
I cry from the pain of missing her in 'real time.'

Whatever your passion--
writing, traveling, painting, photography, singing,
gardening, cleaning house, reaching out to help someone--
remember to take time for those
special people in your life.

To know someone here or there with whom 
you feel there is an understanding
in spite of distance or thoughts expressed --
that can make of this earth a garden.

Wherever you travel,
I wish you oceans of moments with God,
with family,
and friends.


All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
Psalm 84:10

Thursday, February 12, 2015

To Lady Traveler's Friends...YOU are my VALENTINE!

Rose aka Rosie ... loves you!

A friend loveth at all times
Proverbs 17:17a

My husband is my Valentine.
I am blessed to have him in my life.
But I have friends who do not have a 
special someone.

So I say to you:
don't fret, mope, or pull the drapes closed
and yank the blanket over your head.
Instead, reach out to someone
who doesn't have a
Valentine either,
buy a box of chocolates,
pour a glass of wine
(or strong coffee),
and toast to
FRIENDSHIP!

As many of you know, January was a
challenging and bittersweet month for me.
I lost my mom-in-law,
my Carolina cousin,
and my true friend.
We will all be together again in heaven.

Now, having said that, there are no words to describe the 
loss that I have felt.
But through this time of sorrow,
my family has been a comfort
and I thank God for them.
I have also been blessed to be surrounded by 
fantastic friends.
(you know who you are).

After Rob's Mom's funeral, we flew to California.
I was able to say 'good-bye' to
my true friend, Debbie Kreitzer,
I thanked the Lord for the
special but short intimate moments I was able to share with her.

Paris with my Valentine 2014
Two days after returning home from our trip to SoCal,
I was sitting at my farm table, sipping a cup of coffee when
a friend called to give me his frequent-flyer miles so
I could  fly back to California for
Debbie's Celebration Ceremony!
Six days later I was back on a jet plane.

My grade-school friend, Teri,
(alias Prissy in my book, Lady and the Sea)
opened her home to me
(that overlooks the blue Pacific, I might add!)
and volunteered to be my Driving Miss Daisy for the week as well.
I slept upstairs on a queen-size blow-up mattress in
Teri's Holly Hobby Craft Room
where her creative gifts surrounded me.
(her grandson had priority in the downstairs guest room--can't compete with the grandkids!)
There wasn't much room to walk around, but ...
at least I could dress without leaving the mattress.
And there was even a full-length mirror hanging behind the door, but ...
no room to stand in front of it.
Oh, the joys of traveling.

Another friend (I love you Joni!) drove me to 
Debbie's celebration ceremony and picnic
where I spent hours with many of 
my FFL (friends-for-life).
I truly experienced a million shades of love.

The frosting on the cake was my 
69th birthday dinner with three FFL on the
San Clemente pier.

I lost three special people in January.
No one can take their place.
But through this, I realized that
I am still surrounded by family and friends
who are my precious jewels.

My 'frequent-flyer' week was my Birthday gift from Jesus.
I felt His presence every step (and aeroplane) of the way.
He is my real Valentine.
Is He yours?
If He is, then you won't be alone this
Valentine's Day!

The Lord before whom I have walked,
will send His angel with you to make your journey successful.
Genesis 24:40 NASB