OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES . . .

As usual, we were having a delightful time with our Florida family on the beach. The kids20161022_123559459_ios were soaking up the sun while keeping an eye on their four young charges. Those young charges – my grandkids – were heading in all directions. Hubby and I were observing and loving each and every one of them.

One of my young grandsons came running over to show me all the pretty shells he had collected. I thought I’d turn it into a teachable moment.

“Isn’t it amazing how God made all these different colors and shapes?” I commented as I pointed to the different ones.

“There are one hundred Gods.” He proclaimed as a matter of fact.

“Uh,” I muttered. “What did you say?”

He repeated, “There are one hundred Gods.”

Now knowing this kid has been brought up with sound teaching in his home and church, I probed farther.

“Explain that. How can that be?”

20161024_154253180_iosHe patiently explained that, because God is everywhere, there must be one hundred Gods. It made sense to him. It was how he managed to accept the fact that God is everywhere, believing what he was taught, yet condensing it in his mind to something he could understand. Brilliant.20161024_151235992_ios

I realized my teachable moment was past and I’d share this conversation with the parents, because in a flash, he was headed back to the water. I’m kind of relieved, to be honest, because I wasn’t sure how to handle that, to explain to his sweet little heart about faith and acceptance. He indeed had shown faith and acceptance in what he had been taught. I know he will understand the ‘big picture’ eventually. His faith will grow as he does. I’ve no doubt.

And my love for him grew deeper that day.

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

Proverbs 15:3

Posted in beach, BIBLE, children, color, Faith, Family, GOD, grandchildren, grandkids, shells | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Excerpt #2 “Papa, Where Are You”

Today I’m sharing an excerpt of an editorial review associated with Readers View. This is an organization that offers reviews especially to those who are self-published. The catch is that once reviewed, it will be published to various social media sights.

Good or Bad!

I’ve actually scrolled through various reviews to make sure this was correct and not just all sugar and spice. While always professional, the reviews are well written and honest.

Good or Bad!

It was a gamble but with enough hopefully honest reviews up to this point, I submitted my book to them and held my breath.

It came back yesterday and, honestly, I was blown away. It was kind and accurate to the plot – in detail. I was feeling quite humbled and yet affirmed. I’ve posted the beginning and ending of the review so as not to give away the entire story to those yet to read it. 🙂

“Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and this bizarre story captured my complete attention, invoking unbelievable strong emotions in me from the very start. The story is well written and captivating, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the two little girls and pray for their well and pray for their well-being. . .
“How in the world does something like this happen? It really causes one to think how every little decision we make completely alters the course of existence.
“Kudos to PJ Easterbrook, for putting to paper a story that needed telling, “Papa, Where Are You?” will remain in the heart and on the mind long after the story is finished.” – Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views

###

This is a photograph of “Papa” with his three children – the only photo known to exist. The quality was not good enough to be placed in the actual book.

papa-with-girls

###

Click on button below where you can order “Papa, Where Are You?” in paperback or digital store of your choice.

“Papa, Where Are You?”          “Papa, Where Are You?” digital format

 

Posted in abandonment, Books, children, Family, Papa, Where Are You?, Reading, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Save the Date: February 18, 2017

book-flyer

I hope to see all my St. Louis, MO local friends there!

If you already have a book,

stop in, say hi and get it signed. 🙂

If you’re out of town, click here to buy the book:

Papa Where Are You

 

Posted in abandonment, book signing, Books, Faith, Family, homesick, Illinois, Indiana, Loss, Pennsylvania, rejection | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Go to the Zoo

The weather was unseasonably pleasant and warm for the beginning of November in the Midwest. My brother was visiting from Florida to help celebrate my mother’s 94th birthday. Taking advantage of the weather, we three decided to go to the zoo, a favorite of my mothers. I figured my mother would need to work a scooter since she was only able to walk with a walker.

Problem:
The day before, I needed to take my brother to the ER because of a serious problem with his feet – swollen and painful and barely able to walk on. Although he was improved, we decided that he, too, would need a scooter to ride on.

Dilemma:
I was alone, with two disabled family members on scooters. I was outnumbered and I could envision all sorts of issues popping up throughout the day.

Solution:
I called my friend Jean and asked if she’d like to go to the zoo with us. Of course, she saw through my invitation and, thankfully, was delighted to jump in and help.

Adventure:
We arrived and immediately rented two scooters.zoo4
Except that my credit card was declined! That’s a whole other story. Sheesh.
We used an alternative card and proceeded to give operation instructions to our two charges. As we began on our journey, my mother took off. I mean took off rapidly. There was no catching up so we just stood there, hoping she’d stop eventually. She did and looked around to see us way, way behind her. As we caught up, Jean adjusted her speed to slow. My brother meanwhile kept hanging back and circling around. I tried to keep my eye on him while Jean took charge of my mother, making sure she didn’t drive over any kids.
It actually was a lousy day for spotting the animals. It must have been siesta time.
But it was a pretty day and we four established a routine. Then mother spotted the train. She was always a softie for a ride. We obliged, not sure how this would work with the scooters. As it turned out, accommodations were made for one scooter on the train. Of course my mother was the chosen one. My brother’s scooter was parked and we agreed to ride the entire way around without getting off at any of the stops since we wouldn’t have a scooter for my brother.zoo2

Mother was treated like a queen! These guys (retired railroaders) put up special ramps and opened secret gates for her to enter. They then strapped her in. She rode right behind the conductor with my brother directly behind her and Jean and I in the next seat. Again, barely an animal anywhere! But fun, nevertheless.

Until. . .

First we went through a tunnel. I had a brief moment of panic but then could immediately see the daylight at the other end so was ok. Then, another tunnel. This time longer, with no daylight to see. My claustrophobia began to creep in. I closed my eyes and we emerged safely. As we then stopped at a station to let people on and off, I looked ahead. Another tunnel!

I deduced that if the first tunnel was short and the second tunnel was medium, then this tunnel must be . . . you get the picture.

Leaning over to Jean, I whispered, “I need to get off.” I don’t think she took me seriously at first until I pointed out the upcoming tunnel and told her I might punch someone if I go in there. So. . . she and I got off and told the others that we’d meet them at the end. That was not easy as there is no straight path at the zoo but we ended up there just as they were getting off. No one dared mention my phobia so we proceeded our zoo tour.

As we rounded the corner and passed over the railroad tracks, I noticed my brother not with us. Stopping to look back, I saw him sitting on his now very still scooter on the railroad tracks. I booked myself back to him. He said it stopped. It just stopped. I’m about to scream, “Don’t you know people can die like this? Car stopped on the tracks with a speeding train coming towards them?” I chose to keep my mouth shut since he didn’t give me a hard time about the train issue. We then pushed it off the tracks and flagged down a zoo employee. He used his walkie talkie to summon another one. zoo3While we waited, directly in front of the polar bear exhibit, there unbelievably, was an actual polar bear! The highlight of the day!

Conclusion:
Back safe in the car for the ride home, my mother declared she had a delightful time and would like to go again sometime. Of course, she said, we didn’t need to take the train the next time. “Why,” I asked. “Because of your scardy cat baby girl?” “No, just because we’ve now done it.” She explained.
She was just being nice, but I appreciated the thought.

Declaration:
Under my breath, however, I was uttering “never again!”

zoo1

Posted in adventure, claustrophobia, Family, Humor, zoo | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Excerpt #1 ‘Papa, Where Are You?’

“Each of us grieved in our own way. Papa shed nary a tear but acted somber all day. I could tell he wanted to comfort us, but no soothing words came from his lips. Hugs were all he could offer.”

short-hills-1

A view of the old homestead, as described in ‘Papa, Where Are You?

A couple of reviews:

“I finished your book last night. Great, great job! it was captivating throughout. And the ending was perfect!”

“I just finished your beautiful book! Wow! I am sitting in my kitchen, crying tears of both sadness and tears of joy. The family went through so much joy, then heartache, and finally (and gratefully) redemption. I love how in everything they went through, God was present and kind. I am both undone and blessed to read your story.”

To read more reviews, click on link below.

Papa, Where Are You?

Posted in abandonment, adventure, children, Family | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Back Home Again

Apparently one can go back home again – for a visit. That’s what Hubby and I did last spring. We toured my roots, mostly Pennsylvania, with a bit of New Jersey thrown in.

50+ years ago I attended Camp Cherith, nestled in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. At that time it was an all-girls camp connected with Pioneer Girls. Honestly, I never liked Pioneer Girls but I loved Camp Cherith. I learned about camping and swimming and pa-1horseback riding. One summer I worked as a Kitchen Aide in order to stay longer with less expense. I worked with the horses and I learned all sorts of crafts. Most of the counselors came from PCB – Philadelphia College of the Bible. During the school year, once in a while a friend and I would take the train downtown to visit them. Although it’s now a co-ed camp under a different name, we were fortunate enough to connect with the director who had a person give us the full tour. Most was unfamiliar to me except the dining hall, the cabins, the lake and the rock walls. Fond memories!

We visited New Hope, PA and directly across the Delaware River, Lambertville, NJ. Growing up, on the way to visit my New Jersey relatives, we would drive right through these quaint towns but now the new highways bypass it. I always wanted to stop and shop but my dad was the type to “do not stop until we reach our destination.” This was my opportunity!  We bypassed the bypass and found the towns. These two towns are wonderful places to visit, with much history attached. It’s a shame about the new highways as folks are bypassing history.

As we drove down from there toward the rest of my youth recollections, I couldn’t help but notice the rural area all around. I used to say I was from the “suburbs” of Philadelphia, but now I see it was even further out than that. We lived in “the sticks”, a lot of farm country! I recall that no public transportation came out as far as our home and my school bus ride was basically at the end of the line!

We saw the two houses I lived in, growing up.

We drove past the hospital where I was born and 43 years later my dad would die in.

We checked out my grandparent’s row home in Philadelphia. And the alley in the back where my brothers would play kick ball and I would roller skate. Such vivid memories come to mind of my sweet grandparents.

I reconnected with childhood friends – some I hadn’t related to since, well, since childhood. It was interesting to see how we all turned out and the “roads” we took to get there. I think some friends were honestly surprised as to how I turned out. The road I took out of my youth didn’t appear to be headed in a good direction. But eventually God intervened! 

We went to a familiar diner across from the now-closed Willow Grove Navy Base.
We visited friends of my parents – way into their 90’s, who caught us up on all the people I knew all my life from my church. I would have lots to share with my mother later.

And the countryside – ah the countryside. I never appreciated the beauty before, and the history! We passed a Quaker Friends Meeting House and many original stone homes and the Delaware River – you remember, the one Washington crossed! 🙂

I shared with Hubby certain incidents on specific roads, in snow storms and ice storms and driving lessons and the time, at age 10 or so, where my friend and I decided to walk two miles away from my school toward my church. My mother was late picking us up and we were left all alone. (That would NEVER happen today!) I’m sure I was in a lot of trouble, but I’ve blocked that part out! 🙂

pa-2We visited the cemetery where my grandparents, my grandfather’s brothers and their wives, my dad, my brother, my Great-Great Uncle Harry and many, many other relatives are buried; the place where my dad’s brother, who died in 1918 at the age of two from meningitis, was buried. So much history, rich family history!

I’m fairly certain that will be my last visit to “home.”

It’s funny that I still call it home when I’ve lived away from there longer than I lived there. But I suppose “home” means “roots”. And they go deep. I’m so glad I went “home” for a visit!

###

I would be remiss if I did not make a plug for my recently published book, ‘Papa, Where Are You?’

The house pictured here is part of my heritage and plays a prominent role in my book. If you’d like to purchase ‘Papa, Where Are You?’, click on the link, next to the “About” button above. And be sure to read the reviews!short-hills-1

Posted in adventure, Books, Family, GOD, Grandparents, travel, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

END OF AN ERA

end-of-era-pic

Christmas, and almost 2016, has passed.

I will not belay the subject as many have written about it, but – whew!

Let’s pack it up. Let’s move on.

What to do with a whole new calendar year? The same thing I did with the one a year ago – moment by moment.

Life never stands still and seems to never go the way I plan. I need to get over that and accept it. I need to remember who’s in charge, and it’s obviously not me. 🙂

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

So this year, I think I’ll use a pencil to keep up my calendar. One with a very big eraser.  Then I’ll look back in a year and see how God has changed, directed, and greatly improved on my plans.

balloons-12893936Happy New Year!

 

Posted in Christmas, thoughts | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Christmas Caroling Cancelled?

from two years ago.

pj,your friend

singing carols2I used to go Christmas Caroling with friends, youth group, neighbors, etc. Over the years my opportunities dwindled but I enjoyed the occasional knock at my own door of various groups singing to us. It’s simply a part of the season. Or it was. . .

It’s another century now with new songwriters, new singers, and new selections.

It’s a little bit sad.

Who teaches the younger the older tunes, the traditional ones? Do they die out along with those who die?

I learned all the verses of all the songs in church and back in the day when Christmas was celebrated in schools and malls and, well, everywhere.

As part of my school chorus and church choir, I learned to read music and even learned the alto notes. Who learns that stuff anymore if one is not a professional? But, and more to the point, when is it even…

View original post 176 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Christmas Ponderings

from two years ago!

pj,your friend

PJ ornament 7Sometimes I wonder if I missed out.

You see, I never was taught to believe in Santa Claus.

My folks believed in only telling the Biblical story of Christmas and I don’t recall it ever being a problem.

Obviously, I was in the minority and I learned to never talk about it with young friends in case they “still believed.”

Oh there was the occasional photo op, of course.532618_4969519966237_518492691_n

But we (my brothers and I) always knew where the gifts came from. We never baked cookies for Santa or wrote him letters or stayed up late in hopes of hearing distant bells or seeing a sleigh on the roof. We never worried that we didn’t have a fireplace, let alone a chimney.

As I grew up and as I became a parent myself, I came to realize what a small sector of the human race I was in. The decision…

View original post 544 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“Papa, Where Are You?”

amazon-2I know, I know. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my blog. 14 months to be exact. What happened to me? What have I been doing? Where did I go? You ask. Well, I guess the answer(s) could basically be: I’m still here, never left. But it seems life got in the way. Seems funny, since in my blog, I’ve written about my life. But, well, it seemed like life was pressing in too hard and I needed to back off – from my blog, not to mention other interests.

I’ve missed it. I’ve missed you! I hope you’re happy to see (read) me.

But I’m back. I’m motivated. And I have lots to share!

Today, though, I wanted to share my biggest news. I wrote a book!

The process, three years long, was certainly a huge factor in my ignoring my blog. There simply were not enough hours in the day!

I had this idea, and original documents and letters from the 1920’s to share the story. Writing about it was the easy part – for me. Writing for publication, however, not so easy. It’s a different world now, the 21st century, for publishing. And everyone, EVERYONE had a different point of view on how to write, not to mention publish. I listened and rewrote, and rewrote, and rewrote. I submitted and submitted and submitted. And quit. – for a year!

But I really knew, in the back of my mind and from the depths of my heart that God wanted me to write this story and to share it. His timing was amazing. Although why am I always amazed at His timing? That’s another story!  🙂

So anyway, I’ve learned so very much – about writing and about publishing. You know the saying “if I knew then what I know now. . .”. Yep, I totally agree. But, hey, at least I learned something in the process.

My hubby – my biggest supporter, by the way – occasionally mentions my next book. He then gets the evil stare as I say I never NEVER will do this again! But then I know, and he knows that God gave me the story and who’s to say He won’t give me another.

One of the things I hate the most, really hate, about publishing a book is the marketing. The selling of myself. My friend Becky tells me I must do this. So I do. I post on Facebook and my business Facebook, and Instagram and Twitter and, well of course, here – my blog.

I want to tell you about it because I think it’s a good read. But I can hear my father – now dead some 25 years – telling me in the background, “Stop drawing attention to yourself!”

I just hope somehow, by osmosis I suppose, that folks will find my book, read my book, love it and tell others. Thankfully, I’m not in it for the money but I realize there is a certain responsibility to get the word out myself.

So for those who are connected to me, not only in person, but on all my social media outlets, I am apologizing right now and asking you to forgive me as I seek to promote this book, time and time again.

Incidentally – about the book: Papa, Where Are You? is inspired by a true story about two young girls who, through no fault or choice of their own, were living through a six-year tumultuous time, including major lies and abandonment.

You can find it here and I’d so appreciate it if you take a gander.  🙂amazon-listingAmazon.com  – book and kindle version

Papa, Where Are You? by PJ Easterbrook

Image | Posted on by | 3 Comments