Memorial Day in a small town



Life in a small town can be pridictable, but sometimes that’s a good thing. Every year on Memorial Day, our Veterans of Foreign Wars post holds a ceremony to honor those who have lost their lives in the service of our beloved nation.

The VFW Commander reads some material that I am guessing is supplied by the national organization. There is always an honor guard in uniform, very solemn as they march in carrying flags.  The past couple of years, there has been one woman as part of this honor guard. This makes me very proud somehow.

Since it is so hot around these parts, the beginning of the ceremony will be held indoors. Then those who are able follow the honor guard outside for a three gun salute and Taps. I confess I am moved to tears whenever I hear Taps. Our post uses a recording, not a live bugler, but it gets me every time anyway.

At the conclusion, everyone goes back inside for a luncheon. It is a potluck, and the tables are always overflowing with yummy dishes. I am planning to bake a cake later today to take with me tomorrow.

Whatever your plans are for the rest of this holiday weekend, I hope you will take some time to remember what the day is really about and offer up a prayer of thanks.



How to attract readers



Last October, I organized Indie Author Day at a weekly outdoor market held on the grounds of an arts center. It was a beautiful day and about two dozen authors showed up, but not many sales were made. The patrons were more interested in vegetables than they were in books.

This year, I am working with my county library system to hold the event again, this time in a library. I’m looking for some ideas. As a reader, what would attract you to such an event? I’m thinking having authors talk about their research or the locales or themes of their books would be appealing.

Or should an Indie Author Day be targeted at writers or wannabe authors rather than readers. Or a bit of both?

What do you think? Which would you attend?

Mother’s Day


Mother’s Day is always difficult for me. I lost my mom many years ago and of course miss her still. Above is a work in progress as I experiment with acrylics. I am using an old photo of my mom, on the left, and her life long best friend, Tootsie, as a reference. They grew up in rural West Virginia. The photo was taken when they were teenagers.

My mom subsequently moved to Pittsburgh where she lived for the rest of her life. Tootsie married an insurance executive and lived in Chicago for a while. Eventually, she and her husband ended up in Georgia. They came to visit us a few times over the years and never failed to send a Christmas present.

After Tootsie passed, her husband became a novelist. Below is one of his books. The heroine was obviously based on his beloved wife.


If you are lucky enough to have your mom with you today, give her a big hug.

Off to the races


Did you watch the Kentucky Derby yesterday? There was more drama than usual when the winning horse was disqualified and an extreme longshot ended up the winner.

My husband and I have actually been privileged to attend the Derby thanks to a very good friend of his who lived in Louisville for many years. It is every bit as fun as it looks on televison. The celebration lasts for a whole week prior to the race with parades and the like. Alas, I did not wear a fancy hat when I went. What a missed opportunity.

derby hat

We invited that friend as well as my husband’s brother and their respective spouses to our place for a mini party before the televised race. I put together several appetizers, so we could munch and watch the preliminaries at the same time. Although I have a quantity of mint growing in my back yard, I did not serve mint juleps. Nobody really likes them too much.


The horse I had my eye on ended up coming in third. I picked him because I liked the silks his jockey wore. Very scientific, right?

Did your horse win?