Thursday, October 24, 2013

Will there be a quiz?

            My brother bought my debut young adult novel, Surviving Meemaw, and asked if there would be a quiz. Of course. I’m a teacher. I’m famous for my quizzes.

Circle the correct answer(s).

1. Who is Laney’s romantic interest?
Josh-hoo-ah, the puppeteer
Calvin, the artist
Corey, the freshman
Dalton, the cheater

2. Where does Meemaw shop for her elastic-waist, polyester pants?
Bon Worth
TJ Maxx

3. Which government surplus food item is served in Millburgh Christian Academy’s cafeteria?
Tater tots
Macaroni and cheese
Overcooked peas

4. Where is Laney’s daddy?

5. What does Laney call her two new friends?
Fat and Skinny
Tall and Short
Deep and Wide
Curly and Straight

6. What brand of ice cream does Laney serve to Josh-hoo-ah after puppet shows?
Turkey Hill
Ben and Jerry’s
Blue Bunny

7. On a scale of 1 to 10, how technologically savvy is Meemaw?
8. Where is Laney’s mama?
Read the book and find out.

9. How has Meemaw’s driving not yet caused her death?
Other drivers give her a wide berth.
She drives a tank.
Her yellow PT Cruiser has multiple air bags.
“Oh, honey, we’re perfectly safe. Jesus is looking out for us.”

10. What does Laney find scary about living in Meemaw’s house?
A room full of beady-eyed puppets
Fox News Channel is always on.
The Felix-the-Cat kitchen clock with moving tail and eyes

You can—and absolutely should—buy your very own copy of Surviving Meemaw at for only $4.99! That’s less than a slice of pie and a cup of coffee at The Diner, and the service is much faster.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Now we are six

Today I turned six again. This time there’s a zero after it. But what’s a zero? Zilch. Zip. Nothing.

I don’t know what time of day I arrived, and there’s no one who remembers to remind me. I do know I arrived two weeks late (which may explain my proclivity to tardiness) and that my mom, already mother to three children under five years old, hung wet laundry on the line between contractions. So I think I arrived during daylight hours on a sunny day.

Genesis tells me God created the heavens and earth in six days and then rested on the seventh, blessing and hallowing it. I’d like to take my cue for my seventh decade from God. I want my sixties to be blessed, holy, and restful.

I don’t mean restful in the sense of ceasing activities. God has given me some things to do—teaching and writing, to name two—and I sense I’m not finished yet. Rather in the midst of life, I want the rest Jesus offered, soul rest from the Lord of the Sabbath.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28 – 30, NIV

I wonder what that looks like. Trusting more and worrying less? Singing more and complaining less? Giving more and demanding less?

I expect I’ll frequently mess up on this. Please be patient with me. I’m only six.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Samaritan in a Pickup

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?
So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’
And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain woman went down from Watsontown to Milton, and the brand new wheel bearing in her 2002 Kia Rio melted and smoked, leaving the car half dead next to a corn field.

“Now by chance certain drivers came down that road. And when they saw her, they passed by on the other side. And when she phoned home, she cried unto an answering machine.

“But a certain bearded man, as he journeyed in a pickup truck, came where she was. And when he saw her, he had compassion. So he crawled around on the ground and examined the tires. And he studied the skid marks the tires had left on Route 405. And he sniffed the smoke and shook his head sadly. And he set her in his own vehicle, and drove her home. And behold, he was not a pervert, and did not assault her, but drove away promptly.

“So who do you think was neighbor to her whose Kia fell among defective wheel bearings?”

And he said, “He who showed mercy on her.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

There are still compassionate strangers in Northumberland County and many other locations. I thank the bearded Samaritan who rescued me.

Do you have a Good Samaritan story? Please send it to me.

Based on Luke 10:25 – 37, NKJV ( and real life.