Tag Archives: Books

Graduation Then and Now

Image by Gerhard C. from Pixabay.

High school graduation celebrations have changed since my husband — then boyfriend — and I graduated in 1971. Boy, we painted the town red.

We went to the Dairy Queen.

Today a 50-cent sundae no longer cuts it. Graduation celebrations now resemble a Times Square New Year’s bash or a Walmart’s grand opening.

Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay.

Parents suffer from open house syndrome, in which they attempt to recreate their worlds before anyone discovers they’ve been living in squalor. Forget painting the living room. Talented home renovators add new wings, while home improvement klutzes knock out one too many walls. To offset costs, creative parents charge admission to open houses, with extra fees for use of bathrooms and chairs. Some install magnets in sofas to collect loose change.

Image by Vicki Nunn from Pixabay.

Mothers experience acute cleaning disorder. Even the gentlest women blow away dust bunnies. Advanced cases not only clean under their own appliances, they sneak next door to scrub under neighbors’ refrigerators. While most recover, chronic sufferers cannot cope with normalcy. When they run out of children to graduate, they recruit teens off the street.

Those with severe graduation syndrome also share all 50 poses of their children’s senior pictures with waiters, flagmen and ATMs.

Other aspects of graduation have changed. Cards nowadays are honest: “Congratulations! We never thought you’d make it!” and the ever-popular “Happy Graduation. Here’s money. Please leave our state.”

Although graduation gifts have evolved from pen sets in 1971 to Porsches in 2022, books remain a staple — a mystery to students, as they have waited 13 years to escape books. Still, they open Great-aunt Clarabelle’s rectangular gift, hoping it contains gold bars rather than devotionals like God Is Watching You at College.

Image by Kris White from Pixabay.

Hubby and I would never hurt friends’ feelings, so we attend open houses and force ourselves to eat piles of meatballs and little hot dogs. To honor graduates, we sample each and every cake, finishing with a sentimental stop at the Dairy Queen.

With full stomachs, Hubby and I return to a house full of junk. We’re afraid to open closet doors. The yard resembles a pasture.

We jump back into the car and cruise downtown. There’s gotta be a kid there who needs an open house.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How are graduations celebrated in your area?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Lots to Celebrate!

Oh, Lord, thank You for the energy and focus to finish book number 24. Couldn’t go out to celebrate, though. What to do? Instead, Steve and I watched the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory and snarfed take-out sundaes from Ivanhoe’s. OMG, thank You that despite the current crisis, we have a gazillion reasons to celebrate!

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Writing Fat

(Note: My website host will be updating its server tomorrow. Don’t want to start the week without prayer, so here’s my early “OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer.”)

O Lord, You know I love writing books. Thank You I’ve been asked to write several for another cozy mystery series. But the sleuths are also gourmet bakers who create cream-filled eclairs, apple caramel pies, and Death By Chocolate cakes. OMG, these people are killing my diet!

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Not a Clue

O my God, thank You for Mrs. Holtz and Mrs. Daugherty, my second- and third-grade teachers, who taught me cursive writing and much more. Who would have known then that one day, I’d use that cursive to sign books I’d written? OMG, only You.

My local library has devoted a whole rack to my books!

Whoa, I’ll Be on Facebook Live?

coffeeii-1432034_640Hi, and how are you this evening? Liz Eckardt, the heroine in my books, Secrets of the Amish Diary and Murder Simply Played, and I are having a steaming cup of coffee and warm muffin together. Actually, we’re splitting one pumpkin cream cheese muffin because Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Though I’m probably eating more than she is. …

Liz and I just wanted to let you know I’ll be going live on Facebook next Wednesday, November 16 at 12:30 EDT to tell you a little about the 24-book Amish Inn series. All you have to do is go to Annie’s (my publisher’s) Facebook page and “like” it. Then you can ask any questions you might have about the books, such as:

  • How did Liz, a Boston lawyer, end up solving mysteries in Amish country in Indiana?
  • Why do the covers of Secrets of the Amish Diary and Murder Simply Played include a bulldog? Is he Liz’s, and does he help her solve crimes?

Let’s get our favorite mugs of something hot and yummy, kick back, and share fun moments on Wednesday as you get acquainted with Liz, her Amish cousin Miriam, Beans the bulldog, and other friends living in Indiana’s Amish country!SecretsAmishDiary0001murdersimplyplayedcover-2

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer

sundaeOh, my God, I love writing books. Thank You for helping me these last crazy weeks. Please give me courage to hit the “send” button today, my deadline. OMG, thank You for Your Spirit to revive me. (And for the sleep, hair appointment and Moose Tracks sundae that might help a little, too).