Monday, March 24, 2014

What Follows After by Dan Walsh, it just doesn't get any better than this

Dan Walsh is fast becoming my favorite author and has written a very poignant, challenging and intense book called "What Follows After." I find with Dan's books I usually just devour them the first time I read them. They draw me in so quickly that I make excuses to read at times that I normally would be doing something else. What Follows After made me want to read more and then as I neared the ending, I tried to slow down as suddenly I didn't want the book to end. I'll be going back to reread this book as I do with all of Dan's books to savor the story and take the lesson that he teaches well within my soul.

As a Floridian I love reading books that are based on cities that I either live in or have visited. Dan took us on a journey around the state in this book and it was more of a mystery than his other novels. I love the research and the history aspect that Dan is known for and also that it was story within a story.

What Follows After also made me think back to what I was doing in 1962; I was the older child, Colt's age back then. The suspense at times was nearly unbearable so it made me keep turning the pages and I added extra reading time at night to my schedule. What Follows After is a good history lesson for younger readers as it followed the timeline of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the reaction of people in our country.

Dan weaves as only he can a story of family dysfunction, total breakdown and then redemption in a beautiful way. It is hard to believe that the parents in the story would have their children live a lie, especially in the time frame of the story, but maybe it was because of the time frame... the "Camelot years," when families were supposed to be like the Cleavers or the Anderson's from "Father Knows Best" that they felt they had to pretend. Dan always puts an important life lesson in his books on how a strongly dysfunctional family can learn to be a healthy family.

One of my favorite chapters in the book was the church scene with Mamie Lee, who was a mother figure in the book. Reminiscent of "The Help" it was a pivotal chapter and was beautifully portrayed as the people prayed and took action to be on the alert.

I have to say that Dan's last sentence from the book summed it all up so well. What follows after just doesn't get any better than that.

Donna Collins Tinsley
Word Weavers Volusia County Group

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Linda Lee Wirth Reece Lewis, You were One of a Kind

         The Lord is good, so good to us. Today I want to mention my Mama who would’ve celebrated her 78th birthday today. She was funny, beautiful and a bit crazy all in one. She always had an old saying coming out of her mouth. She used to say "It's a great life if you don't weaken," "You have to laugh to keep from crying,” and "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." She used to tell the grandkids to go play in trafficJ

Mama also said, "Only the good die young." This must certainly be true. She died unexpectedly at age 62. Sometimes I try to imagine life with her still here. Many times I have gone over in my mind the things I wanted to do for her when she was alive. Whenever we have a family celebration or are eating at a restaurant, I am often wishing she were still alive and here enjoying herself. She loved to eat and used to say, "I'd rather die than not be able to eat what I want."
Diabetes helped that statement come true.   
     And Mama always said, "What goes around comes around." That is what I would like imitate. That is why I want to sow seeds of goodness, kindness and love because those are the types of things I want to come back to my family. Bless your children and they will bless you. Love your husband and see what a return you get.  It is the principal of "sowing and reaping."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Mama, if I had you back for even one day, I would treat you like a queen. I would take you anywhere you wanted to go. I would make you whatever you liked for me to cook, carrot cake or the little fancy sandwiches for a picnic. We would find a “Po Folks” restaurant even if I had to drive you from Florida to Tennessee to do it. I would take you to a movie and to the flea market. I would rub your back with alcohol and then lotion and I would wash your tired feet with warm, scented water and my tears. I would pray a blessing upon you and show you how much I love you.
 These are thoughts I have when I think about the things my Mama used to say; I wish she were still here to say them today.
Happy birthday Mama. The Lord did a good thing when He created you. A very good thing. He is good, so good to us.

This song just seemed to fit today even though she didn’t have blue eyes and it is a love gone wrong song. She did play the heck out of a piano and the tinkling keys are great in this. She loved JohnnyJ

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blogging Again

Blogging has come to a standstill again as the Florida Christian Writer’s conference gave me so many things to read and learn about. Yes, they are all writing related but sometimes writers learn most by reading. I will try to be more consistent this year with this blog. My online prayer group, Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group is my main mission. You can join here:

Two things at the top of all my quote journals that I will share with you today: the first is from my husband and is probably the sweetest thing he ever said to me. “You are the single most important on going event in my life. All my love, Bill.”  He has been with me through thick and thin and I am not talking about my waist size but that could apply tooJ

These three scriptures join the above quote: May this always be said of me: Zechariah 2:5 "For I," says the Lord, "will be to her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her." I am adding this to my life-verses, the first being Romans 8:28. And of course my new favorite: He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won't disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right. Isaiah 42:3