Tell Me a Story about … July!

7-16-18 F This week’s story word begins with a capital letter: July. Most people in PA think summer, Independence Day, swimming, picnics, and vacations. I could stories about those, some funny (one vacation in Potter County when I slept in a bed with my aunt, woke during the night, whacked her with my stuffed horse, then lay down and went to sleep), some exciting (the 4th of July fireworks display in Galeton, PA, where we sat right under the place they exploded and had embers cascading over us), some scary (the year 1995 when I went into premature labor around eight weeks into the pregnancy and was put on immediate bedrest for the duration … all went well in the end, daughter #3 only three weeks early).

However, I want to share a story about a special Christmas-in-July gift. I’ve loved7-16-18 B (2) everything Christmas since I shoved off the covers Christmas morning, anxious for Mom and Dad to call us to come down to check what filled our stockings. Fun traditions from my childhood Christmases spilled over into our daughters’ lives, including a few new ones. I’ll share about those in detail over December blog posts (I know, teaser!).

Though the true origins of these celebrations seem muddled, one report stands out as, if nothing else, a cute story. During a summer camp in NC during the 1930s, a co-founder, described as a “creative type,” decided to add a unique tradition to their camp activities: Christmas-in-July. Their celebrations included Christmas trees, makeshift laundry-bag stockings, and camp-wide gift exchanges.

Regardless of its start, I latched onto this extra chance to celebrate Christmas in our home! We listen to Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas,” watch The Miracle on 34th Street, and spend time coloring pictures of verdant holly wreaths and jaunty snowmen. We even drink cocoa in 90-degree weather! If we use our imagination, we could see snowflakes drifting and hear sleigh bells ringing.

The summer of 2016 found me in the doldrums. My aunt’s cancer alarmed us all with its rapid growth. A family friend died in a horrible accident. I procrastinated (again) so long on a writing project that I missed the deadline, after putting in hours of work to make it publishable. Our new puppy began acting out in negative ways and demanding more attention than I had energy for.

7-16-18 E (2) One hot day, our daughter, Faith, brought me a delightful surprise—a Christmas-in-July gift! She’d stopped at our local florist for a bouquet of red, green, and white flowers. The owner searched for a tiny Christmas notecard and a plastic Christmas tree pick to add to the festive holiday ensemble. Faith had also picked up a new notebook and a two-pack of pretty designer pens for me to use on a special writing project. And she topped it off with a cold bottle of Starbucks’ vanilla Frappuccino.7-16-18 A (2)

Faith knew my heart, knew the month’s events had left my spirit lagging. Her Christmas-in-July surprise hit its intended target—love and care for her mama. But then, what would any Christmas celebration be without the love of family and of Our Savior?!

*** What do the hot days of summer bring to your mind? Share your July story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

*** In honor of the Montrose Christian Writers Conference where you will find me next week, the blog post will have something to do with … well, with writing!

 

Tell Me a Story about … a Pickle

         7-9-18 B (2)When I think of words which entice memories from all five senses, pickles come early on the list. I see mounded dirt covered with green vines, tiny hands moving the leaves to peek at midget cucumbers growing. I feel prickly skins as I scrubbed them prior to slicing and dicing for canning. I smell pervasive odors of onions and vinegar as we mixed them with the pickling 7-9-18 C (2)spices. And taste … ah, those canned bread and butter pickles, a bit sweet, a bit tart. My senses reel with the memories.

          “What about sound?” you say? Everyone knows the crunch of a crisp dill pickle, the slurp of a tongue catching the juice. But for me, the thought of a dill pickle brings a much different sound—that of an organ. Not playing hymns in church (whoever heard of dill pickles at a worship service!) but jazzing away with what I cherished as “skating music.”

7-9-18 F          At the roller rink where I spent my teen years, they offered live organ music to skate by. I can still hear lilting melodies perfect for free-spirited wheeling around the floor. Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” melted into “Rockin’ Robin” from the 1950s. We “shook, rattled, and rolled” with Bill Haley’s hit, then slowed for a couples’ skate to Bobby Darin’s “Dream Lover.” Since it was the 1970s, they also played recorded music, but this girl’s heart came alive when the organist came off break and the real music began.7-9-18 A (2)

          “But what about pickles?” you ask. Ah, yes, pickles. The snack bar contained plenty to give hungry teenagers something to rebuild their energy: hot pizza, icy slushies, sweet candy, salty soft pretzels. I’d pay my quarter and watched the seller fish out a huge, dripping, forest green dill pickle from the humongous jar. I’d take it to a corner booth and crunch away, happy and satisfied with life at the skating rink.

7-9-18 E (2)          Today, another pickle brings me much joy, and since it IS Christmas-in-July time, let’s talk about it! Early in our daughters’ childhood, we found a unique ornament—a blown-glass pickle with a story. Always drawn to things with stories, we read how the pickle tradition started in Germany. Parents hid the ornament in the Christmas tree after the children fell asleep. Christmas morning found the kiddos scrambling to be the first to find the pickle, for the one who did received an extra gift! We bought that pickle and continue to hang it today, granting the find-ee a special gift (usually something to share with everyone—a box of Pop Tarts or cocoa).

          Pickles! When God created the cucumber, do you think He had any idea they’d fill a girl’s life from gardens to roller skating rinks to Christmas trees?

 *** What senses does the word “pickle” set off for you? Please, share your story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

*** Do you celebrate “Christmas-in-July”? We do! See how in next week’s blog!         

Tell Me a Story about … a Goose!

          A “gaggle” of memories flies about geese. Of course, that isn’t grammatically correct, but using it is such fun! I remember studying farm animals in our homeschool and how we giggled at the idea of a gaggle of geese, as a group of them is called.

          In fact, most of my geese memories involve laughter. One vacation in Potter County, PA, we visited Ole Bull State Park for a hike and a picnic. A wide creek runs through the park. We walked out on the bridge separating the picnic area from the campground to check out the fish swimming under the bridge.

7-2-18 A
      Photo courtesy of Janice Kelley. http://www.naturelegacies.com

           About twenty yards upstream, some Canadian geese floated on the creek. In a movement I’d never before witnessed, one goose upended itself in the water, totally vertical, its tail pointing straight at the sky. One by one, more geese followed suit. The sight of a half-dozen geese bottoms sticking straight up out of the water looked so hilarious, I dissolved in a fit of giggles. Giggles at gaggles again!

          The geese remained in their ungainly position for so long, I feared they’d drown. Then, pop! One righted itself. Pop, pop, pop! Soon all the geese floated as normal geese should. But before I could recover, more geese flipped over, tails waving at the sun. Another round of giggles, and another pop, pop, pop! I wanted to watch and laugh the day away, but Kevin insisted he’d had enough silliness and wanted to take our hike. I recall thinking they resembled ducks at a shooting gallery—up, down, up, down.

         One more smile-producing goose memory goes back even more years to when we lived beside a couple who farmed their small plot of land. They enjoyed working their garden together, growing most of their own vegetables. Often, we received overflowing baskets of corn or strawberries from their caring arms.

          Valeria, the woman of the house, fashioned decorations out of just about anything she could find. One year, she called me over to see her newest creation. She’d taken a neck 7-2-18pumpkin (not the jack-o-lantern kind, but the let’s-bake-a-pie kind) and turned it into a goose! She stood it up, painted eyes on the small head-end, painted the stem-beak black, and added a felt scarf around its neck. I smiled at her ingenuity and creative spirit. Set by our Ben Franklin stove with a few gourds tucked around his “feet,” he made quite a fetching fall display.

          So, yes, the mournful cries of a large V of geese flying south for the winter may be what many people think of with geese, but to me, I remember laughter—giggling at gaggles! I’m sure God laughed, too, when He taught them to turn upside down in the water and watched them go pop, pop, pop!

 *** Do you have a “gaggle” of goose stories? Even if just one, please, share your story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** Can you guess next week’s post topic? Words associated with it: sour, sweet, bread-and-butter!

 

 

Tell Me a Story about … a Pet!

          Have you ever had a pet? How many? What kinds? Was one of them yours alone? Were they just animals or part of your family?

          Pets filled my childhood. From puppies to kittens, hamsters to rabbits, turtles to lizards, even a raccoon and a couple goats. And we loved them—the ones we bought, the ones we claimed, the ones who claimed us.

 6-25-18 C         Several memories surface, one flying straight to the front of the flock. Remember when prizes for finding the “special” eggs at a community Easter egg hunt included livestock? And not goldfish in plastic bags. Chicks, ducklings, and bunnies topped the list … even colored chicks! (Which I hope they have outlawed now!)

          At one Easter egg hunt while still young enough to enjoy the treat, I found one of the marked eggs and hurried to the prize stand. Imagine my astonishment at winning a young rooster! In those days, they didn’t trade prizes, so the young fowl went home with us.

          My parents found a closed cage to put him in until we could figure out what to do. However, the solid sides with vents didn’t let me … or our three inquisitive dogs and one curious cat … see the little creature. Pitiful sounds squeezed my heart, and after shoving the other animals back, I peeked through the door. The dark interior showed the rooster cowering.

          Glancing to see my mom busy on the phone, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to open the latch and tuck my hand in to pet him, just to calm him and let him know I was there and wouldn’t hurt him. How could I know that little sliver of light would mean “Freedom!”

          The mayhem which followed still rings in my ears. One rooster, three dogs, one cat, and three kids created a hurricane force around and through the living room and kitchen! Feathers and squawks from the rooster, yips and yaps from the dogs, hisses from the cat, yelling from us kids, and screams from my mom, while trying to hold her hand over the phone so my grandmother wouldn’t hear the commotion and think someone was getting killed.

          I don’t remember how the frenzied but unharmed rooster (minus a few feathers) got captured and returned to the cage, but I do recall my mother putting her foot down and making me give my prize to a neighbor lady who raised fowl. I visited my rooster often. However, to my horror, on one of those intended visits, I found my rooster had become our neighbor’s supper the night before! 6-25-18 B

          From then on, the only roosters in our house came in the ceramic variety, such as this one waiting for my mom to paint it. So ends my rooster tale!

 *** Did you ever win a pet at a carnival or other event? Did your pet meet a similar end as mine or do you still have it? Share your story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

*** Watch for more “Pet” stories to come in future months! Next week, our word starts with the letter “G.” Hint: it follows the animal theme!

 

Tell Me a Story about … a Flashlight

Every child remembers his first flashlight. His thoughts may have gone something like this: How long do batteries last? How bright will it shine in my bedroom? I can read in the dark after I go to bed! Mom won’t see the light if I hide under the covers! How long do batteries last?6-11-18 Main

Although I don’t recall many different flashlights when I was young, today’s stores abound with them. Pink ones to delight a little girl’s heart. Camouflage for hunters. Some connect to keychains to shine on locks at night, and some include flashers to signal emergencies.

As for uses, giving light in the dark remains most important. Who wants to bump into walls and furniture while navigating at night to the bathroom?

And what about flashlight tag? What fun to stay up after dark, make sure our flashlights have fresh batteries, step outside, and turn off all other forms of light. Then, we walk quietly to hide—not running as in normal tag—while the person who is “it” listens. When she hears a noise, she switches on her flashlight and tries to catch another player in its beam.

However, my favorite memories come from spotting deer on vacation—driving back roads after dark, shining your spotlight over fields and deep into forests to catch unsuspecting deer. Mom sat in the passenger seat and used the regular spotlight plugged into the cigarette lighter. On the driver’s side, Dad used the power from his heavy, 4-cell, silver flashlight to spot his side. (Don’t worry, he was only driving five m.p.h. on dirt roads!)

Sometimes, Dad relinquished the flashlight to my brothers or me, sparking wars over which side we’d sit on each night: the passenger’s to maybe use the real spotlight or the driver’s side and get the chance to use Dad’s silver flashlight. And woe to the one who wound up in the middle seat!

I can still f6-11-18 Aeel the steely cold of that flashlight as Dad handed it to me and the chill from the rush of wind as I wound down my window. It took two hands to steady it while sticking it out the window to shine into the woods or fields. And what joy to spot a deer and shout, “There’s one!”

Although Dad told us not to waste our batteries, we tried to use our own flashlights to penetrate the darkness, but their beams only reached the edge of the road. By the time we returned to the cabin, they gave off only dim light, and disobedience didn’t usually warrant new batteries.

Just like me. If I fill my inner light with power from God’s Word, I shine brightly, and others can see Jesus in me. But if I go my own way, trusting my own “batteries,” I grow dim, and His light is hidden from those who need it most. But just like my dad, God smiles at His wayward child and opens a “fresh pack,” giving me the power to shine my light, His light, once more.

*** Did you ever have your own flashlight as a child? Did you use it to read at night? What happened when your batteries ran out? Tell us your story! Click on the words beside the date of this post. Scroll down to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

*** What pets have you loved throughout your life? Any unusual ones? Let’s share about our pets in next week’s blog post!

 

Tell Me a Story about…an Anniversary

          Our first daughter, Holly, born six weeks premature at a time when that meant serious threats to an infant’s survival, developed faster than the doctors predicted. She spoke her first words at five months and complete sentence soon after. Each developmental check-up showed her vocal and motor skills surpassing not only the current-age-minus-six-weeks’ norms but zooming months ahead of her actual age.

          What does this have to do with a story about an anniversary, you ask? Most people scoff at these claims I make of Holly’s early achievements vocally, however, my mom and dad’s 25th anniversary brought the truth in a harmonic way.

          Around the time of Holly’s second birthday, my brothers and I ramped up our plans for a surprise anniversary party for our parents. We invited family and friends, suggesting monetary6-4-18 C gifts to go toward a special gift. Our parents never had a honeymoon, never went away by themselves, choosing family vacations instead. We set up an anniversary trip, even called our dad’s work in secret and scheduled his vacation time. I made reservations at Heritage USA in NC, ordered a AAA triptik, and arranged to stay with their dogs for the week.

          I like to think we surprised them with the party, but if not, the planned trip did the trick. (Note: the photo is from the day of the party, my dad holding Holly.) As we helped them pack their car to leave, Holly chattered and sang songs, including her favorite— “Jesus Loves Me.” I sent money with my parents to purchase a singing doll advertised at Heritage. A tiny plastic record inserted in the doll gave her a voice, and the one I picked sang Holly’s favorite song.

          Upon their return, my parents gave Holly the doll. She oohed and aahed over the doll’s curly red hair and pushed the button over and over to mak6-4-18 (2)e her sing. At just over fourteen months, our preemie daughter sang along with her special doll, only having a little trouble keeping up with its speed. (Note: the photo is not of the one we had. Holly’s is long gone!)

          Years later, we know why God gifted her so early with a voice. He wanted Holly to use that voice in service to Him, and she has in many ways. Never doubt the gifts God gives and His timing, no matter how unusual they may seem.

 *** Do you have a story to share about a special anniversary—yours or someone else’s? Or if not, do you have a special gift which showed up early in your life or a family member’s? To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Scroll to the bottom of the comment section to the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** As I write this, my brother is vacationing at a cabin in Potter County, PA, my favorite place on earth. I wonder if he remembers the flashlight we used for a special purpose there when we were children. Next week, I’ll tell you about it!

Pen

When Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” in 1839, he knew the power the pen had to write words as dangerous as a weapon or as healing as a hug. I pray my pen’s power will always side with the latter.Pen B

For me, the individual pen itself holds an interesting power. Ask my husband about my love affair with pens. He discovered early in his job for an office products company that bringing me a new pen gets him bigger kisses than a whole bouquet of roses! And he does it often—from pens promoting businesses for which he services copiers to a whole pack he somehow gets Santa to leave in my stocking every year. Black ones, green ones, red ones. Fine tips, ball points, gels. Even a whole box of green Sharpie markers to use when making posters or correcting papers.

My favorite pens always write in fine point, black ink. I love the feel of its flow across a blank journal page. It glides with the precision and artistry of a figure skater on a Zamboni-smoothed ice rink. I keep a stock of the refills for these pens handy so I never have to lose the beauty I find in their tips.

A few years ago, our youngest daughter, Faith, bought a very special pen as a gift for me. The barrel hewn from cherry wood has a cross etched into it. This pen rises above others because of the words engraved on it: “Gotta have FAITH!” This phrase hits a sensitive chord in my hPen Aeart, speaking of my faith in Jesus as well as spelling my daughter’s name.

Last year, I discovered a new use for my pens, one I enjoyed long ago through years of writing to my pen pal, and now love a new twist on it—letter writing! The idea sprang from the movie The Letter Writer, released in 2012, in which one of the main characters writes notes to people he doesn’t know, letters to lift their spirits, given randomly as he feels led. He tells his young protégé, “Within every human being, there’s a God-given ability that, if you find it and nurture it, you’ll be able to bless the lives of others.”

Mine lets me use the power of my pen to heal, to help, to “bless” those He leads me to. A handwritten note left on a windshield in a store parking lot; another given to an unsuspecting person putting groceries in her car. What a powerful tool my pen can be!

This is for you, Aunt Connie! With love.

*** Do you use a special pen to write journal entries or grocery lists? Do you still handwrite letters, with today’s media-driven messages so quick to send and receive? Tell us about the pens in your past and/or present! To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Then, scroll to the bottom of the comment section to find the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

***Join me next week for a story about a special anniversary, since our 39th anniversary will come at the end of that week!

 

Butter

Mmm … butter! Anyone who says he enjoys using margarine or any of the other spreads on his fresh-baked biscuits speaks a falsehood. No substitute complements food as butter does.

Butter B (2)        Over the summers while my husband went to college in Columbus, we went to the Ohio State Fair. One vendor offered corn-on-the-cob, still in its husk, roasted over coals. After paying him what we’d have paid for a whole dozen at a roadside produce stand, one of the workers grabbed two blistering hot ears off the grill-work and yanked the husks down to form handles. Grasping the husk-handles, he turned back to the pit and plunged the naked ears into a large kettle. As he removed them, the yellow kernels glistened. Rivulets of butter ran down the ears, dripping onto the husks.

Holding both in one hand, the man seized a stack of napkins and thrust both handsButter A (2) toward us. He nodded his head at a small stand holding several shakers of salt and pepper. Eyes wide at what we’d just seen, we hurried to season our corn and dig in, not wanting to miss a single droplet of the melted butter.

It only took one bite of the golden delicacy to know we’d never tasted anything as fine as those ears of corn-on-the-cob. Though taking care as we did, we ended up wearing butter smeared on our lips. With our slippery fingers working to hold onto our prizes, even the tips of our noses sported a drop or two.

Though the hot kernels singed our tongues, we gobbled away, typewriter-style. Licking the rows above and below, licking our slick fingers, licking our dripping wrists where droplets trickled toward our elbows. We didn’t stop in gratitude for our sleeveless arms, nor for my ponytail keeping my hair from disaster. We only munched across our ears, slid the make-believe return bar across, and went on to the next section, until at last, we stood slurping the remnants of the glorious butter from the emptied cob.

Somehow, that memory would not bring the sigh of satisfaction it does if those roasted ears of sweet corn had been plunged into a bucket of melted spread or sprayed with a bottle of liquified flax seed. Wouldn’t you agree?

God made cows. He made the milk we get from them. And He showed us how to skim the cream which separates from the milk. Then He gave us the know-how to churn it into butter—glorious butter! Mmm!

*** What food do you think of first when butter is mentioned? Corn-on-the-cob, as we had? Fresh bread just pulled from the oven? Tell us about your favorite way to use butter! (And if you’re one of those who only uses the “other stuff,” I guess you can share about it, too!) To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Then, scroll to the bottom of the comment section to find the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

** Did you guess “Butter” as the “B” word for this week? What letter would you like to see next week’s word begin with? Help me choose!

Walking – Part 2

          By the 1990s, we had returned to mountains of PA, begun our family, and started our homeschool journey. Walking added much to our phys. ed. class.

          A 5-day program built muscles in our bodies and brains. Mondays held long leisurely strolls along our road; Tuesdays, a brisk heart-pumping walk (not a favorite of mom or kids). Wednesdays, we identified wildflowers and Thursdays, we picked up trash. Fridays, we walked with friends or family wherever we were.

         These walks became our Walk-Across-America program! Each time we walked, we noted the mileage with different colors on a chart. We’d marked the distances to places we wanted to visit, such as the Statue of Liberty. We never made it to most of those goals, but we enjoyed trying.

          5-14-18 AThe next walk starts with a question: have you ever been on a bear hunt? One day during our unit on bears, we read Blueberries for Sal, made a trail mix bears would eat, and created toilet-paper tube flashlights. After supper, we gathered our supplies and courage and went into the woods to hunt for bears.

          Daddy led the way in the lessening light. The girls got gooey from bits of chewy fruit while I brought up the rear watching for a bear. Sure enough, around a bend, I spied one in a tree! The girls gasped and pointed their flashlights. It was a brown bear, and across the path in another tree, his white twin sat snug on a branch. Within moments, girlish giggles filled the air. Unknown to them, Daddy had snuck their teddy bears out of the house and hid them in the trees. That walk made history for the Mayfields!

          With the new century, a seizure disorder often kept me housebound. Walks became fewer and shorter, although sometimes the best things are right down the road. Less than a quarter mile from our house, my husband and I enjoyed watching a barred owl baby learning to hunt. From a tree about ten feet away, the fluffy owlet peered at us. We held our breath. When his parents whistled, he turned towards their warning, then his dark eyes found us again. An amazing twenty-minutes later, he flew off. Not much exercise on that walk!From 5-2016

          Finally, with the seizures gone and the owl grown, the current decade brought a new dog and grandchildren! Walking became a joy once more. Of course, pushing a stroller again doesn’t come as easy as a couple decades ago! Still, I need to strengthen more than my walking legs to keep up with these kids!

*** Have you ever seen amazing animals or interesting places on your walks? Tell us about one or two! To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Then, scroll to the bottom of the comment section to find the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

*** Next Monday, our story word begins with a “B.” Any guesses? It’s not balloon or badger, nor banana or blue. What could it be?

Walking – Part 1

          To someone who thinks horses should come equipped with seatbelts and to whom a bicycle still needs training wheels, walking is a joy. Peace and fitness, solitude and companionship, moonlight and cool breezes. Let’s walk through almost six decades together and see where it takes us!

          We’ll start in the 1960s, most of which I spent walking the brick sidewalks of Harrisburg, PA. We often visited one set of grandparents a street away. This took us past a corner store, where my brothers and I pressed our noses against the cool glass of the candy case. We placed our nickels on the wooden counter and made our choices. So many scrumptious candies tempted us: marshmallow-topped ice cream cones, colored liquid-filled wax bottles, candy necklaces. We clutched our tiny bags full of delectables and trotted the rest of the way, with a promise of one piece when we got there. That part of the walk always seemed so long; I wonder why ….

          During the 1970s, we spent summer vacations in the mountains of Potter County, PA. Ah, long walks along forest trails … crawling over falle5-7-18n bug-encrusted trees, slipping on moss-covered rocks, brushing spider webs off our faces. But oh, the vistas we reached overlooking valleys and glistening brooks. And my favorite reason to walk the woods–the wildlife: deer flicking their white tails and racing through the hemlocks and grouse taking flight when we startled them. My heart thrills whenever a forest path shows up, even in photos.

          For two years in the 1980s, my husband and I lived in a development on the border of Columbus, OH. Evening strolls around our neighborhood or one of the metro parks became our lifeline to sanity. We walked our cares away, holding hands, straining to ignore the hustle, focusing on the moment … or was that holding our dog’s leash in both hands, straining to keep her from chasing the numerous squirrels teasing her, fo5-7-18 Bcusing on keeping her from dropping “presents” in anyone’s yard?

          The trail in our favorite metro park bordered Ripple Rock Creek. While walking these parks built within the city limits, we could forget we lived so near downtown. We couldn’t hear the noise of the highway. The creek, named for its rippled rocks, filled our country-loving souls with a sense of home. We even brought one of the rocks back with us as a reminder of this little place of peace.

 ***We’ll have to continue our journeys next week, but for now, where have your walks taken you? Please take us along on one … or more! To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Then, scroll to the bottom of the comment section to find the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** Next Monday we’ll see how the onset of serious health issues almost destroyed my joys of walking. Join me and see what we found on another walk—a bear hunt!