Sunday, March 28, 2010

On the Road Again

Dr. Lobo loves to travel. "How soon can we go on another trip?" he asked a couple of weeks ago.
"Anytime after my writing conference on March 27th," I said. So today, without wasting any time after March 27th, we started out on another trip.
I have to admit that I spent much of today catching up on my sleep while Dr. Lobo drove. It's been a very busy week, culminating in an amazing SCBWI Oklahoma conference yesterday. And this morning started at 6:15 a.m., since I needed to take an editor and an art director to the airport before starting my own trip.
Since only a few people know where I am tonight, I thought it would be fun to see who could figure out what area we drove through today. So here's a little geography quiz for you.
Can you identify this area? Here are a few photos to help you out.
It's a rural area, as you can see.

Here's the local school.

Okay, here are some good clues for you.

Can you name the nearest town in this area? The first person who comes up with the correct answer will win a prize (which is unnamed because it is undetermined at the present time). List the town and state in the comments below. Have fun!
Tomorrow morning we'll be back on the road, heading off for more adventures. (I love retirement!)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's Spring, Isn't It?

Hooray! It's the first day of spring! Let's go outside and look for signs of the season.

Hmmm . . . that doesn't look springy.
Let's look to the east.

Okay. Let's try looking west.

Oops! What happened? Yesterday it was 72 degrees in Oklahoma City.

Surely we'll find something springy if we look south.

I guess not.
But wait! Here are those green shoots I find in my yard each year about this time. They tell me spring is coming.

This does not look promising.

Heck with this. Let's go back inside.

Vivienne has the right idea.

Let's try again tomorrow. After all, this is Oklahoma. As Will Rogers supposedly said, "If you don't like Oklahoma's weather, stick around. It will change."
One can always hope.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Cancer Cannot Do

Last night yet another of my friends told me that she has cancer. I know cancer has struck many people, but lately it’s attacking people my age, and that feels different.


My friend Marcy has been fighting lung cancer for five years, and although her prognosis is not good, she’s a survivor. She has fought valiantly, using surgery, healthy eating, prayer and meditation, chemotherapy, and alternative medicine. She’s traveled to Mexico for treatment not available in the U.S. At this time, she’s participating in an experimental drug test. Nothing has cured her. In fact, the cancer has now spread to her liver and spine. But in so many other ways, Marcy is healthier than nearly everyone else I know.


I’ve marveled at her ability to stay focused and positive, without denying the feelings of loss that sometimes overwhelm her. She has attempted to “live large” during these years; in part, this has meant making two trips to South Africa, where she has done volunteer work with the United Methodist Church. She spends time with her family and friends, cherishing simple moments.


Marcy sends insightful and eloquent emails to her “Band of Allies,” in which she speaks of loving her life. She has a new awareness of joy, wonder, and blessing. She recalls Jesus’s words about losing life in order to find it, and she claims to have found the peace that passes understanding. She encourages her friends to embrace the joy of life.


She is planning a party in May, to spend time with the people who have cheered her through this arduous journey. She calls it a celebration of her life.


Thank you, Marcy, for sharing yourself so generously throughout your illness. You have touched so many of us with your courage and faith.


And to my other friends who are battling cancer, I pray that you will discover what Marcy has found during this time. Here are some words she wrote in a recent email:


Cancer sucks, but not enough to keep God's abiding grace from sheltering me. I will give Thee thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart.”



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Things I Didn't Know When This Photo Was Taken

I’ve learned a few things since March 12, 1974, when this sweet baby girl entered my life. Here’s a partial list:

1. Children teach you what unconditional love really means.

2. Your child is unquestionably the best looking, funniest, sweetest, brightest kid ever. (And subsequent children born to you are every bit as wonderful as the first.)

3. No one will ever disappoint, hurt, anger, or embarrass you more than your child, and no one will ever make you more proud.

4. Children teach you far more than you teach them.

5. You can’t totally control anyone else, especially if the person you want to control is a two-year-old.

6. Regardless of how well you’ve done with parenting up until that point, you’ll feel totally incompetent during the years you have thirteen-year-old kids.

7. You would do anything to take away your child’s pain.

8. One way or another, your child will break your heart.

9. A high maintenance child is not necessarily a high maintenance adult, and a low maintenance child is not necessarily a low maintenance adult. (Thank you, my children, for taking turns being high maintenance!)


10. You never stop worrying about your children, even when they’re grown.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl. You will always be my baby girl, regardless of your age.