Graduation Day and Bragging Rights


She did it!  Our daughter, Catie, graduated from college this past weekend.  We’re so proud of her and all that she accomplished. I also think our bank account groaned a sigh of relief.

catie 1She graduated magna cum laude { with great honor} with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry.  She’s employable, y’all!  If you have a job available …

catie 2The weather didn’t cooperate.  It rained the whole day.  So messy!

The graduates were divided into two ceremonies.  Catie graduated in the afternoon and the ceremony lasted around 2 hours.  As luck would have it, she was seated behind a good friend from high school.

catie 4

catie 5

She’s a smarty pants — she KNOWS how to hold the diploma just right!

catie 7My stress face as I’m telling my husband to hurry up and take the picture without breaking my grin.  Catie says my crazy was showing.

catie 8Catie hopes to work for a time and then enter a graduate program to study marine biology.  Her dream job would be to work with marine mammals in bioacoustics.

catie 3We think the whales and dolphins would be lucky to have her on their side.



“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV Bible

When Daffodils Bloom


Jonquils, narcissus, daffodils, buttercups — whatever you call them — every spring, when I see them bloom, I smile and remember my grandmother.  They were one of her favorite flowers.  When these happy spring bulbs bloomed, they covered her yard.

daffodil 3

The blossoms ranged in size and various shades and combinations of yellow, white, and orange.  Some varieties were even double blossomed.

daffodil 1

I remember the day my grandmother and I spent planting her yard with bulbs.  She wanted them to look like God, Himself had planted them.  Our method: We tossed the bulbs into the air and wherever they landed that’s where we planted the bulbs.

daffodils 2

Over the years, those bulbs naturalized producing a carpet of springtime.  I’ve read that to receive only 1 daffodil means misfortune.  Fortunately, my grandmother’s yard contained so many blossoms that a bunch of daffodils was no problem for my young hands to pick and bring as a gift.  Those bunches represented joy and happiness and my grandmother did too.



“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Luke 12:27 NIV Bible

The Summer I Fell in Love {and not with a boy}


I’m drawn to a deckle edge hardback edition like a moth to a flame.  I can’t help picking it up, fingering the pages, stroking the cover, and inhaling those fragrant tones of glue, linen, and ink as I flip through its pages. I treasure a real book.  Sadly, the Kindle is a poor substitute that must be plugged in or words don’t appear. I turn it on, push a button and then, push another button to turn pages.  No wonderful bookish aroma wafts up as the page turns, no discovering hidden receipts, old bookmarks, notes, or pictures someone has left behind. The corners aren’t dog-eared and stain marks, from crying while reading, don’t exist.  I can’t even discover if Jennifer {hearts} Peter on the end paper.  For me, book reading is a full-on sensory experience.  An experience that began the summer I fell in love with reading.

I don’t recall the actual moment of learning to read but that summer, I remember.  I couldn’t get enough of books. I was having a gorge fest with the written word.  A gawky tween: I was two parts tomboy, 1 part girl.  My mother signed me up to participate in a summer reading program and I received my very own library card.  That card had my name on it.  Monumental.

Growing up in the south, the humidity of summer causes buildings, particularly older ones built before central air, to smell rather musty. That odorous scent combined with old wood and paper permeated the library I frequented when I was young.  Rows upon rows of shelves held my attention and fascination as I gazed at all those book choices.  I was a happy camper and content to look for what seemed like hours.

I know some are drawn to a book’s jacket, preferring to go against the old adage of “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  I chose books that summer found in the children’s section and they had warm primary colors of rusty red, golden yellow or hunter green covers.  Some depicted pictures in vibrant colors while others were rather plain, adorned only with an ink drawing.  That summer {and true today}, I chose books by their title and their covers.  They had to have that special something that sparked my curiosity.

stack of children's books

Unlike many young girls my age, I wasn’t drawn to the popular stories about horses. I liked adventure stories. I was inspired to dig around a tree trunk in my backyard so I could be like Sam in My Side of the Mountain.  And after I read all of The Borrowers series, I wanted to be small and experience life from their perspective.  I also liked stories about girls who were my age like Laura in Little House in the Big Woods and Caddie in Caddie Woodlawn.  I found stories about people and their accomplishments like Clara Barton and Helen Keller remarkable.  These tales I read taught me about self-reliance, hope, love, and determination.

I looked forward to my trips to the library. I would often check out the book limit and carry a big stack of books home.  If I was lucky, I’d go unnoticed by my mother and be able to make a quick dash to my room, impatient to begin reading.  I would dive right in and often read late into the night with my bed covers over my head and a flashlight so I wouldn’t get in trouble for staying up.  Sometimes, I was discovered.  Other times, particularly when it was time to set the table or help in the kitchen, I’d hide under my bed to continue reading so my mother couldn’t find me.  I mean, seriously, didn’t she understand??  I couldn’t stop now — Nancy was about to solve the mystery and I had to learn who did it.

Each time we returned to the library, I was introduced to new friends and new adventures all found on those inked pages that captured and held my imagination.  Those days instilled in me a life long passion for reading that continues to this day.  When I fell in love that summer, I was given the world.

To view more memoir posts written by other members of the {In}couraging Writer’s Group or to share your own, click here.



“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  John 21:25  NIV Bible