Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day thoughts...Looking back


This is the day we remember our American veterans, our Patriot ancestors, those who fought for liberty in theaters both domestic and abroad. We wonder at their courage, their ability to endure hardship and privation so that we may live free today and have another tomorrow.

Virtually all of my Patriot ancestors fought in the American Revolution and on the side of the Union during the Civil War. These two great conflicts on American soil helped to shape our American way of life.

In my most recent historical novel, SWORD OF THE WILD ROSE, the events preceeding the American Revolution are depicted in this work. We read about the characters, those brave men and women who felt libery was worth risking all they held dear. Here are a few quotes and thoughts from Sword of the wild Rose.

Note: Watch for my next historical novel, “Bear Hunter,” set in the early 1770’s and based on the colorful life of my Patriot ancestor, John Cutright, the “Bear Hunter.”

Those who fought for freedom...who believed in freedom

“I see for the last time, the shores of me homeland…and I remember all that I have lost...all that I have loved and known.

There is no place for me…nay, no country where I can live free, no place where I can unlock me heart and allow the tears to come.

For I am a man…a man who has lost his way, and I fear, I will not find it again. I don’t know where to start; nay…I don’t know where to start.

When will the sorrow end, where will hope begin? Will truth and light break through this terrible night?
Then…I saw her standing there…spinning circles in the snow while moonlight streamed across her hair and her eyes spoke without words …and she said to me…”you know,  there is a place where you can always go…come with me…come with me…”

The Battle to come 

A great majority of those who for for American Independence were common frontiersmen, settlers, those who sought freedom in a new land.

 The Longhunters

Our Cultural Legacy

“If ye think about it, lad, our cultural legacy plays an important part in making us who we are. I have always believed that we are the product of many different people and have a genetic propensity to lean in the direction of our ancestors. If they were rising stars, that helped us along, and if they were non-achievers, that slowed our progress. As the Bible says, ‘time and chance’ play into the grand scheme of things as well. God had to change some of us from many of the things that our ancestral legacy would have dictated for us -- and that, me friend, included me. Praise God for that!”
The Longhunter, Sword of the Wild Rose

 Marching to Freedom

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Voice of the Shepherdess

“Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isa. 49:16

Today I stopped at the grocery to pick up a few items and passed a product display in a rather obscure corner of the store. A young woman was offering sample to customers. I walked to the display and she began her promo talk. I listened, looking into her eyes and seeing there some suffering, something sad. She paused and our eyes locked. Compassion welled up in my heart. I saw the pain she was trying so bravely to hide. We chatted and then I asked if she was okay. She understood that I saw the hurting. “My home is breaking up,” she said finally, and I have young children.”

“I am so sorry,” I said offering sympathy, “but don’t lose hope. God can help you.”

Tears welled up in her eyes. “Only God can help me now,” she replied.
I felt touched by her hurting heart and went to the car to retrieve a book I felt would be helpful to her. After giving her some encouraging words, I gave her the book. she cried then, and hugged me. It didn’t seem to matter that someone might be watching. She needed love, support, she needed God’s help. I wanted to reach out to her.

I came away burdened for this young woman and for others who are hurting is some way. I remember the old hymn that has been my mantra throughout my life. There is a God who loves us; who cares so much that He has graven our image upon the palms of His hands. How great is His love for us.

George Matheson said about this hymn:

My hymn was com­posed in the manse of In­ne­lan [Ar­gyle­shire, Scot­land] on the ev­en­ing of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s mar­ri­age, and the rest of the fam­i­ly were stay­ing over­night in Glas­gow. Some­thing hap­pened to me, which was known only to my­self, and which caused me the most se­vere men­tal suf­fer­ing. 

The hymn was the fruit of that suf­fer­ing. It was the quick­est bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the im­press­ion of hav­ing it dic­tat­ed to me by some in­ward voice ra­ther than of work­ing it out my­self. I am quite sure that the whole work was com­plet­ed in five min­utes, and equal­ly sure that it ne­ver re­ceived at my hands any re­touch­ing or cor­rect­ion. I have no na­tur­al gift of rhy­thm. All the other vers­es I have ever writ­ten are man­u­fact­ured ar­ti­cles; this came like a day­spring from on high.
George Matheson


O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
George Matheson

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Return to Wildrose Cottage

Mother's Day Gifts

Wildrose Cottage, our summer retreat, is now open for the summer months. We spent the last ten days sprucing up the gardens, which were already bursting with blooms, and setting things in order inside our comfy cottage. James drove over from PA to visit and brought some lovely Mother’s Day gifts. After breakfast on the newly added deck that overlooks the ravine, I opened the packages from James who travels widely and seems to know the things I love. The thistle bowl is a special treasure, an antique from “Forgotten Treasure Chest” a shop from his home town in PA. The thistle is Scotland’s flower (?) and is significant to Scottish culture, a story for another time. The plate is from Italy and chosen for my love of roses. 

The Scottish thistle filled with roses from "Forgotten Treasure Chest" Easton, PA 

Our summer retreat

In our cottage neighborhood, we have a community garden which is cared for by Doreen. This year she added an antiquated trellis made made from old gates

Bird house in 14 St. gardens

Hollyhocks in 14th St. gardens

If you walk down the ravine from Wildrose Cottage, you will find the Hocking River and in the distance, Standing Stone, the landmark so often referred to in book 1 of my trilogy,  
The Wild Rose of Lancaster

Wildrose Cottage in May
I really hate those electric lines!

Wild flowers at Wildrose Cottage meadow

At the Ohio farm where I grew up. Laura's memorial garden where Mom had peach trees

Laura's rooster in the chicken coop. He is not happy. FREEDOM!

Wild roses in bloom