I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

History lives just down the street and around the corner

Delores E. Topliff

I grew up in the town around Fort Vancouver, Washington, the end of the Oregon Trail, and that connection to history had impact. Built in 1825, the fort also has the oldest apple tree in the Pacific Northwest from seeds brought by an English sea captain a year later. 

Even now when I’m there in season I nibble on that tree’s small green apples to digest more history. Before the fort became a national monument, anyone could roam the place, so at age eleven I explored the original well, so deep it made me dizzy to look into its depths. I crawled the last few feet on my stomach to peer down past the perfectly fitted stones lining its walls to clear water in the bottom. I wanted to drink that water as another link to the past and loved realizing those stones were perfectly fitted by craftsman hands not so very long ago.

This September I attended Voyageur Days at Minnesota’s North West Fur Post built in 1804. Cheerful people in period dress taught life skills, offered authentic trade goods, and played music on instruments true to the time. I saw and heard a nine note range Scottish small pipe played for parlor entertainment by squeezing a small air bag under the arm instead of blowing the fierce warrior blasts that terrified enemies. It was as if I had walked down a street, turned some corner, and found myself living in earlier years. The staff and visitors delightfully spoke of people in conversation that I’m researching for a historic novel as intimately as if they were the new family just moving into the neighborhood.

In the U.S. and Canada., history is alive and well and didn’t actually happen that long ago. My grandchildren like to quiz me on life before T.V., space shots, internet, and other modern inventions, yet don’t realize they’re also missing out on great experiences from earlier days.

History is still being written and we each have a starring role. What favorite historic place do you love to frequent and why? What historic impact do you most want your life to have? I want to write about both past and present in ways that make them live.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Great Escape from Today's Headlines

Election fireworks. Sports protests...and protests against the protests. More shocking: provocations from a nation taunting the U.S. Navy.

Wow. There's plenty to get our blood pressure shooting up these days.

And that's all the more reason to take a break with a great book that keeps you turning the pages.

Now this is not your cute, picket-fence romance. But it will take you to another world for a while.

Our own Patricia Bradley (a.k.a. Pat Trainum to us), has penned another great read!

Let me just give you a bit of the back cover copy to stir your interest:

When Bailey Adams left Logan Point two years ago for Mexico, she thought she was getting away from her problems. Running into her ex-fiance Danny Maxwell was not part of the plan--neither was being chased through the city by the local drug cartel, the Calatrava. Now despite her best efforts, Danny is her only chance of escaping the people chasing her and getting back to Logan Point safely. Can Bailey find the strength to face what's coming? And in the midst of the chaos, can she keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again.

I promise you, this book will take you away from today's headlines for a wonderful story of second chances. And I think you'll be inspired by Bailey Adams!

I've had a few heart-beating incidents in my missionary travels, and someday I'll write about a few of them. Tell me about one of your brushes with danger, and if you send me your snail-mail address, I'll enter your name in a drawing for a copy of Silence in the Dark.

by Teri Smith