Thomas Hough, immigrant and entrepreneur

Thomas Hough, an enterprising young man, was born in 1844 into a lower-class family in Yorkshire, England, and didn't like his prospects. His education stopped at the sixth grade, and his dad was a wagon driver. He got a job at the local  cotton mill … [Continue reading]

Granny Jennie’s mother, stuck on the prairie

This is about Granny Jennie's mother Mary Jane, who dominated the Illinois prairie around her in the late 1800s but may have longed for a trip to ... Switzerland? My great-grandmother, Mary Jane Robertson, always wanted to go to Switzerland, or so … [Continue reading]

Granny Jennie, a genteel lady

Phyllis Wheeler's family heirlooms

My Granny Jennie, born in 1885, hand-painted this pitcher in an art class in college. She had a college degree, rare for her generation, especially for women. I remember her the best of all my grandparents, because she traveled south to live with … [Continue reading]

My grandfather, a surveyor

I am sorting stuff from the attic and basement. I ran across my grandfather's precision surveying instrument. Later on I knew his wife Granny Jennie -- she was as mild-mannered as they come. But I never knew Grandpa Tom. He died before I was … [Continue reading]

The tale of Granny’s punch bowl: where next?

When I was a kid, Granny had a punch bowl in the middle of her dining room table. She was an old lady, with feet in the Victorian era. So the punch bowl is flowery and Victorian. It probably had belonged to her  mother, a high-society lady for the … [Continue reading]

Am I a racist?

Racism is a topic that my heart keeps returning to. What is it? What causes it? Why is it so hard to escape? Why do many white people from outlying areas of my city avoid driving in predominantly African-American sections? Answer: They tell each … [Continue reading]

My project: novels for tweens

I've been up to a lot of things lately, and one of them is a series set in the fictional St. Louis suburb of Sugar Creek in 1969 or so. One protagonist is Ollie (left), a 15-year-old musician who just moved to Sugar Creek from New York. He's … [Continue reading]

Tag! You’re it!

I agreed to be part of a blog hop, but I've decided to change the rules (because I don't want to talk about myself right now). Let's play tag! Blog tag! I'm tagging these inspirational writers' blogs as places for you to explore and be blessed. … [Continue reading]

Conspiracy by Suzanne Hartmann, a review

Conspiracy by Suzanne Hartmann, Book Two of Fast Track Thrillers Published 2014 by Oak Tara Publishers Genre: Christian thriller with sci-fi elements Joanne Van Der Haas discovers that her beloved boss George is accused of selling big-time … [Continue reading]

Reaching out through fiction

Carl Ellis Jr. tells Christians to speak into the culture, affirming core Biblical values without necessarily naming them as Biblical, in order to nudge the culture back toward Biblical norms and begin the process of preparing the soil for planting, … [Continue reading]