Category Archives: Books

BB&Y Book Review By Dixie

Gloria, A Lifetime Motorcyclist

By Gloria Tramontin Strick

• Published in 2018

• 256 pages

Synopsis:

At the age of 92, Gloria Struck becomes an author to tell her story. A story that includes a detailed family history as well as her many journeys on a motorcycle.

My thoughts:

What an absolute amazing tough Lady! This book is full of lots of family history and how her family came to the United States. She goes into great detail on how she started riding a motorcycle and the many many places she has ridden; including Europe. I would highly recommend you read this book and if you would like to have a conversation about it please let me know, because I would definitely like to be in on that. I hope I get to meet Gloria one day, what a serious inspiration.

gloria struck
Gloria and her daughter Lori

Gloria says “I never worried, I always acted like a lady and I was always treated like one.”, when talking about traveling by herself. Now isn’t that refreshing? Here is a lady who likes to ride a motorcycle (a male dominated sport) who doesn’t feel the need to show how tough she is. Who I might add exudes confidence and doesn’t need to explain herself to anyone. Now don’t peg me for a diehard feminist because I am no such thing. I am just saying there is no posturing here, she is who she is!

gloria motor maid
Gloria is a lifetime member of the Motor Maids motorcycle club

  “It’s never too late to live your dreams”

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Last Adventure of 2018

Well I’ve found another fun thing to do, can you imagine? If you’ve read my last post about Rose from “Titanic” you’ll understand that I have many interests.

So I’ve been a big fan of Ansel Adams, who is a famous photographer and for Christmas i received a pretty fancy camera. Pictures to follow…

But first, this is the first installment of this adventure which started early the friday morning after Christmas. We headed to the airport a bit later than origannally planned. We ended up taking a tour of long term parking (The Hubs was driving) only to end up in short term parking. 😁 Then we took the new tram from the parking area which took us to the right place. But we needed to check our bags which meant we needed to go down stairs (anxiety is starting to mount, we are not late but…), there was a Disney sized conga line so we hightailed it outside to curb service to check our bags. Of course this is where we realized we should have dropped our bags first lol before taking the tour of the airport parking areas. Lol so, we made it to our gate after getting gropped…flight takes off at 6am then we had a little layover and made our final destination by 1pm.

So we are in Western Michigan and there is snow on the ground. Suddenly i am a kid again, i havent seen snow since 1980…so we headed to a craftbrewery for some libations.  Now if you’ve followed my Harley Vacay posts you know this is the usual for us, but this is the first time we’ve come in winter. I am loving it! Even though this girl has about 8 layers on, which isnt fun when you have a hot flash! Let me tell you, having a hot flash while wearing this many layers gives you a real honest to God incite on a Turkey in a basting bag at Thanksgiving! 🤣🤣🤣

In a 3 day period i have taken over 500 pictures with my new camera and i am in Love with the Night Vision setting. Please let me know what you think, heck maybe you have some suggestions….I have a crochet project to work on now.

I hope you all have had a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year to come❣

What does it mean to me?

Morning everyone! So i read a post that has been stuck in my brain for a few days.  It askes “what is your blog really about?” And “How much time did you spend on you About page?” (Here is the original post: https://wp.me/p5oeKw-4c )

So, i went back and read my “About” page. I think i did a pretty good job explaining why i started this blog and my interrests. But I’d like to add this visual, if you will.

Have you seen the “Titanic” movie? If so, you’ll know what i mean when i say, Rose and Jack inspired me. You see, in the movie Jack encourages Rose to “Do” all those things she is curious about. In the begining of the movie Rose is 100+ years old and the story is told by her. What i noticed was she DID all those things she and Jack talked about.

So back to this blog.  Of course i want this blog to be successful and if you read up on how to do that, most advice says to pick one subject. I tried that, but in short i just didnt like that.  I have many interrests, like Rose, and i want to talk about all of them. I did identify a particular interrest that not much is written about but that doesn’t get many readers. 

So what I’ve learned thus far is the common denominator in all my interrests is Me. My passion, experiences and thoughts. I love Books, riding my motorcycle, crocheting, our grandchildren, shopping and a host of other things.

I am totally open to suggestions and would love to hear your thoughts. 

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

Soul Rider
By Carolyn Fox

• Published in 2017
• This story took place in 1994
• 265 pages

Synopsis:
A story of a woman who went on a life-changing journey. Carolyn Fox was a single mother and lawyer haunted with grief and secretes and facing her fiftieth birthday. So she decided to changer her life by facing her fears: she bought a Harley, packed it with a sleeping bag and tent, and set out to ride through all fifty states alone!

“Facing fear and finding redemption on a Harley”

My thoughts:
So I thought I would approach this book differently by giving you my thoughts on each chapter. So this is an experiment and I will need your input on whether you find this helpful. Also, this book in particular speaks to me because I ride and have ridden across country albeit not alone.

Prologue: “Haunting Cries” – Luckily I read the authors note – she talks about her publishing journey and how she was ready to print but still thought the book was missing something so she had a literature service take a look and sure enough there was a suggestion to include her struggle dealing with a child she lost. So when I started reading the Prologue I thought “Do I really want to read this?” But I am a firm believer that our dreams are trying to tell us something and here she’s riding her motor cycle and reflecting on a reoccurring dream about open doors and crying presumably by a baby and guilt. It’s a short passage and I am still thinking “do I want to read this?” But I press on.

Chapter 1 – Dancing with the Wind – She’s on the open highway and a big truck is rolling past her. I know from experience this is nerve wracking and it’s this feeling that draws me in further to this story. I can feel the wet wind on my face as well as getting pelted by the road debris kicked up by the bigger vehicles. Now I am a bit awestruck because I realize she is by herself on this journey and I think “what a brave sister!” As the chapter title suggests dancing with the wind on a motorcycle is a not only nerve wracking but exciting. She found out you have to work with it not against it, it’s a control thing. Most of us have learned there isn’t much you can control and the wind blowing around an 800lb motorcycle definitely isn’t one of them. That’s the glory in riding, you find the happy place or you learn to cooperate and enjoy the ride. Now you learn she is loaded with camping gear and is sponsored by the KOA to make this trip. Although I love to ride, usually with my man leading the pack and the solitude that come with driving my own bike and riding my own ride, I can tell you now I would never do a ride such as this by myself and especially not in a tent! Now I am definitely hooked and want to read more.

Chapter 2 – Chasing elusive love – Who really trusts their GPS fully? Ha ha ha I think Ms. Fox and I could be friends! On to her next stop and she “smokes” right by the GPS turn because that didn’t look right, so an hour later she had to turn around and retrace her route. See this is why I love following me hubs; I just don’t have a good sense of direction. She moved on to relationships between men and women. She points out that women can be “hint based” conversationalists where men are the “Joe Fridays” of the world, Speak it Sister! Why don’t men see that the last thing we want to be is needy or imposing? She says “this deprives men of being chivalrous” I do love me some chivalry! She starts thinking about a previous time she went on a trip with her boyfriend and nothing can test a relationship like a road trip.

Chapter 3 – The Lone Archer – This chapter starts out with anxiety on the reader’s part, as she ventures into Yosemite national park. While she manages to survive her trip through Yosemite she overhears a man ranting about his son cutting his hair in a non-traditional way and she offers some words of encouragement. Which did not have the intended effect, but she mounts up and continues her journey. So far I like this book and author but I am very concerned for her and her lack of concentration while driving her motorcycle across country.

Chapter 4 – Ancient sentries beckoning – Lord! Now she is driving through Death Valley! Word to the wise, don’t dally when it’s hot. I can appreciate the scenery however, if you are not used to riding in heat and humidity you will or can have a heat related episode. We live in Florida so we take steps to be safe and sometimes that means you just don’t ride during the day. Who in their right mind would hike down a 1,000 foot rock formation in full biker gear complete with boots and back pack? I fear for her and just can’t stop reading. This woman has balls of steal and just doesn’t realize it!

Chapter 5 – A Death in the Family – Yikes this chapter is absolutely heart breaking. But sometimes you just need to get it all out. This trip for the author is turning out to be cleansing in so many ways.

Chapter 6 – Collecting Passengers – Vanity and being a biker chick just don’t go together. This lady surprises me with each chapter…still reading. As Ms. Fox is recuperating from a cold she meets a young woman at the camp ground who has MS. The woman used to ride but is unable to now because of her MS but she asks her to “take her with her” figuratively. This absolutely melts my heart. But it also reminds me that we carry our people with us always, not sure that’s just a mom thing but for the sake of this book and this journey that’s what I am channeling right now.

Chapter 7 – mothers worst nightmare, the biker – Ms. Fox tells her story of her maiden motorcycle ride, albeit short, and this has me remembering my first driving experience. Well it was more like an episode of Benny Hill. Ha ha ha She says after all the aggravation of teaching herself to ride, they finally got another car and she knew she’d never be on 2 wheels again…fast forward 20 years and here we are.

Chapter 8 – The woman in the mist – Asking the universe for guidance can be enlightening if you pay attention. But you “have to ask” and be open to getting an answer you may not agree with or understand fully.

Chapter 9 – A gun or an attitude – I am seeing her evolve as a rider here, showing more caution. She is riding some good “hills” by the sound of it. Hmm, might have to put Kansas on our radar. She been on the road “only a couple weeks” and has started to settle down as she is driving through Oklahoma. She reflects on a few instances that made her uncomfortable. Although she is armed, she is approached by a few sketchy people that she gets weird vibes from; luckily she trusts her gut and gets the hell outta there. But this brings up a valid concern for anyone that is traveling alone. Keeping yourself safe is something you have to actively must do and the best thing and the first thing “I think” you should do is removed yourself from the situation Quick, fast and in a Hurry!

Chapter 10 – The Burned man – (A Very Prolific Chapter) – As the latest “jerk” moves on she talks about how the American people have been duped by the news outlets (by their scare tactics) that the only thing going on in our world is nothing but negative and hateful. But by traveling rural roads she discovers that the majority of people are great, helpful and hardworking. A hand up means more than a handout! She really hits that nail on the head in this chapter about how riding a motorcycle “incites the senses and demands” that you participate in life. I have said this repeatedly, that motorcycle riding requires you to put all that stuff you have rolling around your head aside, in order to be safe and the benefit is incredibly cleansing to your soul.

Quote pg 111 “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain” by Emerson

Chapter 11 – Reality Check – One of the main worries she hopes to find an answer to is her fear of being alone. She is about to be 50 years old and she thinks she has to have an answer to what bugs her. She is a busy person with so much on her mind. So to her I would say at this point you’ve just got to stop carrying all this crap on your back. Put it down and walk away from it. Deal with what is in front of you because that’s all you can do.

Chapter 12 – Taming the Heinous Beast – Well the title of this chapter had me very curious; she tells her story of taking the motorcycle driver course. Holy smokes! You’ll really want to read this one. Now of course this has me thinking of when I took this class. A few days before my class, my hubs wanted to show me a few things and let me take it for a spin. Well in short I did a Benny Hill impression in the middle of my street which in short means I fell over!

Chapter 13 – Deaths Premonition – Riding in bad weather is never a good idea, but sometimes it’s unavoidable and you just have to “suck it up buttercup”! She’s been on the road for 18 days at this point and has experienced just about every danger possible. She is just realizing that she needs to think differently and be more alert. Also, I am just realizing that in 1994 when this trip took place, you just couldn’t map quest your route. So bless her heart she’s doing it “real” old school with a real honest to God map!

Chapter 14 – A conversation of substance – Well she’s made it to my neck of the woods in Florida. Let me remind you she started out in Oregon. A friend try’s to be match maker and although they are a good verbal match he isn’t the one. But she did get to swim with manatees.

Chapter 15 – “Do the Thing you fear” – Turning 50! Reflections…my dad always said when you ert in your 30s you will begin to philosophize about your life. When you turn 50 you really begin to take a look at the trajectory of your life. Where did you start or what did you want to do with yourself versus where did you end up? But the cool things about looking at your life, you can really appreciate the journey. Oh the possibilities are endless.

Chapter 16 – 50 and alone – Although life can beat you up and leave lots of scars, I learned you really have to find the optimism. Life can always be worse; someone always has it worse than you. I leaned you absolutely cannot keep carrying all that shit on your back.

Chapter 17 – People are like Frogs – As much as I hate to admit it, people are like frogs (Note: I am not a fan of Frogs) we go through many changes, physically and mentally and you just can’t rush that process.

Chapter 18 – Elizabeth – Forgiveness & Redemption – This chapter is so heart wrenching. When a person is so deeply hurt and cannot forgive themselves for circumstances that are just beyond your capacity at the time, it’s just gut twisting awful. But this is what this whole journey is for, it’s liberating and cleansing. It’s not that you can forget the circumstances or feelings but you can move on. Use this whole experience as a stepping stone to get out of the hole you’ve wallowed in for so long.

Chapter 19 – The Predator – The trials of traveling alone brought her to the attention of a very seedy character. This reminds me of a saying “if you look like a victim you will be a victim”. This chapter had me on the edge of my seat.

Chapter 20 – Cousin Shirley’s old dog – Lord, if you think chapter 18 was tough on your feels, get a box of tissues for this one. The situations are totally different but…this one took aim at my heart and hit its mark.

Chapter 21 – Breaking Free – This whole trip she has been worrying herself sick about being alone. Her boys are living their life, her BF broke up with her while she was on this trip and to make matters worse she sent all her warm clothes and extra jacket back to Oregon. Now she’s in the UP of Michigan and headed to Minnesota! Yikes, I tell you I have never met someone so hell bent on doing things the hard way!

Chapter 22 – Winds of Change – Dear me she drove off into a damn storm again! But she swears she won’t do it again. She found this quote at Mount Rushmore by Theodore Roosevelt “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.…Here she goes again!

Chapter 23 – Deadly storm on the high plains – Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ on a cracker!!! Holy Hell, that was the scariest yet! I doubt anyone can really know how bad a storm is on a bike unless you have been there. I personally have been there and it’s utterly frightening. You reason with yourself, remind yourself to breathe and to just survive. It is exhausting.

Chapter 24 – My Solitary Shadow – Boy isn’t that the truth “…it is important to remember my roots. I believe it is the mixture of our past and present experiences that makes us who we are today.” (pg 260) You have to come to terms with being comfortable in your own skin.

Epilogue – Turning 50, you can make it a happy occasion or a depressing one. Ms. Fox turned it into a happy one because she was able to resolve issues that she needed to come to terms with.

 

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

The Shack

The Shack

By Wm. Paul Young

• Published in 2007

• 248 pages

 

 

Synopsis:
     Mack’s daughter Missy was kidnapped and killed; they never found her body. This story is told from Mack’s perspective and deals with “The great sadness” as he calls it. Almost 4 years goes by and he gets a strange note that draws him back to the place they think Missy was killed. The note was signed by “Papa” which is a nick name his wife uses for God. He makes the trip and in a weekend, he learns a lot about himself and God.

 “Mackenzie, it’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. – Papa”

My thoughts:
     I read a review that totally blasted the author because they thought this book was to preachy. First, you need to know this is a work of fiction NOT non-fiction. I certainly don’t think it was preachy, however some of the conversations between Mack and God did go in circles and got a bit confusing. But I could follow the meaning and context of the conversation because I saw the movie before I read the book. Of course, the book gives you more details.

     Overall, I think this is a terrific book and I would recommend it.
At the back of the book you see information about “The Missy Project” which come to find out has nothing to do with the book. The author encourages readers to buy and share the book to help “The Missy Project”, going back to the review I read; this nugget totally incensed this reviewer which I really don’t understand. I hope you get a chance to read the story; I’d love to hear your thoughts.

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

whoever fights monsters

Whoever Fights Monsters

By Robert K. Ressler and Tom Shachtman

 

 

• Published in 1992
• 256 pages

Synopsis:
     This book encompasses the 25 plus year career of Robert Ressler (Co-Author) as a criminal profiler who developed a knack for figuring out serial killers; to put it simply. Mr. Ressler became curious as a 9-year-old about crimes around his home town of Chicago; his father worked for the newspaper. He goes on to a lengthy career with the Military and the FBI; profiling and gathering information about what made serial killers tick. He and his colleges interviewed some of the scariest men you have ever heard about.

     These men seemingly without much prompting told Ressler about their childhoods, their dark fantasies and their crimes. He and his colleges gathered this information and went through the process of analyzing it for details that made them helpful when Law Enforcement had trouble solving these types of crimes and in doing so they aided these agencies by helping them see what they might have been missing so that they could catch the criminal. Ressler was credited for coining the phrase “Serial Killer” along with becoming a professor at Quantico and extensively traveling the world teaching how to see into a serial killer’s mind.

My thoughts:
     When I started reading this book I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The first chapter totally sucked me in as I realized that what he describes as going on in the 1960’s, is going on now in 2017; a bit spooky actually. You may have often heard the phrase “History repeats itself” and this was evident to me in this chapter.

     Ressler has made it clear that he did a lot of things and met and spoke with a lot of people and at times gets a bit high and mighty; but I urge you to try to look past some of this. He gives a lot of credit to other people that helped along the way. He gives what I am assuming is full disclosure of the crimes committed by some seriously disturbed people; so, proceed with caution.

     One of the things that struck me about this book is “How did this line of work affect his family?” I have often talked with military wives that just learn to deal (or not) with their spouses being gone for extended periods of time, but to deal with that plus this gruesome stuff? Being a wife of someone who worked in a similar environment, it drove me nuts that he would not share his day or thoughts about his day with me; I get it but it also alienates your family. I also realize its for good reason which puts everyone in a tough spot and adds to the stress of it all.

On continuing to read this book I literally had to alternate this dark stuff with lighter stuff because I found myself getting pretty creeped out. At the end of the Acknowledgments there is this Quote:

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.”
By Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

     I thought I understood what it was saying but when I finished it, the thought still hung around “How did this affect him?”. No wonder we are hearing more and more that our first responders are committing suicide or have succumbed to the pressure of being on the job; this environment really takes its toll on people.

     The other thing that Ressler points out is teachers and school systems are not really capable or cannot adequately deal with children that come from seriously dysfunctional families. In Chapter 4 he discusses his work compiling the life histories of the serial killers, many of which are of average or above average intelligence. That means delving into the environment that they were brought up in, but he cautions that obviously not everyone that comes from a seriously dysfunctional family grows into a serial killer but it’s more about a combination of stressors, mental illness and environment.

“It is my sincere belief, however that the number and percentage of organized killers are growing. As our society grows more mobile, and as the availability of weapons of mass destruction increases, the ability of the antisocial personality to realize his rapacious and murderous fantasies grows apace.”

     As I said in the beginning this book zeroed in on a lot of what’s going on now in 2017 almost prophetic:

“By the 1980’s, some 25 percent of murders were “stranger murders,” in which the killer did not really know the victim. The reason for the steady rise in the statistics, sociologists believed, could be found in the sort of society we had become: mobile, in many ways impersonal, flooded with images of violence and of heightened sexuality.”

     It has always amazed me just how creative criminal get to scam people. Like the gas pump and ATM skimmers; that takes some real intelligence to figure out. To me, if these people put half their efforts into doing things the “right” way they could be very successful and become honest hardworking citizens in our society.

     So, let me tell you why I wanted to read this book. I have always been interested in how criminal analysis worked and I don’t mean all this gruesome stuff. So, I am at a point in my life that if I am curious about something I am going to learn about it. Of course, Education is the key and I don’t necessarily mean getting a degree; but rather educating yourself so that you can form your own opinions about a subject or an event.

BB&Y Audiobook Review: By Dixie

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice Audiobook

Anyone else wish someone would have said “Dear Mrs. Bennet Do Shut Up!”

“Pride and Prejudice is a romance novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. Mr. Bennet of the Longbourn estate has five daughters, but his property is entailed, meaning that none of the girls can inherit it. His wife has no fortune, so it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well in order to support the others on his death. The novel revolves around the necessity of marrying for love, not simply for monetary reasons, despite the social pressures to make a good match.”

     This audio book version was read for Librivox and narrated by Karen Savage in 2007. I highly recommend this version as Ms. Savage not only has a pleasant British accent but I adore her different voices for some of the characters. I listened to this book every chance I got, mostly at work, and it took me about a week.

     Although I have seen the movie prior to listening to this book, I thought the book and movie compared well. It also helped me visualize some of the characters. Its been a long time since I watched the movie but I have to give them credit for type casting very well.

I’ve been mulling over what to say about this and I have come to the conclusion that most of you reading this will have already read, watched or listened to this particular book. I’d only like to add my fondest sentiments for this book; am I starting to sound like a writer from this period? ha ha I mostly enjoyed the complex word sparing that takes place in this novel. It really added to the visual I was playing in my head. These are people that spent all of their time really thinking about what they hear and say. Imagine if some people really tried to do this today.

     So tell me what are you favorite parts of the book? Do you have a favorite character besides Mr. Darcy and Lizzy?

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

Renting Lacy:

A Story of America’s Prostituted Children; A Call to Action

By Linda Smith with Cindy Coloma

  • Caution: Mature Content
  • Published in 2009 revised in 2011
  • 163 pages

Synopsis: The author Linda Smith was a U.S. Representative who after she left politics founded the organization “Shared Hope” to help women and children in crisis. This book not only tells the story of “Lacy” but of many others lives and how they got sucked into the “night” life. She explains how predators manipulate children (aka the product) “as young as 11” into prostitution and drugs.

  • “it’s cheaper and less risky getting a girl from a small town or a city in the U.S. than to import women and children from other countries.” (page 11)
  • “while any child is vulnerable to being targeted and recruited by a pimp, the reality is that pimps seek out youth who are experiencing strife in the family, such as verbal, physical, or sexual abuse.” (page 119)
  • “…100,000 children are the human products meeting the demand of the sex trafficking industry in the U.S. alone. Around the world, more than 1 million children are subjected to human trafficking for sex or porn. The industry is estimated to bring in $9.5 billion annually.” (page 95)

My thoughts:

Someone gave me this book, they said it was interesting and eye opening. This book is very small but has a Huge message. For me that message is “Pay Attention, someone’s life may depend on it!”. I was sick at how easy it is to lure a child into this life. Our children are being not only bullied but preyed upon. I urge you to read this book slowly and absorb the details of how it’s done. The information in this book has encouraged me to not only share it with you but to point out we all need to pay attention more; really pay attention!

There is a scenario of a pimp that goes to his nephews wrestling match and notices a couple girls sitting by themselves. He tells his nephew he’ll have a party (complete with alcohol and drugs) for the wrestling team if he invites those two particular girls. He gets them high then encourages the boys to have sex with the drugged girls. Then the next day tells the girls that no one will want them but that he would take care of them. This seriously shocked me to my soul because I can totally see this whole scenario play out in my head; who hasn’t noticed a couple kids that don’t fit into the popular crowd? Or who has a reputation for being different?

Its pointed out clearly to me, that no one starts out in life wanting to be hooked on drugs or to be a prostitute. What is it that we all want? To be loved, protected and to feel safe! Think about this the next time you see a homeless person or you are at a school function and see kids that don’t quite “fit in” with the rest. Don’t turn your nose up or make rude comments because that could be someone you know and after all they are someone else’s children. An old saying, I grew up hearing was “until you walk a mile in their shoes, you don’t pass judgement”.

BB&Y Book Review: By Dixie

5 people

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

By Mitch Albom

  • Published in 2003
  • 196 pages

Synopsis:

Eddie has worked at an amusement park called “Ruby Pier” practically his whole adult life. His father worked there before him so he spent a lot of time there as a kid. Eddie is sad about all the things he didn’t get to do because he started working there to save his dads job and basically never left even after his father passed. Eddie thinks he’s had no purpose or was never able to fulfill his purpose. Through flash backs to some of his birthdays he learns about people that not only affected his life but how he affected theirs as well.

  • “No Story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river.”
  • “I should have worked somewhere else, he told her. I’m sorry I never got us out of there. My dad. My leg. I always felt like such a bum after the war.”
  • “Did I save her? Did I pull her out of the way?”

My thoughts:

I adore this book! It is a such a quick read but I suggest you take your time and absorb the lessons that Eddie learns about his life. I have read this book twice, so far and look forward to reading it again. We become so hyper-focused on the details of our lives that we miss the lesson. This book made me look at things differently.

When I first read it over 10 years ago, it made me realize “Things really do happen for a reason” and sometimes you are not meant to know exactly what that is until much later. It also made me look at people in my life differently; even the most difficult people I run across are meant to teach me something. I feel like if I keep running into that same person or situation repeatedly, I just haven’t absorbed the message.

This is one of those books that you just have to have a physical copy of to pick up and open to any page and remember you have a purpose.

Day 19 – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Discuss your First Love

     I was talking with a few co-workers this week and we got on the subject of reading, Go Figure! One of the ladies asked what book did you first fall in love with and will never forget? One of them said Dr. Sues and the other said Charlottes Web. For me, it was the Dictionary and the Encyclopedias. However, the book that really clicked on my switch for reading was Twilight by Stephanie Myers.

I remember seeing my mom read a lot but that really didn’t interest me. School was very difficult for me so reading was not at the top of the list. But every time I asked how you spell something I was told “go look it up in the dictionary!” My argument was always “how the heck am I supposed to look up something I have no idea how to spell?” and the return answer was “figure it out!” So, I did, eventually. Then as school projects began to be a regular thing (Who thinks of those things?), this is where the Encyclopedias came in.

What I found interesting about our 12 book volume of Encyclopedias was when you didn’t understand something or got curious about something mentioned, you could look that up too. At one point I used them to learn Origami. Of course I had to look up “origami” in the dictionary to figure out what it meant and curiously enough it told me what the origination of the word was. Then that prompted me to look that place up in the Encyclopedia. So needless to say that all kept me busy.

Fast forward many, many years; I was still not a “reader” of books and had no authors that I followed. Until a friends 13 year old daughter was asking her mom to read Twilight with her so that they could talk about it. Mom had 4 girls and really didn’t have time for the heart throb discussion of what “team” they were on and why. Then she asked me to read it, I tried to decline but the kid gave me those big eyes and begged sooooo I relented.

I read the first book in one night! You know what I mean, right? The whole “I have 2 hours before I need to shower and go to work” moment. I had to go and get the next book the next day. What really hooked me and inspired me to look into a Lit degree was discussing these books at great length with the 13 year old and her friends and sister. The kids were so passionate about what they read and I loved how they saw the meanings of the events and issues brought up in the series.

After the Young Adult conversations were over than the Adult conversations started. The adults not only got interested in what their kids were reading, they had their own take on the meanings of events and situations. All of this prompted bigger discussions between the young adults and adults about what to do and not do in similar situations and morals and etc. This totally flipped the reading switch for me and I have not stopped; this was almost 15 years ago.