It’s almost funny, the things we will do to spend just a small amount of special time with the ones we love, and how we truly come to appreciate those times over the years. Christmas is one of those times. Christmas in our house was always special, always a wonderful get-together with our large, extended family. When I was very young, my parents and I would spend the entire Christmas holiday with my grandparents on the Wicomico River in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. We always attended the Christmas Eve vigil at the church where my parents were married (which was built by my grandfather). While it was just the five of us there on Christmas morning, throughout the day, family would arrive until the tiny house was bursting at the seams with all of the people, presents, and holiday cheer. Dinner was a festive event with family from all over Southern Maryland popping in and out to exchange gifts and greetings. Read more
I know that when it comes to taking pictures, I drive my family crazy. Countless times I have heard the phrase, “Another picture?” or “Haven’t we taken enough?” or “Can I go now?” They can keep complaining. It doesn’t phase me. I will continue to take their pictures, their friends’ pictures, our pets’ pictures, our family pictures, our vacation pictures, our holiday pictures, and any other photos I feel like taking￼ because it all boils down to one thing – this event, this memory, this small moment in time will only happen once and only last for an instant, and I want to remember it forever. Read more
Here we are in the month of November, the one month of the year when everybody seems to be grateful for something – actually 30 somethings – one new thing every day. While I applaud the effort of those truly trying to show their gratitude, I find myself wondering every year, are these people thankful for these things all year long or just when they can post it on Facebook for all the world to see? Do any of us really understand what it means to be grateful? Are those petty little things actually the things in life for which we are the most thankful? Why do we take so much for granted, whether that means appreciating something just once a year or never giving it a thought at all?
This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary in Cartagena, Colombia (I’m grateful for business trips to exotic places and for frequent flyer mileage). While we were there, we took an excursion that led us off the beaten path and through a rural landscape that revealed poverty the likes of which I have never seen, and I’m sure few people in this country could imagine. We recently began sponsoring a young boy in Colombia, and I cried when I looked at the huts outside of my window and pictured him living in one of them. We asked if we could send him shoes or clothing, and we were told no because it might cause him harm to have things that nobody else has. How sad, how tragic to think that a simple pair of shoes is too much for a person to even hope for.
I read somewhere recently that our families are getting smaller while our houses are getting larger. We have accumulated more “stuff” than any generation before us, yet with all that people have, there are those who are still crying for more. Even the poorest people in our country have more than those in 3rd World nations, yet the ones we saw last weekend are out there working hard every day trying to feed their families while here, over 1/3 of the US population is on welfare. So many of us drive around in luxury cars without a care in the world while approximately 50,000 of our US Veterans are living on the streets. We can all find time to go to Disney World, but 85% of nursing home residents never have anyone visit them.
Hey, listen, I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to buying things I don’t need, eating more than my share, taking for granted all that I am blessed to have. All I ask is that every United States citizen stops and takes a minute to think about all that they have and how lucky they are to live in a land where we have the ability to run to the store for milk, shop whenever we want new clothes, or even just change our shoes when our feet get sore. Be grateful that you have family and friends, that you have a home and means of transportation, that you have the freedom to worship, work, and play however you please, and that there are men and women standing guard at night while you’re asleep making sure that you can wake up tomorrow and still have all of those opportunities.
We are among the lucky ones. Remember, not just today, but every day to thank God, your parents, your teachers, and our military for all of the sacrifices they have made for you. It’s not about the cars and houses and material things. It’s about the life you live and those who are a part of it. Smile and be thankful – every minute of every day.
Special thanks on this Veteran’s Day to my father, Richard; my father-in-law, David; our friend, Nick; and my nephew, Ty for their service to our country.
Amy Schisler is the author of two mystery / suspense novels. Her first book, A Place to Call Home is in its second printing and may be purchased in stores and online. Amy’s newest mystery, Picture Me, was released in August of 2015 and is available in stores, at Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble. Both novels are also available for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. Amy’s children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad, may be purchased in stores and on Amazon.
You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor on Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschisler and on her web site http://amyschislerauthor.com.
My three daughters are extremely lucky in that they come from a very long line of love. On both sides of their family, they have been blessed with a long and loving history. From their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and as far back as we can trace, they have been able to witness couples who have loved unconditionally. Yesterday, I was very happy to wish my parents a happy 52nd wedding anniversary. They learned how to love unconditionally from their own parents, and are a shining example to the rest of us.
Today, I am honored to share with you a guest blog written by my 14-year-old daughter. It exemplifies what real love truly is. Read more
Is it just me, or is there something special about this time of year? The days are still warm, but the nights are crisp and cool. Routines are being established (or re-established), bedtimes are earlier, my favorite shows are coming back on TV, the holidays are just around the corner; here on the Shore, the crabs are fatter and tastier, and I could go on and on. Spring might be the time that the world renews itself, but fall is my time to renew and reflect. It’s when I start thinking about and writing my newest novel. Truthfully, it’s when I do my best writing. It’s when my head seems to be clearer, and my mind is ready to focus. I think a lot of it has to do with the girls returning to school. We are all ready to get back to business. But there’s no question that a good part of it has to do with living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland at this most beautiful time of year. Read more
I consider myself an extremely lucky person. I have a wonderful husband, Ken, to whom I can talk about anything. I have a remarkable group of women on whom I can count without question – Debbie, Anne, Ann, Julie, Linda, Angie, Alix, Kimberly, Trissy, Judy, and my sister-in-law, Lisa. As my daughters grow and mature, we are developing that wonderful kind of friendship that I know will keep us close forever. But above all of this, I am so lucky that my best friend truly is my mother. Read more
I was listening to my favorite radio show this morning, Seize the Day with Gus Lloyd, and he mentioned that he had gone fishing in Wyoming over the weekend. For the rest of the ride home, I thought about my favorite fishing memory and how much it meant to me, still means to me. I grew up spending my summers on the water with my grandfather. I have many fond memories of jumping off the dock with my cousins, crabbing with Granddad (the subject of my first book), and going fishing. Often, my father would join us if it wasn’t a weekday or if he and mom had taken off from work and were down at Grandma’s with us for a few days. Fishing was a past time that we all enjoyed, and I still enjoy it today. Read more
What a great night we had last night! Yesterday evening, the Carpenter Street Saloon in St, Michaels, Maryland held a book launch party for my latest mystery, Picture Me. What a success it was! We had non-stop action for the entire two hours, and I sold an entire case of my new book plus several copies of my previously published works. How blessed I am to live in such a great community! And that has me thinking about how wonderful it is here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Remember the old Cheers theme song?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they’re always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see,
Our troubles are all the same;
You want to be where everybody knows your name. Read more
I have been so very blessed in my life when it comes to mothers. I have the best mother any girl could ever want. When I was growing up, I knew that my mother was an authority who needed to be respected and obeyed, but I also knew that she was my friend. From an early age, my mother included me on her girls only weekends and day trips with the ladies. I suppose it was because it was just the two of us in a house full of men, but I always looked at it as our time as friends and not as mother and daughter. I called Mom’s friends by name, and they treated me like one of them. In my teen years,I knew that I could talk to my mother about everything and that somehow she would understand. As a wife and mother, my Mom is my rock, my go-to, my wise sage. I don’t know how I could have gotten this far in life without her. Read more