Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

Please continue to fight with us for Teddy's Law. The cases are endless all across the country. It's our duty as Americans to fight for the rights of the abused. These children don't have a voice. Due to fear these kids will not speak. Please keep sharing this page with as many people as possible. Keep sharing friends it is the only way these laws will pass. We need to go viral now and I can't do it without you.

Stand up and be a beacon of hope go Teddy and children around the country!

The above is from the facebook page.

That is what I hope to promote- awareness. Please don't let the Teddy's die or the seven year olds be starved, just two local cases. There are so many around the country and world. Don't let them be cases. Look at the children, if you are in any position to see them. Then report it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Newel Post

Wheatland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Dad eyed this house as a small boy. I used a bit of that story as basis for a scene in Main Street. He and Mom chose West Middlesex for their first bought home after the war and renting on Orchard Street in Sharon. The first house, gone now, sat a few blocks down the street from this one.
One day in 1964, my father by himself, saw Co Byers, I suppose in the front yard. I think Dad walked around, or maybe like I do now, drove past places that please the eye on his way home from work.
Mom told me, Dad came home, informing her he gave Co Byers a thousand dollars to hold the house till he could get a loan. Co was selling Dad's dream house. She looked around at the house they had just remodeled and inwardly groaned a bit. Yet, our growing family, with me, wouldn't fit much longer, there.
I was three, until then sleeping in my brother's room. He turned thirteen, time for a young man to have his own room. My teen sisters needed their own space. Then Great Uncle Dave slept in a room off the kitchen, dumping vegetables on the table at six in the morning for my mom to can. He gardened any free space in town. On moving day, Dad told Mom to leave the canning jars.
The new five bedroom home echoed with space. Three bathrooms over two appealed, even though the one was first an upstairs kitchen. Dad bought his dream and remodeling commenced again. He never stopped improving his home. He'd borrow some money for a project, pay that loan off and borrow more to keep the home more than in repair. It seemed we always had workmen helping, but Dad did a lot of it himself, too.with Mom and I helping at times. The worst job for my mom was the time he painted the outside by himself. Double ladders perched on picnic tables, with every scrape, Mom's heart jumped as she imagined Dad falling to his fate. He agreed to pay someone in the future when the house needed painted.
I thought of all this the morning after I published my second book. I have not won the lottery. I still need to keep my afternoon job. The newel post popped into my mind as I let the worries of money flood my morning slumber. I saw the pink jewel fixed into the top of the black stained wood. I grabbed hope.
Years before, we visited Lancaster, Pennsylvania and the home of the only president from our commonwealth, James Buchanan's Wheatland. Our neighboring town is named for that estate, as Hermitage is named for Andrew Jackson's home. The guide pointed out that in those days of 1850's, when the mortgage was paid off, they placed a jewel on the post, so all could see this home belongs to the owners. In the gift shop, Mom purchased a pink one, yes, because my favorite color was pink then.
That jewel laid in its box for a few years. At the time, it felt long. I suppose when you're ten, one third of your life creates the illusion of many years. One day, despite Dad having been in that accident, and not working for two years, on sick leave, we could unveil that pink stone. The mortgage paid off, the newel post adorned with that symbol, the house was truly Dad's. He achieved the dream of his house.
I wonder today, how Dad did that, with not working. We had food stamps. My brother helped a lot with the bills. I knew we didn't have extra money, even then, but I never felt poor. Dad did not allow a spirit of poverty to invade our life. We always had enough.
I struggle with finances. I know from conversations I am not alone. Years ago I started hearing some people called payday,"Exchange Day." I dug deep into that memory of the newel post to not feel poor, to not worry, to trust in God to supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. Dad and Mom lived through worse as children and they never let me feel we were in need. That pink stone on the newel post told me so.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Dad's sixty eighth birthday, 1989. The whole family was there. Dan's gift of a fishing trip on Lake Erie provided the grilled fish. I love that the picnic took place in his yard, the yard I imagine Heaven will be like.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

Teddy's Law

  From the Herald this past weekend.

A 7-year-old Greenville boy described as looking like a human skeleton had been starved and beaten by his mother for a year, authorities are saying.
The boy’s mother, Mary C. Rader, 28, and grandparents, Dennis C. Beighley, 58, and Deana C. Beighley, 47, all of 35 N. Second St., Greenville, were arrested Wednesday after an investigation by the Mercer County District Attorney’s office.
The investigation began Mercer County Children and Youth Services were informed of the situation. Caseworkers went to the home, where they saw the boy was “clearly underweight,” according to their report.
According to the criminal complaint:
The boy lived with his mother, grandparents, two sisters (ages 11 and 4) and a brother (9). The two girls were healthy, and the brother was underweight, but not as severely as the victim, Mercer County detectives said.
The boy was taken last month to UPMC Horizon, Greenville, and transferred to UPMC Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh, when  it was found he weighed 25 pounds. Since June 6, hospital officials said the boy has gained 20 pounds.
“The most important medicine used to treat him at the hospital was food. He was within a month of having a major cardiac event that he probably would not have recovered from,” Dr. Jennifer Wolford of UPMC Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center, stated.
“It is impossible to me that this severe neglect and active abuse was not visible. He was being starved in his own home around others of normal weight,” she stated.
Rader removed her son from Greenville schools so he could be home-schooled in August 2013. He was not permitted out of the house except to the back porch where he would catch bugs and sometimes eat them.
Interviews with the victim and siblings revealed that the victim was fed only small portions of tuna fish and eggs. He was beaten frequently with a belt, especially when he was caught sneaking food, usually peanut butter and bread.
The only time he was given a shower was as punishment and the water was ice cold. He also had two abscessed teeth which had to be removed.
“The child was starved. (The victim) is the worst case of medical neglect that I have ever seen in my seven years as a pediatrician,” Wolford stated. “Multiple physicians at Children’s Hospital are in agreement with this assessment. There is not one physician at Children’s who disagree with this assessment.”
Rader and the Beighleys were each charged with two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated assault of a victim under 13, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of children, and criminal conspiracy.
The trio were released on bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. July 30 in front of District Judge Brian Arthur, Greenville.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Still Going Strong

 One of the few years I can't attend opening night of the New Wilmington Mission Conference this year. The weather is cool and raining. My prayers go up for this life changing conference.
Memories from my post written three years ago:

We arrive early to the campus after the drive through the Amish farms that seem to never change on the hill to State Route 208. Etched in the cement is NWMC under our feet. I look to the bricks. My father's is easy to find. After he passed away, the church that he served so long and well, placed the memorial there- Gerald Lewis, Not ashamed to testify II Tim. 1:8b. I do not kiss the brick as my sister suggested. But I do the mental, spiritual kiss toward heaven. "Happy birthday, Dad, in a place where there is no time." I always think he is in that great cloud of witnesses. Not always looking at us, but still cheering us on.
The heat is oppressive, but it wouldn't be missionary conference if it weren't. I tell Katie we need to sit on the edge of the outdoor auditorium. I tried once to sit in the middle and that really was too uncomfortable. On metal folding chairs, I soak it in. Up front a circle of pray-ers, by the world map of florescent orange tags marking mission stations, are holding hands in preparation for the evening service.
I lift my head up to the flags of the countries and states. I love the lake, seeing walkers on the far side with their golden retrievers and black labs. Soon, the junior high delegates meander down the hill to the sawdust floor. My heart leaps, I'm so full of anticipation of an evening of singing, preaching of far away lands and the tradition that is 106 years old this year.
My vague first recollection is this same auditorium, my father help build years before I was born, darkness and the lighted stage. Leaving my sister in a steaming dorm room, as she was a delegate. As I got older, we came for the evening sessions, the singing with enthusiasm became my highlight. I always loved missionaries. How anyone could find this boring always beyond my imagination. Now the singing is with a praise band and this year, led us well into the presence of the Lord. For many years, the choir director encouraged the singing. My sister's daughter also had the opportunity to be a delegate from her church in New Jersey. I even planned my trips home to coincide with the conference.
I brought my girls here as babies with my mother. The first time Katie came, Mom encouraged me to allow her to play in the sawdust, "Danny played with his trucks during the meetings." Then someone urgently told us that glass was in the sawdust and I grabbed Katie. We spent that evening on the grass on the hill. Next time, we found out childcare was provided, even a vacation Bible school for older kids.
A memorial service for a friend of my parents was included one year. We sat in the chapel and bag pipes filled the small space with Amazing Grace. Mom told us stories of this missionary and I wished I had been born earlier.
I must admit another important part of the memories and tradition is food. Ice cream at the Dutch Isle afterwards and chewing over the message of the evening. How did it touch you? Once or twice we went to the old Isaly's for our ice cream. Mostly the Dutch Isle provided our ice cream with family and friends. Last night we enjoyed it under their metal canopy, with that rhythmic rain and smiling at the Amish family, with the small girl staring us over as we were staring at her and her siblings. The father got the buggy just like our father would get the car in the rain. He waved at us as they left. I prayed for their safety on the non-lit road in the storm that came up after an oppressively hot day.
I love the tradition, yet the freshness every year of seeing the Holy Spirit winding His way through the lives of young people, urging them into His service. I relish the history of the white haired ones who had served, yet still on fire for Jesus. This is Church being the hands and feet of Jesus. This is exciting!
"Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place..." we sing at the end of the service with our sweaty arms around each other, swaying.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Faith Radio Entry

Beigler House, Mother of two governors at the same time
This is the entry for Faith Radio. I didn't win, but then again, I don't really listen to it, just receive e-mails and read Susie Larson's blessings on Facebook. I wrote a poem about the Prodigal Mother, as I was contemplating my own reaction to my girls growing up. I think of Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands. There are many other verses in Proverbs, let alone James about the power of the tongue and words. Our attitudes also influence our families. Maybe I should have included all that in the entry.

In many ways it made perfect wonder about the prodigal mother. We hear about the prodigal father, how he let the son go, and then waited, watching the horizon for the first sight of the son. His skirts raised, ready to run. But what of the prodigal mother? What may have happened then?
Prodigal mother dusted in the corner of the library. Her youngest son pounced on the father, sitting with his holy scriptures, demanding his inheritance. A defiance at his boldness rose in her. Her man will put that young boy in his place. Isn't that what a father should do?
No, the father quietly swallowed the insult to them. An insult screaming Father should be dead and Mother's home isn't good enough for the son. She lifted her shoulders. But Father slowly counted out the money. What no pleading to keep the boy here?
Immediately, the young man left, obviously prepared for this moment. She speculated he stole a loaf of bread or two from her kitchen. She leaned out the window, as he jaunted out of sight.
She kneaded bread every day. She kept her household with thin and tight lips. The words that did emerge from those lips reeked of resentment. The father let the boy go. She poisoned the older son. He ate her heart ache, wondering, too, at his father's judgment.
Father watched every day, his heart reaching for his son. Mother ached, but wondered at the son's self-imposed exile. Why didn't Father keep the boy from leaving? He could have not given him the money. He could have said, “No.” She would have, but she had no power.
Yet, her attitude wielded power over the older son. Her shoulders hunched. She offered no words to her spouse. Anger built as she chewed the memory of the day the boy told them to drop dead.
The shadows grew long each day in that kitchen. Meals prepared, but no love in the serving. Mother resented every day her man's decision. The plate clunked on the table without a word from her lips. The older boy absorbed her actions.
Months go by with a bitter root sprouting all that nasty fruit, growing in her heart. The harvest sprung out her mouth. She spoke to her husband hardly any words, the older son received her gall as a new food. He fed on enmity as he worked hard, conceiving the thought he is omitted. The father shook his head as they could not understand his love.
Father sat every night on the porch, watching that horizon. He slowly gathered his robe around his knees, but the nights pass with no reason to run. Mother watched with contempt. How can he want that boy back when he allowed him to go in the first place? She wagged her head, retiring to the guest room. The oldest boy missed nothing. His heart filled with dissatisfaction at his father's patience.
A day like any other dawned. Father glanced to the horizon. The young man ate his breakfast from the silent mother. He prepared to go out to the field to work as he did every day. Father slipped into his study. She cleaned the kitchen and kneaded the bread.
“Don't forget the slop to fatten the calf,” she reminded her boy. He is a good boy, following orders. He'd never say, “Drop dead.” like his brother did.
Mother continued to look over the window ledge. A mixture of feelings flooded her that day. The baby disrespected them. She sees those round eyes as a toddler stealing a cookie, or that curly hair rushing by the window searching the skies, thinking he could fly like the birds. A restless soul, always wanting more than life in their home offered. A tear fell into the dish water from a sudden crack in her heart. Could he have been tied here to her apron strings? He never hid behind her. He boldly strutted about chattering about the outside world. He possessed a wandering spirit. And she discovered she loved him for who he was, finally. Was it too late? It had been so long. Was he dead? The boy who left without good-bye or even a turn of his head to glance back?
But she still couldn't bring herself to tell the man of the house she was sorry. He let him go with blessings. She closed the shutters and retired to the guest room that had become her hollow to sulk.
One more night of watching with no shadow on the horizon. No scurry of dust in the heat of the summer. No dragging of a son or word of a body. Silence met them night after night.
The evening sun filtered under her door. The man stretched on the porch, she heard. She prayed, unlike before, the words drifted past the ceiling. Her heart cracked a little more. A step, then many, as they grew into running. She peered out her window seeing her man's naked legs pumping the air. And far off, a slim, hunched over body staggered through town. All the towns people would see the spectacle. Pride pinned the woman in her shelter, built that wall around her heart. The slim crack cemented over as her husband again seemed a fool. This time in front of everyone. She couldn't risk embracing her boy or joining in the preparation of the feast. She couldn't forgive, and the older son joined her, banqueted on the poison she served every night. Neither could forgive, love nor open their arms.
It made perfect sense to wonder how we would be in this parable. Is there a reason the mother isn't mentioned in the Bible? Mothers can set the tone of a household. We have to decide: Can we forgive hurts or do we cement our hearts with bricks of resentment? We choose the food we serve at our tables.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (Semi)

Four swans on Lake Julia
Super Moon over Lake Julia

I couldn't decide on one picture, so I picked two this week. Another super moon, which is a focus of my novel I'm writing now. I guess I should call this semi- wordless Wednesday today.
Listening to Better Days for the mood of Last Free Exit. I also have to go once over Main Street final proof. I relish days off and the weather is unusually cool. Something about a Polar Vortex, the weather people make up names any more. I always remember cooler days in middle of July. One year in the early seventies I wore a jean jacket on the Fourth of July for the fireworks at the Oak Tree Country Club on the Ohio border. Like life, weather is really unpredictable. Memories are short, but "Life is long." T.S. Elliot.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

As we go about enjoying our summer activities with our kids & grand kids there are so many children suffering daily abuse. The abuse is often very violent placing these kids at risk for permanent physical & emotional damage, if they survive their childhood. Supporting Teddy's Law and speaking out against child abuse may well benefit a child you have never met. Many more people read our facebook page than the amount of comments posted, some may be children! Thanks & blessings to all! (MVD)
From Teddy's Law facebook page. Also a reminder to never, ever leave children, animals or plants for that matter in a hot car. Don't underestimate the heat or overestimate your efficiency. A video of a woman with sweat pouring out of her face describing the few minutes she sat in a car with windows rolled up to place an online order. Even her phone attempted to shut down. As Cole Porter wrote in Kiss Me Kate, "It's too damn hot."
My point is always for awareness and acting on that awareness. If you see this, call the police, break a window, rescue a child. Keep your eyes open.

Play Video

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Actual Date- Wow and Weather Almost the Same

Mom walked to Lake Julia at Buhl Farm Park every day as a child. Mom, are you in there?

Been thinking about her this morning, as I come up on her death's anniversary. It was a Thursday,(actually, the tenth six years ago-hmm) weather very similar to this morning when we thought she was going back to the nursing home. "I'm going today?" she asked the doctor.
"Where are you going?" he asked her.
"Heaven, I hope," she quipped back.
Her condition deteriorated, as she told Dan and I how to have her funeral.
"Call Myltreda for the funeral dinner," she directed from her hospital bed.
"Mollie, the dress I want to wear, that I wore to Michelle's wedding, is in your closet."
How she remembered that, I have a clue. I inherited her uncanny memory. I try not to dwell on hurts like she sometimes did.
Four days later, she did go to Heaven. Dan called at six fifty on a Sunday morning. The rain poured, like Heaven was crying for me. Then the evening cleared and I danced at the Park, as her suffering was over. Dad asked Jesus to bring her home ten days before his birthday, as eighteen years was long enough. He hated to be away from her, always.
No melancholy. Mom lived a good life. She had a wonderful love with Dad. And she is with him again. I appreciate all of her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Making up for cold spring

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

A reminder:

I traveled on the interstate this weekend. I stopped at a rest area after all that coffee. On Sunday, many families with small children mulled about. The thought to keep my eyes opened entered my mind. Even in the wilds of Pennsylvania, abuse or sex trafficking does happen.
I also realized I didn't know what number to call, even if I had seen something suspicious. I know the number was posted on my blog, but I couldn't have pulled it up.
The point of this is two fold. One, keep eyes and ears opened for any abnormal behaviors. Two, keep a number handy, speed dial in a phone to report suspected abuse.  I do think the laws need changed, as the Child Protection Agency failed Teddy in the largest way. But we need also to take responsibility for our children as a society by keeping eyes open, pray for those in charge of them and those who are called on cases that their eyes may also see neglect and abuse. Teddy lost his life because of the failure of two school districts, the CPA, neighbors and ultimately, the mother who hid all the abuse. She and her lover, the killer, are behind bars.
Keep eyes open. Report abuse. And above all, pray.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Writing. What an adventure the path proves. The novel I started with NaNoWriMo posted road blocks in my imagination. I wondered about the map for the plot and plausible plot points. This week two stories, one, unfortunately real and the other on a TV show- I don't even know which one- showed me some insight to my plot.
The real one peaked my interest when it broke. A woman's body found in local landfill, the first headline alerted my ears. I didn't follow it too much at first, but I sat down last night to read the Vindicator's interview with the biological mother of the victim, a sixteen year old girl. Truly a story in the making for Lifetime TV. The similarity ends there with my story. Yet, I can glean ideas for my novel.
As I passed my medications the other night, a detective show or action show played on a resident's TV. A detective searched through a garbage bin in a mall, it appeared to me. A clean scene as the garbage was all bagged in black bags. Yet, he found a round flesh colored glob. I thought, Oh, my, that is almost the same as the opening scene of Last Free Exit, so I hung around to see a few more minutes. The fugitive cut out his tracking device imbedded in his skin. It was a body part.
My next thought came out of my mouth, "I guess I better watch some TV because I'll be accused of plagiarism or at least stealing ideas." I didn't want to go into a lot of details. I felt like Joel Rosenberg, who writes thrillers about the Middle East and soon after they are published, something very similar to his story happens. I'm not saying I'm anywhere near that, but I did think about him.
When I wrote Main Street, I made Tom Sloan an owner of a livery stable. Martha, his wife, thinking back on the early years, yearned for the young foals and that time of promise. She loved seeing them. The next day as I was playing with this idea, I saw a baby donkey at a patient's home, just born the night before.
I call these instances, nuggets or gifts from above. I totally rest in the hand of love I feel when I'm writing. Giddy when these gifts come, my legs float under me. I have been busy with selling Summer Triangle this past week. I look forward to writing more this weekend. These nuggets rekindle the fire to continue Last Free Exit, after I proof Main Street.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

The time of year Summer Triangle opens
Lingering Western Pennsylvania Summer Evenings

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

Just a thought for the day. As we inch close to Teddy's Picnic let's remember to keep fighting for his law. Let's keep sharing this page and our webpage. Let's get the word out that we are tired of our children facing horrible abuse and nothing being done about it. Keep sharing friends!

From Teddy's Law Facebook page.