Quote of the Day

Quote of the Week:
"The greatest lessons I learned from my father didn't come from lectures or discipline or even time spent together. What has stuck with me is his example. From watching, I chose whether to be or not to be like him."
~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

Monday, May 29, 2017

Remembering Our Honored Soldiers

This Memorial Day I  pay tribute not only to our fallen soldiers but to those in the armed forces who suffered the loss of comrades while serving to protect the rights and freedoms we cherish.  I have overwhelming respect and admiration for those who stand strong in our armed forces, those willing to defend the defenseless.  

My grandfather, my father, and my husband served in the army at different times, under different circumstances.  Included here are pictures of their days in service.

















Not too long ago, my father gave us the gift of his memories regarding the war in Vietnam in which he fought.  He wrote out the experience in a book and then handed out copies to family members.  Below is the preface to his story, which I think is quite fitting for this holiday:  

I begin this history of my Vietnam experiences by stating a fact.  One that all readers should be made aware of and keep in mind throughout this reading. That fact is no one who has ever been in actual combat can make a non-combatant understand what war is like; neither mentally, spiritually, or physically. You must be a participant to understand what war does to both body and soul. Those who’ve been there understand. Those who haven’t should be thankful and appreciate the sacrifices of those who did participate on their behalf. I hope all will understand that this writing is an effort to tell my own story. My goal is to bring all non- combatants closer to an understanding of what war does to the combat soldier.   I do “not” want to infer to the reader that I’m against war. War is “Hell” and should always be a last resort, but to resist war to the point that it jeopardizes freedom is cowardly and not what the creator of man intended. May God bless all those who have been willing to fight for the freedom of others. 


My father wrote about his first real combat experience, including how frightful it was.  I am sharing his words in hopes that it will cause all who read it to stop and ponder the thousands in our armed forces who have shared similar experiences.   Fallen soldiers and survivors alike deserve our best thoughts and highest regard.  

To insure our security we were sending out platoon size patrols to check out the area around us to insure the enemy was not infiltrating to a position of advantage around the LZ. We were careful to not establish any pattern to our patrols to hopefully make sure we wouldn’t walk into an ambush. Several patrols had been hit by sniper fire and had found evidence of movement in the area. We were told the purpose of our relocation to this fishhook area was based on the reported existence of a large NVA (North Vietnamese Army) battalion in the area. 

It was nearing twilight and the third platoon from our company was out on patrol. They were hit by an ambush taking two KIAs and two wounded. They were pinned down about 300 yards from our perimeter. We got orders to saddle up and move out to assist them and bring them back in. We moved out carefully in a column of threes. My squad was on point walking in the center. We moved to the right flank of the third platoon and set up to provide cover fire across their front in a “V” type arrangement. We opened up with everything we had and third platoon withdrew behind us taking their dead and wounded with them. 

The plan was for us to move across their front and withdraw with covering artillery fire. The NVA are the hard-core regular army of North Vietnam. They opened fire on us and had us in crossfire, staying in close to prevent us from calling in the artillery fire to cover us during our withdrawal. We crawled into a nearby bomb crater for cover. Miraculously none of us had been hit. We returned fire and called in artillery, using the crater for cover. It was now dark, too dark to safely try a withdrawal. We resolved ourselves to spend the night and wait for daylight to initiate a withdrawal. Our FO (Forward Observer) set up pre-planned artillery positions to cover our front in case the NVA got brave and decided to overrun our position. 

This was the first major combat I had been involved with and I was scared to death. You don’t get scared while the gunfire is going on. You don’t have time to think. You just react with your adrenaline flowing at a high rate. It’s after the firefight is over and you start to think about what happened that the fear sets in. As I lay there in the dark thinking about what had happened I started to shake all over. I crawled over to talk to the men in my squad. They were all huddled against the sides of the bomb crater just looking out into the dark. 

The lieutenant crawled over to me and told me what sector he wanted my squad to defend. We agreed we would keep three men in each squad on guard though the night and no one was to fire unless he was sure of a target. We did not want to give away our exact position prematurely and provide the enemy with an easy target. I was not very happy with our position, with about 30 of us crammed together in this bomb crater. It was too easy for the enemy to toss a grenade and get us all. The area was however heavily wooded with trees and bushes, which made throwing a grenade a risk for both them and us.  

I told my men to dig in as best they could and to be prepared by daylight to move out on command. The crater was 65 feet in diameter. I guessed it had been a 1000-pound bomb. The bottom of the crater was white gooey clay, which stuck to everything. I slowly dug me a stand-up foxhole up to my neck using my helmet. I don’t think any of us slept that night. It was the first time in my tour when I wasn’t sure I’d make it. I’m not ashamed to say I did a lot of thinking about home, and a lot of praying to the man upstairs. 

Later that night the lieutenant crawled over and told me the plan for our withdrawal in the morning. The squad to the right of us (first squad) would move out while we covered their front then my squad (2nd squad) and the third squad would withdraw covering the rear. We would all move upon command from the lieutenant. Artillery would lay down some cover fire before we moved out. Two other platoons were going to be in position to give us cover fire on our way in so it was important we stayed tight and retreated directly toward the LZ. 

It was a long night and every little noise sounded like the enemy was crawling in on us. Everyone kept their cool and kept quiet. As soon as it was light the artillery cover fire started up and we all ducked our heads. They were laying them in pretty close and you could feel the ground shake around us. They lifted the artillery fire and the command to move out was given by hand signal. The point man and the back up man made it out of the crater when shots rang out and the point man fell. 

We all opened up with cover fire and the back up man pulled the wounded point man back into the crater. The medic worked on him furiously to stop the bleeding. The lieutenant told us to limit our field of fire to the front because the two backup platoons were moving in to cover for us. I thought a sniper from the trees had wounded the point man as I had only heard two shots. Two cobra gun ships were brought in to provide cover fire for us. Our job now was to get the wounded on a chopper and off to medical care. 

It was only seconds later when a medivac chopper appeared over the crater. I was to the front as the chopper approached so I lay on my back and guided him in. It was like flying down a chimney. I can still see the pilot holding that stick and looking down at me as I would motion him to maneuver right, left, front, or rear to avoid hitting the trees. I remember asking God not to let the enemy shoot the chopper because we would all have been killed. 

About a half dozen of the men lifted the wounded point man up to the chopper and I waved the pilot to pull it up. As soon as he cleared the trees they were gone and we prepared to withdraw back to the perimeter. We didn’t receive any fire during the withdrawal. This further convinced me the enemy had left behind a sniper and had withdrawn their main force during the night. 

This incident gave me the ultimate respect for the medivac pilots. I witnessed many other brave acts by these pilots to pick up our wounded in the field. They are true heroes in my book. We later learned the point man had died on the way to medical treatment from massive blood loss. It was my first time to witness a KIA.

This Memorial Day, take time to remember the great heroes who have fallen as well as those heroes who suffered and survived.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday, Mother's Day

Throughout this week before Mother's Day, I have been sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day has included an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed the notes of gratitude from earlier days this week, see my previous posts. Today I wish all women everywhere a very happy Mother's Day!

We reached Day 1 - Happy Mother's Day!




I would like to quote for you what my son wrote in a penciled-out Mother's Day card he gave to me this morning.  It says "Thank you for always taking care of me, putting up with me, and loving me no matter what." 
Now this homemade card may have been quickly written with little forethought (typical of teenagers) but the message is powerful and effected me deeply. His words hit at the heart of exactly what a mother is meant to be: caring, tolerant, and loving--no matter what. 
I know, sadly, that not everyone who becomes a mother lives up to this divine role.  But my mother did. She cared for me when it was difficult; she put up with me when I behaved selfishly, and she always loved me no matter what. She never shirked this most important earthly role as mother to her children. 

Thank you, Mom, for your tolerance, endurance, sacrifices, and especially your love. I wish you a very happy, most deserved, Mother's Day.   
Yes, I do know how lucky I am.


"Mothers were meant to love us unconditionally, to understand our moments of stupidity, to reprimand us for lame excuses while yet acknowledging our point of view, to weep over our pain and failures as well as cry at our joy and successes, and to cheer us on despite countless start-overs. Heaven knows no one else will." 
— Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)




"I never knew what Mother knowed,
Like how a thread and needle sewed,
And how a kiss healed boo-boos fast.
Why family knots were made to last.

I never knew how Mother saw
A caring man in angry pa,
A smile beneath the teary gloom,
A game inside a messy room.

I never knowed what Mother knew,
Like how to smile when days were blue,
And how to laugh for laughter’s sake,
While giving up her slice of cake.

I never saw what Mother see’d
Like honor pulling garden weeds,
Or deep confessions in a look,
And hope alive in storybooks.

I never knew how Mother knowed
To hand out carrots when it snowed,
And why hot cocoa liked the rain,
While naptime kept a person sane.

For mother knowed and see’d it all.
A winner in a strike-out ball.
A 'yes, please' in a shoulder shrug.
A 'love you mostest' in a hug.

Perhaps, someday, I’ll come to know
What Mother saw and knowed as so.
Like how 'I’m right' can be all wrong,
And why the night requires a song.

But of the things I learned and knew
I never doubted one thing true.
My mother made it crystal clear,
she knowed and loved me ever dear." 

— Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)






Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday, Countdown to Mother's Day

Throughout this week before Mother's Day, I have been sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day has included an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed the notes of gratitude from earlier days this week, see my previous posts. Enjoy this one (and the cute pictures) on the day before Mother's Day.

Day 2
I was looking through a book of old photos today, smiling at pictures from my youth, and I realized that a lot of them show moments I don't recall. It seems that yesterday can be as great a mystery as tomorrow. This rings true to me when I examine photos of my childhood and wonder about the stories behind them. I am deeply thankful my mother took the time to record things I did, places I visited, and activities in which I participated. Especially considering that photography took much more effort then than it does today. It's been fun to look back and relearn a little about myself. Thank you, Mom. 

"My mother does not own my hands, 
though she works hard to train them. 
My mother does not own my eyes, 

though she frequently directs their focus. 
My mother does not own my mind, 

though she yields great influence upon it. 
My heart, however, she owns completely, 

for it was hers the day I was born." 

— Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)

 

"Things that remind me of Mother are these:
the truth ‘mid deception, a warm summer breeze,
the calm within chaos, a stitch in a rip,
a comforting blanket, the smile on her lip,
an ocean of love in a heart big as whales,
the morals in everyday stories she tells,
a wink amid laughter, the wisdom in books,
the peace in humility, beauty in looks,
the light and the life in a ray of the sun,
the hard work accomplished disguised as pure fun,
concern in a handclasp, encouragement too,
the hope in a clear morning sky azure blue,
the power in prayers uttered soft and sincere,
the faith in a promise, and joy in a tear.
These things all attest to the wonder and grace
of my precious mother, none else could replace."

— Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)




Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday, Countdown to Mother's Day

Throughout this week before Mother's Day, I have been sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day has included an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed these notes of gratitude from earlier days this week, see my previous posts. Enjoy this one for today.


Day 3
    




One thing I associate with my mother is a great love for art. From my youngest memories, I recall her putting a paintbrush to canvas andstroke by strokecreating beautiful images. Painting was her talent and hobby, and she spent much of her free time enjoying the creative process.  

My mother used her artistic gift on many occasions to created props and scenery for scouting, school, and church functions.  Over the years she created multiple backdrops for different scenes in the Christmas nativity story. It is a tradition that our extended family preforms this play every year using her painted backdrops. Sometimes my mother gave her paintings away as gifts. One of her original oils hangs on the wall in my front room. (See the painting above.)  It evokes a calm, inviting effect on those who pause to appreciate the scene.

My own love for art is a result of my mother's creative example. She gave me the confidence to design the covers for each of my authored books. Perhaps a greater blessing is the influence she has had on her grandchildren, most of whom she taught to paint to some degree. I know that a few of them won ribbons at the local county fair with her help. (The dragon painting was done by my son with his grandmother's guidance.) 
I am thankful my talented mom chose to use her talent for the benefit of many, and especially to help her children and grandchildren develop their artistic talents as well. 

"Without you there would be no me. 
I am everything reflected in your eyes. 
I am everything approved by your smile. 
I am everything born of your guidance. 
I am me only because of you." 
 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday, Countdown to Mother's Day

This whole week before Mother's Day I am sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day from now until Mother's Day will include an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed the notes of gratitude from earlier days this week, see my previous posts.


Day 4
 Today I have been thinking about the numerous times my mother put her energy into helping me with my activities. From volunteering in my Girl Scout troop; to driving me around to attend ballet lessons, swimming lessons, piano lessons, etc; to planning birthday parties that, every now and then, included a rowdy slumber party.  My mom was always generous with her time.  She gave me a large percentage of many precious hoursa commodity that most of us would greedily purchase if it were possible.  Can you believe she even took tap dancing lessons with me for a whole year?   
I remember in junior high biology class writing up lab papers that my teacher insisted be turned in typed or exceptionally well-written.  My mother spent a couple of hours every week typing my biology labs with her portable typewriter so I could turn in high-quality work. (Desktop computers and laptops were unheard of back then.)   
My mother's kind example has been a big influence on my own mothering. I drive my kids to and from numerous activities and sometimes type up hand-written essays (thank goodness for laptops and printers.)  I've planned many birthday parties that included rowdy sleepovers like the ones I once enjoyed.  And believe it or not, I even took two years of karate with my kids to prevent them from losing interest in the martial arts!  It paid off too because we presently have a pair of brown belts and a black belt in the family.  I, myself, actually made it to the level of purple belt!   
I am grateful to my mother for the time she invested in me. I hope she knows I understand the worth of that time.  

MOTHERS 
Measuring

Out
Their
Highest
Efforts
Rearing
Souls



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday, Countdown to Mother's Day

This whole week before Mother's Day I am sharing things which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day from now until Mother's Day will include an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed the notes of gratitude for Monday or Tuesday, see my previous posts.


Day 5
 
Hours form days which turn to months that build into years. When looking back, it seems time passes rather swiftly. Living in each moment, it may feel as if very little gets accomplished. Yet evidence of great change and mounting achievements can be seen in journal entries, photographs, and other collected keepsakes. 
My siblings and I were lucky that our mother understood how silly scraps would someday become treasures, and she kept them in order to preserve a portion of our childhood. For tens of years my mother gathered progress reports, scouting achievements, playbills, programs from musical events, ordinance certificates, grade school papers, and other evidence of milestones in the lives of her children.  I now cherish these items for the memories they revive.
Having learned from my mother to appreciate the value of journaling and scrapbooking, I have followed her example by treasuring up sentimental keepsakes for my own children. Someday, they will look through their boxes of silly scraps and smile and be blessed by a flooding of precious (and some harebrained) memories. 

"I stumble and fall.
I weep and struggle to rise.
My mom feels it all." 
— Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)





Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tuesday, Countdown to Mother's Day

I decided to use this week before Mother's Day to share things for which I am extremely thankful to have gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day from now until Mother's Day will include an original quote pertaining to mothers.  If you missed Monday's note of gratitude, see my previous post.


Day 6
Today I have been thinking about the many talents my mother possesses, which she used to bless the lives of her children while raising them. She was never one to say "it can't be done" but rather "how can we make it happen?"  She taught me through her own ingenuity to be creative, imaginative, inventive, and resourceful. Many times in my younger years we lacked the money for things I wanted, but that hardly ever stopped my mother from seeking another way to achieve the same goal if not something similar, using the money and materials we had.  I recall one incident in particular...
When I was a young teenager, it was a popular thing to own a jean jacket.  Many of my fellow students wore stylish jean jackets every day.  I was envious and wanting; therefore, I begged my mom to buy one for me. But the item was expensive and unnecessary.  So what did my wonderful mother do?  She took me to a clothing store to look at jean jackets and asked which one in particular I liked. Then she stood there with pencil and paper and made quick sketches of the front and back, the sleeves, pockets, snaps, and collar.  It took a lot of guess work and design editing, but my mother managed to sew from scratch a jacket that looked much like the one sold at the store.  
As a gifted seamstress, she frequently made articles of clothing that I or my siblings desired.  In fact, to spite the cost of prom dresses, she designed and made for me three gowns that I wore to multiple school dances!  That's me in the above picture wearing a dress she made.   
I learned from my mother to think outside the box; I learned there are other ways of reaching my goals when the direct road is blocked.  I learned to imagine and create and design for myself using a multitude of medias.  Any talent I have, is owed in great part to my amazing mother.
"MOM—Mistress Of Miracles"  
— Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)





Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday, Countdown to Mother's Day

Often around Thanksgiving time, people spend a few moments in the preceding days writing about things for which they are thankful. The effort tends to promote a positive attitude as well as remind us that life is filled with much good.  In this same spirit, I have decided to use this week before Mother's Day to share things for which I am extremely thankful I gained from my mother. And because I love quotes and poetry, each day from now until Mother's Day will include an original quote pertaining to mothers.


Day 7
Today I have thought a lot about important things my mother taught me, and there is one truth above all else I am thankful she took the time to instill in my developing sense of identity: that is the knowledge that I am a child of God.  She taught me to believe in God, to pray and speak to Him daily, and to understand that He is my Heavenly Father.  This not only boosts my confidence but encourages me to strive to reach my greater potential and to live as a daughter in whom He would be well-pleased.  I am thankful my mother took the time to teach me of spiritual things.  I am a better person because of it.

"I am, for the most part, who I am 
because my good mother was who she was." 
— Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)





Wednesday, May 3, 2017

When is Book IV Coming Out?!








Parker,
Rest assured, the 4th book is coming out very soon; it is scheduled for release this summer. The 5th book will follow closely after, most likely to be released sometime during the upcoming winter season.

I, like you, have been frustrated by the length of time it is taking to get all six books in the Harrowbethian Saga published and available for readers to enjoy. Switching from one publisher to an entirely self-pub platform forced me to start over with editing, formatting, and finally releasing book 1 in the Eena series. And then there were my other books that also required time and attention. I now have eight total books out for readers to enjoy (three Eena books.) That is a big accomplishment considering the small amount of free time I have to devote to this process.

The fact is, most indie writers, like myself, hold a day job in order to pay the bills. This chews up a great amount of our waking hours--hours I would most certainly prefer to spend writing. After work, there is family to care for, meals to prepare, and house chores requiring at least a minimal amount of attention. That leaves maybe an hour or two in the evening to devote to my books.

I appreciate your anxious wait, and I will try to work faster to get the remainder of the Harrowbethian Saga edited, formatted, and published ASAP! For you, Parker, I have posted the first chapters of this book on my author blog--something to help with your wait. Just visit the webpage below. Thank you for your eager question, for your interest in my books, and for your incredible patience. Now, I better get back to editing Eena book 4!

http://eenabookfour.blogspot.com/