Thursday, December 23, 2010

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Real Saint Nicholas

Santa Claus, or at least the character that we call by the name Santa Claus was a REAL person, born in the year 270. Nicholas was born to wealthy parents in a tiny village called Patara in a place called Lycia, which was a Greek province in Asia Minor, that we today call Turkey.

Even though Nicholas family was extremely wealthy, he was raised a devout Christian. His parents died during an epidemic when he was a boy, he turned to his Bible and read what Jesus said to a wealthy man: "Sell all thou hath and give it to the poor and follow me.” So he used all his money to help the sick and poor.

Around the year 300, in the city of Myra, the Bishop of the church passed away. The church authorities met to find a replacement. The leader of the group had a dream where he said he was visited by an angel. He asked the angel who should be the new Bishop. The angel told them to wait by the door of the church and pick the first person named Nicholas to come in the door. Nicholas was named the youngest bishop of the church and served until the year 341 A.D.

As Bishop, Nicholas was fearless defending Christianity. He was imprisoned by Roman emperor Diocletian and freed by Constantine, who was not a Christian. When the citizens of Myra came to Nicholas to complain of a terrible tax burden, he went to the Emperor for relief. The Emperor wrote a decree lowering the tax due to Bishop Nicholas.

Nicholas also attended the Council of Nicaea, which developed the Nicene Creed. He also was adamant that they should accept the Holy Trinity as part of the Christian doctrine. It is also reputed that Nicholas was responsible for destroying many pagan temples including the temple of Artemis. He died Dec. 6th, 343 A.D. His first burial was in Myra but then the remains were moved to Bari, in Italy.

Nicholas was loved by the people of Myra for his kindness especially to children. And this is where the myths start.

One such story has survived for centuries and is celebrated in a variety of cultures. In the town where he was Bishop, Nicholas supposedly gave an anonymous gift to a man with three daughters. The family was destitute of means, couldn’t provide dowerys for the daughters to marry, and therefore would have to sell them into prostitution.

Nicholas heard about this and at night soon after the eldest daughter came to marrying age, he tossed a small bag of gold through an open window (and some say he tossed it down the chimney), sparing her a life of misery. The secret deed was repeated for each of the other two daughters. This established Nicholas as a gift-giver, and spurred the tradition of children hanging stockings by the fireplace to receive a gift from him.

Nicholas was known for many such deeds, and numerous recorded miracles were attributed to the Bishop of Myra because of his great faith. (Google them please. There are too many to list here!)

So famous did Nicholas become that no other name in the church except for Jesus and the Virgin Mary was so widely known and respected. More than 2000 churches were named for Saint Nicholas. His legend grew over time. He was also named the patron saint of Greece and even in Russia he is considered a miracle worker.

So how did he get to be the jolly old fat guy in the red suit that we so aptly call Santa Claus? European immigrants brought the tradition of gift-giving inspired by this Saint, to the New World. Other immigrants were told that his name was St. Nicholas. German pronunciation of that is Sankt Niklaus which phonetically evolved into Santa Claus.

And the rest is history…Thomas Nast created the red suit around the time of the Civil War. Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth sorta standardized how he looked. Then Coca Cola illustrator Haddon Sundblom made him an advertising icon and the secular symbol was born.

Even Kris Kringle was perverted from its Christian roots to become secular! The name is derived from Das Christkind...the Christ Child in Austria. People in Europe continue to revere St. Nicholas as a Christian bishop and saint, but we in North America have allowed this pious man of God to become the secular symbol of extravagant and decadent gift-giving. Surely Nicholas is turning over in his grave every time he sees the caricature of himself that has been used to usurp the baby Jesus and the Reason for the Season.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Digital Christmas

And now another internet version of our blessed Lord's birth!

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Social Networking Christmas

You have to watch this! It is AWESOME!

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Christmas Story

This is so precious! God bless these children.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


With all the problems the World is facing, it  can be unsettling to the mind.

Today, I will share with you ten predictions that are true!

                         Top 10 Predictions for 2011

           1. The Bible will still have the answers.            
           2. Prayer will still be the most powerful thing on Earth.
           3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
           4. God will still honor the praises of His people.
           5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
           6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
           7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
           8. There will still be room at the Cross.
           9. Jesus will still love you.
         10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

 Isn't It Great To Remember Who Is Really In
Control, and that; "the Word of the Lord endures forever." ( 1 Peter 1:25 )

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Sunday, December 05, 2010

'Tis the Season for Lunacy

"Tis the season for all the loonies to appear. And once again the atheists are at it. The whole news article is over Here.

Okay now this is pretty sad, but also pretty funny. Outside of the opening to the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City, the atheists spent almost $20,000 for a billboard to debunk God. And they call themselves people of reason.

Let's be reasonable. Could you image yourself spending about $20,000 to (SPOILER ALERT!) debunk Santa Claus. "No Virginia...there is no fat guy in a red suit that hands out presents on Christmas Eve."

How stupid is that!

I wonder if the atheists can get their insurance companies to pay out on claims that are classified as "acts of God", since they don't believe in Him *snort-giggle*.

But the Catholic Church fought back with their own sign on the other side of the Lincoln Tunnel opening.

Now can you imagine people whipping their heads from one side of the tunnel opening to the other to read both signs. This is sorta reminiscent of that billboard that says "If you want to meet Jesus, text while driving."

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Thursday, December 02, 2010

So You Want To Write A Novel

ROFLOL...this is soooo true, so sad, and so hysterical all at the same time. I have literally met people like this at conference!

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Monday, November 29, 2010

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Emily of Deep Valley
Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (October 12, 2010)
Mitali Perkins


A word from Mitali: Who In The World Is Mitali Perkins?

That's a good question. I've been trying to figure it out myself, spending most of my life crossing borders.

I was born Mitali Bose in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, and always tried to live up to my name—which means “friendly” in the Bangla language. I had to! Because my family moved so much, it was the only way I could make new friends.

By the time I was 11, I'd lived in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York and Mexico before settling in California just in time for middle school. Yep, I was the new kid again, in seventh grade, the year everybody barely makes it through.

My biggest lifeline during those early years was story. Books were my rock, my stability, my safe place as I navigated the border between California suburbia and the Bengali culture of my traditional home.

After studying political science at Stanford and public policy at U.C. Berkeley, I taught in middle school, high school and college. When I began to write fiction, my protagonists were often—not surprisingly—strong female characters trying to bridge different cultures.

Mitali Perkins is the author of several books for young people, including SECRET KEEPER (Random House), MONSOON SUMMER (Random House), RICKSHAW GIRL (Charlesbridge), and the FIRST DAUGHTER books (Dutton).


Often cited as Maud Hart Lovelace’s (of Betsy-Tacy fame) best novel, Emily of Deep Valley is now back in print, with a new foreword by acclaimed young adult author Mitali Perkins and new archival material about the characters’ real lives.

Emily Webster, an orphan living with her grandfather, is not like the other girls her age in Deep Valley, Minnesota. The gulf between Emily and her classmates widens even more when they graduate from Deep Valley High School in 1912. Emily longs to go off to college with everyone else, but she can’t leave her grandfather. Emily resigns herself to facing a “lost winter,” but soon decides to stop feeling sorry for herself. And with a new program of study, a growing interest in the Syrian community, and a handsome new teacher at the high school to fill her days, Emily gains more than she ever dreamed...

In addition to her beloved Betsy-Tacy books, Maud Hart Lovelace wrote three more stories set in the fictional town of Deep Valley: Winona’s Pony Cart, Carney’s House Party and Emily of Deep Valley. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be delighted to find the Deep Valley books available again for the first time in many years.

If you would like to browse inside Emily of Deep Valley, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Divine Appointments
WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (September 21, 2010)
Charlene Baumbich


Charlene Ann Baumbich is the author of the previous three books in the Partonville series. A popular speaker, journalist, and author, for several years she has lectured to women’s groups and retreats. Baumbich is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Today’s Christian Woman, and numerous other publications. She is the author of six nonfiction books of humor and inspiration.

Charlene says: For over two decades of writing and speaking, my passionate pursuit to entertain and rejuvenate using humor (I love to laugh-especially at myself), uncommon wisdom, and passionate insights has been affirmed through countless calls, letters, and evaluation sheets. A reader recently e-mailed, "There is so much depression and sadness in this world. I applaud you for reminding all of us to treasure the moments in our lives, and for encouraging us to find joy in the little things. What you do helps so many to rise above the heaviness of life and live, and laugh, and face another day, so thanks!!!!" That is exactly why I keep doing what I do.

I am a firm believer in the power of story (short or book-length, funny or insightful, real or fiction, on stage or page) to accomplish my purpose, which is to remind you: Don't Miss Your Life! Whether you're tuning into me live or in print, fasten your seatbelt. I promise you a wild, fun, provocative, heart-warming ride.


Josie Brooks, at the age of 47, thought she was leading an enviable single life. A successful consultant, she calls her own shots, goes where the money is, and never needs to compromise. But her precisely managed world begins to falter during a Chicago contract when an economic downturn, a bleeding heart boss, and the loyalty and kindness between endangered employees ding her coat of armor.

Throw in hot flashes, a dose of loneliness, a peculiar longing for intimacy, an
unquenchable thirst—not to mention a mysterious snow globe with a serene landscape, complete with a flowing river and lush greenery that seems to be beckoning her in—and Josie’s buttoned-up life is on the verge of coming completely undone.

Maybe her solitary existence isn’t as fulfilling as she has convinced herself to believe. It will take a few new friends, a mystical encounter, and an unexpected journey to set Josie on her own path to “right-sizing” and making the life changes that really matter. Filled with laugh-out loud moments and a gentle dash of inspiration, Divine Appointments is another heartwarming charmer from a master storyteller.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Divine Appointments, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Monday, November 22, 2010

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Lightkeeper's Bride
Thomas Nelson (October 19, 2010)
Colleen Coble


Author Colleen Coble’s thirty-five novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers Best, and the 2009 Best Books of Indiana-Fiction award. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.

A word from Colleen: God has been faithful, though the path has not been easy. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. God wouldn’t let me give up, and I like to think the struggle made me stronger. God has given me so much in my life, most importantly my great family, a loving church family at New Life Baptist Church, and my wonderful publishing family at Nelson Books.


A thrilling romantic mystery set in the lush Victorian age.

Central Operator Katie Russell's inquisitive ways have just uncovered her parents' plan for her marriage to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster. Her heart is unmoved, but she knows the match will bring her family status and respectability.

Then Katie overhears a phone conversation that makes her uneasy and asks authorities to investigate. But the caller is nowhere to be found. Mysterious connections arise between the caller and a ship lost at sea.

Against propriety, Katie questions the new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Then a smallpox epidemic forces their quarantine in his lighthouse. Though of low social status, Will's bravery and kindness remove Katie's suspicion and win her love. Katie and Will together work to solve the mystery of the missing girl and the lost ship as God gives the couple the desire of their hearts.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Lightkeeper's Bride, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Silent Order
Summerside Press (November 1, 2010)
Melanie Dobson


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good.

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.


Rural America - 1928. After the murder of his partner, Detective Rollin Wells hides away in an Amish home near Sugarcreek, Ohio, to find out who in the police force is
collaborating with Cleveland’s notorious mob. While Rollin searches for answers to his partner’s death, he befriends an elusive young Amish woman named Katie and her young son. As Rollin learns about Katie’s past, he’s shocked at the secret Katie is hiding - a secret that has haunted Rollin for eight years.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Silent Order, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cat vs. Alligator

This is funny amazing!

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Monday, November 15, 2010

ACFW Elections Are Underway

The ACFW Elections are now open for voting! If you are an ACFW member get over to and get your vote counted today!

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Long Time Coming
Abingdon Press (November 1, 2010)
Vanessa Miller


Vanessa Miller of Dayton, Ohio, is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. Her stage productions include: Get You Some Business, Don’t Turn Your Back on God, and Can’t You Hear Them Crying. Vanessa is currently in the process of turning the novels in the Rain Series into stage productions.

Vanessa has been writing since she was a young child. When she wasn’t writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels, reading great books consumed her free time. However, it wasn’t until she committed her life to the Lord in 1994 that she realized all gifts and anointing come from God. She then set out to write redemption stories that glorify God.

To date, Vanessa has completed the Rain and Storm Series. She is currently working on the Forsaken series, Second Chance at Love series and a single title, Long Time Coming. Vanessa believes that each book will touch readers across the country in a special way. It is, after all, her God-given destiny to write and produce plays and novels that bring deliverance to God’s people. These books have received rave reviews, winning Best Christian Fiction Awards and topping numerous Bestseller’s lists.


Two women from different worlds find hope together.

Faithful Christian Deidre Clark-Morris is a professional career-minded woman with a loving husband, but no children. Kenisha Smalls has lived in poverty all her life. She has three children by three different men and has just been diagnosed with inoperable cervical cancer.

While the meeting between these two women appears accidental, it becomes their catalyst of hope. Neither woman expects the blessing that God has in store for her. While Deidre will guide Kenisha on the path to eternal life with Jesus Christ, Kenisha will teach Deidre how to stand strong against the hard-knocks of life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Long Time Coming, go HERE

Watch the book video:

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Amy Inspired
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
Bethany Pierce


After completing a master's in Creative Writing and working as a visiting instructor at Miami University in Ohio, Bethany Pierce now lives with her husband in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she is a member of the McGuffey Art Center and continues to write. Her first book, Feeling for Bones, was one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2007.


With rejections piling up, she could use just a little inspiration...

Amy Gallagher is an aspiring writer who, after countless rejections, has settled for a career as an English professor in small-town Ohio just to pay the bills. All her dreams suddenly start to unravel as rejections pile up--both from publishers and her boyfriend.

But just as Amy fears her life is stuck in a holding pattern, she meets the mysterious, attractive, and unavailable Eli. She struggles to walk the fine line between friendship and something more with Eli, even as staying true to her faith becomes unexpectedly complicated.

When secrets, tragedy, and poor decisions cause rifts in Amy's relationships, she must come to terms with who she's become, her unrealized aspirations for her life, and the state of her faith. Can she dare to hope that she will find love and fulfillment despite it all?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Amy Inspired, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Monday, November 08, 2010

Hatteras Girl by Alice Wisler

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hatteras Girl
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
Alice Wisler


Alice J. Wisler is an author, public speaker, advocate, and fundraiser. She has been a guest on several radio and TV programs to promote her self-published cookbooks, Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle. She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and has traveled the country in jobs that minister to people. Alice was raised in Japan and currently resides in Durham, North Carolina.

Facts about Alice
* Born in Osaka, Japan and lived in Japan for 18 years
* Went to Kyoto International School and Canadian Academy
* Majored in Social Work and graduated in 1983 from Eastern Mennonite University
* Worked at a group home for disadvantaged kids outside of Philadelphia
* Taught English and Culture Orientation at a refugee camp in the Philippines
* Taught English as a Second Language in Japan
* Speaks and teaches on Writing the Heartache
* Has three kids on earth, and one in Heaven
* Recently got married to Carl on 2/7/09


There are two things twenty-nine-year-old Jackie Donovan asks God for: an honest, wonderful man to marry, and to own a bed-and-breakfast in the Outer Banks region. In the meantime, Jackie works for Lighthouse Views magazine, writing articles about other local business owners, and intrepidly goes on the blind dates set up by her well-meaning but oh-so-clueless relatives.

There's one specific property Jackie dreams of purchasing: the Bailey Place, a fabulous old home where Jackie spent many happy childhood afternoons, a place that has now fallen into disrepair because of its outrageous price tag.

When Jackie meets handsome Davis Erickson, who holds the key to the Bailey Place, Jackie is sure God has answered both her prayers. But as Jackie learns some disturbing details about Davis's past, she begins to question her own motivation. Will she risk her long-held dreams to find out the truth?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hatteras Girl, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Friday, November 05, 2010

Grace by Shelley Shepard Gray

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Avon Inspire; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
Shelley Shepard Gray


Shelley Shepard Gray is the beloved author of the Sisters of the Heart series, including Hidden, Wanted, and Forgiven. Before writing, she was a teacher in both Texas and Colorado. She now writes full time and lives in southern Ohio with her husband and two children. When not writing, Shelley volunteers at church, reads, and enjoys walking her miniature dachshund on her town's scenic bike trail.

It's Christmastime at the Brenneman Bed & Breakfast, and everyone is excited about closing down for the holiday.

Anna and Henry will be celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple, and for Katie and Jonathan Lundy, it's their first Christmas with baby Stefan. Winnie and Samuel Miller plan to stop by as well for a wonderful two weeks of family and rest.

But when two unexpected visitors show up, hoping to stay for Christmas, the family must test their commitment to hospitality. Levi is a widower who lost his wife four years ago and can't bear the thought of another Christmas alone. And Melody is a young pregnant woman who won't open up about how she ended up on her own at Christmas at almost nine months pregnant.

Anna, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets, doesn't trust her, and strives to find out the truth about these two strangers who have disrupted their holiday. But as the Christmas spirit descends on them all, as well as snow that traps them in the inn, a healing and hopefulness takes over, allowing new relationships to be built, and the boundaries of family to be extended.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Grace, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Head in the Clouds
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
Karen Witemeyer


Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid-to-late 1800s.

Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House. When she visited her publisher back in January of 2010, she was interviewed by the staff. If you'd like a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how she develops her story ideas and a description of her bumpy journey to publication, go to her website to listen to a podcast of that interview.


Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.

When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.

When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Head in the Clouds, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Monday, November 01, 2010

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Preacher's Bride
Bethany House; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
Jody Hedlund


Jody has written novels for the last 16 years (with a hiatus when her children were young. In May of 2009 she double-finaled in the Genesis contest, a national fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW.Shortly after the final, Jody acquired an agent, Rachelle Gardner of Word Serve Literary. Her agent spent the summer of 2009 working on selling her books. In September of that year, Jody signed a three-book deal with Bethany House Publishers. Jody’s debut novel, The Preacher’s Bride, releases in Oct. 2010. Her next book will release in 2011 and a third in 2012.


In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher--whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John's protests of her aid. She's even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family. Yet Elizabeth's new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John's boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher's enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she's more determined than ever to save the child--and man--she's come to love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Preacher's Bride, go HERE.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good Memories

Brings back good memories:


"Good night and God bless

Go all the way to the bottom past the pictures..... I think you'll enjoy it. Whoever wrote this must have been my next door neighbor because it totally described my childhood to a 'T.' Hope you enjoy it.

Black and White

Black and White (Under age 40? You won't understand.)
You could hardly see for all the snow,

Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
Pull a chair up to the TV set,

'Good Night, David.
Good Night, Chet.'

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can't remember getting e..coli.

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

We all took gym, not PE...and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now. Flunking gym was not an option... even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

Oh yeah... and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!

We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.

Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.

I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off.

Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house.

Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck.

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family.

How could we possibly have known that?

We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes.

We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac!

How did we ever survive?


Pass this to someone and remember that life's most simple pleasures are very often the best.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun