Sharing with you things that are on my mind...Maybe yours too. Come back to Wrights Lane for a visit anytime!

31 May, 2010


Talk to the rear end because the front end is not listening

I got out of bed this morning to go to the washroom.  When I returned a few minutes later this was the sight that greeted me.  Lucy had moved in and taken cover -- well partly.  That was it for me...I snapped this quick photo and left Lucy to her slumber while I prepared breakfast.  She did not surface until breakfast was ready...It's a dog's life in the Wright household to be sure!

28 May, 2010


I'm feeling kind of tired these days...Not enough hours in the day for one thing, and not enough energy in the old body for another.  Finishing jobs and chores seems to be a challenge.  Initiating jobs and chores is another story.  Out of necessity, emphasis has been on health issues and trips to hospital to facilitate follow-up procedures for Rosanne as she continues to show steady improvement.  

Trips to the hospital are always exhausting and sobering experiences for me.  Seeing folks who are worse off than you -- the suffering and apprehension, the not knowing, the what used to be -- are at times personally overwhelming.  Quite honestly, it takes a few days for me to recover both physically and emotionally after each visit.  Heaven help me if ever I should be a patient on the treatment end of things. 


What is the definition of love? For sure, it's a relative question, with a different meaning to each of us.

For some, the perception of love has been shaped by divorce, death, and other loss. An appetite created from the void of the aforementioned. For others, it's about birth, marriage, friendship. For many, it's affected by all of the above.

But children, in their innocence, define it differently. They use their simple words to convey a complicated emotion.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of four to eight-year-olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. 

-- "When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." Rebecca - age 8

-- "When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth." Billy - age 4

-- "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." Karl - age 5

-- "Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4

Don't you just love it?

24 May, 2010


We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the neccesary plan....
-- Irving Townsend

Scruffy was his own man.  There was a certain order in his life and he guarded it zealously.  He did not take to strangers all that well, but his bark was always worse than his bite.  True to his name, Scruff was a bit rough and shaggy on the outside but a real softy on the inside.  It was just that you had to prove yourself to him in order to be his friend...That's what I always liked about him.  Every time that I would see him, I would have to prove myself all over again.
Still relatively young at nine-years-of-age, Scruffy allowed my daughter Cindy and her family to live with him.  He also shared space in the family home with bosom K9 pals Bella and Pappy.
Sadly, Scruffy suddenly became very sick last week and within a few short days it became necessary to grant him one merciful last reward -- eternal comfort at the hands of a very compassionate veterinarian.
This has not been the happiest of Victoria Holiday weekends for Cindy, Joe, Ryan, Josh and Madison but they are bravely coping with a most unwelcome void in their lives.  Their faithful family guardian is gone, but his memory will live on as tears and sadness subside.  He was a good dog!  There will be many happy memories.
In the words of my grandson, Josh, on his Facebook page today:  "R.I.P. Scruffy".

22 May, 2010


Isn't it funny how the mind works sometimes, playing tricks on us almost as if going into a protective mode that pre-empts any physical action on our part and sets us up for impulsive reaction.

Late yesterday for instance, as I exited our local Foodland grocery store on Highway 21, I noticed Saugeen Shores police conducting a R.I.D.E. Check.  The location of "the Check" at one of the busiest intersections on the outskirts of Southampton was crucial at the start of the Victoria Holiday weekend.  Highway 21 carries traffic to Owen Sound while Bruce County Road 13 leads to Sauble Beach and Bruce Peninsula points north. 

Needless to say, vehicles were backed up in all directions as lime green-vested police officers stoically greeted each driver with the customary:  "How are you today Sir/Madam?  Have you consumed any alcohol?" 

Methodically loading groceries into my car, I began to survey my surroundings and to consider my options.  "How can I get out of here and avoid going through the check?" I wondered, quickly realizing I was boxed in and really had no choice.

As I got into the car to turn on the ignition, the light finally dawned...How stupid of me!  I had not been drinking anything stronger than Tim Horton's coffee that day.  In fact, it had been at least two months since an alcoholic beverage of any kind had touched my lips, so why be the least bit concerned about going through the check?

I actually had to laugh at myself for even considering such impulsive, evasive action -- to look for "an out" that was absolutely unnecessary.

I felt a bit of empowerment as I purposely pulled out onto the highway and joined the three or four cars ahead of me.  In a matter of seconds the officer was leaning into my open window, pretending not to hear my jocular:  "I didn't do it!" with his own automatic "How're you today?"

Having declared myself alcohol-free, I soberly pulled away from the check feeling a sense of smug self-satisfying purity, yet still at a loss to explain my initial completely unnecessary anxiety.

Perhaps it had something to do with another place at another time.

20 May, 2010


While the response to my "Baseball Dream" video was underwhelming, I thought that I would go ahead anyway and provide a little history on the tape's background music, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".  I was very pleased when I unearthed the 1908 Edison Recording of the song and doubly pleased when I was able to encorporate it in my video.

The classic 100-year-old Tin Pan Alley song has become the unofficial anthem of baseball, although surprisingly neither of the authors attended a game prior to writing and producing it.

The words were written by vaudeville star Jack Norworth, who while riding a subway train in New York, was inspired by a sign that said "Baseball Today — Polo Grounds". The words were set to music by Albert Von Tilzer (Norworth and Von Tilzer finally saw their first Major League Baseball games 32 and 20 years later, respectively). The song was first sung by Norworth's then-wife Nora Bayes and popularized by many other vaudeville acts. Norworth wrote an alternative version of the song in 1927. Norworth and Bayes were also famous for writing and performing such smash hits as "Shine On, Harvest Moon."

Edward Meeker, another popular vaudeville performer, was one of the first to record the baseball song in 1908 and it is his voice that is on my video.  This version is ripped from a 78-rpm recording, but the quality and gusto of Ed's voice resonates magnificently.

"For it's ONE, TWO, THREE STRIKES YOUR OUT! at the old ball game."  Come to think about it, those memorable words kind of apply to me, not only as a baseball player but as a creator of oddball videos too.

18 May, 2010


*Click to view

This was a humble attempt to portray my baseball dream in a video format.  Every kid who ever stepped foot on a baseball diamond has fantasized about some day playing in the Major Leagues.  Each era has its heroes and role models and this just happens to be about mine, some 65 years ago...Only the names and faces change with each passing decade.

"The Baseball Dream" can also be viewed full screen on YouTube

Hope you enjoy watching it.

17 May, 2010


Who takes photos of their feet?...Me!

It was purely on impulse that I snapped this photo as I walked along the beach in Southampton.  The image has haunted me ever since.

I originally set out to take some shots of the Lake Huron shoreline and Chantry Island lighthouse in the distance, all of which I have since deleted from my photo gallery files.  For some reason I hung on to "the feet" exposure and it has taken a while for me to understand why.

The photo, oddly, reminds me of a time when I was confined to a wheelchair for the better part of four months.  My recovery from major surgery to both feet and ankles was painful and slow.  At one point I began to question if I would ever be able to walk normally again.  

When, finally, I was able to limp unaided for a few precious steps, I was greatly relieved and very thankful.  Today, I have one pace -- slow and deliberate, no longer the sprinter I once was on the race track and baseball diamond.  And, you know what?  It doesn't matter.  I am happy just to be walking and I rejoice in every step that I take.  I no longer take walking for granted.

When we are deprived of the ability to take steps in life, we stand still.  We do not move forward and there is danger of stagnation.  We simply cannot get anywhere, literally and figuratively, if we do not put one foot ahead of the other in advancing to  our intended destinations and objectives (goals).

Conversely, with every step backwards, we move further and further away from where we intended to go.  Generally, we should avoid reversals in direction and  wandering aimlessly through life.  It behooves us to step forward with intention and purpose.

It may hurt sometimes, but step lively dear friends.  Step lively!

...And take time to smell the roses along the way.

13 May, 2010


"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."  -- George Bernard Shaw

For some reason this morning I was overwhelmed with the realization that I had messed up portions of my life.  I wasn't depressed by any means, just reflectively realistic.  Thank goodness I have the gift of balanced reasoning which clicked in with the thought that I wasn't alone.  After all everyone messes up, don't they?  To err is human, is it not? 

Simple fact…you’re going to mess up, make mistakes, hurt others and get hurt. Big slip ups, little ones, ones you can fix and others you can’t.

Then, of course, you will not mess up if you do not do anything and I really think that there are some people who go through life doing very little for that very reason -- the fear that they might mess up.  In spite of that type of paranoia, mistakes are inevitable;  simply a part of trial-and-error existence. 

And what if you do mess up or make a wrong choice?  Rare is the opening salvo that ends up a homerun. Life is a constant stream of best guesses and course corrections. And, that’s okay. It’s the way it is supposed to be.  Because, it is in the process of figuring out how to correct a course and recover that our greatest moments, our rawest emotions, our deepest humanity, our triumphs and relationships rise to the surface and define who we are.

Fact is, most successes are preceded by a series of mistakes.  Some one said recently that mistakes are just signposts that you are one more action closer to success, but you’ve got to CHOOSE to see it that way. Because if you see mistakes and failures only as something to be avoided at all costs, you will end up shutting down and withdrawing for most of your life -- accomplishing very little.  I call it being creatively paralyzed out of a fear of making the wrong choice. And that to me is a fate far worse than failure.

Certainly, we do learn (or should learn) from our mistakes and in the end that makes us better people.

We do a lot of learning in our lifetime, don't we?  I enjoy having company on mornings like this.

Oh, by the way...I hope you enjoyed meeting my new associate, Veronica.  We're having a lot of fun working together.  

12 May, 2010


In keeping with my intention to bring readers of Wrights Lane meaningful, sometimes moving and inspirational reflections on life, I reproduce the following story which originally appeared in the Inspiration by God Newsletter.  Stories like this one tend to humble me.

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.  "I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving."

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.  Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often.  The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his powers.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived... But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone.  He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.  Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on my husband, Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up some weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article."

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.

Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention.. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.  I pointed to the dog "Can you tell me about him?"

The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."  I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it"!  Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me.  It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!"

Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed.  At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate.

We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke my husband, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed.  I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

 "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," the minister added.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: The sympathetic voice on the phone that had read just the right article...Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter...his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father...and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Note:  The photo accompanying this item, was used for illustrative purposes only and is in no way associated with the subject chararters.

10 May, 2010


I don't know about you but I enjoyed the above photo which was widely circulated in the media this past weekend.  It spoke to me of pride,  accomplishment and unbridled youthful elation

So very often we forget that royalty, while privileged, are just normal people like you and I.  That fact was never more evident than on Friday when England's Prince Harry was one of nine training pilots awarded provisional wings by his father Prince Charles, who is Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps.

"You are looking very smart, if I may say so," Charles told his son as he inspected the graduates. Chelsy Davy, who has long been romantically linked with Harry, was also in attendance, cheering loudly when his name was called out as the winner of the Peter Adams Trophy, a prize for the best tactical ability during the operational training phase.

The look on Lieutenant Harry's beaming face was priceless as he marched smartly away from his father after the award presentation.  In an attempt to hide fatherly pride and retain composure, a smiling Charles glanced down at the floor.

A special royal moment, captured on film.  A father and son lifetime highlight to be sure.  I'm glad for Harry and his dad!

09 May, 2010


Hey Moms 22 to 102, let your minds drift as the incomparable Mills Brothers serenade you with these wonderful songs of yesteryear.  My treat!

07 May, 2010


It is fitting, yet coincidental, that I should be paying tribute this special weekend to another woman who has both impressed and inspired me over the years.  Ardeth Rodale was a loving, dedicated mother, but she was much, much more.   She was a  highly successful  corporate executive, a generous philanthropist, a creative thinker and talented writer.

For many years her "Reflections" column graced the back page of Prevention magazine, published by the global media company of which she was chairwoman and one-time CEO.  She shared a unique message of finding love, hope and inspiration in everyday life.  She urged her readers and associates to find meaning in simple but profound ways.

One notable column penned by Ardath served as the inspiration for my story about feathers a number of years ago and reintroduced in Wrights Lane last year.  Regular readers of her creative, heart-felt writing were of one accord -- she was always like an old friend who they had never met.

As years crept up on Ardeth, one of her daughters eventually assumed control of the family's business interests.  In her new role as "company inspirational officer" she continued writing her Reflections column and inspiring thousands of loyal followers.

It was only today that I learned of Ardeth's passing several months ago at 81 years of age, and I am left with a very empty feeling, like something is missing in the world -- a great void.  In the words of one of the current editors of  Prevention:  "Her signature voice can never be replaced."

I have no doubt that she now rejoices in a precious reunion with her late husband and one of her sons, both of whom died quite tragically some 20 years ago.

She worked faithfully, diligently and thoughtfully for her much-deserved place in Heaven.


Happy Mother's Day! 

As a tribute to mothers everywhere, here is a collection of inspirational quotes coming straight from the hearts of some of the most prolific writers and celebrated personalities (one exception) of our time. Enjoy!

1. "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much."  --Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

2. "Never marry a man who hates his mother, because he'll end up hating you."  --Jill Bennett

3. "A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary."  --Dorothy Canfield Fisher
4. "At work, you think of the children you have left at home.  At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent."  --Golda Meir

5. "Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever."  --Unknown

6. "As is the mother, so is her daughter."  --Ezekiel 16:4

7. "Men are what their mothers made them."  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. "Most mothers are instinctive philosophers."  --Harriet Beecher Stowe

9. "We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves."  --Henry Ward Beecher

10. "The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."  -- Honore de Balzac, author

11. "The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."  --Henry Ward Beecher

12. "Who is getting more pleasure from this rocking, the baby or me?"  --Nancy Thayer, author

13. "By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class."  --Ann Morrow Lindbergh, author

14. "Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother."  --Lin Yutang, Chinese writer

15. "Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground."  --Zora Neale Hurston, folklorist and writer

16. "That best academy, a mother's knee."  --James Russell Lowell, poet, critic and diplomat

17. "Making a decision to have a child--it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."  --Elizabeth Stone

18. "Anyone who doesn't miss the past never had a mother."  --Gregory Nunn

19. "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."   --Tenneva Jordan

20. "The lullaby is the spell whereby the mother attempts to transform herself back from an ogre to a saint."  --James Fenton

21. "No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement."  -- Florida Scott-Maxwell

22.  "To all mothers' sons I say: "Dear old dad knew best when he chose your mom...When the time is right, you would do well to choose just as wisely!"  --Dick Wright


TOGETHER AGAIN:  I publish this 60-year-old photo as a tribute to my cousin Donna and her then newborn son Skippy.  I could not find a better illustration portraying the significance of Mother's Day.  Sadly, Donna passed away earlier this year at 83 years of age.  Skip, 60,  joined his mother three weeks later.

05 May, 2010


"Don't grieve that your roses have thorns.
Rejoice instead that your thorns have roses!"

The above quote is a favorite of a woman by the name of Penny Parker, a fellow blogger who has caught my attention, primarily because we think a lot alike and I have come to admire her wonderful ability to express herself  through her writing. 

Penny's literary efforts flow from a keyboard in her home in Denver, Colorado, where she refers to herself as a "domestic goddess".  She has three adult children and six "rowdy" grandsons (no granddaughters).

Although you would not know it from her writing, Penny has had to struggle in life, the low point being an emotionally draining divorce some years ago.  Her family remains her pride and joy and she writes passionately on the subject.  She admits to having more pets in her home and around her large property "than anyone in their right mind would have."  In her profile, she lists "the rainbow" as her favorite color -- a telling personal revelation.

But, back to the reason I am writing about her today -- her take on the aforementioned quote.

"What it means to me is that I can't change the reality that life is a mixture of beauty, joy, danger and pain, but I can change my perspective ... my attitude, and that one change in perspective can transform everything," she explains.

"The reality of our lives may result from many outside factors, none of which we can control. The only thing we can really control in this life is our own mental attitudes. We should try to remember that all we are dealing with is thoughts, and thoughts can be changed. We may not have control over our circumstances, but we do have control over our thoughts and we can choose how we will respond to the things that happen to us." 

Penny goes on to emphasize that we all have unlimited choices about what we can think. The things we think become the truth for us. Our subconscious minds will accept whatever we choose to believe. There is no person, no place and no thing that has any power over us, for "we" are the only thinkers in our mind. Things seem to turn out best for those people who can make the best out of the way things turn out. It is not the situation ... it is our reactions to the situation.

"I have learned that although pain is inevitable for all of us, we do have an option as to how we react to it. It's no fun to suffer ... in fact, it can be horrible! We are all going to have pain, but misery is optional. We all have choices. It is up to us to decide how we will react to the pain that inevitably comes to us all," she adds.
"Having joy or misery all depends on how we look at or think about it. It is in how we choose to look at the circumstances. We can look for the flowers or just see the weeds. We can see the bright side or look for the clouds. How we look at life can either bring a sparkle of joy or a handful of gloom. We can be as happy as we decide to be."

Two people living in the same world, with the same set of circumstances, can experience life so differently just by the way they think. Each day can be an exciting, joyous, hopeful experience, or it can be a sorrowful, limiting, and painful one. What you see in your mind is what you get out of life.

Nobody expresses it better than Penny Parker.  She writes from a heart that she wears on her sleeve.  She has a gift. I've never met her in person, but I know her!