Posts Tagged ‘hi gemma’

What’s Next?

November 26th, 2018 Sears Homes 5 comments

Teddy the Dog turned 10 in late October. I turned an age “greater than 10 years old” this summer. We’re both feeling like it’s time for a change, but not sure what that change is going to look like.

In late August, I had a health issue that consumed three months of my life. I have a new understanding of how every single priority in your life can be reshuffled in a moment when two doctors (in two separate opinions) tell you something scary.

I’m happy to report that now, three months later, it’s resolved - thanks be to God. Prayer brought about a dramatic change in my physical condition that left medical professionals scratching their heads and saying, “I don’t know what happened here and I can’t explain it, but you’re well now.”

Prayer also brought about a dramatic change in my spiritual and emotional state, and that’s the bigger miracle.

To God be the glory.

The spiritual transformation put the whole “Wayne Mess™” in razor sharp focus. Again, thanks to the infinite grace of God, I was gifted the spiritual energy to forgive him, and also given the spiritual stamina to forgive him every day.

He made his choices and he has the whole of eternity to ponder the consequences. That’s all between Wayne and his Creator now. I’m out of the loop.

Throughout our marriage and even after his death, I felt spiritually responsible for him. My “encounter with the divine” helped me see clearly that this is a devilish trick. As adults, we’re spiritually responsible for ourselves and for no one else.

I still think about him a lot, but these thoughts no longer eviscerate me. That’s the grace of God showing up in my heart, mind and soul. I’m sure of it.

And what’s next?

A dear friend suggested that I become a home inspector. I’m seriously considering that. I’m also contemplating a move out of this area (southeastern Virginia) and into the Midwest. There are just too many memories here in Hampton Roads.

This I know: It’s time for some new scenery and some “unexpected delights”!

For those of you who have prayerfully supported me, I am immensely grateful. Now, I hope to discern God’s wisdom in moving forward.


Teddy asked for a golf cart so that she can enjoy her "walkies" in a comfy ride.


Id like to enjoy however many years of the remainder of my life.

I yearn to see more of the beauty in this world. I hope my next home has views like this. There's something about the quietude of nature that soothes my soul. (This photo was taken during an early morning bike ride in Northern Suffolk, about a mile from my home.)



In 2002, I posed with my dear friend Donna at her bookstore in Carlinville. That was 16 years ago. Thus began a friendship that endured through three husbands (one of hers and two of mine), nine books, and a lot of good times. Donna passed on shortly before Thanksgiving, but the memory of her unconditional love will last forever.


Want to read about Sears Homes? Click here.


Penniman: A Fun and Fascinating Talk in Richmond on July 18th!

July 12th, 2018 Sears Homes 7 comments

The fun starts at 5:30, but if you come early, you can meet the author (that’d be moi).

The talk (a PowerPoint presentation with more than 140 vintage photos) is at the Library of Virginia (in Richmond), at 800 East Broad Street.

Free parking can be found underneath the library.

Penniman is truly an awe-inspiring story about a World War One munitions plant in Virginia that has been forgotten and almost lost to history. At its peak, more than 15,000 people occupied the village of Penniman.

DuPont’s 37th munitions plant was staffed by mostly women, who worked assiduously to load TNT into 155mm and 75mm shells.

Please come out and learn more about this lost chapter of Virginia’s history!

To read more about Penniman, click here.

Learn about one of the war workers here.



His initials are "SC" and he started work on Spetember 10, 1918, but who is this young man?



This fob (issued by DuPont) was worn on the worker's lapel, and it also helped quickly identify him as a munitions worker when he was out and about in Williamsburg. Young men who were not at the front were known as "slackers" and it was a pejorative.



After Penniman closed, the houses were put on barges and moved to nearby communities. More than 60 ended up in Norfolk, Virginia. We're still missing more than 100 Penniman houses. Is there one in your neighborhood?



Penniman was vital to the war effort, and yet its story has been lost to time.



Rose will sell (and sign) books after the talk.


To read more about Penniman, click here.


Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


May 27th, 2018 Sears Homes 6 comments

Yesterday, a dear friend called to remind me that I had a lecture in the afternoon at a Williamsburg library. Fortunately, I remembered to attend THIS lecture!

The 50-mile drive on I-64W was uneventful, which is a little miracle unto itself. I left two hours early, just to be safe.

Moments before the start of my Penniman lecture, I was sitting just outside of the meeting room and ruminating. Not good. I realized that lecturing had become quite hard these days. Before The Bad Thing™ I absolutely loved lecturing.

Minutes before the lecture began, I developed a severe case of the shakes and was light-headed. I was a hot mess. It seemed as though I had two choices before me:

1) Walk out of the building and simply accept that my lecturing days were over, or,

2) Take a couple Valium so that I could calm down enough to perform.

As I sat there debating my options, I saw an old friend walk toward the meeting room. I called out his name, and he came over and sat down with me. I told him I was thinking about going home, and he said all the right things. He was an angel that appeared at just the right moment.

I survived the lecture and there was a good crowd. Many attendees said very nice things. I’m grateful for every word. One woman purchased five books. That was wonderful.

After the lecture, my “angel friend” and his wife invited me to join them (and another couple) for dinner. It turned out to be a perfect evening.

As to my future as a lecturer, I’m still deciding. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make the Penniman book go mainstream, as my #1 goal from the beginning was (and is) to share the story of the incredible sacrifice and bravery of these Penniman workers.

To learn more about Penniman, click here.


Everything about this story - of a forgotten Virginia village - is uttelry captivating.

Everything about this story - of a forgotten Virginia village - is utterly captivating. How I wish that I was more adept at getting their story out into the world.


I remain hopeful that as time goes on, more will be known about these women and their sacrifice.

I remain hopeful that as time goes on, even more will be known about these women and their sacrifice.


To learn more about Penniman, click here.