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Posts Tagged ‘hi gemma’

The Final Touches of a Career…

February 3rd, 2019 Sears Homes 9 comments

When I started the “Sears Kit Homes” group on Facebook in 2009 (thanks to Rachel for remembering!), I dragged 12 friends into the group just so it wouldn’t look so pitiful. As the years passed, the group grew in numbers and I was gobsmacked when we passed the “1,000 members” mark.

In Fall 2018, when Sears started circling the drain, interest in the old kit homes was renewed, and I was doing 3-4 interviews per week (with the media) and that’s when membership in the Facebook group exploded.

As of today, it has 3,234 members and is still growing by leaps and bounds.

Yesterday, I mentioned (within the group) that I didn’t have many books left, and when these went, that was the end of it. Within hours, I sold more than 50 books (several different titles) and stayed up last night until 2:30 getting them packaged and ready for Monday’s mail.

As I said in a prior blog, I’ll always love the old kit homes, and I’ll still spin my head around when a pretty one passes me by, but the days of staying up until the wee hours inscribing, signing and packaging books are behind me.

Soon, I’ll be packing up my house and moving to the Midwest. Perhaps once I’m settled, I’ll revisit the question but for now, I’m done.

There are still 18 books left in my basement. It’d be swell to sell those last few before I head out! (Hint, hint!)

To buy the book, click here.

Join us on Facebook!

And if this book has brought you a blessing, please leave a comment below.

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In 2011, I snapped this photo in Edwardsville, IL and it still takes my breath away. I was there to do an architectural survey, and I stumbled upon this view and it reminded me of why I love the Midwest. I'm seriously considering moving to Edwardsville when I get to the Midwest.

In 2011, I snapped this photo in Edwardsville, IL and it still takes my breath away. I was there to do an architectural survey, and I stumbled upon this view and it reminded me of why I love the Midwest. Edwardsville has become a beautiful community, filled with shops and history and bucolic beauty. It may be where I land.

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The group now has more than 3,000 members and is still growing.

The group now has more than 3,000 members and is still growing.

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Saturday night, I stayed up until 2:30 am, signing, inscribing and packaging books. I'm still not sure how I'll get these to the post office.

Saturday night, I stayed up until 2:30 am, signing, inscribing and packaging books. I'm still not sure how I'll get these to the post office.

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First printed in 2002, this book has taken me to many wonderful places. It's been a fun run, but for now - for the first time in 17 years - it will be out of print. It would take another book to explain the many blessings of this book but in short, it was published just as my mother died and my marriage of 24 years came to an end. This book (and the grace of God) not only saved me, but it transformed my life and gave me a purpose. Best of all, it introduced me to hundreds of wonderful people, some of whom became lifelong friends.

First printed in 2002, this book has taken me to many wonderful places. It's been a fun run, but for now - for the first time in 17 years - it will be out of print. It would take another book to explain the many blessings of this book but in short, it was published just as my mother died and my marriage of 24 years came to an end. This book (and the grace of God) not only saved me, but transformed my life and gave me a purpose. Best of all, it introduced me to hundreds of wonderful people, some of whom became lifelong friends.

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Want to learn how to identify kit homes? Click here.

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Road Trip!

January 12th, 2019 Sears Homes 6 comments

I’m thinking about hitting the road, and taking a long trip.

In the last few weeks, I’ve met so many wonderful people (all of whom are history lovers) and each and every one of those people have brought me such a blessing. Each encounter has lifted me up a bit, and helped speed my progress.

These days, I crave beauty and light.

Maybe I need to go looking for beauty and light, and see what I find. It might be great fun to go meet new people and see new sights and look at old kit homes, and just see what happens along the way.

Someone even mentioned, it might make for an interesting series of blogs: Seeking Sears Homes and Finding Peace.

I’ll be leaving my home in Suffolk, Virginia in a few weeks and heading south and then west. If you’ve got a beautiful old soul, a passion for history, a heart full of love for the weary wanderer, and an appreciation for us creative types and you’d like to meet The Author Formerly Known As Rose, please leave a comment below.

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Boo asks, will you come to my party? Maybe the question is, Can I come to YOUR party?

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Perhaps its time to take my love of houses on the road.

Perhaps it's time to take my love of houses on the road.

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My father

My father thought he was posing me for a picture, but I was actually assessing the thermal efficiency of these original wood windows. If only I'd been able to talk, I could have given them an ear full.

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These days, I crave beauty and light. Intensely.

These days, I crave beauty and light. Intensely.

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What’s Next?

November 26th, 2018 Sears Homes 6 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.

TTE

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

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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.)

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Fifteen

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.

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Want to read about Sears Homes? Click here.

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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.

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

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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.

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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?

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

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

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To read more about Penniman, click here.

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Penniman.

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.

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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.

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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.

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To learn more about Penniman, click here.

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