Love a Good Story

Merry Christmas Everyone

Love a Good Story. I just Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here’s another good story.

Hello, from the Maddox family, Eric, Anna, Jeremy, HolliAnne, and Hamilton in Judy’s latest novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom. We wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Jeremy, my youngest, sends you a special blessing.

                             The Lord bless you and keep you;

                             the Lord make his face to shine

                             upon you, and be gracious

                              to you;

                             upon you and give you peace.

                             the Lord life up his countenance

Numbers 6: 24-26, The New Oxford

This is the first Christmas in almost three years that many have felt at liberty to visit others or participate in activities. Please everyone, make this a momentous holiday. Appreciate those around you by saying nice things to your family, friends, and strangers and doing nice things for your family, friends, and strangers. Let this time with them be stamped with love and happiness.

If you are looking for Christmas gifts, why not gift your friends and loved ones The Attractiveness of Wisdom? I know they will love you more for your kind heart.

Read this wonderful story about the Maddox family. Don’t forget to email me and let me know what you think and go on Amazon to post a review.

Also, enjoy my podcast with Gabby as I talk about The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

The Independent Press Award magazine is magnificent!! If you are not sure which other books to buy, please order the magazine. Remember, if you order The Attractiveness of Wisdom, send me a copy of the invoice, you will receive a link where you can have the magazine free. And, to my surprise, my book is in the magazine.

Merry Christmas from Love a Good Story


Merry Christmas Everyone


Love a Good Story. I just Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here’s another good story.

Hello, I’m Hamilton Maddox, the main character in Judy’s latest novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

I realize you haven’t heard from me, though you’ve heard from my sons and daughter and my parents. I implore you to read The Attractiveness of Wisdom because it’s a story of not only me and my family, but also of Judy. In the story, I didn’t realize the impact I had on others. It’s important to me that I see that now. Read this wonderful story. Read about the strength and power of love and the effect love has on us all.

If you are looking for Christmas gifts, why not gift your friends and loved ones The Attractiveness of Wisdom.? I know they will love you more for your kind heart.

Read this wonderful story for yourself and see. Don’t forget to email me and let me know what you think and go on Amazon to post a review.

Also, enjoy my podcast with Gabby as I talk about The Attractiveness of Wisdom.


The Independent Press Award magazine is magnificent!!

If you are not sure which other books to buy, please order the magazine. Remember, if you order The Attractiveness of Wisdom, send me a copy of the invoice and you will get a link where you can have the magazine. And, to my surprise, my book is in the magazine.










Love a Good Story

Merry Christmas

Love a Good Story. I just Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here’s another good story.

A few weeks ago, someone asked me the meaning of the title of my novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

The title, The Attractiveness of Wisdom, comes from the Bible. In the Bible, Wisdom is a lady. In the story, Hamilton’s change comes from his interactions with three women. Each of the women offers him a new way for him to see himself and empowers him to change. The title represents the good or the positive that comes from being wise, knowing yourself and understanding what you need.

Read this wonderful story for yourself and see. Don’t forget to email me and let me know what you think and go on Amazon to post a review.

Also, enjoy my podcast with Gabby as I talk about The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

The Independent Press Award magazine is magnificent!! If you are not sure which other books to buy, please order the magazine. Remember, if you order The Attractiveness of Wisdom, send me a copy of the invoice and you will get a link where you can have the magazine. And, to my surprise, my book is in the magazine.

Love a Good Story Happy Thanksgiving

Love a Good Story! I just Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story?

Here’s another Good Story.

Two weeks ago, when I sat down to write this. I wanted to write about all the ugly things happening in this country. I wanted to just let out my thoughts and feelings, without care, and what I would say about some people. I just wanted and still want to let off steam. I wanted to express my views on immigration, sexual orientation, teen violence, covid-19, the “I” generation with their personal rights, and a host of other problems we seem to have. But I changed my mind (remember, I’m a woman, and that is my right). In a previous blog on my website, (you may want to go and read it) I gave you a history of Stevensville, the place where my main character, Hamilton, in The Attractiveness of Wisdom, grew up. In the novel, Hamilton lives in Rockville, Maryland. Instead of the “downer” story, I thought it would be nice to give you a little history of Rockville. I think you will find it interesting.

If you are like me, hearing or reading the word “history” is a huge turnoff. But see history in terms of storytelling. That can make a difference. So, this is a story about the changes and growth in Rockville, Maryland.

By now, we should know that the first people who lived in this country were who we have identified as “American Indians.” The country was not named “America” at the time. We should also know that Indians would like to be identified by their tribal names, rather than American Indians. The number of tribes in this country, at least two thousand years before anyone other than tribal people arrived was well over two hundred. I don’t want to get too much into this history, but some either don’t know this or they treat it the same way they do the Holocaust, Slavery, Internment of Japanese and Covid, as it did not exist. There is evidence, and much of it, that the Indians walked the very ground you are sitting or standing on now, centuries and centuries ago. I heard someone being interviewed on the news some time ago, say that “this country was founded by immigrants.” That is not true. This country was already founded; it was already occupied by the many Indian tribes who had made this country their home for many centuries. They lost their lives and land to invaders and many Indians had to flee their homes and move to Canada, Mexico, and South America.

Indians created paths in Rockville as well as many other places, where they walked and hunted. In the 1700’s people who came to this country saw the paths the Indians took. In the central part of this country, Indians followed the buffalo for food, clothing, and shelter. They travelled from the east coast to the west coast and back again according to the change in weather. They were more nomadic.  Some of the streets and roads we now drive or walk on may have been a path travelled by the Indians.

Rockville was a small settlement of over 50 people and was originally called Owen’s Ordinary when General Edward Braddock’s troops marched through in 1776. By 1774 the place was referred to as Hungerford’s Tavern. After 1776, at the founding of the county, most people called it Montgomery Court House although it was officially named Williamsburg.  The Williams family offered lots for sale adjacent to the courthouse and by 1801 the name was changed to Rockville after Rock Creek. The town was incorporated. So, Rockville had several names before it was finally given its name Rockville. What do you want to bet that Hungerford’s Tavern was a gathering place where men drank beer and ale. Can’t you just see these soldiers gathering at Hungerford’s after a hard day of fighting Indians and drills?

The early settlers were English (of course), Scotch and Irish. In other words, the UK or almost. At the various times they arrived, they scattered over the county and most of the little communities they started such as Barnesville, Brookville, Laytonsville, Poolesville were not as large at Rockville.

Rockville is the county seat in Montgomery County. Many people worked in D.C. and commuted from Rockville. Rockville is still one of the major places where people live, but work in Washington, D.C.  These people are professionals interested in governmental and civic affairs. They are well educated and professional. I don’t think this holds true today. At the time, many Marylanders were not native Marylanders, and they brought political philosophies to the state.

Rockville was and still is an interesting place to live for some. The city has changed greatly since it was founded. Lewis Reed of Reed Automotives stated: “More than 250 years ago, land grants to European settlers formed the nucleus for today’s Rockville, Maryland. By the 1750s, local farmers were transporting tobacco to market in Georgetown down a road formerly used by Indians. The tiny settlement was designated as the seat of the new Montgomery County in 1776. Known as Rockville by 1803, the town’s life centered on Courthouse activity. More homes and shops were built, and the town of nearly 600 was incorporated in 1860. The dynamics that created Rockville in the 18th and 19th centuries are still the same ones attracting newcomers today: the presence of county government, a favorable location close to the nation’s capital, converging transportation routes that bring people here, and identity as an independent municipality.”

Did you know Rockville was a resort town? Well maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but “Chestnut Lodge was a focal point on historic West Montgomery Avenue. Opened as a luxury hotel in 1889 for Washingtonians seeking to escape the city’s summer heat, the hotel thrived until the economy and more accessible transportation made Rockville a suburb of Washington rather than a summer vacation destination.” Everything changes, huh? Reed goes on to say, “The hotel was then purchased by Dr. Ernest L. Bullard who reopened the building, naming it Chestnut Lodge, as “a sanitarium for the care of nervous and mental diseases.” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, stayed in the sanitarium in Rockville. He took the long drive (about 45 minutes) from Washington, D. C. to see his Zelda almost every weekend.

“The Bullard family operated the nationally famous Chestnut Lodge for 75 years. It was closed only three years later. The building was conveyed to a developer in 2003 with the intention of converting it to condominiums as part of the development of the Chestnut Lodge property.” I drive by the exact corner where this sanitarium was located every time I use 270. “Sadly, a fire on June 7, 2009 destroyed the landmark building that began as Woodlawn Hotel and came to symbolize the psychiatric institution of Chestnut Lodge. Today, the Chestnut Lodge campus is preserved for the community and consists of Little Lodge, Frieda’s Cottage, a Stable and, an Ice House, and eight acres of forested lawn.” But it is not that today.

According to the history put together by Lewis Reed, “During the first two decades of the 20th century, the pace of growth slowed considerably. Between 1900 and 1920, Rockville’s population grew by only 45 persons. However, amenities available in urban areas came to Rockville in this period—electricity, telephones, indoor bathrooms, a sewerage system, trolley cars, a town park, and street trees.”

“The years after World War II were phenomenal ones in Rockville. The population swelled from 2,047 in 1940 to 26,042 in 1960. The newcomers to Rockville included WWII veterans and their young families who purchased starter homes in new subdivisions, including Hungerford Towne, Twin-Brook, and Montrose.” I live near these areas. The homes were small then, but many people have added on to those homes making them more attractive and of course, larger. The decade of 1950-60 proved pivotal for the area, as much of the old disappeared and the new was being constructed.

Unfortunately, building in Rockville continues. But look at the past. If you have been to Rockville, just think that just a little before you were born, the city was very different.

This is the Woodlawn Hotel. Wouldn’t it be nice to vacation here?

Rockville B&O Train Station early 1900s. On the left, a horse-drawn carriage has just left the station. Photo by Lewis Reed.

Halpine-Lenovitz General Store, 1906

“The Halpine Store, also known as the Lenovitz General Store, was built on Rockville Pike in 1898, taking advantage of the prime location on the trolley and railroad lines and the Pike. The store sold food, gasoline and other items to locals and Pike travelers. Note the telephone or telegraph poles, and the trolley tracks paralleling the road. The nearby Halpine railroad station also brought customers to the area, and the store became the social/community gathering place for the Halpine area.”

How many times have you passed this place?

Halpine-Lenovitz General Store at Rockville Pike and Halpine Road. Photo taken by Lewis Reed, circa 1906.

Rockville High School, 1911. Photo by Lewis Reed.

Veirs Mill Road looking east prior to paving. Photo by Lewis Reed, 1911.

What does this say, Veirs Mill Road in 1911? This is only one hundred and eleven (111) years ago.

Veirs Mill Road, 1911

“The popularity of the car coincided with the improvement of public roads around Rockville. Rockville Pike’s reputation as “one of the worst pieces of main highway in the state” helped initiate Maryland’s Good Roads Movement. Responding to citizen demands, the newly created State Roads Commission incorporated the Pike into the state highway system. By 1929, when Montgomery County residents owned 13,000 cars, the Pike and Montgomery Avenue had been paved, but less traveled Veirs Mill Road remained a narrow dirt road for decades.”

Veirs Mill Road is a main street now running from Georgia Avenue in Wheaton and ending at Rockville Pike in Rockville. It continues to be crowded and the 13,000 cars and more must all use Veirs Mill Road during the times I use it.

I wonder what the founders and those who lived here in earlier times would say about Rockville now? Would they like it? See it as a better place to live now? Think they were the ones better off? Today, we have people jammed tightly in small communities, as opposed to being spread out. I would think that would be hard for those who lived before us. There are apartment buildings that take up entire city blocks. You don’t have to worry about a place to live because there are townhouses, condos, and single-family developments everywhere you look. If you can afford it, it’s yours. How about when we go into stores in Rockville we are plagued with long lines and customers who always seem to have special problems that impose on others who are waiting their turn. I think those who lived before us would make a comment to the person holding up the line, bringing to the person’s attention that they are being inconsiderate. And what about cars? Should I bring that up? There are too many cars on the roads. So many that driving is dangerous, especially when people are on the phone, eating, eating soup (I’ve seen that so many times. I hope the soup is not hot.) Cars (including SUVs and trucks) are everywhere. It is even difficult for a homeowner to park in front of his/her house.  I don’t think those who came before us would appreciate this either. We no longer pride ourselves on the fact that we are educated and professional people because we have too many people who are not educated or professional or who live in poverty in Rockville. Progress does not always mean something good. Instead of saying progress, we can say “change.” Rockville has certainly changed from the ideas and principles that began this city.

Wasn’t this fun? I found it very interesting and to know that just 111 years ago Veirs Mill Road was a dirt road is amazing. Someone saw this change in their lifetime. And just so you know, I am not speaking of myself. This area has certainly changed since I’ve known it. History is something we all experience. Some events seem more important or historical than others, but history is what we live in and what we help create. History is exciting!

I thank you so much for allowing me to bring you this history instead of what I had planned. I hope you are calm, more relieved, and more at peace. You have given that to me. Focusing on something good, positive, and interesting does help.

Reading won’t hurt either. Reading makes a nice “get-away” as it takes you into a world of fantasy. Enjoy reading. You can get my novels here: Send me an email and let me know what you think.

That’s all for now. Purchase your copy of The Attractiveness of Wisdom and/or Blessings and Curses. Go on to my website as well. Don’t forget to send me an email. Take good care and many Blessings.

Love a Good Story

Love a Good Story. I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story?  Well, here is another good story.

First, I want to say that when I began blogging and I promised myself that I would not be political in what I said. I just wanted to talk about experiences and events, and express insights. This time, I am breaking my promise. Don’t worry, I will punish myself with a big bowl of ice cream after I send this blog off.

The other day, I got a phone call from someone who asked me to support Trump. While she went through her spiel of why I would want to support him, I realized that she didn’t speak about the one major reason Christians would support him. I bet you can guess  and if you thought of the abortion issue, you are correct. After the call, I sat down to think about abortion, to see both sides.

Abortion is not an issue for me. Abortion is also not an issue for a single man. His stand should not matter, and he should not support a law that upholds one side. This is a female issue, and a female should have the power and say-so. To begin, a woman, married or not, finds herself in a decision-making position. If the woman is married, then she may decide to please her husband. If the woman is not married, or single, and because she believes she is protected, she decides to engage with her male friend. In both cases, the woman makes the decision. That’s the important part.

In today’s world, more and more women are working, attending college, finding a job they want, moving up the ladder toward success, or working on another degree so that they can climb the ladder of success. They establish goals and objectives and want more for themselves than the job of a stay-at-home-mom. They don’t want to be the only adult responsible for the children that she and her husband created together in love. These women have a future, and they want to participate as professionals. They want more and are not ready for a family with children before they are accomplished. Society recognizes women and women’s abilities to hold high positions and even own their own businesses. But a woman’s travel to the top entails a much longer journey, as she must always prove herself, and she encounters many more obstacles that make her journey a longer one. Nevertheless, this is what some women want. This is what makes some women happy; that they can accomplish something. This makes women feel whole. Reaching the top not only makes women happy, reaching the top also gives women life or fulfillment and offers them the liberty they need to make their own choices.

Men don’t have these problems. Their conditions are different. Unfortunately, men can’t get pregnant. Men are not expected to raise children, especially if the pregnancy is unexpected. That job belongs to the woman. Men also climb the ladder of success, but their climb is much faster than a woman’s climb. But that’s another topic.

Because men don’t experience what women experience, nor in the same way they do, it is difficult for a man to voice an opinion about abortion. After all, he will never have to experience having an abortion, unfortunately. However, a husband should support his wife’s decision, and after carefully reviewing their individual goals, the husband and wife may make the decision together. Aside from this, no one other than the woman who made the initial decision should decide what to do in the event she needs an abortion. Her reasons are her own personal reasons and should not be dragged through the news or courts. Thus, abortion is an individual decision made by the woman, or only when the man is consulted, a family decision. Access to abortion should be granted for women who need to have an abortion.

There are two issues. First, is the reason that is omitted. The Bible says that a man and woman must procreate. They must start a family, and that family must continue the line, the next generation must continue the line, and on and on. The Bible presents long lists of families and who came after who. The Bible identifies the men and sometimes women, who continued their line. Today, we must see it the same as much as possible and in doing so, we must see that decisions about one’s body, or whether to procreate are decisions that only individual people or families have the right to make. It is ridiculous to take abortion to court.

Christians who voted for Trump because he does not support abortion rights, obviously haven’t listened to the confusion he caused in what he thinks of as a “speech.” First, Trump did not run because of abortion rights. He ran for other personal reasons. These reasons will not be discussed.

Christians have no Biblical or Christian right to tell someone else, Christian or not, what they should do about their lives. As Christians, we are not to judge others. We have no right to do that. Jesus has asked us not to judge. We are to leave that to Him. When we make a decision about abortion rights, we are also deciding about someone else, thereby casting judgement on that person. Take a minute to think about what you say to yourself about someone who wants an abortion. Do you think the words “She shouldn’t have ” or “What was she thinking? ” or anything like that? Can you see you are casting judgement? Only the woman who finds herself needing an abortion can make that decision.

When we make sweeping judgements such as the abortion issue, we make these judgements without knowledge of the lives of those needing an abortion, their circumstances, lifestyle, physical condition, and health of the woman and of the fetus, of a woman’s mental health, living conditions, even their age. It is difficult to judge what another person’s life is like. Not to mention the fact that taking a stand against abortion (making a judgement about another) is a sin. As Christians, we are called to love one another and take care of each other. You can’t care for a person when you impose your thinking on them. Even if they are wrong, your sin does not make it right. We are not called to judge. We only have one Judge. That is His responsibility and His alone. We are not to make decisions for God. That is a sin, also. When we make a decision for God, we can misrepresent Him by adding ourselves. Misrepresenting God is a huge sin. When you add up everything, whose sins are greater? Yours? Or a woman who wants an abortion? So, Christians do not judge or tell others what they should or should not do. The word “should” implies that it is your opinion, and unsupported with facts.  Instead, Christians are asked to follow the examples Jesus provided for us when he walked this earth.

If a woman and her husband, or a single woman and her friend, or a single woman makes a wrong decision, then that is her sin. They are responsible for the sin they commit. Others are not.

Let’s look at this issue another way. The Constitution of the United States says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”

I know you have read this many times in your history classes that you took both in high school and college or have read it and reread it on your own. So, I will not review the meaning of the entire passage. Instead, let’s begin with “inalienable rights.” What does “inalienable” mean? What is an “Inalienable right?” According to the Longman Advanced American Dictionary, inalienable means “a right that cannot be taken away from you.” According to the Synonym Finder, synonyms for inalienable are: “forfeitable, untransferable, not to be conveyed, consignable, unsalable, unnegotiable, positive, absolute, inherent, unchallengeable, and in the Law, indefeasible, not to be annulled, not to be made void, permanent.”

If inalienable is something, or a right, that belongs to me and me only and I cannot give that specific right away or have that right taken from me, then an inalienable right is a right that belongs to me and me only and I cannot have that right taken away from me.

The Constitution says, “Inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  The words “among these” implies that we have other right, and among all those other rights we have are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Keep in mind as we go along that these rights cannot be given away or taken away from us.

Next, we need to define life. What is life to you? If you were to ask a homeless person what life is, would they say “Oh, homelessness is the way to go.” Do you think a homeless person has life? What about someone in prison of any kind? Is that life? If someone restricts you from something you want or need and keeps you there, is that life? If a person is bedridden, is that life? If a person spends their days inside for whatever reason, is that life? Does life have to do with quality?  If that’s so, then couldn’t life be the use and experience of your talents and gifts?  Isn’t that why we are given life; to use are gifts and talents to grow ourselves and help others grow?  Stop and think about the work you and others do. Is there a job where a person does NOT offer something that some facet of the public can use?  A homeless person does not get to grow because he has no life. Society has stopped that for him. A prisoner gets a small chance for limited growth and may help others, but neither can really use their talents or gifts. What is growing? Isn’t growing developing and expanding our talents? Someone may be good with computers. That person will learn about computers by taking classes, by using the computer and by showing others. Then, after mastering those skills, the person may take more advanced classes and master more skills. Would a woman who has an unwanted pregnancy be able to grow? Would she be able to use her talents and gifts?

The next inalienable right (a right that cannot be given away or taken away from us) is liberty. Liberty means freedom. Not only are we given life, the ability to grow ourselves, as a right, but we also have liberty or freedom as an inalienable right as well. We are free to run our lives the way we see fit and we are free to grow ourselves in the manner we would like. Look at one more thing. These are individual rights. They are not group rights. A group has no say so over your individual rights, YOU get to run your own life. You are not bound by a group who gives you these rights and tells you how and when to use them. Remember inalienable. This is why it is difficult for me to understand why so many people feel they have the “right” to tell you what to do with YOUR inalienable rights. Even a judge thinks he has the right to override the Constitution and put his opinion into law. This is abuse of power. Getting back on track, Liberty, the freedom to use our talents and gifts in the way we like. Again, this freedom is granted to us individually, and not granted by others, but by the Constitution of the United States.

Then we come to pursuit of happiness. The following is what Brent Strawn, editor of The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness: What the Old and New Testament Teach us about the Good Life, published in 2012 has to say about Happiness.

“Arthur Schlesinger should be credited with pointing out in a nice little essay in 1964 that at the time of the Declaration’s composition, “the pursuit of happiness” did not mean chasing or seeking it, but practicing happiness, the experience of happiness — not just chasing it but actually catching it, you might say. Seeking happiness is one thing but actually obtaining it and experiencing it —practicing happiness! — is an entirely different matter. It’s the difference between dreaming and reality. Remember that the pursuit of happiness, in the Declaration, is not a quest or a pastime, but “an unalienable right.” Everyone has the right to actually be happy, not just try to be happy. To use a metaphor: You don’t just get the chance to make the baseball team, you are guaranteed a spot. That’s a very different understanding. So, now, in 2018, I continue to think that the thickest and best definition of “the pursuit of happiness” means we must think about facilitating the achievement of others’ happiness, and not be inordinately or exclusively self-obsessed with our own.

Happiness, then, is something we are and that we not only think about ourselves as being happy, but we must enable others to be happy, as well.”

Isn’t that a comprehensive way of thinking about the pursuit of happiness. If we reason this out using critical thinking skills, then we must find that we have the freedom to make decisions for ourselves that bring us a fulfilling life where we are able to use our talents and skills that fill us with happiness. Each woman and the woman only, has the right to decide what she will do with her body. She is given the freedom to make those decisions. If we do anything as a group, we must see to the happiness of others not ourselves. It may be difficult for some of the “I,” “All about me” people to see that. But this is the right thing to do. Let those people who are involved make their own decision. You maybe taking a “right,” such as the freedom to make their own choice, away from your daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, best friend her daughters, and on and on. We are given these inalienable rights, and no one is given a right to take these inalienable rights away from anyone. Should a woman and her husband or woman and her boyfriend make a decision that is not in their best interest, then they will have to pay for that decision, and others will not have to pay for judging.

In my novel, The Attractiveness of Wisdom, HolliAnne, Hamilton’s wife, does not want children. She fears she will become a parent who neglects her children the way her parents neglected her. She also suffered from postpartum depression. But they have three children.  Read what happened and see how that came about in The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

I thank you for reading this.  Leave a message, share your thoughts with me on this matter.


While you are here, purchase The Attractiveness of Wisdom and Blessings and Curses.

The Attractiveness of Wisdom, Winner, The Independent Press Award, 2022, and The NY Big Book Award, 2022.

Blessings and Curses, Finalist in the Readers Favorite Award, 2020, also awarded Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Frankfurt, Sharjah, and Guadalajara International Book Fairs, 2018.


Love A Good Story

I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Here is a really Good Story.

Great News! 

The Attractiveness of Wisdom just won the NYC Big Book Award.

And there is something else. A special offer for you.

Something to Shout About!
Something to Sing About!!
Something to be Happy About

Something exciting is coming up and I can’t wait to offer the event to you.

You are invited to a one-day Special for The Attractiveness of Wisdom. Please mark your calendars now for Monday, September 19. This is a one-day only sale. The Attractiveness of Wisdom, a one-day eBook promotion on KDP on sale for $.99. Imagine that!! This is a rare opportunity. So, please don’t miss this wonderful chance.                       

You may purchase The Attractiveness of Wisdom at:



Love a Good Story – A Special Opportunity

Something to Sing About!!

This is a special offer for you. 

Something to Shout About!  Something to Sing About!  Something to be happy about !

Something to Shout About!




Something exciting is coming up and I can’t wait to offer the event to you.

You are invited to a one-day Special for The Attractiveness of Wisdom. Please mark your calendars now for Monday, September 19. This is a one-day only sale. The Attractiveness of Wisdom, a one-day eBook promotion on KDP on sale for $.99. Imagine that!! This is a rare opportunity. So, please don’t miss this wonderful chance. 

You may purchase The Attractiveness of Wisdom at :                                   


Love a Good Story – A Special Opportunity

Something to Sing About!!

This is a special offer for you. 

Something to Shout About!  Something to Sing About!  Something to be happy about !

Something to Shout About!




Something exciting is coming up and I can’t wait to offer the event to you.

You are invited to a one-day Special for The Attractiveness of Wisdom. Please mark your calendars now for Monday, September 19. This is a one-day only sale. The Attractiveness of Wisdom, a one-day eBook promotion on KDP on sale for $.99. Imagine that!! This is a rare opportunity. So, please don’t miss this wonderful chance. 

You may purchase The Attractiveness of Wisdom at :                                   


Love a Good Story

Love a Good Story. I Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story?

Well, here is another Good Story.

          Biking or bicycling is one of the best ways to exercise. Biking calls on all parts of the body. The legs and leg muscles (both upper and lower) are needed for locking you in, peddling, strength in peddling and changing gears; the arms and arm muscles are needed to keep the bike straight, make turns, keep the bike on its path riding up and down hills, and to break; the stomach muscles and back muscles are also used in biking. Biking is not just an exercise regimen. A bike serves as a means of transportation for some and for others, a means of enjoyment. Both men and woman bike to and from work and do other errands. Children enjoy riding their bikes (of whatever size) once they learn how. They enjoy the movement of the bike and the fact that they can make the bike “go fast.”

          Going for a bike ride either alone or with a group does wonders for some. Once a person learns to ride, and learns about the bike, they can gain so much. For example, biking can enable a person to reach higher. Once you ride one mile, then the next day, you’ll want to go two miles, then three, four, and on and on. When a person sees progress, they can add more mileage until they reach their goal. This behavior flows over into the work-life, the home-life and with other projects. Biking can enable a person to pick up speed as they bike, eliminate the fear of riding up steep hills, passing people and riding in the street. A rider may first want to get off the bike and walk up a steep hill. But riding up steep hills helps the biker accept challenges and be successful with each. Biking can enable a person to develop more confidence, believing that challenges can be overcome. Biking is a rewarding experience for bikers and those who continue to bike over years see the improvement in themselves. I gained so much confidence in myself as I grew as a rider and saw that there was a way to tackle obstacles instead of giving in to those challenges. After I climbed a steep hill, even though I felt like I should call an ambulance, when I finally reached the top, I was ready to go back and do it again. I saw in my work life, even in getting to know people, that I could apply the same attitude.

          Though a bike is a way to improve oneself, a means of transportation, it is also a dangerous activity when the rider does not do what is necessary to keep safe. I would like to discuss what I learned while biking. I have been a biker for many years and I often (daily, during pleasant weather) rode from thirty to sixty-five, even seventy miles a day. This advice comes from information passed along to me from bike leaders before a ride, what I saw on the streets and trails, and from my personal experience with my riding.

True bikers start out with one bike, maybe a hybrid, and then progress to a street bike once they are comfortable riding and making personal progress. True bikers have more than one or two bikes. I had three but gave one away. They have a bike for every occasion and take pride in showing off another, or new, bike. Even so, most have their favorite one.

Biking in a rural area, as bikers do for speed, differs vastly from riding in a city, especially Washington, DC. DC requires much more concentration, awareness, and quick thinking than riding on the outskirts of Maryland and Virginia. Riding anywhere, but particularly in DC, can be dangerous if the rider does not take great care.

To begin with, bikers need to take care of the bike regularly for an uneventful bike ride. A flat tire can delay the ride. Regardless of the number of bikes a rider has, before a rider takes the bike out on the street, it should be in good working order. Taking the bicycle for a yearly tune-up is helpful, especially if there are a number of miles on the bike or miles put on the bike in one season. For example, I put over 3,000 miles on my bike from April to September in one season. A lot of riding in a brief period. A complete tune-up would be needed to begin the next season or to ride from April to September during the next year.

          A good biker has a good helmet. This should almost cover your entire head and needs to be brought down over your forehead as much as possible. When a biker falls, the head is protected. Women like to leave a portion of hair out. But the ride on the street is through grit and grim. Where are the street cleaners? Remember them? We rarely see them anymore. Hair should not be exposed if possible. It is helpful to wear a headband under the helmet to catch the perspiration.

A good biker wears the proper clothing – a shirt and pants – and they should be of good biking quality. Some pants have seams, some don’t. If a ride goes four or five hours, the seam in the pants can become uncomfortable for the rider. The pants, seemed or seamless, also do not twist around, and when the rider turns, the pants stay in place. There is no pulling or straightening. The shirt stays in place and the pockets in the back carry ID, food bars, car keys, etc. The biking clothes help soak up the perspiration, as well. Biking gloves (with exposed fingers) are needed to grip the handlebars without slipping. Remember that a ride is usually during warm or hot weather and the hands can get sweaty. Also, the handlebars get hot during the ride. Sunglasses that cover the eyes are also needed. Eyes need protecting and biking glasses will help with the protection from the sun and flying debris, such as leaves and flying insects. Biking shoes are necessary. Don’t use tennis shoes or other shoes, use biking shoes. They are sturdy and don’t give while riding. Of course, socks. A computer installed on the bike enables the rider to see the time, miles ridden, and the average speed. Bikers carry other things they need, such as a pump, tire patches, and repair gear, water and/or sport drink, as well as anything they need to make the ride more comfortable. But comfort comes, not necessarily from things, but from riding. A biker gets used to the bike. Biking can be a personal growth experience, improve tolerance, as well as an exercise regimen.

Recently, biking is something else for a new group of people. Perhaps it is due to the gas prices that more people are electing to ride their bicycle to work. From the news, there seems to be more bikers being hit by trucks, buses, and cars. Some bikers do not survive the collision. So far, there have been three or four on the weekly news. Why is this happening?

          Many bikers purchase a bike and then ride it. I have witnessed people riding a bike where the knees are always deeply bent. They don’t get the bike sized for them, and they don’t look comfortable on the bike. Before purchasing a bike, the potential rider needs to find out from the store manager whether they will size the bike first. If your legs are too long, which causes the knee to have a deep bent while riding, or a rider has difficulty reaching the handlebars, or the handlebars are uncomfortable, or the seat is too low, too high, then the bike needs to be adjusted according to your size and needs. You may even have to select another bike if the adjustments made are not enough or you may need to have something added to the bike or something removed. A biker needs to control the bike. If the bike is not the correct size, then the biker cannot control the bike. Some people pick a bike they like and buy it without knowing that they can make a change or two on the bike. When a rider is uncomfortable, they will focus on that.

Unless it is a requirement, there are riders who don’t wear a helmet. I know this is hard to believe. Even if it is a requirement, riders feel the requirement is not for them. I’ve seen riders riding without a helmet but have on a hat. It is wise to always wear a helmet. Riders fall off the bike because of the uneven pavement; someone darts out in front of them; the rider approaching is not paying attention, and a collision happens. It is possible to hit your head on the pavement or even the edge of the curve. That could leave you with more than a headache. Even though the onlookers can see the beauty of your hair displayed across the pavement, you can end up with damage to the brain.

  I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve seen riding in the street and the trail with flip-flops or sandals. It is dangerous to ride in flip-flops or sandals. A rider can lose their footing and thereby lose control of the bike. Biking requires a shoe with a hard bottom that does not allow give. For the sake of your knees and leg muscles, you need a hard bottom shoe. I didn’t realize that until I had a flat tire. I didn’t have a flat tire kit, either. I decided not to get one. On a ride, I ran over something and immediately my front tire went flat. I tried to ride the bike for as long as I could before I realized that if I continued riding, I would seriously damage the rim. I had to get off the bike and walk the final six miles in my tennis shoes. By the time I got home, I had blisters on almost all my toes. Had I purchased the flat tire kit, I could have simply patched the hole, and had I bought the right shoes, I would have been in a better position. It is not wise to skimp on what you need.

Another thing riders don’t do is to look either left or right to see if the way is clear before crossing an intersection or passing a person. These riders pull out, cutting off other bikers behind them or they go through the intersection as if the way has been cleared for them. If a rider does not see who is coming in an intersection, that can cause the driver of the car to slam on the brakes. I have seen this countless times. Usually, the biker did not stop and was totally unaware. The biker continued riding, oblivious to the “almost collision.”

From my personal experience on the streets or trails, bicyclists don’t seem to know the rules. They ride in the middle of the lane on the street and on a trail. They don’t keep to the right of the street or trail. If they are riding in a small or large group, they seem to think it okay to take the entire lane. Many times, these people are talking loud enough for others in front and behind them to join in on their conversation. When riding in the street, ride as close to the white line on your right as possible. In heavy traffic, slow down and keep your bike straight. It is a good idea to schedule breaks while riding in groups. Then the riders can have their conversation during the break. When riding on a trail, keep to the right. Remember that other people are also using the trail. Also keep the talking to yourselves. If a rider behind you is calling out to pass, you will not hear them, and if you are taking up the entire path, it is hard for them to pass you. It is wise for bikers to keep their mind on riding and what’s happening around them. Animals, especially deer, can come out of nowhere and stand in the street or on the trail watching you. If you are talking, you may not act as quickly as you need.

 Some bikers don’t use or know the hand signals that bikers use when turning, changing lanes, or going straight. Let the driver on your left, who is no doubt watching you for a signal, know what you plan to do. It’s not wise to keep the drivers in the dark. They would like to know when they can pass. Sometimes on a two-lane road, a biker may use the entire lane instead of staying close to the white line so that drivers may pass. A bicyclist can see around the curve on the left. If the opposite lane is clear, why not move closer to the right and let the driver know he can pass? Also, if you are as close to the white line as comfortable for you, cars are not behind you. They are afraid to pass you and being careful. For safety reasons, always keep the cars on your left, whether you are going or coming. Never drive in front or behind cars. You want the drivers to see you, as well as you want to see the drivers.

One of the major things I learned from classes and other biking groups when I have ridden with them was to keep out of a trucker’s or car’s blind spot. The name “blind spot,” says it all. The driver cannot see you if you are in his blind spot. Think about when you want to pull into the lane next to you and a driver blows the horn. You didn’t see the car because the car was in your blind spot. The thing to do when biking is to get out of the blind spot. Be certain that you see yourself in that trucker’s side-view mirror. If you can’t see yourself, then move away from the truck or get off the street. A biker must protect him/herself. The trucker will not do that. I’ve had to do this several times.

          Not only are cars, buses, and trucks a problem, but people are, too. People, grown adults, step out in front of bicyclists and cause “almost accidents” as well as “full accidents.” People think bikers are to give pedestrians the right of way and bikers should follow the rules of the road since they are riding on the road/street. Can bikers believe they have the right of way?

I’ve seen riders just ride through an intersection as if cars are not there. In one of my classes or articles I read, I found that whether a biker has the right of way, pause at the intersection when cars are there or approaching the intersection. Look at the driver across from you, on your left, and in the lane next to you, and then begin your ride. Don’t assume that the driver will give you the right of way. Let them know. This courtesy is important. Whenever I’ve stopped to give a driver the right of way (which was often), I got a wave from the driver to go on. People just want to be respected. When I figured that out, I always smiled and thanked them for letting me go first.

Riding a bike on the street is dangerous. A person can make the situation worse if they don’t know the hand signals or just decide not to use the hand signals. If a person chooses to ride a bicycle in the street, then it is encumbered upon that person to keep him or herself safe. It is a mistake to leave your life in the hands of others. Learn what to do before you take your first ride. Attend the sessions that bike shops offer or find something on the internet. The recreation department may give classes on bike maintenance and repair, and safety. Attend these classes. You will, without a doubt, need the session on bike repair, particularly the ones on flat tires. Attend the sessions so you will know what to do when you find yourself in trouble. And as you enjoy your ride on a trail or street, when you see someone in trouble, please stop to help that person. Bikers do that.

I have seen information and even read articles on ways to listen to the radio or whatever while riding a bike. There is no question that this is an advertisement from places that want to sell you their “listening gadget.” Under no circumstances should a biker ever use earphones while biking, either on the street or on a trail. I have seen this too many times. A biker needs to attend to what’s happening in front, and on the left and right sides. People blow horns, needing a biker to move out of the way, see the driver, know a car is behind or in front of them. If a biker is busy listening to the radio, the biker is not paying attention to the environment. If you are riding in D.C., you need your attention on the road and on your safety. You will need to do the same on trails where people and children are walking and running, as well as in rural areas. On a street or trail, a rider cannot go into “his world” while riding. In rural areas, a rider has to look out for dogs, deer, and other animals. And how can you use earphones with the helmet on? Learn to keep yourself safe.

Again, before you purchase a bicycle, have it sized for you, take a class on bike repair, signaling, safety, how to ride up hills, when and how to change gears, how to ride in rough terrain, standing while peddling, health issues that may arise, and anything else being offered.

Thank you for reading this. I just wanted to share with you the things I learned while biking in urban and rural areas. Having said all the above, I know I was blessed. I always had the kindest, most thoughtful drivers who offered me the right of way and waited for me to turn or whatever. I cherish those memories of these people with loving hearts.

          In The Attractiveness of Wisdom, Hamilton taught his three children to ride a bike. The kids were always equipped with the proper gear as well. In the novel, Hamilton took his kids on a ride in Pennsylvania where they raced against an Amish man and boy in a one-horse carriage. I wonder who won. Later Hamilton took his youngest son, Jeremy, on the bike path around the lake that he inspired his university to create. I encourage you to read the story. Below is the link for the Kindle version, but you can also get the paperback. Don’t forget to email me afterward.

Love A Good Story

Love a Good Story. I just Love a Good Story. Don’t you just Love a Good Story? Well, here is another Good Story.

            I recently read a blog from an author and speaker who talked about her recent adult education class she taught on memoir writing. To begin this class, she asked the same questions she’d asked many times of her students. The questions centered around their life experiences. She asked if anyone wanted to share. The attendees were reluctant to say much, and she was nervous about the lack of responses. Having been a teacher, and still am, for so many years, I know that there is always someone in the class who gets things going. Her class responded with reluctance. The next day she brought in things that they related to, and the conversation was non-stop, she said.

            This reminded me of some of the classes I’ve had over the years as an elementary school teacher, high school teacher, and now a college professor. The students in the above author’s class, even though older, had changed. The old, what we did in the past, is no longer workable in today’s classes, even with young and older adults. Teaching year to year, the change was almost unnoticeable at first, but as the years moved along, the change was much more pronounced. A teacher can either try to force the old on the students or make the change the students need. In any case, the students indicate through their actions and by what they say, what they need and how they need it from the teacher.

            This brings me to the shootings that unfortunately we have experienced lately. Students need more than a knowledge of Biology, the need to pass algebra, English, etc. Many high school students, need much more than what is taught in school. They need non-academic help. They need to find their way. High school is an important place and a huge part of growing up. Everyone reading this experienced an awful event or two in high school. No one I know wants to revisit their high school days. Yet, high school is where a student grows the most; where they learn who they are, what they want, what they will do, values and beliefs, what they won’t do, their associations, and their place in society. Yes, we all have our place in society. But what about those who don’t? Those who don’t think they fit in; the ones others make fun of; the ones who are ill prepared and don’t care anymore. Where is their place? As this country grows and grows, many Americans are already experiencing this mis or displacement.

There is a hierarchy in high school. The hierarchy has been in all high schools since the beginning of time; it seems. We’ve all been through it. If you went to high school, you also went through it. No one escapes it. At the top of the pyramid are the football players. A girl who dates a football player automatically rises to the top. All the students know the players and which ones are the best. They also know their girlfriends. At the bottom of the pyramid are the nerds. These are the smart kids who are on the debate team, honor roll and other intellectual events. They are on the bottom. Really?? Right above them are those students whose behaviors are different and who dress differently from the other students in the school. These students are picked on or bullied due to their dress and the different behaviors they have. These are the students of greatest concern. They already come from homes where they don’t feel wanted or cared for. They think no one likes them and their behavior keeps others from liking them. What do teens do when they encounter another teen who dresses and behaves differently? They make fun of them. No parent I know has ever told their child to be nice to those children who seem angry or lost. It’s difficult for a teacher to do something when they see an angry teen in the hall, going from class to class. The school is a student’s second home and should be a place where they can get the emotional help and love they need. No one should feel that they have no other choice but to shoot people to get the attention they need or to make them feel better about themselves.

Some students don’t care about where they may fall on the pyramid, others need to have their place at or near the top of the hierarchy no matter what. Where a person falls in the hierarchy, says who they are in the “school society.” Where a student is placed determines who they date, what group will accept them, whether they are ignored, laughed at, bullied, and a host of other things. Even the angels want their place on that pyramid to be at the top. It is always impressive to see students who stand out. They don’t want to be placed on a pyramid. They are individuals. I remember one student who always wore a bow tie, a different one each day. He stood out as an individual and it didn’t matter to him what other students thought.

Students who come from homes where their parents do not validate them, or care about them, have trouble being accepted on any part of the ladder. They focus on the fact that nobody loves them. Other students may have made fun of their hairstyle, the way they walk, look, talk, and how they have failed everything. Students do this in front of other students. Demeaning a student like that brings on nothing but trouble, because the student who has been demeaned will often want to get back at the student who demeaned them. This happens to both boys and girls.

Every person on earth has the right to live in peace. We are guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A person does not have the right to demean another person. That violates their personal rights. There are things we hold in our hearts from high school or experiences we have had during those teen years. One of the things for high school students who have been mistreated is the mistreatment they received in high school. This mistreatment changes the person from someone nice to someone who is angry and who hates, who hates himself as well as others. They may want to see how someone else would react when they are being mistreated. They may want to shoot someone or many people. But they will find that shooting someone or many people does not relieve that hatred they have for themselves.

It is awful to see a student being abused. Even worse to see the look on their face while and immediately after. No one loves them. Can you feel that? Can you feel how a person feels unloved? Our high school students will become our leaders. The adults – parents, teachers, or any adult – can help these needy students by stopping the bullying and harassment in schools and in the community. Bullying doesn’t just happen in a school. It also happens in the community: on the street, in a store, in a park or any place else. They also need help with their home life. They can’t exchange their parents, unfortunately, but they can learn coping skills. These students can have strong academic and artistic skills, but since no one believes in them, “why bother.” These students who are otherwise lovely human beings, need our help.

We are so preoccupied with other things we think are important, that we are not paying attention to what these teens need. We can tell a woman that she can or can’t have say over her own body, we can tell people who they can and can’t marry, we think it is okay to tell someone where and when they can pray, but we don’t see the need to help our high school students who have mental illnesses and challenges. The need is strong, especially with the addition of Covid. If we care about people, we need to help these students.

Thank you so much for indulging me. Now, isn’t this a Good Story?

Jeremy, in The Attractiveness of Wisdom, would not be a student who would tolerate bullying, or watching a student abuse another. Jeremy, I’m proud to say, would have stopped the wrong that he saw happening to another human being, ignoring the price he would have to pay.

Read about this wonderful boy, Jeremy, who enters his teen years during the story and his strong need to help others and his strong faith in God in The Attractiveness of Wisdom.

Oh, did I tell you The Attractiveness of Wisdom won the Independent Press Award?

Enjoy this story.