Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September 20, 2017

When I was younger, “folk wisdom” was more of an element in our lives than it is today. It seemed to me, at times, that the older people had a saying for everything. Adages and common-sense approaches don’t seem to play much of a role in life these days. Instead of relying upon old saws and old folks for wisdom, we now have the Internet.

Some attitudinal habits, however, appear to hold true. For example, there used to be a saying in New York and area, back in the early years of the last century: “If you see it in the Sun, it’s so.” This saying, of course, played a central role in a very famous OPED known as, “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” Not to mention the inevitable holiday TV movie that appeared in 1991, inspired by it.

The concept illustrated above, with apologies to St. Nick, wasn’t about Christmas. It meant that if an item appeared in print, then it had to be the truth (think of it as an early if/then statement). And the reason folks felt a certain amount of assurance believing that, was that in those days and for the most part, newspaper reporters and editors did their level best to make sure that the stories they printed contained the true facts of a matter. The same held true for the newscasts. The Huntley/Brinkley and Walter Cronkite nightly news were programs, in the beginning, that had no “sponsors”. The major networks provided the news on their own dime. No ads meant no reason to skew the reporting. That was then.

Of course, lying really is as old as time—as is blaming someone else for your misdeeds. Just read the book of Genesis if you need proof. But I digress.

Somehow, we’ve carried on that attitude that if it appears in print—if we can read it—it must be true. People, that is not so at all today! In fact, it’s truly never been so to the extent we wanted to believe it was. Just because you see something on the Internet does not mean it’s the truth. You still have to use logic and discernment to make a judgement: Is this item that I am reading actually true?

And yes, there really is such a thing as the truth.

The use of smoke and mirrors is so prevalent these days, everyone should be issued sunglasses and gas masks free of charge. Seriously. Do you know what my daughter told me a while back? It was something that totally gobsmacked me. It happened when she was sitting beside me and I was posting something somewhere on line—I can’t remember the exact place or occasion, but it was on Face Book and I was answering a question. She asked me why I had written what I had, some sort of a confession that some might consider embarrassing. I told her that what I had written was the truth. Her observation? “When you’re on Face Book, just lie. Everyone does.”

I told her that no, not everyone does, because I don’t. I’m pretty sure there are lots of others who don’t, as well. But I would rather see others adopt my daughter’s skeptical attitude than to blindly accept whatever they read as being truth.

There have always been those who would take advantage of others. There have always been those who would push their own agendas regardless of what is real or true, and regardless of what is best for the world at large. The Internet hasn’t changed that; it has, however, facilitated it. Now John or Jane Doe who might be bitter or angry because of personal wounds, perceived or imagined, can strike out, strike back, from the safety of their armchairs. If someone pays them enough money, they are happy to say anything—anything at all! Think about that for a moment. People who have even a slight bent, who would dearly love to “pay someone back” or take their negativity out on others or earn a fast buck without caring where it came from feel free to do so within the anonymity of the world wide web.

I don’t have any answers to this challenge we face. For the moment, it seems that too many people are focused on their anger, saying whatever makes them feel good—a good feeling that evaporates as quickly as the sound of those words dissipate into the ether.

All I really have are questions. Oh, and adages. I have tons and tons of adages and old saws. My favorite is what goes around, comes around. I believe in Divine Justice, or as others refer to it, Karma.

Yes, they have indeed called for more vehicles, because the line to ride the Karma bus keeps getting longer and longer and longer.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September 13, 2017

Now that Mother Nature has taken us to school, and reminded us once more how puny we are in comparison, the hard work of rebuilding can, in the case of Texas continue and, in the case of Florida and the Caribbean, begin.

I sat in front of my television, as I am sure many of you did, a silent, praying witness to the destruction that hurricane Irma wrought on the Caribbean and the state of Florida. I couldn’t even imagine going through such a thing. As I watched I was inevitably reminded how lucky I am to live here, where I do. Rare indeed are hurricanes in my neck of the woods. I had to look it up. I knew of one—Hurricane Hazel that hit this area in the year I was born—but I wondered if there were any others.

The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 found it’s way as an extratropical storm to this area. In researching it, I discovered it did affect my own town, and that during the storm, the town’s flour mill caught fire, causing $350,000 dollars damage to the mill and 50 other stores and offices in town. I’m not sure what the modern-day equivalent to that amount of year 1900 dollars is, but for those times, it was a massive loss. But nothing, of course, compared to the number of lives that monster storm claimed: between 6 and 12 thousand souls perished. It was and remains the deadliest natural disaster in U. S. history.

Reading about that storm, that arrived in an age when they didn’t have the advance warning systems we have now, sent a shiver down my spine. In the account I perused, it stated that storm ended Galveston’s “golden age”, that in its aftermath, investors turned their backs on that city, and focused on Houston, instead.

Looking over the video footage of the last few days, of some of the Caribbean islands—St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Barbuda as well as St. Martin/St. Maarten—one wonders not only how these islands can be re-built, but if they will be. The loss to these small paradises was not just lives and buildings: a lot of the vegetation has been scrubbed away. Man can rebuild a house; but he cannot recreate the lush flora of the region. Only nature can do that, and that will definitely take time.

I try very hard not to be political in my comments. I’m not being so, now, exactly. But something happened in the days leading up to the landfall of Irma, and I really have to say something about it because, quite frankly it really got me angry. One of the more bombastic of radio personalities, one who is in West Palm beach, shot his mouth off before the arrival of the storm. While the hard-working Republican Governor of Florida was entreating his citizens to not ignore the warnings, to evacuate ahead of the event, this jerk with a microphone claimed to his audience that the hoopla over Irma was a left-wing conspiracy, perpetrated by those with a “climate change” agenda.

I am all for free speech. I may not agree with what you have to say but I will defend your right to say it.

That stated, I believe making such a statement, under the circumstances, should be equated to yelling “fire!” in a packed theater. Many people believe every word this jerk says; it is therefore my hope that if any of his listeners, heeding his words, came to serious harm or died, he should be held responsible.

And you’d think, that, having given that “opinion” from his lofty on-air platform that he would have stayed in West Palm Beach, knowing there was only a little breeze coming his way, not the monster storm cited by the Governor and everyone else. Right? Ah, no. The cowardly lyin’ evacuated. I wonder if he headed west, to, say, Marco Island or perhaps Naples?

Sorry. That was a bit barbed, but nothing angers me more than those who make money by spewing trash, regardless of the side of the political spectrum they’re on. I’m old fashioned and naïve.

I believe if you have a platform, then you should use it to uplift, not tear down.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 6, 2017

And just like that, the summer is over!

We spent all of this past summer right here at home—or, rather, in our home province as we did have that one long weekend at KallypsoCon, just down the road from us. It’s the first time we’ve done that in several years, as we usually go to Pennsylvania the first week in August. That trip is a combination of research of the area for a future novel, as well as touching base with friends.

My point is that our going away even for a week, I thought, affected my sense of the speed with which the summer passed. Some summers we’ve been away from home—out of the country—for at least two, and sometimes for as many as three, weeks. And at the end of those summers I always felt as if doing so made the summer seem to go faster.

Now I can say that no, summer just passes very quickly, period.

In front of our house we have a walnut tree. Now, these aren’t to my knowledge, the kind of walnuts you can eat. They’re good for squirrel food and that’s about it. Each year, this tree is the last to get its leaves, and the first to lose them. As soon as the tree has grown those green nuts, the leaves begin to turn yellow and drop off. This is a process that lasts at least a couple months—and it started a week or more ago. Sometimes, at this point, our grass is a bit on the brown side and bristly to the touch. This year we’ve had a fair bit of rain, so the grass has remained green. It needs to be cut and for that, we’ve a grandson on tap. The days are gone when either my husband or I can manage this task. If our yard was flat, well, then we could. However, it’s anything but, and the uneven and hilly terrain is too much of a challenge for us.

Yesterday, Mr. Tuffy was once more able to growl and bark at the kids who line up for the school bus right at the corner of our property. There are actually two groups of students awaiting transport—one more or less in front of our house, and one in front of the neighbor’s. We both have a corner property on the west side of an intersection.

I don’t let the dog out onto the porch until after the kids are gone, because they don’t deserve to be barked at in person. So Tuffy has to be content with barking at them from the back of our love seat or from atop my desk, until after the buses have collected the children. The last one arrives about 8:26am.

I also tend to keep him inside in the morning during spring to fall, preferably on my desk, until I “see what sort of a day we’re having”. I thank my beloved for the need for this subterfuge. You see, on the weekend and holiday mornings, when David is home, Mr. Tuffy has coffee with daddy. Just a few drops in the bottom of his cup, but it’s tradition. Have I told my husband this isn’t good for the little guy? Of course. My beloved argues a few drops a couple days a week won’t really hurt him and he might be right. However, it’s my responsibility to see to it that no cup is on the porch the first time he goes out each morning. During the good weather, my husband awaits his daughter there, and leaves his half-done coffee when she arrives.

So, Monday to Friday I have to get out to the porch and scoop my husband’s morning coffee cup and deal with it without the dog being any the wiser. And in case you think he wouldn’t know? The first thing he does the first time he gets onto the porch every day after I get up, is to run to that single table we have there, looking for daddy’s coffee cup.

Once he sees it’s not there, he forgets all about it.

Some of you may be wondering, “but Morgan, don’t you drink coffee in the morning? What about your cup?” I think my answer may be an example of canine-thought, but I’m not sure how that helps us any. Yes, I do have coffee, at least three cups a day. But since I have never put my cup down for the dog, he doesn’t expect it of me.

As I said, I think there’s a message there somewhere. I’m just not certain what it is.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 30, 2017

The pictures coming out of Texas beginning last weekend, and over the past few days have been heartbreaking. To see some small towns practically demolished, and the streets of Houston with waist to chest deep water—and rising—is beyond shocking. Entire neighborhoods will have to be leveled, I think. You can’t have homes submerged for so long a period in so much contaminated water, and hope they’ll dry out and be fine. You just can’t.

The disaster that was Hurricane, and now Tropical Storm Harvey truly is unlike any storm we’ve ever seen. Usually a hurricane comes, rages for a day or so, and then goes away. The cost in human lives can be counted almost immediately. When I awoke this morning, it was to news that the death toll had reached 18, doubling overnight. The authorities fear that number will climb, once the water drains away. Hurricane Katrina stole 1,836 lives. We can only pray that is a number never to be matched or exceeded.

In addition to the deaths, thousands of people have and are going through hell. Thousands have escaped with their lives, but have lost everything they possess, save the clothes on their backs. Some arrived at the shelters, shoeless. For the person experiencing it, losing everything is more than a shock, it’s a violation—very similar to the kind of violation one would feel after a physical attack. It’s happened to us twice, through fire, so I know a little of what these people are feeling.

The Houston police chief, Art Acevedo said during the telephone interview that I listened to Monday morning, that he feared the worst was yet to come, and his words have proven true. All of the water brought by the rainfall and flooding in south east Texas will head to the Gulf via Houston. There are over 6 million people in the metropolitan Houston area, a number far too high to have tried to evacuate, given the propensity for flash flooding on many of the roadways leading out of the area. A family of 6 was lost, having perished attempting to evacuate their flooded home.

The Army Corps of Engineers had to release water from two Houston dams into the Buffalo Bayou on Monday morning. This was done to prevent uncontrollable flooding of the Houston Metropolitan area, and to keep the dams from failing. It was a measure taken much sooner than originally planned, because the water in the reservoirs rose so quickly. Some people were not yet flooded until the gates of the reservoirs were opened. And even so, one of those dams, built in the 1930s, still breached it’s banks, spilling water into areas that had previously escaped flooding.

A category 4 Hurricane with no “steering currents” gathering last minute strength from the unusually warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, coming ashore and lingering, wreaking havoc and with the potential for unprecedented rainfall—well, there was simply no real play book to follow for this crisis. They are writing the book for this one as they go along. Another blessing? There was no storm surge in the Houston area.

This is going to be a very long recovery for the people of south east Texas, and especially, it would seem, for the people of Houston. The storm has moved on but the water will continue to bring heartache until it eventually drains away. What the water hid will then be revealed and the true recovery can begin. Only six days of Harvey, but the rebuilding, the mending of lives, and of spirits, the reconstruction of neighborhoods—that is going to take years.

The one bright light throughout this disaster has been watching neighbors helping neighbors, and strangers helping strangers. People came from far and wide, brought their own boats, and just got to work. Much has been written about the great divide within the United States these days; and yet I am certain no one offering help inquired if the person in need of that help was a democrat or a republican. They didn’t care what color their skin was, or if they might be an immigrant or native born. In the midst of the chaos named Harvey, all those people were Texans, and they were Americans—they were brothers and sisters. And while this tragedy has been hard to watch, and clearly even harder to endure, the affirmation of the greatest of the values for which America stands, has been something we all needed to see—and more, something we all need to emulate.

There are ways we all can help the people devastated by Harvey. Canadians can donate money through the Canadian Red Cross. Here is a link to the designated page on their website: http://www.redcross.ca/about-us/red-cross-stories/2017/red-cross-responds-to-devastation-caused-by-hurricane-harvey.

The American Red Cross is, of course, involved in providing assistance. In addition, here is a list I found of resources in need of various donations, for my American friends who want to help: https://www.yahoo.com/news/help-victims-tropical-storm-harvey-212340221.html

You don’t have to give a lot; you might think your five dollars won’t help, but it will. Your five dollars added to the five dollars of thousands of other people means thousands of dollars times five will flow and be used to help put people’s lives back together again.

In the meantime, let’s all send positive thoughts and prayers for the people affected by this disaster. The people of Texas are resilient. They will get through this, and come out stronger. I truly believe this to be so.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23, 2017

When I was younger, I couldn’t help but notice that I had either time, or money, in surplus but not both, never both at the same time. If I was working full time, then I never had time to do the things I enjoyed doing. On those rare occasions when I was out of work, I had lots of time, but not too much in discretionary dollars to spend. During those stretches, I would peruse the farmers’ markets in my area, and buy up bushels of cucumbers or beets, or baskets of peaches, strawberries or blueberries. The more stuff I could make – and in those days, it was cheaper to produce home made – then the more money I could shave off the grocery bill.

In my canning career, I’ve made everything my mother made except for one thing: sauerkraut. That whole process just seems like too much work to me. Plus, she had a marvelous stone crock, and I’ve never had one of those. Truly, for the amount of sauerkraut my husband and I consume here (the kids never cared for it) it’s better all the way around, to just buy it.

But I’ve made lots of jam, as some of my friends will attest. Strawberry, blueberry, cherry, peach, I’ve made them all and in copious quantities. I’ve made bread and butter pickles—and of all the things I have canned they were the most labor intensive to produce. There was the washing (scrubbing) and slicing and then covering them in ice for a few hours. Then packing the jars, interspersing the cucumber pieces with green and red pepper chunks, and pieces of onion. I tried using those tiny onions but oh my goodness, those little suckers are a lot of work to peel.

I’ve made dill pickles more than any other kind of pickled produce, and I’ve made sweet pickled beets.

I’ve also made sweet green relish, sourced from cucumbers. That was one of my mother’s specialties. Recalling the first time I made that after my mother died never fails to put a rueful smile on my face. As the pot full of ground cucs with a few onions, and vinegar and sugar and the “bouquet garni” simmered away, filling my house with that loved, yet dreaded scent of autumn, I stared at the mixture in the pot and began to howl with laughter.

You see, when I was a kid I hated helping mom make the relish, because my job was slicing the cucumbers length-wise and then scraping the seeds out of each half and into a bucket. Bushel after bushel after bushel of those ugly green cucs waited for me and my spoon. And here was my first solo batch of my mother’s recipe sweet green relish—bubbling away slowly, seeds and all. I guess my memory had hidden from me the scraping part, as it would any other past horrible trauma.

The other condiment my mother made, and that my mother-in-law also made, was chili sauce. I’m not sure why it’s called that. Does anyone know? There are no chili peppers in it. There are tomatoes and green and red peppers, and onions; in my mother-in-law’s version, there were also peaches. I’ve incorporated peaches into my sauce. There’s vinegar and salt and sugar and spices: ground cloves, ground allspice, and ground cinnamon. I put everything into a large pot, and let science take over. There is a slow gentle simmering, and an aroma filling the air, an aroma that takes me back in time. The chili sauce only simmers for hours, as opposed to how my mother, and now I, prepared the green relish, which was a slow simmer for 3 or 4 hours for each of 3 or 4 days.

The scent of mom’s relish would sear my nostrils every autumn. I swear it sometimes was absorbed by my bedding, it was so rife throughout the entire the house!

I don’t make much these days, as it really takes a lot out of me. But this past Monday, I decided to make some chili sauce. I used a recipe I found in an old cook book of my mother’s, a book that dates back to the 1940s. It was a large yield recipe and I tried my hand at dividing it into thirds, so I made a third of it. The peaches were a guess, because, as I said, that had been my mother-in-law’s add-in and weren’t included in the original recipe.

 The aroma did take me back, as I said, and was pleasant without crossing that line the green sweet relish always crossed in the first hour of its cooking.

And the final product—seeing something I made filling a couple of jars on the table—that was pure satisfaction in and of itself. It always is. That sight was nod to whatever instincts that reside within each of us that hark back to the beginning of time, when we had to live by our wits and our work, the sight of those jars was a signal that I have done my job, I had provided for my family, to help get us through the lean months of the coming winter. That is a kind of satisfaction I have found nowhere else.

The taste test was last night at supper. Mr. Ashbury gave it two thumbs up.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16, 2017

I cannot remain silent. To witness such grotesque injustice, and say nothing, is to agree with it. This past weekend I watched thugs marching in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, spewing hate and Nazi slogans, giving Nazi salutes. That is completely intolerable, completely and unequivocally wrong. I know my history. The United States of America as well as my own country of Canada went to war, not even a century ago, against the evil of Nazism. One cannot claim to be a patriotic American or a patriotic Canadian and be a Nazi.

You just can’t. It is not physically, emotionally, or morally possible.

Looking at the bigger picture, I have to ask myself, why do human beings hate?

Why do we allow ourselves to feel the roiling, boiling cauldron of emotions that leave us full of anger, full of rage? Full of hate? Those feelings don’t make us feel good. They don’t create, they don’t uplift, they don’t enhance. Nothing good comes from those emotions. So why do we allow them purchase within our souls, and within our society?

 Of all the things we, as a species, permit in our lives, the one I don’t understand is this pervasive, black, crippling hate, the likes of which we all saw on our television screens over this past weekend. I can’t understand it. Am I hopelessly naïve? Oh, more than likely.

So, what makes people hate?

 I’ll tell you one thing, I don’t as a rule proselytize in my essays. And I won’t over much, this time, either. But I will say this: I have read the Bible. I state that because I have also heard some of these haters saying they believe in God, and I do not doubt that they do: after all, Satan believes in God, too.

I am a Christian, and hate has no place in my faith. That isn’t my opinion, it’s fact. There is no hate in that Good Book. Jesus did go into the temple with a whip which He made in response to seeing God’s House turned into a ‘den of thieves’. That was anger—righteous anger. That was not hate.

Hate is not the emotion used by God. Hate is the tool of Satan.

So again I ask, why hate? There is absolutely no positive to be gained through hate. See, I told you I was naïve. The only gain these haters are interested in is power. They hope to overthrow democracy, and take over, and “purify” their nation. Their words, not mine. It appears lots of people agree with them. Maybe those people think if there we only white people around, life would somehow be better. More jobs. More money. Just like the good old days!

But that’s not true, not any of it. Those people just want the power for power’s sake. And once they get it, they may decide, hmm. All those blonde people, just you know, being blonde. Those blondes steal our jobs, they’re the reason life is no longer good here. We need to get rid of the blondes! If we got rid of the blondes, life would somehow be better. More jobs. More money. Just like the good old days!

Yeah, that sounds silly, but there is as much logic behind that as there is logic behind their stated goals and motivations now. Those that would have power at any cost will lie to attain it.

Let me say that one sentence again. Those that would have power at any cost will lie to attain it. And they will use any means—stirring up fears, feeding insecurities, whatever it takes—so that their mindless minions will believe, and will do what’s asked of them. And those who are pathological liars just lie because they can’t help themselves.

I believe in the right of all people to protest. I believe in the right of all people to speak their minds, and to have their say and to choose their own beliefs.

However, when people go to a so called “rally” armed with guns, knives, clubs and shields, they’re not there to protest. They’re there to commit violence. They are there to hurt other people. Unarmed people. Ministers, and pastors, and community volunteers. Legal assistants.

And if they drive their car into a crowd of innocent, unarmed people, hoping for a high body count? Why, then they’re terrorists.

We all have the right to protest. We do not have the right to riot, to hurt, to maim or to kill.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9, 2017

This past weekend my husband and I tackled a long overdue job—one that we had to do upstairs. This was supposed to be our bedroom/office area. Unfortunately, the renovations, a joint project between my husband and our second son, were never completed after our son died. My husband simply didn’t have the heart for it. There needs only the finishing work to be done: drywall, and some type of finished flooring. Over the years this space has housed bedrooms for my grandkids, and a place for my daughter and her son when they moved in with us for a couple years.

We also use this area for storage, and what called us up there this past weekend was the task of sorting through the thousands of books we have stored up there—some on bookshelves, some in boxes, and some in a very long, sturdy wooden cedar chest.

Yes, my friends, I said thousands of books. The last time my daughter counted them, there were over 4,000. These are mostly paperbacks, though there were a few hard cover books in the lot. Some of the oldest books dating back to the 1940s and before sadly weren’t in good condition—nor were they when they came into our possession.

Our goal, over this past weekend, was to separate the wheat from the chaff, basically. What books did we really want to keep and which ones could we put in a pile to give away?

I know. You’re all still up there at the 4000. Seriously, I think’s closer to 5000 if you count the more recent books, the ones that are down stairs on our 6 bookshelves. You’re probably wondering where all those books came from.

To preface, I will tell you that we’ve always had books, and to top that off, we have had 2 house fires where we lost virtually everything, including our books. My beloved pointed out in the middle of this weekend’s sorting work, that this was indeed our third collection.

When the kids were younger, when we were struggling, and both of us working, each bi-weekly payday we’d give ourselves 20 dollars a piece as our “allowance”. That total of 40 bucks was our entire entertainment budget. And each payday, we would take ourselves to the bookstore at the plaza in the town where we shopped. There, we would each purchase as many books as possible with our allowance.

At the time, I’d begun to read romance, and became somewhat hooked on some of the monthly release lines, like Silhouette Desire and Harlequin Loveswept, and other lines, too. Those books were fairly inexpensive. My beloved actually liked historical romance, and he read those long before I did. He’d also buy other action adventure books.

When we each finished reading our books, we’d often swap and read each other’s. As I said, that was our entertainment. We also bought a fair number of books at garage sales. “You can have the entire box for five bucks!” What a deal that was for us, a deal only topped by the time we bought a four-piece living room suite for 15 dollars at a garage sale—but that is another story.

Sorting began Saturday morning. I know my husband was expecting a battle; I know he somehow thought that I would want to keep a ton of those books. But that was never in my plans. Yes, there were a few books that I’d really loved. And when I would come across those? Why, they went into the keeper box, no question about it. By the time we called it a day on Saturday, David had accepted I wasn’t going to cling overmuch to the past.

I found all of my old favorites except one; I’m going to post on my face book page about that one, because I don’t recall the title or the author, just the plot.

My reading tastes, and yes, my standards have changed. That’s not a slight against the two lines of books I’ve named, not at all. Anyone who’s watched an episode of an old favorite television series will know what I mean. Books and shows over twenty years old seem less sophisticated when you revisit them; as they should because they reflect the society in which they were produced, and times do change. There’s a kind of social innocence to those pre-global terrorism days that one could almost term halcyon.

I’m grateful to the hundreds of authors who wrote thousands of novels, tiny vehicles of escape and relief. Back in the days before I ever believed I would be a published author, I sank into those simple, happy stories and felt uplifted. Those hours of escape were as good as any vacation I later took.

In the end, we kept about four boxes worth of books, and have twenty-two boxes ready to go—hopefully to good, grateful homes.

Love,
Morgan
http://www.morganashbury.com
http://www.bookstrand.com/morgan-ashbury