Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rabbit Trails in Diaries

Periodically I transcribe sections of a diary.  This last week's entries were from 1939.  The diary was written by a young woman, single, a teacher in a one-room school in the far northwestern corner of our country.  The diary entries chronicle farm life:  the plowing, the scratching (now what on earth is that?) of the land; the meal preparation, often begun by butchering roasters; church events such as choir practice and Christian Endeavor program planning (does anyone remember that title?); even butchering hogs, which entails (hah) preparing sausage casings and making head cheese.

The diarist also records trips to town to see movies.  I have put some on my Netflix queue.  Perhaps I'll share a list another time.  Once in a while the young woman writes a book title.  Read "Shuttered Windows." (Florence Crannell Means)  

Curious, I searched for it at my local library.  I brought it home yesterday.  It was written in 1938.  How did it get to an eastern Washington state library so quickly (I suppose this young woman had no money to buy books), all across the country from wherever Houghton Mifflin was publishing?

It is a young adult novel, before the genre solidified, I suppose.  It is about a black teenager from Minneapolis, where racial divisions are only moderate, who visits her grandmother in the "gullah"  barrier islands off South Carolina.  I am finding it charming, quite well written, with the contrast between the northern girl and her southern milieu the centerpiece of the book.

I cannot imagine that the aforementioned diarist had ever known any African Americans, or knew  what the black life style was like in the 1930's.  This must have been a disturbing book, even though the contrasts are gently and kindly given.

The diarist.  Can you guess who she might be?

Thursday, May 23, 2013


This morning I have found A Journey of Letters on Amazon as an eBook.  Nice, huh.  I wonder if it will ever appear there in a form one can touch, stroke, riffle through, dog ear the pages.  Are those days fading fast?  Never mind:  we've ordered some more REAL books.

We appreciate, other Julie, you as our number one cheering section.  And await your own missive, account, story, BOOK.  By the way, your Goodreads list is way up there in number and excellence.  Kudos to you.    Julie

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Hey, Julie!
I went to the Bookworm yesterday and found 5 new/old books! I decided
to read (again after 50 years)The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. Other
books by Lee Smith, Anne Tyler (I've read all of hers and this is her
new (2012) one, Robert Goolrick and Tan Twan Eng. I'll put them on
Goodreads as I finish so you can see if I liked them or not.
Everybody should register for Goodreads, don't you think? Great way
for like-minded bookworms to find reading material, and it's free! I
always enjoy your suggestions and comments, and of course, the 'other'
Julie's, too. I wish they rated books with G's, PG's or R's. Now I'm
looking forward to sitting on my patio and reading the summer days
away. (Like that will happen, but I can dream, can't I?)
Later... Judy

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Slow Down, Nellie!

I was reading in my Intimacy with God devotional book by Joni
Eareckson Tada this morning. She says we must listen for God to speak
to us...not audibly, but through impressions, convictions, directions,
affirmations. I try to take things into my own hands too fast, I
fear. I pray and go! Julie and I have given God this book to use
however He chooses. But after almost a hundred books sold already,
I'm eager for more! Maybe too eager. I need to slow down and
listen. Our Journey of Letters took the life experiences of seventy
years, our continuing journey will take several years more. The horse
is running too fast to the barn! Slow down, Nellie and enjoy the
ride. What a wonderful adventure in faith!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Little Book about Two Little Girls

Here it (almost) is.  Our publisher says we'll see our book, A Journey of Letters, on line (Amazon et al) on August 6.  But Tuesday Judy and I will watch for the FedEx truck, bringing us some copies to sell.  If you would like to order the book from us, email us at (Judy) or (Julie).  You may also order directly from the publishing company:  Our book has a website as well:, where you can find out about the book and about each of us, such as we are.

Please forgive this blog entry's side path into the realm of commercialism.  We find it hard to do; hence the blog will now return to pursue the straight and narrow (but we're aware our blogs have been much "other" than straight and narrow).