Saturday, December 28, 2013


Have you heard the phrase, "He's forgotten more than you'll every know." Usually this term is in reference to an elderly person who has always been intelligent but has begun to lose some memory.
Well, I think to stay ahead in the memory and intelligence game, one must continually learn. What we learn doesn't seem to be important--anything will do.

In this vein, then, what did I learn in the year of 2013?

1. First, I learned that true friendship weathers storms of all kinds. I have categories of friends, and I suspect everyone does. Good friends are to be cherished, because when you lose one, it's like losing a family member. The adage is true, that "God gave us Friends to Make Up For Some of Our Family."

2. Second, I learned that good health is our most valued gift from God. Ask me about any medical problem, and I bet I can tell you something about it. How do I know so much? Google will tell me anything in this world I need or want to know. Since I'm always interested in medical issues, I have learned how to research, read, and comprehend just about anything medically. Some think I'm a little weird about this, but think about how much I've learned.

3. Third, I learned that humans as a whole have good hearts. Show me the most caustic, hateful, rude, irreverent person, and I believe somewhere, somehow, something will make tears come to that person's eyes. We're all wired to be at least somewhat sensitive to others. (This belief does NOT include Charles Manson, chronic child molesters, Kim Jung Il, or Bashar al-Assad."

4. Fourth, I learned that our world is in a big messy battle. I don't think I recall a year in which so many countries are in extreme turmoil to the point of collapse since WWII. And I believe I learned every one of these battles is based on a particular religious belief. We can fight many enemies, but we cannot fight other religions and win. It's just not going to happen.

5.  Fifth, I re-learned:
There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,   
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,     
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,    
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,  
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,     
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,     
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace

6. Sixth, from Ecclesiastes 3 (see #5), I learned that "Everything You Need To Know You Can Learn From This Chapter of the Bible." To me, it's the wisest, the most comprehensible, and the most common sense advice I really need.

7. Seventh, I learned not how much I know, but how much I don't know. And this list is endless. If I don't wake up every morning and find something good in the day to learn, then I have wasted an entire precious day of my life.
~*~Don't do that. Yes, at times we have more to do in a day than we can complete, but count your blessings for that.
~*~We needn't be a driving force all day every day, but sometimes take the advice to find "a time to dance."
~*~Now, I sound like a preacher, and I'm far from that, I assure you.

 8. Eighth, my last and final thing I learned: Don't do something because you feel obligated. Been there, done that. The activity really gets you nowhere. I don't mean throw your obligations aside, such as refuse to cook dinner ever again, but if you are involved in anything that seems like a chore, a burden, or a big waste of time...then you have my permission: DON'T DO IT.

Romance...and a little bit of Texas

Friday, December 20, 2013


"Chocolate Covered Cherries"

Today in Walgreens, while waiting for a prescription, my husband and I strolled toward a row of chairs to wait. Dividing the row in half sat a table filled with bright red boxes of "Chocolate Covered Cherries"--A gift for a loved one. Chocolate Covered Cherries? Remember those? The chocolate was good, but not spectacular, and when you bit into one, the cherry juice ran out. Oh, the cherry is good, too, but all in's a messy experience. Still, I remembered a boy in 8th grade who gave me a box of Chocolate Covered Cherries, and my husband said he recalled buying a box for his mother one year he was in high school. Good, messy, or not...they do bring back sweet memories.

"The Perfect Decoration"

Do families still decorate their Christmas tree with silvery icicles? This decoration is the most fun, the most controversial, and the most baffling of all. Grab a bunch and throw them on the tree? Or take painstaking care in separating them one by one and placing them exactly where you want? My younger sister like to throw bunches. I preferred placing single ones carefully in specific rows. We ended up with a half-and-half tree. Her side--covered in messy clumps--in my opinion--and my side? Covered in beautiful single strands perfectly placed.

"Trivial Pursuit"

When children become teenagers, Christmas morning doesn't hold the thrill and excitement as when they were young. Our little family preferred Christmas in our own home, so the four of us had leisurely Christmas Days. When our daughter was a junior and our son was a freshman, Christmas morning was cold and wet. My husband built up the fire, and we sat on the floor in front of it to open presents.

I'd bought a Trivial Pursuit game for our son. When he unwrapped it, he cleared a space on the rug and set up the game. "Want to play, Mom?" He asked his sister, too, and his dad. But Dad doesn't play games. So the three of us sat in our pajamas and began to play. After an hour or so, I suggested breakfast--my special Christmas breakfast of sausage patties and pecan waffles. "Uh-uh," they said, "let's just eat Pop-Tarts so we can keep playing." We did. At noon, same thing. "Let's just snack on crackers and cheese or something." The game we had going was hot and tense.

At twelve, I called time out so we could all dress and brush our teeth. Then, right back to the game. By four in the afternoon, I had a horrible thought. I'd forgotten to thaw my turkey and bake cornbread for the stuffing and make fruit salad! We could not have our traditional dinner.

But the kids said, "We don't really like all that stuff anyway. Why don't we just have nachos?"
For the remaining years we had children at home, this was our pattern. Even when they came home for Christmas, nachos were always ready.

P.S. Our ninth grade son won every game.
Nothing really matters at all on Christmas, except that we love each other and give whatever gift we have.
It is, after all, the birthday of the Christ Child, and He brought all we need.

I wish you all a happy Christmas season,
the Birthday of the King, and love and happiness among us all.
Celia Yeary
omance...and a little bit of Texas

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Christmas Scene in WISH FOR THE MOON

  WISH FOR THE MOON-a 1901 North Texas coming of age story about sixteen year old Annie McGinnis.

The year was 1902, and Annie McGinnis, the youngest child of the family, now at seventeen finds herself the lady of the house--the home she grew up in. The position is not one she wants, but Annie has a very strong sense of duty and responsibility, and in this case...taking care not only of the household chores, but seeing after her widowed father, Grover, and Old Blind Jarrel, a neighbor man they took in. Her brothers, Kyle and Clifford have married and moved away.

Max Landry, the man Annie fell in love with after saving him from the hangman's noose, has moved on, too...or so she thinks.

Christmas time nears, and Annie goes to town to sell her pecans, eggs, and jars of jelly. She hopes to earn enough money to buy a gift for her father and Jerral. She also hopes she has enough to buy a bar a lavender soap for herself.

She finds a tiny cedar tree and uses it for a Christmas tree. She places it on the end of the kitchen table, decorated with strings of juniper berries and bows made of bits of colored cloth and old lace. On each side, she places a candle.
WISH FOR THE MOON--99cents for the Kindle--(regular price $5.49)-Through December 31


On Christmas Day, Annie placed her offerings in front of the tree. She sat two candles, one on either side, and lit them.

“Jerral,” she said, “give me your hand, and you can see the tree.” She helped guide his hand, so he could feel each part, and the gifts underneath. Carefully, she guided his hand to feel the candlesticks, and waved his hand over the flames so he would know they burned.

After breakfast, Annie told Grover to stay at the table so he and Jerral could open their presents. Grover, though, took Jerral to the bedroom first, and when they returned, each held a gift, wrapped in white paper with red string.
Jerral loved his suspenders, and exclaimed over them, how he liked the thick, woven texture, and the feel of the smooth metal clasps. She helped fasten them to his pants and adjusted them to the right length on his bony shoulders. “Oh, you look so fine, Jerral. These were just made for you.”

He asked if he could kiss Annie’s cheek, and she happily let him.

Grover said little about his new blue-striped shirt, but he held it in his lap and stroked the soft fabric for a long time.

Finally, he told her the other two gifts were for her—one from him and one from Jerral. Jerral gave her the only thing he had—his family Bible.

Jerral said, “I can’t read it, Annie, and I don’t have any kin. You’re as close to a daughter as I’ll ever have. I want you to have it.”

Annie cried and hugged him around his neck and kissed his cheek. “Oh, thank you, Jerral. I’ll treasure it and add it to my bookshelf where I have the other books. And guess what? I’ve baked you a vanilla-raisin meringue cream pie!”

Grover gave her a small box of chocolates from the drugstore. They were in a gold colored box with a fancy seal on the top. The label read, “Golden’s Chocolates, Made in Chicago.” Each one had a different center—vanilla fondue, strawberry and lemon creams, nuts, coconut, and caramel. Tears ran down her face. Never in her life had she received such a grand present.

“Thank you so much, Papa. I will savor each one, and the box will look so pretty on my dresser. If I ever get a necklace, I’ll keep it in the gold box.”

Annie,” he said gruffly. “I’m sorry I missed your birthday. I just plumb forgot. Helen would have my hide if she knew I didn’t remember our baby’s birthday.”

Annie laughed and cried some more, and soon, all three choked up.

Christmas had come, after all.

At the dawn of the Twentieth Century, sixteen-year-old Annie McGinnis wishes for a chance to see more of the world, since all she’s ever known is the family farm in North Texas. A mysterious visitor arrives who will change not only her life, but her family’s as well. To save Max Landry from a bogus charge, she follows him and the Texas Rangers back to the coal-mining town one county over where a murder occurred. The short journey sets Annie on a path of discovery—new horizons, an inner strength, and quite possibly…love.   
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Celia Yeary
Romance...and a little bit of Texas