He’s Just My Dad

A vivid memory captured my thoughts today and along came a flood of emotion.

I recalled a scene from the past. I was standing in the reception line in the church hall, following my dad’s celebration of life—an incredible ninety-seven years! His friends, one after another in quick succession, each expressed their heartfelt condolences for my loss as they shared encounters with my dad that had endeared him to them. I was grateful for each interaction, and the unanimous outpouring of admiration for the man they all knew as a friend, neighbor, mentor, client, customer, or Fleet Air Arm veteran. Some only knew him in passing, as the “stooped old gent” from Bridge Street.

The man I call Dad.

My father was a familiar and highly respected figure in the community, and those who knew him treasured his friendship. As a WWII veteran, he was considered a national treasure, someone to be revered, and it was evident in the way others addressed him and treated him that he was. There were many genuine reasons for people to love and admire my dad. He was an engaging conversationalist with a brilliant mind—a compelling storyteller with a vast repertoire of interesting topics and real-life personal experiences. One never needed to worry about pauses in conversation when Dad was in the room. Whether the listener was a stranger or adoring grandchild, my father captured their full attention. They hung on his every word and were always left wanting to hear more—they were enthralled by his narratives. Continue reading →

Insight Over Incite!

What are you thinking?  What are you feeling?

These two questions belong together because we can engage both the heart and the mind as we seek insight into the life and times of now—the beautiful, resilient, but often confusing, turbulent, and broken world in which we currently live.

Today, I am breaking silence. Why now, you ask? The answer is simple. I am ready to share some thoughts on recent events. I’ve held back as I am not one to rush to judgment or react impulsively in the heat of the moment. With that said, do I sometimes post a hasty comment on social media? Of course! I can get sucked in, but generally, the contemplative side of me refrains from doing so.

I much prefer to dive deep into thought—to process what I am seeing and hearing. Knee-jerk reactions and hastily spoken words often arise from strong, visceral emotions rather than thoughtful consideration and insightful responses, so I usually opt for the latter. Sometimes that means I must wait for my mind (thoughtfulness) to catch up with my heart (emotions). On other occasions I hit the pause button to seek God’s counsel. I patiently await wisdom and discernment from Him. In His timing. Continue reading →

Catch the Torch! Lift it High in Honor of the Fallen

I love red poppies! They are scattered strategically around my house in various arrangements. In my office and entry way, etched into a glass plate and painted on a porcelain jug. A beautiful watercolor featuring the paper-thin red poppies adorns the wall in my dining room. These blood-red beauties are my all-time favorite flowers. Like life itself, they are fragile. Don’t even consider picking one—the bloom will bow its precious head and die within minutes of being plucked. Continue reading →

The Birds Are Still Singing

Our feathered friends are still singing!

Today, their melodious songs are unmistakably loud—and persistently cheerful, just like any other day. Two of our resident squirrels pause for a moment to tease the nesting mockingbirds but quickly return to stealing nuts and seeds from the swinging feeders. We strategically placed the feeders out of reach of the squirrels, but the furry rascals manage to find a way in! Annoying the birds has become the playful critters’ daily ritual in and around the magnolia and crepe myrtle trees. As I glance up at the majestic magnolia, I note dozens of bulging buds, announcing their readiness to burst into flower. Of course! It’s almost May—the month the magnolias bloom every year. Continue reading →

What Will Your Take Away Be?

How are you using this stay-at-home time to think about your future?

Will you make changes going forward? What will they be?

I’ve been knocked to my knees or had the stuffing knocked out of me many times, humbling me and causing me to rethink my priorities, my lifestyle and where I was headed. I’ve had to change direction. These are valuable tipping points. It’s happening again! And this will not be the last time, for undoubtedly there will be more times. It is ever so in this life. Are you feeling it too? Continue reading →

The Life and Times of Now

Greetings! In this post you will find one of the stories in Life’s Lessons, Chapter Five of the book I published last year entitled My Soul Sings for You—Spiritual Peace in the Life and Times of Now. The story below is on page 151 in the paperback version and, while I read excerpts from it in my video book reading, it is written here in entirety as was published in 2019. 

During these unsettling times of battling the ramifications of this virus Covid-19 on human health and the world economy, millions of people across the globe are feeling stressed, confused and troubled. I understand. The unknown is always scary, but I want to encourage you to take heart. Have hope. Turn fear into faith. Our country is strong. We’re uniting and pulling together. Look for something positive in your current situation. Make a gratitude list! Believe that you and your loved ones will come through this. I pray you feel a sense of peace amid the chaos. A living, loving and powerful God is working it all out. Good things will emerge from all this. Continue reading →

Fearless Friday

Are you superstitious? Personally I’m not, but some people are and they tremble at the very thought of anything that relates to the number thirteen—hotel room numbers, floors in a building, street addresses, dates on the calendar, and even the military time of 1300 hours! I’m sure you can conjure up your very own connotation of the number thirteen.

Today is Friday Thirteenth, and as if that isn’t enough to unsettle those of you who are overly superstitious, there’s a new bully on the block terrorizing mankind. Covid-19 is on the move, swirling its evil tentacles around the globe, wreaking havoc with human health, creating turmoil wherever it goes, striking fear into the hearts and minds of millions the world over, and infecting thousands with its virulent virus. It’s all part and parcel of The Life and Times of Now!  Continue reading →

My Book Review from Kirkus

I’m thrilled to announce that Kirkus has reviewed my book and you can read their assessment below. I feel the review is an accurate description of the message I dreamed of portraying through the stories in my book. This link will take you directly to the review as published in their site.



Book Review

A motivational guide to simpler living that taps into its author’s experiences. 

In her attractive nonfiction debut, Tripp draws in part on her time in East Africa in the 1950s, recalling some straightforward advice she was given about hippos and alligators. Gators, she was told, are very dangerous and live in swamps—so stay out of swamps if you don’t want to get eaten. That advice is typical of her direct approach. “Please don’t overlook the wisdom in simplicity,” Tripp writes in a sentiment that runs throughout the book. “If you don’t want to set yourself up for pain, don’t go where you know the potential for pain exists. If you don’t want to be eaten by alligators, do not venture into the swamps, at least not willingly.” She calls her book an “anthem to my Creator” and draws heavily on her life story, emphasizing optimism and flexibility in the face of life’s uncertainties. “I’ve learned always to expect the unexpected,” she writes, “and to smile at my Creator’s sense of humor.” Her book frankly acknowledges that modern life seems designed to attack and destroy peaceful simplicity. She reflects on how plugged-in she once was to that world, with feeds and notifications constantly bombarding her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, and elsewhere until Tripp felt like she was “ADHD on steroids.” She bravely took a step that others only dream about: “I announced on my Facebook profile page that I was reining in my activity on social media to passionately pursue the business and personal goals aligned with my purpose.” Through life lessons and her Christian insights, she seeks to provide antidotes to that continual noise and chaos. Her narrative voice is inviting; her candid optimism will likely comfort even her non-Christian readers, though her sentiments can range from the biblical—“Love never fails”—to the familiar-but-ridiculous: “That which doesn’t kill us can make us stronger.” She urges people never to underestimate the power of prayer or the value of friendship, and such ideas, though commonplace, are always worth repeating.

A calming and gently thought-provoking reminder that the simplest wisdom is often the truest.

Be the Voice of Calm

Stay calm and carry on was an encouraging announcement on a poster from back in 1939. It was created by the British government to raise public morale when mass air attacks on its cities were widely predicted during World War II. 

Staying calm was good advice then, and it’s just as relevant today. In times of trouble and turmoil, we need to keep our wits about us. All of them. We must think reasonably, rationally and creatively when the storms of life hit. We humans don’t behave at our best when we’re panicked.  Continue reading →

Alone. Not Forsaken.

Maybe it was the faint click as they closed the front door. Perhaps it was my heightened intuition or merely an uncanny coincidence. I can’t say for sure what caused me to wake up with a start. I could see the landing light shining onto my feather eiderdown through a crack in the door, which was always left ajar at my request. The shaft of light was immediately reassuring, so I pulled back the bed covers, slipped my feet into the cozy slippers beside the bed, and headed for the bathroom just in case that was the reason I’d woken up. I wondered what time it was. It felt as though I’d barely got into bed, but perhaps I’d slept longer than it seemed. Continue reading →