Thursday, July 11, 2013


If there’s one, good thing about a metaphorical broken slipper, it’s the disguised benefits.


Who would have expected a sweet, cute-as-pie, daughter (metaphoric slipper) with a head full of brown hair to suffer in so many ways? Not me, but struggle she did. No real friends (in the traditional sense), a difficult time academically, no drivers license, no independence, no deciding a career, no chance of marriage, no chance of children… (Insert violin)


This story gets better. My daughter, Leslie, suffers with intellectual disabilities, but – have mercy – she has had some of the most amazing experiences that developed some pretty miraculous abilities. Please come with me as I recount the winding road leading to the greatest breakthrough of all time. (Well in our lives, anyway)


As a young girl, Leslie loved her dollhouse! She would sit and play for an hour, which was the longest anything held her attention.


Once her Aunt Hope passed (see first blog post), she and I both spun a tad from reality. I escaped to my writing and Leslie to her dollhouse.


She came up with the names for her sundry, plastic family. Daddy doll, Mommy doll, Sister One, Sister Two, Baby, Brother One, Dog, Babysitter, well, you get the picture.


Leslie had allergies and experienced every symptom possible. Runny nose, fever, bad mood, dispelling of the um, we’ll call them clots, in her throat in the most unpleasant way. Ick, let’s quickly move on. Anyway, she would be a downright, miserable, messy gal, a LOT.


I would sit by her bed many days, reading, catching clots and administering medicine. I read a lot of princess books during those times. I would purchase as many as were available at Bible bookstores, because I wanted Leslie to learn, first and foremost, that she was a princess of God – the truest of all princesses. If she had no hopes of her dreams coming true here, I was gonna make sure she focused on the place where they WOULD come true.


Honestly, I didn’t know what else to do.


I had no idea how to make it all okay. I was losing my battle of keeping a positive attitude.


On some of our most daunting days, I would entertain the notion that an angel or two stood in our midst. Purely to ensure my sanity and Leslie’s resolve, I’d imagine that they were sent straight from the Throne of God.


As I continued to sit by her bed, and read those exciting stories, I began to believe them down deep in my heart, and Leslie began to live them.


One day while Leslie sat at her dollhouse, I sat reading a book.


My fictitious story was interrupted when I heard Leslie say, “I’m sorry, Sister Two, you may not sit in that angel’s lap.” From the corner of my eye, I witnessed her assist Sister One in giving Sister Two a swift elbow to the head. “Thank you very much.” Leslie glanced at me and then back to the unfortunate tift. “He said he was here for Leslie.”


I closed my book. “Leslie! That’s not nice. Where did you learn such?”


The dolls fell from her hands as she obviously staggered from make believe to the real world. “I’m sorry, Mommy. I didn’t do it.”


“I think you did.” I put aside my book and slipped to the floor.


“Are you going to play with me?” Leslie grabbed Mommy doll, and held her out as an offering.


I accepted her proffer, and assessed the situation.


Sister One had Sister Two trapped in the bathroom until she promised to never throw Dog out the window, ever again. Poor Baby hung haphazardly from her highchair by one foot. Brother One and Brother Two dangled from their horse and bicycle like a couple of circus clowns.


Starting with the most important, I said, “Leslie, I think you should help Baby into her highchair. All the blood is running to her head.”


Leslie grabbed Baby and threw her into the air.


“Well, honey, why’d you do that?” I said, my eyes following the tiny infant until she fell onto a heart-shaped pillow nearby.


“Ah, he’ll catch her. He’s better at putting her in there.” She said very quickly. Her speed-talking was one of the major reasons we struggled to understand her.


I looked up. “Who’ll catch her?”


“The one in the book.” She pointed to a book that I had yet to read her.


I dismissed her comments, because, like I said in my first blog, we had eased into a groove of not taking Leslie for everything she said. I assumed she was just saying something to answer my question and get off the hook.


Later that day, I sat reading her that very book. My lips halted, heart skipping a beat, I stared blankly at the words. “He shall keep watch over you. If you stumble he’ll be there. If you fall he’ll pick you up.” Yep, you guessed it. The accompanying picture was of an angel catching a falling child.


I know what you’re thinking, because I told myself the same thing. She must have looked at the book at some point when I was unaware, and saw the angel waiting to catch the child. But, you must remember, Leslie’s vision was poor, her cognitive level was very low, and, at that time, she almost never picked up a book. Many times, I couldn’t even get her to look at the pictures while I read.


When testing, she was required to look at picture after picture and give an accounting, so she avoided them at all cost. Even if she had looked at the book, it was a miracle she had understood the concept.


So, I thanked God for her progress, knowing one thing for sure, He was at the heart of her understanding.


You are welcome to interpret these stories as you see fit. I have many times, myself. But, as time crawled by, I began to think more and more, “What if?”

Monday, July 30, 2012

"The Breakthrough", Jenkins Best Novel Yet

Great stories are those that are insightful, engaging and entertaining while awash with lessons. The Breakthrough by Jerry Jenkins fulfills all the above. This novel kept my interest in a way that caused me to rise an hour earlier each morning just to squeeze in a little “Drake” time.

Boone Drake, Chicago’s Major Case Squad Bureau Chief, is finally reclining and enjoying the good things in life. Even though his wife, Haeley, was awarded a substantial amount of money, he doesn’t accredit that for his happiness for one minute. He has a beautiful, loving wife and has just adopted her son, Max. Their future looks promising.

But, of course, all great novels quickly become filled with almost more tension than a reader can stand. An accident at the home of a friend puts Haeley Drake into a fight for her life.

Boone soon finds himself balancing between being there for his wife and saving his new son from a horrifying future.

His annoyance upon discovering Haeley’s ex-husband’s exaggerated penchant for the green stuff, is overshadowed only by the man’s ugly secret that quickly comes to light.

Drake discovers a nasty tentacle of human trafficking that he had yet to fathom.

Jerry Jenkins is at his best plunging you into the world of human trafficking in a way few have tackled. Weaving a masterful plot that takes you from the streets of Chicago to the hovels of the hutong district in Beijing, China to the ancient city of Tianjin.

If you love to read a great crime story and, at the same time, experience the amazing power of God’s hand, do not miss Jenkins' best novel yet!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What Happens When You Eat an Almond Joy?

It’s amazing the memories that can be resurrected  by eating an almond joy.

As soon as I sunk my teeth into the sweet, chocolate-covered, coconut nougat and crunchy almond I was transported back to a time where my much older sister wore a curly bob, brown suede shoes and a brown and orange outfit from the Lemon Tree in Bremen. My tiny, six-year-old head sported a shag hair cut and I wore homemade jumpers sewn by my Aunt Claudia who lived just a few yards down the dirt road from my house.

A time when we watched Tarzan, Jane and Boy on Saturday afternoons and I was allowed to cut the paper dolls from my sister’s McCall magazine.

We didn’t have smart phones, computers, or even a VCR, and our home was modest, but the simple peace that settled around us as we baked blueberry muffins and Chef Boyardee pizzas was priceless.

Since no female cousins were available in my small country neighborhood, I played with boys on most days. Only when I went into “town” did I play with my female cousins. Of course, then we played with dolls, and made mud pies adorned with the fuffy pink blooms from my Aunt Shirley’s mimosa trees that flanked each side of her drive. The precious antics of my Aunt Shirley could take up an entire blog, so I’ll just simply say she was well known by everyone in my small town of Buchanan, Georgia.

When playing back in my neighborhood, my cousin, Keith, and I would trek through the woods over hill and dale, along creek banks sometimes dodging angry bulls.

I can remember climbing to the top of a steep hill inside the pastures that surrounded our house and then running all the way to the bottom. Our strong, muscled, legs were the only mode of transportation we needed.

We ate fruit straight from the numerous, laden trees that spotted the back and side yards of the handful of houses along Poplar Springs Road. My uncles owned most of those homes, so we filled our little bellies with apples, peaches, pears, cherries, plums, grapes, scupadines and muscadines.

On Sundays we went into town to attend church, and then it was back home to eat homemade fried chicken, fresh beans from the garden, biscuits and fruit cobbler with a scoop of ice cream from the Red Dot Grocery Store which was position in the corner of our town square.

My sister, Hope, kept the dust stirred, zipping up and down the road in our black Chevy 2. She loved horses, riding with friends every chance she got. Eventually, she became the proud owner of Little Boy, a large brown quarter horse. She’s gone now, but I’ll never forget the sparkling light that filled any room she entered.

After a long day of playing, I would sit on my front porch. When I spotted my Aunt Claudia’s car stop at her mailbox as she returned home from working at the Shirt Shop in Buchanan, I would hop on my red, big girl bicycle and throw up some of my own dust, almost beating her to her car shed. She would laugh sounding much like a chicken. She had chickens, so I always assumed they learned how to laugh from her.

I would follow her into the house where she would point to the refrigerator and corner cabinet just to the left inside her country kitchen. An RC Cola and Moon pie would fuel my body in preparation to follow her around the yard as she tended to her garden, and various livestock. I remember my job was to not step on the vegetables and to run from the chickens.

Wow! I think I’ll go buy another almond joy. Until next time, Laura K.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Southern Expressions

These are a few of the southern expressions I grew up hearing. I would love to hear some of your personal favorites.

He couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.
He squeezes a quarter so tight the eagle screams.
He’s about as useful as a pogo stick in quicksand.
She needs some fries to go with that shake.
She’s so clumsy she could trip over a cordless phone!
They’re off like a herd of turtles.
Well that just dills my pickle!
Well, don’t you look prettier than a glob of butter melting on a stack of wheat cakes!
You could start an argument in an empty house.
I am as nervous as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
I’m happier than a tornado in a trailer park.
That’s about as useful as a trap door on a canoe.
If everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane!
He’s so rich; he buys a new boat each time one gets wet.
He was as mad as a mule chewing on bumblebees!
You look about as happy as a tick on a fat dog.

Blessings, Laura K.