Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Mother

My Mother

Today I want to feature a bit about my mother, Olive Fern Cox Meredith.  Mom was born in Sullivan, Illinois in 1917 and died in 1992 at Decatur, Illinois. She was the mother of eight feisty kids. I am the oldest, now just one of five surviving children as I write this. Mom was married young to Paul E. Meredith. He died in 1985 in Decatur. My mother was a God-fearing woman who raised her kids in the church. Dad was of a different faith than Mom, but he let her raise the kids in the church of her choice so there was no family conflict. It was a good decision that allowed harmony in our large family. Mom never worked at a salaried job because she had so many kids it was a full-time job just caring for them, plus caring for Dad.

Life was hard for Mom and Dad. They had very limited educations. Most of the kids in our family were born shortly after WWII when money was hard to come by, so we had a large vegetable garden and raised a lot of chickens to help keep the grocery bill contained to some measure of affordability. Dad worked in a local iron foundry and Mom baked cakes and breads to earn a few extra dollars, plus Uncle Harley, Mom's brother, helped us a lot when we needed it. Dad was a frail man who was often ill and missed a lot of work, so Uncle Harley was that extra special person in our lives.

As I mentioned previously, life was hard back then in the early 1940s when I was starting school, but we lived in a neighborhood where most of the folks were plain working folks like us, several of them having large families like ours. We were poor, but we really never knew just how poor until a bit later when we were getting up in our grade levels at school. We started to notice that some of the kids dressed better than we did and they had spending money that we never had.

I think Mom and Dad tried to hide our lack of money as well as they could, but as we grew older we all understood how difficult it was for our parents to raise so many kids.

It was evident to me as I grew older that Mom and Dad gave their all to put their kids first in everything. They sacrificed everything they had for the kids in the family. 

When I was an adult and a father, I could finally understand the difficult life my mother had raising all the kids. There were times when I was at home when I resented the fact they had more kids than they could afford, but later I saw it a little differently.

Today as I reflect on the wonderful job Mom and Dad did in raising a large family, I admire them more than ever. Under the same set of circumstances, there are few who could have done it better.

Love you Mom and Dad


Friday, July 25, 2014


This is a random excerpt, a humorous one, from my medical romance novel, Kenyan Sunset. It really is a terrific story, and a very serious one. I hope you will be interested enough to read the rest of the story.


Just how Loren was ever able to finally legitimately meet Tara in person has been lost to time, but it surely did happen—somehow. They even had that very first date. He took her to a movie, and then later to a restaurant where they had a bite to eat. He was careful not to order coffee in her presence, knowing exactly what her thoughts were regarding that nasty, dark poisonous liquid.
            “I can’t believe I actually accepted a date from a crude and uncouth person such as you,” she said to Loren, continuing to act in a way that made Loren feel he was a lesser person than Tara. “From all of my observations, you appear to be unschooled. Do you in fact have an education beyond elementary school?”
            “I went all the way through high school,” Loren flatly and proudly stated. “After working for a while at various jobs after graduation, I decided I needed to learn a trade, so I went on to technical school and learned to be a welder.”
            “A welder? Pray tell, what does a welder actually do, if I may be so bold as to ask?”
            “Welding is an art. I marry metals together to make something of value that we can all use.”
            “Please give me an example of something of value that you make that I can relate to. I have no idea what a welded article of value might be, let alone understand how you marry metals together. Is it something like a flower box?” she asked.
            “I could do that…weld a flower box, but right now I make the frames for automobiles. I weld all the various steel components together into a single unit. I work at the frame factory across town,” he informed Tara.
            “Oh yes, I took my class there one day last year. It seems to me that in that dirty place, they had mechanical contraptions called robots doing all that type of stuff you describe. Are you a replacement for a robot…like if they would break down or something?”
            “Well, that isn’t what I regularly do, but yes, I have covered those operations during an emergency situation when robots would have a mechanical or electrical failure.”
            “So are you telling me that you have the ability to cover for a mechanical manifestation that has no brains at all? Is that your statement to me?” she checked.
            “Well, yes, I guess so, but you make it sound like there is no skill involved, but there is plenty of skill required to be a welder. I had to go through two years of intensive company training so I could become a certified welder,” he attempted to explain. “Being a welder is like being a painter or a writer.”
            “I don’t think so; those skills require years of intensive training.”
            “I know, just as becoming a welder does.”
            “Would it be asking too much if I requested to see your certificate from the technical school you attended? Maybe then I could better understand just how a person can become a substitute for an ignorant, man-made mechanism that has no brains of its own.”
            “What certificate?”
            “You said you were certified, so you must have a certificate of authenticity or something to validate that you are in fact certified as a robot replacement. I am a certified teacher, and I certainly have a certificate of graduation from a legitimate college to authenticate my credentials that allow me to teach children how to cope with the challenges of life,” she told him. “It is called a diploma. May I see the certificate you have?”
            “Well, I don’t actually have that kind of certificate.”
            “What? Do you mean to say that you are not authorized to replace one of those brainless, mechanical, man-made contraptions after all?”
            “Yes, I am fully authorized. My company authorizes me to do that. Also, I do have a diploma from welding school that authorizes me to replace a robot. I can show you that if you must see it,” he enlightened Tara.
            “Yes, that would be nice. And you are sure that it says you are authorized to replace a mechanical robot?”
            “It says that I completed my welding course, not that I can replace a robot. The company gave me the training required to replace the robot.”
            “May I ask just how much training the robot receives to do its work?” Tara inquired.
            “They don’t really get trained like you are talking about. A person called a processor or an analyst, through a teaching method using a pendant, actually programs a robot in order for them to do their work. A robot can only do one part of a job, which in technical terms in industry is called an operation.”
            “So you are telling me that you went to a technical school for two years, and then you received company training for a period of time, and now you are able to do the one single part of a job of a mechanical contraption that required no training at all, right? That is some valuable skill you have there, wouldn’t you agree?”
            “Look, Tara, it’s not exactly like that.”
            “Are you authorized to call me by my first name? I don’t believe that I gave you the authorization to do that, unless I have somehow forgotten.”
            Loren sat there and fumed inside for a minute, thinking to himself, who the hell does she think she is anyway? She seems to think she is better than me. “Damn, but you are sure hung up on this authorization crap, aren’t you?” he blurted.
            “That’s it! I will take no more of this lewd pornographic talk that is coming from your vulgar mouth,” Tara said as she rose to leave. “I am a refined lady, and I do not listen to vulgarity like that from anyone.”
            “Okay, look, I’m really sorry I said that,” Loren said as he reached out and touched Tara’s arm. “I was just frustrated because you didn’t understand what I was saying.”
            Jerking her arm away from his touch, Tara said, “Sir, please don’t touch me in that manner ever again. I am not used to being manhandled in that way.”
            “I said I was sorry, and I am. I wasn’t manhandling you. I just touched your arm. Please just sit down and let me try again to explain to you that the work I do is important. It really is important,” Loren tried to explain.
            Tara looked at the skin on her arm to make sure it wasn’t dirty. “Those hands are despicable,” she told him. “Do you ever wash them?”

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

His Soul Mate

His Soul Mate was the very first romance novel I wrote several years ago. It remains one of my best.

His Soul Mate is a stirring and compelling love story of two people brought together by sheer happenstance. The very first moment that Ellen Meacham laid eyes on Wayne Granger as they passed each other on the sidewalk, she knew she would have to meet him again on her own terms. Fate brought the two people together later in a most unusual way, and a love affair slowly started to bloom, a love affair that at first was timid, then torrid, and finally it blossomed into the deep and caring love each had always hoped to find someday. Wayne Granger quickly realized that Ellen was the woman he always wanted and had to have. She was the one and only soul mate of his life.

Ellen Meacham soon discovers she has a medical condition just as she is starting to feel the deep love she has for Wayne reach a critical point. She has decisions to make that will affect the lives of both people, and she worries about making the correct decisions. The poignant feelings shared by the two people during this trying period of medical concern will have the reader on the edge of his/her seat from the early chapters to the final sentence of the last chapter.

The moment in time that Ellen Meacham and Wayne Granger shared together was so happy and fulfilling that it could only end one way.

The torrid love story is so compelling and powerful it has the reader emotionally involved, as if on a roller coaster, throughout the story right up to the very end.