Hanukkah: The Hidden Truth Teaching Review

Hanukkah is nearly upon us!!  Read my Archived Teaching Review BEFORE you purchase any Hanukkah paraphernalia. I can get easily distracted by adults and children in front of me at the teachings, so I like sitting near the front.  I am usually in the second row.  That way I am assured I won’t miss a bit of the verbal and nonverbal message.  Read more

Choosing Sides

A situation with Floyd during the 2017 Basketball Finals made me think of repentance.  Repentance means to turn from sin and turn to righteousness.  Floyd was sitting in his favorite stuffed chair, with snacks on the table, waiting for Game 5 of the NBA Read more

What is the Reason for the Season?

As a child, only once, did I question the honesty and integrity of my maternal Grandma. Even then, when I reflected on all the facts, Grandma was absolved. I remember the incident as clear as if it were this morning. I was playing in the front room (living room) and our German neighbor, Mrs. Raymond, came up on the enclosed Read more

Faith Means Action

The six weeks between June 22nd and July 30th 2013 were loaded with change, chaos, miracles, and a lot of stepping out in faith. For two years, Floyd and I had been hoping and praying that Yehovah would make a way for us to move from Alabama to be near Charlotte, NC. We wanted to be a part of the Read more

Pet Enticed into the Arms of a Neighbor?

In the fall of 1995, Floyd and I (before children) purchased a home on 5 acres in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The house needed cosmetic work: vinyl siding and repairs to the upper porch. Early one morning, a construction worker found two abandoned kittens on the road and brought them to me. I immediately took them in and gave them food Read more

Secrets in the Buffet Drawer

My father's mother, Grandma Berry, as we called her, was born in 1909. Grandma was divorced when my dad was about five and later married Gerald Berry. He was a kind, easy going man that worked at one of the Ford plants in Detroit. I remember his metal lunch pail. It was black on the outside and shiny metal gray on Read more


That Was Funny!

One year, Floyd and I were homeschooling our cousin’s very smart and alert four year old son, T.J, in preschool lessons during the time our children were in the fifth grade. We had many days when Floyd and I would have to leave the room and just burst out laughing.

 When T.J. first started coming to our home, Floyd would keep calling him Joel, our son’s name. Floyd was constantly calling T.J. the wrong name. One day, T.J. said, “What’s the matter Mr. Floyd? You forgot to take your medicine?”

That was FUNNY! Blog photo of Floyd 001

Floyd had to smile and scratch his head!!

 That was FUNNY!!

Another day, T.J. And I were in the house alone. The rest of the family were doing some yard work. Floyd’s helper, Vic, had one of his arms amputated just below the elbow. Vic was strong and a hard worker. He could do as much work as two men with four arms between them.

 The doorbell rang and T.J. ran to the open door before me. As I was coming, I yelled, “T.J., who is it?”


The one-armed man from the television series “The Fugitive”.

 That was true, embarrassing and FUNNY!!

 I have also observed that kids do not have a monopoly on saying the “darnest things”. I’ll share a very infamous incident.

 Now, some things come out of our mouths because we are under stress. Sometimes the stress is predictable, you see it coming, but you can’t do a thing to stop it. That is what happened to my Mom.

 My sister, Laurie, who lives in California, often sent her daughter, Annette, to spend a week or two with my Mom in Detroit. At the time, I was living in the same four family flat. In New York City, it would be called a brownstone building. Floyd and I lived in the two flats upstairs and Mom lived in the two flats downstairs. We had both knocked out the adjoining wall of the two 6-room flats on each floor and then we each had a large 12-room flat.

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Annette and Grandma, Zelina.

 Now, Annette was about 4 or 5 years old. She was fine during the day. She played and was in good spirits. But, as soon as Laurie called each night, Annette went into a crying fit to be with her mother. My Mom would have to console Annette for at least 30 minutes to get her to calm down.

 One particular night, my Mom had reached her limit. Mom couldn’t take it anymore, her last nerve was shot, disintegrated, plum-gone.

 That evening, Annette started crying and crying and crying. The conversation went something like,

 “I want my Mommy! I want my Mommy!! I want ta see my Mommy!!!”

 “Girl, you better be quiet. You’ll see your Mommy in two days. My Momma is dead, I’ll never see her again!”

 That was honest, but shocking! At that point, I took Annette upstairs with me.

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Auntie Shar and Annette

 That scenario didn’t get to be FUNNY until Annette was grown!  


Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.  Benjamin Franklin

Posted on by Shar in Children, Family Life, Mistakes, Schooling 8 Comments


We all make mistakes.  Some folks learn from them. Some folks keep repeating them.  Steeley Dan had a record out when I was in college.  It was about a guy who committed a crime and was let go because the lawman wasn’t hanging that day, but the guy went “right back Jack, and did it again”. 

Now I have made a ton of mistakes in my life.  Some silly, some foolish, and some accidentally.

For instance, I was allowed to “receive company” when I was 16 with my parents in the house and my 14-year old sister present in the room.  I rarely invited a boy over to the house.


Shar in the French Lab at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana.

However, there was one boy who was friendly, nice and he liked me a lot. So I invited him to our house. My sister, Laurie, enjoyed being the chaperon. She had control in a way. I couldn’t tell her to leave the room or to stop making a nuisance of herself.

Marty Feldman!

Marty Feldman!

Now, Robert had bulging eyes like Marty Feldman and had false teeth. It was rare for a young person to have false teeth. I think he was in a sport’s accident. Well, Laurie wanted to see his teeth! And do you know, he took them out!!!

I was flabbergasted … outdone … fit to be tied!

I figured that was a one-time event, but the next time he came to visit, my sister asked to see the teeth again, AND HE TOOK THEM OUT!

Well, inviting him over was a mistake I didn’t make again.

Often we speak mistakes. We sometimes say things that are true, but they are received differently by others. In the 90’s, I worked for Wayne State University in Detroit.   After four years, I was burned out. I was bringing too much of the job-stress home. So much so that Floyd, my husband, asked me to quit the job. That was all I needed to hear. I resigned.

At my last staff meeting, I made the obligatory speech. At the end of the speech, one of the 30 or so staff attending asked what was I going to do now. I was so glad to be leaving, I said, “I’m going home and let my husband take care of me.”


Shar circa Wayne State University days.

Denna, the Department Executive, stood up and said, “Shar, you just set the women’s liberation movement back 100 years!” 

Let me tell you about another type of mistake, a written communication mistake. I had a great-great uncle, Uncle Luke, who lived to be 108. He was born in Alabama, but lived most of his life in Lima, Ohio. When he was 99, he asked to come and live with my mother in Indianapolis. He was in good health and got around well.

My mom used to spend time with Uncle Luke and Aunt Lena in Lima when my mom was growing up in Detroit. Aunt Lena died in January 1949; just three months after I was born. My mom has often spoken about how sad she was that Aunt Lena never got to see me, Mama’s first child.

Well, Uncle Luke was more than a notion to live with. He and my Mom had worked out room and board arrangement. Uncle Luke insisted on having receipts! Who knew why? He had his own room, was well fed and his clothes were washed and ironed.

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Uncle Luke in his 90’s

Uncle Luke also had a deep mistrust of banks. (Now on this, I can relate.) He had my mother help him open a saving account at the bank. He had $2,000. A few days later, he took it out the bank. Soon, my Mom convinced him to put the money in a safety deposit box. Then, Uncle Luke insisted on going to the bank everyday to check on his money. This was driving my Mom insane! They ended up putting his money under his mattress.

These were only a few of the “worriments” dealing with Uncle Luke.

Eventually, Uncle Luke decided to move back to Alabama and stay on family property. He decided to take the train home. He asked my Mom to send a telegram from the train depot to his great-nephew, Chester.

Meet Luke at the train station on Monday at 2 PM.  He is coming home.

Chester just happened to be the local undertaker. Well, as old as Uncle Luke was, what was Chester to think? Chester went to the train station with his hearse to pick up the casket. Chester was in total shock when Uncle Luke “walked off” the train!  

These incidents were harmless mistakes.  They are the kind you laugh at yourself about, but make a mental note not to do again.  


“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Avonlea

Posted on by Shar in Family Life, Mistakes 3 Comments

Time to Write

Before I started writing,  I often wondered would I have enough to say to write stories and would the ideas come to me.  I remember a pastor talking about having grace when you need it.    He said, “We don’t need dying grace today, but it will be there when we need it”.   Well, inspiration is like that too.  During the last 20 years, a few stories came, but the shower of words and thoughts didn’t start until I started to write. Now, thoughts for stories are constantly running though my mind.

The other night, I woke-up at 3 AM and started to chuckle about “the mouse”.    I was remembering back in 2002 when Floyd had told me  50 million times not to feed the children in the playroom because field mice would come for the crumbs.   We lived outside of  Morenci in Southern Michigan at the time and were surrounded by corn, wheat and soybean crops.  Among the country locals, the mice coming into your house after the fields were harvested was a “given”.   I considered what they said was mighty close to “folk lore”.


I’m feeding a few of our cats. Behide me is Joel and the bare fields after the fall harvest.

Now…. I had two toddlers and to take them from the playroom to the dining room for a snack was more than I wanted to do.   Even though it was  just after the fall harvest, I doubted if mice could even smell a few cookie crumbs.  Besides, the 10-12 outdoor cats would get the mice before they made it into the house.


Joel, a few years after this story, in a corner of the Playroom.

One night that fall, I was the last one downstairs and I went to straighten up the playroom.  The kids put away most of their toys, but no way can a 3 and a 4 year old clean up as well as I could.  So, I bent down to pick up a toy bowl and there I was eyeball to eyeball with a mouse!!


I didn’t dare yell for Floyd to come and help.  The last thing I wanted to hear was a million variations of “I told you so!!”

I kept eye contact so that the mouse would remain frozen in his tracks.  I slowly and quietly lowered myself to a kneeling position and reached out with my right hand and slowly grabbed the bowl and WHAM!!!  I slammed the bowl over the mouse.  Now what???

I looked around and spotted a thin preschool book.  It was just out of reach from my right hand which was  on the bowl.  So I quickly swapped hands on the bowl and inched the book towards me with my finger tips.  I got it!!  Then I deftly shoved the book under the bowl and stood up with my left hand under the book and my right hand on top of the bowl.  Now what??

I couldn’t let it go outside, it might get back in the house.  It had to die, but how?

My mind was racing, my eyes were darting back and forth around the house.  I felt the blood rush to my face and then my “personal summer” flooded my body (I was 54 at the time.) .  What to do?? 

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks!  FLUSH!  FLUSH!! 

I’d flush him down the toilet.  I went into the bathroom and stood by the toilet.  I knew the procedure had to be quick and flawless or I’d end up with a loose mouse in the house or the mouse jumping out of the toilet bowl on me.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5......6

1, 2, 3, 4, 5……6

I raised my knee up to flush the toilet.   No way was I going to lift my right hand off the bowl holding the mouse.  Then I lowered the book and bowl into the toilet as the water was swirling and making its plunge to the septic tank.  Then I released the mouse and it rapidly went down, down, down.

Then I had a anxious thought, “Can mice swim against the current??”  I didn’t know and I couldn’t think straight so I just stood there and flushed at least six times before I went  up to bed and snuggled next to Floyd like nothing had happened.

Sometimes country folk and husbands are the bearers of  Truth.


Proverbs 1: 30-31  They did not accept my counsel, they despised all my reproof, therefore let them eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own counsels.



Posted on by Shar in Children, Family Life, Marriage 3 Comments