You can’t go home again….

To most, Greenfield, Oklahoma is a nothing town. It always has been, it always will be. But to some Greenfield was, and is, home. And up until I was was 15, it was my home as well. 

What was once a vital, prospering town when it was founded in 1892 has now become a virtual ghost town with the latest census siting less than 90 people living in the .1 square mile area. (Yes, it’s really that small.)  But it wasn’t always so desolate.

Established at noon on April 19, 1892, Greenfield, Oklahoma was founded when the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation was opened for non-Indian occupation. 
Named in honor of the first postmaster, William Henry Greenfield, the town’s first post office was established on January 30, 1900. 

The Enid and Anadarko Railway (later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) built the first railroad line in 1901. Two freight and four passenger trains served the community on a daily basis.

Greenfield provided a trade center for the surrounding agricultural area. The town had two hardware stores, four general merchandise stores, garages, filling stations, cafés, a cotton gin, an elevator, and a bank.

The first bank, established in 1908, failed and closed in 1923. Another bank, founded in 1924, was later sold to Watonga State Bank. 

Early-day newspapers included the Greenfield Hustler and the Greenfield Booster. 

In 1908 in anticipation of an oil boom, several other businesses opened, including a hotel, a general store, a pool hall, and a butcher shop. Settlers organized Baptist, Nazarene, and Presbyterian congregations.
Twelve students attended classes during the winter months in the first schoolhouse. The teacher’s salary, usually fifty dollars, was paid on a voluntary basis. Eventually, a four-room building was constructed and enlarged as additional space was needed. 

A high school was erected in 1921 and a grade school in 1930. At that time there were twelve teachers. The Greenfield schools held their last commencement in May 1991.

No census was made until 1940,when the residents numbered 303. In 1960 Greenfield had 128 residents. With a population of 123 at the turn of the twenty-first century, Greenfield served as a “bedroom” community.

As you can see, the population declined sharply. And when the school system shut down in 1991, the numbers fell even more drastically. 

Going back to my hometown and seeing it as it is now was both shocking and heartbreaking because I remember what it used to be. 

I was shy, quiet and my nose was always in a book. (Not much has changed there huh?)

But I remember riding my bike to school and all around town. I remember my friends. (My best friend was named Jessica a.k.a. Punky). I remember the basketball games, the track meets, the school plays, and softball games. 

So much has changed over the last 20 years, the town is almost unrecongizable. 

Here are a few pics of my hometown now:

My old house

The church

The post office

The town park (this is a new addition by the way)

The only remaining store in the town. (Can you believe my friends and I used to climb to the very top of these towers?)

The railroad

My grade school

My high school

It’s in a sad state now. Nothing like it used to be of course. 

Absolutely heartbreaking….

I hate to see how much my hometown has fallen. How lonely and forgotten it is. But I will always have the memories of how it used to be. I will always remember the good times. And I will never forget where I came from.

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Lessons from a Hobbler

Good morning friends. Today I wanted to share with you a few things I’ve learned about being a hobbler. A limper. A shuffler. Whatever word you would like to use, it all comes down to the same thing: A person forced to move in an unnatural, awkward way due to a injury in the lower half of your body.

It could be your hip. Could be your knee.  Maybe even your foot. Mine is an ankle injury. (From over pedaling a bike of all things…) It’s nothing too serious I suppose. Not like a broken bone or anything. But let me tell you, an inflamed Achilles tendon is nothing to laugh about. Especially when you are awakened from a deep and restful sleep in the early morning hours by a sharp, biting pain exploding through the backside of your ankle. OUCH!!

Since that rude awakening 4 days ago, I have been following Dr’s orders. Well mostly….I mean, I can’t just lay around all of the time. I have a family to take care of, responsibilities that have to be managed, and I have a job. 

Anyway, like the title of my post suggests, I have very quickly learned 5 things from becoming a hobbler. Ready? Then let’s jump right in! (Not literally of course. I’m already injured. No need to make it worse right? 🙂 )

#1. THERE WILL BE PAIN                       

Okay, so you’ve got an injury. Maybe serious, maybe not. Either way, there is residual and lingering pain that prevents you from walking properly. If there wasn’t, you would not be a hobbler would you?

#2. YOU WILL DRAW ATTENTION         

I don’t know about you but I really dislike drawing attention to myself. Especially with an injury. If you don’t understand why, picture this: Your trying valiantly to walk down the hallway without getting in anyone’s way or slowing anyone down but you are moving at a racing snail’s pace at best. And then you feel them. The eyes of passerbys. Each set focused on you and each slow, awkward step you take. 
#3. PEOPLE WILL ASK QUESTIONS 

People are curious by nature and so when they see you limping along, don’t be surprised if you get asked a hundred times: “What happened?” or “How did you get hurt?” Sometimes a simple answer will do but then depending who you are talking to, a more detailed, play by play explanation will be required. Try not to get annoyed. No matter how many times you have to repeat the story.  🙂

#4. MOVING FASTER ONLY MAKES         IT WORSE                                       

So you want to move at a more normal pace to avoid all of the above. THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! First of all, you could trip or fall which would be majorly embarrassing. You think people stare now? Just wait until your flying through the air like a broken kite before hitting the ground. And secondly, moving faster than your healing body us ready for may inflict more injury, causing a relapse to your recovery time. 

#5. THE TEASING WILL HAPPEN     

As much as your family and close friends love you and worry about you and pray you get better soon, they will inevitably tease you. Call you gimpy or slow poke. Or in my case, they say things like, “Run Forrest run!” It’s not that they love you any less or are making light of your injury. It’s just a way of cheering you up and getting you to laugh about the unfortunate circumstances bc honestly, you don’t want to be depressed and upset all of the time right?

I hope you liked reading this and I hope should you have an injury or get one in the future, that you heal up quickly. And if this post entertained you or made you smile or even nod your head in agreement, then I’ve accomplished something. Have a great day and enjoy!

Summertime is here again…

Good morning everyone! Wow, what a day. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and the birds are chirping. At least they are where I live. Good ‘ol Arkansas. With weather like this, it makes me think about the upcoming summer months and how much fun it used to be for us when we were kids. And being a writer, one good thought leads to another and another and another and so on…

As my brain drifted from one thing to another, it occurred to me that as summer is approaching, it is time to get our children going on some favorite activities. No, not what most kids nowadays consider fun–sleeping in, playing video games, staying indoors watching movies, streaming music, and surfing the web. I’m talking about REAL summer fun.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here, let me remind you.

CATCHING FIREFLIES:

firefly

CAMPING IN THE BACKYARD:

backyard camping

PLAYING IN THE CREEK:

children-playing-in-creek

ROASTING MARSHMELLOWS:

roastingMarshmallows-01

STAR GAZING:

star_gazing_by_krossfire

PICKING BERRIES:

berries

MAKING HOMEMADE ICE CREAM:

2512-Kids_Making_Ice_Cream

SWIMMING WITH YOUR FRIENDS:

kids-swimming-lake-_pd_

BIKE RIDING:

tweens-riding-bikes

BLOWING BUBBLES:

kids-blowing-bubbles

FISHING:

all rights JIM GALLOP

PICKING WILDFLOWERS:

picking flowers

HAVING A  PICNIC:

picnic

RUNNING THROUGH THE SPRINKLER:

Kids in the Sprinklers

These are the type of summer activities I was talking about. Simple, fun, and everlasting. So this summer, put the tablet, phone, pager, laptop away and take a few moments to relive the real meaning of summer. Drag your family along with you. They may grumble a bit but in the end, they will thank you. Enjoy!!

Ode to a Computer…

Hi everyone. Today is a sad and terrible day for me. I just list a very old, very good friend. My laptop.

‘Ol Red and I have been through a lot together.

From the first day I held it in my arms 9 years ago, I felt something special. And I had such high hopes for it. I just knew it would do wonders. When it needed energy, I plugged it in. When it was sick, I took it to the doctor. I took care of ‘Ol Red.

And it did! It connected me to my family that lived far away, it played games and music and it entertained my kids and I for many years. It kept my secrets, my pictures and videos, my memories safe. It showed us the world.  But that’s not all.

‘Ol Red helped me achieve my dream to become a published author. Yes, with Red by my side, we wrote not one but two wonderful stories together.

‘Ol Red was there for me and I was there for it. When it needed energy, I plugged it in. When it was sick, I took it to the doctor. We made a great team.

But lately ‘Ol Red’s health has been steadily going down hill. First, it began to lose energy quickly and had to be plugged in more often. Then eventually, it was able to wake up on it’s own without a shot of electricity. We went on that way for a long time until today when it’s life force, the cord giving it energy, gave up the fight.

So sadly, today, January 7, 2016, I have to say goodbye to ‘ Ol Red. We’ve been through a lot together and I will never forget you. You were my first laptop and you will live in my memory forever.

Goodbye old friend….

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THE GOLDEN RULE

Good morning everybody. Have you been watching t.v. lately? 💻 There are so many horrible things that have happened recent and not so recently.

For example, I was watching a Barbara Walters special the other night-American Scandal. It was about Jonbenet Ramsey. Remember her? The little 6 year old girl that was found brutally murdered and sexual assulted in her own home December 26, 1996 in Boulder, Colorado? Absolutely tragic. 😥 Even worse, they still have not found her killer nearly 19 years later. 😦 I personally think that it was the man dressed as  Santa Claus 🎅 on the night of the Ramsey’s Christmas party that year. He told Jonbenet he would make a special visit to her AFTER Christmas but that she had to keep it a secret.

And then you have all of the bombings and shootings at schools and sportings events and in people’s homes and places of business. It’s all so sad and pointless and I just don’t understand how people can do the horrendous things to each other and live with themselves.
I mean, people are being killed, lives being lost, children being abused.  It’s so so, so, so sick and disheartening. I just want to ask: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?   DO YOU NOT SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING??!!!”

But I degress….

My point is that almost everything you hear anymore is how people harass, hurt, injure, and kill others. It is horrible. And so depressing. Why can’t everyone just stop? Stop tormenting others, stop trying to take what they have not earned, stop destroying lives.

If everyone would live by the golden rule, then all of this tragedy would stop. You know what The GOLDEN RULE is right?

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Just think about this for a minute.

A LOT OF HORRIBLE THINGS WOULD STOP…

* Divorce

* Fighting

* Bullying

* Robberies

* Beatings

* Drunk Driving

* Abuse

* Workplace Frustration

* Rape

* Murder

* Terrorism

* War

Wow, can you imagine how wonderful our lives, our country, our WORLD 🌎 would be?

It’s not really that hard of a concept is it?

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I mean, everyone is different. We all know that. From their looks to their religions to their cultures. That is something that will never change no matter how much we might want it too. So if it can’t be changed, why not make the best of it?

Everyone should take a second and put themselves in someone else’s shoes before they said or did something and ask themselves there’s, simple, BASIC questions:

1. Would I want to be hated, abused, raped, or killed?

2. How would I feel if they did this to me or to one of my family members?

The answer is easy.

You would feel horrible. You wouldn’t want that to happen to your family or friends. So why do it to someone else or their family or friends?

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Respect everyone’s differences and beliefs as long as those differences and beliefs don’t involve hurting or killing others.

Life is too short to be miserable and hard enough without causing disrespect, violence, and death to those around us.

This should be easy for those of us with any kind of a heart and soul. Or with any conscience or shred of human decency.

I know this is an ideallyic wish. But unfortunately not a realistic one. There are so many people in this world that are evil. Warped by those sick people around them or possibly born with defects that cause them to not just care. And those indivuals corrupt others. It’s a never ending circle of tragedy.

But those of us that actually care should never give up trying to treat each other with respect and love.

So my challenge to you is to make next year the

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Vigilantes Anyone? Part Two…The Songs

Hello everyone. I’m back with the second part of my earlier post revealing where I get the ideas for my books, namely The Perfect Order series of which I am currently working on book 2 entitled Stone Cold Angel. The first In the series, Angel in the Shadows, is on sale now on Amazon for only $2.99.
In the first post, I cited the movies that most inspire me. Today I am going to give you all a top 10 list of the songs which motivate my creative juices.  Some are darker and slower than the others but each one is super powerful and speaks to my soul. Most of you have probably heard of some, if not all, of these songs. But in case you haven’t or you just want to listen to them, I am including a YouTube link for each song. The videos are not necessarily the drive for my inspiration. It is the words of the songs that stuck with me. They are not in any particular order of my favorite or even follow the way each book loves but every one of them plays a part in every book plot. Enjoy!!

1. Iris by Goo Goo Dolls
When I hear this song, I think of my hero is realizing that he’s in love with the girl and he’s considering giving everything up for her…

2. Better Than Me by Hinder
With this one, I envision my hero being in love with the girl and realizing that she deserves a better man than he is but that he still wants her…

3. I’d Come For You by Nickelback
I can so totally see my hero walking away from the woman he loves but realizing he made a mistake and vows that he will come to her rescue no matter what…

4. Good Man by Devour the Day
I love this song because the guy knows that there is a part of him that is good. He just has trouble keeping the “bad”side at bay…

5. Bliss by Hinder
This song makes me see that to my heros, ignorance of emotions is truely bliss.  To be without someone they really care about is Hell and they will do whatever it takes to get through without them…

6. Poison by Alice Cooper
In this one, my hero doesn’t want to fall for the woman he’s trying to protect but he can’t help but want her. She’s in his veins….

7. Animal by Three Days Grace
This is another song where the hero is battling the darkness inside him. He needs help and only one special woman can do it….

8. Hate Me by Blue October
Here the guy wants to make the girl hate him because he feels it’s better for her…

9. All I Want by Staind
This song is perfect to illustrate the longing that the hero feels for the heroine and that he doesn’t want to be without her…

10. Reckless by Papa Roach
The guy in this song realized it will take a very special woman to put up with the man he is…

There you go–my top ten songs of inspiration. I hope you liked this post. Feel free to leave a comment if you would like. Thank  you for stopping by!