I've long been convinced that God gives each of us a special gift as part of our lifetime makeup.
For some, like daughters Becky and Sherri, it's a gift for organization, an inborn sense for business. Others, like granddaughter Rachel, are given the gift of music and the voice of an angel. For folks like my late husband, George, and my son-in-law Jack, it's an amazing ability to understand how things work and an uncanny knack for fixing what's broken.
I'm grateful that God's gift to me was the love of words and the ability to write.
From childhood, my dream was to become a writer. I read and studied writing techniques, attended workshops, subscribed to writers' magazines and did all I could to nurture the gift I had been given.
But, at I neared my college years, I realized making a living as a writer would be a long-shot at best. So I turned to my second love, science.
My college training led to a career in medical technology and a number of years working in laboratories.
Fortunately, while still earning a paycheck in that field, I started writing a few pieces for local newspapers.
That opened the door. When my last lab job was phased out, I turned my attention to writing full time.
Over the past thirty-plus years, writing has been my joy. And, thanks to that focus, I've had priceless opportunities to meet people, see places and write about events I would never have known otherwise.
My greatest pleasure during this time has been my weekly Moseyin' Along visits with you readers on the other side of the newspaper pages. Together, we've covered subjects ranging from wind chimes to wash days, from sewing to sailing. from cell phones to seed packets.
The first column came out in June of 1989. Today's entry into the collection is number one thousand, one hundred and twenty-one.
Each week, I'm amazed all over again that my little Moseyin' Along column is still going strong, thanks to you special readers.
Through the years, a number of folks asked me to put together a collection of Moseyin' pieces. So, in 2002, I brought out "I've Become My Motherand Other Observations." I gathered a second group of columns into I'm Worrying As Fast As I Can, which was published in 2009.
These little books were actually aimed at my circle of readers here in northern Chautauqua County. And, though that focus has limited the sales, I've been pleased with the number of books sold.
But last week, I wondered if there were still any of my little volumes "out there," available to future readers. So I went into a web site that claimed it could track any book in the world.
I was astounded by the results of that search.
In addition to national outlets like Barnes & Nobel and Amazon, I learned that the first book, "I've Become My Mother.," is available in book stores in Toledo, OH, Atlanta, GA, Ashville, NC and Richmond, TX, as well as facilities in Pennsylvania, Georgia, California and several "across the pond" in the United Kingdom.
"I'm Worrying As Fast As I Can" is currently carried in Secaucus, NJ, Markle, IN, Richmond, TX as well as in Florida, Georgia, Indiana and in Gloucester, United Kingdom and other British outlets
When I put together these collections, I had no idea how far they would reach. It's both amazing and humbling that thanks to the writing gift planted in me so long ago, I'm still touching readers not only here, but wherever my words may travel.