Welcome! Before we meet today’s special guests, I wanted to thank everyone who participated in my second Summer Spotlight Series. Also, thank you to those who visited each week and shared your thoughts. I really enjoyed introducing you to bloggers you may not have known. It was also fun to learn more about those bloggers we’ve known for years.
I want to thank our friend and writer, John Howell for closing out this series. As most of you know, John and his family live on the barrier island of Port Aransas, which was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. When I reached out to John to write this special post, we didn’t know he and his family would be evacuated from their home. Being a man of his word, John followed through on his commitment and sent this post to me well in advance. Thank you, John. Please know that our prayers are with you and your family.
Today’s final Summer Spotlight features three of my favorite new friends that I met this summer. So you guys take it away.
Thank you so much, Jill. We are so happy to be here with you and am honored to be on your last post for Summer Spotlight. Hi, my name is Lucy, and I am the more vocal, and I might add, gregarious of the three of us. We took a vote before our appearance, and we agreed that I would do the talking. My two sisters are Bailey and Stella. Bailey is the boxer, and Stella is the cat. Before I go on, would you two like to say anything? Bailey?
“No, you are doing fine Lucy.”
“How about you, Stella?”
“As much as I hate to say it you are doing well.”
“Okay gang. I will go ahead and speak for us all. Jill asked us some questions and here are the answers. I have to mention that before this appearance we had a conference to work out the answers. Yes, Stella. You have a comment.”
“I just want everyone to know on several issues my vote was in the minority.”
“Thanks, Stella. Here goes.”
“What is special about the place you grew up?”
“We all agree that by “grew up.” We are speaking of our forever home. A unique thing about our forever home is the two non-fur people who run it. They have adopted us as if we are their own and go out of their way to make certain we have everything we need. Yes, Stella what is it?
“One thing I don’t have is a place where there are no canines.”
“Yes, thank you, Stella. Also, Bailey and I love to run on the beach and take sunbaths, and before Stella raises her paw, I’ll tell you she is not allowed outside. Bailey and I do not understand why at all. What Stella?”
“I’m not allowed outside because I’m precious cargo.”
“What are some of the events in your life that made you who you are?”
“Stella was part of a litter that our mom raised from the time she was four days old. She and her siblings were born in the wild, and our mom grabbed the mother, had her spayed and released. If she were still the wild, she would not be the lady she is today. Bailey was born in Port Aransas and then went to live at Baylor University. She graduated with a degree in human management and then because of some work conflicts had to separate from her young owner to come live at the beach. These events have made Bailey calm and accepting of change. I used to be on the streets of San Antonio. Yes, I was homeless until I hit a car. Some kind people took me to a rescue group called Austin Boxer Rescue where I found a new home. The experience taught me not to even think of leaving the yard without a leash.
“If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?”
“We all agreed on the one rule. We think all humans should think of their fur children as part of the family so our rule would be, “Treat your fur children like you would like someone to treat you.”
A little about our dad. He started writing full-time in 2012 when he finally threw off the yolk of organized commerce. We all live on a barrier Island off the coast of Texas in the Gulf with our mom.
Our dad has published three books and a fourth ready to go in October The first; My GRL has just been re-released with a new cover and updated editing. It tells the story of John J. Cannon who buys a boat he names My GRL. Unbeknownst to him a group of terrorists want the boat since it will be a perfect vehicle to go undetected into New York harbor and deliver a fatal blow to the Annapolis Midshipmen on their summer cruise. John is the only one standing between the terrorists and the accomplishment of their goal. The second is His Revenge. John seeks to atone the killing of Gerry Starnes, the woman who sold him My GRL. The action moves from Port Aransas to California and on to Ecuador. His enemy Matt Jacobs has a twisted idea that John would make an excellent spokesperson for the terrorist group. He figures out a way to get John to cooperate on a plan that is designed to embarrass the President and wreak havoc on the oil industry. John must pretend to go along hoping he can create a way to get revenge. The question remains who will get the revenge? The Third is Our Justice the final story in the trilogy. John has been keen on bringing Matt Jacobs to justice. Matt has been keen on getting John to help him in a plot to assassinate the President. He plans to use John’s hero status to get close to the President to do his duty work. Both Matt and John feel their cause is right and both want justice extracted in their favor. We must see who in fact achieves Justice, Matt, John or neither. The fourth book is titled Circumstances of Childhood and is about riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal designed to keep you riveted
All his books are on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
I have so enjoyed my internet relationship with Jill. She and I might never meet face to face (I live in the Seattle, WA area and she in Charlotte, NC) but our inter-web friendship has been one that I’ve enjoyed for several years now.
It’s possible that Jill and I don’t maintain all the same leanings, political or otherwise, but she and I know that what matters most is the person within as well as how that person relates to others that counts. Kindness, tolerance, and acceptance is what matters because every individual on this earth has something to contribute for the good of the world. I think that’s what propels both Jill and I forward in our contribution to the corners of the world in which we have an impact.
What is special about the place you grew up?
The first part of my childhood was spent in the greater Los Angeles, California area. In 1965, my family had the distinct privilege of moving to Honolulu, Hawaii because of a company transfer/job promotion of which my father was able to take advantage. Doing so exposed my family to what in Hawaii is called a calabash of different people and lifestyles. Prior that relocation, we were only familiar with the Caucasian race. Afterwards? Well, a calabash is defined as a bowl that contains items. In our experience, that calabash contained a melting pot of different people with whom we fell in love right from the start. It was a delightful place to grow up.
What are some of the events in your life that made you who you are?
- My family’s move to Hawaii.
- My work with senior citizens which encompassed assisted and memory care housing, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and long-term care resident rights advocacy.
- And out of that second bullet point came the most impactful: managing my father’s care during his five year Alzheimer’s disease journey that concluded with his death on October 13, 2007.
- That experience made me the writer I am today and that eventually resulted in the publication of my novel Requiem for the status quo which was released this past July. (By the way, it’s available everywhere books are sold, both online and brick and mortar…just saying.)
If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
Wow, this ties into two points, so bear with me.
Listen. Listening involves much more than hearing what someone says, it also includes being open to whatever that person may have to say. Too often we turn off our listening skills because someone happens to say something that goes contrary to our viewpoint or our current experience.
Our listening process usually goes something like this:
- We hear what is being said and we compare it to what we already know.
- We compare what is being discussed to what we’ve already read or heard that caused us to believe or feel a certain way.
- Then, based on past information or experiences, we automatically agree or disagree with what is said.
True listening, however, allows that new information to enter our mental database for honest consideration, rather than instant rejection. We entertain what someone has said; we give it a chance; and we let that information perhaps alter or at least augment our previously conceived notions.
Kindness. And here’s the second point: doing the above exhibits a kindness that gifts the speaker with the right to their opinion, their feelings, or their way of functioning in the world in which they find themselves.
I sincerely believe if we gave everyone’s words a chance, discourse would be more free-flowing and acceptance and tolerance would flourish. This doesn’t mean we have to agree with all the ideas that come our way, but what it does mean is that we choose to allow the possibility that maybe, just maybe we’ll learn something beneficial about something different a person has to offer.