Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Some Say It Takes A Village-This Time It Took A World

 Photo Credit
Have you had a chance to watch the rescue story of 12 Thai soccer players and their coach?

I realized, after writing a few posts on my Facebook page that not everyone has had a chance to follow this story. I wanted to dedicate this post to those boys and their coach. Also the volunteers and the many experts who sacrificed time, money, comfort, and for some, their vacation to come to the team's aid.

I waited to publish this post to hear the last piece of news. So some of you will be reading this post on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. This evening BBC news announced: the doctor who examined, treated, and stayed with the team during the rescue process and the last of the Thai divers have left the cave. The mission is complete, at least this portion. Talk about exciting.

My post today is not going to rehash all the details. Here is a link to the article that will give you all the details including links to more information. 

Instead, I'd like to talk with you about the global effort in the rescue.

1. The Thai people are to be commended for requesting help from other nations. This is difficult to do, even in a time of tragedy. While they had many of their own experts, the problem proved exponential, requiring the best from around the world. Thai men and women warmly welcomed the experts who dropped everything and hopped on the first available plane to Thailand, even to the point of cooking special food for those eating certain diets. 

2. Australian doctor, Richard Harris, was also experienced with cave diving and rescue missions. After the long flight, he made the underwater dive to be with the boys. He stayed in the cave and provided medical treatment, conversation, and other aid over the days required to rescue the entire team.

3. Three Thai Navy Seal divers and the doctor were the last to leave the cave.

4. Technical divers came from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Canada. 

These are only the ones featured in BBC articles. However, other countries have been credited for their assistance. Prayers, watchful eyes, concerned hearts from all around the world have joined in the effort. Donated funds have helped defray costs. 

5. Of course, we cannot forget the one Thai Navy Seal diver who lost his life transporting oxygen tanks in and out. Retired Petty Officer, Saman Gunan, 38, was a Navy Seal Diver. His tank ran out of oxygen while on his way out of the cave. What a sacrifice. May he rest in peace.

The videos available on the link above and related BBC pages are heartwarming. I also liked seeing the illustrations designed to help us understand the complexity of the dive. 

I wondered, how did those British divers find the boys? The soccer team was 2 miles back in the cave on a small ledge. The boys had climbed down a steep area, crawled through narrow passages while outrunning the rising flood waters. 

I wondered how did the Thai people know to look in that cave? 

I wondered how the boys survived nine days without food or water. The water in the cave was muddy and not drinkable.

I wondered what the boys did to occupy themselves and encourage one another to hope for a rescue sitting in pitch dark.

What I do know is not one person who went to help thought twice about the commitment and hardship.

It's moments like this one in Thailand, and the mine collapse in Chile, and other tragedies that prove we need each other and God. This time it took a world to rescue twelve boys and their coach to bring peace and a Never Give Up Story. 

This post has been brought to you by the one word: Rescue

Daring To Live, A Suspense Novel, is available on Amazon and makes for a great read this summer season. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

So Un-American. So Should-Be American

photo by Mary Vee
Blue Ridge flag

An author, whom I've know from a distance for a long time and have had few conversations with but I doubt remembers, has chosen to retire. In the panel-yahoo group where he has shared his writerly advice for all these years, there is a big going away party. Memories shared. Thanks given. All the usual that is done for those who have given so much to their field.

What I wanted to share with you today, is his response to one of the compliments: 

For six years I served as a missionary in Kenya, East Africa. A few years later, I returned for my first visit. The night before I left Kenya, I met with a group of pastors in a mud-and-thatch hut for a final meal. 
          Unasked, those pastors began telling me things I had done for them. Their words shocked me. “Really? I don’t remember doing that,” I said each time, “but I do remember when you. . . “ 
         That kind of dialog went on for perhaps 20 minutes before Blascio spoke up in the Luo language. Here’s my translation into English: “Those who give must not remember; those who receive must not forget.”

          That incident kept filling my thoughts as I read through your kind and generous comments

You may ask, what is so unAmerican about that?

Well, we are a greedy people.

Each with our own ideas of how things should be done.
Each with our own ideas of how we should think.
Each with our own ideas of how to act/respond.

We have become a "me-first" culture. Infatuated with our own agenda/thoughts/desires/etc. In the wake, a new group of people is harmed. So, what's the difference? Two wrongs make a right? 

I read this message from the author and said to myself, yes. His words are true. And I should try harder to be a giver who considers all those around me, not an exclusive group. I should also move on without expectation of praise because if I keep busy doing the good for all the people around me, I won't have time to wait for my "due praise". 

Consider adding this phrase from a wise author who announced his retirement to your thoughts:  

Those who give must not remember, 
those who receive must not forget.

To those who live in American, I hope your Independence Day Celebration is full of good cheer, thrilling fireworks, family fun, good food, and proves to be a moment when you can show a strong patriotic spirit.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: So-American

My book, Daring To Live, A Patriotic Suspense Novel is available on Amazon and makes for a great read for this patriotic season. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I Appreciated His Warning-Tornados

As an author, I have learned that many experiences can be understood with enough research. Social media pushes the emotion of whatever is viewed. Anger. Rage. Joy. Loss. Tragedy. Triumph. Victory. Discovery, etc.

Photo by Mary Vee, Oklahoma

I mostly agree with this still, because as the days go by, I write about a situation then reach into my personal memories, pull up my true responses, and insert that response into the character. I can empathize with those who experience a myriad of situations because I can call up my personal similar emotion.

You do too. Knowingly or unknowingly. You've cried, laughed, cheered at movies or while reading a book. Admit it. :)

But there are some experiences that extend beyond our realm of experiences encountered so far.

Photo by Mary Vee, Oklahoma

For example, yesterday, my daughter and I drove through Oklahoma heading east. I am not from Oklahoma, but I've heard plenty about their colossal storms. 

Tornado season has begun. 

We did not expect the 70-80 mph winds, the sheets of rain pounding the pavement, the hail, or the trees bending over. And although the driving was tolerable because we've driven in similar inclement weather, we took a break after two hours of fighting the winds. 

Photo by Mary Vee, Oklahoma

We pulled into a truck stop, ran inside, and crowded in front of a TV weather report with other travelers dripping rain onto the floor.

I have lived through many powerful storms.

And all was well

...until the newsman said, "There are currently no threats of tornados."

I have also lived through tornados touching down 1 mile from my home...more than once.

So all was well 

Photo by Mary Vee, Oklahoma

..until I remembered the videos of Joplin, Missouri from six years ago when an F5 tornado turned the town into toothpicks and killed 158 people. Joplin was near and on our route.

We were safe according to the reports and yet a fear rose inside me that I've only experienced a few times in my life. 

We ordered some food to wait out the storm. A man came to our table, with a compassionate look on his face. He looked at the 6-month-old we had with us then said, "Just wanted to tell you there is a four-hour window before the next storm comes. I've traveled with a baby before and understand how difficult it can be."

Photo by Mary Vee, Oklahoma

I appreciated his warning after witnessing the accident in this photo and the next. More than he possibly knew. We packed up our food and got back in the car. 

We rode on the tail of the colossal storm that forced us to take a break, outrunning the sister storm on the way.

I've never suffered damage from a tornado other than down trees and days without power. That is nothing compared to what the people of Joplin and other cities have experienced.

Photo by Mary Vee, Missouri

Sometimes we really don't understand what a person is going through. Sometimes we need to be available for hugs, listening ears, and a cup of water.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: Empathy

My book, Daring To Live, A Patriotic Suspense Novel is available on Amazon. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Reunited Families

At this moment, I am hanging out in a border state in the United States. Guess what the hot topic is here? 
Right, immigration and the separation of children.

Arizona/Mexican border, PC-Katy McNiff

I in no wise want to tackle a political debate here but want to discuss an interesting aspect of this topic brought up by the BBC.

At the end of a very lengthy immigration article posted by the BBC the writer asks: Was your family split up after entering the US? Are any of your family members currently being detained and kept apart? Email

The question got me thinking. 

The answer for my immediate family would be no, but the extended family, yes. However, it happened in another country.

With modern technology, we can now dig back into our genealogy and learn amazing pieces of information about our own family. So, if you're interested, you can find out if your ancestors ever experienced a similar experience.

Separation of families is not new. Stalin separated children from Lenin sympathizers. Hitler separated families. German children were taken to training camps to educate and train them for government service. There are many more in history that include national children taken from their homes for a purpose and immigrant children taken from their family unit for a purpose. Well, this depressing list could go on for pages.

My thinking slid into this question, what was the result for the families in the past?

For my extended family...not so good. BUT the love that was in the family...never left.  

Years later, after the situation ended, the family came from all parts of the world for a family holiday. We shared a meal at a table, squeezed into a tiny apartment. New languages had been learned by the children. The old one had not been taught to them. Still, the family found ways to communicate. One spoke to another who spoke the language of a third who translated to a fourth. We spent a week together laughing, sharing, renewing and reunited.

There is a one-day hope in this situation.

It may not be now.

But one day...

Never Give Up Stories 
lived and shared by Mary Vee

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: FamilyHope

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Flag Day This Week-Do you Really Want To Live In Another Country? AND CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY!!

This Thursday is Flag Day in the United States.

Photo by Mary Vee
Tennessee Overlook near Johnson City

No matter the good, the bad, and the ugly, living in the United States isn't so bad. I'm sure I think this because I grew up here, which makes it home. 

Many of you have visited another country or two, maybe more. You saw the great sights, ate the food, and made great memories. Me too. And for a moment I might have thought I'd like to move to that country. 

I'd probably have to learn another language. The culture would be completely different. I'd have to work around my savings, give up having the transportation I'm used too. Find a job. A place to live. Probably wouldn't be able to see my family as often. I don't know. Maybe it wouldn't be such a great idea.

After a while, I'd find issues with similar governmental decisions, etc. in the new country. I'd hear and read the complaints from those living there and eventually come to the conclusion every place has problems. So, I may as well stay home.

Would you really want to live in another country?

We say these things usually in frustration, but I'm not so sure we mean them. 

For now, let's choose to honor this country we call home and plan to raise our flag this Thursday.


My birthday is this week!!

I love to share with my readers on my birthday. This year, I will give away one eBook copy of my 2018 Patriotic book, Daring to Live, A Patriotic Suspense Novel to one commenter. 

Simply leave a comment and your email address for me to notify you. Only comments with email addresses are eligible as entries for this give-away. All are welcome to enter. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries.

BONUS ENTRY; If a friend also mentions you in their comment, you will get a bonus entry. All are welcome to enter.

BONUS ENTRY for anyone signing up for a Never Give Up Story adventure with Mary Vee:

Come. Take an adventure with us by subscribing to a free Never Give Up Story to be delivered to your email! Each time a Never Give Up Story arrives in your mailbox, you will have an opportunity to virtually travel to an amazing place in the world with Mary Vee, suspense author. Ride a pirate ship, climb cliffs, whitewater raft, soar to the top of the Eiffel Tower, this and much more. Dare to explore from the comfort of your home. Join us. The passage is free!  Here is the link: Click Here to Virtually Travel Around the World With Mary Vee. It's FREE!


I am also listing Daring To Live, A Patriotic Suspense Novel on sale for $0.99 in celebration of Flag Day and my birthday for this week. CLICK HERE to get your copy

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: Celebrate!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Rural Life 101. So Much to Learn When Foiling Murphy's Law

Timing is everything.

I've been a city dweller and have learned to live by the clock. 

If I didn't, I'd miss the bus, train, subway, carpool, or get stuck in horrendous traffic especially during construction season. Oh yeah, this girl can survive in the city.

Now that I am a rural dweller I see this life also runs on a clock. Like planting season. Why, rural folk even put calling the septic company to drain the tank on the calendar! And that's not all! 

I've learned when the earliest time to safely walk on lake's ice, the best fishing spots, how to shop bulk because the nearest grocery store is far away, when to pick then can various fruits and vegetables, how to work a generator because the power goes out a lot of times, how to work a tractor mower and heavy duty snowblower, and much more. I can even make a dutch oven full of the best hearty stew you've ever tasted. This girl has her rural on. 

In both city and country the workings can get mucked up without a notice. This is the time I'd prefer living in an apartment because I can call maintenance. 

Unfortunately, the maintenance guy is us in our rural home.

These last two weeks I've learned how to identify and resolve a septic field that has collapsed.

I didn't remember signing up for this class.

Had I been asked ahead of time, I would have said the idea stank. 

But here I am. 

Two trips to the county office. County inspectors visits. The bad news in writing. Contacting a plumber. Hearing the news. Calling the county back. Getting a revised permit. Calling the septic service, then listen for the mighty trucks rolling.

I must admit, I thought the ten huge construction vehicles rumbling up the street were exciting until they crawled across our one-year-old asphalt driveway. 

Still, I felt like a little kid watching all the trucks and workers.

I was excited to see how easily the yard could be transformed into twenty ten-foot mounds. How easily the earth collapsed under a worker. He only fell six feet.

I filmed each step. Interviewed the workers. I could write a book about the subject.

But I won't.

Because I really don't like non fiction.

The tale is nearly over. Only half of the ten foot mounds are left in the backyard. The workers have gone home. They'll finish the job tomorrow morning.

And we have written on our calendar to check the system every three years like other rural folk do. BTW we didn't cause the problem. The poor system had become old. It lasted 30 years which is unusual.

The good news is we won't have problems when our 6 month grandson comes to visit next month. And trust me. Those little critters can test a septic system.

All in all. Murphy's Law didn't win (if anything can go wrong, it will). And Pollyanna can say we played the glad game. (Disney movie)

This post has been brought to you by the one word: FoilMurphy'sLaw

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Party Where No Two People Physically Met In The Same Room

 Photo Credit
I went to a really fun party last night. Gifts, fifteen people, celebration style.

At this party no two people were physically in the same room.

Had I said this, oh, ten years ago, you might have labeled me crazy.

I'll add another interesting component: no two people were in the same state, AND at least one was in another country.

Ah, yes, I've given you clues.

I looked at the title of my last posts and laughed. Seems I've been on a technology binge. This is definitely not a techy blog. We gather to talk about what is happening and give our views. Yet, here we are again talking about a tech related topic. A topic that presented the only means to solve a problem:

Fifteen close friends, initially drawn together because we are writers.

Living across the United States and Australia.

The youngest will soon be married.

Few can go to her wedding.

The answer?

An online party. We set the date and sent our packages to the youngest member. She jokingly sent photos of the growing mailbox tower as the date grew nearer.

The party-time was set for 7pm central. 

Fifteen is too many for most group video calls and too few for others that charge. Ten is the limit for Skype and I think FaceTime. Google Hang-outs is ten also. We've used Skype in the past and learned we could only use this program free one time as a group, and we rarely got together as a whole group more than a few times a year. FaceTime had sound issues. Possibly because our group was spread out over the globe?? Not sure. Last night we tried Google Hang-outs.  

The youngest initiated the call to insure everyone could at least connect with her. When the tenth person signed on, the youngest used a second device to contact the others then faced the second device to capture the gifts and the screen of the other ten. Last, she set the volumes high to let all fifteen hear and respond.

We chattered as though siting in the same room. Drank beverages. Ate party food. Laughed. Oooed over each gift. Shared stories. The youngest smiled. Towards the end she panned her room showing the array of unwrapped gifts. 

We talked into the night. Like any other party. Getting up to refill drinks or get more food before returning to the screen.

Ten years ago, we wouldn't have had this party. Sure we could have sent the gifts and asked her to open them on one night, but it would have been nothing like what we had last night. Fifteen good friends celebrating the upcoming marriage of the youngest even though no two lived close enough to meet together.

That was cool.

Kinda like this blog, where people from around the world can gather to discuss topics. 

Hopefully this has given you an idea for how to meet with your own friends who can't go to the same location. A means to celebrate or lament with others when they cannot physically meet with you. A way to keep friends and family together.

Click here to tweet this post: How friends can have a Party When No Two People Can Physically Meet In The Same Location. #NeverGiveUpStories

This post has been brought to you by the one word: FriendsCelebration

My new book, Daring to Live is on sale for one more day! $0.99 Pick up a copy. Read this story that dares to live when life is difficult.

CLICK HERE for more information

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Even With The Hassles, I Love Technology

Photo by Mary Vee
Yesterday, between breaks at my writer's conference, I--

FaceTimed a call with my daughter who is across the ocean in a study abroad program and heard about her fabulous day.

Pshaw, that's nothing, you might say.

But, it was everything to me. 

I know, I know, technology can be the pits at times. Yesterday the app we needed to get the handouts for our class didn't work for a time. During another session, we were told a number to text for more information. A friend keyed two 9's instead of three and couldn't find the message. Details. Details. Later still, the organization's techy staff took twenty minutes to get the instructor's presentation to display on the board. Glitches. Patience. Stress.

BUT, look what we still have.

Yesterday, my other daughter, living across the country made a short video of her family and added it to the private collection on You Tube. When I have my next break, I'm going to watch it. I love seeing what they are doing with their home, what they have to say, what makes them smile. 

There is a new law for anyone dealing with European audiences in any way. The GDPR law which will start May 25th, is designed to protect Europeans from having their data gathered. It is designed to precent companies from gathering information unbeknownst to the reader/customer/etc. Well, folks, the law has good intentions, but, I don't believe it is a cure. 

Still, if you receive a notice from a vendor you regularly receive information saying you need to confirm your desire to remain on a mailing list, you really need to confirm, or the individual/company will be required to remove your name from the list.

The benefits? Your email list won't have a bunch of spam.

The disadvantage, perhaps you have opened the mail for coupons or other benefits at times. You won't receive those anymore.

It's a lot of hype that, in my view won't accomplish the intent, but eh, I don't make the rules.

Instead, I'm going to enjoy my technology that lets me talk to my son with hands free phone while he is on a long trucking haul...

...and I'm going to enjoy chatting with you.

THANK GOD HE doesn't need to have us respond to the GDPR law. He will ALWAYS be there for us. And we have the freedom to chat with HIM ANYTIME.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: ILoveTechnology

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Good Kind of Exhaustion

Believe it or not, there is a good kind of exhaustion, and you've probably felt it.

The exhaustion at the end of the day when your thoughts vaporize the second your head hits the pillow. Hah, perhaps your eyes drifted shut while enjoying the wind down activity before going to bed, and someone from your family said, "Do you want to go to bed?" You naturally said, "No." Even if you really wanted to sleep. True?

My family gave me the best week ever celebrating Mother's Day. My son took me for a six-hour, intense hike after church on Sunday. My daughter took me on an adventure climb down a rugged cliff on Monday. No ropes required, but, yes we slid down mucky waterfall saturated earth.
Grand Haven
Photo by Mary Vee
My husband took me to one of the lighthouses on the Great Lakes. Of course, we walked the beach and to the end of the pier. 

Ending the three day adventures, my family watched my favorite movie with me. My eyes drifted toward sleep in the middle of the story. Hubby asked if I wanted to sleep. I naturally said, "No." Because my family couldn't have given me a better week, and some things should not end prematurely.

Spring/Summer sun drifts later into evening hours, wooing us outside. I wish it would do that all year long. Since this is the season for later sunlight, perhaps you've been preparing your flower or vegetable gardens, grooming the landscape around your home or the flower box in your apartment after supper. Opened the windows and breathed in the fresh air.

Life is too good--too short to sit in front of a media device when the outdoors beckons. Right?

In my wildest dreams, at this moment, I would transport to 

Sioux Charlie, Rocky Mountains
Photo by Mary Vee

Sioux Charlie hiking trail in the Rockies where hiking boots are essential to preserve the ankles.

or the trail leading back to Petra in Jordan where the sizzling heat causes hikers to consume liquid from at least three water bottles before reaching the historical city shown in the movie Indiana Jones.

or, and I haven't done this yet, hike the whole Appalachian trail from the upper east coast down to Georgia.

At the end of day. This kind of exhaustion is a good exhaustion. I collapse in my bed, close my eyes and am teleported back to my favorite places in my dreams. My mind may add a few surreal or unlikely details, but meh, it's all good.

Rise and shine. This is a day to enjoy.

Okay, caveat, so nasty issues poke their head in our plans. Seriously, our septic field just died. As in yesterday. The indoor calamity started a season of calling companies, driving to county offices, filling out applications, arranging inspectors, and yada yada, which hasn't ended and has blurted in to our sunny day. We will survive this mental exercise. The bank account will bounce back. On the tail end of this chapter, there will be time for more fun. 

So, what fun project/activity do you have today?

This post has been brought to you by the one word: GetOutsideAndHaveFun

Consider checking out my new release. 
Here is the link: Daring To Live by Mary Vee