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Following Shadows Book Launch in 7days

Following Shadows Book Launch in 7days
Novel and its “family” take flight Following Shadows- a Novel, features the Vanderveer family. Translation of Vanderveer? ...of the feather. The Vanderveers experience life - sometimes on solid ground,sometimes like feathers cast up in the wind (of WWII) to new continents and countries. I am so thrilled to be celebrating with local BookSmart supporters, the South County community, friends and family. I hope to see you there: BOOK LAUNCH --Following Shadows, a novel What: literary WWII fiction, family saga Reading, Q and A, and light reception Location: BookSmart,...
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Open Door

Open Door
Open the Door I grew up with words like this, “It’s too terrible to tell you,  it’s too much. I do not hate the Japanese; they were cruel to each other too.” Those words came from my father, every time I asked him what it was like to survive WWII in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). He never told me. Every survivor of WWII has differences in how they survive and thrive… After. For my father it was never to talk about 1942 -1945,  except occasionally to cousins who also survived, or to a combat-survivor soldier. My father’s “combat” survival was in Japanese...
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Whose sacrifice mirrors God for you?

Whose sacrifice mirrors God for you?
Here is how Ben Skardon remembered Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan Who mirrored God for you? WWII veteran, Colonel Ben Skardon wants us to remember two names: Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan. They mirrored God for him by saving his life, over and over again.   Ben Skardon, a son of an Episcopalian minister, seemed to never have lost his faith, and perhaps his pastor-father’s teachings,  his two friends’ faithfulness, and crediting God,  had a lot to do with that. After surviving the Bataan Death March, which started April 10 1942. Prisoners were forced to march 85 miles in six days, and were...
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Your Spiritual Ticket for WWII

Your Spiritual Ticket for WWII
A Spiritual Ticket for the tearing turmoil of World War II, or our lives today would be well, just the ticket.   (photo/graphics credit pathos.com) Corrie ten Boom of the Netherlands/Nederland, April 15, 1892 to April 15, 1983, wrote the book, which also became a movie, The Hiding Place about her experiences hiding Jewish onderduikers during World War II. Like all civilians in the path of war, she had wondered how they would survive if the three were betrayed to the Nazis. She couldn’t fathom braving torture, prison or a concentration camp. Who could? Corrie had already braved becoming the first...
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Excellent, Excellent Moments

Excellent, Excellent Moments
What happens  when I approach survivors to do research for my pending novel, Shadows, who are not used to talking? Survivors are probably not thinking to themselves excellent, excellent, excellent at such a time, I know. Yet somehow it all works out. I receive moments, both of us softening again. Softening that which had been hardened pain for so long. We start like barnacles on the bottom of a ship, seemingly impossible to scrape off, infecting every lake it goes to, risking barnacles on every ship, kayak or boat that enters the new lake. Yet, with caring faith-filled talk the barnacles start to come...
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Dumb Gratitude to True Gratitude

Dumb Gratitude to True Gratitude
Yesterday I shared how as a child-immigrant I felt and thought, a mixture of sorrow, anger and nobody understands me. I was also an invisible immigrant. Until I opened my mouth, and spoke American with a Dutch accident, I seemed just like other children. I was also an immigrant seeking gratitude for reasons much different than refugee-immigrants. My father, mother, younger sister and I,  had left a country, The Netherlands (Nederland, Holland), which actually had a tradition of offering liberty and freedom to others. For instance the Dutch gave the Pilgrims religious freedom and shelter while awaiting...
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Dumb Gratitude

Dumb Gratitude
Do you struggle with gratitude? I sure do. I have haaated the topic. I have NOT wanted to have an attitude of gratitude. Even in elementary school I was a seven year old gratitude curmudgeon. You know the drill in elementary school. The teacher has you make a list. Every child is grateful for their mom, dad, the rest of the family, being born in a free country like America. And that’s where my seven year old self cynically coughed up toad-thoughts.  I thought I couldn’t’ tell my teacher and class mates. : I wasn’t born in America.  I was born in The Netherlands. Holland was...
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Attitude of Gratitude: Thanksgiving for Dutch-Americans

Attitude of Gratitude: Thanksgiving for Dutch-Americans
Shocking, there is no mention, all over the internet, about how Dutch families celebrate their first Thanksgivings in the U.S.. Nor is there mention  how Thanksgiving feasts evolved for Dutch immigrant families over the years.  So it is up to me to enlighten you about one Dutch family, the Jobsis-DeVries (later Brown family too). There are plenty of internet links to Thanksgiving celebrations IN the Netherlands, as well as international Thanksgiving celebrations IN the U.S., be sure to check those out at the end of this post. However, here is our Thanksgiving story. Our first independent...
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Luther Prunty’s Red Blanket, Symbol of Gratitude after World War II

Luther Prunty’s Red Blanket, Symbol of Gratitude after World War II
A Blanket of Gratitude A red blanket of comfort followed Luther Prunty through the hell of WWII Japanese concentration camp survival. As he nears the century mark of life, home in Jacksboro, Texas, he still treasures the same blanket. At one time the Chinese  red blanket offered him the simple protection of not being considered AWOL, when over-extending his leave in Singapore.  The blanket which hid him from American MP’s as he returned to base, became a symbol of the extreme of protection and courage necessary for survival of all that came after, at the hands of the Japanese: Defeat in the...
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Back from the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Changi Prison, Singapore

Back from the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Changi Prison, Singapore
Liberations occurred while suffering. Liberations in war  and its aftermath is suffering, liberation, suffering, liberation. A liberation occurred early in the imprisonment experience of Private Glenleigh Bertie William Skewes during World War II at Changi Prison/Singapore. Designed for 600 men, it came to hold up to 50,000. This is Skewes’ reflection of a small liberation during suffering. He wrote this before more experiences with skin ulcers, diphtheria and starvation. He survived to tell us. Back from the Valley of the Shadow of Death “Well at last we were put in Sclerang Barracks. We...
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