Author: Janis Lanning

Reverse. Refocus. Run.

I held on tight. Dale maneuvered Dolly’s reins as she slowly plodded around Grandpa’s barnyard. This morning, I smile while reminiscing that as 10-year-olds, my cousin and I assumed “we” were in control of Dolly. She plodded slowly with the precision of an ancient clock, habitually knowing the approved barnyard path for all young grandchildren. My cousin was only a few months older, but on this occasion, he was the expert horseman. At Dale’s encouragement, Dolly passed through the gate towards the lush grass near Grandma’s clothesline. Grandpa grinned as he stood silently by the smokehouse. A glance at the...

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Get Your Shoes On

“But, I don’t want to wear those shoes! Can I wear my pink ones or my tennis shoes?” The wail was familiar, and so was the response, “Just get something on your feet, now!” A million shoes scattered in the closet (Yes, a slight exaggeration, but under stress, who cares?); too many choices. How often have you had needless exchanges in your home about which shoes to put on for school or church or play? When I look in my closet, I realize these exchanges are not just about my children and grandchildren. I see dozens of shoes. Granted,...

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Wild Things

Eryn Lynum’s sparkling eyes and broad smile captivated me. I wanted to sit at the same table with this soon-to-be-published author. I wanted to bask in her enthusiasm and soak in a bit of her knowledge. I hoped to discover the secret of a successful website. How did she finally break through as a writer? What happened to cause her to say to herself, “I am a writer. I can do this.” Here I sat, having lunch at a conference put on by  Heart of America Christian Writers Network. Stories of other writers bore a familiar resemblance to mine. Eager...

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Hats in My Memory part 4 – Unexpected, Versatile, Integrity

  The third and final hat in this series ushers in the “unexpected.”  This hat is a Tilley all-weather, washable, floppy hat. According to Tilley’s website, Tilley’s are “designed and engineered for travel, so you are ready for the unexpected turn in the road ahead.”  The Tilley wearer I love has many titles: husband, father, son, teacher, and grandpa.  This grandpa is known as “Papa” in our home. Just as a Tilley proves to be an “all-in-one hat,” Papa is an all-in-one grandfather and father.  When we first met over 35 years ago, I quickly noticed his devotion...

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Grandma Tanner’s Fold-over Rolls

  Every family member can attest: Grandma Tanner knew how to cook! Her fold-over dinner rolls or homemade biscuits were found at most meals.  Every day was like a savory feast: mounds of whipped potatoes, fresh green beans, a rhubarb pie, seasoned corn and fried chicken or smothered steak. When I was young I remember watching Grandma churn fresh butter. Chicken butchering day was a family affair. Christmas season meant slipping out to the cold back porch to find tables covered with sweet fudges, divinity, and baked goodies. But the rolls … oh my, the fluffy rolls  were my...

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Welcome! Won't you pull up a seat by the fire? My name is Janis....