I caught up with Traveling Robert at the Micro Minnies on the Mountain rally on Monte Sano. This was the first big rally for Winnebago Micro Minnie owners in Huntsville, Alabama. The weather started off chilly, but by Sunday the skies were a vibrant blue with very low humidity. It was a perfect day to catch up with Robert Morales and ask him how life on the road had treated him this past year. I was thrilled that his wife Ileana was along for this trip and I was able to chat with her. Ileana is the wind beneath Robert’s wings.
Q. Ileana, we honored our military veterans this weekend for Veterans Day. Many military spouses experience times when their husband or wife serves overseas or away from home for extended periods of time. You have been away from Robert for periods of time this year. What special things did you do to stay in touch?
A. “I watch all his videos. Also, we call each other to say good morning and good night. That never fails, we do it every day.”
Q. Ileana, do you hope to join Robert full time on the road at some point? What is your favorite thing about traveling?
A. “Yes, I can’t wait to join him! Once we got the RV I don’t see myself going back to a hotel. In an RV you have your own bathroom, your bedroom, just so many things. I love seeing new places, meeting new people and trying different food.”
The link below will take you to a video interview with Traveling Robert. The video runs 10 minutes:
This morning we are driving to the Hollansburg Cemetery in Ohio.
A precious grain of wheat for Christ is planted here.
Chet and I are going to pay our respects to someone we have never met, though this person significantly shaped my early walk with Christ. Through his music and observing his life, Richard Wayne Mullins demonstrated it was possible to be a Christian and still be “real.”
Here is his bio, as posted on a grave location site:
Singer, Songwriter, Musician. Born near Richmond, Indiana, Rich was into genealogy research of his family’s history and revered and honored the memory of those who came before him and made him who he was. He began writing music at an early age. Talent with musical instruments came naturally to him. One song he wrote was made famous by Amy Grant in 1982, “Sing Your Praise to the Lord.” He recorded an album called “Canticle of the Plains” in honor of St. Francis of Assisi but based it in the American West. His song “Awesome God” has been the most well-known and loved by more people. He spent the last couple of years of his life teaching music to Navajo children on the Navajo Nation Reservation in Windrock, NM. He was devoted to the Navajo Nation and considered his teaching more important than making money. He also believed serving God, with his music and ministry, were above fame and fortune. He gave most of his earnings to charity. A quote of his from a question about how to stay strong in the faith – “Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.” When he would sign autographs, he would always write “Be God’s” above his signature. Nine days before his death, he went to an old, abandoned church with a cheap cassette recorder and recorded nine songs with just his guitar. These songs became “The Jesus Record,” and they reveal the inner peace he was finally feeling. Mullins was killed in an auto accident.
This bio, though carefully written, seems dry compared to the impact I have witnessed of this artist’s music on the world.
As I come to know and love believers who have been affected by his music, I see an ever-widening ripple of faith. That legacy has continued even now, twenty-two years after his death.
During our drive yesterday, reflecting on Rich’s legacy, Chet and I were discussing how the impact of one person can affect so many lives.
There was another person whose action still has an impact, thousands of years later.
I don’t think Mary had a clue how poignant her actions were, nor that they would resonate thousands of years later. She just acted out of love.
BOOK REVIEWS, GIVEAWAYS, AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
— Read on readingismysuperpower.org/
Thank you, Carrie Schmidt, for the great review!
I want to give you a little behind the scenes look into what made Flowers from Afghanistan. My husband retired after 26 years as a police officer and then an investigator in our city. He immediately was accepted as a trainer for police in Afghanistan and flew out months after retiring. It was something he had dreamed of doing for a few years. It was very hard to tell him goodbye. I knew when he left that a book would be born of this adventure and it was. I wanted to honor our police families and our military families, as I know what sacrifices they make on a daily basis. I wanted to show people what that consisted of. In the creation of Mac, I was doing what we call a character interview with him. It’s where you sit down with your imaginary character and ask him or her about their life. It sounds a little crazy, but it works! Anyway, when I got to the part where I asked Mac why he went to Afghanistan, and he told me. I said no, I will not write that. I had no desire to write about the death of a child. I tried to argue the character out of it, but he was adamant. And when I tried other approaches, the character just clammed up. So, dragging my heels, I wrote that scene. In my research, I read many mother’s tales of loss. It broke my heart and I wanted to write this to represent them also. So, to my dear mothers who have lost a child, I send you my highest respect and deepest sympathy. To all military families and police families, my love and prayers go out to you, as you serve in a very deep way this day. Purchase Flowers from Afghanistan
Many times I have read people post complaints about the shallowness of social media. However, I have been thinking about the wonderful, real friendships I have been graced to build online. Among my online contacts are; nurses, wives of police officers, truckers, musicians, painters, writers, goat farmers, people in the movie business, singers, missionaries, YouTube contributors, scuba instructors, bakers. Well, you get the picture.
All of these people have given depth to my life that would have taken years to happen without the internet, if at all.
As a writer, I have an insatiable curiosity. I want to know, what’s it like to be…? That’s where the title for my blog interviews originated. Every person I have interviewed has been so gracious to answer my ten questions. I find people, in general, to be very kind and most were honored that I took the time to ask about them.
So here’s my thank-you to all my past blog stars. Thank you for taking the time to be transparent. Thank you for giving others a small window into your life.
Who knows how many people you have inspired to get out there and take a chance on living the life of their dreams?
Speaking of dreams come true, Flowers from Afghanistan is my debut novel. Seeing this work birthed has been a rollercoaster of emotions and definitely worth the price of the ticket!
Flowers from Afghanistan is an Amazon March promotion right now, which is super exciting!
Follow the link to get your copy at $1.99
Flowers from Afghanistan has been awarded a bronze medal in the Literary Fiction category by the Military Writers Society of America. The award took place during the 2018 MWSA Awards Banquet held in Charleston, S.C..
Special thanks to Serena Chase, who did a phenomenal job of editing. Serena writes: Congratulations to author (and editing client!) Suzy Parish on this award–a bronze medal from the Military Writers Society–for her book, FLOWERS FROM AFGHANISTAN. It was a pleasure to work on this story with you, Suzy! Are you looking for a developmental editor? I have openings available starting in January! https://serenachase.com/services/
Thanks also to fellow author and adventurer Reba Hoffman, who was the first one to contact me with the results of the contest! Reba writes:
CONGRATULATIONS to my great friend and author, Suzy Parish! Her novel, Flowers From
Afghanistan earned a Bronze medal in the Literary category in the 2018 Military Writers Society of America. So proud of my friend and so grateful that her book has reached so many. If you have not read this novel, you simply must.
I can’t thank my husband, Chet and my family enough. You have all supported me and encouraged me along this journey. God has strengthened me all along the way. My thoughts and prayers go out to our military and first responder families. I honor your service!