As a child, I had a favorite dogwood tree that I climbed. I spent many a summer day in its highest branches looking out over my yard to the forest and into the sky dreaming dreams of my future.
This spot high above the rest of the world was my special place well into my teens. I climbed the tree just before I got in the car and drove away to college for the first time.
I climbed the tree one final time—the day before I got married.
Did you have a special childhood spot? A secret place that was all your own?
Here are a few treehouses that inspired Darcy’s treehouse in Hometown Reunion—
In researching Hometown Reunion, it was a lot of fun learning about kayaking. To celebrate finishing the novel, my family and I actually took a kayaking adventure in the beautiful tidal marshlands on the Eastern Shore.
Have you ever kayaked? Where were you?
As a child, I loved to swing. Higher and higher. Faster and faster. The closest thing I could get to flying. Soaring into the wild, blue yonder.
What did you like to do as a child?
Here is the tree swing inspiration for Hometown Reunion—
I still love to blow bubbles. And it is so fun to watch the look of wonder on children’s faces as they run to catch them. I think if everyone made it a daily practice to either blow bubbles or crayon color in a coloring book, we would all be less stressed and more happy.
What do you think?
This recipe is so quick and easy. Five minutes preparation time. One hour to bake.
You could make your own spaghetti sauce if you’re a purist. But why? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
•1- 2 jars spaghetti sauce
• 6 cooked lasagna noodles
• 1 (15 oz.) container of Ricotta cheese
• 2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
• 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
You could also layer in other favorite additions, such as hamburger, spinach or sausage.
- Spread 1 cup (or more as needed) of spaghetti sauce to cover bottom of 2-quart baking dish.
- Top sauce with 3 cooked noodles, Ricotta cheese, 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup suace.
- Top with remaining 3 noodles and sauce.
- Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
- Top with remaining Mozzarella cheese. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
This was such a fun story to write. It is about love’s second chance for Darcy and Jax. And Jax’s son, almost “thwee”-year-old Brody is the most adorable child character I’ve ever written. Yet there were deeper issues that each character had to grapple with.
Like Jax, have you ever struggled with guilt? Which have you found harder—to forgive someone else or to forgive yourself? Neither are easy. Or like Darcy, have you ever felt second best or second choice? Have you ever felt second best or second choice?
Whenever you’re feeling second choice, read Isaiah 43 to see how much God loves you. He has redeemed you and called you by name. You have a place all your own in God’s heart. You have been chosen —you are His.
And what about dealing with guilt? True guilt drives us to repentance and helps us find our way back to what is right. False guilt, however, brings only condemnation with no way out. True guilt leading to repentance brings freedom and healing. False guilt paralyses and enslaves.
This is a heavy burden we were never created to shoulder. Jesus took the heavy load of sin on the cross so that you don’t have to. He is the only one who can be our burden-bearer. It is in the laying down of our burdens that we find rest and peace in Him. I hope you will accept His invitation to come so that you, too, might experience true freedom, healing and restoration.
May we all find the strength to finally accept what is past, to fully embrace the present and to look to the future with hope-filled eyes.
I hope you have enjoy taking this journey with me, Brody, Darcy and Jax.
Hometown Reunion will be the final book of the seven in the Kiptohanock series. Thank you for allowing me to share with you a very special place and people dear to my heart on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
Thank you for being such faithful readers. I hope you will continue the journey with me in my next series of Love Inspired books, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
Though each of the Kiptohanck books are stand-alone, for the complete list look for the Love Inspired caption, and visit Lisa Carter Author Books.
Salt & Pepper
1. Boil eggs in with with a dash of salt 15-20 minutes.
2. Let eggs cool. Crack and peel eggs.
3. Slice eggs in half lengthwise.
4. Scoop out yolk onto plate and mash with a fork till lumps are out and yolks are blended.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add mayo (1/3 cup???) I add till it “looks right”.
6. Add mustard ( 1 Tbsp????) You know what I’m going to say here, right? This is how I was taught to cook by the best Southern cooks I know.
Until reaching desired color and texture.
7. Spoon into egg whites.
Yield: 12 eggs
Southerners eat this at all social gatherings year-round. It’s about as de rigueur as sweet tea.
For more recipes and behind the scene photos of Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit http://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beneath-a-navajo-moon/.