One of the first things people say when they come to our home for the first time is,
“Wow, you have a lot of books!”
I can’t deny it. Almost every room in our house has a bookshelf (or two or three) stocked with books. There’s a saying that books are a window to the world. They’re also a window to my world, and here is a brief glimpse.
In the living room, you’ll find an oversized coffee table book filled with page after page of gorgeous photographs. The title is Morocco: Sahara to the Sea, the country where my husband and I have lived for the last twelve years. Our home is in the capital, Rabat, on the Atlantic coast. But we’ve also had a chance to visit many other places in the book: from the edge of the Sahara, to the High Atlas mountains, into the ancient city of Fez, and up to the Straits of Gibraltar.
You may be surprised to find books in our dining room. In fact, with bookcases on all four walls, the room might be more accurately called a library. Here we keep a wonderful collection of books from a retired Scottish woman. As soon as Noreen heard that our sea container en route to Morocco had been lost, (including all of our books), she packed up her books and gave them to us, bookcases and all. Her generosity was a great comfort to us as we faced the great loss. Even when our container was miraculously found a month later, she insisted we keep them. Continue reading / Leave a comment…
Even before I became a writer, I liked to imagine stories. As I girl, I’d re-enact scenes from movies (with myself always as the heroine of course). I especially loved the story of Cinderella because I too was a lonely girl who dreamed of becoming a princess.
That was the spring-to-summer story I wanted to live when I grew up: a whirlwind courtship followed by lifelong bliss. One day I would meet a handsome prince who would be overtaken by my beauty and charm. We would fall in love and all my problems would vanish. After a big wedding celebration, we would walk into the sunset, and live happily ever after.
As I became older, I learned that other, less promising stories were sometimes told. The story of autumn was a tragedy where the initial delight of romance slowly declined to the verge of separation. Even worse was the winter story where a marriage died after a long despair.
But I was an optimist by nature, preferring sunshine to shadows. I was also someone who believed in the grace of God’s forgiveness. That seemed a surefire combination to make the happily-ever-after story come true in my life. And when I met my husband-to-be, we fell deeply in love and began a fairytale romance that seemed strong enough to last forever.
However our story didn’t end at the marriage altar. There were unexpected plot twists still to come. Soon after our wedding, the skirmishes that had flared up during our engagement erupted into a fierce battle. Continue reading / Leave a comment…