Saturday, November 28, 2020

Small Business Saturday by Liz Flaherty #WindowOvertheSink


I didn't catch on until this morning that today is indeed Small Business Saturday. As a writer who'd love to sell more books, I'm an example of Small Business and I understand fully how much buyers, users, and word-of-mouth advertisers are appreciated. 

While you're out today, stop in at Gallery 15. At Aroma. At Garden Gate. At 58 East and Anita's. Buy Joe DeRozier's book. If you're in Logansport, go to Black Dog or Legacy Outfitters or the Nest. Every town around has lots to offer--especially during the holidays. If I've missed you--and I've missed almost everyone--please put your place of business and your hours in comments here or on FB. 

We all value you.

Have a great week. Be nice to somebody. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020


I hope you're having the happiest of Thanksgiving Days, even though it may be a different one. I'm so grateful--I know, I use that word a lot; I could overuse worse ones, right?--for the responses you've given for these past two posts. While your turkey or ham is in the oven, here are the rest of the answers I received when I put out the call for help. 

Thanks also to the people who said such kind things to and about me. I'm embarrassed and humbled by them, but they made me so happy. 

Carla Murtha I am grateful that Raymond Scholz just turned 100 years old.

Kari Lemor Thank you to my wonderful husband for supporting me when I wanted to retire early from teaching and start writing full time.

Marsha Lee Kastelic Music, books, safe home, health, food, family, friends, sharing, giving and so many other things in life. Hope! Faith!

Stanley Correll Thanks to all the heath care workers. This will certainly be a different Thanksgiving.

Joyce Thomas I'm thankful for the 68-degree weather in the middle of November.

Letty Roe McKee I am thankful for my sister, She has always been here for me!

Pam Ege A message of thankfulness to all the blessings that are blessings to me, and all the blessings that belong elsewhere.

Thank you to my uncle, his sacrifice as a soldier, and the strength that brought him home, and added so many blessings to my childhood memories. 

And bless you Liz, for all you are, your talent, and your voice and view of the world. That is a blessing to all who you know, and beyond. 

Shannon Lou I am thankful to my husband Rich who carries all my worries and fears on his shoulders.

Wynne Burrell There are so many things I am thankful for; mostly, my husband Bud. I'm so glad my mama taught me to make her and my Nanny's corn bread dressing and Nanny taught my mom. Nanny was my daddy's mother. Funny how wives usually learn to cook from their mothers-in-law. Just coz they love their husbands. (Note: Duane's still waiting for me to cook as well as his mother did. It's not happening. I still miss her.)

Clara Miller I am ever so thankful for my loving parents, Fred and Ethel Wouster. They have always been loving, caring, nurturing parents. The best a child could ask for. Without them in my life I would have been lost.

I am thankful for my sisters and brother who are at this time if our lives banding together to assist our parents in their later years to make them comfortable and safe.

Linda Sanders Prather Thankful for my daughter Amy Gipson for being there for me and running me everywhere!

Rebecca Mungle Family and friends, near and far...

Joann Runkle I am thankful for family and friends as we stick together through all our struggles and challenges of 2020 with our chins up, shoulders back sparking eyes and smiles under our masks!!

Stephen L. Hinkle My mother...she said I could always come home. She may not like something I did or said but she would always love me!

Diana Shoemaker I’m thankful for all the health workers that helped, not only in my recovery, but in Jerry’s recovery from Covid. But I am especially thankful for all my prayer warriors that came to my aide when they told me there was no hope and we had to make some tough decisions. I called on all my prayer warriors and within 24 hours he showed some improvement. We had hope again. It was a rough road and my warriors kept praying and sending cards from everywhere! I will always believe in the power of prayers!πŸ™πŸ»

Me While I know the whole "everyone gets a trophy" concept is widely scorned these days, I've always liked it. Participation prizes go to the ones who come for every practice, who are on time, who hand out the atta boys (or girls) to the stars of the show, and who stay after to clean up. They are hardly ever the best looking, the most talented, the smartest, or the ones with the most money. They may not have good hair or look nice in skinny jeans. But they're the ones I'm thankful for this year and every year. Thanks for being the team. Thank you for always showing up.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Showing Gratitude #WindowOvertheSink

It's Thanksgiving week. I have a turkey thawing in the fridge--33 cents a pound; thank you, Kroger!--and...well, I guess that's it. There won't be company or three times as much food as we need or four different kinds of pie. Thanksgiving is synonymous with family, and we are staying socially distanced, so it's going to be Duane and me and the three cats.

The cats live outside and, while they are experts at telling time, they are no good at board games and telling and laughing at inappropriate jokes or saying " you remember..." and opening up a whole new conversation with everyone talking at once. They don't talk politics or religion, although two of them have been known to go to the church across the road when I do. They don't drink beer and pick on each other and each other's kids the way my boys do or go shopping on Black Friday the way my girls do, giving me a batch of memories every year. The recollections aren't of drinking beer (I don't) or buying things, but of spending the day with my favorite people in all the world. Of Duane asleep on the couch. Of playing Cards Against Humanity and trying to act blasΓ© instead of shocked. Of... 

Wait, they're cats, remember? So, yeah, different.

It's 2020--of course, it's different. So I asked people about who they were thankful to in this year of learning. Of changing. Of hoping for better things to come. I'm adding their answers to my own list of gratitudes. 

Bethani Jackson Agh, 2020...I’m just so very grateful we have (almost!) made it! My kids are healthy, my parents are healthy and even though the circumstances haven’t been ideal, I have LOVED having my boys home with me all the time. Never again in life will this happen and I have not taken it for granted.

Linda Leasure I want to thank Larry Cunningham for all the “little” things he does for me, including transporting my recycling “stuff”! πŸ˜ƒ

Joe DeRozier I thank you, Liz Flaherty.

Not only for all of your help and hard work the last few months, but also for being optimistic, caring, and always smiling. I look forward to our visits and enjoy talking politics with you. You are what we all strive to be like.

Thank you for being the wonderful person you are and for your great writings.

I'm really glad we met!

Mary Harding I'm thankful for my husband.

He's my soul mate, he keeps me focused. He helps in so many ways. He cooks, he takes care of me when I'm ill, fills up my car, and loves me dearly.

Rhonda Bonham I am thankful that I was able to retire at the beginning of the year and help out with my mom and granddaughter this year. Thankful that my mom was able to stay for six months out of the year and that I am able to be home to watch my granddaughter and help her with virtual preschool.

Donna Clark Schmidt Thank you to my mom in Heaven, Dora Clark. You were a great mom and an awesome grandma. All I know of holidays and being a mom and grandma you taught me. Thank you.

Kathleen Thompson I am thankful to the millions of front line workers - the doctors, nurses, police, fire fighters, ambulance crews, grocery and drug store employees, food chain employees, the little people who are never seen - who put their lives on the line for us every single day. Nursing home and daycare workers--people who work for very little pay, but give so much love and care to our most vulnerable citizens. CNAs and cooks, janitors, teachers...

Debby Myers I have an 85-year-old lovely little lady in my family that I am most thankful for this year. Having her with us has taught me a valuable lesson. Having spent nearly my entire life trying to put others needs before mine, this lady has lived her life in similar fashion. This year she developed clear signs of dementia. It first started with memories from long ago that had been buried in her mind. She then seemed to dart ahead to her impending death. Then it changed to little memory of anything at all. She was thankful to have someone with her to hold her hand. I am thankful we could do that for her. So many sadly left us this year with no one with them to hold their hand. The happiest part of this little story is that God did take their hand. That little lady remembers that, even when she forgets my name, so for that I am thankful this Thanksgiving.

Larry L. Cunningham I am thankful for a new day to enjoy nature with all its beauty!

Nan Reinhardt Thankful for my friends who are staying in touch--Gchat with you, Skypes with Maureen, Zooms with my fellow Tule authors, texts and emails from so many others. The loneliness of pandemic life is made so much nicer when I hear from the people I care about. πŸ’—πŸ’—

Judy Ann Lashinski Davis I'm thankful for the military. I have a recently deployed son who has left his wife and six-month-old son to celebrate the holidays without him this year while he serves our country. 

Shirley Greenwald I thank Heather Stegelin for all the help and support during these difficult last three years.

Marilyn Hughes Bishop I’m thankful that I have God in my life also my family and friends. πŸ’–

Denise DeWitt Moeller I am thankful for all the friends I’ve had throughout my life. Especially the ones that I don’t see anymore in this season of my life. They’ve all left an imprint on my heart and I have good memories of time spent together.

Thelma Bodnar I am thankful for my family, my friends and all those who push me to be a better version of myself. ❤️

Nancy Masten I'm grateful for friends who listen, support, and transport. 

Laura Stroud I am very thankful for all of my friends and family that have helped me throughout my cancer journey. I am so humbled by their many thoughts and prayers. You go through life meeting new people, making new friends. You never realize then that those people could become some of the most important people in your life. Not being able to work for most of the year has taken a toll on me and my mother, but because of these friends, that are more like family, we have survived with their help. I can never repay these people, but will be forever grateful. Your friends become your family in times like these. Cherish them. Tell them everyday how much you love them. Time is precious and not guaranteed. Make the most of the time you've been given. For these people, I will keep on fighting. For these people, I will survive.

Thanks to everyone who helped with this. I'll post again Thursday with other messages from friends. Have a great week. Be nice to somebody.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Promises to Keep by Liz Flaherty #WindowOvertheSink

On behalf of Jerra Moreland-Kraning, thank you for visiting her post on the Window last week. Although she is still riding on Covid's roller coaster, she's doing it from home and appreciates everyone's concern.  

It's been...quite a week, hasn't it? I'm writing this on Friday, which I try to do most weeks to keep myself from the "oh, crap, it's Saturday morning and I've only written seven words!" scenario. In truth, since the column isn't in any publications at the present time, I'm my own boss as to its deadline. (It should be noted here that my boss doesn't pay well, but there is no dress code and no one cares how often I leave my desk.) But the Window on Saturday morning is, for me, a promise to keep. 

That makes me think of teachers--yeah, I know, I think of teachers a lot--and their schedules during this time of strangeness and worry and overload. I hear what they say, I see the videos of elementary teachers reading aloud to their kids, I feel their frustration. At the end of the day, though, regardless of their dedication level, they have promises to keep to their students. And they do. Day after day after day.

My mind goes from teachers to health care workers. They are so tired. Not all of them, I suppose. But those who are, the ones who think and sometimes say aloud in their exhaustion and frustration, "I didn't sign up for this," keep on doing it. 

The moon was beautiful this morning. I walked out to the office through the cold and wet, but there it was in the east, God's thumbnail. Pale orange against the darkness of the sky. It's still there. In my knows-better mind, it's lighting the way for the sun to come up, elbowing its way through the overcast to ensure us that we have another day to get things right.

I'm a morning person, so it's no surprise that I'm up well before daylight, slurping coffee eagerly and telling myself that today I will not eat too much or too often. I will not spend too much time on Facebook. I will clean off the kitchen island--I know it used to be blue. 

We all have lists, don't we, of things we should do, things we want to do, things we know we'll never do (the island comes to mind...), and things we must do. We also have promises we make to others and ones we make to ourselves. 

They are important. 

Background by Sarah L. Luginbill

This column didn't go at all the way I intended, which as you know happens a lot, but I'm going to end it on a decidedly cheerful note. You all know Joe DeRozier, right? He's the "dusty old baker" on Broadway in Peru. He's half of the Dough & 5-0 Show, a successful entrepreneur, and an all around good guy. And did I mention that he's also a published author? Heck, I Don't Know...I Just Make Donuts is available now! You can order a print copy from him, too, at He'll sign the book for you and I have it on good authority that he'll give you a free donut!

I hope you order a book, that you enjoy it, and that you give it a great review. 

Have a good week. Stay safe. Keep promises. Be nice to somebody. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

I'm Not Terrified by Jerra Moreland-Kraning #WindowOvertheSink

(Added this morning, November 7. Jerra is in the hospital with Covid. I am scared for her. Please keep her in your hearts and your prayers. - Liz)

Please welcome my friend Jerra Moreland-Kraning to the Window this week. This column started as a Facebook post, but it needs a bigger audience than that. Jerra is so many things (including a popcorn-eating fiend; I only know this because she was keeping up with me...) and has such a great heart I feel honored to share this piece of it. 

It was Homecoming Week at the high school where I work. Staff and students were outside on the football field. Everyone was having a great time! I felt the sting on the back of my neck. I knew I had minutes before my throat would completely swell shut and cut off my entire air supply. First responders are a good twenty minutes out from our location. There would not be enough time to wait. I would die.

But, I'm not terrified. I am not panicking. I unpack my emergency kit and begin self administering epinephrine, Benadryl, steroids and Ativan. I set a timer on my phone, so I will wait the appropriate amount of time before administering the second round of epinephrine. I begin vomiting and aspirating.

I can't talk because my tongue, my lips and my throat are swelling. So, I hand the pre-typed card I have to the person with me. The instructions read to call 911, followed by a list of the emergency meds, my regular medications, my allergies, and my emergency contact, family doctor and pulmonologist.

The school nurse, volunteer fire department, school resource officer, and the athletic trainer were with me while my body was suffocating itself to death. I could see the fear on everyone's face. All of these individuals are trained for medical emergencies, but there was nothing they could do. They felt helpless and frightened. An ETA on the ambulance was radioed in and it was still ten minutes out and they looked at each other--worried.

But I was not worried. I have been through this before. I know the medication works. I know it takes time. I know I am going to be okay...and I was.

I have no emergency kit in my purse for COVID. I don't have access to life-saving medications and medical equipment. Doctors, nurses, scientists, specialists and many more are standing by with that same worried look that those trained professionals had with me. They stand by helpless while a patient dies. Nobody knows what to do, so everyone is just doing their best.

A plea to the public to be cautious, socially distance, wear a mask, and close the schools when there is a spike in cases is simply a plea to hang in there we are trying to fix it.

We live in an instant gratification society. "What's the end game?" "When will things be normal?" "Our kids have lost so much."

There is no normal. We adapt. There is no end game. We adapt. Your kids have you and you have each other. They may not have organized sports but they are having dinner and a game night at home with you. We adapt.

We simply don't know enough yet. But, we know a lot more then we did in March! In six months we will know even more. It takes time...and no one wants to be inconvenienced and put off any longer.

I will wear my mask. I will socially distance and I will stay home when I need to stay home. I will do it for me and I will do it for the members of my community because we ALL matter.


I am a High School English teacher to an incredible group of students at a rural Indiana school. I am the mother to two handsome sons and three amazing step-children. I am a wife to an EMT. I am also a good friend, a supportive colleague and more. I am blessed to be considered a valuable person to many lives. 

Even though... I am an "at risk" person for COVID-19. I am someone who has Hyper IgE Syndrome. Defined as a rare primary immunodeficiency disease characterized by eczema, recurrent staphylococcal skin abscesses, recurrent lung infections, eosinophilia (a high number of eosinophils in the blood) and high serum levels of IgE. I am allergic to many things (see above.)

These reactions have at times and perhaps far too often resulted in Anaphylaxis. I have walked to the edge of life and been brought back... too many times to count. At times intubation has been needed to live. My family has been told to expect the worse, more than once. I am one of the many precious reasons people are asked to wear a mask, socially distance and stay home if they are sick. 

I am.