Tag Archive for: peace

Peace to one and all

By Barbara Plum aka AB Plum

At this time of year, my cul-de-sac hops with holiday
  • ·        
    Dewali (November 7)
  • ·        
    Hanukkah (December 2-10)
  • ·        
    Yule (December 21-January 21)
  • ·        
    Christmas (December 24-25)
  • ·        
    Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1)

I’m aware many people don’t celebrate at this time of
year—for a variety of reasons. But. For family, friends, strangers, and
non-celebrants, I send out a personal hope for peace to shine—if for only a
moment—in your lives wherever you are.

**** Barbara Plum aka AB Plum lives off the Silicon
Valley fast lane but in the shadow of Google. She writes light, funny
paranormal romances and dark, gripping psychological thrillers. Both genres
provide escape on long winter nights. Find her books here on Amazon and

Finding a Moment . . .

By AB Plum

At this time of the year, bloggers often:

·        Review accomplishments or missed marks during the past year.

·        Set goals, accomplishments, and hopes for the coming year.

·        Or, intermingle both approaches.

Here’s a quote I think does all three—leaving, as do all good stories, much to our imaginations. 

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 KJV).

Ponder, for me, is the key—and is implicit in review, set goals, intermingle. Theology aside, this single, lyrical statement conveys, I think, one of the most poignant stories in the English language.

Pondered grabs my imagination while tugging at my own heart. I know the Sunday-School backstory. Yet even out of context, universal feelings of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety hover just below the surface. The vagueness of things—unspecified here, but known to Mary—imbues them with the potential to overwhelm this child-woman.

If we know the backstory’s bare bones—a young girl engaged to an older man, discovering she’s pregnant in a society hostile to such an embarrassment and even more hostile to the theological heresy—we can feel our whole being ache for the looming complications.

In the mid-twentieth century, one of my best friends revealed her unexpected pregnancy. Unexpected but admittedly because of her own actions. Her devout Lutheran parents banned her from their home. She was sixteen, living in Middle America, facing no good choices.

But if we’re not familiar with what “all these things” were that Mary kept, we can still empathize. We can admire that she doesn’t fall apart or rail against the incredible maturity she’s asked to demonstrate. We can grieve for the tumultuous events we know she will face in the days immediately ahead and the heartbreak that will come too soon.

Theology, culture, ethnicity, age, historical time frame—all fade as we read that Mary pondered … in her heart. In her heart—not in her head.

As the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Last-Chance-Sale-Today escalates, I hope to find time to ponder. May you and those you love find joy and peace in a few quiet moments.

AB Plum lives and writes psychological thrillers in Silicon Valley. Her latest book, The Early Years is available https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01M8MGL2X.  Look for Book 2, The Lost Years in mid- to late January, 2017!

Down Memory Lane

I’ve been thinking about my sixth grade graduation. Yes, I know it’s been a couple of years, but it’s been on my mind recently. I can clearly picture that sunny June day. At our all-girls parochial school, the graduation attire was a white dress. It was the first time I wore heels, which were essentially my Mary Janes without the straps. It was long before pantyhose were invented, and even longer before I needed control-top pantyhose. So my solution that day was to keep up my first nylons with garters.

Unfortunately that decision didn’t take into account that 11-year old girls still like to run around, so I spent an inordinate amount of time that day chasing my friends – and stopping frequently to haul my hose back up my skinny legs. It was also the first time I’d had my hair “done,” but it would be three more years before I would be allowed to wear lipstick.

In that same memory photo are two other girls in white dresses: my best friends in grade school. There was Rhonalee, who always had a perfect ponytail of long straight hair, which was the diametric opposite of my curly mop, and Sarah, who was as petite as I was not.

Graduation day ended and we drifted apart as we entered a larger, less insulated world of different public schools. Decades passed and sixth grade graduation was all just a sweet memory until I found a surprise in my e-mailbox last week. The subject line: “Are you the same…” was intriguing. And there, thanks to the power of Google, was Sarah, asking if I were the same person who went to parochial school with her. She had found my nonfiction web site and looking at my photo she thought she caught a glimpse of her former classmate.

The prompt for her search? It was February 22, my birthday. She remembered that we used to get the day off from school, back when George Washington’s birthday was a Federal holiday. Something that sadly changed in 1971 when the powers that be decided we would celebrate President’s Day on the third Monday in February (needless to say I was annoyed at that decision).

Anyway, Sarah and I have been trading e-mails, catching up on the intervening decades. We’ve lived very different – and yet very similar – lives. We both have been married forever and we each have four kids. We both have struggled with career goals, aging parents, and the grief of losing a sibling. She’s planning for the holidays with her family – me too. But she lives in Northern Israel and that fact alone changes some of her daily life. I’ve known war from a distance; her children have all served in the army. We both want peace, here, there, everywhere.

On that sunny morning in June, those many years ago, we couldn’t have known the paths we each would take. We also never envisioned that we could meet again in cyberspace. Back then, lost friendships were mourned and then forgotten. But through the remarkable power of the Internet, an idea as foreign as the concept of adulthood to those young girls in white dresses, we are able to revisit our pasts and talk about our futures.

To that I can only add — l’chaim!

Evelyn David