Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Did you ever see the movie, “Splendor in the Grass” staring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty?

It’s a movie I heard of when I was a kid, but my mama wouldn’t let me see. (I think she heard it was naughty. She didn’t actually see it.)

As an adult, I’ve seen it several times. Not because Mama told me not to. (Well, that’s not the only reason. 🙂  )

I watched it again today. (Sunday.)

Over the years, I’ve learned some great truths from watching it.

  1. The movie is not really dirty.
  2. The characters are way too real–and down deep most aren’t very nice. (Maybe that’s why Mama didn’t want me to see it.)
  3. Parents don’t always know what’s best for their children, even though they want what’s best.
  4. Love can drive you crazy. (It made Deanie a raving lunatic in the movie.)

Whenever I think of movies my mama didn’t want me to watch, I remember Peyton Place. Just saying the title out loud makes me duck and wait to be smacked.

I learned some truths there, too.

  1. The movies really isn’t dirty. (The book is worse. Yep, I read it, too.)
  2. The characters are way too real. Some are nice and some aren’t.
  3. Parents don’t always know what’s best for the kiddos. Sometimes, they don’t even always want what’s best. (That’s kind of true to life sometimes, too.)
  4. Love doesn’t drive anyone crazy, but it drives them away before they can come back home again.

Maybe I read things into movies that aren’t there or that other people don’t see. But I’m a romance writer. We have a legal right to do that.



The Class with Class

Ever notice how sometimes, the thing hurts your heart is the thing that fills your heart with joy again?

That happened to me this weekend.

A friend I’ve known since 2nd grade lost her son. Her loss broke my heart. (My boys are around his age and I’ve known the kid since he was a tyke.) It hurts to even imagine what his death did to her.

That’s when the really good part happened. I reached out to as many of our classmates as I could think of (and to more of them as they filtered in to my poor brain) and asked if they’d like to join together to send a remembrance from our class.

The response was overwhelming. And beautiful. And made me oh, so very glad I’m from this Small Town World!

The really funny thing? The people in our class really are just as nice as I remember them. For a while, I’ve wondered if my over-active imagination made them seem nicer and funnier than they were.

(I read on a blog once that if you weren’t bullied in school, you probably were the bully. But that’s not true for our Small Town World. I wasn’t a bully in any way, shape or form, and if there were any bullies, they hid it well.)

But my memories aren’t wrong. My class is made up of a great bunch of people!

I’m lucky to have been part of them.

I’m not sure my friend whose son died will ever know just how deeply these friends grieved for her or how much they love her, but I hope so. One of these days, if I get the chance, I’m gonna tell her. 🙂

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SSMT–Zeph. 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Did you notice I have a new memory verse? Bet you can guess what it is.

I had to check and see that I spelled old Zeph’s name right. Not a book I read a lot, but I love this verse. In fact, I love the verses right before it, too.

Zeph. 3: 14-17–

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

I might just have to memorize those verses, too, in the next few weeks. I definitely want to burn this one into my heart–

The Lord your God is in your midst, a might one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.

I tried to look up what  God’s loud singing meant so I could share that with you, but I didn’t find it. I have a feeling, though, that when God is singing over us, and He’s singing loudly, it’s a good thing.

It’s a very good thing. 🙂

And since He just quieted us with His love, we should hear Him well!

What do you think?




Time Out

I had a surprise time out with my little friend yesterday.

My cousin had a phone call from a government agency, so I ran outside to get him. He’d taken our buddy out and was letting him play in the back of his pickup. Like the nice person I am (clears throat) I agreed to stay and play while Cousin Rick talked on the phone.

The ice cream truck had come buy, and Rick had ponied up–so I also was put in charge of an ice cream cone, with chocolate cookie crumbles and a dry napkin.

Deegers picked up the few tools in the back of the truck and told me their names as well as which ones were heavy. We wore cabled wire like a necklace and he let me hold a big stick–for a moment or two. Then he wanted to go see the “horse”.

Don’t forget, I’m still holding a melting ice cream cone. Every now and then, he’d take a little sip. (Usually when I wanted to throw it away.)

So we walked across the street

to the front of the Merchant’s Hotel, which is owned by a very nice lady. She has some things decorating the sidewalk in front of her building. Our favorite is a little concrete donkey, which my buddy calls Horse. He’s just the right height for Deegan to get on, all by himself. He holds on to the tall ears and acts like he’s riding him.

Behind the donkey is a concrete cart full of silk flowers. Deegan wanted me to let him ride in the cart, and even went so far as to take out one of the fifty or sixty flowers. (He put it back when instructed.)

Then we walked down the sidewalk while he named other items out there. “Shovel. Baby. Deer. Frog.” And because I knew what they were, I could understand him! 🙂

There’s a garden gnome on a low window sill, and he calls something I can’t understand. I’ll bet Rick knows, though.

He calls me Woo-Woo. Most of the kids (and some of the secretaries) call me Su-Su, so he’s close.

He says hat very clearly. LOL.

I told Granddaddy (Deegan says that fairly clearly) that we need to buy him a real horse, and I was hoping for a cart, too.

Dad answered, “What he needs is a pita-patay.”

Somehow, I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing.

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Wedding Wonders Once More