Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Kisses, Sweeter than Wine

Most people think my dad is the boss at the office where I work.



Okay, maybe Dad signs the checks, but this little guy owns our hearts.

Wearing this hardhat, he might look like your average roughneck, but this guy’s special.

He has the ability to capture the heart of every adult in his range.

No one is immune to his charm.

Everyone who meets him is his.

When he sleeps, we tiptoe. 

When he’s cranky, we dance. Sometimes he’s joins us. 😉

And when he says your name (or you imagine what he babbles is your name) you melt.

One of his kisses is sweeter than wine candy. (Especially when we slip him tootsie rolls to munch.)


Happy Birthday, Sister Cin!

Happy Birthday!

Image via Wikipedia

This is Cynthia Louise Spess DeLay, and today is her birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CINDY!Isn’t she a cutie patootie?

Adorable, isn’t she? Here’s the back of this picture–

Mama’s handwriting.

Yeah, I blotted out the year. I don’t want a sister mad at me who has a birthday wish coming. 😉

Today is this little doll’s birthday.

I really don’t have very many funny stories about Cindy.

She was born when I was in first grade. I remember getting a sticker for doing such fantastic brilliant work in class that I dazzled the teacher (snort) and I gave that sticker to my new baby sister. She didn’t seem to appreciate it much. 

If she had been a boy, her name would have been Christopher Darwin Spess. (We’ve been grateful God saved our boy until Dad changed his mind about that name.)

Cindy has always been very quiet. So quiet when she was an infant, Mom took Sister Debbie and me to dance lessons in the Small Town to the North, and forgot Cindy. (Dad was home, but he didn’t know Cindy was.)

Twice we went home from church and left her. (It really was an accident. Honest!) The preacher had to bring her.

When our youngest sister was born, Cindy was nine. Mom rarely had to get up with the baby in the night. Mom would get up and Cindy would already have the bottle, feeding away.

Talk about shadows of things to come! Cindy had five babies of her own, but she didn’t use bottles. These days she’s a lactation consultant at a hospital in the Big City. And she has two grandsons! (Yes, I’m jealous.)

Cindy’s one of those women you hope your daughters will emulate. She’s smart, hard working and very loving. She was never a fighter (she had a just younger sister who stepped up when someone picked on the sis!) and learned in a hurry that tears worked with Dad. Fussing didn’t.

When she was an infant, Sister Debbie (a toddler) bit her toe. When Cindy was a toddler, she bit Deb’s toe in retaliation. (Our family is big on repeating funny stories, so Cindy knew all about Deb’s bite.)

I applied for my first non-family job when I was about 15. When I stopped crying (I really didn’t want to apply for that job) the owner said, “You know, Cindy is my favorite of all you Spess girls.”

I really didn’t blame him. Cindy never caused trouble. Never played too loud when babies were trying to sleep. Was never mean to anyone and never forgot to take care of kids around her and always made really good grades.

I got the job anyway. Ü

So . . . happy birthday, Cindy! I hope this year will be one of your best, ever! God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine on you.

I don’t know if Sister Cin reads my blog, but if you do, please say hello!

Is anyone else lucky enough to have a sister like this? If you do, give a shout here today. Tell us about her and/or just say, “Love You!” 


My Heroes have always been . . .

Approx. second half of 1880's poster showing A...

Image via Wikipedia


Does every little kid have them? I know I did.

Like most little girls, my first hero was my dad. Dad married Mom on his 19th birthday. Mom had just turned 18 two months earlier. Two-and-a-half years later, I was born. Daddy was practically a kid himself, but oh! What a great dad he was. (Still is.)

Maybe it was because he was so young, but my memories of him while I was a child are almost all happy ones. He’d carry us to the breakfast table on his shoulders, take us to work with him if we didn’t have school, sing along with Mom when we went just about anywhere in the car.

He was our champion, believed in each of his children and I only saw his temper flash once. That was when #4 and I were nearly run down by a car.

I thought Dad was going to snatch the man out of his car and whip him right there, but that anger came from his fright.

As a kid, my favorite library books were biographies that told mostly about the childhoods of famous people. I took several of them as my heroes. Will Rogers. Jane Addams (born to money, she opened day care centers so poor kids whose moms had to work didn’t have to be left home alone, where without supervision, they often got poisoned, burned or died.)

Annie Oakley, Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart were top favs. Annie, an inspiring legend yet she was real! Susan because she had a great name, and because she thought girls should have the same rights and opportunities as boys (I agreed with that, for sure!) and Amelia because she seemed so fearless.

My very favorite was Molly Pitcher. Molly’s real name was Mary Hays.

From Wikipedia: Mary Hays spent much of the early day carrying water to soldiers and artillerymen, often under heavy fire from British troops.

The weather was hot, over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometime during the battle, William Hays collapsed next to his cannon.

Mary Hays took his place at the cannon. (I always imagined her stepping over him to take his place, more worried about the war than her wimpy spouse.) 

For the rest of the day, in the heat of battle, Mary continued to “swab and load” the cannon using her husband’s rammer.

I loved that story! (Still do!)

I soon found several Biblical heroes (besides Jesus) who I still claim– Deborah, who led the Israelites. Mary, who sat at Jesus’s feet even though her sister Martha tried to shame her into working. And the women who were brave enough to go to prepare Jesus’s body on the third day while the apostles and disciples were hiding and shaking in their boots sandels.

These heroic women were the first to know that Christ had risen!

My latest heroes are closer to home. Sister Amy, who suffered through terrible tragedy and loss, yet has a cheerful disposition every day.

My friend Becki, who heard God’s call and answered it.

My preach and his wife, who’ve been through so much and yet never falter in their walk.

My friend, Suezan, who suffered through breast and liver cancer and has now gone home to be with the Lord.

My friend, Marilyn, who takes the time and trouble to help other (ie: wannabe) writers. 

My husband, who’s lived with me all these years and still likes me! 🙂

And, of course, my dad. Guess you’d call him my forever hero. 

Were you a kid who had heroes? Care to share?