Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Happy Birthday, Matt!

Today is #2 son’s birthday! He’s 31 years old. (I had to get out my calculator to be sure that was right. LOL)

matt and grandmommie_edited-1

I have to tell you, I’m proud that he’s my son! He makes me look good. 🙂 From the way he lives his life to his choice of a wife, I’m thrilled with this boy.

Before we had Matt, I was pregnant three times in a year. Two broke my heart when they ended in miscarriages, but JOY, JOY, JOY! The third time was Matt. (You’ve heard ‘third time’s the charm.’ He is!)

Once while I carried him under my heart, I accidentally touched an electric fence. That jolt sent me to my knees–then flying to the doctor. “Have I hurt my baby?”

Nope. He’s perfect.

I tried to have Matt on my dad’s birthday. (September 30th) But no, Matt wanted his very own day. 😛

a susan and matt

As a little boy, he loved to come home (or to our pharmacy) and play school. I heard about the day’s happenings while he played pretend. A few years later, he’d get one of G-Man’s counting trays and “count” M & M’s like pills–just like his daddy was doing. He loved to go with our new workers on deliveries so he could show them where our customers lived.

When he got a little older, he learned to count change so he could ring up customers at the store (with Mama watching.)

Matt is so very funny and fun to be with. He has a tender heart. One that’s easily bruised, yet expands quickly to include new friends.

matt snow tears

Now he’s a hard-working responsible adult, always willing to help out anyone in need. He chose a wife who is beautiful, loving and sweet, sweet, sweet. (Good choice, Matt!)


For your birthday, Matt, I’m giving you a blessing and a crown.

Proverbs 5:18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Happy birthday, baby boy! Your daddy and I are blessed to be your parents!



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A Friend Who Sticks Closer

I think I mentioned I’m a writer. (Maybe, oh, a thousand times.) Today, I thought I’d tell you about the first story I ever sold.

I’ve always loved stories–first reading them, then making them up. In the early ’80’s my man bought me a typewriter for Christmas, because he’d picked up on my need to write. But I didn’t have many writer friends, and the writing support was a little sparse since Gary was on twenty-four-hour call in the oil field.

And to be very truthful, I didn’t know what I wanted to write. (Or how to write it. Did I mention English grammar and I weren’t on very good terms in high school?) All I knew was that I wanted to make up stories and have other people to read them.

I typed my story and sent it to R-A-D-A-R, which is no longer called R-A-D-A-R.

Standard Publishing will have new Middler Sunday school curriculum in the Fall of 1999 and R-A-D-A-R, 8121 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45231 will be changing its name. The new theme list (available for SASE) calls it the “New Middler Take-Home Paper.”

I prayed about the story and for God’s will as I wrote it, but I didn’t hear from  R-A-D-A-R for a few months. On the day of my Granddad’s funeral in 1987, I came home to find a letter in my mail box.

They bought it! I was so excited!!! Not because of the money (believe me, it wasn’t much) but because someone wanted to publish something I’d written. WOOHOO!

R-A-D-A-R bought all rights to my little story, so it’s no longer mine, and to be honest, it wasn’t very good. I’ll share some of it, though.

Here’s how I wrote it–


My oldest son was a very social kid, and I wanted my character, Charlie, to be like him. He never saw a stranger, and was always ready to befriend a lonely kid.

I gave him my great-granddad’s first name and gave my nephew’s first name to the other main character. The foster-mother was named for Omega’s bff’s mom.

I called the story, THE FRIEND. R-A-D-A-R didn’t change the title, or very much in the story. 😦 They probably should have.

Here’s a little of the story–

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