Monthly Archives: December 2014

The ball drop (and how to avoid it)

It’s kind of funny when you think about it. Many of us gather in town squares or in front of TVs to watch a ball (or some other variation of that) drop each New Year’s Eve. It’s a time of festivity, cheering and celebrating a new year.

However, there are days when I “drop the ball” and there is nothing celebratory about it. My intentions and motives seem to be good, but the execution is seriously flawed. When I talk with other people, I often hear them say the same thing. I tried, but I just ran out of time or I meant to, but I forgot

Why do we drop the proverbial ball? There are various reasons that you can probably relate to.

A sense of belonging…the best gift of all

While the holidays are merry for many, children within the child welfare system may not feel quite the same way. In fact, some may feel acute grief and loss.

Many of the images we see during the holiday season are of family, friends and being home. Imagine not being able to get home to your family and friends? Children within the child welfare system typically face circumstances outside their control, circumstances that separate them from family, friends and home.

Sad occasion prompts a “Happy (Hollisters)” recollection

I can still remember the excitement as the package arrived each month.

I’d come home from school to find a small brown cardboard mailer on the kitchen table. I’d rip it open and out would slide a book—another in the Happy Hollisters series of family-based mysteries.

While I still have all of the books I received packed in a box in our basement, I had not thought of them in quite some time—even though I would credit the series with instilling in me a love for reading that helped to launch my own writing career—until today.

That’s when our news-clipping service emailed an obituary to me. The obituary was of Helen Stroud Hamilton, a resident of Diakon’s Twining Village in Bucks County, Pennsylvania—and the illustrator of the Happy Hollisters books!