Family Boston Trip

Ten years ago (man how time flies), I wrote the stories in my first book, Seasons of the Soul. The book is a collection of inspirational stories, which includes a spattering of personal accounts of my two autistic sons. Today, I thought I would share one of the stories. Look for the book on in paperback and in audio editions. Available on


“Family Boston Trip”

Andrew, my 19-year-old autistic son, sat next to me as the family waited for the plane to take off from Omaha’s Eppley Airfield. We were headed for Boston. I sat next to the window while Andrew sat near the aisle.

His leg jerked up and down as he intermittently fastened and unfastened his seat belt. I tried to calm down his anxiety by telling him we soon would take off. My words, though, were in vain because within minutes Andrew darted off the plane. That was the beginning of several mishaps that occurred during our Boston trip of 2004.

My husband Paul ran after Andrew. Paul was sitting across the aisle with Brad, our oldest autistic son. I moved over next to him I wanted to make sure Brad did not get up. We did not know if Brad understood what was going on since he could not talk.

Paul caught up with Andrew. The two re-boarded the plane. But the pilot made them exit the cabin to undergo a new security check because Andrew ran onto the tarmac. Minutes seemed like hours as I waited for Paul and Andrew to again re-board.

“We understand your son did not do this deliberately,” the stewardess said. “But we may have to boot the whole family off the plane.” I panicked. Paul spent too many days planning this trip for it all to come to a quick end.

My brain surged into gear! “Andrew could sit next to the window with Paul in the outside seat,” I told her. “That way, my husband could make sure Andrew would stay seated.”

Security officials agreed. Soon we took off—surprisingly only about 20 minutes late. We landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport three hours later. Then we rented a car, and I drove it to Danvers, Mass.

From there, we visited Boston’s Freedom Trail, toured Martha’s Vineyard and went on a whale watch. Although we never saw any humpback whales, we did see its related counterpart—dolphins. That made Andrew happy.

I drove the family to Plymouth, where we saw Plymouth Rock and went inside the Mayflower replica. We then proceeded to Hyannis on Cape Cod. The next day we visited several Cape Cod villages, including Orleans the home of Rock Harbor.

I parked the car and grabbed my camera. We walked over to the harbor to get a better view. I decided to take some close-up pictures. I stepped into the water. Then placed my purse on an upper rock near the shore. I just finished taking a couple of pictures when high tide came in.

The waves rose to my knees and splashed onto the ledge where I put my purse. The tide drenched my purse, including our airline boarding passes, my checkbook and the Omaha Eppley Airport’s parking stub. Paul dried out the boarding passes and the checkbook. But the flimsy, lightweight parking stub was ruined. That created a problem because without the stub, Omaha airport parking officials wanted us to pay almost triple the normal $24 weekly rate.

“But the stub was ruined when my purse got drenched during high tide,” I told the parking attendant.

“I will talk with the manager,” she replied. The attendant returned about 10 minutes later, telling us the manager agreed to have us pay the usual rate. We were grateful.

Prior to that, though, the family had another problem. Brad had a grand-mal seizure while on our return flight home. “Is there anything we can do to help?” the flight attendant asked.

“I will need a wheelchair when we land,” I replied. An airport employee met us with the wheelchair. Paul took it from him. He put Brad in it, wheeling him down to the luggage area.

My husband then rented a luggage cart and placed our luggage on it. I took the wheelchair, and Paul pushed the cart. Andrew carried two suitcases. We walked toward the long-term parking lot.

The van, though, was difficult to locate because it was dark. And there was no parking stub to help us find it. We walked back and forth, locating it about 15 minutes later. Paul put Brad in the back seat and fastened his seat belt. Then he walked over to where Andrew and I stood ready to load the luggage. Paul grabbed the suitcases and put them into the trunk area.  I just was relieved the whole trip was over.

Slowly, I walked toward the front, got into the driver’s seat and adjusted my seat belt. I wanted to insert the key into the ignition, but didn’t know if I had the energy to do it. I sighed.  Then, I looked over at my husband and said:  “Now, I really need a vacation.” He laughed.  Then I drove the family home.

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Graduation Poem & Remembering

May 28 celebrated two events — one happy, a granddaughter graduating, and another sad, remembering my late mother’s birthday. First, I will begin with the happy graduation party held May 28. Bridget graduated from Mercy High School of Omaha last week. Below is the poem, I wrote for her:

Graduation: Saying Goodbye

Graduation is saying goodbye, 

To the life you have known,

And reaching forward to tie,

A knot with the unknown.

But worry not,

For God is there,

Wrapping His arms around you tight,

To bless you and wipe away each tear. 


This was taken a few years ago.Bridget is the one in the blue hat.


On this day, I also took time to remember my mother. She passed away in 2009 at the age of 95. She was an active lady her whole life from 4-H leader to becoming an area leader in the cosmetic business. In fact, she still could walk to my car until she came down with the flu and passed away a few weeks before her death. No one could tie her down. She danced in her nineties.

We were close and I miss her so much. Everyone loved Pauline. She was positive and an optimist and loved to travel although she did not get to do that as much as she would have liked.

In her cosmetic business, she achieved so much. She sold cosmetics for about 35 years and would have continued if her mind had allowed her to do so. She made it in a time where most women did not work. Her ability to sell allowed her to win trips to the Bahamas, Jamaica and a car. Below she is pictured in the Mustang car she won.



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Arbor Days

Did you ever wonder how Arbor Days began? Well, it started right here in Nebraska, where in the early 1800s there were no trees. It was prairie land.

The pioneer who changed this was J. Sterling Morton (notice the name Morton. Does that ring a bell like pass the Morton salt?) He moved from Detroit to the Nebraska territory in 1854. (Nebraska became a state in 1867.) His wife and him loved nature and started planting flowers, shrubs and trees. You can visit his home in Nebraska City, Neb., today.

He became an advocate for planting trees, especially beneficial to prevent soil erosion for those settling in Great Plains country. He was the journalist/editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper and this helped spread his message to plant trees. His efforts were rewarded with Nebraska Gov. Robert W. Furnas first proclaiming “Arbor Days” as officially being observed April 10, 1874. After Morton’s death, the date was moved to his birthday  April 22.

So why not be part of this historical day by coming to Nebraska City and going to the Factory Stores of America Outlet Mall, intersection of Nebraska Highway 2 and United States Highway 75. I will be there selling my books, Seasons of the Soul, Lockets and Lanterns and Courtships and Carriages as well as anthologies, Bride by Arrangement and A Groom’s Promise. Hours are Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. God bless and hope to see you there!

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Prizes: Wiggie Wednesday

How do you win? Finish this sentence: Janet Syas Nitsick’s romances show she has a heart for …

Enter your answer in the comment section below OR on the Pioneer Hearts April 6, 2016, Wiggie Wednesday Facebook post.

Also, do not forget to choose either ONE, TWO or THREE from the items listed below. 



Set One

Set One includes a recipe/card holder and these books: Janet’s Courtships and Carriages and Lockets and Lanterns romance books; Ruth Ann Nordin’s books, Shotgun Groom and The Wrong Husband.









Set Two

Set Two includes a dotted Swiss, light-blue scarf with fringed edges and these books: Janet’s Courtships and Carriages and Lockets and Lanterns romance books, Ruth Ann Nordin’s books, The Wrong Husband and Bid for a Bride.







Set Three

Set Three includes an aqua basket, which holds four squirrel coasters, and these books: Janet’s Courtships and Carriages and Lockets and Lanterns romance books, Ruth Ann Nordin’s  books, Eye of the Beholder and Bid for a Bride.

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Rejuvenate the Soul

How do you rejuvenate a weary soul when you feel so lost for a long time? You do it by facing the problem and moving forward.

I had to confront that type of problem this fall. For more than a year, my life was miserable. A health issue had plagued me. I tried to deny its existence. But after so much anguish, where I no longer could enjoy life, I gathered up my nerve and went to my primary doctor. He prescribed a medicine, which ended up giving me every kind of side effect mentioned, such as dizziness and foggy vision. I called the office and they referred me to a specialist.

From there, I eventually ended up seeing a woman doctor. She tried one remedy but I could not tolerate that solution. The next option was surgery.

“Surgery,” the word hung on my lips. I had never had an operation. The only time I was in the hospital was when I gave birth to four sons. Now, this avenue faced me.

I tried a chiropractor. He was a nice man and did his best, but my problem had deteriorated to such a point that method did not work.

A friend urged me to get a second opinion. Finally, I took her advice. The smiley doctor came in and gave me his honest recommendation, which was the same as the first opinion – surgery. However, during this visit, he talked about what would happen down the road if I let it go. This frightened me. I had to face the music as they say. After the visit, I returned home and called the first doctor’s office to schedule the procedure.

February first was my day of reckoning. We also all experience those days in our writing. Should we write this story? Will this book sell? Is there enough emotion in this to make this novel work? If nonfiction, can I make this information interesting?

These are difficult decisions, which also must be confronted. How do we decide these? We do through asking others in the field, our readers or taking professional advice as I did. In other words, we rejuvenate our souls.

We enlist fresh ideas, we rewrite, we fine tune until we reach the state of proficiency. We are in control of our fate. We edge forward with our next great idea just like I moved ahead to do the procedure.

Where will we end up? We do not know. But after my “surgery,” I can say I am no longer in misery. I again am living my life to the fullest as God provided.

Are you? If not proceed forward, what do you have to lose? Nothing. You do not know what you will miss if you do not put one foot before the other and step toward your next destination. Why? Because you do not know what will happen if you do not, and that alone should keep you moving onward. God bless.

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Funny Moments at Conferences

Ruth Ann Nordin and I have had some great times together. In this video, we discuss some of the comical things which have occurred during some of our conferences. If you like to laugh, you will love this video.

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Your Gifts

“You have a great gift,” said the angel Clarence in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Yes, you have. If you are a person of faith, you believe your talents come from God and you should not squander them.


In the picture below, you can see what I recently created for a romance group’s Christmas party where organizers challenged each member to bring something they made.


Eye glass case, center; small notebook with felt heart, cross, and rickrack, left; and large notebook decorated with my Courtships and Carriages bookmark and rickrack, right.

I am proud of what I made and how I created the items. I made the eyeglass case from my deceased mother’s felt. It was her felt flower I sewed on the case. I decorated the notebooks with her felt and rickrack and adorned the small notebook with a cross I had on hand and the large notebook with my Courtships and Carriages bookmark. I never have been much of a “crafty” person, but I have to admit I smiled at my achievement.

You need to smile at your achievements, too, even though it is difficult at times. Readers do not know how much work a piece of writing takes, that is, if we want it to be our best.

Recently, I wrote a nonfiction account about my husband’s mother – a mother he never knew – since she was committed to a mental institution when he was a toddler. I had developed this article after attending a conference this fall. However, when I submitted it, officials said it was not quite right for their publication. It sits in my computer awaiting a “right” avenue. So not all we create is something valued by another.

This gets me thinking about my craft items. Was this gift something the receiver could use? I hope so but in reality it does not matter. The results are what mattered and if you were pleased with your efforts. If so, wear that smile broadly.

We often receive rejections and it is difficult to accept these sometimes. However, what we need to do is to persevere. Remember our work is in the eye of the beholder.

I market my book at a lot of craft fairs, and I can tell your responses vary from “I liked that book” to “I liked your other book better” to no comment at all. When they do not comment, you know you are in real trouble. However, maybe not since there are people who buy your books but never read them. I can testify to that since my bookcase still contains Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Kennedy, and he has had two books released since then.

However, remember no matter how discouraged you get (and we all do) salvage the fun and satisfaction of a finished product you created and loved. God bless and it is good to again write a blog. Now, GO AND CREATE!

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