Tag Archives: dogs

Impakter Ezine Features My Mutinous Boomer Dog Tales & More!

1 Mar


For several months I’ve been writing a column for Impakter Magazine called “Diary of a Positive Soul.” Not a title I would have come up with, but when they approached me about it, I found the concept irresistible! The point of the articles has been to explore not just how to be happy, but how to stay happy. Here is the latest in this series:


Remember the scene in “Young Frankenstein” when Gene Wilder is twisting fitfully in bed screaming, “Destiny! Destiny! No escaping destiny!”


Ha! I love that! But even though it makes for a great Mel Brooks joke, is it for real? Do you believe in destiny?

This is the second of a three part series on a favorite theme of mine: dogs! The first one was about our indomitable dachshund, Zack, which you can find here:  http://impakter.com/diary-positive-soul-3/

When the next dog came into our lives, the question of destiny entered into the picture, as you’ll see.

It all started when our son Matt was sixteen. We packed up and moved 650 miles away from the home he had lived in from the time he was born and he wasn’t happy about it, to say the least! So, like all responsible parents, we bribed him into cooperating. He agreed to move without too much of a fuss if we’d get him a Golden Retriever puppy. Fair enough. However, when we actually moved, we found it was better to rent a home while we got used to the area, which meant we couldn’t get a puppy. We were legitimately off the hook!

Fast forward two years and we bought the house we were renting. Matt didn’t miss a beat. No sooner had the ink dried on the loan than he reminded us of our promise. OK, OK, we’ll do it, and promptly began looking for a Golden Retriever puppy, only to find that the price tag was no less than $1,800! But a deal was a deal and we put our names in the pot for the next litter of puppies. Shortly after that we traveled back to our original home for a big family Thanksgiving celebration. One set of cousins brought a terrific dog they had adopted from an animal shelter. Matt fell in love with him and to our delight, on the long 650 mile drive back, he said that he hated for us to have to spend $1,800 on a Golden Retriever puppy (yeah, so did we…) when we could rescue one from a shelter and have just as good of a dog. We told him it was a brilliant idea and I was calling local shelters the next week.

It wasn’t long before we found a new batch of puppies that had literally been left on the doorstep of an animal shelter. One of these was a funny looking, floppy-eared, short-legged German-Shepherd-something with an enthusiastic long tail. It was love at first sight.


Matt named him Smokey McDoggerson!

When we brought the little fellow home it was not love at all for Zack. To him the young whippersnapper had way too much energy and was ridiculously friendly! And to make matters worse, he was already larger than Zack at only ten weeks old. Zack tried his best to ignore him. He was determined to have nothing to do with Smokey. Period.


A few weeks later we could see Smokey was having significant problems with his legs. He was hobbling and noticeably in pain. One of Smokey’s parents had clearly been a full-size German Shepherd, but the other part of his heritage was evidently a short-legged dog because one of the bones in Smokey’s front legs was growing faster than the other. He was going to need surgery immediately on both legs, no question about it. The cost? Yep. $1,800 on the nose! Exactly what we would have paid for a Golden Retriever puppy.

Was this a coincidence? It sure didn’t feel like it at the time. It felt inevitable. It felt like destiny. When the surgeon told us the price, we were nodding our heads, yes, we know, eighteen hundred dollars…

After surgery both of Smokey’s front legs were in casts, which was too much for Zack. His big heart got the best of him. He simply couldn’t hold a grudge any longer. He licked Smokey in the face and snuggled up next to him as if he’d been there all along.

The surgery worked, but he was still short-legged and always would be, even when he filled out to his full eighty pound adult weight, which makes him very odd looking indeed (in an incredibly handsome way!).


Now we’re back to the question of destiny. Obviously it was inescapable: we were going to spend $1800 on a dog for Matt no matter what! Ha!

Being “destined” to spend that money on a puppy was certainly not a life changing experience. It was one of those humorous moments in life when you think you’ve outsmarted fate ~ as if we could! But our personal destiny? That’s a big one for all of us. So, do I believe in destiny? Yes. And no…

In my experience it seems there can be a force at work in our lives if we let it. Call it Fate, Destiny, The Universe ~ I prefer God. I think of this force rather like a spiritual jet stream, invisible but very powerful and going in a specific direction. When I’m “riding the jet stream” as I call it, I feel completely connected to all that’s right and good for my life. When I’m not, I’m stumbling all over the place to find my way. When I lift up my spiritual “legs” and let this prevailing wind take me where I’m suppose to be, then yes, I’m in tune with destiny and it feels great!


Am I able to live like that all the time? Of course not. Invariably I choose to put my feet down, stubbornly stand my ground, refuse to feel the flow and BAM! What was that thing called “destiny”? It’s gone because I’ve obstinately chosen to do it all myself. The flow is still there somewhere, but I’m not part of it.


Today was one of those magnificent days that I was riding the jet stream. It feels wonderful and it’s my intention to ride it again tomorrow. It makes me extraordinarily happy when I’m carried along by my destiny, I feel connected to The Universe ~ to God. And that’s the point of it all, isn’t it? Figuring out how to be happy and stay happy. But that’s just me.

This isn’t the end of our destiny discussion, just the end for today. Next time you get to meet the funniest dog I’ve ever known: Shadow. AKA Stinker Bell! Until then, be as happy as you can possibly be ~ I insist!


Marsha Roberts, Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant” which can be found on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007H0RS60

More information about Marsha and her book can be found on her website: http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/



Memories are for Christmas

23 Dec


I was rummaging through the garage the other day looking for some Christmas decorations when I stumbled upon a long forgotten box of story notes, scripts and sketch books, primarily belonging to my husband, who is also a writer, Bob Rector. You might have read some of his WordPress blogs ~ he’s RectorWriter. Anyway, I picked up a sketch book and a priceless piece of paper fell out. It was written by Bob in 1993 and stars the indomitable Zack, our dachshund from years ago, who I’ve often written about.

Reading Bob’s brief account of our household twenty-one years ago was like time-traveling for me. He gave a crystal-clear description of each person caught in an instant of time and I was moved to happy tears by the memory. I would like to share it with you here, just as I read it, in Bob’s handwriting, in Bob’s words and complete with an hysterical sketch of Zack’s face.



The thing that caught me off guard was the date, June 5, 1993, because as I read it I could have sworn this took place at Christmas. There was no mention of Christmas, but it just felt like it: warm, joyful, loving and deeply personal. I could almost hear wood crackling in the fireplace and see the reflections of lights and decorations in the window. And I wondered why this brief chronicle of our lives would automatically make me think of Christmas. And I decided it’s because every good, beautiful memory is like a gift, a Christmas gift that can be opened over and over again.


Now there are many writers, philosophers and psychologists who say that we should leave our past behind us. Some great thinkers tell us that if we hold on to our past, we are doomed to have old baggage drag us down, and negative triggers continue to plague us with repeating unhealthy habits. According to them, we should practice present moment awareness.

I beg to differ. I believe that who I am is a conglomeration of a bunch of present moment awareness events: memories, good and bad. Yes, we all have things we’d like to forget, painful recollections that make us wince when we’re reminded of them. Wince or worse. But for me, those are a part of who I am too, I just don’t want to dwell on those. I want to focus on what went right in my life, those moments that stay with me forever because they are so vibrant that they have imprinted me in every way that’s lovely. SnowMatt-IMP

I can still see, smell, taste and feel those precious bits of time as if they were literally yesterday. I’m sure you have those too.

As for me, I’ll go with a pretty solid thinker by the name of Dostoevsky. You see, next to the page with Bob’s story of our household was another piece of paper with this quote printed on it:

“You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.”

“The instrument of our salvation.” A powerful statement.

What a wonderful gift I received when I opened that box from the past. When Bob wrote it so long ago, he had no idea it would mean so much to me to find it decades later. It made me wonder what I am doing today that will set up good memories for those I love in the days and years to come. For me, that’s where the importance of living in the moment comes in, the significance of every single day. We never know when we might do some kind gesture for someone that might be their “instrument of salvation” at a dark moment.


So Merry Christmas to you. May you find the gift of cherished memories tucked under your own little Christmas tree inside yourself. It is my hope that the coming days bring you opportunities for more exceptional memories to be created. But if for some reason this Christmas isn’t full of all that’s positive and encouraging for you, don’t forget the treasures that are with you still, inside your heart and mind. After all, Christmas is for memories.

Until next time.


Marsha Roberts, Author:  Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant


Smokey McDoggerson & Shadow The Clown!

29 Mar

Here we are once again with Boomer Lit Friday! This week a reviewer said she especially liked the chapter “The Parable of Smokey in the Storm,” so I thought I would share with you a bit of a dog story from


I hope you will Blog Hop over to other Boomer Lit authors from here. You’ll find the link below and it will take you to excerpts of some wonderful writers!

From Chapter 28: The Parable of Smokey in the Storm

This excerpt begins after our 18 year old beloved dachshund, Zack, had passed away, leaving not only us devastated, but also the great big two year old, short-legged-German-Shepherd-and-something-else named Smokey McDoggerson. To him, little Zack had been his father, and he went into a deep doggie depression…

We knew there was only one thing we could do.  We needed to get Smokey a puppy. And that’s how Shadow came into our lives.


Shadow looked like a small version of a black lab, only with shaggy fur, which came from his mother, who we knew was a Border Collie. Shadow was curious about anything and everything and would often go running off to explore something new and exciting. After all, it might play with him!


Smokey took to the big brother role earnestly and taught Shadow everything he knew. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t teach Shadow to Protect And Defend.  It was simply not in Shadow’s DNA.


Smokey was The Best Friend Dog and Shadow was The Comic Relief. Smokey would listen to your problems, turn his handsome head to the side like he was taking in every word. 


Shadow, with his tongue hanging to the side and a silly grin, just wanted to have fun!


Until a storm was coming…

Find out what happened with Smokey in the storm! My book is available as an ebook or in print from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and others. Direct links are on the Mutinous Baby Boomer website:


Now, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to hop over to another Boomer Lit Author at:



The Tiny Wizard Miracle – or is it? You decide!

31 Jan

Have you ever thought something so random that it occurred to you an angel might be whispering in your ear? Ever felt the hair stand up on the back of your neck and thought something special was about to happen? Did you wonder what it meant and try to listen or did you just brush it away?

Well, for me, I’ve been trying to figure out how to listen better. Whether it’s angels or what, I know we are given clues about the right path to take. When I’ve ignored those clues, I’ve always regretted it. But whenever I listen to them, better yet, acted on them, it’s always worked out for the best. And sometimes it’s worked out astonishingly well! In little ways and in big ones.

Case in point. This is a little one, mind you, but it reminded me in no uncertain terms to PAY ATTENTION!

Several months ago we moved to a house with lots more room, so I was able to get many things out of storage and in the process had the extremely fun experience of discovering treasures I hadn’t seen in years. For once I had the luxury of a little time in the move and I could sort through all the boxes to see which of my prized possessions would be a part of my life again, what would be thrown or given away and what would go back into a box for another time.

When that job was done I realized I was missing one cherished piece: a tiny 2″ tall pewter figurine of a wizard holding a small crystal in his left hand and a staff in his right. He had not been in storage over the years; for more than 25 years he had been on my mantle wherever we lived. He had been a gift and was symbolic of many things – I loved that little wizard. But now, after sorting through every single box, I had no idea where he was.

One morning about two months after the move, I was reading an inspirational book to get my mind focused on the day’s tasks. It was an early one by Wayne Dyer. I was at the end of the book and he was talking about how important a spirit of generosity is in finding your own spiritual path to manifesting your dreams and desires in life. It suddenly (randomly!) occurred to me I needed to write down the address of a woman I had recently been put in touch with. She is very active in helping the military, and I had a huge batch of letters I needed to send to her that I had collected for American troops stationed overseas. She had the contacts to get the letters in the hands of our soldiers.

OK, now pay attention (which is what I was being told to do!). This was something good I was supposed to do. I wasn’t thinking about it at all, but it was put on my mind while I was reading about “a spirit of generosity” and I didn’t think a thing about it at the time, except to find her email before it got buried in the mass of contacts I had recently made. I didn’t think about it having to do anything with what I had just read. I just acted when I felt the urge. I found the email and as I was printing out her address I thought I should go ahead and weigh the letters to see how much it was going to cost to ship them, so I could plan for the expense.

I had put the boxes on the shelf in my office closet. They were so heavy that I didn’t want to haul them into another room to weigh them on a table like I normally would. I just wanted to do the quickest, easiest thing and plop them in front of the closet. So I placed the scale on the floor and pulled a couple of big boxes down on top of the scale. The thing is, the boxes were so large that I couldn’t see the reading on the scale. I had to get down on the floor, with my face laying on the ground to see what the weight was. I turned my head to the side to get around the bulk of the boxes and what did I see on the floor behind the closet door? My beloved Wizard!


He was in such an odd, hidden spot, I don’t think I would have ever have seen him if I hadn’t done this specific action, with my head on the ground, turned sideways – the action that some sort of instinct had lead me to.

I happily greeted him back into the fold, checked to see how much it was going to be to send 50 pounds of letters and went back to my reading, with my little Wizard now on my desk. I had finished that first book, but wanted to continue reading that morning, so I started a more recent book by Dyer, “The Power of Intention.” Right up front in Chapter 1 it says, quoting Carlos Castaneda, “Intent is a force that exists in the universe. When sorcerers (those who live of the Source) beckon intent, it comes to them and sets up the path for attainment, which means that sorcerers almost always accomplish what they set out to do.”

I was taken aback by the reference to the sorcerer when I had just found my Wizard! Clearly some sort of communication or connection was happening! Several pages later… “Activating intention means rejoining your Source and becoming a modern-day sorcerer. Being a sorcerer means attaining the level of awareness where previously inconceivable things are available.”

First off, thank you, once again, Wayne Dyer for sharing your incredible insight and wisdom with us. And secondly, OK, I’m really paying attention now! This was no coincidence. Call it angels whispering in my ear, call it the continuing but often unrecognized miracles that are happening all the time, all around us, but when I listened, acted on what I “heard” it was then confirmed to me that the whole process of PAYING ATTENTION is not only valid, but can change our lives if we let it!

To remind you, this blog is based on three premises:

– Angels are real.

– You can live as if everything is a miracle.

– And there is a good reason that “dog” is God spelled backwards.

I think I covered angels and miracles here, but what about dogs? Well, my ever curious shaggy-haired sort of a little black lab named Shadow, was on the floor with me, his nose on the ground, looking to see what in the world was Mom doing? Keeping me grounded to reality and that life is ever so much fun are always my dogs. Shadow is one of The Dogs I’ve Loved – the subject of my next blog.

May all those who read this be blessed with joy and the awareness of all the miraculous things happening around you every moment of every day!


Marsha Roberts

Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer”


Angels, Miracles and Dogs: The Thanksgiving Dog

4 Dec

Now that the big Thanksgiving push is over and before everyone is totally focused on Christmas, I wanted to share a true story that’s full of improbabilities (that I call miracles!), coincidences (that I believe are staged by angels!) and, of course – dogs!

Matt&Amber7-27-07My son Matt and his incredible wife Amber are unquestionably “Dog People.” They have two rambunctiously adorable canines named Precious and Depaula and would love to have a third one if they could find the right fit with their eccentric crew. Well, Depaula isn’t terribly eccentric, but Precious defines the word!

I’ll never forget the first time I met Precious. Matt and Amber had just bought her a few days before and they were bringing their new Boxer puppy over to meet us and our two dogs, Smokey and Shadow. I have to say that had not been a huge fan of Boxers. I tend to like dog faces that are hound-shaped, not squished! (sorry to all of you Boxer and Bulldog fans, but that’s what it looks like to me…) But Precious is something else all together and changed my view of Boxers forever. The thing is, she is just so female! In spite of her muscular build and her tongue that’s so long she can hardly fit the whole thing in her mouth, PreciousTounge-ashe exudes femininity! She even bats her eyelashes and, as Amber imitates her, like she’s saying, “But, I’m PRECIOUS! I’m beautiful! You just have to love me!”

However, that first meeting with Smokey was a no-go, nothing doing, you are not winning me over encounter. Maybe it was because Smokey had originally been Matt’s dog who eventually became “The Family Dog” Smokey8-09-aand so he stayed put when Matt moved out – so perhaps there was a little jealousy there. Regardless, he was not impressed with Precious and she was devastated.

Smokey is a short-legged, floppy-eared German Shepherd-and-something-else mix and all male. Precious did everything except stand on her head to get Smokey to like her. She flirted and when that didn’t work, she humbled herself and batted those big eyes at Smokey. His answer was to plop down on the floor with a disgusted Harrumph! Finally, when it was completely clear she was not going to get an ounce of affection from Smokey, she sat up proudly with her back to him and stuck her bottom lip out and pouted like a five-year-old princess, glancing at Smokey occasionally as if to say, “How can you do this to me? I’m Precious!” It was hysterical to see this puppy with her bottom lip out, pouting!

And that just begins to describe how eccentric Precious is. You’d swear she sees ghosts, she’ll go after a flash of light on a wall as if it were a critter that must be destroyed and no matter who is in the room, she is the most dominating personality and always the most energetic! Depaula is her partner-in-crime. Being a Pit mix, he’s a little larger than Precious, but he’s a gentle soul who seems to have been born to keep her company and calm her excited spirit down a bit. They are big buds.Precious&Depaula-a

Understanding the nature of Precious and Depaula is important if you’re going to be able to visualize the events surrounding The Thanksgiving Dog.

It all started at about 4:00 am the Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving. Matt is a musician and a writer, so he’s always kept odd hours. He had just gotten up and was going to let the dogs out. They live in a quaint townhouse with a front stoop and small fenced-in yard. The gate is always closed.

When he opened the front door there was a surprise waiting for him on the stoop: a large, unfamiliar dog laying there, shivering from the cold. He had the body shape of a Pit Bull and the coloring of a Dalmatian – one of his black spots went around his left eye, giving him a distinctive look. No way Matt was going to leave a dog out in the cold, so he brought him into the warmth and got him food and water. The Dynamic Duo of Precious and Depaula seemed to recognize the plight of a fellow pooch and didn’t argue the point.

It wasn’t long before Amber was up and they decided to take him over to the vet so the Stoop Dog could get scanned for a microchip to try and find his family. He didn’t have on a collar, but was clean and groomed and appeared to be so very well cared for that they thought he would probably be chipped. He wasn’t. So they took him in.

The three dogs dominated the living room as they worked at getting to know each other that day, but Matt got a kick out of it and thought they might be able to keep the Stoop Dog if they couldn’t find his family. Later, when he let the three-some out into the front yard to do their business, the new dog suddenly got excited about something and jumped the fence. This isn’t an easy thing to do because of the height, but he was strong and made it appear effortless. Matt figured he just wanted to try and find his home, so he let him go.

Ten minutes later, the big guy was back on their stoop again! At that point it was clear they had been “chosen” by this dog for some reason and decided it was the right thing to put up fliers and try and find his family.

During the day, Matt wrote us about what was going on, telling us what a “sweet guy” the Stoop Dog was and that the three of them got along pretty well, considering his sudden arrival! But, after awhile, Matt said the new dog seemed to get sad, laying his head down on Matt’s leg, looking up at him like he was waiting for something. I’ll let Matt (from his email) tell the story from here:

So Amber came home a bit early from work and we decided to take him to the local shelter, even though we really didn’t want to leave him there. We just figured he’d have the best chance of finding his family at the local shelter. I mean, that’s where I would first go if we lost one of ours. Anyway, we get in the shelter (a really nice one, in our county) and tell them we found this dog, and the woman goes “Well look who it is. You two just made someone’s day. His owner was in here this morning crying her eyes out because she’d been looking for him all night.” Sure enough, she pulled out the pictures that the woman had left and it was the very same dog. They put us in contact with her, and when Amber called and told her we found her dog and kept him safe all day, she about lost her mind crying and thanking us. She left work right then and came to our house to get him. They were so happy to see each other. The dog (his name turned out to be Rico) just started wiggling and dog-dancing as soon as he saw her. She thanked us profusely…

Now Matt and Amber would no doubt tell the story differently, they experienced it themselves. But, witnessing this wonderful story unfold from a distance, it seemed very magical to me. As Matt told me, Rico specifically came to their house three different times, once when he found him on the stoop and twice when he saw something and jumped the fence. But he came back each time, as Matt said, “like he knew he had to be here for a reason or something.”

Matt isn’t one who believes in miracles and angels like his mom, but since I’ve decided to “live as if everything is a miracle,” this is my interpretation of the events. Rico’s instinct obviously told him to go to that house, sit on that stoop and that’s where he would find help. What is instinct? In my world it is either an angel whispering in your ear or miraculous forces making your next step abundantly clear. Either way, a miracle.

You could say that Matt and Amber taking Rico to that particular shelter was logical. Which is true. And you could say that Rico’s owner was doing the logical thing by bringing photos of the dog to that particular shelter to see if anyone had found him. And, that would also be true. But, when you add up the number of “coincidences” and place them side-by-side with all of the coinciding instincts to do the “logical” thing and mix them with the deep desire that everyone involved had to do the right thing, the loving thing – I think all of that energy is very powerful. I believe that kind of positive, full-of-love energy (from the people and the dogs!) brings into play an even more powerful force. I call it God, you may call it The Universe, but for me, it all results in a miracle.

Because that’s what a miracle is to me – love in action – in big ways and in small, everyday things. It’s all around us, all the time.

That’s it for The Thanksgiving Dog. Everyone was reunited just in time for Thanksgiving. And Precious and Depaula didn’t have to share their mom and dad for Thanksgiving, which I’m sure made The Boxer Princess happy as a clam.

And here’s to my son and his wife – Matt and Amber Matt&Amber8-10 fantastic, loving people doing the right thing at the right time. Miraculous!


Marsha Roberts
Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer”
website: http://www.mutinousbabyboomer.com/

Angels, Miracles & Dogs – A Veterans’ Day Salute

12 Nov

I had the distinct honor and privilege of entertaining American troops, their families and veterans for over 15 years on military bases all over the world with the theatrical production, “Letters From The Front.” FtSill-standOI lived in billeting along side them and I was “adopted” into their military family. So I can say from experience that we are blessed to the nth degree to have so many wonderful people who are willing to dedicate their lives to preserving our freedoms here in America. And it’s not just those who join and train to become a soldier, a sailor, an airman or a marine. It’s also the families who wait and pray for their safe return who serve.

Today’s blog is dedicated to all who serve and who have served – here and abroad. I know I said that this blog is based on three premises: angels are real, you can live as if everything is a miracle and there is a good reason that “dog” is God spelled backwards. But, stick with me on this story, a true one at that, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

My story takes place in Germany in 1997. We were half way through our American military base tour in Europe that year, traveling on a bus, pulling our gear behind us in a trailer and setting up where ever they had the space to accommodate us. We arrived in Ansbach to find that the only place we could set up was a gym, complete with windows lining the top of the walls, next to the ceiling. Not the ideal place, but that’s all they had, so that’s what where we set up our show.

By this point we had been touring for several years and we were able to adapt to just about any situation. What we never got accustomed to was how deeply “Letters From The Front” affected our audiences. Every night, from the moment, our leading lady, Della Cole, stepped on stage as the character Katharine Hartgrove, until she and her co-star took their curtain-calls, our military audiences were captivated by the show. After all, it was their story we were telling. Katharine waiting at home for word of her son, Mark, who was fighting in Desert Storm, was something they all could personally relate to. It was even more intense for our overseas audiences who were either just returning from or preparing for deployment. Or they were a family member waiting — waiting for a loved one to be deployed or to return.

In 1997 two of the world’s hot spots were Kosovo and Bosnia.  Both places were rough assignments for our troops. We knew that Ansbach was a jumping off point for deployment to these areas, but that’s about all we knew. The show at the Katterbach Gym started promptly at 7:00 pm on October 29th. The sun was well above the horizon, which meant light was streaming in from the windows at top of the gym. There was nothing we could do about it, so we tried not to pay any attention to it. The creaking of the bleachers was very distracting, but the audience didn’t seem to mind. I could see people leaning forward to hear every word of the show.

In Act III, Katharine discovers that her son is missing in action. It happens suddenly, in the middle of a humorous scene and the audience doesn’t expect it. It’s quite jolting. Then, after a sleepless night, Katharine tries to cope with the knowledge that her son’s life is truly in imminent danger. She does what countless military moms have done throughout history, she drops to her knees and prays for the life of her son.

As the prayer scene began that night we could all hear a distant droning sound. At first we thought Della’s wireless mike was picking up something, which happened occasionally since there is no shortage of RF on military bases. But no, this was real and it got louder quickly.

On stage Katharine lifts her face toward heaven and prays, “I’ve been told that light, the true light, the light that illuminates our hearts and minds comes from you. How I need that light now!”

As if on cue, lights descended from the night sky, flashing through the windows at the top of the gym. On stage Katharine continued praying from the depths of her soul, kneeling as if at an altar, “Won’t you please let my son live?  He’s a flower that’s just come into bloom…”

The loud rumbling sound from outside intensified and became a distinctive thump-thump-thump. The lights from above grew brighter and flashed across Katharine’s face as she looked upward, raising her voice in prayer. “He’s a lily of the field.  Let him grow. Please God, just let him grow.”

By now, everyone in the gym knew what was happening. Helicopters were landing outside, bringing soldiers back from Kosovo and Bosnia. Loved ones were returning home safely from a war zone. In the play, after Katharine finishes her prayer, her son Mark calls — he’s safe too — safe like the real men and women who just arrived outside of our make-shift theatre.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including ours. We didn’t know if life was imitating art or art was imitating life, we all felt so connected, so joyful.

As soon as the show was over we all went running to the back of the gym to watch our soldiers disembark from the helicopters. Noses of loved ones were pressed against windows trying to catch a glimpse of a familiar face. The soldiers would have to be officially checked-in before they could throw their arms around those they loved.

Load-out is never quiet. It was quiet that night. Each of us were lost in our own thoughts about what we had witnessed and been privileged to be a part of. The air we were moving through, the entire place we were working in felt sacred.

We moved on from Ansbach the following day, on to more bases, to perform more shows and have more adventures. There were better, slicker performances of “Letters From The Front” to come and we visited places that were much more spectacular than Ansbach.  But, none were more memorable or touched us so deeply than the night Katharine prayed for the life of her son as helicopters landed right outside the theatre, the gym.

Angels come in many forms. Perhaps that night the angels were helicopter pilots. What about miracles? I can tell you, the air was filled with miracles that night. It was palpable.

And there is a good reason that “dog” is God spelled backwards. Because if you can’t find a dog in a story, it doesn’t matter, because you can always find God in one.

If you’ve visited my blog before, you know that I have invited each of you to join me in smiling our way back to better times. Today’s blog, was by nature, a serious subject.Enduring Freedom Don’t forget to tell the veterans in your life how much you appreciate their service to our country. And, the next time you see someone in uniform, put your hand out and say “Thank you for serving your country. We appreciate you.” You won’t believe how much it will mean to them. Trust me on this one – that’s when you’ll get your smile!


Marsha Roberts

Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer”


Angels, Miracles & Dogs – Sending Angels to NJ, NY, CT & Beyond!

8 Nov

Today is 11-8-12 and I have an angel idea. Like millions of Americans, I started my day by watching the footage unfold in the aftermath of Sandy (and now the Nor’easter) on the New Jersey coast and in places in New York like Queens and Staten Island and even up through Connecticut and beyond. For those of us who have done a good deal of traveling, we know those places, those people, and it’s heart wrenching to see what they’re going through.

You might be wondering what you can do to help. If you are blessed with a regular paycheck, you can certainly donate to the organizations that are doing good work on the ground there. If you are located in the area and have not been affected by the storm, you can volunteer your time and physically help, as we’ve seen so many wonderful people do. But, for the millions of us who aren’t located anywhere near the disaster area and don’t have the luxury of extra cash right now, there’s no reason for us to feel helpless. There is something we can do that I’m doing right now. We can send angels to help. And I mean that sincerely.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of actual angels, let me back up a bit. I became aware of the existence of angels when I was young and a nurse in the ICU. But I never had a clear vision of my angels until years later when I started traveling on a regular basis as a business woman.

When I would board a plane I realized that angels were all around the airport. I’m not kidding, I’m speaking literally: angels were there and always went with me on my travels. Ask anyone who has ever boarded a plane with me and they’ll tell you.

Once I get seated on a plane, my angels start preparing for takeoff. These gals all have leather fighter pilot jackets on because they are ace fliers. Some of them have close fitting leather helmets with their hair tucked neatly inside. Others like to have their hair blowing in the wind. They all have goggles and they all have large, magnificent wings.

Every angel has her specialty. There’s one angel who’s an engineer and she is zipping through the interior of each engine and all other complex parts of the airplane, making sure everything is all right. If our takeoff is delayed because of mechanical problems, I know my angel pointed out the trouble to the ground crew.

Another angel is in the cockpit with the pilots. She’s looking over the control panel, analyzing all of the flight data and coordinating her findings with the engineer angel. If she finds a problem, she whispers in the ear of one of the pilots so he can make sure it is taken care of before we leave.

The rest of them position themselves under each wing of the plane, several per wing, one beneath the tail and one under the nose. As the engines rev up, they stop chatting and get serious, put their goggles in place and extend their wings. When the plane begins moving, the angels walk underneath and get ready for takeoff.  The plane picks up speed and they run faster and faster until — lift off! The angels have us safely in the air and all is well.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been flying and there has been turbulence or some other concern. During these situations I’ve told other passengers about my angels and it never fails to give people comfort. No one ever tells me they don’t believe me. I guess it’s kind of like believing in Santa Claus when you’re a kid, just in case it’s true, they want to make sure they have all their bases covered.

When you think of how many people there are on this planet, think of how many angels there must be available to watch over us, help us. Countless! So I’m imagining battalions of angels floating through the sky like paratroopers, surveying what’s below and seeing where the greatest need is. Yep, mine have on flight jackets and goggles, and when they land we see that their parachutes were actually their wings folded beautifully over their heads. They go to every single person, home, place that needs their help. They guide rescuers to those who are the most needy and they comfort those who are afraid. They protect and encourage and, ultimately, assist in all manner of miracles happening.

Some of you will find what I’m talking about very easy to imagine. Others will think this is fiction. Regardless, most of you know how powerful our thoughts can be (by the way, the book “The Power of Positive Thinking” first published in 1952, is still being re-printed and is still valid!). Think of how different the outcome has been in situations in your life when you thought positively instead of negatively. If you can imagine angels by the millions arriving to assist those in northeast who are in dire need – great! If not, send your powerful, loving and positive thoughts. Call it prayer if you like. Just know that we are not helpless, we are all connected and we can make a difference, even from a distance.

Remember, this blog is based on three premises:

– Angels are real.

– You can live as if everything is a miracle.

– And there is a good reason that “dog” is God spelled backwards.

So, today I’ve given you angels and miracles, but what about the dogs? May angels help all of the beloved pets (yes, even cats!) to find their owners, to find homes and shelter. And, when they are reunited, we know what miraculous comfort those sweet creatures will be to the people who love them.

I just stopped for a minute and told my dog Smokey McDoggerson what a great dog he is and how much I appreciate his sweet spirit in my life.

I hope my version of angels made you smile and imagine what your angels might look like! Find reasons to feel blessed this day and send those grand feelings to those who need our best and most positive thoughts, efforts and prayers.


Marsha Roberts

Author of “Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer”



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