Legacy Blog #12: The Party Line (Phone)

My Beloved Daughter,

Party lines mean something much different today than they did when I was a child.  It’s a political term today, referring to beliefs in voting that generally fall into accepted norms within a specific party, like Republicans being, generally, pro-life.  When I was a child in rural Van Buren, MO, it was a term for a specific type of phone line.

Our first phone when I was a kid had a party line that was linked to my paternal grandparents’ phone.  Since we lived so far outside of the city limits of that small town, it was the only type of line that we had available.  Our first number had the last digits of 8535.  Your great-grandparents number ended in 4690.  To call each other, we would simply dial a seven before those last few digits.  To call anyone else in the town, we only had to dial the last four digits of their number at that time, as Van Buren’s prefix was the same for the entire town.  It wasn’t until we had moved to Campbell that we had to start dialing the prefix and it was pretty much made a requirement in all cases sometimes in the mid-eighties.

If we needed to call someone, we couldn’t do so if they were already on the phone.  If we picked up the phone, we could join in to their conversation, as they shared the line with us.  It didn’t work out too badly, as they didn’t like to talk on the phone too much, as I recall.

During the summer, my cousin, Dan, would come and stay with us for a couple of weeks at a time and wanted to keep in touch with his parents—since he was half your age at the time.  We’d often pick up the only phone in the house—which was on the wall in the kitchen and had a chord and a rotary dial—only to hear Grandma Davis talking on the line.  We’d eavesdrop; listening to the conversation for several minutes, until one of us would inevitably giggle, alerting her to our presence.

“You kids get off the line!”

Yep, good times.

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Legacy Blog #11: The Switch

My Beloved Daughter,

You came by your love of animals honestly.  And, the fact that you really don’t cause trouble is something that you came by honestly, too.  Your old dad liked animals as much as any child.  And, usually, I only had to be told to do something by my parents once.

In the times when I did get in trouble, it was usually for doing something that I didn’t know was wrong.  Like the one time that I let your great-grandpa’s hounds loose.

I was about five at the time.  Grandpa had paid a significant sum for those hounds, all of which he was going to use for hunting.  I don’t even remember how many of them were in the pen.  I just remember that I—like any child that age—wanted to play with the doggies.

I walked out to the pen, probably talking to them all the time.  My intention was to get in it with all of them.  The moment I opened the door, they toppled me and ran off into the woods.

Grandma Davis was livid.  My dad and two of his brothers went out into the woods with Grandpa, looking for them.  They searched for hours.

They never found them.

Grandma told me to go home and wait for my dad.  She told him that he needed to make sure that I learned from my mistake.

I remember watching him walk into the yard.  He approached Grandma Pat’s rosebush with purpose, pulling his knife out of his pocket.  He cut a switch off of it and walked calmly toward the house, whittling the thorns off as he came.  Then he came inside and calmly told me to bend over the coffee table.  I did so, terror-stricken.

Each strike of that switch felt like liquid flame on my rear and legs.  I tried to hold in the tears but, when he hit me the last time, I remember screaming in agony.

He stopped with that strike.  I like to think that he realized that he’d crossed the line when he heard me scream.  As I lay on my stomach on the couch (I couldn’t sit on my bottom for three days), your Grandma Pat called him in the kitchen and yelled at him over the severity of my punishment.  Grandma Pat had spanked me before, only with the open palm of her hand.  A switch was something that she never felt should be used . . . especially leaving the whelps that it did.

Later, after I’d stopped crying, he hugged me and told me that he was sorry . . . not that he punished me, but that he had crossed the line in the punishment.  He told me that he loved me and would never use a switch on me again.

I don’t want you to think that your Grandpa Chuck was abusive.  He wasn’t.  In fact, he went beyond his promise to never use a switch on me again by simply never spanking me again.  Not that he really needed to.

One takeaway from that switch was that I had a healthy respect for my father.  When he told me to do something, I didn’t argue or talk back to him.  So maybe I just never gave him a reason to spank me again.

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The Christian Fiction Review blog has posted an awesome review of Book Four of the ADVENTURE CHRONICLES.  Also, I’ve been awarded the The Reality Calling Spirit-Filled Speculative Fiction Award!

Check out the review here.

Special thanks to Peter Younghusband for his review!

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Legacy Blog #10: Grandpa’s Farm

My Beloved Daughter,

Your Great-Grandpa Wes was a farmer.  The man was very mechanically inclined, but he WAS a farmer.  Pure and simple.  During the years when my dad was growing up, farming wasn’t the industrial thing that we have now.  There was a reason that your paternal great-grandparents had such a large family.  The extra hands were necessary.

By the time I came along, farming was already leaving the family farm for the farming corporation.  So, I’m thankful that I spent my early childhood right up the road from your great-grandparents’ farm.

I saw things that even most other children of my own generation didn’t get to see.  I had fresh chicken.  Of course, I also was among the cousins who watched Grandpa Wes kill said chicken with his bare hands, not realizing that he nearly made all of us never want to eat poultry again.

I got to see Grandpa’s smokehouse, where he cured the meat from the pig into sausage and bacon.  You haven’t truly tasted bacon until you’ve had it that fresh.

You might have seen a garden before.  Grandpa’s filled a few acres.  Vegetables were grown with real fertilizer (i.e. poop).  Just so you know, when you see “organic” fruits and vegetables sold in a store, that’s what this is.  No chemical fertilizers.  They used manure.  Yes, the food tasted good.  But I sure HATED it when the wind blew just right during planting season in the outskirts of Van Buren, MO.

Then, there were the farmer’s auctions.  Grandpa Chuck called them—simply—The Sale.  “We’re going to ride with your Grandpa to The Sale,” he’d say.

Grandpa raised chickens (as noted before), but his big thing was pig farming.  He bid on them at The Sale.  I’ll admit, I was usually bored to tears when we were at the auction.  I didn’t understand what was going on at the time.  I knew better than to squirm, as it was expressly forbidden by Grandpa Chuck.

I remember a particular situation where your Great-Grandpa Wes noticed that I was bored and his playfulness came through.  I remember looking up at him and he was staring at the rafters in the ceiling.  I looked up and didn’t see anything.  Grandpa Chuck looked up and, I’m sure, didn’t see anything.

Around us, people started looking up to figure out what was so interesting in the rafters.  In the entire arena, a large crowd was staring upward.

Then, Grandpa Wes stopped looking upward and stared back at the stage with a grin.  I remember asking him what he was looking at.  He leaned over and said, “Nothing.  I just wanted to see how many people I could get to look up there.”

Ah, those were the days.

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Annie Douglass Lima’s New Book

More than just a coloring book, this inspirational activity book will help you relax, unwind, and enjoy some creative fun while hiding God’s Word in your heart. 
The 35 separate verses and passages are printed in colorable word art with decorative borders, blank on the back to make them easier to remove and frame or display, if desired. Each one is accompanied by two different activities or puzzles featuring the verse or key words from it. 

Hide it in Your Heart is an ideal Scripture memorization aid for Christian schools, homeschool programs, Sunday schools, or your own personal use. Children and adults will enjoy learning, practicing, and meditating on these artistically presented verses from the New International Version Bible. 

Proceeds from the sale of Hide it In Your Heart will be donated to www.Christar.org to help provide a translation of God’s Word for a particular people group in East Asia who do not yet have the Bible in their own language.

Here are a few sample coloring and activity pages from Hide it In Your Heart. If you’d like to color them or complete the word puzzles, click here to access a PDF that you can download and print.
Hide it In Your Heart is available in paperback on Amazon. Click here to order your copy for $8.99. 
HOWEVER, you can get it for 15% off if you order it here on CreateSpace with coupon code JZBVVBH8The code can be used an unlimited number of times and will not expire, so feel free to order as many copies as you like for family and friends. Hide it In Your Heart makes a great gift for anyone who enjoys word puzzles, coloring, or God’s word! 
You’re welcome to share the code with others, too.
Happy coloring!

Morrison Academy




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About the Author:

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in
Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and
her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at
Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since
her childhood, and to date has published thirteen books (two YA action and
adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, five anthologies of her
students’ poetry, and a Scripture coloring and activity book). Besides writing,
her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction),
scrapbooking, and international travel.

Connect with Annie Douglass Lima online:

Sign up for author updates and receive a free ebook of “interviews” with characters from her fantasy series: http://bit.ly/LimaUpdates

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Buster’s Legacy is Released!

BUSTER’S LEGACY, Book Five of the Adventure Chronicles is now available. To celebrate the release, all of the other ebooks have been lowered to 99 cents each (with the exception of Book One, which is always FREE). Jump on this while you can because the prices will go back up soon!

Busters Legacy-eBook

Four disappearances in Jameston, Missouri, have come before the brutal murder of one of the Renegades. When the killers leave graffiti indicating that the attack was due to the victim’s link to Adventure, Renegade leader Ben Shalley opens a line of communication with Jamie Raleigh that brings the ninja and his friends into town to investigate.

Complicating matters, three friends from Thera have come to the Mother World to find a demonic ruby that may be linked to the troubles. But what does all of this have to do with a short story that Buster Goodman wrote when he was thirteen?

Heroes and villains must join forces to battle a greater darkness. And, in the process, a few souls may be saved.

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Legacy Blog #9: The Antenna

My Beloved Daughter,

In the early 1980s, television wasn’t digital yet.  Analog signals were sent out from the television stations and could be picked up by nearby T.V.s with the “rabbit ear” antennae on the back of the sets.

We weren’t close enough.

Van Buren had cable . . . if you lived in town.  The house that my family lived in was eight miles outside of Van Buren’s city limits, ensuring that we were too far away to get cable.  Also, the mini-dish systems, like Dish Network, didn’t come around until the mid-1990s.

They did have satellite dishes (called “C-Band” dishes) that were as big as a small car.  You would move them up and down to catch signals from the various television satellites that orbit the planet.  You could see channels from all over the world, in various languages.  Or, so I hear.  See, those dishes cost you to purchase them.  Thousands of dollars.  So, we had another option.

Attached to the front of our house, standing taller than said house, was our antenna.  We could use it to get two, sometimes three channels.  The three channels were Channel 8 from Jonesboro, AR, Channel 12 from Cape Girardeau, and, when the sky was REALLY clear, Channel 6 from Paducah, KY.

The top of the antenna had to be pointed in the direction of the television station.  I can remember going outside, planting my feet, and turning that monstrosity . . . all the while listening to Grandpa Chuck or Grandma Pat yelling, “Keep going!  A little more!  More!  Back the other way!  WOAH!!!”

After school cartoons were a staple of the 1980s, if you had cable.  For us, there was a half-hour Bozo the clown show that played on Channel 8 when I got home from school.  When I was in the first grade, one of the channels showed the original Star Trek series every afternoon.  I also watched the old sitcom, “I Dream of Jeannie.”

Another side-effect of this set-up was that we often ended up with the same “special programming” (i.e. sporting events) on all three channels.  Your Grandpa Chuck would groan a mild expletive, turn off the television and pick up a book.  If it was in the evening, I would do the same thing.

But, for the most part, I played outside.  I didn’t have any real friends who lived near me, so I kept myself occupied in worlds of make-believe.  Worlds that have found their way into the books that I write.

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