From Chicken Soup for the Grandparent's Soul


Susan Amerikaner is an author and television writer. Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Amerikaner moved to California in 1979 to work for Walt Disney Studios. The freelance author and her husband now reside in San Luis Obispo. Their twin sons are both in college.

Faith Andrews Bedford’s short stories and essays have been published in numerous magazines; her column “Kids in the Country” appears in Country Living. Her most recent book is The Sporting Art of Frank W. Benson (Godine, 2000). She divides her year between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Florida.

Sheryl Berk is the senior editor of A&E Biography Magazine and the former entertainment editor for McCall’s. She is the author of numerous books including the New York Times bestseller, Britney Spears’ Heart to Heart (with Ms. Spears). She resides in New York City with her husband, Peter.

Barbara Bloom has worked as a psychiatric social worker for the last twenty years in both the United States and Canada. About two years ago, she became hooked on writing. Now, when she chauffeurs her two sons to their various activities, she keeps a pen and paper handy. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Gail C. Bracy was born and raised in Central New York and attended college in Watertown and Geneseo. She returned to college when her children started school and earned a B.S. in Education. She works for the Department of Transportation in Watertown. Her hobbies include writing, singing and spending time with family and friends.

Karen Brandt resides in Ohio with her husband, Kenn. Her son, Anthony, lives in California with his wife, Gladys. Her daughter, Angela, lives in Maryland with husband, Darion, and their four children, Tanisha, Darian, Phyllis and Joshua. Family is an important part of her life, and she loves to write.

Michele Wallace Campanelli, a national bestselling author, was born on the Space Coast of Florida where she still resides with her husband, Louis. She is a graduate of Melbourne High School, Writers Digest School and Keiser College. She is author of Hero of Her Heart, published by Blue Note Books, Margarita by Hollis Books and numerous short stories. Michele welcomes fans to e-mail her with comments at [email protected].

Kathe Campbell lives with her husband, Ken, on a seven-thousand-foot mountain near Butte, Montana, where they have raised national champion spotted asses. Kathe has contributed to the local newspaper as well as national magazines on the subject of Alzheimer’s disease. She is a prolific writer of the month at, and her Montana artwork is featured as stationery at Kathe and Ken have three grown children and twelve grandchildren.

Irene (Seida) Carlson is a middle-aged grandmother from Fort Worth, Texas. She enjoys writing all types of stories from personal stories about her family and herself, to westerns, romance, horror, children’s and poems. She is the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of five. This story is very special to her because it is about her oldest grandchild, Justin, who has always been Grandma’s angel, and she would like to share this story with you all.

Bruce Carmichael, D.C., was a decorated fighter pilot. He has had a rich and colorful career as a writer, educator, builder, motion-picture producer and physician. He strongly embraces his Christian beliefs. He can be reached at 750 W. Madison, Lebanon, MO 65536. Call 417-532-5094.

Karen Carr lives in rural New Hampshire. She enjoys traveling, walking, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Dr. Lillian Carson is an authority on child development, parenting and grandparenting, and a national spokesperson on grandparenting. She is the author of The Parent’s Choice Award Book The Essential Grandparent: A Guide to Making a Difference and the first in a forthcoming series, The Essential Grandparent’s Guide to Divorce: Making a Difference in the Family. Visit her Web site at

Helen Colella is a wife, mother, former teacher and freelance writer living in Colorado with her family. She’s also a first-time “card-bearing” grandmother. Helen enjoys her family, traveling and reading. After twenty years in Colorado, she still marvels at the beautiful and majestic scenery of the Rocky Mountains.

Jan Coleman is a busy author whose work has appeared nationally. Her first book is After the Locusts: Restoring Ruined Dreams, Reclaiming Wasted Years. Jan is a dynamic speaker who tickles the funny bones and tugs at the heartstrings of her audience. In her speaking and writing, Jan merges her own life’s lessons to inspire others. She and her husband live in Northern California. Contact her at [email protected]

Alice Collins and her husband, John, have been blessed and perplexed by four fine sons and one lovely daughter. The aggravation was worth it all, because now they have ten wonderful grandchildren to spoil! Alice, a professional speaker, writes two weekly columns filled with the sentiment and humor of family life.

Barbara Cornish, in her thirty-second year of teaching and marriage, has three boys and one girl, aged twenty-four down to fifteen. She has a love of music, language, nature, photography and dogs. She and her husband have chaperoned their children’s Chamber Singers’ performances in the major Italian, French and English cathedrals.

Christina Coruth is a writer. She is a contributing editor and a managing editor at Her passions include amateur astronomy and genealogy. She and her husband are lifelong residents of New Hampshire where they raised two children and now share in the joy of two grandchildren.

Brian Crane’s daily comic strip “Pickles” was syndicated in April 1990 and the Sunday version was launched the following year. In 1995 “Pickles” was nominated for “best comic strip of the year” by the National Cartoonists Society. It appears in over 300 newspapers around the world. Crane lives near Reno, Nevada, with his wife, Diana. He’s the proud father of seven and grandfather of one.

Cookie Curci was born in San Jose, California, and has lived there for fifty-nine years. Her grandparents came to San Jose from Italy at the turn of the century. Their family stories inspired her to write a “Remember When” column for her local newspaper, The Willow Glen Resident, which she has been writing for twelve years. Her family is close-knit, not only emotionally, but also geographically. She considers herself blessed to be living in a community so rich in family heritage.

Michael W. Curry married his high-school sweetheart, Nancy, and with their two daughters, they live on five acres among the foothills of the beautiful Cascades. He teaches Spanish, art, photography and driver’s education at a public high school in Washington State. He believes in the power of telling stories to reach and inspire his students. He was an extra in the Spielberg movie Always for about eight seconds. See more of his work at

Angela D’Valentine is a native Californian. She loves children, dogs and houseplants—and as she frequently tells her loving husband, Matthew, she might write more if she had a larger computer monitor, though he thinks all she needs is a trip to the optometrist.

Jackie Davis resides in Weatherford, Texas, with her husband. She is the mother of one, stepmother of two and stepgrandmother of two. She is a member of North Side Baptist Church where she serves as Coordinator of the Ladies Ministry, and writes and publishes the Ministry’s quarterly newsletter. Kati Dougherty-Carthum is a writer and stay-at-home mom. She lives with her husband and children in Washington State. She has been published in Jeopardy magazine, as well as two Sword and Sorceress anthologies edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Previously, she taught junior-high English and drama.

Joe Edwards is a retired jazz musician now living in Springfield, Missouri. His stories regularly appear on Heartwarmers, an online e-zine. He is currently producing a collection of short stories, Reflections, to be self-published in the spring.

Virginia (Ginny) Ellis is enjoying her retirement years by indulging in a newfound hobby, that of writing poetry, and she loves it. Being published on the Internet is a special treat, enabling her to make many new friends worldwide, and adding a genuine luster to the gold of her golden years. She invites you to visit her Web site, Poetry by Ginny, at

Adeline C. Erwin is a native of Topeka, Kansas. She received her early, formal education in its public schools and graduated from Washburn Municipal University with a Bachelor of Music degree. She is a retired schoolteacher, wife of a United Methodist minister, mother of three daughters, grandmother to seven children, and great-grandmother to two boys. Her hobbies include reading and writing poetry.

Barbara Jeanne Fisher resides in Fremont, Ohio. A prolific writer, she has published articles in numerous national magazines. Although fictional, her first novel, Stolen Moments, is based on her dealing with lupus in her own life. Her goal in writing is to use the feelings of her heart to touch the hearts of others. Contact her at [email protected]

Sally Franz is a corporate trainer, motivational speaker, author and radio talk-show host. She holds a degree in gerontology. In her early career she produced 150 TV shows focusing on how the elderly can stay active and young. Her grandmother was the inspiration for the TV series.

Susan Garcia-Nikolova, M.S., is an assistant principal at Eisenhower Elementary School in Clearwater, Florida. She is married to her husband, Emil, and is dedicated to both family and to inspiring children to be leaders with a tough heart and tender soul.

Nancy B. Gibbs is a pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother. She is also an author, weekly religion columnist and freelance writer. Her stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, Stories for the Heart, Honor Books, Guideposts Books, Chocolate for Women and Heartwarmer’s, Angels on Earth, Family Circle, Woman’s World, Decision, Happiness and Georgia Magazine. Nancy may be contacted at [email protected]

Jill Grubb-Travoss is the author of Almost a Lifetime, a complete work of poetry about “life passages.” She is looking for a publisher for this book and is now working on a book entitled Stolen Moments with My Mother. Jill resides outside Atlanta with her husband, James. Together they have three grown children and four grandchildren. Jill works as the Center Administrator of the Griffin Radiation Therapy Center in Griffin, Georgia, and is a cancer survivor herself.

Brad Henderson, considered to be one of the finest magicians performing in the United States, develops entertainment marketing concepts for corporate events, and presents motivational and informational seminars that feature his critically acclaimed sleight of hand magic and mind reading. Brad resides in Austin, Texas, and may be reached through

Barbara E. Hoffman is a public librarian, adjunct professor, editor, reviewer and contributing writer, public-relations professional, storyteller, author of children’s picture books, folk singer, musician, foster parent and, most importantly, Nana to Sara Rose, Gabriella Maria and Michael David. She currently resides in Brookhaven Hamlet, Long Island, New York.

Darcie Hossack works as a freelance writer in Canada’s beautiful British Columbia. Her grandparents, Jacob and Anna Friesen, were the most special influence of her childhood. Their lives, love and prairie farm of many cats will always live in memory. Darcie can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

Cathie Collier Hulen is a freelance writer/editor with experience in the fields of education, journalism, advertising and design. She believes that we must use every situation as a learning experience and share that knowledge to help others along the way. Her greatest lessons come from nurturing her large family.

Tinker E. Jacobs has scribbled stories since she first could print the alphabet, but she has only recently begun to submit her writings for publication. She is an adventure addict: Her passions include living, learning, loving, motion, traveling, spirituality, and family and friends. Tinker is her real name, a family name, and the last name of her grandparents about whom this story is written. Pamela Jenkins lives in Henryetta, Oklahoma, where she works as an office manager for Stanley, her veterinarian husband. Her stories have appeared in numerous inspirational publications and on the Internet. She is a member of the Church of Christ, and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

Brian G. Jett resides in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife Tanya and daughter, Olivia. Brian is the author of many short stories and poems, and has fomented over three hundred quotations. He enjoys inspirational speaking. Brian can be contacted at 859-264-1808 or by e-mail at [email protected] Bil Keane created “The Family Circus” in 1960 and gathered most of his ideas from his own family of wife Thel and their five children. Now read by an estimated 188 million people daily, nine granchildren provide much of the inspiration for the award-winning feature. Check out The Family Circus Web site at

Karren E. Key is fifty-two years of age and has a blended family of five children and thirteen beautiful grandchildren. Her husband Lacy’s job moves them all over the United States, so they rarely are able to live near any of their family. She is making her special memories of each of them even more special.

Roger Dean Kiser, Sr. is the author of the book Orphan: A True Story of Abandonment, Abuse and Redemption. He was raised in a Jacksonville, Florida, orphanage for most of his youth. He vowed to return one day and tell the horrors of what it is like for innocent little children to be incarcerated their entire childhood just because nobody wanted them. He now owns and operates The Sad Orphan Child Abuse Web site located at

June Cerza Kolf, after raising her family, spent twelve years doing hospice work and began her writing career. She has six published books relating to grief and terminal illness and is a frequent contributor to inspirational magazines. Her most recent book, Standing in the Shadow, is for suicide survivors.

Sharon Landeen, a retired elementary-school teacher, is the author and illustrator of two bilingual picture books, When You Get Really Mad and Really, Riley! She enjoys working with youth, was involved for twenty years with 4-H, and is back in the 4-H program with her grandsons. She’s a volunteer teacher in reading and art, but still finds time to be “grandmother superior.” She can be reached at 6990 E. Calle Arandas, Tucson, AZ 85750 or at [email protected]

Patricia Lorenz is the proud grandmother of Hailey, Hannah, Zachary, Casey and Riley. She’s also a full-time writer and speaker who has been published in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books (2nd Helping, 3rd Serving, 4th Course, 6th Bowl, Woman’s Soul, Single’s Soul, Unsinkable Soul, Christian Family Soul, and Writer’s Soul). For speaking engagements you may contact Patricia through Associated Speakers, Inc. at 800-437-7577 or e-mail her at [email protected]

Lea MacDonald, forty-five, is a retired Manager of Applications Development. He left corporate life to pursue his passion for writing. His warm and nostalgic stories visit the early halcyon days of twentieth-century life. Currently, Lea is completing a book of heartwarming true stories called A Simpler Place in Time.

Marnie O. Mamminga is a freelance writer and teacher in Batavia, Illinois. Her essays have been published in the Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Lake Superior Magazine and Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2. She has also been a speaker on essay writing at the University of Wisconsin’s Writers Institute and the Northern Illinois School Press Association. She received her bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She can be reached at [email protected]

Patricia S. Mays is a tremendous fan of the ordinary person and has a special ability to see humor in “life as usual” events. Born in a small town in Idaho, Patti is a member of a large family that loves to laugh. She has had previous stories published, including one in the “Life in These United States” section of Reader’s Digest. Patti, husband John and daughter Natalie live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Terri McPherson lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, with her husband, Ray. She is the mother of two adult children, and a grandmother to the one and only Caitlynd. As the editor and contributing writer of an online newsletter, she writes about the small human threads that connect us to one another. She can be reached at [email protected]

Walker Meade began to write stories at the age of fourteen. When he was twenty-two, one of his pieces was published in Colliers magazine. He then wrote short fiction for the Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping and Gentleman’s Quarterly, among others. He then turned to writing nonfiction for magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest and Redbook. Later he became the managing editor of Cosmopolitan and then the managing editor of Reader’s Digest Condensed Book Club. His last position in publishing was as president and editor-in-chief of Avon Books. Today he is retired and concentrating on writing longer fiction. Upstart Press published his first novel in August 2001. It has had exciting critical reception and is selling unusually well. The book, Unspeakable Acts, can be ordered from

Chris Mikalson is a fifty-two-year-old grandmother of three. By day she works as a bookkeeper for a car dealership. On nights and weekends she is a freelance writer and novice novelist. She and her soulmate/husband, Ivan, have been married thirty-four years and have two lovely daughters.

Wanda Mitchell is a wife, mother and grandmother residing in Alta Loma, California. She works as a librarian aide for Etiwanda Intermediate School. She is also a travel agent, specializing in cruises. Her passions include her family, reading, writing and seeing the world from a cruise ship. You may contact her at [email protected]

Arthur Montague became a part-time caregiver to his granddaughter, K. C. , in 1998, due to unexpected family circumstances. Nothing on Earth could have prepared him for the richness of this relationship despite having, earlier, raised four children to adulthood. In a very real sense, the stories he writes are K. C.’s heritage.

Doris Hays Northstrom is a nationally published author, inspirational speaker and creative-writing teacher, and acquires material from family, friends, forest, pets, solitude, books, biking and gardening. She has four children and five grandchildren, adding five more grandchildren to love since marrying Ron in December 1998. Write her at 1308 N. Cascade Ave., Tacoma, WA 98406 or call 253-759-9829.

Jay O’Callahan is a writer and a performance artist of international renown. He has performed his dramatic works at Lincoln Center, The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, at The Fine Arts Complex in London, and throughout the United States. For more information on his work and audio recordings call 800-626-5356, e-mail [email protected] or visit his Web site at

Linda Osmundson is a freelance writer, former teacher and art docent in four art museums—Phoenix, Utah, Denver and Seattle. She lives in Ft. Collins, Colorado, with her husband of thirty-six years. She enjoys crafts, golf, writing, reading and grandparenting. You may reach her at [email protected]

Alison Peters, after passing the half-century-on-this-planet mark, is happy to report that honesty and standing up to face one’s responsibilities are no less important now than then. She prays that her parents’ Christian example is passed down through each generation.

Kenneth L. Pierpont is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Fremont, Michigan. He is a writer, storyteller, poet, songwriter, singer, humorist, husband and father of eight children. He speaks at camps, conferences and retreats. He can be contacted at 231-924-3110 or at [email protected], Web address:

Patricia Pinney is a forty-one-year-old grandmother who continues to learn life lessons “from the mouths of babes.” She is working on a series of short stories and essays and hopes to someday enter the field of freelance writing. She can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected]

Kay Conner Pliszka, a retired high-school teacher, motivational speaker and author of humorous and inspirational stories. Her grandchildren bring love and laughter to her life, and compassion and joy to her writing. Kay may be reached at [email protected]

Michael T. Powers resides in Wisconsin and is the author of the new book Straight from the Heart: A Celebration of Life. For a sneak peek at his book or to join the thousands of readers on his daily inspirational e-mail list called “Straight from the Heart,” visit or e-mail [email protected]

Luise Putcamp, jr, writes under her maiden name, though she’s been married to Robert H. Johnson for fifty-four years. She got her first newspaper job at sixteen and has written for pay ever since. Her three books are: Sonnets for the Survivors, The Christmas Carol Miracle and The Night of the Child.

Carol McAdoo Rehme, a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul and other inspirational books, is a full-time storyteller, speaker and author. Her latest passion is a pilot program, “Silver Linings for Golden Agers.” It is the recipient of several grants and provides highly interactive, multisensory presentations at eldercare facilities. Contact her at [email protected] or

Laura Reilly grew up in the Bronx just down the block from her grandparents. Her grandparents had emigrated from Ireland and gave her a great sense of family pride, as well as pride in their new country. Even after Laura’s family moved to Long Island, the family remained close. Laura now lives in New Jersey and works in medical advertising.

Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife and mother of five, she shares many of her family’s antics in her writing. Her dream is retirement with her husband in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

The Rodeo Grandmas are a group of four women, Chloe Weidenbach, Peggy Minor Hunt, Janis Capezzoli Anderson and Lorraine Plass, who ride and rope and yodel and generally remind people that women can be tough and tender and that grandmas have no limits. The Rodeo Grandmas have written a cookbook, Good Lookin’ Cookin’, which is available on their Web site: A portion of the proceeds is dedicated to help support the hospice Friends of Kittitas Co.

Kris Hamm Ross is a wife, mother, writer and fifth-grade teacher living in Houston, Texas. Although she has had numerous articles published in educational magazines, her first love is memoir writing. The joy of collecting and preserving family memories on paper is a gift she hopes she has been able to pass on to her students and to her son.

Yulene A. Rushton lives in Utah. She is the mother of four, grandmother of eighteen and great-grandmother of five. She collects angels, believes in miracles, and loves gardening and music. Her greatest passion is writing short stories, articles, poetry and essays about life’s experiences. She’s been published in several magazines and newspapers, and loves journal writing. She can be reached at 4120 West 3100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84120.

Ann Russell teaches composition at Lansing Community College in snowy central Michigan. She has two sons and two stepsons, ranging in age from ten to twenty-seven. Her grandchildren—Hilary, Corey and Wesley Allen—help keep her life full of happiness and constant activity.

Harriet May Savitz is the author of twenty books. They include: Run, Don’t Walk, an ABC Afterschool Special produced by Henry Winkler, The Lionhearted, and On the Move, reissued by Also available is Growing Up at 62: A Celebration, a book of essays. She can be reached at 732-775-5628.

Hope Saxton is an author from Ontario, Canada. Her work has appeared in A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul and Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul. Hope and her family were featured in a “Remembering Your Spirit” segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her motivational speaking has taken her to schools and churches, where she speaks out on Child Abuse Prevention and School Violence. Contact Hope at [email protected]

Michael Jordan Segal is a social worker at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, an author, and an inspirational/motivational speaker. His “miraculous comeback” story has been featured on national television and magazines. Mike’s story, “My Miraculous Family,” was published in Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul. He is available for public-speaking engagements and can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

Sidney B. Simon is internationally known for his pioneering work in Values Clarification. Now retired as Professor Emeritus in Psychological Education from the University of Massachusetts, Sid still does dozens of workshops and keynote speeches around the world. He is working on a book that tells the stories of people aging gracefully, and sometimes not so gracefully, in a typical Florida condominium. You can reach him at 9471 Peaceful Drive, Sanibel, FL 33957.

Connie Spittler conducts workshops across the country, teaches at the University of Arizona Writing Works Center, and is working on her book Writing the Wise Woman Within. Also a writer/producer, you’ll find her Wise Woman Video Series in the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Harvard University.

Debby Stoner lives happily in the Sunshine State with her husband and pets. Her two wonderful grown sons live close by. She spends her days taking care of Quinton, who at the age of eight months, has given new meaning to the words ‘perfect love.’

Katharine St. Vincent has led a serendipitous life as the daughter of a naval officer, the wife of a psychologist, the mother of two sons, a teacher (of kindergarten, high school and college), a linguist and a life-long learner, having recently earned her third master’s degree. Writing is one of her passions.

Scot Thurman is currently an assistant director with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1992 and from Ouachita Baptist University in 1997. His love lies in helping people grow closer to Jesus Christ.

Sue Vitou is an award-winning writer living in Medina, Ohio, with her four children. She has over three hundred published articles, and her work has appeared in The Plain Dealer, The Universe Bulletin, Cleveland Woman Working and The Medina County Gazette. She is currently working on her first novel, Fresh Eyes.

Joseph Walker began his career as a staff writer for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, eventually becoming that newspaper’s television and live theater critic. Since 1990 he has written a weekly newspaper column, ValueSpeak, published in more than two hundred newspapers. His published books include How Can You Mend a Broken Spleen? Home Remedies for an Ailing World for Deseret Books, and The Mission: Inside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for Warner Books. Joseph and his wife, Anita, are the parents of five children. They reside in American Fork, Utah.

Dr. Selma Wassermann is Professor Emerita at Simon Fraser University. A widely published writer, she is author of the popular The Long Distance Grandmother (Hartley & Marks). Married for fifty years to her best friend, Jack, her two grandsons, now young men, continue to hold their hands around her heart.

Colleen Madonna Flood Williams lives in Homer, Alaska, with husband Paul, son Dillon, and Bouvier des Flandres Kosmos Kramer. She has written six children’s nonfiction books, including The People of Mexico and Native American Clothing. Contact her at [email protected] or P.O. Box 3492, Homer, AK 99603.

Lynne Zielinski is “Nana” to thirteen grandkids in Huntsville, Alabama, and believes all children are a gift from God. Thrilled when a teenager seeks her advice, Lynne is astounded when they heed it. She writes inspirational stories, short fiction and enjoys freelance work. E-mail her at [email protected]

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