From Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul


George Abbott, a retired postal worker, has been drawing cartoons for over twelve years. He has lived in Miami all his life and is married. His wife, Marianne, helps prepare cartoons for mailing and offers advice and encouragement. George has sold cartoons to many publications, including the Wall Street Journal, The National Enquirer and The Saturday Evening Post.

Susan Ager is a lifestyle columnist for the Detroit Free Press who writes about the choices people make. She has been married for thirteen years to the same man and has watched many friends and family members as they struggle to couple and uncouple. She can be reached at 600 W. Fort, Detroit, MI 48266 or by e-mail at [email protected]

“Keep smiling” is Laura Jeanne Allen’s motto. A journalism student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Laura resides in Rochester, New York. “Shmily” is dedicated to her late grandmother, Alice McAndrews, and to all those whose stories go untold. A special thanks to her “numbers one and two fans” and the special guy with whom she shares a couple’s soul. Laura may be reached at [email protected].

Joan Wester Anderson is a bestselling author who is recognized around the world as an authority on angelic and miraculous intervention in everyday life. Over 2 million copies of her books have been sold. She can be reached at P.O. Box 1694, Arlington Heights, IL 60006.

Barbara Lazear Ascher is the author of four books: Playing After Dark, The Habit of Loving, Landscape Without Gravity and, most recently, Dancing in the Dark: Romance, Yearning and the Search for Sublime. She is a contributing editor to Self and a frequent contributor to The New York Times.

Karen Corkern Babb lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with her husband, Barry, and her five-year-old redhead, Collin Gabriel. She is the executive director of the Louisiana Association of Museums. Karen holds a bachelor of arts in art history fromLouisiana State University and master of arts in museum science, with a concentration in administration, from Texas Tech University. She has held various museum positions during her career, but her most recent was at the West Baton Rouge Museum as its first professional director. The last five years have been eventful ones and have provided many learning experiences as her family has battled her husband’s cancer. Their fight has been successful, and the story of her father’s illness and her parents’ last good-bye always reminds her to be grateful that their own last farewell was not yet meant to be.

Maggie Bedrosian is a business owner and executive coach, specializing in helping people produce focused results with natural ease. She is the author of three books including Life Is More Than Your To-Do List: Blending Business Success with Personal Satisfaction. Maggie is past president of the American Society for Training and Development, Washington, D.C., chapter, and also chaired the Writing/Publishing Group of the National Speakers Association. You can contact Maggie by calling 301-460-3408.

Carole Bellacera’s work has appeared in magazines and newspapers such as Woman’s World, Endless Vacation and The Washington Post. Her first novel, Border Crossings, will be available in hardcover by Forge Books in May 1999.

Thelda Bevens is a seventy-year-old retired high school English teacher living in Bend, Oregon. She is the mother of two sons and grandmother of seven. She lost her husband, Darwin, to cancer in 1993 after forty-seven years of marriage.

Thelda wrote her way through her grief from memory to memory. After several years of grief and healing, Thelda is grateful and happy to be starting life anew with her husband, Wayne Wiggins.

Don Buehner is in business for himself and resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, Susan and their six-month-old son, Teancum. Don has an MBA from BYU. This story is dedicated to his daughter, Cesca Alice, 1994-1997. Don can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or 2584 N. SR 32, Marion, UT 84036, phone: 435-783-6734 or fax: 435-783-6736.

Katharine Byrne is the widow of a Chicago school superintendent, a mother of five and a grandmother of nine. She has authored more than fifty essays that have been published in newspapers and magazines. She is currently a legal assistant to one of her daughters.

Diana Chapman has been a journalist for fourteen years, having worked at the San Diego Union, the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers and the Los Angeles Times. She specializes in human-interest stories and is currently working on a book involving health issues, since she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1992. She has been married for nine years and has one son, Herbert “Ryan” Hart. She can be reached at P.O. Box 414, San Pedro, CA 90733 or by calling 310-548-1192.

Shari Cohen is a published author of eleven books for children and young adults, and also writes about family life. Her articles appear in many women’s magazines and newspapers nationwide. Shari was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul. She lives in Woodland Hills, California, with her husband, Paul, and their three teenagers, Barry, Adam and Stephanie. She can be reached at P.O. Box 6593, Woodland Hills, CA 91365.

Ann W. Compton is an accountant with Pulliam Investment Company, Inc. After the death of her husband, she enrolled in college, where she took some writing classes and co-edited the campus newspaper. Subsequently, she began contributing to a local Hospice newsletter and wrote “The Waiting” to show the importance of ministering to caregivers as well as to patients. She may be contacted at 116 Compton Dr., Wellford, SC 29385 or call 864-439-8305.

Thomas F. Crum’s story was excerpted from The Magic of Conflict (Simon & Schuster). Crum offers training in conflict resolution as well as experiences in “The Magic of Skiing” in Aspen and “The Magic of Golf” in Tucson. Tom’s second book Journey to Center (Simon & Schuster) offers humorous and insightful stories about getting centered. For more information you may reach Tom at Aiki Works, Inc., Box 251, Victor, NY 14564 or at

Karen Culver is the author of several romance novels. She credits her parents for her ability to write about loving, committed relationships. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

Maxine M. Davis was born in Salem, Oregon. She graduated from Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in 1953 and was operating room manager at Blue Mountain Hospital from 1953 to 1954. Maxine married Harold in 1954 and had two children, Jacqueline and Julie. She stayed at home for ten years with the children and returned to nursing in 1965. She worked in the operating room at Southern Oregon Medical Center, retiring as Director of surgical services in June 1994. Maxine has been a part of the following organizations: Association of Operating Room Nurses, Coalition for Kids, Citizens Review Board, Rotary International and Northwest Medical Teams. She has five grandchildren.

T. Suzanne Eller is the mother of Leslie, Ryan and Melissa, all now teenagers. She and Richard celebrated their nineteenth anniversary this past year. She is a seven-year breast cancer survivor, having pursued her dreams of freelance writing, with acceptance and publication in several magazines and periodicals.

Benita Epstein’s freelance cartoons appear in hundreds of publications such as Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and The Saturday Evening Post. You can reach her at (fax) 760-634-3705, (e-mail) [email protected] or through her Web site:

Bonnie Furman is a professional businesswoman who has been an insurance manager and the owner of a pet-sitting business. Currently she is an employment consultant. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and enjoys hiking, bicycling and gardening.Her passion for nature and animals helps her stay connected to what is really important in life. Bonnie may be reached at 2446 1st Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98119 or by e-mail her at [email protected]

Randy Glasbergen has had more than 25,000 of his cartoons published in magazines, books and greeting cards around the world. He also creates The Better Half which is syndicated to newspapers by King Feature Syndicate. You can find more of Randy’s cartoons online at

Ken Grote is a forty-eight year-old native Floridian who has been married to his wife, Joan for twenty-nine years. They have two grown children. He has always enjoyed writing and talking to people and considers that a good thing since many people who he first meets seem to find him easy to talk to. Ken has heard people’s stories from their first day at school to failed suicide attempts and says that if he had a dollar for every time he heard someone say “I can’t believe I am telling you all of this,” he could retire . . . but he wouldn’t. Ken enjoys hearing and writing about their stories.

Nick Harrison is a writer and editor living in Eureka, California, with his wife, Beverly. His books include Promises to Keep: Daily Devotions for Men Seeking Integrity and 365 WWJD? Daily Answers to “What Would Jesus Do?” The Harrison refrigerator contains both Best Foods Mayonnaise and Kraft Miracle Whip.

Justin R. Haskin is a twenty-year-old junior at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, who plays baseball,writes for the school paper and plans to attend law school. He also intends to author a book in the future and is a firm believer in the power of the human spirit and the will of the determined. He would like to express his unconditional love for his mother, “the strongest person I ever met” and would like to thank those special people who have shaped his life. And to his father: “I miss you.” He can be reached at 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105.

Thom Hunter is a family-issues oriented author, speaker and freelance writer, bringing humor to reality. His books include Those Not-So-Still Small Voices and Like Father, Like Sons . . . and Daughters, Too. Thom and Lisa have five children: Zach, Russell, Donovan, Patrick and Lauren. They live in Norman, Oklahoma. Contact Thom at: 405-329-6773 or by fax: 405-278-4628 or e-mail at: [email protected].

Bil Keane created The Family Circus in 1960. It now appears in over 1,500 newspapers and is read by 100 million people daily. A new all-color hardcover book The Family Circus—By Request is available from Gayle Keane, 4093 Jefferson St., Napa, CA 94558.

Patsy Keech continues to find new joys in life being Connor’s mother. She is a motivational speaker, creative teacher and lover of life. Since the death of Derian, Patsy and her husband, Robb, have founded the Spare Key Foundation, which offers support to parents of critically ill children. Working together helping other families has transformed the isolation of grief and wrapped Patsy and Robb together in a passion of purpose. You can find out more about Spare Key at “Derian’s Gift of Love” is an excerpt from Patsy’s forthcoming book, Mothering an Angel. Patsy can be reached at P.O. Box 612, S. St. Paul, MN55075, phone: 612-451-2487, or e-mail: [email protected]

Lilian Kew is a financial anlayst with an MBA in international finance. She also coaches at human development seminars and is involved in local charitable activities because she believes in giving back to the community.

Laura Lagana, R.N., O.N.C., is an orthopaedic certified registered nurse, author, professional speaker and consultant. She is a member of the National Speakers Association, Liberty Bell Speakers Association, American Nurses Association, Pennsylvania State Nurses Association and the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses. Laura works with people who want to feel better and organizations that want exceptional employees. She may be reached at Success Solutions, P.O. Box 7816, Wilmington, DE 19810 or by calling 302-475-4825. Her e-mail address is [email protected]; her Web site address is:

Lorraine Lengkeek grew up on a farm in South Dakota and moved to Michigan when she married. She has five children, fifteen grandchildren and one great grandchild and one on the way. Lorraine was a stay-at-home-mom and then she was the babysitter for all of her fifteen grandchildren who kept her very busy.

Jacklyn Lee Lindstrom is from the friendly town of Savage, Minnesota, and recently retired from the workforce rat race. She has at last been able to concentrate on her two loves—writing and painting. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul and First for Women. She enjoys writing about the lighter side of family living because, as she says, after raising kids, horses and dogs, smiles last longer than tears and make better wrinkles. She can be contacted at 13533 Lynn Ave. S, Savage, MN 55378 or by calling 612-890-9333.

Ray L. Lundy is a minister, poet and inspirational speaker who writes magazine articles and a weekly column for a local newspaper. He has also written an inspirational book titled Special Heroes. Ray may be reached at P.O. Box 217, Fair Bluff, NC 28439 or by calling 910-649-7178.

David A. Manzi is an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is married to Patricia Mary Manzi who is the human resources director for Mecklenburg County EMS. His daughter, Marisa Lyn Manzi is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Alabama. David may be reached at 1216 Greylyn Dr., Weddington, NC 28104 or by calling 704-814-4929.

Jann Mitchell is a columnist and feature writer for The Oregonian newspaper in Portland. She writes the columns “Relating,” “Living Simply” and “Popping the Question.” She is also the author of the Sweet Simplicity series (Beyond Words Publishing), which includes Love Sweeter Love: Creating Relationships of Simplicity and Spirit and Home Sweeter Home: Creating a Haven of Simplicity and Spirit. She is a popular lecturer known for her humor and insights; her most popular workshop is Simplifying Your Life. You may reach Jann at 503-221-8516.

Cynthia C. Muchnick pursued her undergraduate degree at Stanford University where she met her present husband Adam. One spring break she and Adam were on vacation in Paris when Adam popped the fateful question that sparked Cindy’s interest in collecting marriage proposal stories and writing Will You Marry Me? The World’s Most Romantic Proposals followed by 101 Ways to Pop the Question. She is an engagement expert and coach who works as a columnist and spokesperson for Honeymoon magazine. Her most recent book, The Best College Admission Essays, is a how-to book for high-school students going through the college admissions process. To contact her about her books or to schedule a speaking engagement, e-mail her at: [email protected] or call 949-644-4135.

Marguerite Murer is a professional speaker, educator and the executive assistant to the president of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. Combining her educational background with her unique baseball experiences, Marguerite inspires and energizes her audiences to step up to the plate and hit a home run. Marguerite can be reached at 5515 Ridgetown Cir., Dallas, TX 75230, phone: 972-233-5238, or e-mail: [email protected]

Patrick O’Neill wrote a weekly humor column for The Oregonian of Portland, Oregon. His column appeared in Reader’s Digest as well as other newspapers in the Newhouse chain. O’Neill lives happily with his wife, Kathleen, and two children in Portland, where he writes about medical issues for The Oregonian. Reach him by e-mail at [email protected]

Margie Parker has lived in Florida for over forty years—without mildewing— which surely must be a record. She has three adult children, all of whom are wonderful, witty and working. The Parker household presently consists of the author, one cranky cat, one laid-back black Lab, numerous ever-pregnant guppies and husband, Jim, for whom “Love Unspoken” was written.

Daphna Renan is currently at Yale College. She moved six times before she entered sixth grade, and it was during these early years that she learned the significance of deep and enduring friendships. Daphna would like to thank those who have filled her life with love, laughter and learning.

Goddard Sherman, Ph.D., is a retired United Methodist minister with a longtime hobby of cartooning. His work has appeared in many major magazines. He was a pastor in Florida for over thirty years and taught history of world religions for seventeen years in community colleges and the University of South Florida, Tampa.

Joanna Slan is an uplifting and motivational professional speaker whose works appear in four other Chicken Soup for the Soul books. A masterful storyteller, Slan celebrates the sacredness of the ordinary. She is the author of Using Stories and Humor: Grab Your Audience and I’m Too Blessed to be Depressed. For a catalog or to schedule Joanna to talk to your group, call 888-BLESSED (253-7733) or e-mail her at [email protected]

Bryan Smith is a reporter with the Chicago Sun-Times and a frequent contributor to Reader’s Digest magazine. A 1989 graduate of the University of Maryland, Mr. Smith has been honored with numerous writing awards, including feature-writing honors from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the Amy Foundation, the Virginia Press Association and the Oregon Newspaper Press Association. The Sun-Times has nominated his work for the Pulitzer Prize.

Roxanne Willems Snopek lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Her life revolves around three fabulous homeschooled daughters, her veterinarian-husband, three cats, two cockatiels and a greyhound. She teaches veterinary assistant students, writes whenever she can and loves a good love story! Email Roxanne at [email protected]

Florence Jane Soman was born in South Carolina and has lived many years in New York. She began her writing career with pieces in The New Yorker. She went on to writing fiction and has published short stories in major American and Britishmagazines. Her work has been translated into eight languages.Her novels have appeared in England, Italy, Holland and Germany as well as the United States: Love Is a Lonely Thing (Random House), A Break in the Weather (Putnam), Picture of Success (Bobbs-Merrill) and Gloria Barney (Avon).

Elizabeth Songster has co-owned a business with her brother for eighteen years. Allied Micro-Graphics is a service bureau for document imaging and information management. She attended the University of New Hampshire and has been certified to teach parenting classes. Her husband, Daniel, his son, Chris, and her three sons, Clint, Richard and Jeb, may have had her outnumbered, but she was still “the boss.” Elizabeth has been writing since high school and has written a series of children’s books. She is currently working on a cookbook of her family’s Greek recipes with her sister. Her husband’s experience in the canyon, “Engraved in His Heart,” was an incredible example of a selfless, loving act for all her sons as well as a romantic one. Reach the Songsters at 23522 Cavanaugh Rd., Lake Forest, CA 92630 or call 949-768-0783.

Barbara D. Starkey is sixty-two years old, widowed, the mother of two daughters and two sons, and grandmother to seven grandchildren. She is the general manager of the Union County Advocate in Morganfield, Kentucky. Her hobbies include cake decorating, writing, crafts, sewing and grandchildren. In the past, Barbara has owned day care centers as well as a bakery; she is also an ex–real estate broker/auctioneer/insurance broker.

LeAnn Thieman is an author and nationally acclaimed speaker. A member of the National Speakers Association, LeAnn inspires audiences to truly live their priorities and balance their lives physically, mentally, and spiritually while making a difference in the world. She coauthored This Must Be My Brother, a book recounting her role in the daring rescue of three hundred babies during the Vietnam Orphan Airlift. To inquire about her books, tapes and presentations, contact her at 112 N. College, Fort Collins, CO 80524, phone: 800-877-THIEMAN, online:

Kim Lonette Trabucco and her family reside in Maine. Best known as “Ms. Kim,” she can usually be found volunteering in classrooms or writing children’s books. She is currently looking for that “big break” most new writers seek. Please feel free to write her at P.O. Box 260, Portland, ME 04114.

Dorothy Walker was born in Dover, New Hampshire. She married Harold Bean Walker and celebrated fifty-two years of wedlock. They were blessed with nine children and Dorothy was blessed with two great stepsons, David and Burton Walker. Her children are Pam, Harold Jr., Judy, John, Kerry, Steve, Richard, Syrene and Doretta. Dorothy raised her granddaughter Sally as her daughter Pam was killed in a car accident. Dorothy lives on Social Security, and when friends and family wonder how she can exist on her weekly checks, she smiles and reminds themthatwhen shewasmarried, they lived quite well on thirty-five dollars per week!

David L. Weatherford, Ph.D., is a child psychologist and freelance writer. He writes poems, songs and essays about love, relationships, overcoming adversity and spiritual matters. He is currently working on his second book, in which he examines the role of suffering in life. While David draws on many sources for his varied writings, his romantic poems are inspired by his best friend and soul mate, Laura. You may reach David at 1658 Doubletree Ln., Nashville, TN 37217.

Bob Welch is features editor of The Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene, Oregon and author of A Father for All Seasons (Harvest House, $14.99). He has been published in Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated and Focus on the Family. Bob may be reached at 409 Sunshine Acres Dr., Eugene, OR 97401 or e-mail him at [email protected].

Jeannie S. Williams is a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup books. She is an inspirational writer, motivational speaker and a professional magician. She conducts dynamic staff development, parenting and student presentations using her “magic” as a teaching tool. Jeannie is president and founder of the “Unlock the Magic” creative writing workshops and has been entertaining audiences for years with her own special blend of creativity and humor. She shares the magic of working with children in her newest book, What Time Is Recess? Her three granddaughters, Tate, Kalli and Jayci fill her life with magic every day. Jeannie can be reached at P.O. Box 1476, Sikeston, MO 63801.

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