Driftwood Lane by Denise Hunter

Meridith Ward is likeable even when she’s in turmoil. She has her hands full of life-changing decisions, but she does her best to be there for the children who are more like strangers to her.

Enjoyable Jake Walker has his eye on her – as much as possible. But not for the reason most men would. He wants to find out if Meridith is a wacko. He has to find evidence that she isn’t fit to be the guardian of his sister’s kids.

The more Jake watches Meridith care for the kids, the more he’s convinced that she’s good for them. But that causes new problems.

One of my favorite authors, Denise Hunter has given her fans another fun beach book. I have enjoyed all of her Nantucket Love Stories. The characters hold back from each other, allowing the reader to squirm and enjoy the tension. The children in this book feel real, not stereotypical. I can’t wait to read Hunter’s next novel.

Love Each Other

Summer is hot! Since the heat sometimes makes us a little cranky, it’s so easy to become selfish during the summer months. I wanna go to the beach. I want ice cream. I’m gonna watch TV all day.

As a parent, I try to raise my kids to love each other. I want to know that they’ll grow up enjoying each other, not trying to get each other back for something one has done to the other. Unforgiveness can be overcome with love. Neighborhood unrest can be overcome with love. Crankiness can be overcome with love.

At Seek God With Me today, I’m showing off a powerful weapon. With practice, anyone can use this weapon against hate and unforgiveness. Join me at Seek God With Me.

West Side Story, 1961

Two opposing gangs fight over who owns which part of the neighborhood. However, just like in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, there are two who fight to belong to each other. The escalating fights bring deaths to both sides.

West Side Story was directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise who shared the Best Director Oscar. This movie won ten Oscars: Best actor in a supporting role: George Chakiris; Best Actress in a supporting role: Rita Moreno; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color; Best Cinematography, Color; Best Costume Design, Color; Best Director; Best Film Editing; Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture; Best Picture; and Best Sound.

Natalie Wood played Maria, the beautiful heroine who was in love with the wrong man. Tony was played by Richard Beymer. The two of them made the movie so much more than a dance fight. Russ Tamblyn played Riff. He was in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 1954. He’s a recognizable face in dance movies.

The fabulous Rita Moreno played Anita. She was in Singing in the Rain in 1952 and The King and I in 1956. She was also memorable in her many roles during 780 episodes of The Electric Company in the 1970s.

George Chakiris played Bernardo. This was his first major role in a film. Until this movie in 1961, he’d been a very popular, yet uncredited, dancer. In 1954, he was a dancer in Brigadoon (with Gene Kelly), There’s No Business Like Show Business (with Ethel Merman and Donald O’Connor), The Country Girl (with Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby) and White Christmas (with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye).

The Unforgiven, 1960

Burt Lancaster plays a caring brother in a family who defends the adopted sister who is looked down upon by neighbors because of her skin color and possible racial difference.

Audrey Hepburn suffered a miscarriage a few months after being thrown from a horse while filming this movie. In some scenes, director John Huston used a double for Hepburn since she was in the hospital for six weeks.

Veteran actress Lillian Gish, who played the mother of the Zachary family, was able to shoot quite well before filming began. That may be a factor in her appearing so comfortable around guns.

Audie Murphy had already starred in a movie directed by John Huston and had written his autobiography and had starred in a box-office record-breaking film To Hell and Back which was the film version of his autobiography. His movie held that record for twenty years.

Murphy’s acting career came after he was announced as the most-decorated WWII combat soldier. Murphy was turned down by Navy, Marines & Paratroopers when he applied for service. He was thought of as unfit for combat as a new private. But according to Arlington National Cemetery records, traffic to Murphy’s grave is second only to President John Kennedy.


My husband and I celebrated a milestone anniversary this year. He and I have a lot of years invested in our relationship. We met when I was in seventh grade. We became friends in our church youth group and did a lot together in our large group.

I like reading books and seeing movies where friends turn to each other and fall in love. I have a long list of favorite movies, but two on the list are Gigi and Sabrina (with Harrison Ford). In these two movies, the hero has been around the heroine long enough to know her really well. Over time, their relationship changes, and he realizes that she’s the only one who could make him happy.

Since I’ve experienced a relationship like that, I want to encourage all couples to be friends first. I know how stabilizing that kind of a relationship is. A friendship is even important to God.

On today’s Seek God With Me devotional blog post, I’m discovering how important friendship is to God. Join me and see how Jesus spoke to his disciples about it.

In High Places by Tom Morrissey

This is the story of a father and son who need each other, love each other, but are not always there for each other. Escaping their past together brings them a new future.

Patrick Nolan and his father, Kevin, have enjoyed climbing together because it’s challenging. But life itself is challenging.

While he’s still young, Patrick’s mother leaves him with questions he can’t answer. When he has an opportunity to ask his questions to the right people, he’s satisfied with the answers. But he must try to convince his father, who is a stubborn doubter. Kevin wants answers too, but would rather climb to deal with his inner turmoil.

I loved the boy’s view of a budding romance when he meets Rachel. His perspective is refreshingly honest and still pure. The way Rachel tries to help Patrick made me see them as real kids. I believed the friendship.

Tom Morrisey’s novels make me think about why a character would do what they’re doing. He never makes me notice his writing, just his characters. Even though I probably will never climb the way Patrick and Kevin did, I enjoyed the technical jargon of the climbing world. It wasn’t so over-my-head that I felt left out of the story. Patrick’s rescue moment even kept me glued to the characters, not the rock.


Enjoy today's festivities. Celebrate!

Be safe.

Today, as you sing patriotic songs and watch fireworks, don't forget to tell someone you love them.

Gigi, 1958

Leslie Caron is an energetic and delightful Gigi, whose friendship with rich playboy Gaston, played by handsome Louis Jordan, develops over years of youthful frivolity. But the friendship is in jeopardy as the young girl turns into a young woman.

Gaston wins over Gigi with a heartfelt and sincere love. This is the kind of movie you watch with a bowl of popcorn and a sigh. It's a beautiful movie with a touch of humor and a lot of songs.

The way Gaston falls in love with Gigi is like someone growing up in the church knowing who God is, but not feeling in awe of God. It doesn’t feel like he needs or wants her, but keeps coming back to her. Then when he sees her like he’s never seen her before, everything changes.

Gigi won nine Oscars. Among them were Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, and Best Costume Design. Along with three Golden Globe wins, it also won the Writers Guild of America award for Best Written American Musical. It even won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack Album, Dramatic Picture Score or Original Cast.

In addition to showing off great costumes, this movie, directed by Vincente Minnelli, capitalizes on the romance in the story. One of my favorite songs in the movie is the duet with Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold. Do you remember it well too?

Maurice Chevalier plays Gaston's uncle and sings the movie's most famous song, a showstopper, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls". He's a charmer.