Category: Fairy Tales

Celebrating 68 Years of Marriage

Last week, my parents celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. 

Sixty-eight years.

My mind struggles to wrap around that many years of wedding bliss.

My dad, always something of a character, informed me the day before their anniversary he’d been married to Mom for 24,820 days and counting. 

I laughed, but the enormity of spending nearly 25,000 days married to your high school sweetheart still boggles my mind.

Russ GraduationMy parents met their senior year of high school. 

Dad’s family had just moved to the area and he only knew the closest neighbor’s kids when school started that fall. He’s always been friendly and outgoing, never had any trouble making friends and fitting in. In no time at all, he was involved in sports, playing in the band, participating in Future Farmer of America activities, and watching a certain dark-haired girl who’d caught his eye.

Dollie GraduationMom was shy and quiet, had a few good friends, and didn’t participate in many extra-curricular activities, mostly because my grandparents’ farm was quite a distance from town and she had no way to get home if she stayed late after school. 

Right away, she noticed the new, cute boy at school, the one many of the other girls were buzzing about. However, they ran in different social circles and it wasn’t until spring when Dad finally asked her out on a date to the movies. 

By the time they graduated, they were an “item.” Dad was gone for a while, serving in the Naval Reserves, but the following summer, they made plans to wed in early August. 

The dimple-cheeked girl with stars in her eyes rushed through her swing shift at the telephone office then raced out to the farm where a handsome boy who had captured her heart waited to make her his bride.

 

She didn’t have a fancy, elaborate gown. They both wore gray suits.

Their flowers were gladiolas, pink and white.

And they said “I do” in the minutes before the clock struck midnight due to her working late.

Not the stuff of fairy tales, right?

But the lasting power of their love — 68 years — includes a little fairy tale, happily-ever-after sprinkled in the mix. 

Growing up, I watched some of my classmates go through the trials and tribulations of having their parents divorce. By then, my folks were middle-aged and settled into life and into each other. I never once worried about them separating. They were then and still remain a united front.

I don’t think either of them ever once considered leaving each other as an option. They were just eighteen and nineteen when they wed, but they made a commitment for a lifetime.

And I’m so glad they did.

If you want to know about true love and real romance, ask a couple who’s been married for more than six decades. I bet they’ll give you some good tips and probably a generous helping of humor.

M & D at park young

Life wasn’t always easy for them. Far from it.

They had plenty of rough patches to work through, but they remained committed to each other and the vows they made.

Their little family grew from the two of them to three with the arrival of a bouncing baby boy.

It expanded to four with the birth of another boy.

And then my sister came along making them a happy group of five.

I’ve heard stories of the adventures they all had, the many, many times they moved before my parents bought a farm in Eastern Oregon and set down roots that kept them there for more than fifty years.

four kids

Evidently, after twenty years of marriage, they still liked each other, because they had me. (Both of my brothers look like they’re waiting for me to do something awful.)

And the family continued to grow with the arrival of grandbabies… then great-grandbabies. 

For  68 years, Mom and Dad have been there for each other — through fights and fears, laughter and tears, celebrations and sorrows. 

If you ask them individually, they’ll both tell you the secret to a happy marriage is listening to your partner and not always trying to be right, even when you know you are.

If you ask me, though, I’d say a big part of their longevity and happiness comes from these things:

russ with dog and heart watch

*My dad’s great sense of humor and the fact that he absolutely adores my mom. He always has and, after 68 years of marriage, I think it’s safe to say he always will.

Dollie attitude

*My mom’s loyalty and devotion to my dad and her ability to be a perfect balance to him.

mom and dad

I, for one, am so glad they  fell in love and have remained in love all these many years. 

If you could give a newly-married couple a tidbit of advice, what would you share?

WAR CLOUD’S PASSION/Goldie Locks & the Three Bears

Howdy!

And welcome to another beautiful Tuesday.  I say beautiful because where I am, we have  powder blue sky and some fluffy clouds — a gorgeous day.  Oh, by the way, the give-away book today is the mass market version (print copy) of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION.

Okay, okay.  You might be wondering what a serious book (and this book encompasses a rather serious topic) — and Goldie Locks & the Three Bears might have in common?  Well, I’ll attempt to answer that in this blog.

Don’t know if I’ve ever told this story in detail — it’s kinda the “story behind the story,” but…only kinda.  Off to the right here is the Kindle version of War Cloud’s Passion.  It is the newest book up on KindleUnlimited if you are a member of KU.

It’s not often that I read my own books.  I don’t like to, mostly because I’m so critical of my own work.  But because my husband and I had just uploaded this book to KindleUnlimited, I read a page or two and found…a typo.  Probably it was a typo from the conversion of the mass market version of the book to Kindle.  But because of that typo, I decided to read the book through again — just in case.

War Cloud’s Passion is a story about War Cloud, an “outlaw” Cheyenne War Chief, who after attacking a train in order to free his younger brother, finds himself saddled with several orphans and Anna, the heroine of the story.

In writing this book, my brother-in-law had an idea.  Now, my brother-in-law, Bob, was quite a character, and he loved to laugh.  So one night as I sat around the living room talking about the story line of the newest book I was writing, he had a suggestion:  Why not insert a line or two about Goldie Locks and the Three Bears?  He thought the idea would be hilarious — given the more serious topic of the book.  I mean after all, the heroine’s hair color was a kind of golden blond.

Well, I thought about it and thought about it, and because he’d made me laugh and see the humor in it, I found a place in the book where I could make mention of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears.

My editor didn’t quite like the mention of three bears, but I convinced her to keep the line in, anyway (not telling her why).  For a while I ran contests to see if anyone could find the reference, and a few people did.  But then, life went on and I sort of forgot about it.

But as I was reading this book the other night, there it was — subtle, but there it was.

It made my husband and I smile, because Bob was a very dear part of our family.  It was an uplifting moment.  Here’s a link to some pictures of Bob and my husband, Paul and me.  http://novels-by-karenkay.com/toursphotos/2008-tour-pictures-dedicated-to-robert-bailey/2008-tour-pictures-dedicated-to-robert-bailey-part-iii/

And so I’m giving away a free copy of the mass market edition of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION.  A word to the winner:  the sentence (and it’s only one sentence, I believe) is toward the end of the book — not the very end, but about 3/4’s-7/8’s of the way through.  Look for it there.  I’ll leave you with some more pictures of Bob, my mother-in-law, Paul and me.

Updated: July 11, 2017 — 1:16 pm

Snow White and A Kiss To Remember ~Tanya Hanson

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(Please leave a comment today for a chance to win our boxed set A Kiss To Remember.)

Today or tomorrow, or some day really, really soon, will be a magical day for Hubs and me. Our first granddaughter and already spoiled princess is due to be born any second.  

So what does Snow White have to do with anything? Well, this is the picture that started it all.

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Our daughter has been a Snow White freak since she was little. This Disneyland poster hung in her childhood room and went to college with her, and now has the place of honor in Her Royal Highness’s nursery. Honestly, that rearview looks exactly like our daughter did way back when.

Enter the heirloom mirror inherited from HRH’s great-grandma. And a nursery theme was born.

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Sleep tight, sweet princess!

Sleep tight, sweet princess!

The red Ikea chair is from the other great-gramma..the yellow toy chest from Gramma and Grampa..apple footstool...

The red Ikea chair is from the other great-gramma..the yellow toy chest from Gramma and Grampa..apple footstool…

 And also the coolest theme baby shower ever, thanks to our daughter’s beloved sorority sister Danielle!)

Shower invitation!

Shower invitation!

Wishing Well water...(there was also a blueberry one)

Wishing Well water…(there was also a blueberry one)

Danielle's beautiful wedding china (she got married last Christmas) with teensie Magic Mirror napking rings and medieval-themed charters...absolute perfection!)

Danielle’s beautiful wedding china (she got married last Christmas) with teensie Magic Mirror napkin rings and medieval-themed chargers…absolute perfection!)

Her Royal Highness's cake.

Her Royal Highness’s cake.

Poison apple favors (although they were actually harmless cinnamon)

Poison apple favors (although they were actually harmless cinnamon)

Wall decor!

Wall decor!

Centerpieces.

Centerpieces.

You-Know-Who

You-Know-Who

My daughter opening the gift from Charlene...several adorable outfits. (Charlene has four princesses of her own, so I'm taking notes.)

My daughter opening the gift from Charlene…several adorable outfits. (Charlene has four princesses of her own, so I’m taking notes.)

So…former schoolteacher that I am, I need to share with you now, some:  

Cliff Notes on the “real” Snow White

The Germany fairy tale was published in 1812 by the Brothers Grimm, original title Sneewittchen.

The fairy tale features the now-classic Magic Mirror, poisoned apple, glass coffin, Evil Queen-Evil Stepmother, a sleeping enchantment, and of course, dwarfs. Oh the best part: glass coffin and a delicious prince.

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Basically, a widowed king marries a second wife who is pathologically jealous of his beautiful daughter. Mostly because her Magic Mirror revealing the fairest of them all one day reveals– The Princess. Evil Queen orders hunter to kill our beautiful princess. Gasp. Of course Snow White’s so lovely, he just can’t. Instead, she finds refuge in a tiny cottage of little men. Queen finds her, disguised as a peddler with delicious apples. Only…they are poisoned! Snow White falls to the floor, is believed dead and laid to rest in a glass coffin. Whereupon our hero Prince finds her .

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Well, research by a German historian 20 years ago claims Snow White is inspired by the life of Margaretha von Waldeck, a countess who fell in love with a prince, the future Philip II of Spain. Sweet Margaretha died at age 21, and it is believed Spanish agents of her lover’s father poisoned her.

Or not. Another scholar thinks Snow White is based on Maria Sophia von Erthal. (The ancestral castle is now a museum in Bavaria). Its “talking mirror” , actually an acoustical toy made in 1720, was part of the household when Maria’s nasty stepmother Claudia Elisabeth Maria von Venningen moved in. The mirror itself is on display in the Spessart Museum!

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The creepiest thing is…one legend has the Evil Queen attending the royal prince’s wedding … See picture above. So far…she has No Idea the bride is Snow White. Upon discovery of her presence, a pair of red-hot iron shoes are brought in to Punish Her…she is forced to step into the horrific footwear and dance until, sob, she dies!

All I know is, our little princess is the Fairest of All. I know for sure, because I’ve seen the ultra sound. Talk about magic!

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Okay…so what’s your favorite fairy tale? Did you read fairy tales as a child? Did you ever want to be a princess? Have you ever visited a castle?

And for something else exciting: Our boxed set…the best dollar you’ll ever spend! Leave a comment today for a chance to win, and check back tomorrow!

Tracy Garrett: HER SANCTUARY. Through loss, betrayal, and loneliness, love offers sanctuary for the heart.

Kathleen Rice Adams: THE DUMONT WAY. The Civil War burned Texas…and fanned the flames of love.

Cheryl Pierson: GABRIEL’S LAW. Nobody expects to hear the click of a gun in the hands of an angel.

Livia Washburn: YESTERDAY’s FLAME. Amid the ashes of San Francisco, they find the passion of a lifetime.

Tanya Hanson: OUTLAW HEART. A beautiful woman, a Pinkerton, and Doc Holliday…Respectability will be harder than the outlaw thought.

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http://tinyurl.com/jbca82l

Updated: August 2, 2016 — 6:20 pm

The Land of Fairy Tales

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A month ago I had the wonderful honor of traveling to Germany. My German publisher invited me and two other authors for a book tour in their wonderful country. It was a whirlwind week, with two speaking engagements each day with lots of driving, but what an opportunity! The country was beautiful and green and there were castles!

View from my window in Marburg. If I leaned out the 3rd story window, I could see the castle on the hill overlooking the city.

View from my window in Marburg. If I leaned out the 3rd story window, I could see the castle on the hill overlooking the city.

Now, I have to admit that ever since my Disney childhood days, I’ve been a sucker for a good fairy tale. Shocking that I grew up to be a romance author, huh? Well, not only is Germany the land of castles, but it’s also the home of fairy tales, thanks to the Brothers Grimm.

Well, the town where my German publisher is situated, and the place that served as our home base is a lovely town called Marburg. After flying all night, we arrived on Sunday morning, and since we were all travel weary, we grabbed a nap then met up with one our interpreters who gave us a tour of the city. Little did I know that I was staying in the heart of fairy tale land.

As it turns out, the man who illustrated most of the Grimm Fairy Tales was from Marburg, and he used the castle and surrounding village as inspiration for his artwork. In honor of that distinction, all around the old town of Marburg, you will find tributes to the stories he illustrated. As we walked around the old town, here are some of the fairy tale allusions we spotted:

Cinderella's Shoe. We passed this as we walked down the hill from the castle. You can see part of the castle in the background.

Cinderella’s Shoe. We passed this as we walked down the hill from the castle. You can see part of the castle in the background.

Mirror Mirror on the wall.

Mirror Mirror on the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Riding Hood's Basket

Red Riding Hood’s Basket

The Brave Little Tailor who killed 7 with one blow (no one realized the 7 were flies he swatted). He later had to use hit wits to defeat giants. The flies are on the wall of the building.

The Brave Little Tailor who killed 7 with one blow (no one realized the 7 were flies he swatted). He later had to use his wits to defeat giants. See the flies on the wall of the building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is part of the old town square in Marburg. Don't you love the architecture? We had dinner next to the clock tower and got to watch it come alive when we were finishing our meal. So perfect!

This is part of the old town square in Marburg. Don’t you love the architecture? We had dinner next to the clock tower and got to watch it come alive when we were finishing our meal. So perfect!

A close up view of the castle in Marburg.

A close up view of the castle in Marburg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if you had to pick a favorite fairy tale, which would you pick?