Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Jazzy and I live in Smithfield, a small town in Virginia. We have been in Smithfield for five years and love this town. We would recommend it to anyone who wants a quaint town feel with lots of farm land a short distance away, rivers to relax upon and beautiful old houses to gawk at.

I wrote "Jazzy Explores Smithfield" to provide children a picture book of the town. I wanted to share my love of this beautiful neighborhood and provide information about the history that is here. It took several weeks to create. I had to get permissions and organize the visits. The book has wonderful pictures of historical landmarks and short blurbs about the history of what is shown in the photos. Jazzy, of course, is in every picture. It's a great souvenir of a visit to the town with some educational tidbits thrown in.

On my back road travels, I pass through many small towns. I discovered that people who live in small towns are very proud of their cities. But how do you share this pride with visitors or pass it on to your children. Most towns have a gift store somewhere and sell books about their town. But it's hard to find a book about the town that is geared towards children.

My aunt Carol lives in Murfreesboro, NC. It's only about an hour away and I have visited many times. Last year I sold Jazzy books at their Candle light tour, which is really a cool event. The Historical Association had some wonderful history books about the town, about special people from the town and other stories. But, there were no books about the town geared towards children. I jokingly suggested to Gertrude, a fine resident of Murfreesboro, that Jazzy should come explore. She loved the idea and has spearheaded the project by connecting me with all the people who can guide me through the town's visual history.

I'll let you know when it is all done.

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I was wondering where to post this short story. My choices were on my Jazzy's books website or on my "author" website and I decided to write it here. Why, because when I am doing a puzzle, Jazzy is always at my feet, patiently waiting for me to be done this nonsense of finding what fits where. She lays her head on my feet as a gentle reminder that she is still waiting, waiting and waiting.

Dale and I worked on this puzzle of a peacock (which looks remarkably like a photo of one I took) for several days. The puzzle was hard. Each peace looked just like the other and they were all the same shape. I now really appreciate different shapes in puzzle pieces.

I learned something from working on this hard puzzle. I do not like to give up. The other night I was up until 1:00 a.m. working on it. What I also learned was that I won't do another "hard" puzzle for a while. I am too committed. I don't want to stop. I ignore all that I have to do in order to find just one more piece. If only I marketed my books with the same energy and commitment. But that's another story.

Enjoy the photo.

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While we stayed in our houses the soil was prepared.

While we figured out what to do, the seeds were planted.

As we come out of quarantine we see that

The corn has been growing.

Thank you farmers everywhere!

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