Granville Redmond, A Word Picture Of Resilience



In honor of National ASL Day this weekend, I’m featuring the story of Granville Redmond, who I discovered recently at a visit to the Hunting Library in Pasadena. I was fascinated to learn about his life, stricken with scarlet fever and turned deaf at age three. Nothing held him back since he had parents that believed in him and were able to enroll him at the Berkeley School For The Deaf. There, his talent as an artist was discovered and flourished.

Later in life he became friends with Charlie Chaplin and taught him about pantomime, having great facial expressions, and the value of learning sign language. He starred in many of his silent movies. He continued to paint and fell in love with impressionism and the California countryside throughout his life (1871-1935). For a time, he met many famous artists and actors, and even lived in Tiburon, California, very close to where I grew up. Later he moved to Los Angeles, married and had three children.

Here’s a short visit to one of his paintings:


What I learned encountering Redmond’s story is the value of persistence, love for art and living life to the fullest. It gives me courage to continue to be resilient despite circumstances, and I hope it will for you too!


My main character in my fantasy stories is deaf, so I’m learning a great deal about this community and so admire them. Join Joey and I as we begin to learn sign language! I’d love to hear about your role models and how you’re celebrating this weekend too!


For more about Granville Redmond, see here:





Goodbye Goodyear Blimp, Hello New Vision

Goodbye Goodyear Blimp photo reminds me of childhood memories and the era of new beginnings upon us now.

The Goodbye Goodyear Blimp photo reminds me of childhood memories and the era of new beginnings upon us now.

Just look at this photo of the Goodyear Blimp – being retired!

If the blimp community needs to keep advancing and growing by huge leaps, how could I be any different? Yet my stomach gave a little twist when I saw the title, “Goodbye Goodyear Blimp.” Immediately I remembered seeing it in the skies above stadiums or over the waters of the San Francisco Bay where I grew up. We’ve always loved glancing at it even just parked by the freeway when driving up to see the grandparents, too. I felt a little ill knowing its years of service were over.

Somehow the blimp is a bit like this week for me. Loss and new beginnings, all in one photo.

I’ve been in Texas doing some media work and learned so much. While I was gone, though, a very wise woman who spoke joy into my life passed away. Her battle with cancer, finally through. A week of new beginnings, and endings also. Prayer requests for those with children in life-threatening situations. Good early grades, hard studying for kids, burgeoning ideas for how to help people; then finding I need help, too.

In the see-saw of life’s churning priorities, it’s so very restorative to remember the patterns in life. To take a measure of comfort knowing we’re all still learning and growing, no matter how old we are.

I’d like to be graceful in the site of new thoughts and ideas. Yet the thrust of the article focused on the new mechanics and glass-encased viewing area. I could picture myself floating above the heights of buildings and soaring over crowds, and new movies being made about the replacement ship that can now go more than 70 MPH. But the little girl inside, who used to stare in awe at the slow moving one, had to sigh before turning the page and making a silent goodbye of my own. Well, maybe not so silent since I’m writing this here.

Goodbye is so permanent and the only way I know how to adjust is holding fast to things that are more lasting, like faith and an eternal perspective. But I do have one tip if you’re having to face into a mixed situation like this one.

Give yourself permission to grieve, to say goodbye, to remember wonderful moments.

This special lady taped my name to her steering wheel when my pregnancy with our first son was in great jeopardy and I spent three months in bed. She opened the sticky tape once more when my second child almost died and was in hospital and was one of many lifting him up. I should have bought her more tape, because she was always the first to encourage us and send notes or small, meaningful gestures in the darkest of times.

She wasn’t afraid of loss, just of others feeling alone. She didn’t complain about her illness or problems, but was first to cross the bridge of need for others and bring her bright smile alongside. She’d sit in the quiet or enter the fray, whatever was required, with genuine gestures of faith and hope. I don’t want to see her go, but it helps that she has left such a wonderful legacy of enduring lovingkindness to so many.

Have you been touched by someone’s kindness in your life? How are you using it to affect others or share your wisdom in turn?

I’ll challenge you as I also feel heading into fall and the busy times and commitments—remind yourself to find the deepest well and offer another a life-giving drink. You might just boost them to reach new heights and overcome their own inhibitions and fear, to float to somewhere they can have a higher perspective and be able to see the potential that life has to offer.

As I’m editing this, I’m at my son’s Boy Scout meeting and attached to the wall in this school are folded American flags from vets that gave their lives in honor of so many. Who gave all so I could sit and write with a voice of freedom. Another looking-back with gratitude, facing forward with new perspective kind of moment.

I hope your week is punctuated with insights that make you reflect on true value and be filled with resolve and hope.


Dedicated in memory of Nancy Boyden, who touched so many with her light for Jesus.

Original photo, Jae C. Hong, AP, as it appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune.