Sunday, July 16, 2017


Growing up on the river, we had many trees along the water’s edge, along with a hedgerow. There were four or so willow trees that bordered our yard with our neighbor’s yard. I remember them being tall and round and no way were they climbable. No way!

Not only were their trunks tall and round, but their Roots, long and thick reached out both above and below the ground. Playing there, sometimes we’d trip and fall, but we’d get back up and keep on playing whatever game it was at the time.

I had read somewhere that Roots of trees have approximately the same reach below (or sometimes above) ground as a tree’s foliage. Judging by the width and towering height of those trees by the river, I would say their Roots were long and deep.

Zak Brown has a song titled, “Roots.” Not surprisingly, the song talks about growing up in a small town surrounded by family and friends and familiar things. Trucks and fried chicken. Kids running barefoot. Chores. A beer or two. A lot of songs like that in country music. Honestly, I don’t tire of them. Each a little different both in tune and perspective.

One lyric strikes a chord in me each time I hear it: “. . . I wouldn't change a thing; It made the man I am today . . .”

Kim, Emily and I just returned from a small eleven day vacation to Wisconsin, and I can honestly say it was all about Roots.

We visited with Kim’s sister, Brenda and her husband, Mark. We traveled to spend two nights with my brother, Jim and his wife, Laurie. This was especially important to me because Jim had open heart surgery and I don’t nearly get to spend enough time with him. He looked great. He had his normal wry humor and was his old funny and sarcastic self. I miss him.

We traveled to The Dells. Anyone from a tri-state area knows The Dells. A great place to buy Carmel Apples and other small gifts and build upon memories. We visited the college Kim and I graduated from and found that it got bigger. Neither of us recognized some of the buildings.

Next stop, the cottage in Northern Wisconsin. It, too, had changed. It was always one of our favorite places to spend time. A bonfire and conversation filled with laughter and reminiscence. Rides in the boat and the ATV. It was a place our son, Wil, enjoyed, which was why we spent the 11th and 12th there.

From there, we spent two nights with Kim’s parents, who I am as close to as if they were my own. We visited one of my other brothers, Jack and his wife. A nice afternoon and dinner with them. And on our way to spend our final day and evening with dear friends, we stopped by the gravesite of my mom and dad. Buried side by side. A fairly unremarkable stone for each. Kind of plain, really. The way they had wanted it.

And as always, time ran out and we had to come back home. Yet, we still have our memories and our Roots have been revisited and renewed. Strengthened, somehow, even in some small way.
And I can hear Zak singing in the background as I write this, “. . . I wouldn't change a thing:
It made the man I am today . . .” Perhaps your Roots do the same for you. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I finished my fifth work of thriller/suspense fiction, Caught in a Web and I’ll keep you posted as to when it will be published. While we wait, I am busy having fun with my sixth, Spiral Into Darkness.

Please feel free to connect with me at:

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

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If you like Thriller/Suspense fiction, check out my novels:

Available on Amazon for .99 the Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Agent Kelliher and two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.  

Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.  

Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy:
A 14 year old boy stands in the kitchen pointing a gun at his uncle. There are many reasons for him to pull the trigger. Mainly, he had started it all.  

Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy:
A 14 year old boy is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. High up on an Arizona mesa, he faces three desperate and dangerous men in hopes of saving his father and his brothers.

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