Rachael not only was a MK* in Mexico, but also a PK* while growing up. Later she grew up to be a DW*, and then the MIL* of a Dam son-in-law. Whoa, don't stop reading! Her son-in-law's last name is Dam, and note the spelling, which is why in good humor Rachael wrote about her daughter dating and then marrying him. This won for her the Erma Bombeck 2004 Humor Writing Competition, 1st place.(Read it on the link.)
And she also admits that her biggest challenge was staying on the planet earth because as she says it, "I was a weird kid." (That is said with a twinkle in her eye.)
Despite all these titles which indicates that she has a lot of relationships in her life, Rachael is not only a child of God, but a writer who can turn a smile, if not an all out guffaw, with her words. It also shows the compassion embroidered into her writing.
So check out Rachael as a kid, who has plenty to write about now:
Childhood Ambition: To find a time tunnel that would take me to live with Jo March, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Davy Crockett and Queen Elizabeth I. To be a missionary--far, far away from my little brothers.
Fondest Memory : Singing four- and five-part harmony in the car with my family. Skating in beautiful new white ice skates at 14 on Christmas night.
Rachael with Her Brothers (From Whom She Wanted to Escape at Times)
Proudest Moment: Winning a state poetry contest in junior high. Going to the prom with my boyfriend-now-husband.
Rachael in First Grade
Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen: Staying on planet earth. I was a weird kid.
My First Job: Waitress at Howard Johnson's. I learned a great deal about human nature, as even the most civilized people turn primeval about their dinner rolls.
Rachael at Family Dinner in 1969
Childhood Indulgence: Reading and Pay Day candy bars. In the summer I often read 2-3 books a day.
Rachael in Ruffly Dress
Favorite Outfit as a Child: It wasn't the fancy dress bought on my sixth birthday--it was the stiff, ruffly, scratchy can-can so full it made my dress hit me in the nose when I sat down on a church pew. I thought I looked like the teenagers I saw on American Bandstand, and I was so proud.
Favorite Childhood Movie: "The Sound of Music." I sang all the songs Julie Andrews sang while playing on our swingset. I never did figure out what Julie saw in the Old Guy, though. She sang much better than him.
Rachael, The High School Cutie Who Caught Her Husband's Eye Way Back Then
Favorite Childhood Book: Wow, that's a tough one. Probably Little Women or A Wrinkle in Time.
Favorite Childhood Activity: Reading and singing. Eating stacks of bread-butter-and-sugar sandwiches.
Childhood Hero: Jo March. My mom.
Anything else you can share with readers about your childhood that developed you into the writer you are today?
I learned to read listening outside the window of the room where my mother was homeschooling my older brother (we were a missionary family in Mexico). I also might have blackmailed him into helping me a little, too.
When I lived in the country, the county Bookmobile was my lifeline. I always checked out the limit (10 books) and tried to ride them home in my bicycle basket. (I did a lot of walking.) I still savor even the smell of libraries.
I loved the book reports and research papers everyone else hated. But it took me several years to learn to keep my enthusiasm a deep, dark secret.
If you need a laugh, check out Rachael's web site with more of her humor and stories:
Follow the links to excerpts of her four biographies from Barbour Publishing's Heroes of the Faith series: Frederick Douglass , Billy Sunday, St. Augustine, and Well with My Soul: Four Dramatic Stories of Great Hymn Writers.