When I Consider Thy Heavens

ShipwreckWriter Blog

Longing For The Days I Never Knew

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on November 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Longing For The Days I Never knew…


Worse than alone

Among the thorns of my peers

Piercing looks

Cut through my true identity


Worse than alone

Realizing there is no way

To feel

Un-Odd that I can recall


Longing for the days I never knew…


Safe Harbor - Shipwrecked: Finding My Way Home

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on August 5, 2010 at 8:07 AM Comments comments (0)

I was contacted by my publisher (of my first book - Whippoorwill: A Journey Through Loss) and asked to write a second book. I have six months to accomplish this as per my contract. OK - so far I have NOTHING down in print. Guess they either think my head is full of ideas or they are just very confident about my talent. They have actually (of course) directed what I am to write about. I am excited about this project.



The title: Shipwrecked: Finding My Life-Raft - is subject to change (especially the second part of the title). This morning's weather - thunderstorms followed by ominous lighting outside at sunrise only set the mood as I begin to write. Too bad I have to get ready to go to work!



Life is short - life is long. Life is easy - life is hard. More later. As with my first book, proceeds from this book will go to the Lighthouse Library project. http://www.freewebs.com/eccrc


Our daughter's birthday date was  this week - August 2nd. We always celebrate by eating her favorite meal and doing something fun - she enjoyed life so much!! And of course we went to the local county fair. Jennifer never had a traditional birthday party (except for her 16th birthday). All the others were either spent while traveling home to Kansas for a family visit or at the county fair as she cared for her (and her sibbilings') 4-H projects. We had her "last" birthday in our camper at the fair. We decorated it will all purple balloons & banners since she was going to K-State. She got engaged that last summer - at the fair!!



My second book is not a book about grief recovery. It is about life - and a lot of it! It is about rebuilding after life's shipwrecks. I have spent a lot of time on lonely islands and my publisher thinks my life story amounts to something to be shared. It is my honor and privilege to share the things I've hoped for, dreamed of, and lived in print.

Having And Keeping A Good Name

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on March 2, 2010 at 4:44 AM Comments comments (4)

Having And Keeping A Good Name


By Lynn Pettigrew Norris


When I was growing up, my mother taught me to be myself and to never be ashamed of who I was or where I came from. I was always proud of my heritage and my family. As a young person. I remember how important a good name was to my dad. We are told in the Bible that having a good name is very important:


A good name is to be desired above great riches, and loving favour above silver and gold. (Prov. 22:1, AV).


Damaging someone’s good name is wrong. Falsely accusing someone and discrediting him in his community is horrible. After my stint with demotion, my name was tried in the mud of the field where I studied my profession (Education). It hurt to see my good name tested. I felt confident that my name would not be left in the pig pen created by lies and slander. I also knew that I had would remain silent due to my standing contract, so I could not defend my good name for an entire year. The despair and helplessness this created came out in my dreams at that time. I felt like wild beasts were chasing me and I was being trapped. The unfairness of it all caused the feeling of having the air knocked out of me.


I had to listen to people who knew me as they called, e-mailed, or stopped by to inform me about what was being said. I literally zipped my lips while under contract. I had an internal constitution that would not allow me to talk about my employer while under contract. I also had a gag order from my supervisor in that I was not allowed to talk to anyone in the realm that I had for the past several years. The communication was one-way: they would ask questions I was not allowed to answer. My side of the story was cut off. I was not allowed to defend my good name. This was in my past and my life has moved forward since.


It is important to me to befriend those who are currently suffering such a loss. Losing one’s good name is a grievous event. The wrong-doing of those who cause this heartbreak is confusing and hurtful when one’s good name is attacked. A good name is worth defending and protecting.


An old study by Richard Greenham from the 1500’s discussed not only the importance of having a good name, but of keeping one’s good name. He further discusses those who are not doing right (evil) but well spoken of and how they have the respect of others gained by discrediting others and by destroying another’s good name. He tells how God will judge those who ruin the name of others. Reading Greenham’s writing was like reading Hamlet, but he does make some great points. He brings up the point that those who work toward discrediting your good name will in the end have to live with their own (sharp) conscience of having done such a thing to another person.


My mother always had a saying that is simple yet true: everything comes out in the wash. Eventually, the truth comes out and those who know you continue to know you. Those who trusted you continue to trust you. Those who stood back to see what the outcome would be come forward to your defense – or perhaps they were there all the while – you just could not find them since the lines of communication were corrupted by those who were attacking your good name.


A good name is worth defending. You only have one name, one reputation, one life. Don’t let someone steal one of your most valuable possessions: your good name. If it is to be “desired above all riches” as the Bible says, then it is worth defending for sure. I continue to carry on a good name that I inherited from my dad (Pettigrew) and now the good name that I share with my husband (Norris). Guard your good name. It is your reputation by which others know you.


The hope of my heritage that I shall leave is that of having, defending, and keeping a good name. But the name that I love above all others is the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. To Him, I give all the credit, honor, and glory for anything good that comes from my life. Without Him, I am nothing. I may lose all my friends, my status in the community, my career, my health, or even my mind, but no one can take away the connection I have with our Savior. His favor is really the only one that counts. Although others may try and even succeed to ruin your good name, there is always someone who knows the truth and nothing can take that away from you.


For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Book Signing - Coffee Hill - Whippoorwill: A Journey Through Loss

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on February 27, 2010 at 8:07 AM Comments comments (0)


Dexter –

Whippoorwill: A Journey Through Loss - Book Signing

College Hill Coffee Shop

A rural Dexter resident and Local author, Lynn Pettigrew Norris is holding her last pre-release book signing in the Cowley County area on March 3, 2010 at the College Hill Coffee Shop, 403 Soward Street, Winfield, Kansas from 3:00 p.m.– 5:30 p.m. in the Sun Room.. The College Hill Coffee website is at: http://www.collegehillcoffee.com/index.html


Norris’ book, Whippoorwill: A Journey Through Loss is in its pre-release stage and will be release to stores on March 22, 2010. The publisher is Publish America and the website to purchase the book online is at: http://www.publishamerica.net/product88852.html Proceeds from the book are being donated to the Lighthouse Library project. Norris will also have books on hand at the book signing.


“A special invitation is extended to Southwestern College who has been wonderful to show interest and inform other staff and alumni about the event.” Said Norris.


Norris is a 2006 graduate of Southwestern College where she returned to college to obtain a second bachelor degree, this one in Secondary Language Arts. She also obtained her teaching credentials through the Southwestern, doing her student teaching at Winfield High School. A poem written while a student at Southwestern College – the title from the book, “Whippoorwill” is featured in the book.


Norris also wants to invite old friends, alumni, and students from Cowley College where both Lynn Norris and her daughter, Jennifer whose life the book details, were graduates along with other family members.


“Cowley College dedicated their fall concert to Jennifer that year and this is mentioned in the book. Cowley College was very good to our family, both then and at my send-off into life as a young woman Jen’s age. Dean Scott served as a great mentor knowing my dad had died right before college started that year,” said Norris “


Norris also has a Graduate Certificate from Wichita State University in Educational Technology (2003) and invites WSU alumni to the event. She a second bachelor degree from East Carolina University, that one in Communications and Writing. She has ECU on her Facebook page where she says she is communicating with alumni from there.


A radio interview will air on March 2, 2010 on the KACY radio station, Ark City. The interview will give highlights of the book and the Lighthouse Library project. http://www.kacy.fm/ IMG TV Productions, Wichita filmed a clip about the book and about Lighthouse Library as part of their documentary on small town revitalization. Here is their blog/trailer: http://smalltownusablog.com/official_small_town_usa_movie_website/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog


Norris hopes to have book marks to pass out to anyone who ordered the book online, but their book has not arrived in time for the signing. She invites people to bring their books by the Lighthouse Library site in the future and she will sign them. She will also have brochures about ECCCRC (Eastern Cowley County Resource Center) programs and the Lighthouse Library project. The book features the story of building a library for the rural Kansas town of Dexter, Kansas.


“My husband has put so much time and so many years of his life into this project behind the scenes and hands-on with the building project. Since I started working in Wichita last July, he has been extra helpful with the local coordination of the project as well,” said Norris.


“We both agree that once the library is complete and the doors are open, we just want to enjoy the site, our hometown, and focus on the patrons and the programs. It has been very difficult (but necessary) for our family to share our lives with the public in order to try to complete the library,” said Norris.


Other book signings are planned in Wichita, Chicago, and New York in March. After that, Norris says she will concentrate on her day job where she serves as the Social Service Coordinator for 100 individuals in Wichita.


“It is our goal t raise the remaining needed funds to get Lighthouse Library completed and the 20,000 donated books set into place so people can start enjoying it. Hopefully the book will help generate some funds toward that goal,” said Norris.


Donations for the library project or other projects by ECCRC may be sent to: ECCRC, PO Box 40, Dexter, Kansas, 67038. ECCRC is a 501-C since 2003 and donations are tax deductible.


For more information about either the book or the Lighthouse Library project, go to one of these websites or URL’s: (ECCRC) http://www.freewebs.com/eccrc

(Norris Blog) http://shipwreckwriter-lynnpettigrewnorris.webs.com/apps/blog/

ECCRC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ECCRCAdvocate

Norris on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShipwreckWriter

Norris also writes about the library on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynn-Pettigrew-Norris/100000674676523


"Thanks to College Hill for allowing the event in their Sun room!" Lynn Pettigrew Norris

Is That All There Is?

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on February 21, 2010 at 8:41 AM Comments comments (1)

Is That All There Is?

By Lynn Pettigrew Norris


Have you ever reached a huge hope or goal in your life only to find yourself feeling a little empty inside? I remember when I was in high school and was crowned Basketball Queen at my school. The “joy” lasted about five minutes and then I soon realized that there was also an emptiness to any honor we are bestowed in this life. There is an old song, "Is That All There Is - Then Let's Keep Dancing" (Peggy Lee) that describes this feeling well. http://popup.lala.com/popup/576742296245050749


This is perhaps our reminder that we are just passing through. This life is temporary. Each of us will die one day – some all too early. Others will live a long life, but still, all of our lives on this earth will end. We work so hard to try to have fun and grab any piece of joy out there – and there is really nothing wrong with that in itself. But the first time one realizes that earthly things only provide a temporary happiness, maybe that is when we realize that there is really nothing in this life that brings lasting joy. But we are assured that we can live a peaceful life, in spite of life’s circumstances.


This week, the HUD property where I serve as the Service Coordinator filled the last available unit there. There are at least ten if not fifteen people on the waiting list hoping to get in to live at our community. The property manager and I have worked well together to make this happen. He knows first-hand how hard I’ve worked to assist our individuals with getting the things they need – be it food, medical services, or home-health aids. He knows of all the social service programs that I have started – the library with a computer lab in the making, the on-site beauty salon with a wig and hat shop offering “make-overs” and “Red Hat’ group days. He knows of the many religious groups scheduled and the regular services and Bible studies on site. The calendar is jam-packed with activities and services for our elderly tenants. The atmosphere has experienced a 180 degree turn – it is now a community with a good reputation.


Recently, everyone dressed up in their best finery and we had a Valentine banquet. It was so good and fun to see everyone having fun and all dressed up. The holiday celebrations have been great, Christmas celebration, Thanksgiving Dinner, fall festival, end-of-summer picnic, and other parties. How fun to look back over my time there.


But for now, I am thinking of our young manager and the sadness in his eyes after a job well done. He is not the sort of person who just sits behind a desk and takes applications to our property. He listens – really listens to our elderly residents. He goes out of his way to help them if they need something carried to their apartment. His door is usually open for them to enter in and talk. Even when we are having a challenging day, he never takes it out on them. The one thing that has remained constant with him in his attitude is his love for the elderly who reside in our property.


On the very day that he thought he would be on top of the world, he was not. He had finally moved the last person into the last available apartment with the waiting list full. But where was the fanfare? Where was the pat on the back? Where was the joy from within? All seemed to be missing. All of us have experience that revelation in our own lives. We have gained something that we thought was highly desired only to find – it only holds a brief happiness followed by the inevitable emptiness of life.


I believe that we each are born with a space in our heart that only God can fill. No amount of fame, fortune, job success, titles, or honors can fill that hole. Years ago, our kids had a musical series we used called “The Donut Hole”. It addressed this very subject - a silly little song with a good message.



I sent my co-worker an e-mail to congratulate him. No one had congratulated me either – but it was OK. I wanted him to know that someone noticed his hard work and kindness to the residents. As I stood in his office to go home for the weekend, a huge floral arrival came to him. It was a large basket filled with all sorts of fresh fruit – grapes, bananas, apples of all colors, and it was decorated beautifully. It had a huge balloon attached over the top of it that read: “Congratulations!” I was glad he had received his due respect and recognition.


It was OK with me that I didn’t get such a nice delivery. It was Friday and getting to leave work and go home for the weekend was honor enough for me. Receiving a paycheck to help feed my family was reward enough. But the twenty years I had on me past this young manager's age made me feel so happy for him as he looked at the delivery on his desk.


He read the attached card which read: “You did a great job !Love, Mom.”


The whole world may not notice our good works or our accomplishments. We may not all have mothers who are so thoughtful or into our lives. But we do all have a Heavenly Father who notices everything we do and say. He sees the way we treat others. He knows our every thought. I imagine He hopes we come to realize that our joy from within comes from our sacrifice of praise to Him, not from anything we do ourselves. And that our lives here are so brief. But we have an eternity of joy and happiness to look forward to.


I look back at past titles and awards I have received. It was nice of others to put their confidence me. My mother still enjoys listing my accomplishments in life. Bless her. But it really doesn’t matter when all is said and done. All we leave behind is the love we shared with others. I pray for my co-worker every day. I pray that he will come to realize that even when no one else notices you or your efforts (except maybe your mom), the Lord does notice and care deeply for each of us.


Ecclesiastes 1 http://www.bible-media.com/kjv/ecclesiastes-1.php


Ecclesiastes 2 http://www.bible-media.com/kjv/ecclesiastes-2.php


How Well Do You Know Me - For Kiersten

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on February 21, 2010 at 1:18 AM Comments comments (0)

How Well Do You Know Me” - For Kiersten

By Lynn Pettigrew Norris


I want to be young again! Young people think of such fun things and have such bright ideas. That’s one reason I loved my stint at teaching at the high school level. During one class period, I had a combined group of freshman through seniors during their activity period and what a fun group. The thing that amazed me the most was that they were so willing to learn new technology skills from this old lady. I had just completed my Graduate Certificate from Wichita State University in Educational Technology/Curriculum & instruction and I knew a few new tricks on the computer. Those came in handy during the media class I taught as well while we worked on publishing the yearbook and school newspaper at that district.


My granddaughter (and yes, I know I seem very young to have a granddaughter old enough to post the (below) survey) posted “How Well Do You Know Me” from a cool photo album & I wanted to answer the questions for her. My answers were too long for Facebook, so I am posting them here and dedicating them to her. The questions are intended to be used in a social network – and they seem very fun. I will post them below & then give my answers dedicated to Kiersten.


1) Who are you? - I am the person (along w/God & Papaw) who takes credit for the beautiful mother you have.

2) How did we meet? We met in a hospital.

3) Give me a nickname & explain your answers. Deep Sea Diver – You dive right in to things and always look for the hidden or deeper meanings. You always observe the beauty and wonder in life – like ocean life – under the sea. You see things that others may not notice or see & express them well in words.

4) Describe me in one word. serendipitous

5) What was your first impression of me? Perfection in the flesh! Thanks be to God.

6) Do you still feel the same way about me? Of course.

7) Could you ever love me? On most days:tongue:.

8) If you could give me anything – what would it be? Simplicity in life.

9) What song reminds you of me? “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Eva Cassidy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccCnL8hArW8 (Click here to hear song & see video.)


10) If you could take me anywhere in the world, where would you take me? Kansas – Toto.

11) Have you ever wanted to tell me something that you couldn’t? Not so far.

12) What do you hate about me? Hate – such a strong word. I guess I hate the fact that you are smarter than I am – really ticks me off!!

13) What do you love about me? Your smile and the fact that when I look into your eyes – I see my little girl from long ago (your mom).

14) Will you post this to your profile & see what people say about you? Are you kidding? No way:cool:.

15) Anything to say before you go? I miss you very much & KISS – Keep it (life) simple, silly.

We Want To Start A Book Club

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on February 20, 2010 at 7:18 AM Comments comments (0)

We Want To Start A Book Club

By Lynn Pettigrew Norris


As volunteers were loading out books to move the book collection to Lighthouse Library in Dexter, Kansas, we noticed that many volunteers were pausing and saying, “Hey, this looks like a good book!” Then they would “check out” the book to take home and read. I have done the same while going through the 20,000 donated books. There are so many good books and I am so excited about when we can actually open the library doors and share the wonderful collection.


For example, I was attending mid-week church services in Dexter when under announcements, it was revealed that Gracia Burnham would be coming to our small town church soon as part of a singing group. Our pastor’s wife commented about the book that was written by Gracia Brunham, as she reminded the group that Gracia is the missionary whose husband was captured and killed while on their mission. It tells about her year in captivity.


After our Bible study, I went upstairs to the youth room where several boxes of the “overflow” donations of books for Lighthouse Library are temporarily being stored until we can move them to the library. Low and behold, in about the third box I went through – there was the book that our pastor’s wife praised! I could hardly believe it. So we will have that in Lighthouse Library for others to check out soon.


A review of IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES, Gracia Burnham with Dean Merrill, Tyndale House Publishers can be found here: http://www.faithfulreader.com/reviews/0842381384.asp


It will be so fun to form a book club. People can read a book and then comment on it. It would be good if we could create a data base with short descriptions of the books in Lighthouse Library. As volunteers work to log the 20,000 books into the book cataloging program, a short description is needed. Usually the cover provides the description for the computer program. The book club will take that a bit further. We can discuss what we liked or did not like about a particular book.


Several have asked about library cards for Lighthouse Library. We will issue those before the doors open. We would like to see a record number of books checked out on the first day. More information about the library cards will be provided in future blogs. Unless someone donates the scanner system, we will be using the old-fashioned library cards. But we will be able to use the modern computer book cataloging system – thank goodness!


We will add a “Book Club” tab to the ECCRC website  http://www.freewebs.com/eccrc in the near future. You will be able to join the book club from that tab. It will be fun to have a kids’ club too. This website should be helpful as we form our book club: http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/How-to-Start-Your-Own-Book-Club/1


Salt Water Aquarium At Lighthouse Library

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on February 20, 2010 at 7:13 AM Comments comments (1)

Salt Water Aquarium at Lighthouse Library

By Lynn Pettigrew Norris


Lighthouse Library has a children’s section under the loft area. This area will have a local artist decorate the walls with ocean decorations. There will be kids' tables and floor pillows for kids to relax and read good books. A volunteer newly-created Ocean Character will visit on occasions and read to the children. But the children need an ocean aquarium in their area. What an educational tool this will be! to learn about ocean life.


The kids get the entire east wall where a long aquarium where we will work to create a salt-water (ocean) fish aquarium. We are working with an “expert” on salt water aquariums from Wichita – someone who has created several successful ones. He has the text book on “how to create an ocean aquarium”. So his book together with his practical experience should be helpful.


There will be port hole windows in front of the aquarium along the east wall of the library. The kids can look into the aquarium from inside the library or from the outside through the portholes. ECCRC wrote a grant in hopes of obtaining the needed funds to create this children’s project for the children’s area, but sadly our project was not chosen. We are looking for a local sponsor to help create this for the children.


The approximate cost for the aquarium supplies, building materials, and the fish is about $1,500. We will gladly call this a “naming opportunity” and put your business name or your family name on the aquarium. What a nice gift for the local children, youth, and adults alike – as well as visitors to our town. For inspiration, take a child to this business in Wichita: http://theaquariuminoldtown.com/


Or take them to a zoo or other place where there is an aquarium and watch their eyes light up when they look at the fish.


We can even start an Aquarium Club for anyone (adults, youth, or children) who want to help with this project from start to finish – and continue to meet as our aquarium grows. Having an Ocean Life Aquarium is a unique feature for Lighthouse Library and we hope there are partners out there with the time, interest, and funds to help make this project a reality. If interested, e-mail ECCRC at:

[email protected]

or call: (620) 212-8582.

Long Nights On The Farm

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on February 16, 2010 at 6:04 AM Comments comments (0)

I remember our military days - living in large cities all across the country. Sometimes the sound of the planes or traffic would keep me awake. How I longed to move back home to Kansas - and maybe even live on a farm. We did eventually move home & my dream was reached - or so I thought.


OK - I feel like a new mother again!


Last fall, we had this beautiful rooster that looked more like a peacock. The only problem - he lived on our back porch, thinking he was one of our cats. Eventually, we put him out in the chicken house away from our home. He resides out there with our one lone hen. We get one egg each day.


Meanwhile, two random roosters (you know those Easter chicks that you buy & hope they are really hens but the end up beeing roosters) now live in our yard and insist on sleeping on our front porch on our garden bench. Not being bad enough, they start crowing at 2:00 a.m. every night. This causes our poor old dog to start moaning & crying. I am up most of the night listing to the noise.

Reminds me of the old days when I was a young mother. Those nights were so long and tiresome. You would get the baby fed and back to sleep and then the two year old would need a drink and someone else would be awake needing to go to the bathroom. By then, it was time to feed the baby again.


I've fed and watered those two roosters all winter. At first, when they would crow and be everywhere but where we wanted them, I would envision them in my freezer (sorry). But now I look at them and they have turned in to really silly pets. One is called "Low Rider" becasue he is so close to the ground. The other is called "Ying/Yang" because he has black feathers on his tail & the rest of him is white. What are they good for - really nothing. They are poop factories (sorry) - but it's true.


So if anyone wants a great pet or a mate for a random lonely hen - you may have Low Rider or Ying Yang. Only remember, if you have a dog - he will hate them. Their crowing at 2:00 a.m. will pierce your dog's ears & his life will be miserable. While the dog moans and the roosters crow all night, I mostly just watch Fox news & catch up on things. Then I turn to a local channel at 5:00 a.m., throw on my clothes, & get on my 1 3/4 hour commute to my so called J-O-B. No, honestly, am very thankful to have a job. It's the drive that's hard, not the job.


As I write this, the dog is moaning, the roosters continue to crow (did you know that roosters crow over, & over, & over???) Another day of life. I am always happy to get into my car with my jug of coffee, turn on my radio, and get off the farm. When I return at night, things are silent, the sun has just gone down, and I am thankful when all my "kids" are finally asleep. I fall asleep about 8:00 p.m. because I know I'll be awakened at 2:00 a.m. - like clockwork.



Book Signing - Brown Store For Whippoorwill

Posted by ShipwreckWriter - Lynn Pettigrew Norris on February 12, 2010 at 10:07 PM Comments comments (0)

First Pre-Release Book Signing at Brown Store for Local Author Lynn Pettigrew Norris

Ark City, KS-


Local author, Lynn Pettigrew Norris will hold her first book signing at the Brown Store, 225 S. Summit in Ark City, Kansas (http://www.thebrownstore.com/) on February 15, 2010 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Norris’ book, Whippoorwill: A Journey Through Loss was pre-released on January 21, 2010 and will be released on the national market on March 22, 2010. The publisher’s website to order the book is at: http://www.publishamerica.net/product88852.html The author is donating proceeds from the book to Lighthouse Library, a project of ECCRC.


The book shares a family’s journey through the decade following losing a daughter and sister to a tragic auto accident. The book also covers other losses in life such as loss of health and loss of a job. It features other families who have faced severe struggles in life.


Jennifer Nicole Norris had visited the family farm near Dexter, Kansas on her last weekend of life. That weekend was special in many ways. Her sister was up for Homecoming Queen at Dexter High School’s Football game that Friday, her grandmother’s church, Hicks Chapel was holding its Homecoming dinner and program that Sunday, and a wedding shopping trip to Wichita was taken that Saturday by the family to complete plans for her approaching wedding and then Jennifer headed back to K-State after a church service that Sunday evening with her family at the Dexter Baptist Church.


After an accident in Geary County, she was transported from Geary County Hospital where she was later taken by Medi-Vac plane to St. Francis Trauma Center in Wichita where she later died. The book shares journal entries and other thoughts about that time. The author says she hopes that the book will help other families who have lost a family member as there were few books at that time that provided much comfort or help.


A tale of a mid-winter Whippoorwill that refused to leave a bedroom window sill is featured in the book. The book uses a spiritual approach to grief with Bible passages that the author and her family found helpful during that time. It also shares support offered from other families who had also lost a child or family member resulting in a local grief recovery group that was started by ECCRC where many local families gathered for several years.


The website for updates about Lighthouse Library is at: http://www.freewebs.com/eccrc

Photos of the project are featured on the ECCRC website and at the author’s blog at: http://www.freeweb.com/shipwreckwriter-lynnpettigrewnorris

You may follow the author on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ShipwreckWriter or follow the Lighthouse Library project on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ECCRCAdvocate

 You can find the author on facebook as Lynn Pettigrew-Norris at: http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynn-Pettigrew-Norris/100000674676523


Norris holds a Secondary Language Arts teaching license, a BA degree from Southwestern College through their Education program, a BS degree from East Carolina University in Communication, and a Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology/Curriculum and Instruction from Wichita State University. She also holds an AA degree from Cowley College. She started several education programs and served as the Education Specialist for the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas after developing and implementing that branch for their association. She is presently working as a Social Service Coordinator and serves as the Director of ECCRC and Lighthouse Library.


“Lighthouse Library has been built by small public donations and sweat-equity of many, many volunteers and local businesses and contractors who offered service, time, and devotion to the project. Others have donated building materials and helped with fund-raisers.” Nearly $35,000 was raised to purchase the building material. Volunteer crews of licensed contractors, plumbers, electricians, large equipment operators, and others contributed to the project. A DVD is available that documents the project.


IMG TV Productions from Wichita has been to the site to interview the volunteers last year and they are returning to complete their documentary next week. The 25-ft. lighthouse was set into place in the library’s courtyard and will be featured in the documentary along with the other buildings on the site which include the Treasure Chest thrift store, the Grouse Valley Lodge (both sustaining projects for the library). The dedication of the Tiny Heart Chapel, a 24/7 roadside chapel on the site on Valentine’s Day, 2010 and the ECCRC Board will hold the groundbreaking ceremony on Presidents Day, 2010.


The public is invited to the Presidents Day book signing on Monday, February 15, from 11:30 a.m. at the Brown Store . A limited supply of books will be on hand and brochures with information about how to purchase the book will be on site.


“Even if you prefer to order a book online from the publisher, you are still invited to stop by the Brown Store for brochures about the book and the Lighthouse Library project. You may bring your book by Lighthouse Library in Dexter after it opens any time and I will sign it. It is still seems unreal to be holding a book signing and reminds me of our first day at the library site with the whole project still ahead of us. It is an honor to share the story of our daughter, what her life meant to us and to her community, and about a library that her life inspired for the small rural town of Dexter. I give the Lord all the praise and want to share with others that there is hope and joy in the midst of life’s deepest sorrows.”