Kathleen J. Robison

School’s Out … Almost!

Next month, June officially launches summer! I think of summer vacation, beach days, and Father’s Day bar-b-cues. Although I’m long past the days of “school’s out,” I still enjoy the nostalgic feeling it brings. Seeing kids riding bikes to the beach with surfboards strapped on reminds me of the hours I spent at Huntington Beach as a youth. Although I don’t relish the beach traffic on Pacific Coast Highway, one of the great benefits is not having to avoid downtown school traffic between school hours.

And June also brings the lazy celebration of Father’s Day. It’s a fond memory of when we had bar-b-cues every year at my parents’ house. That was an awfully long time ago, and we now celebrate it at our house with my husband manning the fire and our four sons and sons-in-law trying to sneak in their two cents about grilling. I’m not sure what our other three sons in Japan and Washington do, but I imagine it’s similar. I once heard a pastor say that men gather around the bar-b-cue because it’s the closest they feel to real men hunting game! He was kidding, of course, but maybe some truth. Like men all huddling under the open hood of a car. Why?

Still, these funny, stereotypical things about men are what I love to infuse in my male characters. Whenever I observe people, I tuck away mannerisms, quirks, or endearments and add them to my heroes or villains.

When I wrote Revived Hope, I was thankful for the fond memories of my father. He was Melanie’s father and Lacey’s grandfather. He was my dad and my kids’ grandad. Maybe a bit idealized, but no less loved. My husband grew up without his father or Christ, but he said it was my dad who showed him how to be a dad, and God taught him how to be a father.

In Shattered Guilt, my husband was the inspiration for both Pastor Desmond and Chris, the ex-husband. One being the new creation in Christ, and the other the old nature. Both had endearing qualities and faults… I had to make it real!

So what will June and summer hold for you? Whatever it is, I hope you’ll enjoy the long, hot, lazy days of summer, and please savor each day that the Lord gives to you. I hope I will, too.