Start Here

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Welcome!  I don’t know what brought you here but I’m glad you came.  I hope you will find a “home” here when you need to just relax or be inspired with a good read.

I have a favorite saying. “You never know where life is going to take you.”  That pretty much sums everyone’s experience on this earth.  The unpredictable joys and sorrows that make up our existence take us to uncharted territory that end up shaping us into who we are.

We are a lot alike, you and I.  No one has been untouched in this world by some kind of tragedy or doubt or loss.  But we’ve also had our moments of beauty and hope and song. I’m happy and honored to be able to share some of my journey with you in hopes that God will use my words to inspire, encourage and entertain.

And maybe you will find yourself itching to travel.  Whether it’s into the recesses of your soul or to far away places on the globe, near or far, the destination may be the preface, but the journey is the plot.

Vamos! Andiamo! Allons-y! Pame! (Pah-may – that’s Greek)  Let’s GO!

About Melanie

What makes me tick:

I am a writer but I started out as a musician.  My creative outlet since childhood has always been music.  I play (and teach) guitar, piano, flute and still have a decent singing voice.  My favorite musicians include the greats like Vivaldi and Bach, Bocelli and Brightman, Lady Antebellum and The Eagles, Ronstadt and Taylor (James, not Swift.)  Wow – that really dates me but I don’t care.  I know what I like.  And what I really like, actually LOVE, is worship music.  It moves me like nothing else to be able to participate in the presence of God on a whole different level.  Music takes me where words cannot.

But I have a passion for the written word (and Word), too.  My love for descriptive, poetic language and interesting stories drives me to write.  Maybe that’s why my favorite book of the Bible is Psalms.  Check out this imagery:

O Lord, my God, how great you are!
You are robed with honor and majesty.
You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens,
You lay out the rafters of your home in the rainclouds.
You make the clouds your chariot.
You ride upon the wings of the wind.  (Psalm 104:1-3)

Can’t you just SEE it?!  That kind of language sends shivers up my spine and makes me want to first, hit my knees and thank God and then grab a pencil and write out the pictures in my head.

I have dozens of journals I’ve kept through the years.  My first was a little pink diary (you know, the kind with the tiny, ineffective lock) that my mom gave me when I was in 5th grade.  But it wasn’t until the life-changing experience of moving to the island of Crete, Greece in 2009 that I found my passion for writing. I first started putting words to paper in Crete as an attempt to chronicle our lives as expats on a Mediterranean island. Hence, “Cretan Chronicles” was born and grew into a blog.  And because “a picture is worth a thousand words,” I took up photography as well to enhance and give life to the descriptions of our travels.  If you want to travel with me through Crete and beyond, check out my blog from Crete.

When I returned to the States after five years of living abroad, I found myself dealing with an extreme case of reverse culture shock so, I did what I always do when I need to vent – I wrote.  My memoir of my five years in Crete is the result and will be released in April, 2019.

Fun facts about me:

First and foremost, I am a non-religious Christ follower.  If you’re wondering what that is, just hang out with me for a while.  My heart is full of gratitude for what God has done for me through Christ and I find my purpose and passion in Him.

I live in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and enjoy all the activities that this beautiful place has to offer year round.  Snow skiing (cross country and downhill), sledding, skating, cooking and sitting by a cozy fire with a good book are my typical winter enjoyments. During the summer in Colorado, you’ll find me hiking, biking, camping, gardening, wandering around the Denver Botanic Gardens or enjoying an outdoor concert.

Besides music and writing, I enjoy being outside doing just about anything.  I find my happy place in the garden and am constantly learning about the challenges of high altitude gardening in Colorado (lack of water and abundance of elk, deer and various varmits!)

My favorite authors depend on the mood I’m in.  If I want poetic and inspiring I read Ann Volskamp or Emily Dickenson.  If I want historical novels I like James Michener or Bodie Thoene.  If I want real and raw I turn to Anne Lamott or Hemingway.

I am married to a God-loving, cycle-riding, politically-minded, left-leaning, nature- seeking, kind-hearted, city boy who whistles in the morning while making my (perfect) cup of espresso. (Can you see why he’s also my best friend and biggest fan?)

I have two amazing children who have given me three amazing grandchildren.  I am blessed that they all live in my hometown.  My life is full of their love and crazy antics that make me smile every day.

All in all, I am blessed with a vast territory of family, good health, and creativity beyond what I have the capacity to appreciate.  And like you, life has thrown me some real zingers and I’m sure I have a few more in my future.  I promise you I will strive to always be honest in my writing so you can perhaps find yourself in some of my stories, grappling with the deep stuff and finding unexpected humor in this crazy journey we call life.

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”
― Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography