“What happens when an introvert and extrovert take a 3000 mile road trip? Will they complete their mission or kill each other trying?”
“LOL! I’m sure you thought of killing me a few times, Cherrilynn. Rightfully so.”
“No. Just letting you out to walk. — We did really well together.”
“I noticed a pause there, Cherrilynn. Walk right off the highest peak, right? Even though we are writers on a mission from Gad!”
“No way. You had the snacks!”
“You’re too funny! Careful now, anything you say may be used against you in a blog post of mine.”
The question is, folks, would Cherrilynn dare do it again? Inquiring minds want to know. — White knuckling the steering wheel through seven states, plus DC, with fifteen stops over thirteen days.
“I want to do it again,” said Cherrilynn.
And we are. Sometimes I wonder at her state of mind.
So, seems like it’s high time I share our adventures and photos from our 2021 trip while we embark on this year’s treck to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference 2022.
Why are you surprised? I’m from Jamaica, remember. — A country with a town called Wait-a-Bit. And then there’s life’s interruptions.
Sharing the adventues of our roadtrip, and thoughts on faith, following our calling, and the writing life as Coach Prasek’s victim- I mean guest interviewee, on PJNET.TV. Click the video below t to watch.
Spent the first night at America’s Keswick in NJ.
We met a pastor and his wife at breakfast. He is a former police officer. I happen to host interviews with pastors and their wives and recently launched my series of interviews featuring police officers and their families from around the country.
Ben Cooper in his natrual Habitat!
Thank you, Ben and Sonja for inviting us to your home, introducing us to your family, and giving us a glimpse of your lives in Wellersburg, PA along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the Eastern Continental Divide and the Mason Dixon Line.
Blessed to enter via the side door, Ben! Check out Ben’s devotion inspired by our visit: What door Do you Use? Ben Cooper devotion on Vine Words
Let me tell you about our friend, fellow writer, prayer warrior and and brother in Christ, Ben, who is an encourager to many. Despite his busy life, to help me get into a much needed writing routine, Ben challenged me to commit to start my writing day at 9:30 every morning. Over the course of several weeks at 9:30 a.m. he sent me a scripture on a graphic he created to guide my writing—with my name inserted in it, and he prayed for me while I wrote. Yup, he made me cry—and show up. How could I not? You can check out Ben Cooper’s books here.
Our mode of transportation and our sweet hosts Donna and Kirby Smith, both writers and Kiby is a marathon runner. Actually, the horse and buggy were spotted at Walmart’s hitching station.
Sometimes it’s good to get a little lost. 🙂
Waynesboro and Henderson, North Carolina
Thanks for hosting us, Joyce.
Dinner with writers Joyce Glass and Holland Webb and a walk by the Courthouse in Henderson, NC. Note “In God We Trust” on the building, and copies of the US Constitution are displayed in cases in front to the left of it.
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Ridge Crest Conference Center, Black Mountain, NC
Privileged to attend a class by the Frank Peretti, NYT bestselling author of the Christian supernatrual thrillers This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness and then some. – Been praying for you all year while you work on your new book, Mr. Peretti.
At #BRMCWC conference. Bottom left: award winning author and Bible study teacher Stephanie Pavlantos. Norma and me at awards night. Hmmm…Norma can’r make it this year. I just might wear her dress!
Writer friends Norma Poore, Doug Carter, Barbara Buyers co-producer of PJNET.tv, Ben Cooper, and Cherrilynn Bisbano. (We visited with Barb in Hickory, NC after the conference.)
Oak Ridge, TN
I needed to go back to Oak Ridge, to make contacts so I could hear and include stories in my book other than Dr. Spicer’s and my family’s. I needed to hear the Black voice perspective and also from both adults and kids in the 60s about segregation and integration of Oak Ridge TN.
Chapel on the Hill, the chuch my inlaws, Rev. Roy and Jean Colby and Dr. James and Shirley Spicer co-minstered in the 60s while helping to aid the intergration of Oak Ridge, TN.
Private tour of the Scarboro history wall at the Community Center with writer, teacher, and African American Historian, Rose Weaver. (Thank you, Rose.)
Private tour of Oak Ridge History Museum for research for my book with Ray Smith, City of Oak Ridge (the Secret City) Historian, author, veteran, and police chaplain emeritus. Check out my interview with Mr. Smith HERE.
At Cherrilynn’s suggestion I started with the city historian. Mr. Ray Smith has proved to be a marvelous teacher and guide for my book’s research as well as a respected friend. He also invited me to write on my findings for his column Historically Speaking in the Oak Ridger newspaper as a prelude to my book.
A wonderful visit with my father-in-law’s best friend, co-minister, and fellow civil rights activist, Dr. James Spicer and his family. And what an amazing conversation with his son-in-law John Terrel about growing up in Oak Ridge during integration, lifeguarding at the Oak Ridge pool, teaching in Scarboro, the area of Oak Ridge set aside for Black citizens when the town was established in in 1942 according to Jim Crow laws of the time. John is also a retired teacher with much wisdom to share. (You’ll have to wait for that.) #blessed
An unplanned stop at the Natural Bridge, Rockbridge , VA.
I was hesitant to stop because we were pressed for time. But there we found the waterfall, the sound of water rushing over river rocks that my thirsty soul had longed for. A little bit of still with God in His creation.
Rain on the road home. Mist on the mountain.
“Lord, where’s the rainbow?”
“There isn’t always a rainbow, Cherrilynn. — Lord, give Cherrilynn a rainbow.” I said.
“I don’t need a rainbow to prove God’s promises.”
And we rounded the bend and God stretched His bow across the sky. He’s like that. #roadtrip Circuitous road home from 2021 #BRMCWCBlue Ridge Conference Writers with Cherrilynn Ryerson Bisbano via Roanoke to visit our friend Alisha.
“I keep praying that someday, somehow we will get to meet in person,” my friend Alisha who I’d met through the 540 writing community online said via FB message several weeks before the conference. We decided to surprise her and didn’t tell her we were coming until the night before our visit. Can you believe the flowers matched her outfit?
VIDEO: Trip Highlight ~ Visiting friend and fellow writer Alisha, then wheelchair bound multiple stroke survivor and creator of Mess 2 Masterpiece Ministry
Shenandoah National Park via Skyline Drive after visiting Alisha.
I really wanted to see a sunset in these mountains, but wisdom dictated to find civilization before dark. But our stop at the Natural Bridge and the deer in the road around every other corner delayed our departure.
Thankful for God’ s help and for AAA’s paper map! Got my sunset photo too. 🙂
Honored to receive the following Awards at the 2021 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference:
Foundations Award 2nd Place for my devotion, Broken, and 3rd for my article, Protesting Prejudice, Pursuing Peace. Rich is the word that comes to mind when I ponder #BRMCWC 2021. — Rich in God’s anointing, His Healing balm. Rich in instruction and opportunity, and oh, so rich in sweet fellowship. The other word is home. #Blessed by our gracious hosts DiAnn Mills, Edie Mahoney Melson, Edwina Perkins, Eva Marie Everson, the inimitable Linda Goldfarb, and by all the knowledgeable faculty and the wisdom they shared. Amazing how God’s presence fell the first night as Russell and Kristi stepped forward to lead worship. Steve Laube you proclaimed truth, fed our souls, and equipped us in our call to write for God. Thank you. — Your keynote alone made it worth attending the conference. Yes, let us wield His sWORD. Thank you also to Greg Bridgeman for your time and for the challenge you extended. (Working on it. And I’ll try to not make the editor cry as you say. And hey, Gregg, what’s the story behind your facinating and eclectic hats and jackets?) To the staff at Ridgecrest Conference Center blessed by and appreciate your warm welcome and hard work. God bless you all as you pursue Him and fulfill all He calls you to. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. (Philippians 1:3 NKJV) Blue Ridge Conference Writers
We capped off our trip with a visit to my sweet cousin Cathy and her husband, former US ambassadors with intriguing stories to tell in picturesque Roanoak, VA, and then on to the newly opened amazing National Museum of African American History and a visit with my beloved daughter and grandbaby in Washington, DC. ❤
Update: Alisha on vacation a few months ago.
Flying in the face of impossible and all medical prognosis, Alisha was miraculously healed a few months ago by the hand of the God through whom all things are possible. She is wheelchair free and walking. Praise God! Do you know Him?
The adventure continues in 2022. Will Cherrilynn stay in the shine? Will Rachael’s hair go straight? — Excited to attend this year’s 2022 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference! Join us in June as we recap our 2022 adventures in an upcoming PJNET.tv episode.
"Thank you Jesus, for the privilege to write for You and for the amazing writing community I'm a part of."
Grateful for the service and sacrifices of our United States military service members. God bless you and God bless America. Remembering with humble appreciation those who gave all for our freedom this Memorial Day. Honored to feature interviews with our military in these posts HERE.
- Celebrating and Upholding American FreedomWhat fun to introduce you to my young friend and writer, 12-year-old Isaac Barros. Isaac is the son of our beloved family friend, Larry Barros, who went home to be with Jesus in 2014. Larry was a children’s church leader, curriculum writer, and an amazing preacher. I plan to introduce you to Larry’s words sometime … Continue reading “Celebrating and Upholding American Freedom”
- #Writers on a #RoadTrip“What happens when an introvert and extrovert take a 3000 mile road trip? Will they complete their mission or kill each other trying?” “LOL! I’m sure you thought of killing me a few times, Cherrilynn. Rightfully so.” “No. Just letting you out to walk. — We did really well together.” “I noticed a pause there, … Continue reading “#Writers on a #RoadTrip”
- Life Lessons from the Perspective of a Writer’s JourneyI’m not able to pull off perfect, so I decided I’d be real instead. No matter our call, when we shake off the shackles of perfectionism, and with God’s help pursue excellence for His glory and the edification of others, we find ourselves on a much more peaceful and productive path. (Working on it, or … Continue reading “Life Lessons from the Perspective of a Writer’s Journey”
- “‘Til I Drop Dead” (A Nurse’s Manifesto)“Just home from an extra shift extension because of so many nursing staff testing positive,” she said. “I have written to you about what it means to be a happy and fulfilled long term care nurse in case you are interested. Call it my manifesto to new and enduring nurses. Hope you like it, Rachael.” … Continue reading ““‘Til I Drop Dead” (A Nurse’s Manifesto)”
- Piece of My HeartHi, my name is “Ridiculous” and sometimes it’s “Crazy,” and I am a P.O.T. (Parent of Teen). My support group is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and other mothers. My only escape is prayer. So I prayed, “God, give me children lest I die!” and He gave us children. Then, sometimes I want to die. … Continue reading “Piece of My Heart”
- May the Source Be with YouDarkness enveloped me. A chill gripped my chest, hope ebbed, and weariness set in. Obviously, I’d taken a turn off the favored road. I’d trudged the circuitous miserable miles to nowhere only to wind up stuck, deep in the mire, when someone called out to me. “Hey, do you want help? Do you desire to … Continue reading “May the Source Be with You”
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