Susan Miller, IN

Senior Writer

Susan has been a journalist most of her adult life for newspapers and magazines, including a few pieces for USA Today and the Huffington Post. She’s also written two social studies books. The stories she likes to write best, however, are stories about people. They may be stories told for family archives, stories that will inspire others, or stories that help someone come to terms with life events. To be entrusted with the telling of someone’s story is both an honor and a privilege.

As a Story Terrace writer, Susan interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Creating Our Own Fun

While we were growing up, my sister and cousins and I spent a lot of time every summer at our grandparents’ house in the country. There weren’t really any toys but I don’t ever remember being bored.

There were always plenty of books to read, and we played all kinds of games, both indoors and out, making up many of them as we went along.

Our older cousin, Linda, was especially good at creating things for us to do. She started a club for all of us called The Home Sweet Home Club.

We had to pay dues (a nickel a meeting), sign a list of rules she made up, and help decorate the club house, which was an old shed our grandpa had cleaned out for us to use.

We went to great lengths to get ready for every club meeting. We made mud pies and tea “cakes,” which were white bread cut out with cookie cutters in various shapes and “frosted” with a ghastly mixture of flour, water, and food coloring. We didn’t eat these refreshments – at least not more than once. That was a mistake that when made once was never repeated.

Linda dressed us up in our grandma’s old lace curtains, folding, tucking, and pinning them until they looked like gowns. Then she would curl our hair and put makeup on our faces. We thought we were as glamorous as the ladies we saw in our mothers’ magazines. Sometimes, she would make one of us into a bride, and we would have a wedding before our club meeting.

Each meeting began with our chanting the club creed. Then we pretended to eat our refreshments. It still surprises me that none of us minded not having real refreshments. We were fine with the make believe ones.

Our grandparents never complained about the messes we made, and we must have made plenty. They were probably just happy we were having fun and out of harm’s way. The best part of all was being together, something we continued to enjoy even after becoming grandparents ourselves. The biggest difference between then and now is that now we have real tea cakes and pies.

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