Thursday, May 10, 2007

When I Was Just a Kid...Nan Snipes

When I Was Just a Kid...
Nanette Snipes

Nanette Snipes is the hired pen and compilation book queen. She's been writing more than 20 years and has published over 500 articles, columns, devotions and stories in more than 55 publications, including print magazines, newspapers and work-for-hire books. She also has stories in more than 45 compilation books: Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul and Christian Woman's Soul, God's Way for Teens, Mothers, Fathers, Couples and Graduates, Soul Matters for the Heart, Women and Teens, Rest Stops for Teachers, Stories for the Spirit-Filled Believer and The Heart of a Teacher, and the latest one, Grace Givers, compiled by David Jeremiah, among others.

If that's not enough, she has been published in print magazines such as The Lookout, Clubhouse Magazine, Mature Living, Advanced Christian Writers, Power for Living, Breakaway, Georgia Magazine and others. She has written work-for-hire devotions for The New Women's Devotional, Zondervan, 2006, an Arch book for Concordia Publishing, devotions for Honor Books and stories for Publications International.

(Are your eyes crossing yet?) She's won numerous awards for her writing and stays busy. She humbly does the work the Lord has laid out for her to do. Having been in a writers' organization with her for many years, I can attest to her empathy and prayer warrior ways--she is always ready to help and to pray for others. These days the Lord is calling her to edit and write copy for businesses, and she serves with her talented pen in ways that few others can. I think her own mission statement from her web site says it best:

To uplift and encourage the body of Christ; grant mercy to those in need in the body and outside, doing everything to the glory of Christ in the power of His name. When God directs, to accomplish these things through my writing, or through proofreading and editing.

Nanette freelance edits for writers, proofreads for a corporate company and writes press releases for a small self-publishing company. She works in tandem with Patrick Borders, of Platinum Prose, an upcoming ghostwriter, who comes highly recommended by Cec Murphey. In addition, she is also a member of The Christian PEN.

Let's see what this little beauty of God's design who grew up to impact the world with her mighty pen was thinking and doing when she was just a kid:

Childhood ambition – As a child, I loved dogs. My mother raised German Shepherds for a short while, during which time the female had three litters. The dog developed breast abscesses with her first litter of thirteen puppies, which meant my mother, my eight-year-old sister and I, at age ten, got up at all hours to feed the puppies from doll bottles. I loved the puppies so much I named each one of them. We managed to save the puppies. My dog’s next litter was eleven puppies. By this time, my father had erected a large dog house for them. I spent many days inside that dog house. At first, the puppies’ eyes were closed, and I couldn’t wait for them to open. One by one, the puppies began opening their steel-gray eyes and romping in our yard. And, as before, I named each of them. I had other dogs as well, three dachshunds, and a couple of mutts. At one time, I thought of being a veterinarian, but curtailed my ambition since I couldn’t stand the sight of blood.

Fondest Memory – My fondest memory before age five was my mother reading nursery rhymes to me before naptime. She also sang some old-timey songs like “Red River Valley” and “I’ve Got Sixpence.” I still recall most of the words to the songs because I also sang them (a little off-tune) to my own children. I was born during World War II (my father was in the old Army-Air Corps) in the British West Indies, and my mother sang some of the military songs of that era to us as well. Other fond memories were of long summer days sitting in clover-filled grass, looking for four-leaf clovers or making chain bracelets and necklaces from the white flowers. I also loved hot, Georgia summers spent playing “Red Rover, Red Rover,” or “Kick the Can” with a group of kids.

Proudest Moment (Now) – My proudest moment is to know that my oldest son, who only finished one quarter in college, had the skill and determination to become general manager of several Atlanta hotels. For the last three years, he was general manager of a large, downtown Chicago hotel. Though I certainly don’t deserve credit, he says he owes a lot to how I raised him.
Another proud moment occurred a few years ago when I learned from cousins on both sides of the family that my ancestors, Philip Yost, on my mother’s side, and Asahel Adams, on my father’s, both served at Valley Forge with George Washington. We can also trace our lineage back to the following Colonial ancestors: Governor William Bradford; Governor John Webster of Hartford, Connecticut; Lieutenant Robert Webster of Hartford; Major James Fitch and others. I still haven’t had time to add my mother’s and father’s names to the lineage, so I’m not yet a member of the DAR. But that was a proud moment for me.

Biggest Challenge as a Child – I was five years old in 1949 when I became sick. I remember being so sick I couldn’t even get out of bed. My mother, who wasn’t a worrier, hovered over me, and she took my temperature numerous times a day. One day when the doctor came for a visit (he was also a friend of my parents), he said I had rheumatic fever.

I could hear whispering outside my door, and by the sound in her voice I knew my mother was alarmed. After the doctor left, I became very concerned. “Am I going to die?” I asked. Her answer: “I don’t know, but I hope not,” and then she changed the subject. My doctor told my parents that I absolutely should not exert myself, or run, for an entire year because he was concerned about heart damage. I remember having to walk very slowly to school, and at Thanksgiving, when we had our Thanksgiving play, I was given the role of “tree.” Even with his care, I have mitral valve regurgitation, which may have been caused by the rheumatic fever.

My First Job – I took business courses in high school and after graduation, went to work. I worked as secretary at a moderately sized cemetery. At first, I liked the job, which consisted of typing paperwork for the different cemetery lots and keeping up with other records. One day, my boss came into the office grinning. He placed a box on my lap, which I held wondering why he gave it to me. Then he said, “Do you know what you’re holding?” I shook my head. “It’s Mrs. So-and-So’s remains.” I couldn’t get the box off my lap fast enough. I finally quit the job a couple of years later when I couldn’t fight tears any longer as I watched people burying their loved ones. One time, a friend from high school’s girlfriend had gotten killed in a car wreck. Tears streaked my face as I watched from the office window. Doug’s shoulders shook with emotion, and I suffered with him

Favorite Outfit – Cowgirl outfit. Although I had a couple of dolls, I really didn’t care too much for them, but instead preferred animals. I also had a real love for the early cowboy and Indian shows like “Roy Rogers,” “Rin Tin Tin,” and others. So one Christmas, my parents bought me a cowgirl outfit complete with guns and holster. I think that was also the year my father bought me a train set (though I’m not sure it was for me).

Favorite Childhood Book – In fifth grade, my teacher read a chapter every day in a book titled The Haunted Hound. It was powerful and heady stuff for a fifth-grader. We placed our heads on our desks and visualized the scenes of this book. And when the end came, and the dog died, there wasn’t a dry eye in the classroom. I believe that book was one of the milestones that built my empathy. Another milestone occurred when I was five. A little girl who visited our house had a naked doll, and I remember feeling sorry for her. I wanted to give her my only set of doll clothes, but when I realized my sister had a second set, I gave the little girl my sister’s doll clothes. Not a good idea—especially when you have to explain to your mother.

Other memories – In 1950, my mother was one of the few women who worked. She worked for Orkin Pest Control in Atlanta, but she made sure we were cared for. She hired a large, African-American woman whose name I still remember – Lajuana Wingo – who took very good care of us. I loved Lajuana and her roomy lap where I often sat and nestled into her chest. When my mother’s dad died in Panama, Mama nestled her head into her lap as well, and cried. I have fond memories of this woman who was the color of rich coffee beans and whose compassion knew no bounds. I often dreamed of finding her and telling her what an impression she made on me.

Another revived memory revolves around Christian camp. Though there was a downside when my pastor had to take my sister and me home because of family discord, the richest memories still live. Besides all the fun we had at camp, I enjoyed learning about Jesus. I didn’t learn about Him at home, but through a kind pastor who took it upon himself to take us to church every Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night. His faithfulness to the Lord makes me who I am in Jesus today.

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Nanette has been married to Jim for 30 years and has four grown children and four grandchildren. The only child left at home is her feisty fur-child (cat), Possum.

Look for her stories in the various books that you can also see on her web site


Anonymous said...

Just seeing those childhood pictures of Nanette make me want to take out my clay and sculpt a doll! Her personality shows through in every shot.

How I am loving these features, Crystal. Doesn't it make you wish we could have all played together as kids?

I'm counting the days until we see the "When I was a Kid" for Crystal.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of Nanette. She is a woman truly touched by the Lord, and I can't wait to see her life story in print. Her heart is pure and her spirit is alive with God's love. I am blessed to be able to call her Friend.

Kim Fried

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Wendy, for your kind comment. By the way, I have loads of photos. :)

Kim, you bless me again. I never knew someone that I've never met in person could bless me so much. Thank you, Kim.


Crystal Laine said...

Nan was an adorable little one! And I love your cowgirl outfit.(I had one, too!)

You were a delightful guest, Nan. Thank you so much for agreeing to be my "Kid."

Here's looking at you, kid!