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I want to be who I am
I don’t want to trick others into thinking I am younger than I am
I like my circumference
I like my multicolor hair
I like my imperfect body
I need to be at peace with who I am now and not try to be the Celia of twenty years ago
I am tired of listening to those who say, “Color your hair, whiten your teeth, lose forty pounds and then you’ll be happy”
—Hogwash, Bulldoocky!

I want to enjoy today with my dear husband
Who never notices if I am wearing my shirt inside out
My dogs who love me even with my messy hair
My children who love to joke about my “high-waters” or my goofy shoes,
But who love me anyway
My friends who enjoy feeling superior to such an awful housewife
My grandchildren who just plain love me because I am theirs
I believe God is glad that I am finally ‘getting’ it!
Now I am truly free to know, love and serve Him in this world
and look forward to being with Him in the next!

As we grow older and older we become caricatures of our former selves. We say and do things that we only thought about when we were younger. People may laugh at our actions or looks but it doesn’t really matter. The façade is gone. We appear truly as ourselves-for better or worse. As I think about Dutch Hoffman or Joe Bianchini or John Groves, I am so happy that I knew them when I knew them. Their open spirits enriched my life. May I courageously take off the mask that hungers for human respects I mature and be truly the person that I should be as an authentic child of God.

saying-the-rosary-with-little-childrenI think little children still have one foot in heaven. My little grandson loves to kiss images of Jesus and Mary. Jesus said we should be ‘childlike’. I think childlike means trusting, believing and loving. So when I talk to little ones about the rosary, before I get all complicated, I keep it simple. I have them hold the beads, kiss the cross and as they first use the beads just touch each one and say “Jesus loves me”, next “I love Jesus”. – over and over. After all the rosary is a tool whereby we connect with our Lord in heaven. As Saint Padre Pio says, It is a weapon against the devil. It is rope that connects us to heaven. So start simple and as the children grow, add the sign of the cross.

Then as they grow older, I have them say one decade of the rosary and just think about that decade such as the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. I often did this one decade as I drove my children and grandchildren to school or to the store. Every now and then they would ask to say another but not often.

The Shadow of Your Smile

By Mary Higgins Clark


Mysteries have always intrigued me.  As a child I watched every episode of the Thin Man, Maddox, Blackie, and Charlie Chan.  I can still see #3 son in my mind and I loved the way Chan spoke in stilted English. “Before speaking son should first look closely at puncture wound then say what cause of death might be.”  Later Rockford Files, The Fugitive, Kojack, Murder She Wrote, and Monk filled my evenings with intrigue. NCIS and Blue Bloods hold my attention now.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys held my interest each night as I sat in my twin bed with my pink radio on playing WCAO.  I’d read into the night much to my mother’s chagrin.  I couldn’t get enough of those bloodless murders.  I also enjoyed playing Clue with my friend Jeannie.  The funny thing is I could never guess the murderer whether in board games or books then and I still can’t now but I totally love the stories, their heroes, heroines and supporting characters.

They people my life forever after.  That’s why I love rereading the books.

One night about 13 years ago, our house burnt down.  I was quite distraught and needed something else besides fire to occupy my mind.  I was staying at my daughter Jill’s along with my husband, our kids, 3 dogs and a cat.  Restlessly I picked up a book called The Cradle Will Fall.  It really scared me at first but then I couldn’t put it down.  I was held on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing. Since then I have read every book that prolific Mary Higgins Clark has written at least once.  I also enjoy the books she writes with her daughter Carol and Carol’s  books about Reagan Reilly as well.  Mary Higgins Clark’s autobiography, Kitchen Privileges a fascinating look into her personal and at times tragic life.  She wrote it with humor and honesty.  I have bought that tiny book four or five different times and keep giving it away.  I will buy it on Amazon several more times I am sure.

Today’s review is on The Shadow of Your Smile which I just finished reading for the second time.  I plan to read it again in a few years.  Mary Higgins Clark immerses the reader in the action from the first scene. Olivia and Monaca both need to be protected from the very onset by greedy and ruthless fiends.  The scenes crisscross between their lives in a very exciting fashion.  The reader becomes a part of the story immediately and as such laughs, cries and worries about these two special people. Since Ms. Clark has the  superb ability to literally birth her heroines, they truly become the reader’s friends and even family. So ,‘friends’ are fun to meet again and again over the years.

Olivia has just been told that she has less than two weeks to live and she has to decide whether to share a secret about her cousin Sister Catherine who is up for beatification Her dying mother told her not to reveal the secret, but she feels she must. Monica is intricately involved with that secret although she does not know it.  Greedy family members will stop at nothing to prevent the connection of the two women.

Another wonderful aspect of all of her books is the honorableness of the main characters and the inclusion of Church scenes.  Olivia and Monaca are good people who believe in right and wrong. As they say in the computer world ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ We become not only what we eat but what we read.  This book uplifts the spirit and portrays women we would like to emulate.

Finally stepping into the scenes with these “friends” allows the reader to live above her means looking down from penthouse windows onto Central Park and riding in first class autos for a change.

The Shadow of Your Smile is an excellent book I highly recommend to all readers.

Ellicott City Copy Center
Xerox Copies Blue Prints
8321 Main Street
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043
(301) 465-5265

April 29, 1992

Dear Business Owner:

Let us introduce ourselves. We are the Wendel Family who have just purchased the Ellicott City Copy Center (ECCC). Many of you have known and used the ECCC for the last ten years and we thank you for your previous support. Continue reading

Maximillian Kolbe sheltered many Christians and Jews during the 2nd World War and finally for his efforts was imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp. As convict #16670 he is best known for taking the place of a family man who was sentenced to death at Auschwitz. He offered to take the man’s place in the underground starvation pit after one other man had escaped the camp. Continue reading

After almost twenty years in Ellicott City, printing flyers, envelopes, brochures, newsletters, business cards, menus, and faxing many documents all over the world, it was time for a change. Nothing stays the same and the printing business was no exception.

The first thing to go was faxing. Email, texting, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter all made communication instantaneous. Also many people started getting their newsletters via email. However, email often doesn’t get read and news gets lost in the thousands of old messages we all have.

Twenty years later our five children were all married adults with children of their own. Time is precious and we wanted more time doing and less time commuting. So by the grace of God, I was able to sell the building that housed our Copy Center and combine my printing business with my husband Dan’s Tax & Accounting services in Lanham, MD. It is just a short twenty minutes from our home.

We still provide printing service for many businesses on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD and happily deliver jobs whenever requested. If you are reading this in Ellicott City or Baltimore, don’t hesitate to email a flyer, menu, newsletter or business card order. We are still a complete printing company and have added total mailing services in the last five years. Through the magic of instantaneous communication we are still right next door.


Celia Wendel