Choosing to see the extraordinary of "ordinary"

Category Archives: The Great Book Adventure

So on Monday, I was privileged to be able to speak at the Derby Veteran’s Day celebration about my grandpa’s service and the book I wrote about him.  I enjoy the different events that this book has given me the opportunity to speak at, but events specifically geared toward veterans is SUCH a treat.

You have the Patriot Guard biker veterans from Vietnam, decked out in their patch covered, leather jackets.


You have the current servicemen and women dressed (in this case) in their Air Force uniforms.


You have the young ROTC cadets ready to do anything they are asked to do in a stiff, by the book, and, yes, a little bit cocky, manner.

Yes, I had had my hand over my heart during the pledge.  It was down because that's what the Lt. Colonel beside me did, and I assumed he knew when to salute and when not to.

Yes, I had had my hand over my heart during the pledge. It was down because that’s what the Lt. Colonel beside me did, and I assumed he knew when to salute and when not to.

You have the normal guy who blends into the crowd until asked to stand up as a veteran.

That "normal guy" on the left is my daddy

That “normal guy” on the left is my daddy

And then you have the sprinkling of World War II veterans, wearing old caps stating their military units.  Some of them sit in wheel chairs; some of them need help in their struggle to stand; and some of them are still active and spry (as one 82 year old lady told me the other day, “He is 90 going on 75.”  Ummmm, is that a reference to his being young?  I guess 75 is the new spring chicken.  🙂 )


We almost beat the cold front that was coming in.  I listened and spoke and tried not to wiggle around because of the cold.  (Because I wiggle when I’m cold.)

IMG_3626And, of course, the fambly came – the sisters and parents and all the nieces and nephews.



‘Twas a good day.  Days like this need to be remembered and appreciated and celebrated.

(Oh, and many thanks to my dear mother for all the pictures!)


Today, Caleb and I had the honor of joining a group of about eighty former officers and their wives for the Military Officer’s Association of America monthly luncheon.   I am privileged to work with Earl, the Vice President of the association, and he asked me to come speak with them about my book.

We had a wonderful time, getting to know the people, talking about the book, working on this venture together, My Man and me.  The memory that sticks out to me the most, however, was the moment we walked into the room, three older men got Earl’s attention for him to introduce us.  One man had a walker, another a hearing aid, all had a smile and an outstretched hand.  All were World War II veterans.

They wanted us to join them for the meal, but we politely (and sadly) declined as we had seating arrangements at another table.  While I was eating, I kept looking over at these three gentlemen, sitting by themselves and looking over at us.  One struggled to his feet and asked if he could buy a book, declaring that “he would be my first customer of the day!”

What humbled me, was that these men were so eager to hear about another World War II veteran’s story (my grandpa) when they had their own amazing story to tell.  Afterwards, as one man and I visited, he told me a tiny bit about his own experience during the war.  He was a navigator on a B-24, flying bombing missions over Germany.  On one of their runs, their plane was hit, and they were forced to jump over Hungary where they were picked up and held at a prisoner’s of war camp.

I love the military books, and I enjoy the World War II movies, but meeting one of these heroes in real life…priceless.

Isn’t it amazing how things work out better than you ever thought they could?  I do believe there’s a Bible verse saying just that.  Eph. 3:20, Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…”  Well, I am here to say that it is so true.

I was planning for the book signing tour in Hays and Quinter several weeks ago.  Things were going along the normal route, set up the event; talk to the contact person at each location; get the local newspaper information and send press releases about the event.  Now, I’ve had mixed reception as far as newspapers go.  Some papers (typically in the small towns) get excited, do stories, and such, but most shove the information to the “Eh, not really news” pile.  I completely understand the latter reaction because in the whole scheme of worldly news, it really isn’t the type of thing that would interest the majority of the population.

So like I said, I sent the press releases like normal, but didn’t expect anything to come of them.  Well, on my follow up call to one of the media outlets, I said, “Hello, this is Tammy Zimmerman…”  The man’s immediate reply was, “I am so glad you called!  I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you!”  I really don’t know how he knew who I was because it turns out that he hadn’t received the press release…yet another way God works mysteriously.

To make a long story just a little shorter, the week before the signing in Hays, this man set up a pre-book signing radio interview over the phone and story on their website.  He also asked if I could stay the following Monday for a television interview.  “Weeeeellll, let me check my schedule…um, yes.”  He called back later and said, “Oh, since you’ll be staying for the TV interview, would you also be willing to do a live radio interview in the morning?”

Well, Sunday night, I went to bed  not really looking forward to the next morning.  A.) I had to get up at 5:45 to be over to the radio station.  B.)  I was extremely tired from the fun but exhausting weekend.   And C.)  I reached the point where I just wanted to be home.

Monday morning came, I sat up and whined to Caleb that I was tired and just wanted to go home.  Well, being the wonderful husband that he is, he told me he was going to the interview with me.  That made me so ooey and gooey inside because he isn’t a morning person and his allergy medication had taken its toll earlier.  (As a side note, mom came to our room and said that she was going to go with me.  Again, I felt so blessed that she was willing to give up her sleep and time to do that!  She stayed back though since Caleb was going.)  Ok, back to the story…

We arrived at the station, and I actually started to get excited.  The people there were so nice and made me feel immediately relaxed.  After waiting for the right point in the morning program (and hearing the radio announcement , “And when we come back, we will hear from author Tammy Zimmerman”), Scott came to get us.  We all chatted a little bit until the ads were over and then we just talked about the book.  It was easy!  It was a ton of fun!


That afternoon, we headed on over for the TV interview.  The co-host, Mike, from the radio show conducted the TV interview.  Again, it was fun and relaxed, and they made me feel completely at ease (ok, not as at ease as the radio one because there was this thing called a camera…but it still was good).




I have come to the realization that I like radio and TV interviews!  Stepping outside the box can be so eye opening and fun.  Yet another day of God’s blessings.

For a while now, I’ve been scheduled to hold a book signing “tour” in western Kansas.  Since Grandpa Zimmerman (who the book is about) lived in Quinter and a lot of family still live there and around Hays, I thought it fitting to do some events in that area.

Mom has been planning to go with me since things were scheduled.  She is always faithful to come along to each and every book event to help and talk and promote and do all those wonderful things moms do.

The couple weeks leading up to this weekend, however, I still wasn’t sure if My Man would be joining us.   I hated to ask him to come because, after all, it would be a weekend filled with libraries and visiting extended family and not much else – a fascinating prospect for The Man.  So, I would do the annoying female thing and say, “If you want to come you can, but don’t feel like you have to.”  Of course, all females know that that translates into “I really want you to come and if you don’t I’ll be really disappointed.”  The poor males in this world have to guess at the meaning of our words though.  (And, yes, I know I need to work on saying what I mean and not making him guess at it.)

Anyway, since he had to work during the weekend, he decided he would stay home.  I was sad.  Truly and honestly sad.  I didn’t want to throw a fit (though heaven knows I can), and I knew it wouldn’t be much fun for him, but I’m still in the I-don’t-want-to-leave-you-I-want-to-show-you-off-to-everybody stage in newly married life.  I cried slightly.

As I said before, I am trying on expressing what I’m thinking instead of veiling it in “if you want” verbiage.  So I called The Man back later and said, “You know I reeeeeally want you to go, don’t you?”  You know what that guy said to me?!  “I called _____ and asked if he could cover my shift at work.”  Yes, he did.  He took off work to go on a not-so-funish trip just for me.  He is a faithful man.

And then, last minute, we called Christy to see if one of her kids could come with us.  Aaron likes us (or at least he said he liked Caleb), so he begged to be the one.  We can always count on those good ol’ Gimben kids.  There is always at least one ready and willing to go on a trip and fill in the gaps.  (I’m not sure if they know what handy gap-fillers they are.)  Aaron was our dear faithful Gimben this weekend.



So those were my weekend faithfuls.  The people who don’t complain, who go with the flow, who teach me a ton about patience in life.