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Rae Turnbull on


Rae Turnbull is a mentor teacher, author, designer and skillful presenter who uses a wide range of professional experience in her successful teaching strategies.  She is a syndicated columnist whose poetic essay feature, “Friend of the Family,” appears in five major newspapers in the west and Midwest.

Rae’s essays offer heartwarming views of everyday events that reflect the richness of family life.  Her limited edition books, collections of her essays, are “Echoes in the Corners of My Heart,” “When Wildflowers are in Bloom,” “When the Heart Most Clearly Speaks,” and “I Hear the Whispers in the Twilight.”  Her essays and short stories have been published in magazines such as FIRST for Women, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, and the quarterly BECOMING FAMILY.

Rae Turnbull is also the creator of several intensive single session motivational seminars, as well as the dynamic 10 session FORUM FOR PARENTS:  THE PARENT AS A TEACHER.  Her book, BE THE PARENT YOUR CHILD DESERVES, published by New Page Books, a division of Career Press, is based on the Forum and is designed to help parents understand that their primary parental role is to teach. 

The book offers a new vision.  Parents find the power to lead, motivate, and inspire their children to become self-reliant adults.  Parents gain the courage to face up to the changes they may need to make in their own lives, in order to be the parent their children deserve.

Rae Turnbull’s extensive teaching career spans 40 years.  It includes a variety of teaching experiences that include prominent eastern college preparatory schools, a school for Exceptional Children in Los Angeles, as well as small rural schools in the west.  Her teaching credits include California State University, Long Beach and California State University, Chico.  Listed in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers,” Rae Turnbull was inducted into the Glenn County (California) Educator’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

These exceptionally varied credentials as an author and a teacher allow Rae Turnbull’s forums and seminars to offer unusually keen insights into improving relationships and increasing individual potential.

For information, contact: Friend of the Family Features, 680 Fifth Ave. Orland, CA 95963 or call 530-865-5920.  Email:  Visit the website of Rae and her artist husband George at; click "Gift Books" to learn more about Rae and her writing. 


Note:  After 20 years, Rae Turnbull discontinued her

beautiful column in July 2003 to pursue other interests.


2003 archives         2002 archives


June 22, 2003

Watching them
makes me smile.
Two young children,
full of restless energy,
scramble into a car
parked near mine,
in a restaurant parking lot.

In the front seat,
their parents study a map,
while the children chatter.
It's a family situation
I remember well.
How many
traveling trips we took
when our own children
were small like these.

At every opportunity,
we'd gather up
our camping gear,
and pack it into
our old Buick wagon.
Following maps,
well worn from use,
we'd eagerly plan
what we fondly called
our family adventures.

Adventures that made
the memories
that sit with me now
in the lonely quiet
of my car.

June 24, 2003

Keep me out of the middle.
I'll take the lead happily,
and make the hard decisions,
or I'll just as willingly
bring up the rear,
and follow dutifully.
Just don't put me
in the middle.

Whether it's family
or some committee,
I don't want to be
the one all the others
decide to confide in,
each hoping I'll be
the one with the treaty
that pleases all sides.

The man in the middle
has little control
in either direction.
And as for any
the leader gets lauded,
and the last one in line
gets the sympathy.
But the one in the middle
won't even get noticed,
except to be blamed
for whatever went wrong.

So make me your leader
or make me follow.
Don't make me the middle!

June 26, 2003

Sometimes I think
it must be how
God lets us prepare.

When we realize
the final separation
is coming closer,
from those we've loved
all of our life,
the Lord lets us see
their unlovable side.
He reminds us
of their faults,
things we early learned
to simply live with,
or ignore.

We struggle with this,
straining to see
only the side of them
we adored.
But age and illness
exaggerate flaws,
in even the best of us.

They say harsh words
they may want to erase.
Trying to find
some saving grace,
we pretend those words
were never there.

Sad as it is,
Somehow I'm certain
it's how the good Lord
helps us prepare.
June 29, 2003

This long and lovely visit
is coming to an end.

Our weekly conversations,
the hopes and dreams
we've always shared,
have built a bond
of friendship
I believe we each
have treasured.

How often I have said
my readers are my friends.
Helpful, loyal friends,
who've been there
in times of trouble.
Friends who've felt my joy
as if it was their own.

Friends whose understanding
often overwhelms me
with its wisdom
and its kindness.
I will call on now
to know why I must leave
and tend to other needs.

It makes me sad to go,
and I won't use
the word goodby.
For friends like you
are friends I keep
forever in my heart.

July 1, 2003

The car climbs up
the winding road
that rims the canyon's edge.
I fear roads like these,
and choose never
to travel them.
And yet today,
I'm not afraid.

It's true I trust
the one whose driving.
He is skillful and wise,
and takes the car
carefully and slow
around the curves
of this narrow road.
It hugs sheer rock
on its mountain side,
while the other sheers off
to the canyon floor
so far below.
But the driver's skill
is not the reason
my fear leaves.

Someone dear
is gravely ill.
And my heart knows
this frightening road
I travel now
is nothing
to the road she faces.
And I'm ashamed
to be afraid.

July 3, 2003

The Fourth of July
is the finest
of our holidays.

We make much of it,
with fireworks and flags
and backyard feasts,
that follow up
a day of parades
in every large city
and tiny town.

And well we should.
It's a mighty nation's
boisterous birthday.
And we all should be
rightfully proud
of how freedom's child
has grown.

Born with such promise
and eager hope,
this great country,
in barely more
than two centuries,
grew to be

the symbol of democracy.
Flawed she may be,
and learning still,
but this is the country
that gave liberty
to the common man.

And he firmly believes
she deserves a glorious
birthday party!


2003 archives                   2002 archives

Rae Turnbull
Friend of the Family Features
© Copyright 2003







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