Katherine Valentine
        Award Winning Christian Author

In 1981, God gave  Kate these two messages
to share with the
world
during a Near Death Experience .

If you really wish to show your love for me, then love your brothers and sisters.

You are never alone. No matter the trial, just reach out your hand
and I will lead you through.


    Here are samplings of two new projects that Katherine is working on for release in 2015

Dear Readers:

Last year, I published a few journal entries that appeared in various newspapers around the country, entitled 'High Meadows' that depicts life on a small New England town. Surprisingly, the response has been so heartwarming, with continued requests for more segments, that I have decided to turn it into what I hope will be a series of books that center on High Meadows and the town of Remembrance.


                  Welcome to High Meadows

A deep freeze has settled over our meadow with sub-zero temperatures and record lows. The days are now spent warm and snug, tucked behind a bank of kitchen windows that look out over the meadow; windows that I insist be thoroughly cleaned each fall in preparation of these artic like days.

    Andrus hates cleaning windows and approaches the task with all the drama of a martyr.    As he rummages through the back shed for pails, rags and his extension latter, his rumblings can be heard clear across the meadow.

    “Don’t know why she insists on cleaning all the windows in the fall when the snow, sleet and winter grit are only going to dirty them up again.”

    Of course, he knows why I insist on this annual ritual. When the sub-freezing temperatures force me to take shelter indoors, I want a clear view (void of streaks and spots) of the entire goings on at our High Meadows.

    He marches into the kitchen and fills a pail with warm water. “Where’s the vinegar at?” he grumbles, in case I don’t know how off-putting this annual ritual is to a man who would much rather be fixing fences or cleaning gutters. These he considers manly jobs.

    Meanwhile, the dogs, normally his constant companions due to his ability to root out woodchucks, squirrels and an occasional deer from their hiding place as he goes about mending things on the farm, eye him warily, safely hidden beneath the kitchen table.

    I point to the gallon container on the kitchen counter clearly visible to his right. He pours a liberal amount of white vinegar into the tin pail then heaves the pail out of the sink with a grunt and comes close to splashing water all over my clean kitchen floor. For just a second, I catch a look of uncertainty in those beautiful, blue eyes. Then, just as quickly, he regains his look of martyrdom as he retraces his steps across kitchen and out the back door. The wooden heavy screen door resounds with a sharp thud as it slams in his wake.

    I glance down at the floor I had scrubbed just 30 minutes before and sigh. Andrus’ thick rubber soled shoes have left chunks of dirt and crushed leaves across his path.

    I head towards the pantry for a mop and decide to serve leafy green spinach with supper in silent retribution for Andrus scuffing up my clean kitchen floor. Andrus has an aversion to anything green. But to be fair, I know how much he hates to wash windows, especially on a house with 12 over 12 glass panes. So, I’ll also serve his favorite gingerbread with candied ginger and a touch of rum topped with thick, snowy white whipped cream.
    
     Andrus and I are always amused when our city friends call to find we are not at home.

     “Where were you all this time?” they asked astonished that we could find anything of interest to do in the country, especially during the winter months.

     I’m sure they think that we languish away our days sipping hot chocolate, staring into a roaring fire and reading dime store novels. 

    Country living is dictated by the seasons, none of which are spent idle.  In the spring there’s plenty to keep us busy as we clear away the winter’s debris, transplant delicate flowers into newly turned beds and setup our gardens. 

     Summers are for repairing fences, painting the out-buildings, weeding the gardens, caning and freezing bushels of fresh garden produce.

    In the fall, we cut and stack firewood, clean out gutters, put up the storm windows, and generally get ready for winter. And in the winter, although there is less to do in the outdoors, there’s plenty to keep us busy inside.  The woodwork needs a good scrubbing and my sewing room is always in need of organizing. The cellar will be cleaned and some years given a fresh coat of whitewash which gives us a chance to closely inspect the field-stone for chinks that make great entry points for snakes.
 
     Seldom do we go a winter without painting a room. With three dogs and seven grandchildren I suppose we should be happy that only one needs to be painted at a time. Then, of course, this leads to making new curtains and designing a new quilt for the bed. I might also try to persuade Andrus to build me another bookcase for my bedroom, knowing that no matter how many he builds, I will run out of space and end up stacking books along the floor.

     “Why don’t I just build you a library and slip a bed inside,” Andrus often quips.

     The animals always need tending regardless of the time of year. Baths must be given, nails clipped and dogs let in and let out. With three, there always seems to be one stationed by the back door with a look of the utmost urgency in their eyes, or outside howling to be let in. There’s also a cat that must occasionally be rescued from under the dishwasher. 

      Now these are the animals we have agreed to share our house with, but there are others, the interlopers.
No matter how hard Andrus works at sealing up our home against unwanted outside critters, we seldom make it through a winter without someone taking up residency. 

     Harsh, New England winters often force field mice, flying squirrels and voles into homes. Although they can be a real nuisance especially when they decide to play field hockey between the floor joists with an acorn at two o’clock in the morning, or decide to gnaw on a tasty stud behind our bedroom wall, who can blame them for seeking refuge? Wouldn’t you wish to trade icy, cold woodlands for the comfort of a snug, warm, insulated house?      
     But these charitable thoughts quickly vanish after several nights of sleep deprivation.  When one especially active critter kept us up to 3am for two consecutive nights, we decided that a call to our pest control man, Dale, was warranted.

     Dale is a rare individual who truly loves his work. He sees his role as exterminator as a never-ending drama, the fight between nature and man.

     Recently, he shared the tale of a clever raccoon. For weeks, a couple had been falsely accusing their teenage son and his friends for depleting their cereal supply and leaving the kitchen in shambles. Their enterprising son, not willing to accept the blame for something that he had not done, setup a video camera in the kitchen. Imagine the parents feeling of guilt when the tape revealed the real culprit. A clever raccoon was using the doggie-door to gain entry into the kitchen, and from what the tape reviled, the clever critter knew exactly where to find the cereal cabinet.

     I told Dale he should write a book.

     “Maybe I will”, he said.

     But this morning, Dale marches right downstairs with just a wave of his hand. Dale is like a detective and is eager to scout out any clues that might be lying about which will reveal the genesis of our intruders. 

    As I measure coffee beans and take Andrus’s favorite coffee cake out of the oven. As the smell of cinnamon fills the kitchen, Dale and Andrus pound up the cellar stairs and out into the yard. While waiting for the cake to cool, I wash the baking bowls, watching out the window above my sink as Andrus fetches the tall ladder out from the shed and then helps Dale steady it against the house.

     They shout short, staccato sentences at each other which I can’t seem to make out.  I lean over the sink to get a better view through the window. The three shepherds have gathered at the base of the ladder. Within minutes the dogs and Andrus have their heads tilted skywards, watching Dale poke around by the gutters.

     I place the last bowl on the drain-board as Dale clamors down the ladder, the metal hits the clapboard in a rapid, gun-fire series of raps as he pounces down, setting the house to vibrate. Before reaching the last step, Dale shouts for Wolfgang to find his ball. Dale is one of Wolfgang’s favorite friends. And while the dogs all follow in hot pursuit, the men make their way back inside the house, pausing by the thick mat outside the kitchen door to wipe their feet, a courtesy, I am certain, made more earnest because I am standing at the kitchen sink.

     They wash their hands before settling around the kitchen table for a cup of piping, hot coffee and a piece of warm coffee cake. I cut several extra pieces and place them on an ironstone platter. I know requests for second helpings will be forthcoming.

     “It’s mice,” Dale says, pouring a liberal amount of heavy cream into his coffee. I watched with envy mindful of my cholesterol.  I drink mine black.

     “I’d say from the looks of the droppings you’ve got a couple dozen living inside the walls.”

     “Maybe we should get some more cats?”  I suggested.

     Andrus has a one cat limit and rolls his eyes at my suggestion.

     “It’s more humane than using poison,” I insist.

     “Yes, I can see how being eaten can be construed as more humane than then being poison,” Andrus counters.

     How can it be mice?  I want to know. Andrus had set a dozen mousetraps all around the basement this fall and never once has one been sprung.

     Dale plops the last crumb of coffee cake into his mouth, pushes it to one side with his tongue and says, “That’s because he didn’t put them in the right places. I’ll put out some bait before I leave. They’ll be gone in a few days.”

     This seems too simple. “How do you know which are the right places?”

     Dale leans back in his chair and smiles.  “I know because I think like a mouse.”

     How could I dispute that?

    That morning Dale baited traps in various places around the house. Within a few days, the culprits were caught and we remained mouse free for the rest of the winter.

                              

For over 30 years, people have asked me to write about my spiritual journey that began with an NDE and a miraculous healing. Here is a sampling...

            Ask Me Why I  Believe in Miracles

The Journey begins… 

As with any move, especially from one state to another, the weeks flew by with an endless list of things to do. Doctor and school records needed to be transferred.  There was an entire house to pack. Movers to be hired. Utilities to be turned on in one house and off in another. 

      The conditions of Paul’s new job meant that he was to start immediately Paul which meant that I was left to handle the move. Although he never voiced his concerns, I sensed that he was worried that my health could erode again. Since doctors could not explain my healing, and termed it a case of ‘spontaneous remission’, the word remission implied that my body was in a kind of suspended state of good health that could end at any time.  

     Paul called several times a day to caution me not to ‘over do’.  I wished  more than anything to put his concerns to rest, but to do so, meant telling him about the dream, something I was not ready to do. During our 10 year marriage, Paul had made it very clear how he felt about religions and faith.

    “It’s all pure fantasy,” he would say. “Nothing but wishful thinking.”

       Until I could finds a way of sharing my encounter while maintaining my validity, I would remain silent.

Within six weeks, the family was once again together, the boxes unpacked and the children thrilled to live in a neighborhood rift with kids their age. In fact, everyone had settled in nicely which meant it was time to face the elephant in the room. Was I going to seek a way to do as God had asked, or was I to just enjoy my good health and try to forget what I had encountered?

     Then just as God was often wont to do throughout this journey, as soon as I expressed a need for guidance, He opened up the path with a chance meeting with a woman who attended the Infant Jesus Catholic Church in Port Jefferson.  When I mentioned that I had left the Church as a teenager, she said if I was ever interested in attending, she would be happy to share a ride.

      Seeing my hesitancy, she added, “You should speak to Father Frank Pizzarelli. He’s the pastor. Tell him that you might be interested in attending a Mass.”

        “I don’t know,” I said. “Priests have always kind of scared me.”

       She laughed, “I can guarantee you that Father Frank is nothing like the priests you might have known as a kid. In fact, you’ll find him very easy to talk to.”

       She wrote a phone number on a napkin and pushed it across the table.

         “Give him a call. Trust me. You’re going to like him.”

         A stray thought fluttered through my mind.  I had asked God to show me how to start this journey.  Maybe this Father Frank could show me how to begin.

Very funny, God…

The day of our meeting, I pulled my car into the church parking lot, turned off the engine, closed my eyes and gave God a challenge.

       If Father Frank believed my story, then I would take it as a sign that I was on the right track and I would pursue God’s edict; however, when I was finished, if he looked at me as though I was one of those who saw images of the Virgin Mary in a tree stump or a grilled cheese sandwich, I would never tell another living soul.  God would just have to get Himself another messenger.

      Father Frank’s secretary said I was expected, then pointed to an office door and said, “Just knock”.

        Seconds later, the door swung open and I smiled.

       There stood a tall, thin man with long brown shoulder length hair, a mustache and full beard dressed in corduroy jeans and sandals.  It was like looking at a modern day image of Jesus Christ.

       Cute, Lord, I thought as I was invited in.               

   Unlike the intimidating dark paneled offices of the priests I had encountered in my youth, this room had a comfortably cluttered look that felt warm and inviting. Crayoned drawings were tacked along the walls and stacks of books were piled everywhere.

     I was directed to a group of soft, cushiony chairs and for the next several minutes, Father Frank and I engaged in small talk.

     I shared our family’s recent return to Long Island. He told me a about Hope House, a facility for troubled boys he oversaw. Finally, the small talk wound down. It was time to get to the core reason for my visit.

        I shifted nervously in my chair. Although I had practiced this moment for weeks, now that it was here, it was if all the carefully chosen words that best portrayed the event without doing too much damage to my validity had suddenly fled.  I had to make a split-second decision. Would I make an excuse and leave? Or would I soldier on?

       I took a deep breath and plunged forward. I gave a quick overview of my surgery; the diagnosis of cancer; followed by the yearlong battle that ensured.

        Father Frank listened attentively with an occasional nod of sympathy as I covered the moments leading up to the viral lung infection and finally, my request to come home to die.

       Through some miracle, I had managed to get through that first portion of my story without turning Redcoat and rushing out of his office.  But now, I was perched on the moment that I had dreaded.

      For the 1st time, I was about to share my meeting with God to a perfect stranger, a story that I had secretly hidden even from Paul.

       I was about to cross a line that would forever brand me as either as delusional, or someone God had truly culled out of the masses with a mission. Once these words had been spoken, there would be no turning back.

       Like a diver poised above an icy pool, I summoned up my courage, took the plunge and recounted the dream.

    I began with the view. How I had found myself on a very high mountaintop, poised above a valley of indescribable beauty. I recounted the moment when I felt someone stand to my left and how I instantly knew that ‘someone’ was God.

       I explained how that recognition triggered a review of all the times I had neglected to act with charity and love and my attempt to explain why I had acted that way.

     As I tried to convey the enormity of God’s forgiveness and the peace that flowed from His words, “You needn’t explain. Here, all things are already forgiven”. It was as if this extraordinary encounter and all its implications that I had carefully locked away for months had suddenly been allowed to surface. There was no stopping the tears. I brushed them away, embarrassed.        

     I concluded my story with the two messages that God wished me to share and the discovery that next morning that I had been mysteriously healed… a healing that doctors could not explain.

      Father Frank sat quietly for several moments while I searched his face for any signs of doubt to the validity of my story.

       Finally, he leaned forward and said with a conviction that brought a new flush of tears, “It looks like God has something important for you to do.”

        He believed what I had experienced was real, not some figment of my imagination! A giant weight was lifted.

        “But why would He choose me?” I wanted to know. “I’m certainly not one of the faithful.  As I explained, I haven’t been to church in years.  And what am I supposed to do with this?”

        Father Frank smiled. “The answers you’re seeking can only be found in the journey.”

        “Fine. But where do I find the roadmap?” I quipped.

        He laughed, then suggested that I begin with prayer.

        “You mean the Our Father or the Hail Mary?”

        I may have left the Church years ago, but the prayers the nuns of St. Anthony of Padua in East Northport had ingrained in us as a child were there to stay.

       “Yes, they’re good prayers. But I’m suggesting that instead of formal prayers that you talk to God like you’re talking to me. After all, prayer is really just a conversation with God.” 

      “But isn’t conversation when I say something and then the other person responds?” I said.

        A line from the comedian, Lily Tomlin instantly popped into my head. “Prayer is when you speak to God. Schizophrenia is when God speaks to you.”

        How do I separate His voice from my inner thoughts?”

        “You’ll know when He speaks to you,” he said, which I thought was a rather doughy response.

        “Give it a try,” he suggested. “I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover the many ways that you can learn to recognize His voice.”

 


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