She has been writing in some fashion nearly all her life Jude says. Her mother wrote sweet romances in the 1930's, her daughters write, as do her grandchildren and several other family members. She created bedtime stories for her children and penned others for her grandchildren.
Jude was born in Tennessee but grew up in Indiana. She graduated from Indiana University with a Masters Degree in Nursing. After launching a family of three, she spent years in her beloved nursing career. While on faculty at Indiana University, she was voted teacher of the year, wrote an honors course in oncology nursing and her winning proposal took her to Saudi Arabia for workshops on Stress in Transcultural Nursing. She says, ''I thoroughly enjoyed being a nurse." You'll find her nurse practitioner experience in her latest novel.
First published in non fiction, Jude continues to write in this field also. She is a columnist for Maximum Living, a magazine focusing on spirituality and wellness for women. She has been a blogger for Ellechor Publishing, Hoosier Ink and her own blog. She wrote Health Notes, a column in her church newsletter, for six years.
She is a member of national and area chapters of American Christian Fiction Writers and the National League of American Pen Women. She is current president of her local branch of Pen Women and participates in a local critique group.J
Jude and her husband Conrad live in Indiana and share a blended family of eight children and 19 grandchildren, who live all over the United States
Dude Ranch Summer ~What I Did on my Summer Vacation
“Oh, come on, you two can do it! We’re going to.”
Such encouragement , or should I say, such gentle pressure, from dear friends is what found us working at a delightful Dude Ranch in beautiful Montana one summer. That experience is a memory not easily forgotten.
Realize, we were not your typical summer wranglers. You know, those perky college gals who look good in tight Levis and those fresh-faced lads who have cut their teeth on the saddle horn.
Far from it. In fact, some would have called our foursome, geezer guys and gals. Our friends had been guests at this fancy dude ranch for several years, but it was the first time ‘we professional types’ had done menial work like we did that summer. The guys handled outside work such as slopping the pigs, mending fences, cleaning stalls, and painting. I was dining room hostess, worked split shifts beginning at 6:00 am and ending at 9:00 to 10:00 pm, after evening socials. My counterpart cooked and cooked some more. If we weren’t serving or cooking, we helped clean cabins. We had roughly thirty two new guests each week and had to commit names to memory.
That summer was not for sissies, I can tell you. More than once, we senior citizens laughed and asked what we were doing there and why we weren’t back home playing golf or going to lunch. We broke sweat several times each day. We monitored for bears and forest fires.
But lest I lead you to believe we sorely commiserated all summer, let me tell you about the things taking our breaths away. To start with, the scenery itself was post-card perfect with majestic mountain views, peaceful lakes and crystal-clear, blue skies. The sprawling ranch nestled in a green valley below Shadow Mountain, a place of spiritual quest for the Crow Indians who used to live in this place. The herd of magnificent horses skittering into the corals each morning reminded me of the old west. Guests were fanciful, interesting as well as sometimes unbelievable; the rich came from near and far. My huge horse Tom carried me along the trails to our Campfire Cookout.
Explorers Lewis and Clark had traveled through Livingston, Montana on their westward journey, camping at the rambunctious Yellowstone River, which flowed right through town. Of course, being the history buff I am, I relished this tidbit. Hollywood saw fit to add to the charm the little town, when Livingston became the location for several movies. I purchased a couple pieces of Montana Silversmith jewelry I absolutely cherish and they keep my summer memories alive.
Oh, another thing I did on this impressive summer adventure was to polish my first manuscript, later published. Life can be an odyssey.