Navigating Life's Roadways


Written By: admin

As noted in the description, my book chronicles my life story through a series of narratives, each starting with a title and a meaningful quote. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see, as in this one I share my entrance into the world of paid work.

As an operations supervisor at (then) Mobil Oil in 1985

Read and relate!

After this excerpt you’ll find reviews and comments from folks who vetted parts of this book throughout my writing process.

Listen UP!

Below hear Deborah speak for a Motivational Monday teleseminar on Navigating Life’s Roadways: How To Steer Towards Your Success

Motivational Speaker and Author

Launching Labor Landslide

Life gives nothing to man without labor.

Horace, Latin lyric poet

Fifty cents an hour are the wages,” the manager stated.

“I’ll take it!” was my response.  

 My first job interview and offer were now complete. At age sixteen, I got my first paid summer job at a local diner in Waverly Virginia.  Washing dishes eight to ten hours a day was my major duty and I helped the cook prep the meals when needed.

I’d looked forward to entering the world of work, seeing it as a massive roll into adulthood. Watching my mother and other family members’ labor to meet their responsibilities led the way. My grandfather toiled in various jobs at Higgins Mill and Trucking, a local lumber company. Work in the peanut fields and the chicken hatchery generated income for my grandmother for a number of years, then she became a full time mother, wife, caregiver and grandmother—also tough positions. I recounted my mother’s work as a domestic and factory worker in an earlier story. From each of my elders I learned that once you embark on this sometimes drudging journey of work, it hits you hard—you will be in jobs or
careers until you retire. Then your life becomes as the O’Jays sang, a matter of living for the weekend to party down. Right?

 Anyway, my tasks at this small diner were not very glamorous. With no electric dishwasher, every item used to prepare, cook and serve the food had to be washed by hand. Standing on my feet over the big sinks scrubbing pots and plates wore out my teenage body. But I was glad to have this position, setting me on this journey of what it meant to be responsible outside of my home. I worked at the Waverly Diner for two summers and then other opportunities followed.

The summer before I went to college I got an administrative job in an office at Fort Lee, the local Army base about twenty miles from Waverly. With a much better pay scale and overall working environment, this position exposed me to people from different places. In addition, I learned office protocol in answering phones and handling paperwork. The ‘home-training’ I’d received from my mother and grandparents helped me adjust to the structured way of addressing the military and civilian employees based on their duties and positions.  “Know how to act at work and do your job right,” my family had advised. 

…………To be continued in the book!


In Cabo San Lucas Mexico in the rough Pacific waters, 2008

Reviews on

Warm, engaging and
,August 9, 2011

It amazes me that  we think we are all different, yet our journeys have a lot in common. I enjoyed seeing the world through the lens Deb uses in her book. The famous quotes  sprinkled throughout are worthy of chewing on again and again. The metaphors provided a light hearted vehicle for connecting all parts of her journey…fun stops, adventures and some really tough patches. The affirmation I felt while reading the book came from a deep resonance that in the end, we are all travelers to the same destination. Deb takes her road with grace, fortitude and her hands firmly on the wheel.



What a wonderful book! Each section starts with a quotation that shows it’s relevance to Deborah’s life…to all of our lives. I don’t think there will be anyone who will not identify in some way with the challenges and triumphs that Deborah experiences. Indeed, one leaves the book realizing how the challenges in our lives create the wonderful, contributing people we have become.

Several friends and colleagues read a variety of the stories in this book. Their comments and feedback have been extremely helpful as I composed this book.

Some of their remarks are below.

“I’ve known Deborah for over 30 years and as I read some of her stories found out more about the events of her life that have shaped or stopped her at times.” A friend and school pyschologist

“Deborah has done a lot of work on these stories. I can chart her growth in very real ways.” A friend, retired professor and training colleague

“These are wonderful stories.” A sorority sister

“I learn more about Deborah through her writing.  I liked some of her childhood stories that reminded me of my time visiting relatives that lived in rural areas.”  A retired army officer and buddy