"Maybe You Should Look A Little Closer" by Terri Miller

Book Cover

"Maybe You Should Look A LittleCloser"is a memoir written by Terri Miller about 100 years of her family'shistory. The timeline begins in the early 1900's as she recounts storiesshe has heard about the days when her grandparents settled in Limestone,Pennsylvania. It continues through her grandchildren's childhood inearly the 2000's. The historical aspect of the story is reallyinteresting. We get a glimpse of the post World War II years in ruralsmall-town America through this family's life. The majority of thememoir tells the story of Terri Miller's life with her parents and hersiblings.

Terri Miller's father kept a very sketchy journal. It was just a fewthoughts hastily scribbled on January 1 of the highlights of theprevious year. Terri includes that journal and expands on it.

We are granted quite an intimate look at Terri herself. She boldlyshares personal dreams and ambitions but also fears and failures. Infact, she is quite open about the positive and negative personalitytraits of herself and of her family members. That's the thing she wantsus to see--that we all have strengths and weaknesses. It's what we dowith situations that matters. And...It's how we treat family membersthat have made poor choices or are facing difficult times that matters.If you have family that you know cares about and loves you...even thoughyou're not perfect...that's what matters. You know they will stand byyou, because you stood by them during their difficult times.

The title of the book is for the beloved younger brother,Tracey...something he said as a child..."Maybe you should look a littlecloser." In other words, "Don't jump to conclusions." Or "Things are notalways as they appear." Or "Look beneath the surface. There may bereasons you don't know anything about."

Terri's mother often wrote poems and words of encouragement to others.This is something she wrote in one of Terri's birthday cards.

"You can't know today all the roles you'll be playing, can't previewthe years you're about the begin--and yet you have all the resourcesto go there, the power to choose and the courage to win. You may notknow how the years up to this one have ripened your wisdom andsharpened your skill. You've yet to unfold all the promise withinyou but daughter, believe this you will...oh, you will."

Terri makes a point of saying that she played the role of daughter well.Her own words say it best:

"I've traveled the role of daughter to its end. I played that partwith more confidence than any of the other roles in my life, and Imiss it deeply. Hopefully the future carries with it new roles inwhich I will excel. I am now the older generation!"

"The Duet" by Robert Elmer

"The $64 Tomato" William Alexander