Grand Canyon Rafting Adventure

Written By: Chapters of Life - Apr• 18•15

For a friend’s sixty-fifth birthday, Judith A. Litchfield joined four other women for a bucket list trip rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. This book features stories of the trip and nearly 260 color photos of one of the Seven Wonders of the World as viewed from the river. To order the book, contact the author at julitch [at]



Pioneer Musings

Written By: Chapters of Life - Jan• 13•15

Pioneer Musings

Kitty (Allen) Wright Blair lived most of her life in Lewis County, Washington, where her family settled as pioneers in the Salkum area. She and her husband, Grant, had thirteen children. Shortly before her death in 1962, she wrote these recollections for her family. Copies may be purchased at the Lewis County Historical Museum and Book ‘n’ Brush in Chehalis.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2015

Written By: Chapters of Life - Dec• 27•14

Merry Christmas from the Zanders-1

These Walls Talk

Written By: Chapters of Life - Nov• 12•14

these walls talk005

The Lewis County Courthouse is now on the National and Washington State Registers of Historic Places. This book tells the history of the building through the eyes of the people who worked there through the decades. It is available at the Lewis County Commissioners’ office for $10.

God and Grandpa

Written By: Chapters of Life - Sep• 28•14

Paperback God and Grandpa cover

Justin Farrell and his grandfather drove the Alaska-Canada Highway and shared stories, memories, and wisdom along the way. This book tells about the trip and the memories they made and the faith they shared while traveling the highway.

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“Julie was an essential piece to the puzzle that allowed me to fulfill my dream of publishing a book. Her timely feedback and efficiency made this process so smooth. I am forever grateful for her expertise and commitment to creating the highest quality work.”

~ Justin Farrell, author of God and Grandpa


The Miracle Museum

Written By: Chapters of Life - Aug• 04•14

Twenty years ago, Lee Grimes awoke in the middle of the night to hear God speak clearly in his mind, “No, don’t let them forget. Go out and get their stories.”Lee feathered

That’s the condensed version of how Lewis County became home to a renowned museum showcasing stories of men and women who have sacrificed in service to their nation.Heeding that still small voice, Grimes purchased a video recorder and began gathering the stories of military veterans. As he did, many gave him uniforms, photos and memorabilia, and the Veterans Memorial Museum was born.

Now a book called “The Miracle Museum” tells the longer version and how veterans who have visited the museum in the past 15 years have received a warm welcome and hope and healing of wounded hearts. All proceeds from sale of the book benefit the museum.

When I met Grimes a decade ago and he told me how the museum started, the story lifted my heart and resonated in my spirit. How many of us hear that still small voice and fail to heed it? I need a sledgehammer from God to know what he wants me to do.

Then, in early 2010, while organizing a Northwest meeting of the Association of Personal Historians, I wanted people to see the museum so I emailed Grimes about renting the upstairs room. During our back-and-forth email correspondence, I wrote that someday I’d love to help him share the story of how the museum began. But then I erased that line, feeling that I was being rather presumptuous to suggest such a thing. Grimes responded by email and again thanked me for my efforts to promote the museum … and then said he hoped I would help him tell the story of “The Miracle Museum.” The sledgehammer!

I met with Grimes eight times that year, tapping furiously on my laptop as he shared fabulous stories about the people who helped start the museum and veterans who gave generously of time and talent to remodel the rental building in Centralia and construct the existing building in Chehalis. I often found myself swiping tears from my eyes as he told how God has worked in the lives of so many people, healing decades-old wounds and bringing peace to war-ravaged hearts.

Now, four years later, the book is at the printer’s and should be ready to sell in time for the July 31 through Aug. 3 visit by the Vietnam Traveling Wall, which will be open for public viewing 24 hours a day. The Brothers in Arms Motorcycle Club will escort the wall through Centralia and Chehalis to the museum July 30.


Why Me, Lord?

Written By: Chapters of Life - Aug• 04•14



Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Peter Slempa, Slempa, a member of the first Navy SEAL teams, signed copies of Why Me, Lord? last weekend at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis.

Pete served aboard the USS Worcester CL-144 before qualifying for an underwater demolition team. He became the first master chief of SEAL Team One, served six tours in Vietnam as a provincial recon unit advisor, and achieved the rank of master chief petty officer.

In his book, Slempa shares harrowing stories of life in the elite Sea, Air, Land squad formed January 1, 1962—plunging two stories from a cruiser during a typhoon, hurtling four yards after being hit by a semi traveling seventy miles an hour, and rupturing both eardrums when his two-man open cockpit submarine lost control and dove to 200 feet.

Reading his stories, I am amazed this man is alive today. His book can be purchased through the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis.

Hayseed Bicentennial

Written By: Chapters of Life - Jun• 29•14

Sally feathered copy

Chapters of Life has published the fourth book written by S.T. Sweeney, a talented artist and prolific author in her eighties. Hayseed Bicentennial shares stories of growing up during the 1930s and 1940s in the  rural New York communities of Lee Center, Lee, Stokes, Delta, West Lee,  Point Rock, and West Branch.

Her first book, Hayseed, describes her childhood stories of growing up in New York and Hayseed II shares additional recollections of life in the first half of the 20th century.

Her book Tunnel Stiffs talks about the transient lifestyle and friendships formed among those people who built tunnels and dams throughout the United States during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

This terrific lady has a demeanor that exudes sunshine and happiness. What a treasure!


Memoir Shares the Funnier Side of Banking

Written By: Chapters of Life - Mar• 20•14

Arvon Agren with his memoir,
The Other Side of Banking

A Seattle man who worked as a bank manager at Capitol Hill and Magnolia before launching a career in real estate highlights the side of banking few people ever see in his entertaining memoir called The Other Side of Banking.

Most people imagine the life of a banker as rather stolid, but in this book, Arvon Agren, a former bank manager, shares stories of the lighter side of banking, such as walking down a  city street alone carrying more than $200,000 when he was a 17-year-old teller. He watched buildings crumble around him during the 1949 earthquake.

Agren, the youngest of three sons who grew up in Chehalis, Washington, recounts delivering newspapers, picking hops and berries, and doing what he could to help the family survive during the trying times of the Great Depression and the home front during World War II.

While attending the University of Washington on the GI bill, he worked at the University branch of the National Bank of Commerce and later as manager at the Capitol Hill branch, where he faced a Monday morning with all of the bank’s money locked in a safe until Wednesday. Another time, an employee found a glass eye rolling around the bottom of what should have been an empty safe deposit box.

Prepare to abandon any preconceptions about the sober life of a banker as you turn the pages of this memoir by the man who managed the Magnolia branch of the National Bank of Commerce in Seattle. He moved to Magnolia in 1966 and participated in the Chamber of Commerce and Magnolia Community Club.

Agren, 84, who lives in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, began working in the banking industry at the age of seventeen and retired after more than a quarter of a century. He also devoted much of his spare time to buying and selling property, making a career of real estate after leaving banking.

He worked with writer Julie McDonald Zander of Toledo in creating his memoir, which features colorful photos and costs $16.95. It is available at Magnolia’s Bookstore, 3206 W. McGraw St., Seattle; in Chehalis at Book ‘N’ Brush, 518 N Market Blvd, and the Lewis County Historical Museum, 599 NW Front St, or at


My client, Arvon Agren, received great publicity for his book from The Chronicle in Centralia and The Queen Anne and Magnolia News.


Happy Holidays to All

Written By: Chapters of Life - Dec• 20•13

What a treat to meet so many people when I presented four workshops at the Kitsap Regional Libraries in October as part of the One Book, One Community program. I presented two workshops on Preserving Family Stories and two on Creating Photo Books using,, and other online programs.

In the middle of October I joined my husband’s cousin, Peggy Hart, for a 10-day trip to Israel. What a whirlwind! We saw so many fabulous historic sites and many others of religious significance to Christians, Muslims, and Jews. I snapped 2,500 photos and trimmed those down to 1,800, which I posted on Facebook to share with anyone who was interested. I’d love to return to Israel someday and spend more time meditating at some of these places.

My husband and I have been busy the last several weeks selling Christmas trees in both Centralia and Toledo. It’s always a fun time because my brother-in-law from Bellingham visits to help us.

I love hearing from family and friends who send cards. Treasure this time making memories with your family and friends.

Best wishes for a fabulous 2014!


2013 Christmas letter2013 Christmas letter photos copy