Member Of:


Arlene Rains Graber

'To write something that brings a smile or initiates thought is truly one of life's pleasures.'

Arlene has written for newspapers, magazines and Christian periodicals for over thirty years. In 2010, her first non-fiction book, Devoted to Traveling, was published by AWOC Publishers. The book traces the author's travels throughout the world. In 2011, her first novel, A Plane Tree in Provence, was released, and a Christian novel, Angel on My Shoulder, was released. In 2012, Arlene published The Cape Elizabeth Ocean Avenue Society, the second book in the Plane Tree series, followed by Sarah's Choice in 2014. All books are available in paperback or as e-books.


It’s been over a year since I posted, but life got in the way. A rough 2023 for the Graber family, however, we are blessed with an abundant of things that millions in this country are struggling to obtain and for that we are grateful. Our family is small in number, but huge in love and have shown support for each other in many ways during all of life’s crisis that hit this year. We are also fortunate to be able to get the medical help we need, and are additionally blessed with several prayer chains from friends and church. Not sure where I would be without the support of my church prayer warriors. My personal close group of friends have listened patiently to my grumblings, offered advice and sent prayers upward. On a positive note, while writing has taken a back seat, I was fortunate in having another devotional published by the Upper Room and two waiting for final confirmation. 

So, to fill in you, I have had a year-long bout with shingles. Six to twelve weeks they said, but not this kid. First the virus itself presented itself with excruciating pain, then complications of nerve damage followed. I now understand what “pain management “is all about and have learned to cope with it.  PLEASE, if you have had chicken pox do get the Shingrix shot to avoid this awful disease. I can’t say “get the shot” loud enough.  

My youngest daughter, Carey, had open heart surgery at the beginning of the year, then six months later received the dreaded diagnosis of cancer. She is quite the trouper and has met both these afflictions with grace and a determination to kick “ass” and get on with life. Through it all, Carey has still been able to lead her company and work on a limited basis. Prayers are appreciated for her as she has a long road ahead before her body returns to a healthy stage.

My middle daughter, Penny, developed full-blown type 2 diabetes and while it’s been hard for her to change her diet, is finally dealing with it in a positive way. Although her disability limits in what she can do, she runs errands and cleans for Carey when needed. Her son, Palmer has spent numerous miles on the turnpike taking his Nana to Lawrence to handle business for his mother and provide support for Carey.

My eldest daughter, Shan, has spent the entire year making sure her sisters and I have the family support we need. A huge chore since it has involved trips to Lawrence while still checking on mom in Wichita, and working two jobs. When called upon for help, she never says no – it’s always yes even though she has to put her own life on hold.

Line Yes, the road has been tough, but with God’s help, in our darkest hours, our family has worked together to ease the pain and tackle all emergencies together. Looking forward to 2024 with renewed strength and with God’s help, it will be a better year.  

God says in Isaiah, “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight.”

Post tags:



For the past two years, Covid 19 hit our country with a vengeance not seen or heard of since the Russian Flu of 1898 or the Spanish Flu of 1918.  Businesses and social routines were changed almost overnight. During its course, we learned quite a bit regarding how to be flexible with business, church, and social events due to various lockdowns and social distancing practices. Businesses either shut down or sent workers home to work, churches developed virtual church services, the medical field scurried about developing telehealth for patients, social events were cancelled in favor of online exposure with facetime and zoom technology, while sanitizers and disinfectants plus mask mandates became part of our daily routine.

 Being the sort of person who finds it difficult to sit still and stay home, I kept busy by purging an abundance of “stuff” from my home. Methodically, I went through all drawers, cupboards, and closets that were home to things I hadn’t used in decades. Each day was filled with a new area to tackle with questions of did I need to keep this or that? What to do with them, and would I be sorry later for tossing them?  

Several items still had life in them and would most likely be of value to some folks. I sorted through various sizes of bedding which no longer fit my needs and an oversized assortment of tea towels were thinned out to just what was used weekly.  I carefully arranged stacks of items that needed new homes in the garage. There was a box of items that my daughters might like, another for friends and worthy organizations, and a huge pile of books to be donated to the library for the annual book sale fundraiser. The final batch housed stuff that had seen a better day were headed to the trash barrel. As soon as the lockdown lifted, I loaded the car and made trips to the DAV, Library, a couple of organizations, and the shredder.

It felt good. My drawers are now decluttered with drawers neat and orderly, closets roomy and organized, and cupboards reorganized to house only things I actually use.

Then, in 2021, health issues took over and it was in and out of the hospital for heart related issues most of the year before God took over. Writing took a back seat as did most of my activities. After months of prayers from countless friends and family, I’m happy to say that once again, I’m doing well.

Post tags:



Over the holidays, last year, our family enjoyed a wonderful season of celebrations with family and friends. Little did we know what the future had in store for 2020. I’d like to say that the year started well, but in reality, not the case. It has been one disaster after another for both our family and the world.

My daughter experienced several setbacks in her progress to accept life after a traumatic brain injury which caused our family much stress. After much searching, a new therapist is helping and we’re hoping for progress.

Then, Covid-19 struck and resulted into a huge pandemic, and the political world grew into a chaos of hatred and unrest. All trips were put on hold, lockdown arrived, mandatory masks and social distancing became the norm, and life as we knew it—ceased.

Could things be worse? Certainly! I remember saying often things like, “Once this pandemic is over by say June…” then again, “Things should be better by October…” and now I’ve quit speculating as there is no reasonable end in sight. On the political scene, perhaps after the election is over hateful emotions and caustic attitudes will soften. And, regarding my daughter? Prayers and hope are ongoing.

During lockdown, I will say that we were most productive in cleaning out closets, cupboards, and areas which had long been neglected – like the garage, storage bins, and those hidden niches that never receive attention. So, after eight months, we are clean as a pin here, tidy beyond expectations, and decluttered.

For my writing efforts, I was fortunate to be included in the June/July edition of the Upper Room and have sent out a couple of stories and a devotional to various publications.

So, after eight challenging months, my days are spent searching for things to do at home, planning what I’ll do first after the pandemic is over, and watching more television that I’ve done in all of my 80+ years. On the bright side, there is face time and zoom meetings to keep in touch with family and organizations. Thankfully my Yoga class has sessions on zoom and video to crank up when the yearning for exercise sets in.

Looking ahead to the holidays, we’re not sure how celebrations, if any, will be handled. Kansas is experiencing a weekly rise in Covid cases with no relief in sight. Ah, 2020, the year of Covid-19, setbacks, and political turmoil – yet there is merit in a clean decluttered house, right?

Post tags:


I have news! The last book in the A Plane Tree in Provence series has just been released. Vernie: One Year Tops combines intrigue, strife, and success in the life of Vernie Olander. Recently retired from the Portland, Maine Symphony Orchestra as its executive manager, Vernie has just completed her first novel as a stay-at-home writer. She could not be happier huddled in a three by four-foot closet office pounding out chapter after chapter in the life of fictional characters. But then a detour presents itself.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. As I mentioned before, this is my last novel. From now on, I will be writing for various non-fiction publications. It has been my pleasure to share personal stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and I am also blessed to be included in several devotional publications.

Wishing all of you the best Christmas Season ever with lots of family fun celebrations. I hope the New Year brings happiness to all who are suffering, love to those in crisis, and prosperity to those in need.

Merry Christmas, arlene

Post tags:


It occurs to me that some of you might not know what I write and how it all came about. If you take a look at the page “About Arlene” it will tell you the story. Long story short, I started in journalism writing as a correspondent for The Wichita Eagle in Wichita, Kansas. Later, I wrote for the East Wichita News for over two decades before retiring to write novels, articles, and short devotionals for magazines. At this point, I am finishing the fifth novel in the A Plane Tree in Provence series, titled Vernie: One Year Tops, and will continue to write devotionals for publications and articles for the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

I continue to travel to Maine each June for some much-needed R & R. I love Maine, and sitting by the ocean meditating is the highlight of my year. Time marches on, but God has blessed me with continued good health and energy. Whoever said 80 is the new 60 —were right. Although the body doesn’t always cooperate and slowing down tries to wedge its way into my life, I choose to ignore and march onward.

Post tags:


My time in Maine during June was again everything and more. Bonnie and I walked the beach, read, antiqued, ate lobster, drank champagne and I pulled together the last novel in the Plane Tree in Provence series. Weather was wonderful with highs in the 70s and 80s and nights in the 40s and 50s. Again we found new fantastic restaurants and sights to visit. We saw three plays, two at the Ogunquit Playhouse and one at the Portland Music Lyric theater. I cherish these trips as it is always a wonderful therapy experience.

The summer flew by with lots of good times with friends and of course the usual challenges. The year 2018 brought more crisis than ever but we survived and onward we go. No need to mention all the family squabbles or the ongoing trauma with health, as now fall as arrived and things are once again smooth.

This past month, I celebrated my 80th birthday and although I warned them not to do any surprises – it landed on deaf ears. They arranged for a surprise birthday dinner at Georges French Bistro with seventeen family members in attendance. Cousins, nieces and nephews along with my sister and broth-in-law came from Seattle, Washington, Texas, San Diego, California, Wichita, and Lawrence, KS to welcome me to the official Octogenarian Club. A wonderful time getting caught up with each other’s lives, feasting on French food, and toasting my longevity. I was blessed to note cell phones were absent except for photos during the celebration. More fun to communicate.

Now, the pre-holiday season is upon us. We are holiday-decorating-folks at my house, so let it begin.
Wishing you all a fantastic holiday season.

Post tags:


After a whirlwind year, once again I am packing for my June sabbatical to Maine. Last summer, I had a fight with the garden hose and the water nozzle spewing at full throttle hit me in the right eye. Lucky for me I was wearing contacts and no permanent damage was encountered. However, it took almost five months for it to heal. Lesson learned. Never leave the nozzle at full speed while you are hauling it around the deck. During the year my excursions with friends took me to the Art Museums’s traveling exhibit Monet to Matisse and also our brand new twenty million dollar Mark Arts center which houses a comprehensive studio offering sculpting, painting, cooking and a fantastic 5,000 square-foot art gallery.
With the new year, came the realization that I will soon be an octogenarian. Good news is I still feel like I’m in my fifties. If my mother were alive today she might say I also act like a twenty-year-old, citing some of the daring things I try. At any rate, I’m blessed with good friends, a church family, children and grandchildren who are making this a total year of celebrations. Let the fun begin.

Post tags:


Yes, Kansas temps have been in the low 80s most of the month. We have only hit 100 degrees once during the entire summer. I do have to share, that the one day our temperature was 99 degrees this month (and only lasted one day) my a/c snapped and I had to put in a complete new a/c and heating system. Lucky for me, the person I called returned my call immediately and the system was installed within two days. But that said, our summer has been one of mild balmy days with just enough rain to keep our flowers blooming and beautiful.
I traveled to Maine in June for the usual ten-day stay at Higgins Beach. The weather couldn’t have been better with only one day of rain. We searched out new places, ate lobster every evening and washed it down with Champagne, had third row seats at the Ogunquit Playhouse’s Mamma Mia performance, found new shops, and daily walked and meditated on the beach. I started the last book in the A Plane Tree in Provence series, and also wrote a couple of devotionals. I’ve always said, my yearly trips to Maine is my therapy and cost about the same as a therapist, but oh so much more fun.
In July, I took a bus trip to Pawhuska,OK to visit Ree Drumond’s place to shop and eat at the Mercantile. Fun getaway day. It is truly something to see how this Food Network chef has brought new commerce and hoards of tourists to the small town of Pawhuska. Also this summer our travel group had another excursion to Dr. Ron’s farm by Fall River. He is quite the gardener and gave each of us a choice of plants to take home. On the way back, we stopped at Beaumont, KS where small aircraft used to fly in for dinner at the steak house there, and also toured the Elk River Wind Farm.
I am working hard on the new book, but also revising my Devoted to Traveling book due to the publisher going out of business. I’ll do a new cover, change some things around, and add a few new devotionals. Take care, and check out my Facebook page and mucho thanks for leaving a “like” if you do.

Post tags:


“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land”
-Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (NRSV)

Spring has arrived on the prairie. Love the first flowers and trees. Makes a person want to clean out, renew, get started on new projects, but most of all to listen to the sounds of lands rebirth.
I am excited to report that the fourth book in The Plane Tree in Provence series is now available in both paperback and digital. Take a look at The “Casting” of Wendy Holcomb at or and see what you think. My daughter at Tallgrass Studios has created yet another award winning cover. This book details the impending acting career of Wendy and all the problems and challenges associated with it. There is one more book in this series and then onward to another brand new series.
Once again, I am in the planning stage of another visit to coastal Maine. While there, I will work on the new novel as well as a revised edition of Devoted to Traveling. Get out and enjoy spring and I wish you success with your “to do” list for spring renewing.

Post tags:


Goodness, spring came and left, summer came and left, fall is trying it’s best to arrive amidst temps still in the eighties. The summer was a tough one for me as I lost my brother to cancer. We grew up like twins as we are only eleven months apart in age. He was my best friend and always kept me on the grounded during life’s challenges. Jerald always had my back and was so supportive of my writing and anything else I tried in life. He was always quick with the compliments, advice, and when he thought I needed a good talking to – he did that also. The most important thing he taught me was “forgiveness”. I have to admit I leaned on him for this and now that he is gone I’m having a struggle with it once again. We talked every weekend and the last year of his life every Friday. I still have an urge to call him each Friday. Some tell me that never goes away.

Once again, I traveled to Maine in June. My good friend, Bonnie Dakan travels with me most of the time and this year we stayed ten glorious days at our rented beach house at Higgins Beach, Maine. The weather was perfect in every way with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. Nothing like snuggling under the covers listening to the roar of thrashing waves against the sea bank within ten feet of our back door. I completed the first edit on my new novel, The “casting” of Wendy Holcomb, along with reading two books which is something I rarely have time to do at home. We ate plenty of lobster, found some new wonderful restaurants, and attended Anything Goes at the Ogunquit Playhouse. The play was a welcomed highlight to our trip with third-row seats and a professional cast. We visited Perkins Cove after the theater and had a delightful dinner of lobster while watching the sail boats drift in the ocean.

This summer has thrown the nation into chaos over electing a new president. From all the bickering, name-calling, and personal attacks on moral behavior it has been a very stressful campaign. I can’t wait until this next two weeks is over and we can once again concentrate on other things. I try to focus on the fact that God has a plan and is in charge of all – so we need to sit back and pray for his guidance in all matters.

Now at summer’s end, I am into my final edit on the novel. Carey, my artist daughter is working on the cover and I hope to have it published by the first of the year. This novel centers on Wendy Holcomb, who has embarked on a new career at age 40, much to the chagrin of her family who are not at all happy about it.
I’ll sign off for now, and my best intention is to do more frequent updates from now on.

Post tags:
Older Posts »