I was born, probably a lot longer ago than you, in Bremerton, Washington. Many of you probably already know that Washington is on the west coast of the United States. That would be on the left side of a map of the U.S.A, unless you were born in Antarctica, in which case you probably don't know much about using maps. Some of you may be asking, "Can anything good come out of Bremerton?" Well, I don't know. I hope so.
I was raised in a waterfront home on Puget Sound. Now some of you may be thinking I was a rich kid. I wasn't poor, but was definitely not rich, at least if money has anything to do with being rich. My parents bought the place at what must have been a very good price, even back then, and my dad who was very gifted with carpentry and things like that, fixed it up nicely. It was the perfect place for a family with three boys to grow up. We had the water on one side and woods all around on the other. My dad even put in a cement court for playing basketball, volleyball, badminton and other net games. That court saw much use.
The water is what really has much to do with my story here. Our house had a big porch the whole length of the waterfront side. We could sit out there and look at the bay where there was always something happening. Various kinds of boats passed by-- ferries, yachts, ski-boats, Navy ships, canoes, and rowboats. Sometimes we could see different kinds of sea life. Most common were birds, but occasionally something like a seal might swim by, or even more rarely, a pod of whales.
One day, when I was a teenager, the most unlikely sighting occurred. A penguin, standing on a log, floated by our house. If you happen to live in the Southern Hemisphere, you might not think that's such a big deal. But there it was, a penguin in Puget Sound! My mother and my brother Ken also saw it.
The years passed, as they tend to do (although not as quickly back then as in recent times). I graduated from high school, and then from college with a degree in Journalism. I thought I should mention that so you can see I've had some training as a writer.
After college, when I found that newspapers didn't want to hire people with no experience, I worked at the naval shipyard in Bremerton, where my dad had worked for many years. I learned some of the same things he did, although I never came near to his ability. When I'd been there almost five years, I went on a trip to Israel. I wanted to see the land where the Lord had been, as well as places the Bible tells us about. I met some people from Wisconsin on that trip, one of whom is now my wife. I ended up moving to Wisconsin where we have raised six kids, and that is where I've been ever since.
During the early stages of being a dad I remembered that penguin and wondered how it got into Puget Sound. After a bit of research and a lot of time, Fly Like a Penguin was published with the answer to that question. More recently, more information has come to light concerning the family of penguins that book introduced to the world, and I hope to publish it in the near future.
For more info, visit my blog/website: http://www.martlove.wordpress.com/.