Thursday 30th June 2022

Women Of Courage Series. #67 Terri Webster Schrandt. 98/2021.

Women Of Courage Series. #67 Terri Webster Schrandt. 98/2021.

Two years ago….around this time of year, I tentatively courageously launched Women of Courage series on my blog and here was what I said then:

I got this idea from attending the Newcastle Writers Festival in April 2019 and hearing the wonderful Jane Caro speak about her book Accidental Feminists. IF you ever get a chance to listen to or read Jane’s works they are very good.

What I considered after that day and in the days to come is how we women have a tendency to underplay our achievements and whatever else we are doing in our lives. I know this is changing.

This third series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here will continue to be published each Thursday.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda

Today I welcome Terri Webster Schrandt who is 61,  to share her story as a Woman of Courage. Terri and I ‘met’ virtually in January 2021 when I was encouraged by a mutual blogging friend Debbie Harris (whose story is here) to be part of a Sunday Photography challenge called Sunday Stills. That was so much fun to begin the year with I have kept going. When I asked Terri to share a story, she was right onto it and I appreciate that so much. Over to Terri, with gratitude.


 What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

I’ve never really been afraid of anything, being raised in nature and the outdoors.

My temperament requires that I exist without uncertainty and a lot of structure, so you can imagine how 2020 has treated me (and the rest of us)!

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge that everyone of us has shown immense courage and faith simply by existing in a world-wide pandemic, the likes none of us has ever seen.

But if I could define “courage,” I could describe that over the years I have taken several life-changing leaps of faith over the years:

  1. After meeting my first husband, I moved away from my hometown of San Diego at the age of 20 to be with him in Sacramento. I had no friends or family, and it was like starting over. I wasn’t even engaged, but I was accepted by his family and began a new life and married a few months later. Exciting and unnerving at the same time.
  2. I initiated a divorce in my mid-30s and raised 2 daughters as a single mom, with no monetary help and no family nearby. During this time, I worked in a demanding full-time job in public service and taking part-time work when I could.
  3. A few years later I went for a master’s degree at age 46 with the intention to teach at the university level.
  4. After meeting my current husband at age 49, he wanted to teach me how to windsurf. A scary sport especially in the Sacrament River delta where tides and high winds can be quite punishing to an aging body.
  5. Just a few years later I booked my first international flight to Mexico to windsurf in the Sea of Cortez. You definitely need courage to brave the open sea on a windsurf board. A subsequent visit to swim with whale sharks was icing on the courageous cake.
  6. At 55, having given 32 years of service to my long-term job, I retired with a decent pension while continuing to teach at the university and take on more classes. Have you ever retired? It takes a bit getting used to, even though I considered myself “semi-retired” at the time.
  7. But more notably, my biggest act of courage was to buy property in another state, build a new home there and completely retire. Imagine leaving a successful teaching job after 10 years? Imagine packing up belongings in a house you’ve lived in for 32 years? And doing it all during a pandemic where uncertainty was the operative word of the year.


How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

From these life experiences I gained resilience, but I also acknowledged my faith in God during all of these times. Because of this faith and my ability to be a great planner, things always seemed to work out.


Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

At the risk of sounding naïve or to diminish true acts of courage like facing a serious illness, I always look on the bright side and believe that things will work out the way they should.

Sometimes we want something and don’t get it right away or at all. As Christians, we’re encouraged to pray and ask God for what we want and/or need. Sometimes God answers with a “not yet.” A hard answer in an instant-gratification society.


Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

Now that I have put in a few years and took these leaps of faith, I feel that I can be courageous when the time calls for me to do so.

I have the temperament that enables me to remain calm under pressure and would be able to respond at an accident scene if need be.

Now that I live in a rural area, we are more vulnerable to visits by wild animals, potentially difficult winters, and longer times spent driving, all which could lead to dangerous situations that require quick thinking and fortitude.

That idea does make me think twice about a lot of decisions I make.


Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

Simply put, do what you do best.

Know what you can handle.

Sometimes ordinary people are placed into extraordinary situations and we respond best according to our life experiences.

Can I handle a visit by a moose? Sure! I’ll even have my camera ready, but I will be careful!

If there is a blizzard in mid-January, will I hop in my 4-wheel drive vehicle and run to the store? Probably not.

Wisdom is a key player when it comes to being and feeling courageous.

At the same time, living life to the fullest is how God intended us to live while here on Planet Earth.



Thank you so much for your story shared here with us today Terri.

Do follow Terri, as I do on these sites, below. Lots to see and read there.



Social Media:



Facebook Page:


Joining with Natalie here for Weekend Coffee Share.

Copyright © 2021 – All rights reserved.




  1. This turned out well, Denyse, and thank you for having me over on your busy blog!

    • I am glad you have been pleased with the story’s publication, Terri.

      Thank YOU for being a woman of courage.

      Your story will be shared over the next few days so pop back to see comments too.


  2. What an inspirational interview, Terri. You did so much I can’t imagine doing. The physical courage is one thing. The mental–a whole ‘nuther animal. Congrats to you.

  3. I know Terri and she is a total sweatheart and wonderful woman. I like your interview with her.

  4. Great interview! I love learning more about Terri’s adventures in courage! What a year it’s been to make a major move during the pandemic. I’m happy to see her and her hubby residing in a beautiful new home in the wilds of Washington! 🙂 And I have to agree that many times ‘not yet’ is the answer to prayer but even that isn’t wasted, having something to teach us of patience and trust.

  5. Hi Terri, nice to read about your leaps of faith! I would love to build a house some day!

    • Terri’s story is one of great courage and of interest to many. I am glad you have read and commented Dawn.

      Thank you.


    • How cool to see you “in” Australia with me today, Dawn! Some of those leaps were a scary stare down the cliff, but my hubby gets credit for his strong faith and strong back with his 40 years of construction background. I probably would have given up and stayed in my small house, LOL!

  6. Hello, Denyse and Terri – I wholeheartedly agree that Terri *who I have been fortunate to meet in person) definitely embodies courage, grace and positivity. Thank you for sharing her story here.

  7. A lovely interview of Terri. Her examples of change in her life and her ability to tackle challenges is impressive. I love her positive attitude and belief “that things will work out the way they should.”

  8. Even though I’ve met Terri IRL and consider her a friend, I learned a few things about her in this interview. I think that resilience and flexibility are two essential personality traits for a happy, successful life and Terri has shown that she has both. I’ve been enjoying reading about her adventures in her new home.

    • Thank you so much for visiting and your lovely comment, Janis.

      I too have enjoyed following the updates of the new home!

      Terri has shared the very courageous stories from her life and she is a very resilient person as a result!


    • Hi Janis, how wonderful of you to visit me and Denyse in “Australia” while you are in Canada! I very much appreciate your friendship and lovely comments. I’m so glad you are having a blast with Kathy and Donna in BC!

  9. Thanks Denyse and Terri. I really enjoyed hearing more about your life Terri and how you approach things. I’m so glad you and Denyse have met up through our blogging connections. Such a great series showcasing the many versions of courage. x

    • I credit you with the introduction to Terri, Debbie! Way back in January 2021 when I saw Sunday Stills and got curious.

      Thank you for that.


    • I am always happy to tell people that I have real friends in Australia and other wonderful countries, Debbie! Blogging and meeting people all over the world, some IRL, hasve been the joy of my life. I learn so much from you all, and marvel at the talent I see every week!

      • It is so good to connect even when we cannot meet in real life, with blogging we always feel we know our friends already!

        Cheers to you both.


  10. Thank you for sharing Terri’s story. Terri and I have been blogging friends for a number of years, I forgot how many. We decided to meet in real life a few years ago (2018, or 2019?) We met for a lunch at my favourite Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas. I can assure everyone that she is as kind and inspiring in real life, just the same as she inspires as every week in her blog.

    • Aww, thank you so much, dear Maria! I enjoyed getting to know you and sharing our Northern California connection then meeting in person in Las Vegas. I think it was 2018, our snowed-in trip to Sedona and beyond. Blogging together makes us feel like neighbors just living down the street from one another.

  11. Oh, my friends, what a lovely post, Denyse for asking and sharing, and Terri for your openness in defining courage. I’m glad you got to meet Terri at least virtually. I have had the pleasure of living closer to her when she was in Sacramento and spending time together – what a joy that has been. She is not only courageous, but caring, and upbeat. It’s a joy to be with her. Thanks again, Denyse. It’s fun to read more about people you know online here on your blog. 🙂

    • That is so good to read Marsha. I too enjoy making new blogging connections and friendships this way. You and Terri have been brave, and courageous and generous in your sharing of stories here.

      I am always grateful for that.

      Blogging connects us!


    • Hi Marsha, late to the latest party as we were painting outside in the heat…I lasted 90 minutes. Thank you for your kind words. I find it easy to be positive around my good friends, Marsha and I can’t wait to see you a week from today!! And thank you, Denyse for your sweet words in this comment.

  12. What a fun interview with great insights! I think that much of what Terri has faced require more courage than she has given herself credit for.

    • Thanks so much Joanne.

      I think it’s been one big privilege of mine, as a blogger, that people have opened up to share their stories here as Women of Courage.


    • Thank you for your wonderful words, Joanne! I’m surrounded by truly courageous women in the blogosphere and IRL and I know many have faced adversity far worse than mine. But I appreciate what you said here and as women, of course, we tend to downplay our actions. We need to stop doing that!

      • Indeed we do, Terri and the value of others reading posts from women like you is to note the courage we have all had to use in our lives, whether we have written about it or not.

        Thanks so much for this insight.


  13. Hi Terri, Just from your blog, I could sense your courage and positivity. I learned more specifics in the interview. You’re a strong and positive person. Thank you Denyse for sharing Terri’s story here and linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    • Hi Natalie, thank you for stopping by Denyse’s blog and leaving your wonderful comments. We truly are an inspiring group of bloggers who share their talents along with our hearts! I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend.

    • My privilege to do so Natalie.

      Whilst the series will be closing later this year, I have been struck by the courage and openness of those women who have shared. You are one too of course!


  14. Hi Denyse.
    Hello Terri.

    What a great story you have. Bravo for taking on life as you did.

  15. I don’t comment often because half the time I can’t get through the process required. But, I just wanted to let you know that I do enjoy and read your posts. Shalom, Bear

  16. SUch a great interview. Loved it. Thank you for sharing. I’ve enjoyed this series.

    • Thank you Kirstin I am so glad you have.

      I sure have been privileged to share the stories of these courageous women.


  17. Very brave, indeed, Terri – I loved all your courageous steps. I really admire how you moved to Washington, and also all your adventurous activities. Thanks for this interview, Denyse. Toni x

  18. Terri’s story and photography are inspiring and uplifting. I remember following along as she moved mid-Covid to a new state, having to wait for her new house to be ready. For most of us, Covid was about as much as we could handle. But a move and career shift, too? Courageous indeed.

    • It was when I first started following Terri in January 2021 that I too, saw the house build and moving on the agenda. Terri’s story explains just why she could do these! I agree about her courage, Leslie.

      Thank you.