Warren Van Pelt, Vicki's father, was a retired naval officer who then worked in Los Angeles for a large hardware company. He had just joined the Mormon Church prior to Vicki moving in with him. Vicki's Methodist minister had admonished her to stay away from the Mormons because they would be relentless in their pursuit of bringing her into their fold. Her minister told her that the Mormons worshiped the Devil!
Vicki had a dream of becoming an actress and her father said that he knew people in the business who could help her achieve her goal. In the innocence of youth, and with the bravery of Don Quixote, Vicki left Bainbridge Island, Washington and moved to California to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and to rescue her father from the Mormons.
Instead of the happy, carefree life she envisioned, almost every day was filled with hardship and trials she had never dreamed of. The first two nights in her new home were sheer terror, and Vicki struggled emotionally over the decision to share with her Mormon neighbor, the horror she was facing because of her father. Vicki did tell, and her father had to report daily to his local priesthood leader. Her father's indiscretions ceased immediately, but he never did grasp the seriousness of how his actions had affected Vicki. He also never took financial responsibility for Vicki's needs, and she had to fend for herself.
Amidst the turmoil of high school, odd jobs, and pursuing a career in acting, Vicki also was doing her best to keep the Mormon missionaries at bay. Week after week, every Saturday morning, two missionaries would show up at her door. She was always polite, but firm in her resolve to send them away unsuccessful. Then one day, her life was changed forever, when an extremely disabled missionary challenged her to pray to know the truth.
Vicki's experience as she prayed was life-changing in and of itself. However, the answer to her prayer was just as significant and the outcome has lasted over 50 years. The hardships and trials continued, as did the joys and sweet peace of the gospel. Vicki was taught many times over, that the good far outweighs the bad, but not without a struggle.
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About the Author
Her first work was published in the Reader's Digest in August of 1983. She spent the next several years writing poems for family, friends, and church, but never endeavoring to publish her work.
During her career as a swim instructor, she was also busy raising a family of three girls. As is every mother, she was busy driving girls to lessons, sports, and church activities.
When the girls all left home for school or marriage, she spent time in serious prayer and contemplation. She then embarked on a new career as Clara the Clown. Seven years were spent clowning around up and down the West Coast. As always, she was busy with church service and managed to be a Relief Society President during this time. Her new career ended when a car accident forced her to retire. After becoming a Master Gardener she started a new business doing landscape design. Unfortunately, another car accident forced her to once again give up something she loved.
Writing continued to be a hobby. During her ten-year membership in the Glove & Trowel Garden Club, she spent four years as secretary and writing the quarterly update of the club's activities. In June of 2011, Victoria had an article published in the Northwest Landscape Professional magazine about butterfly gardening. So many people read the article and commented that she should write professionally; a seed was planted! She kept an online journal of her life in Mexico and continues with a website devoted to her new life and home in Payson, Arizona.
Now in her retirement, the time has come to share her life experiences. One book could not begin to hold 60 plus years of unforgettable events. She is the author of "Welcome Aboard," "Full Steam Ahead," and "Tossing To and Fro,'" which begin to tell the story of an ordinary woman living an extraordinary life.