Connections

I heard from an old friend this evening.  It’s been almost twenty years.

I would have thought that it would be just a matter of opening a message, but I felt my hands shake and my heart hammer.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read it.

I figured it would just be another connection for one of my books, then I looked at the name.  It couldn’t be?  How would he even know how to find me on here?  It had to be coincidental.  Didn’t it?

I am very much in love with  my husband.  He is my best friend and my all time favorite person.  I also cared for this person very much at one time.

He was the one who helped me to find peace with my horribly messed up marriage.  He reminded me I was a beautiful and desirable woman.  He showed me that making love shouldn’t hurt, but be mutually enjoyable.

I read that e-mail.  The simplicity of it so unlike the person I knew.  He told me that I was and still am an exciting and charming person.  He had read my book, and recognized the situations, knowing it had to be me.

After the hands stopped shaking and the heart quit pounding, we had a conversation about what was going on in our lives and I realized I have missed his friendship.

I know we’ll never see each other, but hearing him say he still thinks of me, for that moment, reminded of when I was much younger.  I remembered when I was a flirtatious, irresistible woman and I remembered how it felt.  I realized that it’s okay to be friends with the opposite sex, even if at one time you may have had a relationship with him.

I’ll tell John about him tonight, and I’ll smile when I tell him.  I’ll even tell him about the amazing compliment he gave me.  And when I go to sleep, it will be John’s arms around me, but he’ll be there in my heart again, which is the only place he belongs, and he’ll always be.

Welcome back, my friend.

 

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Change

Did you ever look at something for so long that all of a sudden you don’t know what it is?

Did you ever lose touch with someone just to hear a voice that instantly brings them to mind and makes you smile?

Did you ever have someone you loved die, yet even just a television show or movie can recall to memories all those great times you had together?

Have you ever looked at your significant other and realized how much they have changed and not recognize them?

The people we see everyday sometimes seem to be the stranger.  I looked at my husband across the table the other day and took a second look.  What happened to the man with the wide shoulders, muscled arms as big around as my thighs, wash board stomach and jet black hair that hung around his shoulders?  Who was this somewhat flabby man with greying hair, now cut short, and slightly bent over.

Then he smiled at me.  All the changes disappeared.  Here was the man who fought for me even before we really met.

We met on the internet and for two years we talked almost everyday.  Eventually the typed words became spoken as I trusted him enough to let him call.  He always teased me that he should be dating me and my answer was always, ‘You aren’t ready for me yet.”, and we’d laugh.

My ex was harassing me and I had needed to call the police, and my then friend, now husband, offered to be my champion.  “Let me come and f— him up!  Just for s–t and giggles.”

“No!”  I laughed at him.

When we met it was a surprise.  I had never seen his picture and he nearly scared me because he was the text book biker, till he smiled and laughed.  It was love at first sight, but I already loved him.

We’ve changed.  I’m not the svelte beauty I was twenty years ago.  If I’m honest with myself, I would have to admit, that I’ve gained  more than a few pounds.  My hair has gone from deep chestnut to silver, but my heart is young and it still melts when he smiles at me.

I may not recognize the outer shell at all times (mostly when I can’t find my glasses, like when I have them on top of my head.  🙂 ), but I will always recognize the sound of his voice as it floats from a memory, or his laughter when he is teasing me.

If I never remember anything else, when the people I love are no longer near me, I hope it is the sound of their laughs.

Happy reading!

Shameless

I’m about to do a most shameless act at this point.  I am trying to not only get people to read more, but to hopefully read some of my own writings.

Though not always good, they can be fun and interesting.

I am also trying to promote a new book which my granddaughter, who will be nine in four days, wrote and is very proud of.  If I Were a Cheetah by Samantha McElwee

Please check it.  Whether or not anyone buys is their business, but please know (which most of you already know) all proceeds from childrens’ books goes to children’s charities. St. Judes and Shriners

Thank you

1:20 AM

It’s 1:20 AM and I am not tired.  I guess the question is:  What does one do with their time when everyone else in the house is soundly sleeping, all that is but you, and you don’t want to wake anyone?

My answer to that is to sit here and quietly think.  I think:  What could I write that may possibly be interesting to someone other than a sleep depraved crazy woman?  Why am I still awake when the rest of the local area, since nearly all are farmers or Mennonite who don’t have electricity, are sleeping in their beds?  What could I possibly write that may bore even myself to the point where I could put myself to sleep?

Not very many answers are coming to me at this time.  Except:

I’m home from Florida.  When my daughter and I left, there were three people and a three week old kitten that had been abandoned by its mother and adopted by my sister, all taking the 18 hour trip via Route 95 along the Eastern seaboard.

On the way home, there were two people and two very rambunctious full-bred, eight week old, fifteen pound blue-nose pit terrier puppies in the back.

Being they were puppies, my daughter and I had a feeling that like all babies, they would sleep most of the way home.  Boy, were we wrong!

About half way through the trip, they decided to exert their dominance over one another.  Did I tell you one was male and the other female?  The male has a very quiet, leave me alone demeanor.  The female, Atlas, is quite the tigress.  She is always inciting some kind of angry behavior from the male, Cooper.

We took them out to do the potty thing somewhere in North Carolina.  They walked on a leash like they had been doing it their entire lives, instead of the first time.  It came time to get back in the car and, with our help, they went right back in.  We decided to let them stay outside of their kennel for a little while so they could stretch their legs.

About ten minutes later, Cooper was beginning to whine and then bark quite loudly.  I unhooked my seatbelt and looked back.  Atlas had pushed the door of the kennel shut and was sitting in front of it so Cooper couldn’t get out.  Like that wasn’t enough, every time he would put his paw out threw the front, she would snap at it then turn her back to him again.

My daughter decided to put them in the kennel, together, and put a blanket over top so they could, hopefully, sleep.

Wrong!  The kennel started to ‘walk’ across the back seat.  It was rattling and there were some horrific noises coming from underneath that blanket.  It started as yips, went to barking, to growls, and then truly painful sounding yips.  “We better pull over and check on them.”

My daughter decided all was well and five minutes later they quieted down.  When next we stopped, I refused to open the kennel to let them out.  “I don’t want to see an eyeball in one corner, a tongue in another, and one dead dog laying in the middle or possibly, if it is at all possible, which I highly doubt, having a zombie dog jump out at me.” She did the honors.

There were two delightfully happy puppies waiting for their release.  Both were looking at us with an air of innocence.  The radio was playing Alice Cooper’s ‘Welcome to My Jungle’.

I think that pretty much sums up our adventurous trip to and from Florida.

Happy Reading Everyone! And to all a good night! HaHaHa

Route 95

Does anyone remember Jim Croce?  If you do, do you remember the song, ‘Rapid Roy’?  And the lyrics toward the end, ’95 is the route you were on, it was not the speed limit sign.’?

That song was from about 40 years ago.  Jim Croce was one of my favorite singer/songwriters and the roads were navigable.

The last couple of days were nothing like the song.

My daughter and I spent nearly 16 hours on Route 95 traveling from N. Virginia to N. Florida.  Normally, once you get on Rt. 95, the trip should be shortened from the first 14 hours, four of which was in PA and Maryland, to about ten hours for the remainder.

You then add another two hours for potty breaks and drink retrieval, add another hour or two to stretch muscle tight legs and a quick drive thru meal, and then just general traffic problems through Washington D.C, Richmond, VA, and anyplace else there may be congestion.

However, when you throw in a three week old kitten who needs fed every two hours, and another person who requires several more stops for potty breaks and muscle stetchings and just to give a tushy a break breaks, it makes the trip longer.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love traveling with my daughter; we used to do it all the time before I found John.  I always used to enjoy traveling with my sister.  Now that I’m older, and my sister is older, the fun isn’t quite as fun as it used to be.  Age has put its toll on more than just our older bodies.  And this brings up another query.  Does anyone know when they put toll booths in the middle of some areas of Route 95?

All in all, the trip was enlightening and it was fun, but it was long.  We left at 8PM Thursday evening and arrived at 5PM Friday evening.  My daughter and I had not slept since early Thursday morning, and she even less because she worked till 3AM went back to work at 7AM and worked till 4PM.  All with  no sleep. So, till we reached the border of Florida we were punch drunk, myself more than she, and wondering who was doing the better drugs, which happened to just be sleeplessness for us all.

And….we get to look forward to starting it all again on the ride home Monday morning.  Someone please explain to us the concept of ‘airplane trips’.

Happy Birthday Jenny.  Thank God forty only comes once in a person’s life.

St. Judes/Shriners Children’s Hospitals

I am currently doing a fund raiser to help St Judes Childrens’ Hospital and Shriner’s Medical For Children with Cancer.  This is my way of saying thank you to the ‘Powers that Be’ for giving me healthy children and grandchildren today and pray they will continue to be as such.  I hope that if they don’t, someone will have made it possible for them to receive the expensive life saving treatment they could need as I am trying to do with the help of my granddaughters.

I know I’ve told you about my children’s book, but the proceeds from this book is going toward these two funds.  With Christmas coming, it may make a nice present for your child, or one you may know, and think of how you may be helping these kids.

My granddaughter is the inspiration for the book I currently have on market, ‘Sammy Sees A Squirrel’, and she helped me write ‘When I Was Three’ which will be coming out in the next two weeks, as soon as my granddaughter Sabrina is done with the illustrations.

I also have a book for teens coming out about Sabrina’s first experiences with boy, and the only reason it isn’t on the market is because I am struggling with a better title.:)  All are and will be available in all Amazon and CreateSpace markets.  They will be coming to select books shops in the next couple of weeks.  I’ll keep you posted on them.

These three books will all have their proceeds go to my kids favorite charities.  We are also going to personally buy 50 copies of each for Samantha and Sabrina to hand out to the children in our local children’s hospital when they have their Christmas part for the children who are in the hospital and in the Ronald McDonald House.

Please, find the time to pick up a book and help the children.  If you know anyone with children of the age who would enjoy these books, please tell them about the good they will do.  These three books are not for profit books, but they may help save a child’s life.

Thank you  &  Happy Reading.

Happy Birthday

Tomorrow I will be going to Florida.  My daughter and I have been planning for this trip for several months now and we are both getting quite excited.  It’s my eldests’, Jenny, 40th birthday.    Now for my husband this means, five days to not have to worry about whether his helicopter parts are spread all over my table.  He won’t have to wonder if I am going to be under foot.  He won’t wonder if he is going to come upstairs and get the evil eye because he just walked over my freshly scrubbed kitchen floor.

For me, it means 34 hours, in totality, of traveling.  It means coming home to a house that looks at least five times worse than the day I left.  It means coming home and doing tons of laundry and dishes.

In all reality, it also means coming home to a man who just wants to hug me and lies well when he says how much he missed me, and makes me feel good.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I want, and very much so, to go see my daughter and spend this special birthday with her.  I want to be first, after her spouse of course, to hug her and say happy birthday.  I want to sit and reminisce with her and my other daughter, Carey, about when they were little and I’ll embarrass her by telling her what a cute little cherub she was.

I will be with some of my favorite people.  My two daughters, my grandson and his girlfriend, my eldest son and his wife, and my daughter-in-law.  I know we’ll have a blast.  I know it will be non-stop chaos and laughter and maybe an occasional grumble between them.

But above all, I also know, I am already beginning to miss home and the best part of going to Florida is knowing that I will soon be back home, listening to my husband singing off key, cleaning up after him, and once again having the joy of reading what you write.

Happy Reading and Writing

A Four Year Old’s Birthday Party

My husband and I just got back from my niece’s birthday party.  She is now four.  Or is it forty?  “)

My daughter showed up a little late, but with my granddaughters and the oldest, Bean, who had her boyfriend along.

Cherish, my niece, became quite piqued at this.  She refused to talk to Bean.  It didn’t matter how hard she tried to talk to her, Cherish ignored her.

Cherish adores my husband and she went to him, put his arm around her shoulders, and whispered to him.  “Keep them away Uncle John.”

John looked at her and asked why she was mad at Bean.

“Because Bean is mine.  I asked her to my party and not that boy.”, she told him quite frankly.

“But he seems nice.”

She got up, put her hand up to him, and told him, “Don’t talk to me.  You are a trailer.”

Now I think she meant traitor, but she called him a trailer, which had him laughing.  Bean came over and hugged him.  “Hi Pop.  This is Taylor.”  Then bent down and whispered in his ear.  “Don’t hurt him.  Please.”

Now let me go back a little.  Since Bean was little enough to remember, he has been telling her that she was not allowed to date until she was at least eighteen.  Then it was only if he got to sit in back and chaperone and if the boy laid one finger on her, he would personally make sure that finger never touched anything again, and he planned on showing him his shot gun.  So, when Bean asked him not to hurt Taylor, he hugged her hard and just laughed.  He did, however, shake Taylor’s hand.  When Cherish didn’t like him, he was ecstatic.

Taylor decided he should try to talk to her, anyway.  As he walked over, she turned a 180 and put her head up in the air, attempting to ignore him.  All she would say is, “Bean is mine.  Not yours.”

“I don’t want to take her away.  But can’t we be friends like you and Bean are friends?”

Cherish turned a little so she could look over her shoulder at him.

I’m not sure what else he said, but she turned around and took his hand and took him to the swings.

Bean stood there, with her arms akimbo, just staring after them.  She grabbed Sam, her sister, and they headed in the same direction.  Cherish turned around.  “He’s mine for a while now Beana.  You just stay there and talk to my Daddy.”

Bean laughed.  Sam went with them to the play ground where Taylor showed them how not to climb a rock wall.

Needless to say, the day was perfect.  Thirty-five people and not even a raised voice.  How much better could it get.  But then, it was a birthday party for a four year old.  Oh and did I tell you?  Cherish decided Taylor should be her boyfriend because hers didn’t show up.  He’s five.

Happy reading everyone.

The ultimate compliment

My oldest daughter called me last night at 10PM.  Naturally, as a mom, my first thought was that something was wrong, but after ascertaining that she forgot how to tell time, we had a long chat.

We were talking about my granddaughters and how Sam, the eight year old, had talked her way into being allowed to go to Nina and Poppy’s house even though her room wasn’t clean and her homework not done.

Jen told me, “Mom, don’t let this go to your head, but you and Dad are to Sam and Bean what Pop and Gram were to Carey and I.”

“You mean we spoil them rotten?”  I quipped.

“I mean you love them unconditionally and let them just be.  We really needed that and I’m sure they enjoy it what with the way Carey works, being a single mom and all.”

I almost cried.  It was possible one of the best compliments I have ever been given.  I wonder if they all know how much they are loved and appreciated?

Let Me Tell You About The Birds And The Bees

Nine years ago my husband and I decided it was time to move.  We had just had a house fire, which after it was completely rebuilt, newly furnished, and looking just like we had always dreamed it would when we were remodeling, we realized it was no longer ours.  It was someone else’s creation.  It was what we pictured, it had the dark natural wood hardwood floors, two big bedrooms, an office downstairs, an amazing kitchen, open floor plan, and a third bedroom downstairs.  It also had central air.

So, what was wrong, you may ask?  We had been working for the past four years at remodeling and creating our dream home.  It was no longer our creation.

We went on a house hunt.  We found over twenty houses to go through.  There were carpenter’s dreams, which meant that the walls weren’t all there.  There were some that were advertised as having a riverside view, meaning they had been through at least one flood.  There were the quaint, or short for really small, and those that were ‘you’ve got to believe it to see it’.

After almost six months, we decided to make one last attempt.  My daughter called about a house that a friend of hers told her that a friend of hers said it was going to be going on the market on Saturday.  I called the real estate agency and inquired about the house.  We went to look at it on Saturday.

My husband was heading up over the mountain and sounding more like a little kid with every minute going by.  Almost two miles up over the mountain on a very dusty road, we found another smaller dirt road to the right.  We went up the road which turned out to be a quarter mile private drive.  At the top sat a three bedroom two bath A-frame with a finished loft and basement.  Even before we got out of the car, John turned to me and said, “This is our new home.”

Six months later, we made settlement and started moving in.  Had someone told us six months earlier, that in town, which was almost four miles away, was going to be forty five degrees and raining, but up on this mountain, it would be snowing, we would have laughed.  They didn’t.  But spring did come to us, eventually.

By mid May we were planning our truck patch out on our little slice of heaven, ten acre farmette.  We bought fruit trees to cover the bare patch of property that was a yard.

Three years later our trees were still twigs and our truck patch was only good for trucks and pumpkins.  Let me tell you, my husband was able to grow four hundred pound pumpkins, but we couldn’t grow a tomato.

After extensive research, we found out that you need male and female trees to be able to get fruit.  Now, I have no problem telling you the difference between males and females in any living species, but a tree?  After figuring out that we would probably need several of each kind to get fruit, we planted more trees.  But still no fruit.

Now we find out we need bees.  I spent several hundred dollars buying bees and hives that were safe for John to be around without dying on me within two minutes of being stung, just to have our neighbors get amazing looking vegetables.  Apparently, the bees liked them better.

We then decided to try chickens.  After taking care of these sweet little chirpers, and finally getting them big enough to lay eggs, we thought we had gotten to a point where we were going to have a farm.

I went outside one morning, and yelled to John.  There was an owl circling our chickens.  As I waited for John to come out, I watched one particularly big owl swoop down and gracefully fly off with one of our chickens in his mouth.  Over the next week, in spite of fencing, coops and the purchase of field cameras, animal in distress calls, and driveway alarms to alert us of anything going on outside, (and let me tell you, it was usually at 3 in the morning) we had gone from twelve chickens to one.

At that point we both decided we weren’t farmers, but we still loved our new home.

We’ve learned that the birds and the bees really do have a lot to do with everything and not just sex.  We’ve learned that pumpkins will grow, and grow, and grow, and grow, and once they have grown, you still have to move it to get it to market, the fair, or just into your yard for Halloween.  And…we learned, that you really do have to be happy with what you’ve been given and not try to make it what it isn’t.  And that’s my husband being a farmer.