Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Season of Sickness

WARNING: This post is not for those with a weak stomach.

Haachoo! Cough-cough! Get out of my way! Hand me another tissue. Where is the fever medicine? Oh, my head!

These are just a sampling of the sounds heard in the Wells' house these last two weeks. So, please forgive for not posting an entry this week before now. First, the 6-year-old had a fever. it lasted about a day, and then it was gone. Then, over the weekend...not this past weekend but the one before, the man of the house had a fever. During that same weekend, the 4-year-old woke up on Saturday morning, throwing up. We were all pretty much better by that Sunday morning, so we went to church. But, that evening, the 4-yer old's nose started to run. That Tuesday, the one when i was supposed to go to the book event, the 4-year-old started throwing up, and that lasted for about 24 hours. She finally got over it, and I thought we were home free. No such luck. :( Around midnight this past Saturday night, the 6-year-old wakes me up, and says she doesn't feel very well. Lemme tell y'all, for the next 8 hours, my poor lil girl had it coming out both ends. Not fun. Needless to say, we missed church again that day. As if that wasn't annoying enough, 2 days ago, I started sneezing. I think it's starting to get better, but I'm not sure. My food has no taste, I can't breathe very well, and I just want to laze around. But, lazing around is out of the question. Dishes need washed, laundry needs done, messes need picked up, sheets need washed and school is in session. :)

On Sunday, after the 6-year-old was sick all night, I washed the dishes in bleach water and washed her sheets. I mentioned doing all this on face book, and I got one of the strangest responses. Someone commented and said something like, Wow, you're wonder woman. I was like, "What? You wouldn't have washed your child's sheets if he or she threw up on them?" If your family had been sick, and you were trying your best to kill the germs, wouldn't you try to get everything washed up? Now, granted, some people argue that bleach isn't the best germ killer, but, folks, that's all I got, and I'm gonna use it!

That day I decided to stay home with my baby instead of going to the book event, I can't tell you how many folks said what a good mommy I was. Come on, y'all! What's up with people anyway? Are they stupid? I mean, who wouldn't stay home with their child when she's throwing up? Now, I know people have to work or they don't get paid. I know my husband could not have taken a day off to stay home with her, but I could. And, doing so, in my opinion, was not an attempt to be heroic. I was just doing what is right. Since when is doing right something strange enough to mention?

I potty trained both my girls, and do you know what other parents' responses were when they found out? They were like, "Wow, I couldn't do that. I sent them to my mom's." Shame on you for that," is what I say.

Ok, I'm climbing off the soap box, now. lol

So, here's some funny things that happened during the bout of sickness we have had.

The morning Kierstin got sick, I'm on my knees with a big towel, trying to wipe it up, and she asks, "What's that?"

I'm like, "What's what, baby?"

"That stuff you're cleaning up?"

"It's throw up," I said. "It's what you just did." hahaha!

During that long night when Faith was sick, she kept telling me what it looked like. lol Now, this can be a blessing. I knew when she threw up the meds and when it was just saliva. But, it was pretty gross.

So, sorry if you were expecting a post about writing, but I haven't been doing much of that, here lately. I wish I had time and the energy to bake, but no luck so far with that, either. After school, I'm just ready to crash.

Speaking of school, I just want to say that things are coming along better than I could imagine. It's hard, sometimes, getting all 3 of us motivated, but I'm having a blast. I love to teach, but I'm glad my class is only big enough for 2 kids. haha! In trying to teach them, I learn so much. For instance, a couple of nights ago, Kierstin prayed that the Lord would help her learn to read. She prayed, "Lord, please help me learn to read, cause I want to read really really bad. Please, Lord!" How can you ignore that? So, we're working hard on recognizing those ABC's.

One more thing, and then I got to go start that wonderful teaching, last night Kierstin said something else in her prayer that I want to share. She said, "Lord, hold this world in your big, warm hand. Hold us tight so we don't get away." Now, I don't know about y'all but I never thought of God's hand being warm. I think about how strong His hands are, and how big and mighty they are, but I never thought of them being warm. I believe children have a closeness with God that we adults can't even begin to imagine.

Well, that's about it for today. If you liked the excerpt on Friday, drop me a comment and let me know. If you liked it, I'll post a little more this Friday. Thanks for reading, and keep us in your prayers.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Friday of Fiction


“Come on Bronwen! Act like you at least want to be here!”
Sighing, I hefted my bag up on to my shoulder and followed my sister in to the medieval castle. Just to keep Morgan from grouching at me, I grabbed one of the tourist brochures from the rack near the door and pasted on a smile. The tour guide rattled on in what I was sure had to be a heavier accent than he was used to speaking in, and like school children, my sister and I along with several other yanks tagged along, ooing and awing at the various displays of tapestries, swords, plaids and other sundry items one might find in a Scottish, medieval castle in the highlands.
While Morgan was enthralled at the displays of clothing and needle work, I stepped to the side and examined the fireplace in the great hall. It was a huge affair, and I had no trouble picturing a roaring fire in it, the laird and his family sitting in chairs or on stools before it, hoping to catch some of its warmth. Probably nearby a bard would have been playing a harp and singing. A cool draft of air wafted around me, and I shivered in spite of myself.
I had heard the tales, just like everyone else. Ghosts and time travelers, Scottish stones and fairies, and like most of the population in the twenty-first century, I didn’t believe any of it. Yet, as I looked at the fireplace, I could almost be persuaded that there might be a modicum of truth to the tales.
Without thinking, I reached out a hand and touched the stones. They were cool to the touch, smooth from the passing of years, and they were also silent. No huming to warn of impending doom, no distant shouts of battle suggesting a passageway through time.
Feeling quite stupid, I dropped my hand. What had I expected.
“Bron,” my sister hissed from her spot in line, “quit that and come here!”
I managed to suppress the sigh this time, but even so, Morgan knew how I felt.
This vacation to Scotland was her idea. For years my sister had been fascinated by the old country. Our grandparents on our mother’s side were originally from Scotland. Both my grandad and grandma, at the ages of twelve and nine boarded a ship along with their parents and made the voyage across the pond. Summers with Grandad and Grandma were spent listening to Gaelic, if you can believe it, and learning how to bake scones...and be leary of anyone from England. We were never forced to learn the old tongue, but Morgan had. I just liked hearing my grandparents use it. Why learn a dead language? Morgan, now, she was a different story.
Last year, after her husband’s sudden death, Morgan had made up her mind to go on a vacation to Scotland. She wanted to see all the places Grandad and Grandma had talked about. She said she wanted to hear the accent, speak some Gaelic with the locals and tour some old castles and stone circles. I think she secretly wished she could walk through one of those stone circles and disappear in to the eighteenth century or somewhere else in the past. But, not me. I like seeing old things; I like antiques; I even like hearing the Gaelic, but I am very glad time travel is impossible. Learning about bygone days is great, but I like reading about it on a computer while waring jeans and teeshirts. Hot, running water, electric furnaces and refrigerators were not things I was willing to live without. I was along for the ride, so to speak, because I love my sister, and when she offered to pay for my trip, I couldn’t refuse. Besides, it was great, seeing things I’d only heard about. These were the reasons I gave to my family for tagging along. The truth was much harder to face. I was in Scotland because I no longer had a job.
A week before my sister was to hop on a plane bound for the UK, I stood in front of the dean of the college where I used to teach and was told I was no longer needed. Not only did I not have enough qualifications to suit my impoyers, I apparently wasn’t smart enough for them. I was being replaced. There was a man with a doctorate in medieval studies, they said. Mr. smarty pants had not only received his PhD from Yale, but he had taught at the college level for a few years. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, he had actually studied in the UK. So, even though Morgan didn’t know it, I had a perfectly good reason for not wanting to see yet another old castle.
This particular fortress of stone built somewhere around thirteen hundred, just happened to be the fifth castle in three days with one more visit to another castle tomorrow afternoon. I was coming to the conclusion that if you’ve seen one castle, you’ve seen them all. I knew we only had two weeks before we ahd to board a plane for the states, but Morgan seemed determined to run from tourist site to tourist site like there were yappy dogs on her heels. When I asked her what her hurry was, she would only remind me of our fourteen days. I would remind her that we didn’t have to do it all at once, but then she would tear up and beg me to have patience with her. I always gave in, and today was no exception.
When the tour was over, I pointed to a little tea shop on the castle grounds.
“They’re still open,” I said. “Let’s get a bite and take arest.”
Morgan nodded and we were soon sitting at an outdoor table with tea and little pastry things in front of us. I would have rather spent the time watching the other tourists, but Morgan wanted to talk about everything we had seen. I was used to being the quiet one and had developed a nack for nodding and mumbling a “hmm” at all the right places.
Sometime along the mention of the castle’s dundgeon, I noticed the man. He was with a few of what appeared to be comrads, all of them dressed in full highland regalia. They seemed to be preparing for some demonstration or reinactment of some type. One man had a set of bagpipes, another held sheets of paper, as if he were going to read or sing. The last man, the one I couldn’t take my eyes off of was carrying an honest to goodness broadsword.
“Well, would you look at that!”
Hearing my sister’s comment, I glanced over at her only to find she was staring at my guy, too.
“Nice choice, Bron. After the demonstration, you should go introduce yourself.”
“Are you kidding?”
“What?” Morgan asked, flashing me a conspiritorial look. “I’ll keep watch so you don’t do something you’d regret.”
“Gan, I don’t just walk up to strange men and introduce myself.”
“Well, why not? I mean, how do you think Brian and I met?”
“That was different,” I said, feeling my heart ache at the sad look that entered Morgan’s eyes at the mention of her husband.
“No it wasn’t,” she said. “He was working on Mom and Dad’s house, and I walked right up to him and introduced myself. Then, I asked him what his name was. We talked about the house and the nice weather, and then he asked me out for dinner.”
The thing was, things like that just seemed to happen to Morgan. They didn’t happen to me. I wasn’t pretty like my sister, I wasn’t as graceful as she, and if I didn’t know better, I’d think that when God handed out luck with guys, He somehow forgot I was in line.
Well,” I stalled, “you and Brian were meant to be.”
I didn’t miss the way she swallowed hard; grief was something that never seemed to go away. After a minute, though, she nodded.
“Yes, Brian and I were meant to be, and I believe God has somebody out there for you.”
I managed to keep from snorting, but barely.
“Gan, let’s just sit back, sip our tea and enjoy the performance. Then, we’ll go back to the B and B and go to bed. I’m worn out, I feel too grungy to talk to any men, and besides, I’m not in the market for someone new. You remember what happened the last time?”
“Yeah,” she said, a pinched look around her mouth, “I remember Drake, more’s the pity. But, Bron, that was last year, and not all guys are like that...that...that idiot. You need to start looking at men like anyone of them could be God’s match for you.”
“Now you sound like an advertisement for one of those Christian dating sites online. Give it up, Gan. I’m on vacation. Remember?”
Her sigh was loud. I could hear it even over the sound of the piper getting his pipes ready, but she said no more about my non-existent love life and what I should do about it. With a sigh of my own, I sat back and made an effort to pay attention to all the performers, but it was hard. My eyes kept straying to the man with the sword.
The performance was impromptu, if the expressions on the locals were any indication, but it was superb. The man with the papers read aloud in Gaelic and then translated in to English. It was a poem written by some long dead Scottish author. Then, the man put aside his papers, grabbed a sword and he and my guy went at each other, as if they truly intended on killing one another. But, as vicious as it looked, I knew it was staged. Still, my mouth watered in spite of my vow to give up on men. After the sword play, the man with the bagpipes began to play, and something inside me seemed to come alive. I can’t explain it, really, but when I closed my eyes, I could almost see a regiment of highland clansmen, running toward the battle, broadswords at the ready.
Then, in to my revery, someone began to sing. Opening my eyes, I stared at my guy in awe. He sang in Gaelic, of course, a song I remember my Grandma used to sing. I knew the English words, only because she had taught them to me. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, my whole being focused on the man and his song. By the time it was over, I was on my feet, barely abel to catch my breath.
There was the sound of aplause, somewhere in the distance, and then our eyes met across the way. I don’t know what he saw in my expression, but the corner of his mouth tipped up, and he actually bowed. He straightened, and then he winked. I opened my mouth, but speech was inpossible. Then, he turned and melted in to the crowd, and i could have cried at the feeling of berievment I felt.
What had that been about?
“Bron? Bronwen? Hello, earth to Bronwen!”
I blinked, and time began again. i turned to Morgan, and the expression on her face made me feel about two inches tall.
“Hello!” she said. “Not in the market for a relationship? Bron, that man was flirting with you. Go find him!”
Flirting? What planet was she on.
“He wasn’t flirting,” I said. “He was just singing.”
“To you. Bron, everyone could see it. He was looking right at you and singing, and you stood up with this look on your face like he was the only man alive!”
I felt my face heating up with embarrassment and turned away.
“Gan, let’s go.”
“You’re not going to look for him?”
But, I ignored her and took off toward where we had parked the car.


So, it has holes, probably, it needs the spell checker taken to it, and Bronwen might need some work, but that's where y'all come in. Feel free to tear it apart or fall in love with it. All I ask, is don't steal it. lol Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Plans vs God's Plans

I was supposed to be at a book event in Jackson County WV today. In fact, I got up early and began getting ready, in spite of the fact that my 4-year-old had gotten sick twice before 6 a.m. I was in the middle of taking the hair drier to my hair, when she got sick the third time. I calmly put away the drier and brush, held her hair out of the way and when it was over changed in to some comfy clothes. I couldn't go anywhere, not with her that sick. So, it's been a day filled with trips to the bathroom and lazing with her on the couch. I think the 6-year-old was feeling a bit left out, so I made her some hot chocolate in a big girl coffee mug and let her stir it and everything. I think it made her feel pretty special. :)

Today wouldn't have been any easier on me if I could see, I'll give ya that. However, it would have been nice to be able to go by the store and grab some Gatorade for my poor baby. She can't drink milk, which makes her pretty sad. She's sipped on some water and kept most of it down, but she couldn't hold down the animal cracker that her sister shared with her. It makes you feel pretty helpless, when all you can do is sit with her while she feels miserable. But, things are looking up. She's watching her favorite show on Nick Jr and talking to it, and she's waring her Snow White costume over her night clothes. :) Yep, she might be on the mend.

Remember the story we talked about...I think it was in the last post, where the woman goes back in time? Well, it might interest y'all to know I have over 6k words written on it so far. The heroine's name isn't Samantha, though; it's Bronwen. :) The hero hasn't been named, yet, but he does have gray eyes, he can sing and he can weald a medieval broad sword rather expertly. lol I had thought of posting it in sections on here for y'all to read, but I haven't made up my mind, yet. My guy does have a dungeon, though. I'm telling it in first person, which is odd enough for me, and so far those 6 thousand words are from beginning on and not all jumbled in to a scene here and a scene there. I've done a lot more research for it than necessary, but that's pretty typical for me. So, what do y'all think? Want to read it on here? Maybe a chapter a week or something? Or, would you rather have a paperback in your hands?

Sometimes, writing a story is like life; you just don't know what you'll end up with until it's too late to change it. Ha! Don't ask where that came from. :) Now, I know there's a delete button on my keyboard, and I know there is an eraser on the other end of a pencil, but to me, if something has been written, then it is. There's a lot I deleted and changed about the last book I wrote, "To Tame A Heart", but to me, the parts I took out still happened. Doesn't matter if the reader knows about the deletions or not. So it is with life, sometimes. I had planned on having a wonderful day out. Had a babysitter all lined up, which is not a usual occurrence around here. I was ready to go, but God had other plans. Hmm, I feel a Scripture coming on.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV.

Only God knows why He does what He does. But, we can be sure of this, His plans for us are perfect. His ways are better than our ways, and His plans will accomplish more than we ever could in a million years. Easier to stay at home with a sick child and to know God's peace, then to be busy without it. Amen?

Has God called you to do something you have trouble with? Do you sometimes wish He would give you a teensy glimpse in to His plan, just so you'll know your present trouble will be worth it all someday? Have no fear, He will. Usually, at the strangest times, God lets me in on just a tiny bit of what He is doing in my life. I know I don't deserve it. He doesn't have to tell me anything. I mean, He's God, creator of it all. But, occasionally, He sends a blessing my way that I believe is just a foretaste of what is to come. And, of course, there is His peace, which, btw, isn't something to be taken lightly. So, weary pilgrim, take heart. He ain't done with us yet. :) Keep on keepin' on.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Writing Wednesday, but on Thursday, Instead

I have a lot of stuff inside my head that needs to come out. In fact, there's so much, I don't know where to start in writing it down. I've been reading a lot these last few days - too much reading, if the truth be known. That reading has given me the beginnings of a new story idea, one that isn't quite within the genre I usually write. Just so you'll know, I am up to 13,400 and some odd words with "A Place Called Home", and I haven't stopped writing on it. In the real world, I'm missing my mamaw this morning, and I think my girls are coming down with nasty colds. Sigh.

The books I've been reading, well, think medieval, Scottish Lairds, feisty modern women and healthy doses of time travel. As if that wasn't interesting enough, add in the fact that these books are, for the most part rated PG, and there you have it. It leaves me wondering how to also add in a Christian element. Not hard. Already have an idea... Well, I have some characters in mind with a teensy idea. :) How about this? Modern woman named Samantha Kathleen. She enjoys modern luxuries like we all enjoy. You know, running water, furnaces, TV, iPhones, laptops...yatta, yatta, yatta. Been taught all her life, time travel isn't possible. Been told all her life that Christians aren't supposed to imagine such things. Now, think highland laird. We could call him Hamish or Colin or something like that. Maybe, he has a horrendous scar and lots of folks, including himself thinks he's ugly. Thinks he's going to have to find a woman he doesn't want, just to have a wife. But, he wants someone who will love him for himself, not for his money and position. Not real sure about my hero, yet, though. Maybe, he's afraid to love again, because he has lost so many of those he loves: first wife, children, brothers or father. Now, something happens to get modern woman and highland laird together. But, is it fantasy, the time travel stuff, or is it a dream or vision? And, can there ever be a chance for love between Samantha Kathleen and Hamish or Colin or whatever his name is?

Ha! I've just mapped out a story! Deed. Reckon there is something to be said for planning out a story line ahead of writing. Hmm. Who'd have thunk it? What do y'all think of my story idea? Be forewarned, though, anyone who steals my idea will be in danger of Hamish/Colin's dungeon. lol

A year ago today my mamaw was still alive. This coming Monday will make a year since her death. I keep thinking about all the things I'd like to tell her. Then, I start thinking about the things I'm glad she doesn't know about. I keep remembering the day we buried her. It was raining and cold, and yet, I wore the best outfit I had, including hoes and dress shoes. Not for her; I knew she didn't know what I had on, but I dressed up to honor her. When I was a teenager, I sure did get threatened with my papaw's belt, if I didn't go take them pants off and put on my church clothes. :)

But, whether we like it or not, and whether it feels right or not, time has a way of changing us and our surroundings. Nothing ever stays the same, except God and His word. I can write about Mamaw now without crying. I miss her at odd moments, like when my husband bought me a fruitcake for Christmas. I cried and cried, because she wasn't here to share it with. Yeah, I'm weird; I like that stuff. Haha! But, the grief doesn't hurt as bad as it used to. Maybe, I'm dealing.

A line of a song comes to me. It's a song written by one of the men who passed away, recently, and it says, "He gave me a future. He gave me my dreams." That line runs through my head quite often, and i know it to be true. God has given me what I have always dreamed about. God has given me a future, not only in this life but in the life to come. He has given me more than I ever asked Him for, and I have no plans on giving up, now.

Sometimes, the way gets a little dark, but that's when I remember He's there. So, I just grab Him by the hand and ask Him to lead me on. Sometimes, I get aggravated at things I can't change. But, that's when I step back, ask Him which way to go to get around the obstacle, grab His hand again and trust Him to lead me on.

I can hear y'all now. "So," you ask, "what about when the path is smooth?"

Are you kidding me? Smooth? Uh, I don't know about y'all, but usually whenever the path ahead is real smooth, I fall flat on my rear. Smooth? Nah, I think I'll stick with a bit of a bumpier way. Less chance of falling, that way.

I have no idea what y'all will get out of this post. It's too early for me to put together a coherent thought, much less try to make sense. But, there you have it. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Who is Your Valentine?

It's everywhere! Hearts, candy, cards, flowers, romantic dates between lovers. I mean, love is everywhere! Or, is it?

What if the one you love forgot to say those all-important words? What if the one you love never bothered to surprise you on Valentine's Day with a romantic gift? What if the one you love never said sorry...for anything? Would you still love him or her?

What is love, anyway? Is it spending all your money on another person? Is it giving in to them all the time, just to keep them around? Is it a stay of mind? Remember that song, "Rhiannon"? A line from that song says, "Dreams unwind. Love's a state of mind." Is that true?

Here's one more question for you. Why does love and Valentine's Day have to be concentrated on boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives and romance? Ok, so I have one more question. :) Why can't Valentine's Day be about everybody we love?

I get so aggravated when someone asks my 6-year-old if she has a boyfriend! I mean, as if! Last week, said 6-year-old asked who her valentine would be this year. I'm like, your sister, me, your daddy. "Oh," she said, "so, it’s everyone we love, like family and friends?" Yep, sister, you got it.

So, in honor of Valentine's Day, love and just because I can't think of any better way to say it, here's what God's word has to say about it all. Take heed that you pay attention, because from what I see on FaceBook, a whole lot of folks got this love thing all wrong.

1 Corinthians 13
 1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
 4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
 9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
 13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Did y’all catch all that? It’s worth reading again, and again, and again, and... Charity, AKA love is an action word. It is not proud, it does not remember wrongs, it never fails.

Last, but not least, y’all, love is a choice. I choose to love by forgiving, even when my pride does not want to forgive. I choose to love by putting my loved ones’ needs, wants and feelings over myown.

I want to share two more verses from the Bible concerning love. John 15:12-13 also KJV. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

That chapter goes on to say that Jesus no longer calls us servants, but friends, and that we are His friends as long as we follow His commandments.

Think you don’t have a valentine to celebrate the day of love with? Jesus loved you enough to lay down His life for you. Sad because you don’t have that man or woman to make your life complete? Don’t be. ;) They are a lot of trouble, after all. Ha! But, when you do feel sad that you don’t have that guy or girl on Valentine’s Day, remember you can have a friend that will stick closer than a brother. His name is Jesus, and He loves you more than you can ever know.

So, happy Valentine’s Day, and remember the one who loves you the most.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Saturday Morning Post

Well, as y’all can tell, I didn’t get my usual entry posted on here yesterday. I sure hope this is not going to become a habit, but I had another memorial service to go to on Friday. I sang at this one. Surprisingly, it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I hadn’t sang that particular song since my grandmother’s funeral, but I was asked to sing it yesterday. I practiced before I left the house, thinking that it would probably get to me, singing that song and hearing everybody cry. But, it didn’t. Does time heal all wounds? Maybe, if it doesn’t heal, it at least puts a scab over the booboo. :)

We were gone from around 11:30 a.m. until around 6 p.m. There was the memorial service itself, then the dinner at the church, and then we stopped at my aunt’s house, so my husband could look at something on her computer for her. My aunt and I chatted, while my girls took turns playing with my aunt’s foot massaging pillow. lol My 6-year-old would put it on her feet and say, “Ahh! That feels so good on my aching feet!” lol

Dinner last night consisted of sandwiches for my husband and I and Raman Noodles for the girls. I ended the long day with a cup of decaf coffee and a powdered sugar doughnut. :) All four of us were in bed by 9, and I got a whopping 6 hours of sleep before waking up at 3 a.m. I got up around 4ish, fixed a cup of caffeinated coffee, ate the last doughnut and spent some time in the 1860’s, writing on my story, “A Place called Home”.

There is nothing so wonderful as the mundane. Friday evenings at home with the family, eating poor man food and wearing fuzzy socks to keep your feet warm. And, strange as it may sound, there is something comforting in the sameness of things.

I got to thinking...and please stick with me here...that for me, there is a level of comfort in the fact that most of the funerals and memorial services I’ve been to were at the same funeral home. I’m weird, I guess, but I like to think of my loved ones who have died, resting in the hills around me. When I moved away, even though I liked it up there in Romney and would move back in a heartbeat, I never felt quite as home as I did, here in the Kanawha valley. I’ve always lived close to the railroad tracks, so the sounds of trains in the middle of the night are familiar to me. I’ve always lived near the river, so to live away from it, kind of feels strange. I don’t know what I’m trying to say, here, but these are just some thoughts that have been running around in my head.

I remember hearing a minister say once, that he liked the thought of being buried next to his wife, while they wait for the resurrection of the dead. His words startled me, at first, but then I considered them. The man’s wife had died recently, and I’m sure he missed her a lot. The thought of lying next to her and being close when the Lord comes back, filled him with peace. And, maybe, it’s the same with me.

Many family members have died. A lot of the men and women who were pillars in the church when I was a child are dead and gone. They are buried in the hills around this valley wherein I live. Someday, if the Lord hasn’t returned, yet, I’ll die. If I am put in a casket and buried, I want it to be near those loved ones. If I’m cremated, scatter my ashes over those graves, cause when the trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ rise first, I’m going to rise with those who taught me how to live for Him. Ain’t no grave gonna hold these bodies down, and when we rise to meet Him in the air, I want to rise with those who used to shout the glory down. There ain’t nobody I’d rather meet Jesus with than my grandfather’s brother, Charles who used to preach for all he was worth. There’s nobody I’d rather sing redemption with, than my grandmother who used to stand beside me in church and belt it out.

“Dust shall sing on resurrection morning. The saints will rise and let their voices ring. Those that remain will be changed in a moment. We’ll hear the shout, the trumpet sound, and dust shall sing!” Amen!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Writing Wednesday: Writin' Readin' and Readin' Some More

Well, here it is Wednesday again, and I promised y’all a blog post. I like devoting one day a week to writing about writing. For one, it keeps me accountable, because I know those of you who are reading are interested in what I am writing. Another reason is it keeps me thinking.

As far as my latest work in Progress, I’m up to 12,188 words. Y’all know I sort of jump from story to story, writing a while on one before going to the next. Something else that seems to be common, here lately is that I can’t get beyond 12 thousand words before quitting. I don’t know the true reason for this, but I do have my suspicions. Here’s the good thing, though; so far on the current WIP...the one about a mail order bride...I’m still writing. I’m still having ideas for it, and I also have a title for it. Actually, I had the title before I had the story, and that, y’all is the strangest thing of all. Of course, now that I think about it, I knew i would write a book called “Wild Heart” before I wrote it, so maybe, I’m on the right track. Maybe, this one is destined to be.

What’s that? You want to know what it’s called? “A Place Called Home”, at least for now. I still don’t know where my characters live, exactly, but it’s out West, somewhere. I’ll figure that out later. I also don’t know what time of year the story starts in. I originally had it starting in August, but now I’m wondering if it’s more closer to October. But, those are things that can be changed as time goes by. The main thing is to write the meat of the story. I can add all that other stuff later. It doesn’t matter at this point where my heroine’s brother was injured. He isn’t even a main character. It doesn’t really matter where the hero and heroine live, yet, and maybe it will never matter. I’m not allowing myself to care, right now. All I’m concerning myself with is the story. Word count? I glance at it now and then, but other than that, I don’t worry about how many words a day I write. I don’t even worry about the time of day. Whenever I’m in the mood and a scene comes to mind, I just write it down. I don’t even edit it until several days later. If I get tired of working on it, I put it down, and I don’t stress about it. If I feel like reading instead, then I read.

Now, it’s time for a complaint.

Everybody is in to Kindle or iPad, or some other type of electronic reader, these days. That doesn’t bother me. I mean, hey, whatever makes you happy. But, what I wish is that authors would be more concerned about getting their books in audio than in an electronic format. Maybe, they have no control over this. I for one, know how expensive it can be to get something put in to audio, especially when you self-publish. Maybe, I don’t even have an arguement, because at least if i owned an iPad, the built in speech program makes it easy for someone who is blind to use.. So, if the iPad makes an electronic reader accessible, what use would an author have for an audio book. Right? Just my thoughts, that’s all.

Ok, no more complaining for today. :) Doesn’t seem to work, anyway.

So, I was looking at the guidelines for writing for Harlequin. You can find those on their website, BTW.
One of the lines open for submissions right now is Heart warming. One of the guidelines was “something a mother could share with her daughter”. Basically, a book with no bad language, no descriptions of sex unless the couple is already married and... Well, you can find it, if you want to online. Anyway, I got to thinking, “Hmm, I could do that.” So, I opened up a new document and got to work.

Now, don’t y’all go and start thinking I’m real amazing, cause I barely got 200 words written before i lost my momentum. lol But, that little scene I wrote gave me a jump start with “A Place Called Home”.

Is writing ever a waste of time? Nope, never! Will I ever use the beginning of that story? Maybe, maybe not, but what is important is I am writing. And, that, I guess is what this blog is for. I am writing. I am sharing something of myself everytime I write. I believe that whatever your talent is, as long as you do it, it counts.

On that positive note, here’s y’all something to read for this middle day of the week. Keep in mind it has not been edited. Enjoy and come back on Friday.

“What do you mean you can’t see him? Teri, you don’t see him, because you aren’t looking! Girlfriend, get your nose out of that book and check him out!”
Teri sighed, but she lowered the novel to her lap and glanced in the direction her friend pointed.
A man was keeping up a good pace as he made his way around the end of the track, and yes, he was hot. His back was to her, which left his face a mystery, but from what she could see of him, there was a mangnificent body inside those levis. His black hair was cut short, and he moved with a grace that belied his height, which she would guess to be about six two.
“He’s too tall,” she said.
“No he isn’t! You’re just short.”
More like a midgit, she thought.
At five feet, zero inches, Teri usually kept her dreaming to the guys five ten and shorter, but she had to admit that Mr. tall, dark and hot might be worth changing her mind for.
Then, he made the turn around the end of the track and her heart plummeted.
“Oh, no!” April groaned.
“I knew it was too good to be true,” Teri sighed, going back to her book.
“Maybe, not. I mean, the kid could be his niece or nephew.”
“April, men don’t bring their infant nieces or nephews along on a jog.”
“They do if they are babysitting. What if his sister had to work, and she had no one else to watch the baby but him?”
“Nope, either it’s his weekend to have the baby, and I wouldn’t want to go out with him because he has way too much baggage from his previous marriage, or he’s taken.”
“Teri, you don’t know that for sure! Why can’t you give the guy a chance?”
“For one, he hasn’t asked, and for another, I’m not looking for a man.”
Sure, she wasn’t. But, she wasn’t about to admit that to April.
Glancing down at her watch, Teri put a bookmark between the pages of her novel and closed it. Time to get back inside and finish up her last three hours of work for the week. Her job as a customer service rep for an insurance company was not the profession she had imagined in high school, but it paid the bills.
As the minutes ticked away, she took call after call, but her mind kept returning to the hotty pushing a baby stroller around the middle school track across the street. Her friend April could talk until she was blue in the face about grabbing up opportunity when it presented itself, but April came from a single-parent home, and she, April hadn’t grown up with the luxury of siblings, so she didn’t know about diaper bags, bulky strollers and extra outfits in case of emergencies. Teri did, and Mr. tall, dark and hot had an overstuffed diaper bag crammed in to the space on the bottom of the stroller. As if a pink stroller and a diaper bag with the Disney princesses on it weren’t a big enough sign the man was happily married, she didn’t know what was.
Turning in her chair, Teri saw her boss walking toward her.
“I’d like to speak with you in my office for just a minute.”
Butterflies set up a flying tornament in the pit of her stomach, as she nodded and pushed back away from her computer.
“Is there something wrong?”
“I just need a few minutes,” Carlie said, leading the way toward her office.
When the door was closed to the prying ears of her colleagues, Teri gave in and allowed some of her nervousness to show. She was by no means the worst employee on the floor, but Carlie had hadd it in for her since the beginning.
“Teresa,” Carlie began, “I hate to be the one to tell you this, but we’re letting you go. You’re production is down, we’re getting some complaints about your attitude over the phone, and you’re taking too much time off.”
“You’re kidding me! Right?”
“I’m afraid not.”
Carlie’s sympathy was faked, and Teri knew it, but it still didn’t change what had been said.
“’re firing me?”
“But, you know why I had to take so many days off. You know my mom had heart surgery. You said you understood that I was the only one who could be with her. You know my dad’s in the nursing home and can’t be there with her. As for my production, I explained that to you, and I have my first appointment with a Chiropractor on Monday.”
“The fact of the matter is, Teresa, if you are not willing to give this company one hundred percent, we have no use for you.”
Teri was so mad, she didn’t trust her voice. Without a word, she slammed out of Carlie’s office, snatched her things from her cubical and marched out the front door. She heard the questions following her, but she didn’t answer. She’d call April later, and tell her what was going on. For now, if she stopped, she just might plant a fist in the nearest wall - or in the nearest face.

Monday, February 6, 2012

AT SEVENTEEN by Pam Hamrick

I’m really not sure how to start this. Some things just happen without any reason, I guess and memories come flooding back.

Recently, I saw a post on face book from a teenage girl who said her life wasn’t worth anything, and she just wished she could die. When I was a teenager, I took a handful of pills. To this day I don’t know what they were. For some reason, Mom figured out what I did, and off to the ER we went. They gave me a little cup of caffeine and cups of lukewarm water to drink so I would vomit them back up. That may be why I don’t like the taste of coffee, to this day. I guess God wasn’t ready for me to leave this world, then, cause I’m still here.

Anyway, I remember my brothers coming to the hospital, and everyone was putting pressure on me to tell them why I did this. I finally told them it was because of a boy, just to get them off my back, but that wasn’t the truth. The truth is it was because I thought that my Mom loved my sisters more than she did me. You see, I am the oldest of three girls. I am adopted. My birth mom and my mom are sisters. I have six half brothers and one half sister from my birth mom. Maybe, this is something that all adopted kids go through, but I remember feeling unloved, unwanted and like nobody cared about me. In my heart, I knew this was not true, but I just could not get this out of my head. I lay there in the darkened bedroom and cried and thought I would just end it all. That way, I would be out of everyone’s way. I just figured they wouldn’t care or miss me, anyway.

Years later, I told Mom how I felt, sometimes. She took me in her arms and asked how I could think that? She said I was her special baby, because she got to choose whether to take me or not. She said she never once regretted bringing me home from the hospital, when I was born.

After Mom passed away and we were going thru her things, my sister and I found a journal-like book. In it Mom had written about the day she brought me home, as a newborn. She wrote how happy she was and how she felt that now, she had someone who would love her unconditionally. Oh, how I wish she would’ve told me that face to face.

So, to all the teenagers out there who think you are unloved and unwanted, just remember that you are not the only one who has ever felt this way. Just keep taking life one day at a time and hang in there; your life is worth something. After all, Jesus died for you, just the same as He did for me! And, I am very glad that my life did not end at seventeen.


If you would like your story posted on here, drop me a comment or send an email to

Thanks for reading, and be sure to come back on Wednesday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fabulous Fridays: Memorial Services, Bedtime and Some Other Stuff

Sorry this post is late, y’all, but I had a memorial service to attend and it took up a lot of the day. I guess I could have posted an entry some time between getting up at 4:30 and 6:45 when my husband got up to get ready for work, but I was too busy writing. Got a little over a thousand words written before the girlies got out of bed. :) Working this week on the mail order bride story I told y’all about several weeks ago. In case you haven’t figured it out, I kind of write like someone with ADD. I’ll write on one for a while, then get bored and go to something else. But, it works for me, so I’m going with it.

I discovered something important today. If you have to attend a funeral or memorial service, the best way to get through it is to hold a child in your arms. My 4-year-old fell asleep just before the service started, and I held her close the whole time. Every little bit, I would touch my cheek to hers and press a kiss on her sweet face. Just feeling her breath against my neck was like a reminder from God, saying, “Shannon, you’re blessed.” Feeling her little heart beating close to mine reminded me that even though I was in the valley of the shadow of death, He was with me. So, next time you need to attend a funeral or memorial service, take your children along or borrow from a tired mother and hold on tight. Even in the midst of sorrow, there is great joy.

Complete change of subject.

What did you think of Monday’s post? If you missed it, you can go read it at
I was so blessed to read Dana’s article, and even though I probably should have given her more notice so she could tell all her friends, I just couldn’t wait to share it with y’all. Dana and her husband inspire me, and hearing her side of the whole disability thing, makes me wonder if my husband might agree with how she feels, sometimes. Just goes to prove what I’ve always said, “We need each other’s help to make it home.”

Do any of y’all have anything to share? This coming Monday is open, if you do. Just drop me a comment here on the blog or send an email to
and let me know what you have in mind. I’ll read it over, pray about it, and we’ll see about posting your article on here for all to read.

A victory has been won in the Wells household this week, and before I let y’all go, I want to share it with you. My girls who are 4 and 6 were not going to sleep on their own as of last Saturday night. Being the tired mother that I am, I decided that had to change. So, I prayed and fasted and...ok, so I didn’t fast, but I sure did pray. Then, I sat my girls down and had a talk with them. Starting last Sunday night, I heard their prayers, sang them two songs, kissed them and hugged them and left the room. I had given them orders to stay in bed, keep the light and TV off, and not to get up and follow me to my bed unless it was important. And, what do you know? God heard my heart’s cry. My girls went to sleep on their own every night this week without any complaints. I was able, each night to go to my own bed and go to sleep without any problems. Praise the Lord forever! :)

Well, it’s almost bedtime again, so I’ll be saying goodnight. Y’all have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll catch y’all back here on Monday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Writing Wednesday: Memories

They say to write what you know. Write what you feel. So, here are some thoughts from yesterday.

I stepped outside to walk to the Post Office this afternoon, and like a fog, the scents of damp earth and wood smoke surrounded me. Added to the sixty-four degree temperature, it made me think of spring, not the last day of January. It also made me remember springtime at my grandparents’ house.

Memories are funny things. Sometimes, they bring feelings of sadness, especially when you’re remembering a loved-one who has passed away. Other times, memories bring joy. Just like people, memories are different. Yesterday’s memory makes me a little sad and a little happy, too.

Springtime at Mamaw’s. Faint wood smoke lingering in the air from the chilly morning a few hours before, damp earth just waiting for something to be planted in it, the smells of homemade beef stew or Pinto beans cooking on the gas range in the kitchen, the sound of split logs hitting the walls of the wood house as my papaw prepared for the next winter, I remember like it was yesterday.

Knowing I was home, I’d hurry from the car and up the front steps. I’d grab the handle of the screen door and walk right in, knowing I was welcome. The screen door would bang shut behind me, as I made my way toward the kitchen where homey smells of cooking food and Mamaw waited. I’d open the microwave, and sure enough, left over biscuits or cornbread would be arranged on a plate inside. Once, when there was only one biscuit left, my cousin and I fought over it, eventually tearing it in half so we both could get some.

Pulling out a chair, I would sit at the table and sigh. Usually, no one was interested in hearing about a twelve-year-old’s daily account of what her friends and latest crush had or had not said at school, but not Mamaw. She’d listen and give her advice, all the while making me feel like I was the most specialist girl in the whole wide world. And to her, I was, along with my sisters and my cousins. You’d have thought we kids hung the moon or turned in to God’s perfect angels over night. I miss being loved like that.

Sometimes, Mamaw and I would sing together. She was the one who taught me to hear the alto part in a song, and to this day, I can still hear her singing alto when I sing “Amazing Grace”.

Every time I catch a whiff of wood smoke, fresh snow or damp earth, I think about being at my grandparents’ house. I’m there, hearing dogs bark close by, remembering how the sun goes down behind the mountain around six P.M. in the summertime. More than anything, I want to go back home. I want my kids to play in the yard I played in. I want them to peel boiled eggs, just like we did one Easter, and leave their colored egg shells in the yard for me to find, just like Mamaw found our mess. I want to sit on the porch in the morning with a cup of coffee and listen to the song of birds and the occasional whoosh of a passing car. But, time is elusive, and I can never go home again.

These memories are unique to me. No one else can have the exact same memory as I have. But, like an album of pictures, I can pull the memories out and cherish them time and time again. Probably the best thing about my memories is I can share them. Sharing them keeps them alive, and in my memories, Mamaw lives.