Summer Slips Away

“Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day.” That jingle came to me as I watched water flooding past my house from an inch of rain in 1/2 hour. Plus hail. My granddaughter and I were blowing bubbles on the back patio when it started. At first a few drops sent us under the awning, and we enjoyed the tap-tapping above us. Then all of a sudden, it wasn’t a tap-tap and we could no longer hear each other speak. We sprinted into the house, closed up windows and toweled the rain water off the sills we were too slow in getting shut. Mother Nature can certainly be stunning.

Colorado weather cracks me up. The day after the hail, it thundered for a minute, then rain sprinkled down for two minutes, then sunshine for five minutes, repeat, again, and again all afternoon. Each time the sun snuck out, I slipped outside and did something in the yard, dead headed a rose or the salvia, emptied the rain gauge, walked to the mail box. It was a lazy day and I made the most of it.

The synopsis is slowly shaping up. I’ve cut and pasted too many times to count, deleted, added, deleted, reworded, pondered what is most important, and put it away to see it with fresh eyes, again and again. It’s not there yet, but getting close. I hope. Wait till my editor gets ahold of it. Humbling.

The summer flittered away while I wasn’t watching, too busy with grandkids and travel and helping the kids move. I want more. I want more.

I also want peace and respect. Our country has just experienced another outbreak of hate and bigotry. These people were taught this hatred, they were taught to think one race is superior to others. The haters weren’t born that way. They were tiny innocent babies when they were born, babies who grew up influenced at some point in their lives by someone else’s hate. It can be un-taught. It can be changed. It takes respect. One person at a time, we must un-do the damage. Please.

 

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The Long Drive: Part Four

Day Four of driving was uneventful. Three tired adults and one little one who now loves Minnie Mouse more than is reasonable for any adult to cope with. Dinner was take-out Chinese food, the best I could think of when we got home. Kansas and eastern Colorado are pretty easy to drive across. There isn’t anything spectacular or otherwise interesting to draw your attention away from the road.

The next three days were filled with unloading, painting, and adjusting where things should go for the big kids. The little one and I stayed at my house, decompressing, swimming in the little plastic pool, and trying to get our land legs again. Since then, they have been busy, busy, busy and have made stunning progress. I’ve caught back up on yard work, and finished the latest draft of my YA. Moving on to other projects.

If you are a gamer and headed to Gen Con in Indianapolis on the 17th of August, check out the Netherhavyn Game Works’ booth. Their game, “Of War And Men” will be debuting and they will be game testing, so stop by and have a go at it. It is a World War II card based Squad-level combat game, totally authentic in representation of military tactics, uniforms, weapons, strategies, etc. FUN! Netherhavyn is a local, Colorado based company. Check out their web-site or Face Book for more information.

After writing an 85,000 word novel, you wouldn’t think it would be such a struggle to write a one-page synopsis of it, but let me tell you, I am struggling. Boiling down the salient facts is hard enough, but making it sound interesting is incredibly difficult. After I accomplish the synopsis, I have to begin the query process, and that is just as challenging, if not more so. But what would life be without its challenges? Boring, I suppose, and we wouldn’t want that.

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The Long Drive: Part Three

The Second Day of Driving didn’t go so well. Two hours in, a trailer tire blew. Fortunately, the kids were well prepared, with jack and spare close at hand. Unfortunately, we were on a fast paced highway, and the traffic whizzing by is scary. Smart phones then led us to a tire shop that did not have the tires we needed, (the man helping us was a little fuzzy), but a few miles away was another shop that did have the right size. Thank goodness.

We made it to our destination in Clarksville TN, but not in the early afternoon as we’d hoped, but rather at 6:PM, so all the visiting and swimming with family that we’d hoped to do was pretty much out the window. A good supper was followed by showers and bed. End of Day Two.

Day Three’s destination was the far side of Kansas City, a fair piece of driving, but it went without incident. After checking into our hotel, the kids went off to eat supper and I went to the swimming pool. I’d hit my limit of junk food, or really any kind of food at that point. After the swim, I showered and hung up my swimming suit to dry. Bedtime! Yay! No blips.

Somewhere around 10:30 pm the hotel fire alarm went off. That is the most incredibly loud, obnoxious sound possible combined with flashing lights. (I realize its purpose). I sprang up and it ceased, so I called down to the front desk. The nice attendant told me the alarm indicated something in the pump room, no problem, don’t worry. Well, huh. I grabbed my swim-suit (still wet), packed up all the toiletries, and “staged” my getaway.

Sure enough, fifteen minutes later the alarm goes off again. This time is doesn’t stop. I called the front desk. This time she sounds harried and said there is smoke in the lobby, evacuate. I called my son and we met in the hallway, went down the stairs, and out into the parking lot. I was astounded at how many small babies were in that hotel. Here came the fire trucks, and before too long, they had the smoke sucked out of the place and we were allowed back in. They said a fan had burned up in the pump room.

Now, back inside, do you think I could sleep? No way. Sometime after 1:30am I fell asleep, until 5:30 am when the fire alarm blared out once again. We packed up and left. Don’t ask. I have no idea.

Continued in Part Four.

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The Long Trip: Part Two

The moving van showed up a half hour early. All Right! Except the crew that was supposed to load it didn’t show up at all. Calls were made, and finally, three hours later, a crew of three appeared. Now these three were interesting fellows, and one older gentleman in particular had lots of stories to tell – to anyone in hearing distance whether you asked to hear it or not. In the meantime, we were shocked to look inside this huge semi and discover it was already two-thirds full of other people’s households. My son looked at me. I looked at him. No way. “Oh yes,” the trucker assured us there was room. He was an expert at tetras. Well, maybe so, but there was no way, and by 5:30 that night, the trucker had to agree it wasn’t all going to fit. Arrangements were made for another truck to come in the morning and take the remainder to a warehouse for storage until another truck is found coming this way. The last third of the kid’s belongings were shuffled into the garage, filling it by the way, and we went to work cleaning the house, and touch-up painting, etc.

Loading Day Two’s crew showed up on time and the garage emptied while we loaded the trailer, pickup and car with luggage, food, baby paraphernalia, plants, tools, etc. Meantime, we cleaned. Once the walk-through of the house was over with, we emptied the refrigerator into coolers, drug the trash to the sidewalk, loaded up and took off. We looked at the time: 3:00pm. The thought process at that point was, why sit around till the next day. Our next day of driving could be much shorter by putting some miles under our belt, and sitting around didn’t suit any of us. We made it nearly across the state of NC before winding down and hitting the sheets.

To be continued…IMG_2300

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The Long Trip: Part One

I woke ten minutes before the alarm went off, 4:40am. The house was prepped, my outfit for the day laid out, and everything else ready to load in the car. The shuttle ride was the first of many interesting events. One passenger, afraid of flying, had dealt with his fear logically (in his mind anyway), he drank. During the hour long ride, he alternated between looking at his phone and falling asleep. Once, he turned around and asked the rest of us to please call him, he’d lost his phone. None of us knew him, so of course, none of us had his number in our phones to make such a call, but we were able to help him out when another passenger spotted the familiar rectangle shape sticking out of his breast pocket.

Dropped off with hours to go before his flight, the inebriated fellow told us this flying thingIMG_2332 2 was no problem, he was going to the bar for shots before he caught his flight. I mentioned they might not let him on the plane if he was intoxicated, but he assured me he would get on just fine. “Okay then, good luck.” I have nothing but sympathy for that flight crew, if he made it to his gate.

My flight and lay-over to SC were uneventful. The next day and a half were spent visiting with family I haven’t seen in decades. We looked at old pictures, and laughed at the changes in all of us. I enjoyed everything but the oppressive, suffocating blanket of humidity. It makes me feel grimy. I rented a car and drove north to my kid’s home in New Bern, NC.

Next came packing day. A crew of three showed up on the appointed day, worked all day, and essentially got the house packed away in boxes. We were simultaneously packing or keeping things from being packed that we wanted with us on the trip. I never lost my granddaughter, my most important job. Packing day was hard for her. I can only imagine how she felt seeing her familiar world (and toys) disappear, not understanding what was happening, and why all these strange people were in her house.

The trip continues in Part Two.

 

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We Did It!

We’re here. We survived. We did it. Whew.

The trip was oh so long with lots of anecdotes to relay, but I want to tell them well, so not in this blog. There has to be some recovery time, and I will be watching my granddaughter while her parents unpack, mow their overgrown lawn, clean the house, and in general – prepare for the moving company to unload all the rest of their stuff next week.

It was not a flawless week of packing and traveling, but I did get to see cousins and family I haven’t seen in twenty plus years. I am grateful for the opportunity to visit them, and their gracious hospitality. I also went to Congaree National Park while I was in Columbia. I’d been there before, but not since I started my quest of seeing all the parks, so this time I was able to pick up my hiking medallion and get the passport stamp. Nice.

In the meantime, more to come in the coming days. I’m too tired to write more now, but not to tired to be grateful we made it home safely. My granddaughter was a trooper. Four days in a car is not easy at any age, but with a one and a half year old, it could have been brutal. She did great. The rest of us did okay too, but she wins the ribbon.

And so it goes, or went, or whatever…

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The Adventure Begins

Across country in July! It begins. You won’t see any blogs from me for a couple of weeks, but I’ll have plenty to write about when I return. Enjoy your summer.

The wild bunch is downstairs playing ping-pong. I hear occasional squeals and lots of laughter. My oldest grandson is working hard to get better, he wants to get good so he can beat his dad. The youngest one is just able to stand at the table and hit one – once in a while. The kitchen is cleaned up and the bed made. My coffee cup is almost empty, so I suppose I can take a few minutes to write. I already know how much I will hate the quiet that is coming when they all leave.

I saw a posting on FaceBook that I actually liked. “If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.”
In my youth, I struggled many times wondering which way was the right way to go. It has taken a long time to learn to breathe and let ‘the door’ come to me. That’s one lesson that is a true blessing to learn, and along with it comes more calm and patience. I love that.

My granddaughter had her first horse back lesson this week. What a joy to see her go from being nervous being up so high – to getting the hang of it and loving it. Her confidence at the end compared to an hour earlier was pure joy to see.

In the middle of my shade tree out front of the house, were several big broken branches that I had not noticed. I was pointing out how the lower branches were sagging since that big late snowfall in May that came after all the trees were leafed out. My son-in-law and daughter saw the broken branches and cut them out for me. Cutting it all up and hauling off the branches was a huge, HOT job, (and should normally be done in winter) but the good thing is (that proverbial silver lining), I now have next years supply of wood for the fire pit.

and so it goes…

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