You are awesome and I love you.
I don’t have the words to define that statement to her. Let me tell you why. It all began Tuesday evening when I came home from work.
I opened the back door, like I do every night, but I immediately felt that something wasn’t right. The house was dead quiet, to begin with. Charlie did not greet me as he usually does. Well, he’s getting on in years and he doesn’t always hear me right away. The first thing I do every evening is glance across the kitchen at the little red light on my phone to see whether it is blinking, thus whether I’ve had a phone call while at work. I couldn’t see it. I started getting that creepy feeling you get when something just isn’t right. I turned on the kitchen light.
It took me a few moments of looking around, trying to fathom what was different – because something was different! Someone had been there while I was gone. And Charlie still hadn’t come.
And then I noticed a patch of that hideous orange paint that I painted over the first day I moved into my house nine years ago – everywhere except behind the stove. Why was the stove pulled out? And where was Charlie? And – wait a minute – my kitchen is really clean! The counters were clear, the floor spotless. Nothing was missing… And then I saw it - a big, red bow on the stove.
But it wasn’t my stove. Not my old broken, lightning-sizzled Kenmore. It was a brand new, shiny white GE stove, with a Christmas card from my Mom and a note on top from my sister saying, “Sorry, we wanted to surprise you, but the fittings aren’t right and the plumber has to come back. Charlie cried when I started to leave so I took him with me. Come for dinner.”
It turns out my mother had saved up her pennies for MONTHS to buy me a new stove for Christmas, and never said a word to me about it. And my sister helped Mom purchase it, and coordinated the delivery and the plumber and cleaned my kitchen without even a hint to me that anything was going on! And my nephew, bless him, hired the plumber to fix the fittings and get it hooked up.
I’m so excited to be able to cook again, to contribute to family dinners and just bake for the heck of it. Because I really do love to cook. I forgot how much I love to cook. And I don’t know how to tell my mother that she didn’t just replace my broken oven – she gave something back to me that I truly missed, something I value a great deal, something I do quite well and my ability to share it. She gave me the ability to participate and be a part of things again.
‘Thank you’ just doesn’t seem to say enough.
But really, Mom, thank you.
What a year this has been! It's been eventful, I'll say that. It has presented many challenges, but it has also presented many blessings. This week of Thanksgiving I am thankful, not only for the blessings, but also the challenges that keep me striving, working to figure out how to overcome and get through. They keep me moving forward – they keep me motivated. I wouldn't mind a little less motivation in my life, but I'm grateful for my blessings, all the same.
I’m a new author and now, on top of a full-time job, I have a LOT of extra work to do.
I AM A NEW AUTHOR!!! After many years of trying, I am FINALLY a published author! It is hard work, and at times a bit frustrating, but it’s a blast and I can’t wait to do it again!
My full-time job is demanding and doesn't always make me feel happy.
I have a job. It’s not a glamorous gig, and it doesn’t pay a lot, but I could be unemployed and I’m grateful for it. AND some of the people I work with are truly awesome and amazing people and I’m fortunate to know them.
Two years ago, lightning blew up the transformer in my back yard, taking with it a random assortment of my appliances including my ancient furnace, my old stove, my washing machine, all of the communication equipment in the house (phones, modem, cable box, etc), the coffee pot, the doorbell. Insurance would not cover them because either they were too old or didn’t cost enough to cover the deductible.
My house did not burn down, and Charlie and I are both safe and sound.
My furnace is no more, and I can’t afford to replace it. And winters are dang cold in Iowa!
We have enjoyed a long, warm autumn and from a writer's standpoint, it’s an excellent educational opportunity to learn what it was like when people didn’t have central heating, and still managed to cope. We can always put on sweaters and snuggle under a blanket.
My stove is broken, and I can’t afford to replace it.
There is only Charlie and me at my house, so a little counter-top roaster that I had tucked away has sufficed for most of our cooking needs. Thank goodness I had it!
AND BEST OF ALL – well, maybe I should tell that story tomorrow…
I've just discovered that the 'The Mage Sister' is available in other countries as well as the US. Isn't that something?
I was searching online to see if there were any reviews out there that I hadn't seen (or more accurately, any reviews at all) and my ISBN search came across all these bookstores in other countries that are carrying my book.
It turns out that 'The Mage Sister' is available in:
Australia, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Sweden, South Africa, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
That's so exciting! When I first started talking about my book back in 2011, I started gathering lots of followers in other countries around the world. I hoped that someday I'd be able to get my book out to them, but had no idea how that would happen.
And I still don't know how it happens, but happily, that doesn't matter. If you live in one of these countries, 'The Mage Sister' is now available for you to read! And if you do read it, wherever you live, I hope you'll leave a review to help others decide whether they'd like to read the book.
There are so many books out there to choose from, now more than ever with the increasing popularity of indie publishing. It can be overwhelming trying to choose a book. Reader reviews help others readers decide if a book is not only well written, but whether it's a book that would interest them.
And, of course, it helps authors by getting the word out about their books. So if you've read a book you loved, don't be shy! Leave a review, or at least give it a star rating. It's the one of the best ways to tell your favorite authors that you appreciate their work!
Mostly loony, generally harmless. Writer & professional smarty pants. Owned by an exasperated spaniel.