Write on Wednesday – Gratitude – November 21, 2018

This week I finished the first revision of my novel. I am full of gratitude to Mary Ann who read and commented on all the things that needed to be fixed. The plot points that never went anywhere, the parts where I was writing in “screenplay” and forgetting that my reader can’t see what’s in my head, and, especially, for letting me know what worked. If you’re a writer, you know the importance of that last thing.


The stack is almost two inches tall. Four hundred and twelve pages in fifty-two chapters.  It is going to be set aside for a time while a do an editing project for my husband. And travel with Laura Ambler to our Christmas shows in Indiana, Minnesota and Maine. And bake Christmas cookies. Then I will dig back in and read the manuscript with fresh eyes for changes, deletions and polishes before it goes to Mary Ann again for another pass.

Tomorrow I will be taking appetizers and two apple pies to our family Thanksgiving get-together.

I wish everyone safe travels and a lovely holiday. Hug those you love and even the ones you don’t because of what they post on FaceBook. Remember the ones not at the table this year and be grateful for family — even when that’s hard.



Life Can Change in a Instant

A week ago today my son and daughter in law, who live in Montana, were on a deck that collapsed at a memorial service. They were standing at the front of the deck when it gave way. My son was able to jump and my daughter-in-law slid and landed on her tailbone.  Thomas was wearing his work boots which may have protected his ankles. They have been checked over and are okay (battered and bruised) but others had serious injuries. One friend has a  smashed L9 vertabrae, another a broken pelvis, others broken ribs, broken arms and legs. But it could have been so much worse. No one was under the deck when it collapsed. And the church facility is also utilized by children’s groups. It might have happened when the deck was full of kids.

Here’s what my daughter in law said.

“The responders who mobilized after the collapse included past and current members of Creston Fire as well as some active and retired nurses from the community. Some of these people have not worked together on a scene in years. Some of these people have never worked on a scene together at all. And yet, everyone knew what to do and came together as though they had trained together for years. Furthermore, they did it without any of their gear. Showing up at the scene of a mass casualty event in full protective gear with all your gloves, tourniquets, bandages, and other supplies is one thing. Being thrust into action without any of that is quite another. The camp staff did begin ripping tablecloths into bandages and tourniquets and filled bags with ice. A couple of guys grabbed some of the rails from the nearby fence and nailed them up to the remaining timbers of the deck to keep anything else from falling, but for the most part, it was—because it had to be—an improvised mass casualty response for the first few minutes. That makes it even more amazing. ”

The collapse made the national news. My son is a captain in the local volunteer fire company and also an EMT. The memorial service was for one of the fire department’s own, so there were lots of firemen there. Several years ago the fire department staged a day long mass casualty training event at the Kalispell airport. This one was for real.

I am so grateful that my kids are okay and praying for the people who were injured. Life can change in a instant.

You can read more about what happened on my daughter-in-law’s blog.



Away to the Mountains

Last week my husband and I traveled to Kalispell, Montana where my son and daughter-in-law live. We had two days with them and then we all drove to Spokane for the graduation of our oldest granddaughter from Eastern Washington University. She now has a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy.  She has two practicums to complete before she can sit for her board exams late this fall. We are so proud of her accomplishment.

The day after we arrived both my son and d-i-l were working so my husband and I went to the movies to see The Zookeeper’s Wife. It was excellent. This is the view from the parking lot at the movie theater. Being in Montana always forces me to raise my eyes to the purple mountains’ majesty.

The graduation was a chance to see some family members. My son, who lives in Aspen, brought his father (my ex) and my daughter-in-law’s mother also came from Ohio. We had two days in Spokane with no rain. My oldest son (father of the graduate) is standing with his hand on his wife’s shoulder. My second son is second from the right. I have tall, blonde sons. 6’4″ and 6’3″.

The graduate’s sister (on the right)  is just completing her Sophmore year at Gonzaga. She’ll be in Florence, Itlay in the fall for her semester abroad. One of those sunny days we were on campus and all the kids were out soaking up the sunshine.

It was nice to get some of the family together. My older brother in California keeps talking about planning a family reunion, but I don’t know how we could possibly get everyone together. It’s a big expense for children and grandchildren, not to mention trying to coordinate schedules.

While in Kalispell we discovered the morel mushrooms had come up in the front yard. We found enough to put in our morning eggs which came from the homestead chickens. Yum!

My Montana son is a builder and this chicken coop is bear proof!

When I got home the backyard was looking like a park. Azaleas and iris blooming and the trees have leaves. The pathetic looking “grass” of February has greened and the bald spots where we put grass seed have sprouted. A lot of our yard is wire grass and lawn ivy, but when it’s green I can pretend it’s lovely turf. Most of the “helicopters” are off the maple trees and we took the tarps off the deck yesterday. It still needs to be cleaned. That’s a next week project.

Tomorrow is the Green Thumb Plant and Garden Treasures Sale at the Woman’s Club. I’ll take some photos. I dug some plants for the sale yesterday. Now I just have to figure out how to get a Victorian plant stand to the club. Somebody will love it and figure out what to do with it. The closest I came was putting empty terracotta pots on it. It needs some love and a couple of cans of black spray paint.

I love visiting with my children and watching my grandchildren grow into adulthood, but after a week away, it was good to get home and sleep in our own bed.