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Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving This and That

I watched a bunch of Christmas movies on Lifetime network over Thanksgiving.

My stepfather must be on my mind (I blogged about him a few week's ago). One of the movies featured a much thinner Terry Gillespie (that is the actor's name who played John Locke on Lost, isn't it?) With his cap on, he looked a lot like Leighton.

Thansgiving night I spent with Jaran and his family. What can I say? Grandma time! Jordan adores having me around. She demands all of my attention; if my eyes drift away from her, it's "Grandma! Look at me!" doing something adorable, of course. She makes up for Isaiah taking one look at me and crying . . .

The national networks actually changed games in mid-stream and broadcast the end of the Broncos' game here in OK! And to my delight, I learned that my favorite football team has won 5 games with Tim Tebow at QB. And John Elway looks as handsome at fifty as he did at forty.

Countdown time on finishing Bride's Rogue in Roma, Texas. Only about 11K words left to write. It better get done this week!

And the Christmas rush begins . . .

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This morning, as I forced my aching body out of bed to make it to church and choir, I was listening to a sermon on a familiar topic: "In everything give thanks."

A familiar topic and a familiar verse, but which struck me anew.

In everything give thanks.

And I realized anew that includes days like this one, when all my bones and joints ache as a cold front has swept through Oklahoma. (And ache is an inadequate word for the pain that permeates my body.)

I'm not sure what that looks like. Only that even in this trial, which I would gladly pass on to someone else, I must seek His strength in my weakness, and glorify Him.

God is good, all the time.

Even when it doesn't seem like it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


As I lay in bed thinking about the book I'm reading (Harry Hole's alcoholism is a problem in his current romance in Redbreast), I thought of my stepfather's struggles with alcoholism.

He fought it and overcame it, staying sober for more than twenty years before his death. But I was thinking back to the first time I became aware that he had a problem. I spent the summer after my freshman year of college at home (they married that spring). During those weeks, his oldest son died in a car accident.

Leighton came into the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of whiskey, and said "Sometimes I just have to."

At the time it happened, I had no empathy (I had never met his son and was overwhelmed with the changes the marriage had made in my life) and little sympathy. And while he was struggling with the choking hold of grief, he had to deal with me--a judgmental, bewildered and bewildering stepdaughter.

Only this morning did the correlation hit me with the proverbial ton of bricks. Leighton's son must have been close to my daughter's age when he died.

Oh, Leighton, how much more I understand. How my heart aches for you. How I wish I could revisit that summer, and be more. . .supportive. . .than I was. No parent should have to bury their child, although it happens all too often. I can even admit how hard it must have been to have me underfoot--living, breathing--when he had lost his own son.

So Leighton, if you have any awareness of what is happening down here, I offer my heart to join with yours.

And together we can reach out to other's in pain.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


One of Jolene's favorite books of all time was If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake. She could probably have written out the text from memory.

(By the way, if you're looking for a good resource book, kids' book, such as If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island, give you the kind of hands-on details that help to bring a book to life. Adult books concentrate on the whys and wherefores).

Talia (my cat) spent most of yesterday complaining to me. I couldn't figure out why. Clean litter, plenty of food and water. . .

Last night, all the cats and the dogs in the neighborhood camped in my back yard, creating a huge rumpus. Maybe it wasn't my back yard, but it sounded like it.

Then at 10 minutes before 11, while I'm lying down, my bed starts to shake. My lamp is shaking. Everything in the room is shaking.

Surprising Talia doesn't make a sound.

The room continues rattling for long enough for me to figure out "this must be an earthquake" and even long enough for me to begin to worry. Then it stopped (although my lamp continued trembling off and on.)

Jolene's book mentioned the strange behavior of animals on the days leading up to the earthquake. I decide that is created the three-ring circus in my backyard.

So now if I ever need to describe an earthquake, I can extrapolate from personal experience.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Sunday was one of those days.

  • I slept for one hour. (Had to get up to make it to choir rehearsal before Sunday school because we were singing)

  • Managed to stay awake for sermon and play piano for the choir.

  • Got to the pharmacy five minutes after it closed for lunch.

  • By the time we got back to the pharmacy, my credit card had dropped out of sight.

  • The keys got locked in the car.

  • By the time I got home, six hours after I left, I was in a lot of pain.

It was a day I don't want to repeat.

Monday was one of those days.

  • I slept through the night, ten solid hours.

  • I met my writing goal.

  • I sent in a proposal.

  • I received a lovely endorsement for my next book, A Ranger's Trail (coming out in February).

I wouldn't mind more days like Monday.

But you know what?

Both days are days the Lord made!