Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Hip Hip Hooray!!!


Why thank you.

Why am I so excited? Two reasons, actually:

This is my 100th post!

And…I finished my novel today!!!

 I was going to do a list of 100 books I loved, but that just seems long. Then I thought I would write about my favorite desserts, but that just has nothing to do with writing. So I bagged clever for just honestness.  Today was great, but then it turned out kind of crappy for other reasons, but I am not going to dwell on the negative. I am going to rejoice, hip, hip hurray for me.
Nobody is going to stomp on my party. Bring out the ice cream. I deserve it!

This novel was a long time coming. I restarted it three times, tearing it to pieces when it didn't do what I knew it should.  So I studied, researched a ton and wrote till my hands ached. Yeah, my hands and fingers ache. I'm worried it might be something more serious, but when I take a break (which I desperately need to do,) we'll see if it gets better. Let's just say that my fingers hurt all day long. And trying to open anything is almost impossible. Good thing I have strong boys around to help me out.

So here is my thought for today. I love to write. I may not be Margaret Mitchell, but I think I can tell a story. I'm grateful that my doubts and my weaknesses didn't hold me back from trying something scary. I am full  of self-doubt. BUT, I also have this incredibly strong drive to do and go and try when anyone or anything (my own mind) tells me I can't. I'm like a bull, digging my hoofs and snorting, angrily, minus the nose ring. And the horns, and the ability to buck people to oblivion, and stomp on them and stuff. You get the point.

So, I want to encourage you to do something scary.  I know I've said this before, but I look around and see people stopping themselves all the time. So if that is you…STOP IT. No matter your age, try something new this week. Go for a run if it's been a long time or try a new recipe, or learn a new song, or look for a play to audition for. I am in the craziest fun play right now and I am sooo glad I am in it. I have met the best people and had such a good time. It's been a blast.

I'm pretty darn satisfied with my life right now…minus a few glitches. After all, life is crazy, sometimes right in the middle of some pretty awesome stuff. So happy 100th post day. If you have read them all, let's go out for ice cream. You deserve it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Browning Homestead

Original cabin shown under stucco
The story began over a century ago. A family on the edge of the frontier. Pioneers with hopes and dreams and a will to begin again. Five generations or more passed through these doors. Dinners were served, three wars were fought, babies were born, deaths and disease crept through the cracks like invisible demons. Multiple families shared a two bedroom cabin. The depression was evident in their stories.

Today it comes down. 

Someone's dreams of a better life. Someone's memory of a childhood, now long gone: my father on his mother's back as she scrubbed her kitchen floors to a shine. The thousands of meals set at a simple table, prepared by the able and worn hands of a grandmother who could cook like no other. A gentle prayer offered. Cousins playing. Grandma's soft voice beaconing you close. Laughter. So much laughter. And singing.  If I listen I can still hear it in the rustling of the apple trees in the grove.

We sift through the rubble for signs of this other life, another time, another world. Looking. Wanting a piece of their souls as only a mortal can. Wishing to know them like they know us. What were they like? Did they struggle like me? Did they rejoice like me? And we learn through the scraps and rubble: Seven layers of pink and blue flowered wallpaper, whitewashed walls against bare logs now rotted by time and termites. 
A desire to make their place beautiful. A place of warmth, a refuge from the elements. A place of love and acceptance. A place of God.

interior with drapes
Some things are familiar. Others I've never seen before.
original floor (sometime before the thirties they rebuilt the floor

Linoleum floors that look like fancy carpet. Dainty trim.

They are gone. All but one. 

My dad. 

But they remain in our hearts and in our memories. I can hear her voice. The hum of the fridge. The smell of rolls cooking in the oven. My grandma singing. We are connected forever. 

We are family. And I know, we are not so different after all.