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  • A Letter to my Granddaughter regarding the Election of Donald Trump

    Dear G,

    You don’t know this, but America has elected a new president, Donald J. Trump.

     

    This letter is for you to read in ten years or so. At age 5, you are much too young to understand the events of the past 8 years, or what happened during the run up to the election of Mr. Trump.

    In fact, you and your brother have no idea that an election even took place. This is in contrast to the children of others.One woman went on TV and disclosed that her 11 year old daughter is afraid to sleep alone, now that Hillary Clinton will not be president.

    One can only wonder what her parents told her about Mr. Trump and the people who voted for him. Whatever it was, it caused their daughter great fear, and does not speak well of their parenting.

    Others, people on my Facebook contacts list, or friends of friends, have posted that they do not know how to tell their children that Trump won, because of A,B,C,D,E or any number of other things they believe Trump has done or will do.

    Many of their fears are baseless, because they read them in newspapers that told lies about Trump and his supporters.

    You see, the big newspapers and TV news media wanted Hillary to win. And because they no longer subscribe to what were formerly the tenets of journalism, they decided to manage the news.

    They lied by omission many times.They also lied outright, or cherry picked bits of truth and spun them into stories that they wanted people to believe, but were actually the opposite of truth.

    Many people who wanted Hillary to be president cannot accept defeat. They are currently attempting to overthrow the democratic process, and the peaceful transition of power that has been part of our government since it’s inception.

    They have done all sorts of crazy things, including attacking and beating people who they believed voted for Trump, rioting, setting fires, looting, vandalizing businesses, and other crimes.

    They have also made it a point to burn the American Flag.This is a shameful thing.

    All of this may sound like a scary story, but rest assured, it’s true. I would never lie to you, G. If someday you are in high school and are taught history that does not match what I have written here, do not accept it. I am telling the truth.

    Then you will have to investigate on your own. Many teachers did not want Mr. Trump to win. They wanted Hillary, too. Some teachers have even declared that the Electoral College (the system designed by our founders to prevent large population centers in one or two states from electing leaders for everyone in the country) should be abolished.

    Never mind that had the results been different, they would be upholding the Electoral College with every fiber in their being; such nuance does not compute when folks have invested so much in any one candidate. Hypocrisy is now the rule.

    Hillary lost, and they must blame something other than the fact that she was a terrible candidate who was under investigation by the FBI, among other things.

    Again, G, I would never lie to you. The reason I am using only your first initial rather than your full name, is because your Pop Pop and I voted for Mr. Trump.

    I have never posted a photo of your face on this blog. Nor have I ever referred you by anything but your first initial.

    This is not because I am not proud of you. I am very proud that you are my granddaughter. I hide your face for reasons of privacy, because I don’t want the people who do not agree with me politically to know your name or what you look like.

    Because of the way your Pop Pop and I were treated over the past 8 years due to  our politics, I do not feel safe enough to put my own name on this blog or my books. So of course I would never allow you to be known.

    I’m hoping the previous paragraph sounds far-fetched when you read it in the future, but believe me, it is certainly applicable now. You have only to do research if you doubt me.

    Ask me and I will help you find the resources. Or ask your Pop Pop, or Aunt Allie. Aunt Allie is a college student now, and she will back me up.

    Before I write my hopes for you, I need to show you something. The following screenshots were taken this morning, and show headlines of news stories happening today.

     

    drudge3

     

    Here are the remainder of the headlines.

     

    drudge-4

     

    As you can plainly see, the world is in an uproar. You can get the idea of what is going on by looking at different headlines.

    Many people– those in positions of power, with bully pulpits in the news business, in Hollywood, and in the Democrat party–believe things will get worse now, because Hillary Clinton will not  be president.

    The current First Lady, Michelle Obama, even went on TV and told everyone who was watching that she feels like there is no hope anymore, because her husband is leaving office, and instead of Hillary Clinton, who would have continued his policies, the voters chose Donald Trump to lead our nation.

    But I have great hope. I will write a letter to your little brother, E, and your baby cousin, B, some other time. Today I wanted to write for you, to tell you what I would like your future to look like. So, here are my hopes.

    Hope One: I hope the terror attacks will be brought under control over the next 8 years, so you will be safe. Safe to go to school, or to the movies with your friends, or to a part-time job. Safe to play sports or go to dance class.

    And safe to go to church. The people who attack do it because they do not want girls and women to do the the things I hope you will do. And they especially do not like our Catholic faith.

    Other people (Americans) try to suppress Christianity because it clashes with the lifestyles they have chosen. They don’t like Jesus’ teachings, and they don’t want to follow God’s rules.

    These other Americans have decided that they want no restrictions on the brutal practice of abortion, and because our faith forbids the killing of unborn children, they marginalize us and say we are religious freaks.

    At some point you will be told that having an abortion is every woman’s right, and that religion is hateful for attempting to remove that right.

    When this happens you must ask yourself: What about the baby’s rights? Then think long and hard about it. Do not follow along with the crowd, just because they believe this.

    You must think for yourself. Say the Hail Mary and the Our Father while thinking about the horror of abortion, and I know you will find the answer. And again, talk to your aunts if you don’t want to ask your mom or me. They are young, but they know what is true.

    Yes, I understand how hard it is for you to believe the above, because you have loved Jesus and Mary since you were only a baby. Each time I picked you up, you would grab my medal and crucifix, and when you were older you always said hi to Mary.

    This Christmas Pop Pop and I are giving you your very own “Mary Medal”, because you asked for one. And, you like to pray.

    Each night you pray the Hail Mary. I want you to be able to do it for the rest of your life without fear of being attacked for your faith.

     

    Hope Two: I hope that the scourge of heroin is gone from the youth of America. Every day there is another instance of a young person succumbing to this terrible drug.

    It is much too easy for teenagers to get, because America at this time is a country without borders. Drugs snake their way into our country, and kids always end up dead.

    Please, never, ever think that you can try this drug. You can’t. It will take control of you and turn you into a shadow, someone no one will recognize. And then something worse might happen.

     

    Hope Three: I hope you will be able to be yourself. You are a modest little girl. At age 5 you are already shy, and you don’t want to change in front of anyone but me when I am babysitting.

    I am quite sure that you will want to be a little girl who can have privacy. There are some people in America who do not believe girls should have this option, or boys either.

    Because some kids and adults are confused about their gender, activists are pushing for schools to allow boys into the girls bathroom and locker room, and vice versa.

    When girls complain that they are uncomfortable undressing in front of a boy (even if the boy believes he is a girl), the girls are told that they must get used to it, and that they need to become comfortable with letting a strange boy see them getting undressed.

    Yes, I understand that this sounds like the ravings of a lunatic. Nevertheless, it is true. So my hope is that this issue will be settled soon, and that the many kids who feel uncomfortable will not be forced to “get used to it”, just to make one or two kids that are confused feel comfortable.

     

    Hope Four: I hope you do not grow up too fast. The issues I wrote about above are not anything a child should have to deal with.

    I hope you read lots of books. Good books that do not push the messages above into your brain until you believe they are “just the way things are.”

    I hope you will be kind and smile a lot. I hope you will make nice friends. I hope you will have good health care. I hope you will learn to help others, and that you will grow up loving your neighbor and your country.

    I hope that you will have every advantage your own parents had while growing up. I pray every day for this.

    There are many more hopes that I could list, but these are the ones that pertain to President Trump and the people he will appoint to help him make our country great again.

    I prayed every day for the past 8 years that God would help us–we who want to keep the right to practice our religion without government interference, and our right to self defense, and our right to speak our minds without being marginalized or suppressed.

    America is a wonderful place. And now that Hillary Clinton will never be president, there’s a good chance that the headlines above will change for the better, and that our rights will not diminish.

    I have all of this hope not because I believe in government, or in Donald Trump, or in any earthly institution or person.

    This hope has come from God, and I am thankful every day that He, in his mercy, has given us a chance to change things.

    I hope you read these words someday, and know how much I love you, and that I did everything I could to make sure you will grow up to be free.


  • Update on Book 3, Cadáin’s Watch

    I want to give readers an update on my writing progress. Since December’s free promotion of book 2 in my series, The Notice, I have become aware of many new readers. I am so thankful for each and every person who invested time to read my work! You have no idea how encouraging it is when I see the “pages read” report on my Kindle account. 

    Thank you, thank you, each and every one of you!

    As some of you know, book 3 in the Storms Of Transformation Series is entitled “Cadáin’s Watch. (Please click here to read some history, and how I came up with the title).

    Here’s an update on progress. I am 3/4 finished writing the first draft, and my plan, as of now, is to write the words “The End” sometime during the month of June.

    John Lennon, quote.

    You will note that I said “my plan.” But as John Lennon said, Life happens. And I must admit that Life threw me some curve balls in 2015.

    When I began work on Cadáin’s Watch one year ago, I expected to be finished and ready to publish by March of 2016. But again… Life.

    Most independent authors have day jobs. If you follow this blog, you may have read my reviews of books by other independent authors. And all of the authors have day jobs. Finding time to write, and then revise and revise again, while working or perhaps being a stay at home mom can be very challenging.

    In my case the circumstances are different. I don’t work outside the home, however, i still have a day job 🙂 My job consists of being a good wife to my wonderful husband of 36 years, who is the breadwinner for our family, helping my daughter and son-in-law with child care for their two children while they work, and just generally being here for my family when I’m needed.

    So, I must work writing into my schedule. And I do. During the month of January, I was able to stick to a writing schedule, and made quite a lot of progress, but life always throws us curveballs.

    During 2015, I lost a whole month of writing time because my daughter had to have surgery. While she recovered, in addition to being ill and exhausted, she was unable to lift her toddlers. And so, I spent 3-5 days a week at her house. To read about my grandkids and their shenanigans, click here.

    I love my family more than anything in this world, and I was happy to help my daughter. My grandchildren are a constant source of joy and laughter. Speaking of grandkids, my son and his wife are expecting a child in the spring. My husband and I are delighted, and so looking forward to meeting our new grandson… who also threw us a curveball.

    My daughter-in-law recently spent a week in the hospital after her blood pressure spiked to dangerous levels. The tentative diagnosis was preeclampsia. Thanks to God, and also the prayers of so many family and friends, it turned out not to be preeclampsia, and my daughter-in-law and the baby are doing well. It was only high blood pressure, and still, we pray that it can be kept under control with medication until the little guy is ready to enter the world healthy.

    Last summer my poor husband, while trying to ease pain in his knee, purchased a knee brace in the drug store. (Do NOT do this!!! Go to your doctor! Never use anything that your doctor doesn’t ok). Anyhow, Tom, who suffers from arthritic pain in his legs caused by a previous injury, wore this brace in the evenings while working in the garden. After a week he noticed red marks and swelling above the brace, and decided to call the doctor.

    Turns out the over the counter knee brace was too tight. It cut off circulation, and caused blood clots. Most of the clots were easily treated, but one was deep inside, and was diagnosed as a deep vein thrombosis.

    Luckily, it was caught in time, and we learned a good lesson. But all of the above caused worry and stress which cut into my writing time. And then there’s the matter of my own health issues. My condition, though it doesn’t show if someone happens to just run into me, or see me out somewhere, is still a real condition. I’m not complaining one bit. I accept my life, and thank God for everything, even the cross of depression/anxiety.

    Still, it does prevent me from writing at times. And so, the plan flew by the wayside, because, Life. That’s why book 3 hasn’t been published.

    The good news is that it WILL be published, and my hope is that readers will have it in their hands by September. If all goes as planned, that will be the case.

    After the first draft is finished, I will put the book aside for two weeks. This is necessary, so that when I go back to it, I can see it with fresh eyes, thus enabling me to make the necessary revisions to the manuscript. After I tweak the manuscript, my dear friend and feedback reader Kia Heavey gets first dibs on it. She will read a printed copy and give me advice on plotting and other problems that may need additional revision.

    If you have read both Tears of Paradox and The Notice, you may have “noticed” that book 2 moves faster than book one. This is because Kia, a wonderful friend and very talented author, (her latest novel, Domino, was published by Kindle Press, Amazon’s new publishing venture) tells me the truth.

    If a scene was too long, or added nothing to the overall story, she advised cutting. And I took her advice. That’s why readers should, if they like Tears and the characters but find it slow going, persevere, or just move on to book two, though many, many readers, including Kia herself, loved book one just the way it is now.

    And please! Read Domino! You will not understand how great it is unless you give it a try. It’s good! Way good!

    After Kia is finished with the Cadáin’s Watch manuscript she will give additional feedback, and point out discrepancies I may have missed. (There’s nothing more annoying than reading that a character “put out his cigarette” and then three paragraphs later “took a drag on his cigarette.” Such things are jarring to readers and mortifying to me as an author. However, while writing a first draft they ALWAYS happen. That’s why all of these steps must be taken to ensure a quality book, even if it takes longer than planned.

    And sometime during this process, the cover must be designed. My covers are also the work of Kia. She’s a woman of many talents. I’m very excited about the cover itself, the main building blocks of which have already been planned and chosen. I will reveal the new cover a month or so before publication. It’s going to be stunning, as are all of Kia’s book covers. She designed her own covers for her first two novels, Night Machines and Underlake, and did the layout for the cover of Domino. More of Kia’s covers, as well as those of another talented friend, Matt Margolis of Logotecture, currently grace many books from Writestream Publishing. My dear friend Daria DiGiovanni and her friend Lisa Tarves created Writestream Publishing, a quality service for independent authors. If you have a book inside of you, do visit their website.

    I hope you enjoyed this update, and that if you were wondering why it’s taking so long for book three, you’ll understand. I also am mulling over a few other changes. I haven’t sent out an email newsletter since December… it has fallen by the wayside for many reasons. If readers miss the newsletter, or new readers would like to sign up, please comment below. If there’s enough interest, I will begin sending newsletters again.

    And… if there are scenes in Cadáin’s Watch that must be cut, perhaps because the book would be too long, I plan to work them into short stories, I already have one in mind. I will probably make at least one available for free on this blog after book 3 is published, so stay tuned!

    I would love to connect with readers, and this is the best place to connect with me! If you enjoy a blogpost, please leave a comment. I will answer you.

    Again, I am so very grateful to readers. Without you, I would be nowhere.

    Many blessings to you and yours during this solemn Lenten Season.


  • 36 Years of Cars ~ The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

    I’ve often thought that we should have had a brand new car, right off the assembly line by this time.

    But it’s been 36 years. I don’t think it’s happening, and as of right now, I couldn’t care less. It’s not a priority. At least our cars are presentable now.

    When my husband and I married 36 years ago, we had only one vehicle, a 1968 Pontiac LeMans with a bad paint job. My husband was working in a fiberglass factory back then, and learned to do body work. It has served him well throughout the years.

    The year after our marriage, the LeMans had been patched, sanded and primed. My husband was planning to have it painted as soon as he saved enough money, however, on a trip to the children’s shoe store to buy baby shoes for our 14 month-old daughter, a teenaged boy pulled out of a parking lot without looking, and we hit him broadside. The kid walked away from the accident, and luckily so did we. The LeMans was built in the old style–not cheap and flimsy, but bad and mean and heavy. It didn’t survive the wreck, but it saved us.

    Sigh. We received 700 bucks for the car from the other driver’s insurance. (We had only liability–we couldn’t afford full coverage, even if we wanted it on a 13 year old car.)

    Thus began our journey.

    With the insurance money, my husband bought an old Volks Wagon Beetle, which broke down continually. I remember being stranded two miles from home when the damn thing stalled on us and wouldn’t start. We still live in the same house, 4-5 miles from a traffic light in any direction, but back then there were less homes, less people, and no cell phones. The two of us took turns carrying the baby, who wasn’t exactly thrilled to be out at dusk with bugs flying around. She didn’t like bugs. She screamed at the sight of any bug, gnat, fly or spider. So, add crying and trudging up a steep hill to this fiasco. Finally we reached a house. The owners let us in to use the phone, and my father came to our rescue. Another time, after the VW was running again, my husband forgot to park it facing downhill. He got up to go to work after it had rained all night, drove up the driveway and came back 5 minutes later, soaking wet. The VW’s sunroof was faulty, and water seeped in when it was parked uphill. When my husband left our driveway and went down the hill, water sprayed over him from the roof.

    And that’s only one car. There are plenty of others. My absolute favorite way to be embarrassed was to be forced to ride in Tom’s International Scout, the one he painted himself. Ugh. It was the color of a Hershey bar, not my style at all. Or maybe the ugly brown truck was a Blazer. Or a Bronco. Who knows? All of the former occupied our driveway at some point during the past 36 years. I can’t even remember how long it was until we got a second car. I think my daughter was about 3 or 4. Meanwhile, my husband drove what I called junkers. It was pretty much all we could afford at the time. That’s how it was, until Tom got through school and began working as an electrician.

    We had at least 2 Internationals over the years. (Nothing against them- they’re fine, only they were usually covered with fiberglass or primer.) One of his trucks was sort of worn on the floor. I mean, you could see bits of the road flying beneath your feet while riding shotgun. Trucks and cars were driven and maintained by Tom until it was too costly to keep them. Then he would sell them as is, and find another old truck to get him back and forth to work. At the same time all of this was occurring, my husband also had a motorcycle of some kind. I believe it was a Yamaha. One night he wrecked it on a back road, and came home covered in scrapes and bruises. Other motorcycles came and went for awhile.

    On and on it went. Old cars were pretty much all we could afford at the time. After I finally got a vehicle, he always gave me the best car  and kept a truck for himself. He needed a truck for work, and to transport deer in the wintertime.

    After that, the vehicle situation got better. The cars were never new, but at least they were more reliable. After 36 years, there are way too many cars, trucks and junk vehicles to remember or list here. However, we survived. Our kids survived, too. They had a loving home and an intact family. So what if their parents drove 10 year old cars?

    Later, when our kids were a little older, my husband began buying dream cars. I don’t know the classifications. I don’t think they can be categorized as muscle cars, because of year, or the engine or whatever. We had a ’68 Mustang. Then, for some reason, Tom sold it, but afterward he bought another Mustang, a ’66. He rebuilt the engines and installed dual exhausts and headers on both Mustangs. The ’66 Mustang was looking good when Tom offered to allow our 17 year old son to drive it home after boy scouts. Unfortunately, there was an accident. It wasn’t my son’s fault, and thank God both he and my husband walked away from the wreck, but the Mustang… it was totaled.

    About 12 years ago Tom bought a 1969 Pontiac Firebird. He replaced the interior and had it painted, in addition to putting in a new carburetor. (The Firebird already had a high performance exhaust.) It was red, and beautiful… but he wasn’t really happy with it. He went back and forth for awhile about whether or not to keep it. Then, on September 11, 2006 my husband had his accident. He fell 15 feet at work and crushed his ankle. Twenty years of trudging through woods, hiking up steep hillsides & sitting in cold and icy tree stands waiting for deer and he hadn’t been hurt; it took a work related accident to do it. (The old fashioned reader board was condemned as unsafe the day after the fall. Too bad it took someone almost losing a leg for it to happen, but that’s water under the bridge.) My husband had a couple of surgeries and was forced to wear a cage on his leg for 8 months. Not fun. The leg is not really great to look at now, with scars and pits where the pins had poked through, however, he can walk. That’s all we care about.

    Sometime during his recovery, during which he drove his truck to work using his left leg while propping the caged and crippled right leg on the passenger seat (I think he ripped out the console of whatever truck it was) Tom decided he didn’t want the Firebird. I don’t remember if he was internet savvy or not back then, but somehow, he found a car he wanted, the 1974 Corvette Stingray pictured above. I think he found the car through a magazine, or an ad in the newspaper.

    At any rate, somehow the Firebird was gone and the Corvette took its place in our garage. Tom’s leg was still in the cage when he bought Corvette, but as soon as the cage came off, work began on the car. It was a slow process. There were other hobbies and pastimes, like hunting and guitar playing and music. The hunting tapered off a bit over the past couple of years due to arthritis in the bad leg and chronic migraines. There was also a death in the family, a wedding to pay for, and other reasons money and time weren’t available for the Corvette. Still he drove it at times.

    Here’s the best Corvette story. My daughter’s first child was born less than a year after her wedding. I, of course, loved to babysit my granddaughter. At that time my daughter lived in Exton, about 40 minutes from our place. I would go early in the morning, and my husband would drive up later to play with the baby until her dad came home from work.

    One day, a day when I was unwell because of anxiety issues, I was really tired by the time Tom showed up. Anyone could have seen it by looking at me. I was simply sick. I felt sick at my stomach and too tired to move, and Tom said we should go out and get a bite to eat, so I would feel better. I was driving a Subaru Outback Sport at the time. (The same car Tom runs back and forth to work now). He had driven to Exton in the Corvette.

    So we left my daughter’s and I followed the red Corvette across Rt. 100 to a shopping center with lots of eateries. I was so tired and feeling so unwell that I didn’t care where we ate. I just followed. It was summertime, and the Corvette’s T-top was open.

    Like I said, I was sick. After caring for a six month old all day I had no energy to spare. I didn’t have any make-up on that day, even though it was in the car; I simply didn’t care enough to apply it. I was wearing a jean skirt and a tee shirt with flip-flops. I think my hair was presentable, but otherwise, I wasn’t my best.

    My husband, on the other hand… well… he’s aged well. He’s still a fine looking man (IMO) and he was driving a fine looking car, even back before he installed the headers and side pipes and the new wheels. I was hoping some food would help me as I followed him into the parking lot. That’s when I noticed the girl, who also must have thought she was seeing something fine. It may have the man, or the car, or a combination, but whatever it was, she wasn’t hiding her admiration.

    12256838_934671306609483_1564431027_n
    She was a pretty girl, no older than 30. She may have been younger. God help me, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Yes, I know my husband is still a good looking man, especially while wearing jeans, boots, a tee-shirt and sunglasses and driving a sports car, but for crying out loud.

    Girls… seriously. It’s not a good idea to get out of your car in a parking lot and glimpse a strange man coming toward you, and then stand there with a look of God knows what on your face, hoping he will pick you up. The man may be a bad man. He could be an ax murderer for all you know. It’s best to be introduced before making advances.

    But this girl must have been either stupid  or unafraid, because she wanted a ride. She was right next to the Corvette, and could have seen the wedding ring on my husband’s finger if she had looked. (Which she probably did).

    But again, she wanted a ride. I could tell by looking at her.  And I heard her through my open window as I pulled into the spot next to my husband. I’m sure she looked at me and shrugged, thinking I couldn’t possibly be attached to him, me with my pale sickly face, my ears ringing from listening to shrieks from a six-month-old with acid reflux, exhausted from walking the floor with her and pushing her around the neighborhood in her stroller to help her sleep, and quite possibly smelling of baby spit-up.

    So, this young girl didn’t pay me any mind as my husband got out of the Corvette. “Nice Stingray,” she cooed. Unfortunately for her, she was barking up the wrong tree. My husband doesn’t cheat. He never has, even when women made advances when I wasn’t around.

    And so, he didn’t pay her any mind. I believe he said a simple thank you before coming to my door as I dragged myself out from behind the wheel. Then he smiled, took me by the hand and spoke to me the way he always does when I’m down, or ill or not myself, and we went into a pizza place. Neither of us looked back.

    Another few years have passed,  and finally we  have a new car. Even if it’s technically an old car. A new hood, headers and side pipes, wheels and paint job. The interior still needs work, but that will come in time. For now, the car is new to us, and exactly the car we always wanted.


  • Happy Thanksgiving

    Tomorrow we celebrate a beloved American holiday, Thanksgiving.

     

    All day today I’ve been remembering what I’m grateful for. There are so many things! A loving husband and family, adorable grandchildren, a roof over my head, enough to eat, and my friends near and far. I’m thankful for music, the ability to run and exercise to keep fit, and for good health. I’m thankful to live in a free country where I can write the books I choose to write and post the blogs I choose to post. I’m very grateful that I’m free to worship as a Roman Catholic, a faith I love.

    I can never thank God enough for all that He’s given me. I can only be humble, and a gracious receiver of His gifts. Encompassing all is His redemption of me by His death on the Cross, something I do not deserve, and of which I am not worthy.

    Yet He did it anyway.

    There’s really nothing more to say.

    Catholic Church Crucifix

    Thank you, dear Jesus, for everything.

    Wishing family, friends and readers everywhere a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.

    images copy 21

     


  • Down Syndrome Awareness 2015

    October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

    I already wrote my account of how Down Syndrome changed our family for the better. I published it last October, so there’s no need for me to rewrite it. You can read about my baby sister, Lori Ann, here. She was with us for only a few years, but she made us all better people.

     

    Amy, Lori. Ellen, 1970
    Amy, Lori Ann and me ~ 1970

     

    People with Down Syndrome live their lives just like you and I. 

    These days there is a push to stigmatize unborn children with Down Syndrome. I can’t understand why, but for some reason these special needs human beings are being aborted at an alarming rate. It’s very sad for families who have been blessed to have Down Syndrome people as members. We don’t understand why they are singled out, however I do not dwell on this unfortunate fact. I guess it’s a sign of the times. I pray that better days are ahead, since Americans are better than this. Americans have only recently begun to practice what amounts to eugenics. Again, we as a nation have always been champions of marginalized people for the most part, and perhaps we will rise above the current dark trend of using murder to rid ourselves of people who some deem “imperfect.”

     

    Children and adults with Down Syndrome are great gifts.

    They truly are wonderful people. Please read all about Down Syndrome Awareness Month, facts about Down Syndrome, resources and, if you are so inclined, how to help, at the National Down Syndrome Society’s website.

    I recently became aware of the following poem, entitled “Welcome To Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley. It’s very profound. My parents knew all about the sentiment contained in this poem.

     

    WELCOME TO HOLLAND

    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

    “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

    But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

    The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

    So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

    It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

    But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” 

    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

    But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

    Holland seems a very lovely place. If ever you are given an unexpected chance to go there, even though you had planned to visit Italy, (where, after all, most parents go), don’t dismiss it too quickly. Lovely things happen there. You will learn much about compassion, patience, kindness and even holiness in Holland.

    Down Syndrome Creed


  • Grandkids and the Grandparents who are Exhausted by them.

    I’ve been helping take care of my grandkids.

    My daughter is recovering from surgery, so I’ve been helping take care of my grandchildren, a girl, age 3, and her brother, age 2. My daughter can’t lift her toddlers, so she needs someone with her 24/7. I’m happy to help, of course. However, I am tired. In fact, at times I am exhausted.

    These are the culprits, wearing the matching sweaters I knitted for them. When my Brother and Sisterdaughter and I are texting about her childrens’ latest escapades, we refer to them by the initials of their first names — G for my granddaughter and E for my grandson.

    Don’t be fooled because they are both standing still at the same time. This is a fluke. G and E are usually only still when they are sleeping. At other times they are running, shouting, fighting over toys, jumping on a backyard trampoline, arguing over which movie to watch, hugging each other, running some more, sliding and swinging, coloring, jumping, playing with toys, including the dreaded play-doh, and treating their dog like a horse or a fashion model. (Last week Luke was forced to wear a backpack, as G was beginning preschool and she wanted Luke to feel included. Luke didn’t feel included. He only felt annoyed, until G allowed the backpack to be removed).

    The following is true. Do not doubt me. I have found out for myself this past week, since E has been out of sorts, due to his mommy’s illness and his sister beginning school. Unexpected outbursts have occurred. They are usually over quickly, for which my ears are eternally grateful.

    First day of school.

    The first day of school is sometimes iffy. There is always a chance that the child will refuse to go to go to sleep the night before, refuse to get dressed, or refuse to eat breakfast, but none of these applied to G. She departed for school with her parents, who said she ran inside the building and didn’t look back. I stayed with E until his mother returned. E decided he wanted to watch Frozen. E likes Frozen. He knows all the characters by name. He sings along, which is too cute for words, but for a grown-up raised on only Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians, how much is too much of the following?

    Please. Let it go.

    (G loved school. Her favorite part was playing on the playground).

    Whose turn is it to decide what to watch on TV?

    This is always fun. G and E like to watch TV or movies other than Frozen, mostly early in the morning or right before bed. Most of the time they agree on a choice, but at times there are disputes. Sometimes there are screams that make Nonna and PopPop want to hide in the basement until a show is finally chosen. Thomas is usually a good choice, but sometimes G and E simply cannot agree. Then nobody watches nothin’.

    A trip to the playground.

    On Friday afternoon we took G and E to the playground. It’s a fun place, and that day it wasn’t too crowded. Since my daughter still gets tired and moves slowly, she put me in charge of E, and she, not wanting to be a helicopter parent, stayed in the background while keeping an eye on G. G always finds a friend at the playground. As I chased E around I noticed that G was playing with another little girl. A bossy little girl. Every once in awhile, the little girl would order G to do something, and G would saunter off in a seemingly nonchalant manner to get away from the bossiness. The bossy kid’s mom was sitting on a bench, engrossed in her phone, so she didn’t notice the bossiness or the running away.

    There were two baby girls at the park, younger than E, who is very chivalrous. He has somehow already learned the lesson of “ladies first.” At one point E was teetering on the edge of a plastic rock climbing hill, waiting for an 18 month old blonde girl to move away so he could slide down the slide. I was also patient, as I balanced on one toe, stretching up to make sure E didn’t tumble backward. A little later, after E decided to crawl beneath a slide where he was too tall to stand, he stood up and bumped his head. I had to crawl under to retrieve him. Since G was tired of being bossed and E was rubbing his head, we decided to go home.

    On the way home I discovered that my three year old granddaughter is a backseat driver. She knew the way home, and pointed out landmarks such as Turkey Hill, CVS and a bridge. At one point she asked: “Mommy, why you don’t stop? It was a stop sign. Why you didn’t stop?” My daughter replied that she did stop, and then she went again. Then G told us to turn here for home.

    G and E were a bit cranky after returning from the park. A tug of war over toys ensued. My daughter tires easily and needs to rest more than I do, so I’m always happy when my husband shows up to lend a hand. He finally arrived around 4:45, right before dinner, enabling me to sneak out the front door for a few minutes of peace and quiet.

    Fifteen minutes later I went back inside. PopPop entertained G and E until bedtime. (My son-in-law works late on Friday evenings). Then he went home, my daughter went to bed and I retired to the guest room with my kindle and a glass of wine. There was no point in me driving home. My son-in-law leaves for work at eight on Saturday mornings, so I spend the night. I fell asleep, and about five minutes later, (or so it seemed) I was awakened by little voices as they went down the hall to get breakfast with their dad. It was 7 am. I texted my daughter that I would be down soon. Then I snoozed until 7:30, got dressed and combed my hair, brushed my teeth and began another day.

    The trip to the park the day before had been too much for my daughter. She went back to bed after my son-in-law went to work, and I drank a few cups of coffee. Before I was fully awake, the kids decided they were still hungry. They wanted a snack, and decided on sweet pickle chips. I did not argue, even though it was only 8:30 am, and the thought of eating pickles made me queasy. I simply placed a plate of pickles on the table. G and E colored coloring books while snacking on the pickles, and I finished my coffee.

    Unfortunately it was raining that day. We were stuck the house. We played with hot wheels cars, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, a toy roller coaster, Cosy Coupe cars and a play kitchen. Then it was time for lunch and a nap.


    After a couple of hours of sleep, both kids were recharged. They were happy to see PopPop come back through the door.

    Mass with G.

    Since my daughter thought she could handle E alone for an hour, my husband and I took G to church. Unfortunately, the rain was worse. G didn’t mind; she got to wear her ladybug raincoat and shiny black boots. We arrived at the church right at Mass time. G sang along and played quietly with a Minnie Mouse for about ten minutes. Then she asked, for the first time, if we could go home. G was quiet, except for when the church was silent. Then others heard more questions about wanting to go home. The Mass progressed. G was being good. My husband showed her the words in the hymnal. Right before the collection was taken, G ventured out into the aisle, where she began to twirl and dance in her black rain boots. We were seated on the far right, so no one was bothered by G’s twirling except me. (I was afraid she would trip over her own feet in the boots).

    The twirling and dancing came to an end when a beautiful lady dressed in red, an usher, walked down the aisle toward us. She smiled at G and began twirling along. She said she liked that dance. G darted into the pew and sat facing front, and the lady in red walked on down the aisle.

    On the way home, G demonstrated her backseat driving skills to PopPop.

    Grandchildren

     

    E was happy to see us. The kids played with PopPop until their father came home around 7:00. Then it was time for us to go home, and leave the family alone for some downtime.

    What a week. We had a lot of fun, but I think the best part for me was witnessing my granddaughter kneel beside her bed, make the Sign of the Cross, and pray the Hail Mary all by herself.

    The week began again today. I go back tomorrow morning to become exhausted again. It will be fun. G and E are my world.

     

     


  • Labor Day Memories

    Labor Day was always a big deal for our family. Back when I was a teen and on until very recently, most of our family went to the beach for the entire week. The rest of the extended family joined us for a big reunion the Saturday before Labor Day.

    In those days my father was still with us. He and my mother hosted my Great Aunt Estella and her husband, Uncle John for the week. Aunt “Estelle” and Uncle John traveled from Jefferson, NC every year in their 1960 Plymouth Galaxy, always arriving on the Friday of the weekend before Labor Day weekend and then departing for home at 4 am on the Sunday before Labor Day Monday.

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    Amy, Baby Lori Ann (deceased) and me in 1970

    My mother and father, my Mom’s sister Aunt Betty and their brother Uncle Jim all had mobile homes in the same campground at that time. (We are still there). My sister and I and our cousins were lucky; we had my father at our disposal to tote us back and forth to the beach and boardwalk.

    What a wonderful man my father was.  I never knew any other man to work as hard. He was barely still, except for an hour or two in the evenings which he spent watching TV if there was something on that interested him. (He and my mother watched an hour of PBS every week. The show was called Washington Week in Review, and back then my father referred to the announcer (whoever he was) as “Mush-Mouth.” I never could understand why the man was called Mush-Mouth because I ran away to my room to get away from a boring news show before I heard him utter a word. Still, the name Mush-Mouth stuck. I’m pretty sure my parents watched Mush-Mouth for years.

    Dad liked variety shows. He watched Laugh-In, Hee-Haw, Sonny and Cher and Donny and Marie, along with  The Three Stooges if he could catch them. (When I was a little younger, right before my parents moved us from Toughkenamon to Landenberg, we lived next door to my PopPop. PopPop–retired and mostly deaf–watched The Three Stooges each afternoon at 3 in his old fashioned parlor. The TV was so loud that you could almost hear it from our house next door). If there were no variety shows to be found, my father would settle for a detective show, like Kojack. He couldn’t stand anything else on TV. Comedies were out; he couldn’t stand them & made fun of the characters, especially Fonzie. The Waltons was deemed a “cry-baby show.” Yes, I know my father sounds short tempered. He was. But still, he was a sucker if we asked him to do anything for us. In addition to carting us back and forth to the beach he would drive us to the roller skating rink and anywhere else we asked.

    After the TV was turned off for the night, Dad always went to the cupboard above the kitchen sink for a shot of Calvert or Four Roses, his favorite brands of whiskey. Then he went to bed, slept and got up the next morning ready for another day of work. After his day job was finished he worked on projects such as building an addition onto our home, and later a garage. He grew fruit and vegetables, and he and my mother canned tomatoes and homemade tomato sauce every summer. After I married my husband, Dad fixed up a little apartment for us. We’re still here–the apartment is now a house thanks to Dad.

    My father wasn’t a tall man, but he was still a big man, someone to look up to. My husband lost his father at age 18, the year before he and I were married, so my father became his father by default. Tom helped my dad build our house and later another garage. There were too many other major building projects to count.

    Dad also cleaned gutters, put on a new roof, cut his large yard and kept the lawnmower in good repair. He changed the oil in cars, trucks, lawnmowers, tractors and his rototiller. He always ran the mower over the fall leaves around my house and my sister’s, since we live on the edge of the woods. That way there were no leaves to rake.

    In addition to all of these jobs, my father helped clean our parish Church each week for many years. He usually vacuumed. He also burned the Palm each year for Ash Wednesday. He drove my nieces to preschool and picked them up, took each of his grandchildren to the bus stop every morning and met the bus each afternoon until they were old enough to wait alone.

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    I could go on and on. Dad loved his family and liked to work. He was a Jack of all Trades. That’s why Labor Day makes me think about him.

    My little granddaughter, pictured above, only met Dad once, right before he passed away. Tomorrow is her first day of school–Pre-K. I feel sorry for her and her little brother. They will grow up not knowing their Great Granddad, who would have done anything for them.

    But he’s in a better place now.

     

    I’ll mow your lawn, clean the leaves out your drain
    I’ll mend your roof to keep out the rain
    I’ll take the work that God provides
    I’m a Jack of all trades, honey, we’ll be alright

    I’ll hammer the nails, and I’ll set the stone
    I’ll harvest your crops when they’re ripe and grown
    I’ll pull that engine apart and patch her up ’til she’s running right
    I’m a Jack of all trades, we’ll be alright

    A hurricane blows, brings a hard rain
    When the blue sky breaks, feels like the world’s gonna change
    We’ll start caring for each other like Jesus said that we might
    I’m a Jack of all trades, we’ll be alright.


  • Family Reunion

    This summer has been full of reunions. We’ve had two gatherings for my mother’s 80th birthday, a reunion with my husband’s father’s family and another with my mother’s father’s family where I saw old photos of people who have passed, and whom I loved. At this particular reunion was a cousin, aged 99.

    I do not have a photo because she left early and I neglected to take a picture, but it was really wonderful to see her, since she made my mother’s wedding dress as well as mine. My cousin Mae, raised on a farm near Lansing NC, was a born seamstress. I don’t believe she ever went to art school, however she had such a natural talent for sewing that she made a long career of sewing for brides and bridesmaids, in addition to redecorating homes, some of them the homes of affluent people in our area, such as homes that belonged to the DuPont family.

    How she did this I don’t know. She went into a home with a measuring tape, paper and pencil and some chalk, took measurements, went home and sewed the drapes and slipcovers, took them back to the home and, well, that was pretty much it. They usually fit perfectly.

    I, though I inherited a similar sort of talent from my own grandmother, could never have done such a thing. I made slipcovers once. And once was enough. I had to fit the darn things at least twenty times, and I felt like pulling out my hair. I have vowed never to make another slipcover, though I will, if pressed, sew a curtain.

    At this time in my life, I am making the effort to go to as many family gatherings as I can. I appreciate being able to see and talk to people, whether they be close family or distant cousins. These days it seems that we only see distant family and friends at funerals, which is a very sad thing, but inevitable, so I like to meet with my living loved ones while I still can.

    Another such reunion took place Wednesday. This was small gathering of my father’s family at the cemetery where numerous family members, including my father, have been laid to rest.

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    My mother, far left, tends the graves through the year, since the other family members live hours away. My aunt Annie, the only surviving sibling of my grandparents, plants flowers on all the graves each time she visits.

    Now people might think a cemetery is a rather strange place for a visit, but we have taken to trying to meet there at least once a year. In addition to my father, the other graves we visited included my aunt and Godmother, Gloria, who always made the Easter Bread, my Aunt Mary and Uncle Sam and their son, Bill. Bill died of cancer in the early 1980’s at age twenty-five. My father loved Bill, and treated him almost like his own little boy. Bill helped my father in the mushroom houses back in the late 1960’s. I have a vague memory of my father and Bill, standing on top of a huge manure pile on the wharf next to the back double, watering it with hoses. Bill was also my daughter’s Godfather.

    IMG_3362
    My paternal grandfather, Marco. He came to America through Ellis island in 1907.

     

    IMG_3358
    The older generation of my father’s family. L-R: My Uncle Bob, husband of my Aunt Gloria, my mother, Uncle Dino and his wife Aunt Annie, my father’s sister.

    In addition to these beloved family members, we also visited the graves of my father’s parents, Marco and Colomba, who immigrated from Italy to America in the early 20th century. There are also graves of various children, who would’ve been my fathers brothers and sisters, who died young, and that of my dad’s brother, Albert, who was the first of the five siblings to live to adulthood to pass away.

    While we chatted at the cemetery, I found out something surprising. My uncle Dino, informed me that he had read both of my books, and is eagerly awaiting the third! He said he was hoping I would show up at the cemetery, because he had never had the chance to talk to an author in person about their books. I was so happy that he enjoyed my books. Dino asked if any of the people in the cemetery had inspired some of the characters in my books. He had a suspicion that they did, which I confirmed.

    IMG_3360
    My baby sister’s resting place. Lori Ann inspired the character of the same name in my series of books.

     

    I told Uncle Dino about the character Lori Ann being based on my real sister, who died at age three. My mother tends her grave with love. Dino wanted to know if the main characters were inspired by any real people. I told him, no, they were not; they are strictly figments of my imagination. (Uncle Dino was happy to hear that the villains in my books are not based on any family members).

    IMG_3363
    My parents first child, a baby boy was born in 1960. He died quickly, and wasn’t given a name.

     

    I didn’t tell Uncle Dino this because we stopped chatting about my work so we could visit with everyone else, but the above grave inspired the character of Jason and Michelle’s baby, the little boy whom they didn’t name.

    It was a very lovely day, and perfect for visiting. My cousin Joan and her husband were visiting her parents, Annie and Dino, from their home in Atlanta. We rarely see each other. It was great to catch up on family news. Joan and my sister Amy and I were very glad to be able to visit.

    IMG_3359
    Cousin Joan and my sister, Amy

    As we three “girls” were talking we were sort of shocked to realize how old we actually are. None of us is younger than fifty anymore. Still, it’s either grow old gracefully or end up in the place we happened to be strolling around, so, ok, whatever. Fifty is the new forty, right?

    IMG_3366
    Me and Cousin Joan. (I am on a strict weight loss and exercise program as of yesterday).

     

    After we finished praying and the flowers were all planted and watered, we had lunch at a nearby Italian restaurant, where we talked some more about old times. Aunt Annie spoke of the “back kitchen” in my grandparents home. It was a small room right off the back porch, sort of an anteroom, with a washing machine and laundry sink (no dryer) a cabinet and a pasta table. The big kitchen was through a wide hallway and to the left.

    She asked if I remembered the table, and I said yes, very vaguely. My MomMom died when I was a child, but I do have a few memories of pasta being made in that kitchen. This family ate homemade pasta almost every day of their lives. It sounds really good to me, but my father grew up to hate pasta of all kinds, simply because he was forced to eat it every day as a child.

    There were other remembrances at the lunch. We had a very nice day. I hope we do it again soon and I hope more cousins come next time. It’s good to reunite.


  • Thanks, Readers

    This week three great things happened with regard to my writing.

    First, my 20 year old niece finished reading The Notice, and told me the end made her cry. (In a good way). Here’s a screen shot of  our back and forth texts:

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    Second, a longtime twitter friend, who is also an author, finished reading Tears Of Paradox. She also gave me great feedback, saying that my writing gave insight into the lives of practicing Catholics. Reading her review was the highlight of my day yesterday.

    Third, this morning at Mass, I ran into a lady who has read both Tears Of Paradox and The Notice. She told me she absolutely loved book two, and could not put it down until she finished. Hearing feedback like this makes all the hard work worth it.

    I am so grateful to the folks who enjoy my work. Almost everyone asks me this question: “Will Jason and his father finally meet in book three?” The answer is: Yes, they will. I truly hope I can do this reunion justice.

    I have done lots of research and planned many plot lines for book three. I don’t know the title yet. Titles are very difficult for me. I have written less than a chapter so far, but I plan to hit it hard over the summer. I am not the fastest writer, but I am a thorough one.

    In the meantime, if you are a reader who has enjoyed my work, please tell a friend. I’ll sign off with the following video. Click here, please, to watch and listen to the man who inspired much of my work. You Tube does not allow certain videos to be embedded.

    This song is part of my inspiration for Michael Sean, Jason’s father, This particular version is from a bootleg which was released with Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town boxed set. My husband gave it to me as a gift a few years ago. This 1978 show must have been magical for people lucky enough to have been there.

    Here are the lyrics:

    “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City”

    I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra
    I was born blue and weathered but I burst just like a supernova
    I could walk like Brando right into the sun
    Then dance just like a Casanova
    With my blackjack and jacket and hair slicked sweet
    Silver star studs on my duds like a Harley in heat
    When I strut down the street I could feel it’s heartbeat
    The sisters fell back and said “Don’t that man look pretty”
    The cripple on the corner cried out “Nickels for your pity”
    Them gasoline boys downtown sure talk gritty
    It’s so hard to be a saint in the city
    I was the king if the alley, mama I could talk some trash
    I was the prince of the paupers crowned downtown at the beggar’s bash
    I was the pimp’s main prophet I kept everythning cool
    Just a backstreet gambler with the luck to lose
    And when the heat came down it was left on the ground
    The devil appeared like Jesus through the steam in the street
    Showin’ me a hand I knew even the cops couldn’t beat
    I felt his hot breath on my neck as I dove into the heat
    It’s so hard to be a saint when you’re just a boy out on the street
    And the sages of the subway sit just like the living dead
    As the tracks clack out the rhythm their eyes fixed straightahead
    They ride the line of balance and hold on by just a thread
    But it’s too hot in these tunnels you can get hit up by the heat
    You get up to get out at your next stop but they push you
    Back down in your seat
    Your heart starts beatin’ faster as you struggle to your feet
    You’re outa that hole and back up on the street
    And them South Side sisters sure look pretty
    The cripple on the corner cries out “Nickels for your pity”
    And them downtown boys they sure talk gritty
    It’s so hard to be a saint in the city.

    Lately, the title of this song describes me, trying to live my life and be a good person. Being a follower of Christ is difficult at this time, with all the unrest in America and the world. Times are hard all over. It’s so hard to be a saint in the city that is this world. But just the same, we have salvation, if only we stay with Him.

    all-things-work-together-for-those-who-love-god-all-we-have-to-do-is-love-and-live-for-god-he-is-with-us-and-promises-he-will-give-good-to-us-and-has-a-plan


  • Gratitude

    My free book promotion for The Notice is running through Sunday.

    My first free promotion, last year for Tears Of Paradox had a total of 300 downloads. I expected about the same for this promotion. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I saw that the Notice had been downloaded over 400 times on only the first day of the promotion.

    Now this may be a drop in the bucket to what a well known and traditionally published author would get in free downloads, but to me, a struggling unknown independent, it means a lot.

    IMG_1566

    I decided to check my Amazon ranking last night, just for fun. I was met with the above sight. The Notice is #2 in Christian Fantasy free books in Amazon’s Best Sellers.  It’s also #2 in Religious Science Fiction, and #568 in free overall. Again, this may seem small when compared to traditionally published authors with houses that help with marketing, but for lil ole me it’s a big deal.

    So, I feel the need to say thank you. Thank you to God for his grace in allowing me to pursue this dream. Such a thing seemed out of the realm of possibility a year ago. It’s reality today. I couldn’t have done this without Divine inspiration and help. I admit that.

    Matthew 19:26New International Version (NIV)

    26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    Speaking of inspiration, I must mention someone else. Tears Of Paradox and The Notice were written during a period of darkness in my life. I found comfort, understanding and inspiration in the music of Bruce Springsteen, particularly my favorite album, Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

    My genre is Classic Rock, and while I listen to many artists, some of whom also inspired characters and scenes in my work, DOTEOT (and Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ) spoke to me in a way I can’t really describe with words.

    I’m working on finding a “song” for each character in this series. Following is Something In The Night from DOTEOT, which, to me, is protagonist Jason’s “song.”

     

    I’m riding down Kingsley, figuring I’ll get a drink

    Turn the radio up loud, so I don’t have to think,

    I take her to the floor, looking for a moment when the world seems right,

    And I tear into the guts, of something in the night.

    You’re born with nothing, and better off that way,

    Soon as you’ve got something they send someone to try and take it away,

    You can ride this road ’till dawn, without another human being in sight,

    Just kids wasted on something in the night.

    Nothing is forgotten or forgiven, when it’s your last time around,

    I got stuff running ’round my head That I just can’t live down.

    When we found the things we loved, They were crushed and dying in the dirt.

    We tried to pick up the pieces, And get away without getting hurt,

    But they caught us at the state line, And burned our cars in one last fight,

    And left us running burned and blind, Chasing something in the night.

    I had the extreme good luck to be in the audience at Citizen’s Bank Park on September 3, 2012, (Labor Day) when Springsteen performed a 5 song set from DOTEOT. H/T SomewhereInJersey75 for the following video. (I was in the nosebleeds).

     

    I’ve seen numerous rock concerts since my first trip to the Spectrum in 1978, but this was my all time favorite. It was also my last Springsteen concert. My husband admires Springsteen’s music, but has become less than a fan over the past few years, for which I do not blame him.

    Still, I’m very grateful to Springsteen. His music helped me through an extremely difficult period of my life.

    Finally, to whoever reads this blog, and whoever reads my books, my online writing buddies who help me everyday, or anyone who encourages me in  any way… I am grateful to you, too.