Monday, September 30, 2013

Brother Hamilton

Brother Hamilton started coming to First Assembly many years ago after being invited by our pastor. He retired and had no home church. We welcomed this sweet man and his wife into our congregation, as part of the pastoral staff. I don't know if it were officially or not, but he became a welcome addition.
I knew him best from our Tuesday morning prayer meetings. He and Sister Hamilton were seasoned prayer warriors. They also knew a good breakfast after a solid hour of prayer complemented each other. They invited me along to Eat-N-Park. The wait staff gladly greeted him, as his smile and folksy sense of humor drew them to him. Brother Hamilton, ready always with a corny joke or comeback, I imagined they fought over who would wait on him.
One of the fun things Brother Hamilton quipped, "I'm so happy, I should be two people." A twinkle in his eye suggested he was telling the truth.
Acquainted with grief as well, he listened with a tender heart. Prayers always on his heart to lift up for troubles that these workers brought to him. I do believe these non-church goers sensed Jesus in this gentle man and his quiet wife.
He wore checkered shirts, knitted vests comfortably. Sundays, suits fitted him, but not as well as the every day clothes. He was an every day man. Yet, I knew he possessed a strength hidden under the common demeanor. And a powerful love for the Man that died for his sins.
He wrote, too. One poem about Jesus, Pastor Ken would read for the occasion. I'm sure all the sermons he composed were powerful.
Brother Hamilton declined in his health and spent his final days in a nursing home. As his son remarked:
This Monday 9/30 will be the 1st anniversary of Rev. William Hamilton's passing. I only feel honor at being the son of someone who caused such positive "life-changes" for many. Other than missing his physical presence, there is no sadness.... celebrate his life in some little way.
This post is my way of celebrating my friend in some little way. He is missed, as our saints that influenced us in some way are, but we grieve not as the rest of mankind, for we know they are with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 29, 1977

A call to the office in high school, I was sixteen in my junior year. A phone call waited for me. My mother told me my second niece was born out in California. I skipped through the halls and told everyone. I even scooted into the pay phone to call my boyfriend. He cooked at a restaurant, so I woke him. He pretended to care in his sleepy haze.
I think we thought Diane wouldn't ever have children, but anticipation mounted. Debbie would be nine in January. We needed another baby in the family. I look back now and see Diane and Herman only were married five years with the first two in the military in far off places like Okinawa and Thailand, then finishing in Florida. They did their time in Wyoming University married student housing while Herman graduated pharmacy school. Why were we anxious? We love babies.
Michelle Diane entered our world, but we wouldn't see her till Christmas. A long trip to California never entertained by my parents, at least in my presence. I longed to see her, but pictures in snail mail sufficed. I felt so proud.
Later that evening, I sat in the living room with my parents. An anonymous phone caller chided me for being so excited in telling everyone about my niece. He didn't care if John Smith had been born. I hung up the phone startled that anyone wanted to steal the innocent joy of a new addition to a family. Did it hurt anyone?
I walked down the halls at the high school the next day, looking at everyone, wondering if they all felt that way. Should I have kept my mouth shut? I don't think so. No one else ever made fun of my excitement. Nor would I ever joke about someone's joy.
I still celebrate life. Grandparents sharing newborn baby pictures on Facebook gives me pleasure.
I'm truly proud of my niece, Michelle and the wonderful mother she became with her three darling children. I wish still I could be with her. Happy Birthday, Michelle, my bell.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Not a Book Review

I started reading C.S. Lewis' book Out of the Silent Planet the other day. I'm not far into it. I had read it before thirty one years ago. I love reading something that the first time I read as very young, then with experience I can understand it more.
Out of the Silent Planet is the first in Lewis' space trilogy. I believe as I remember it, I enjoyed the last one the most because Merlin makes an appearance in that book. I shall find out. My sister-in-law gave this set to her brother in an effort to convert him. David loves science fiction and Lewis is Christian. Only thing with my husband, he doesn't read books given to him. He's funny that way with his subtle contrariness.
Out of the Silent Planet starts simple enough with a traveler in the English countryside. The first time I read this, my only experience with English countryside was movies and a remark made by some friends of an exchange student visiting us when I was fourteen. These young ladies explored America during the bicentennial year with discounted bus passes. They stopped over in West Middlesex at Mother and Father Lewis' because the house on Main Street always had room.
My father, the eternal tour guide, loved to drive around our beautiful area. He introduced them to an  Amish business, the man who made a hope chest for my sister, and on down to Volant. Outside of New Wilmington, on State Route 208, with the rolling hills and not as many houses as today, the young women remarked that area looked like the English countryside. So movies and Lawrence County were my reference to that domain when I first read C. S. Lewis' novel.
This time as I ventured into the book again, I had Mildenhall England in Suffolk in my mind. On our trip to Scotland, we stopped there to look into MAC flights home and buy some American postage, I believe. We happened onto a bigger bed and breakfast or a smaller motel, I can't quite remember. The owners had pity or maybe they just saw American dollars, but even though they had no regular rooms, they put us up in a servants' room. I felt quite charmed by the authentic feel, rather than another motel room. The room possessed an English feel with over stuffed chairs, lumpy bed and coziness. Maybe Farewell to Arms came to my mind then. I know, that wasn't in England, but a foreign land nonetheless. We were only married four years so the feel remained romantic. Heck, I think even now, I would be charmed by this room. The whole two weeks wandering around the British Isle filled my head with enchantment.
Reading the first pages of this book called back the enchantment I felt then. I strive to do that with my writing. I hope I can take readers to places, whether physical or emotional. Again, though, I have to make seat time with my writing. This weekend I plan a lot of seat time, as well as walk time with Harrison. Oh, glorious weekend.,_Pennsylvania,_Lawrence_County,_Pennsylvania

Friday, September 27, 2013

What Else Is There?

I'm tired after my third twelve hour shift this week with an unexpected doubling back from last night into today. That was totally unexpected, but someone did get sick and another had a house fire yesterday, so that five thirty call in the morning had me moving. I kept moving enough today to not feel the weariness, until about six thirty. I am so tired, food does not appeal to me. I manage a peanut butter and dried mixed berries sandwich, and some corn chips. Cookies sit unopened on the kitchen table.
I'm compelled to write. I love the feel of words crawling from my fingers. I know what I write this evening will be small. I shouldn't probably write at all for public eyes, but I see there aren't too many reading anyways, so I will hit the orange rust button above this space to publish.
I wonder about my writing. Will it take off? No one has responded to my last post. I feel discouraged. I won't give over to the tiredness to fuel my discouragement. I know tomorrow, a kiss of God will come. So, I have posted. I am built up by reading other posts. What would I do if I gave up writing? Gardening? I can write in all weather, great for where I live as that is one thing that can't be depended upon- weather.
I listen to the crickets, glad for the bright days, warm sunshine and night slowly cooling. I feel peace. Waiting is hard, I want it all now and think if I hesitate I'll lose. Circumstances teach me patience and to wait on God's time, because really what else is there?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Your Opinion

I posted the picture of the old pay phone in New Wilmington yesterday. I sat in the building next to where that phone is with the woman who does my book covers. We discussed my book, Main Street, and how I envision it as part of series, but not a trilogy. We want to have a theme running through the Gables and Gingerbread Stories.
We also talked about how publishing is changing and most likely always will. I guess I really feel like I found the pay phone with the dimes, then quarters available in my pocket, but they quickly started using credit cards to make the phone calls. Now, I have the credit card and the pay phone doesn't work at all any more. Teddi strongly suggested I only put Main Street out in Kindle at first. I knew what she was saying, but I thought, I don't even have a Kindle. My younger friends do. My older friends hardly know how to use the computer. I feel I'm in between.
My heart says I still want to feel the book. I may never see my stories in hard cover with which I'm OK. I know I need name recognition. Kindle gets it out there. But only Kindle? I'm not so sure.
So readers, give me your opinion. Where are you in this crazy world of buying books? Do you want my book in your hands or in your Kindle? My husband's oldest niece stated she only gets books on Kindle now. Kindles are less expensive and no shipping and handling, I see that as a plus.
I also want to pursue some local stores about carrying my books this next week. I have pondered this before. With CreateSpace, I buy them and then have the store sell them. I need to talk to the owners.
I felt yesterday, I finally can reach the pay phone to find it is forever out of order.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Kind of the way I felt today when talking about the new world of publishing, like an old payphone that doesn't work any more.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I'm bringing back some old posts as today is definitely a stay at home football day. I work twelve hour shifts the next two days, so I will be bringing in some reruns.
I only participated in a few football games before seventh grade, even though that's all you would hear on a Saturday afternoon during a home game. Our stadium didn't have lights until after I was married and then the team started winning games.
One good thing with my father not working is he attended the football games with us. Mom came along, too. Dad got so involved in the game, cheering and mostly yelling at the team. Even using a few choice swear words. Mom embarrassingly said, "Jerry." She really didn't like emotionalism.
Dad even drove us to away games, filling the back seat with my friends. In seventh grade, you would think I'd have been self-conscious about being with my parents, but I loved it. My friends all loved him and it was a way to a football game to see our other friends and enjoy the band. He usually treated us after the game as well. Away games also proved to be fun because they were under the lights, a different experience than our afternoon games to which we could walk, just over the hill.
Dad relaxed on Sunday afternoons with football on TV. In the cold weather, he'd build a fire in the living room and we all camped out there. Mom watching some, but sleeping on the couch. I curled up in a chair reading a book. I could read to football because it was the same tone, not much change in the TV screen. Mom and I relished watching half time. Commercials provided entertainment, as well. Either we ordered Matsko's pizza or cooked hot dogs  and s'mores over the fire. Cocooning before the trend made popular.
Dad also watched evening football. I had some interest in the bowl games, seeing the on location show. The bands were fascinating because of the aerial  views. How do they learn to march like that, who can envision that and get kids to do that? Great band directors.
I loved the coziness of our living room. Once in a while, Dad agreed for Mom and I to watch a Shirley Temple movie or other old movie. But I am glad we only had one TV. We stayed together by the fire.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Four Days in August

My in box had royalty information on the subject line. My first royalty statement for four days in August after Summer Triangle posted on Amazon. I opted for direct deposit, so I can't frame it or anything. I guess I can print it and frame that plain black and white statement.
Royalties payments come the month after the sales. I published late in the month, glad to finally have it done. I wanted to see it on I am learning about all this business slowly.
My husband's reaction wasn't "How much?" but "You'll have to pay taxes on it." Yes, I know, saving the statements, planning on talking to a financial adviser soon. Oh, if it could just roll in with no worries. Guess I'll have to pay for that some day, I smile.
I'm laying the ground work for future income. I proclaimed the seriousness of making money with my writing it is for retirement. I know I didn't want to be doing the physical part of nursing much longer. Getting out of home health, where I first made that declaration after fighting with veins and wound care on my knees, the long drives between visits, the tense neck with snowy days and plain weariness of constantly dealing with other people's problems, has helped. Long term nursing for a registered nurse seems less demanding in some respects, but watching your back is a new aspect of which I wasn't prepared. I envy at times those who stayed at one place and now have a "fun" job, like Coumadin clinics, surgical sites, education, but I am happy with decisions made for my family.
I love writing. The business part frightens me. Courage, my word and picture for the year, keeps me going. I'm stretching and soon I'll roar. I need to get down to the serious part of writing again, though, actual seat time with words and story. Here I go!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Look Forward

I was able to send the file of Main Street to my cover designer. She is intrigued by the story. I am looking forward to working with Teddi again and always learning more. I'm not sure what forces converged yesterday forcing me to feel pinned down. It reminded me of the marine layer when I was in Long Beach, California almost two years ago, but without the saline benefit.
I think of the past year, what was happening in 2012. I feel it was ages and eons ago. I look at dates sensing a detachment. I can hardly believe it was only a year ago. On the radio last evening two songs from the summer of 1972 created that year closer in my mind than last year.
I then thought of the beginning of ninth grade in 1975. Homeroom I sat behind the not yet boyfriend of the next two years. My friend Dawna encouraged me to ask him to Sadie Hawkins Dance and the rest they say is history. That was our first and last car date that school year. We wrote notes and kissed one kiss every day before he had to catch his bus. I was lost for that minute as teens rushed past us, ignoring our rather innocent moment, compared to other couples groping.
September, though, we hadn't hardly noticed each other. At least, I just knew him as a great cartoonist. We had been only in sixth grade class together and his artistic abilities surpassed any we had seen in our short lives at West Middlesex in our peers. That was pretty cool. He had the feathered back dark hair I was finding attractive and his black eyes portrayed a deepness my fourteen year old heart loved. But until Dawna suggested him, I didn't think about dating him.
In ninth grade most girls, at least then, are somewhat in love with the idea of being in love. An attractive package helps, but I like to think I searched for the heart. Of course, agreeing to like the girl back increases the "love."
I listened to a classic rock station last evening with Alice Cooper hosting, one of those national radio shows. I did think of a almost fifteen year old boy, but I am overjoyed I have my husband of thirty one years. Sure we didn't share my formative years discovering the first blooms of love, but our love has developed deeper than any teen age fancy could imagine.  I was eighteen when I met my husband to be in September four years later.
I think of our Septembers together. The first one as married couple in Connecticut, we roamed as much as we could between his cruises on the submarine, the Archer Fish. He taught me to drive a stick shift after we bought our first car, a Ford Escort. I joked, "If we survived that without divorcing, we can survive anything." Like that first love of fourteen, I had no idea what life held. We have survived greater things than stick shift driving.
All those Septembers seem clearer than last September. I have pushed it out of my mind as I lean into more pleasant future. One thing we hold on to at any age, if we can, is hope. We hope for better things or if pleasant that it will continue. I look forward to remembering this September now with fondness.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Worries of a Published Author

One of the reasons I went with CreateSpace was to free me up to write more. I have a plan to continue putting books out. I'm not Harper Lee, on many levels with just one book. I didn't write a To Kill a Mockingbird, after all. Nevertheless, I love to write.
I have days like today where I can't seem to concentrate. I sleep too long with bizarre dreams. I try to find a file on my laptop and it seems to have disappeared. I want to learn, but my head is dull. I lean on Jesus, but still stand on my own strength which is failing.
I need to buy some copies of Summer Triangle for those who don't use Amazon (like me!) or don't want to pay shipping and handling. Simple, yes? I drag my feet, feeling guilty to spend money. I know I could sell each one I buy and am still planning on donating to the local libraries and my place of employment.
I think of marketing and the business of sales, panicked that I'm limited. I fear I won't make it. I don't have that catchy brand. Then part of me, says lay back, don't worry, take care of your life and business, now, and let Amazon come through. The long range plan is to continue writing. I need to keep my job and do life right now.
Guess what? Writing is my life and I want to pursue it. I opened the window for the seventy one degrees as the late sun peeks through the fog of the morning that didn't leave until into the middle of the afternoon. I have eaten and the air freshens my stale mind. I chalk this day up to "one of those days." I am thankful it is not over. I guess it was so bad, I couldn't even concentrate on Facebook.
Now to find the file on Main Street, my next project...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

I Get It

I just got the blog I don't like. It would be like patients and their families reading a nurses' blog about all the frustrations of nursing. Or students and families getting an insight to teachers' gripes. I get it.
I would complain about anything about nursing, working too many hours, the constant complaints from the occupants of the beds, the having to work on Christmas Day and a non nurse person looked at me like I was the most evil person he had ever seen.
How can a nurse explain the many downfalls, yet the pleasure of caring for people? Yet, another nurse will get a discouraging word completely. Sometimes, I wouldn't even have to finish a sentence when the feeling of total understanding flooded into me from another nurse. Yes, we know a patient is sick, in pain, worried. They no more want to be where they are on Christmas Day as I do.  We all want to be with our family or comfortable.
I think when an outsider looks in at our expressions, they are surprised. I often hear, "I couldn't do what you do." The other night as one resident became violent, a visitor said his eyes were opened. I laughed it off, "You have to know how to duck, stay calm and keep a bit of a distance. The main thing is safety."
I think of how often medications can shift a mood. A pleasant man in the Connecticut hospital, turned on me one morning as I brought in his breakfast tray. He had his hands around my neck. I slowly backed out of the room and calmly called for our six foot four nurse, "John."
Times like this, fiction becomes an outlet for frustration. Often times now, patients are not the source of burnout, but lack of support from management. The fear of payment, lawsuits and the "State" fuels discouragement.
Sometimes with blogs, a disclaimer should be in the title-For this group only, all others may be offended. Offense is taken so often now a days. As I read the other blog or even see the titles, I feel that offense rise in me. Then I remember they need to express their feelings. I think though just like with nurses, teachers, pastors, waiters, lawyers some ideas need to be kept only among the group. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

1 John 4:8
Another song speaking truth to me out of the darkness. 1 John 4:8 reminds me that "God is Love." I had a glowing statuette of a kneeling girl with braids that had those words when I was a small girl. It shone at first brightly as I fell asleep, then faded through the night. It sat on a dais of black plastic. I was impressed by it.
Later, we celebrated Valentine's Day at church and a teacher wrote this verse on the card. I thought, "Wow, I never thought of Valentine's Day being redeemed for Jesus." Ever since, Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. The idea of God is love fills every decoration.
I have been in a bit of a dark place, if you hadn't noticed. I'm being jerked around with my job. The last hot days of summer blew no promise, it seemed. All my efforts became lost causes. I live under a cloud.
I heard this song as I rambled through the radio stations yesterday. Love Take Me Over. Steven Curtis Chapman has been around for a long time. His music creates a familiar ring. The words always speak to me. I think of Live Out Loud shouting that truth of what we have as Christians in eternal life is so worth telling all about.
This song, though, tells me to speak it all in love. We are given so much love from the God of Love. Steven even mentions another verse I never realized until I was an adult- New Living Translation
"For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17.
I woke many mornings with the Lord singing over me a song I needed to hear. Have I been so wrapped up in my problems that I can't hear those songs any more? This morning, though, I had peace when I woke after unloading all the problems last night.
I heard this song again as I drove home from dropping Katie off at work. I hear them by "random" chance, but I'm still listening for those songs to build me into a stronger person. Only as I fill myself with the Word and noble ideas can I carry on. God is Love. Love Take Me Over. He rejoices over me with Loud singing.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I need a dose of courage today. How about you?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Season

 I am watching summer hang on with a vengeance. The high today is to be 90 or 93, depending on who you listen to. Right now at almost one in the afternoon it is 82. I see and feel the heat. I knew it was too hot to walk my black blanket dog. He comes inside smelling of the heat's reaction with dog hide.
I can't wake early enough to escape the heat. Soon though this will change. I do love how the equinox's truly step in time with the calender. I miss my walks. I thought afternoon turn would help with that.
I have turned into an afternoon person. I sleep too readily in the morning. I miss the wonderful sunrises that I love. I live through the ones on facebook, especially the beach ones.
I hope to get over this phase again. I so did not want to be an afternoon person, but looked forward to relishing my mornings before work. Maybe with crisp cool fall weather, I'll wake easier.
With the heat now, summer is here, but not like in June with anticipation. Summer lost her promise and I await the new season. And my new season in my life as a writer.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Four Deaths in 1978

I looked at pictures, I searched my brain, I scrolled through Faceblook and still feel no idea. I have nothing pressing to write about. I did find Anne Morrow Lindbergh writing about breakfast and sunshine that I was going to copy. Pastor mentioned the question of tragedy today, how he wondered since a young man why certain things happen. One of the hardest details of being a pastor.
I thought of the beginning of my senior year about four deaths that happened near each other with their parallels.
Two Rainbow girls' young brothers dying and two twenty eight year old's slipping out of this world. Four deaths in 1978 that I noted in my journal with similarities beside the ages. The one brother and the one twenty eight year old had suffered a long time with disabilities. The other brother and the other twenty eight year old were killed in accidents. Even with their ages, the two succumbing to illness eased burdens on families, yet still created holes.
The sudden deaths crushed. Twenty eight year old man killed in train accident left a crying widow with two small boys. He was my brother's friend and even lived in our house before he married. I think this one bothered me the most as a seventeen year old.
I didn't know the little boy snuffed out on a bicycle and barely knew his Rainbow sister. It still upset me. The other little boy I did know the family and was sad for them.
When the casket was closed on the twenty eight year old woman, the crumbling cry of her mother haunts me. Debbie was my dad's cousin's daughter. She had juvenile diabetes leading to a coma right after she graduated from high school. As she came out of the coma, she never advanced past a four year old's mentality. Her mother became caregiver again. She dedicated her life to her daughter for ten years.
Thirty five years later and many other deaths later, I still have no idea what to say. We don't know. Like Job's friends at first, we are best to not utter any words, but sit and mourn. Extremely slowly, the pain eases. I'd propose it never goes away, until we are reunited. I do know the Lord grieves when His loved ones die. He also collects all those tears in a bottle. He cares and quietly comforts.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

View Master

I thought of View Master this morning, the three-d slide show of a far away past. Mine were passed down from my older siblings.  A black hand viewer that you placed cards with cellophane pictures in it to look at by yourself and then the projector. We also had one, that maybe came from the "farm" as Mom called her grandparents' home, with the elongated stem that a person placed special cards that were viewed from special lenses to give a three dimensional effect.  I loved the projector I shone on the wall with my friends. When I got a tape recorder, I wanted to read the booklet that came with the Disney stories with a ding to show when to change the picture, like the slide shows we had at school.
Our Disney slides included Peter Pan, my favorite and Sleeping Beauty, that I can remember. The characters stood out from the background and looked different than on screen. I can't even imagine what I would have done with videos like my kids had. Children today would have an app on their phone for their favorite movies I guess.
One Saturday morning I shoved a slide from the family Kodak file into the slot of the projector. Curious if it would fit and found out it wouldn't come back out, I hid it behind a chair. I don't know why I was scared. I felt stupid. Stupid was trying to cover up natural curiosity.
Dad must have found it, but he never said anything to me. He fixed it, as dads can. Sometimes, Dad would tell me he knew what I did, but never to make me feel shameful. I think Dad understood little people's curiosity in this case.
I look back on this and wonder why didn't I tell my dad I did that and have him fix it for me? I was the only one at home that would do something stupid like that, so hiding it didn't keep me from being discovered. I didn't want to confront him with my weakness, I think. Yet, he had never condemned me, nor did I ever see him belittle anyone. Why was I afraid?
Are we not like that at times with our heavenly Father? We stray a bit from the path. We shove something too big into a slot not made for that purpose. A view master projector is only made for view master slides, not Kodak slides, same idea, but wrong machinery. We, in our ignorance at times, make mistakes, then shove them behind the easy chair or couch in the living room, hoping for some time before cleaning so we can run from it.
Our Father knows our mistakes. He even knows our motives. He knows our hearts. Sometimes, I do think He fixes things and they show up in our play area with no word spoken. Wouldn't it be better though for ourselves, if we fessed up and have Him fix our mistake there, hug us and send us again on our way? We don't have to be proud. We come to God as little children with a big old slide stuck in a view master projector.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mapping the Journey

I self-published Summer Triangle last month. I plan on doing the same with Main Street in October. I intend to finish Country before November when NaNoWriMo starts with a frenzy of writing for one month. Then the new year will be filled with editing and publishing those novels.
I am excited and filled with joy at anticipation of writing. I love mapping this journey. I love the purpose of each novel as the theme falls into my head. The fun then is in the journey.
The planning of a trip with the old map, spread out on the floor, Dad bent over explaining the primary and secondary roads. My father-in-law did the same thing and if I had a scanner, I'd post the picture of the Lyon brothers doing the same thing on a picnic table at Parker Dam. Someone was going somewhere after the reunion and the men studied the map for the best way to go. We peered at the paper map with the bold red lines, the squiggly black lines and gray stretches that only promised time and scenery. We measured with the legend the miles and sometimes the number was above the line between two destinations. Pictures adorned the side of the map with inviting tourist attractions in that state. The blow ups of the cities in the states gave greater detail. Overall, the planner could see detail and the whole with one glance.
I spent many nights exploring the old atlas. I recalled places I had been and examined maps of states I had never visited. I envisioned what may be in those places, near lakes, big rivers or mountains. I lost hours gazing at the maps.
Now, Mapquest or the like, gives intense detail, but not the detail in the big picture. You can even look at aerial photos of the places expected to visit. I miss being able to do the both at the same time like the old paper maps spread out on the floor.
I fly over my next year in writing in the imaginary map on the floor. Like with the real map, I only have a plan. The internet maps may give more attention to detail or detours, yet, a driver still heads out, not really knowing what may happen. A tire may go flat. A truck may break down causing a tiresome delay. A relative may get deathly ill. With cell phones, we know this sooner than in the old days, when an itinerary for those left behind proved important.
I set my plans before the Master Planner. I use His guide book, the Bible, and His way to insight, prayer. I love the journey and know I really only have light for the step I'm taking now. I plunge on ahead with the grace He gives. How is your journey?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day

I finished reading Stephen King's Joyland, last evening. From Canfield Fair days to Conneaut Lake Park, Geauga Lake Park and Six Flags in New Jersey, I have been fascinated with the workers at the fairs and amusement parks. This novel follows a college student in 1973 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham to a summer job at a North Carolina beach amusement park.
As a little girl I watched the workers, thinking they could ride those rides any time after closing. I grew older admiring the camper trailers they lived in as they worked the fairs. Camping at a fair, how delightful to a growing child.
Curiosity invaded my rides as a teenager, as well. At Six Flags, the coolest ride with loud rock music was run by a long brown hair young man, I don't think much older than the Rainbow girls flooding to the ride over and over. He slyly looked us over but I'm sure he thought "jail bait."
Intrigued, I played with the idea of living that life. The trees intermingling with rides, the midway with strolling tourists being suckered into games. The only game I loved was Skeeball. I could tell those other games were rigged.
Joyland dug up those old feelings of living a carnie life and stories that could be told. Stephen King did not live the life before writing this story. He researched on line. I felt a little cheated when I read that in his note at the end. He is a master story teller and my memories of eying the teenage or college age boys imaging their stories increased my enjoyment of the novel. The idea of living on the beach in an old boarding house, listening to waves crashing on the beach while nursing a failed relationship and solving a mystery swept me away.
I, again, loved the local references. A friend in the novel was from western Pennsylvania, didn't say which town, though. Tom Kennedy was a radio host for Y-103, who ended up having done nasty stuff, but that is not how this Tom Kennedy in the novel turned out. Mr. King mentioned Camp Perry in Ohio. And all the places on the New Hampshire coast, Portsmouth hospital, Kittery and on down I could say I know those places!
The allure of those "fun" jobs that I would have never done. Our aunt's sister cleaned the cabins at Conneaut Lake Park, my older sister remembers. Sometimes those girls got to go along and play while their mother worked. I guess that is the closest I get to a carnie worker. The insider story of underground tunnels and hangouts laced with specialized language called to me. I want to know how the people live.
On this last day of summer, the end of fairs and the closing of amusement parks, I salute these people who make a living cleaning nasty stuff, putting up with rude people and probably getting paid very little. Happy Labor Day.