Saturday, December 29, 2007

An obscure writer's top ten moments of 2007...

  • I started a part time job. This one is number ten because after seven months of working, whatever writing projects I had in mind have been buried beneath all the trappings that surround concentrating on a job. On the positive side, my boss is a delightful person who appreciates everything I do to simplify her life. Why did I return to work after a couple years of glorious and eagerly anticipated retirement? See number nine.
  • We moved to a new home on the outskirts of a small Kansas town. Bald eagles visit from a nearby aerie to perch in the top of our trees and watch for easy prey. We enjoy seeing our national bird up close, but keep our fingers crossed that the easy prey they find won't turn out to be our outdoor cats. The squirrels that frolicked in our trees when we moved here have disappeared, probably taken by hungry eagles. Bird watching here is a daily treat.
  • I lived through another summer in the plains. I've always hated summer -- the awful heat, the horrible insects -- so when fall and winter arrive I'm properly grateful.
  • We've had regular snows this winter. Snow is one of my favorite things in the world. It cleans and freshens the air and transforms dull gray and brown nature into a pristine wonderland. This year we also had icy rain that broke trees and power lines and left thousands of people without power. Ice is NOT one of my favorite things, especially when people with limited finances have to pay through the nose for electric companies to reconnect power lines to their houses. I'm grateful we were not without power, and that our electric company had the foresight to bury our power lines underground.
  • Despite less writing time and energy, I HAVE managed to have an occasional poem featured in online ezines or hard copy journals this year. The editors of Bellowing Ark and The Time Garden seem to like my style so I'm grateful for that blessing. These two editors are exceptional people and I'd say that even if they didn't accept my poetry and commentary submissions.
  • I reached the milestone age of 65. An eye-blink ago I was 40. Two eye-blinks ago I was 18 and starting nursing school. Those of you who think your eyes, teeth, muscles, joints and bones will always be strong have a huge shock in store! My grandma told me once when she was 89 that inside her mind she still felt 18. I'm beginning to understand what she meant by that.
  • My three books still sell occasionally online, on consignment, or from my personal supply at home. I'm always so pleased when strangers buy my books based on word of mouth or positive reviews. I've never been as aggressive as unknown writers need to be if they want to sell books. I could easily appear on major network programs with passionate pleas for viewers to share their largesse with humans or animals, or to derail politicians' gravy train. Convincing people to part with their hard-earned money for my books is not in my repertoire.
  • My sister Pam is 17 months past surgery for colon cancer with no recurrence of cancer. Every month of testing negative for cancer recurrence is a blessing. I often think the trillions of dollars spent on wars around the globe would be better spent on eradicating this awful disease.
  • My husband and I are relatively healthy, despite our advancing age. Mama always told me I had the constitution of an Army mule so maybe she was right. Thank God for good genes!!
  • My family and friends are surviving life's stresses, strong and smiling despite whatever comes their way. Nothing makes me happier than seeing the people I love find a small shred of joy in life to keep them going. May that continue through 2008.

So there you have it, my top ten for 2007. I wish for everyone I love to continue thriving through 2008 and to find unexpected blessings along the way. For those of you I don't know or have never met, I wish you the same. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

OH, the weather outside is frightful......

...but the fire feels so delightful. There may still be unfortunate souls without electricity from the ice storm and snow we had more than a week ago. We lost many tree limbs, but were never without power during that ordeal. Today we have blowing and drifting snow. Not much accumulation so far because the snow blows away as fast as it falls.

We started our day today with the electricity going on and off. Fortunately, I managed to brew a pot of coffee before it went off and stayed off for a couple hours. Hubby had the kerosene stove primed and ready, but we didn't need it. We are blessed to have a very good and reliable electric company.

Living and surviving harsh winter weather without power is an adventure. While living in a mountainous region of Kentucky, we spent eight days without electricity one winter. I cooked and made coffee on our kerosene heater. That was the experience that taught me to always have a land line phone and non-electric clock that work whether we have power or not. I also learned to keep plenty of pillar candles and matches on hand for night time emergencies, and to stock our larder with soups, crackers, peanut butter at all times -- winter and summer.

My husband thinks he's trapped in living hell if the TV doesn't work. I lose touch with friends and family around the country and world when my computer doesn't work. We hear every day about how foolish humans are to be dependent of foreign oil for heating and gasoline. Personally, I think we are foolish to depend on electricity for our every day activities and even our survival. Today, I'm thinking perhaps our country needs to focus less on foreign involvements of varying kinds and spend the trillions frittered away on lost causes around the world on developing new forms of providing power. We are one of the families who would live "green" if we knew how and could afford it. Until that happens, we have to depend on kerosene stoves or wood burners when we lose power in the winter.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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