This month on September 26th, my first father Shannon Clements would be 98 years old if he was living. I have had him on my mind a lot and had to write about him. Why do I call him my first father? I wasn’t sure what to call him, when I would talk about him. My first sponsor asked me why I didn’t call him something other than; well he wasn’t my real father, he wasn’t my stepfather, I don’t know what to call him. I decided then I would give him a title that was fitting. He was my first, legal father. He raised me, to the best of his ability, and granted that wasn’t very well, considering his upbringing, but he loved me. It was very difficult and confusing for me, and I am sure it was also very difficult for him too. It isn’t a coincidence that I was named Shana. It made it easier to cover up the fact that he wasn’t my biological father.

As horrible as it all was for us to all live in the same house, my mother, Shannon, Henry, my brother and I, what was even harder was not knowing who was who, other than myself, my brother our mother Betty, who was the only woman in our house, we knew she was our mother, but we called the adults all by their first names. I say that rather sarcastically, because Henry wasn’t an adult. He was barely 16 when I was born. Shannon thought of him as a foster child. He made him foreman of his company. Henry came from hellish poverty on the border of Mexico, with an inadequate mother, to say the least, and a deceased father. When he had the opportunity to come to Indiana and live in luxury, his own room, new clean clothes, money in his pocket, and Betty, how could he refuse that? Shannon was unaware, a complete dolt in denial that his wife was pregnant by this Hispanic 15-year-old that he was helping by giving him a home and a job. This was all horrible enough. What was even worse was when the rug got completely pulled out from under him, losing his wife, children, home and pretty much his business, he was completely mentally, and emotionally bankrupt. If you read my memoirs you know it was even worse than that, after his accident in Chicago. He wasn’t expected to live.

And yes, it got worse. Because he was our legal father for 8 or 9 years, and he supported my brother and I all those years, he was allowed to have visitation with us. He would come and pick us up and take us for those visits, which a very vaguely remember and then bring us back home to our house, which was his house that he built. He would leave us with our mother and Henry, who legally adopted us after blood tests proved that Shannon was not our biological father. He was emotionally gutted when he heard this in a court room in Elkhart, Indiana.

When we would be brought home, we would be quizzed, ridiculed and traumatized each time we came back from a visit with Shannon. I was told he tried to kill me. He would kill us. He hated us. We were Shannon lovers, betrayers if we had any feelings for him at all. After testing him and telling him I wasn’t going with him, one time, he never came back. It proved to me, my mother must be right. He didn’t love me. I say this all to say it was the ultimate parental alienation. I never knew there was such a thing. until years later, after reading about it.

The sad thing, ha, and there were and are many sad things about the whole story, but one of the sad things is how it affected my feelings for Shannon. We were estranged for about 25 years. I finally had the intestinal fortitude to faust myself into his life. I wanted more answers. I needed to know if he really hated me, tried to kill me, and answers to many other things. Sadly, our relationship was never what it could have been because of the evil damage that had been perpetrated onto us both. I loved him, and he loved me, but it was irreparably damaged by my mother and father.

I had a relationship with him in his later years and was with him as he died. We grew to have a bittersweet relationship, but it was a relationship. I had a relationship with his wife, who I called my stepmother, because, again it was complicated. I think she actually grew to love me more than he did. What I have learned from this whole experience is many things. One is that I have a great capacity to love and forgive. I don’t forget, but I do forgive. I have learned the damage done by parental alienation and lies. I learned that I am not crazy, as I was so often called. I am a good person. I will spend the rest of my days, healing, living, loving and still working on more forgiveness, day by day. I love you Shannon.

I know it sounds strange. I think most of us can relate to the fear of failure, but what is fear of success? Adult Children of Alcoholics and or Dysfunctional Families have not only a fear of failure, but also a fear of success. Oddly enough I could see it in my mother, but not in myself until later.

Sadly my mother was always trying to predict and control the future through any means. Be it Astrology, Tarot cards, Ouija Boards and other creepy things, my mother would try it. Even if the Astrology would work, or whatever other means she would use, she would interpret it to suit her wants, and or needs. For example my dad desperately wanted to go to visit his siblings in California. She didn’t want him to go, because she always had a fear that he may not come back. She told him that there was a bad aspect, and he shouldn’t travel. Needless to say he never went to visit his siblings. All of this to say what my mother’s fear of success was.

Betty (my mother) set everything up, Astrologically, so their restaurant was guaranteed to succeed. We learned how to make Mexican food from my dad’s cousin Emilia in or near Brownsville, Texas. She taught my parents how to make authentic Mexican enchiladas, tostadas, and tacos, etc. My dad would almost cry for his grandmother’s, and his mother’s Mexican cooking. He tried to explain what a tortilla was, but was limited in his cooking skills to know what ingredients were used to make them. We lived in Indiana, where at that time, as far as I know, you couldn’t buy tortillas here. We didn’t know any other Mexican or Mexican American people around us then. We were the oddities. I know I am rambling. To make a long story short, or a short story long, we opened up El Saguaro Mexican restaurant in Elkhart, Indiana, the first Mexican restaurant in the area. It started off slow but took off like a rocket. It was in the basement of our house. My mother hated beans so refused to make refried beans. My dad cooked the beans and then mixed them with a giant mixer like one he used to mix drywall mud. He would fry them in the grease from the meat that we used to make all the Mexican food. They were crunchy on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside. People loved the food. My best memories of being with my father were in the restaurant. Late at night near closing, my mother would be sent upstairs to nurse her ailing hip, begrudgingly and angrily because she didn’t want my father out of her site, especially around any women, including me. We had some really nice talks and I think we got to know each other a little better.

Again, I am off track. When the loan was paid off my mother said they were closing the restaurant. It had reached the point where we would either have to expand or close. A shot was never fired. They could have sold the restaurant, moved out of the house, or made many other different choices. No way, Jose. My mother was terrified of losing my dad, and or her house, which she swore she would have to be taken out of feet first before she would leave. That is exactly what happened too. She died in that house. Whenever I go to any Mexican restaurant, whether it is El Maquay, Hacienda, El Rosal, and many other ones, I think of how successful they could have been if they would have done things differently. I still think that El Saguaro had the best Mexican food around, well, my Mexican food is pretty damned good too. That is just an example of how someone who comes from a dysfunctional family can be afraid of success. Why do I bring this up? I too have a fear of success. I didn’t realize it until I have seen my audible book sales selling so well. My idea of success is not the same as what other authors may determine it to be. I will never be a number one best seller, but I feel some panic over how much better the sales are going. I think we all want to be successful, but when it starts to happen, it is scary. Many of us are used to failure, that is not so unusual, success, now that is scary.

What in the world would we do without spellcheck, Grammarly and all the great technical tools that we have today for writers. There is no way I could write when things were like they used to be. Whiteout, and all the other crap we would have to do, just to write. That doesn’t include editing, and publishers. Now we can self-publish, or wait for months or however long to be rejected and maybe if you are really lucky, accepted. Then you have to have it edited for the publisher. No thank you. Once again, I am completely off topic. But then it is my blog so I can write what I want.

I have so much gratitude for so many things today, and most days. But today in particular, I am grateful for new windows. They are beautiful and were replaced in one day by Horizon. Thanks to the Oxbow Neighborhood email group, they are the company we chose, and we are not disappointed. Even more than my gratitude for new windows, is my gratitude for our precious little grandson. He is probably the last one we will have. I am so blessed to be able to take care of him a couple days a week. It is exhausting, but rewarding. I am also so grateful for his Daddy and Mama. We didn’t think they were going to have kids, and what a blessing Parker is. My blessings are too numerous to count, which includes our relationships with friends, family and being able to be support for our kids when they need us, and vice versa. My husband, Mike, is my biggest supporter, and I am his. He is my best friend. We have become even closer since the horrible scare we went through in January. I thought he died. Thank God he didn’t. He has atrial fibrillation, but it is treated. He has become more aware of his mortality and so grateful to be alive. I am humbled by his gratitude to me for helping him through this time. He went through some very traumatic feelings and we went through some really scary, dark, sleepless nights. I would do it all over again, but I am glad we don’t have to.

Then there is my Stormy Night Writer’s Society. Thanks to Jerry Sorn for introducing me to them. I love our group. I look forward to it every other Tuesday. It is inspiring, spirited and so supportive. It actually feels a lot like a support group. We all share so intimately through our writing and meetings. I think especially because we are in our latter years we are all aware of our limited time on earth. Our group is very diverse in many ways, politically, religiously, and in our ages too. Our writing genres are so different, but we support, critique and share with each other.

I love painting and creating art too, and it makes me happy to see the joy that creating art brings to my students as they continue to grow in their talent. Giving away what we have is one of the most important things whether it is volunteer work, talent, and or just supporting others emotionally, spiritually and physically. Helping others financially if you can is so rewarding. I am glad to be able to help others now because I know what it feels like to have to be on the receiving end. I am very grateful to those who helped me when I needed it. We never know when we may need help from others. And yes, I know I am rambling, but this is my blog, so I can.

I am getting close to finishing up my novel, “You Knew I was a Snake when You Picked Me Up.” It has been harder than previous books, mainly because I have been so involved with our little Parker and in supporting Mike through this last year. It is all worth it though. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am still so amazed that my audible books are selling the way they are, especially my memoirs, “Sins of Our Mothers/Skeletons in Our Closets.” Writing it has been therapeutic and I am so glad to hear how much it has helped others to know they are not alone in having been abused. That and realizing from many who have read it, just how really bizarre my childhood was. I don’t know if I will write anymore about what happened. It has been very cathartic, but I am ready to move on. If you read this all the way through, thank you, for putting up with my ramblings.

I am still humbled and in awe over the sales of my audiobooks. I just surpassed 655 audiobooks, mostly of my memoirs. I should be writing more on my novel, but just am not in the mood. I know that 655 audiobooks is not like best selling authors sell, but for me I am pretty happy. Including my eBooks and paperbacks, this month alone I have made over $145.00. I know I am not exactly going to be able to retire on that. It’s a good thing that I still teach, paint and have a wonderful husband who supports me, not only financially but in every other way too. He has been so supportive of me, which has really made it possible for me to pursue my dreams. Social security helps too! If it weren’t for computers, keyboards and spellcheck, etc, not to mention having to write by hand or on a typewriter, there is no way I would be able to do as much as I do. With self-publishing, instead of waiting for months or even years to get a publisher, and frankly at over 70 I don’t have a lot of time to wait or waste on trying to find a publisher. I never thought I would live to see the day or even think about computers, internet, cellphones, letting alone having them and using them. I’m feeling pretty grateful, hopeful and serene tonight.

We are looking forward to spending the fourth of July with our Clements cousins and doing whatever we feel like this weekend. First though we will deal with the moving of the old refrigerator and in with the new one. We have babied it along for a week. Thanks to ice and Mike who has been replacing it twice a day, we still have been able to survive with it. Very exciting I know!! Happy fourth of July to everyone. Each fourth of July gets a little easier even though it has been 53 years since one of the worst nights of my life. It took me twenty years and a therapist to tell me that I was raped. It wasn’t my fault. Now watching that bastard Bill Cosby walk, and still declare his innocence, it makes me sick and infuriated. I do believe what goes around comes around and he may think he has gotten away with all the rapes he has committed, but buddy there are consequences. I know, I had to finish with a rant.

I woke up this morning thinking about homeless people, and how sad it is that we haven’t found a solution for them. I didn’t know that Reagan was the one who shut down Mental Health Institutions and cut funding for mental health. I live a mile as the crow flies( I am dating myself with that expression!) from the Old Elkhart County Home. It was shut down in the 1970’s. It was an amazing structure. It needed a lot of work and of course it was not deemed necessary to refurbish. You know it all costs money. You probably know me well enough by now to know I can be very sarcastic.

The Old Elkhart County Home was a home to many residents, who otherwise would have been homeless. Some were mentally ill, handicapped or just plain poor. It wasn’t until approximately six years ago that I found out that my great-great-grandfather was a superintendent of the Old Elkhart County Home. When I first read this information, I thought he must have been a doctor. He wasn’t. In fact he had a crippled arm and was limited to what jobs he could perform. I don’t know much about him but he sounds like he was a pretty interesting character. His first wife and daughter died leaving him a widower living alone. He was delivering grain to Bonneyville Mill in Bristol, Indiana, where he met the amazing beauty queen, Urilla Shoup, who was there attending a family reunion. They later, fell in love, and married.( I wonder if they actually fell in love?) I heard from an older cousin who has since passed that she was a bit headstrong, stubborn and that my great-grandmother and her sisters refused to care for her when she was incapacitated. They paid to have her taken care of, I am assuming. Maybe the caretakers were volunteers. There is also the possibility that she was a wonderful woman and it was the daughters who were mean. I digress.

The Old Elkhart County Home was pretty much self-efficient. The residents tended gardens, and had animals for food. Back in those days they didn’t have the medications that they do now, and the violent ones or those with severe mental illness were confined in cells in the lower level. It sounds horrifying to me. Before the Home was shut down and later demolished, I knew someone who worked there. She said that she regularly brought games in treats in for the residents because they had very little other than the bare necessities.

In spite of the primitive care that they received, at least they had a home, food and a roof over there heads. There are unmarked graves in a very primitive graveyard, which now has a fence around it in Oxbow Park where the dead were buried.

When I was a little girl I remember seeing a bum, tramp, hobo, whatever name we used to call them, sitting on the step outside the door at my grandma’s house. He was eating a plate of food, provided by my grandma. I wondered why he was eating outside, and felt shy around him. I don’t remember saying a word to him, nor he to me. Later I heard that those men would ride the railroad cars and knew which houses to go to, to get a meal. There was a signal of some kind, to alert them of who would provide them with a meal. My grandmother would definitely be someone who provide these men with a meal.

In a country such as ours, which used to be considered the wealthiest in the world, I think it is an abomination that we don’t take better care of those who are drug addicted, mentally ill and homeless. I don’t know the answer, but I do know that we can and should do better. If we can spend money on trips to outer space, and many other projects that the government deems necessary, we can surely afford to help people in need. We are living in a nightmare as I write this. We are some of the fortunate ones. We have food, shelter and we are relatively safe, for now. There are many families who don’t know when they are going to be evicted, or who don’t have enough to feed their families. Forget about healthcare. What is the government doing for them? All we can do is hope and pray for a better America and a better world. God bless America, and the whole world too, no exceptions.

Holy Sweet Jesus what Next?

I haven’t written here for a while. I need to get going on the most exciting part of my novel, or novella, not sure what it is going to be. So much work goes into writing and so little profit, but then why do I write? I write because that is what I do. If I am not painting, sculpting, creating something and trying to fit in the necessary things in life, I am not living. Writing is an escape for me. Life is really hard right now. Not that it isn’t usually hard anyway. But this has gone beyond ridiculously unacceptable. ‘

How many more people have to die of covid? How many more people have to get it? We are living in panic mode. I can’t even remember how many people we know personally, letting alone, people that we know who have people that they love who have or had covid and have either recovered or have long term effects from it. Then there are those who have died from it. Today was the first time that I had the guts to listen to a message on my phone from Uncle Dean. Yes, he died of covid. Yes, he was 102, but he was doing well, until he got covid. He and his roommate both died of covid. One of the awful things about covid, is you don’t know who will survive from it and who will die. I have two elderly friends in their 90’s who had it and survived. The one is not doing well and may not make it because of the lingering effects, but then there are young people who are getting it and dying from it. Remember to pray for those who are in the helping fields, doctors, nurses, first responders, police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, and teachers, don’t forget volunteers and essential workers in thankless jobs like grocery store workers and drivers.

The most depressing day in the year for me is New Year’s day, night. I always have this sense of foreboding, and morbid depression. I can’t explain it. I guess I finally figured out why on one level. I know it sounds dark, and very negative, but what comes to my mind, is “Who are we going to lose this year? What is going to happen that we don’t know now, that is going to be bad?” I rarely think of “What good is going to happen this year that we don’t know now?”

This year has went way beyond my expectations of bad things. Just when I had myself convinced that I was just negative, well, you know what this year has brought. It started out with the death of a good friend, totally unexpected, and then another good friend, totally unexpected. Just as soon as I slightly got my bearings over those two, we have been reeling from one thing after another. So I am going to try to focus on the positive things for a moment, because it is obvious that I am not feeling very positive.

We have a precious five-month-old grandson that we never thought we would have. He is the only grandchild that Mike and I have together. He is the light of our lives. We also get to take care of him and spend time with him, and watch him grow. We also have another little great-grandson born just a about a month after our little Parker.

Right now we are quarantined, hopefully not for long. He and our son and daughter-in-law and some other family members are in our “bubble” but for now his Mama is waiting on covid test results, and she wants to protect her Mama and me, which is good but hard because we miss our little Peanut.

I try not to worry about all those who are suffering, hungry, homeless, or afraid of losing their homes. I pray. We pray, and help in ways that we can. We have zoom. So we can still participate in church when we can’t attend, physically. We can zoom meetings, friends, family and if we have to we can have groceries delivered to us. So far we are in relatively good health. Most people are taking precautions so we can still get the necessary things done, like doctors appointments. We so far have been able to continue doing water aerobics, which we need for health reasons. We have close relationships with many family members and friends. I will miss our writer’s group, which is one of my favorite things in my life. I love those friends. I love all my friends. They inspire me and give me hope.

I notice people are already preparing for Christmas, I am suspicious that they are trying to get this year over with. Maybe next year will be better. I do know that I have to stay in a “one day at a time” frame of mind, or I would go crazier. Yeah, I said crazier, not just crazy. Well that is all for now folks. Please reach out to each other. Share your fears, pain, sadness, grief and love, joy, and hope. Look forward to at least one thing that you enjoy doing each day, and do it. Whether it is reading a book, writing, art, playing cards, do it. Love to you all.

I have to remind myself that we need to just stay in one day at a time. When this quarantine seems like we may be locked up forever, it is important to remember that, and also to be grateful. It is hard for me when I have so much to be grateful for, not to worry about those who are really struggling. I think about the children who are hungry, parents who are trying to get by without working, and all that goes with it. This is the time when we need to focus on doing what we need to help those who need help more than we do. If it only means staying home and not putting others at risk, that is enough. How about pregnant women and children? We have a grandbaby and great-grandbaby due within months. We want them all to be safe too.

I did not live at a time when people were quarantined in our country. Many of us haven’t. This is not a new thing. It is scary, but our ancestors have dealt with it before.  We were told that the elderly with health conditions were the ones at risk. Now we hear that even young people are dying. That is scary. The stress is hard on everybody. I think of domestic violence and child abuse too. If you are feeling out of control, afraid that you may lose it and hurt a child or a spouse, reach out for help. No one will judge you. Please do that instead of taking your fears or frustrations out on someone else. Pray for everyone, and be kind. God bless us all. Hopefully, there will be a silver lining in all of this.

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but I am really struggling with waves and mountains of grief. My feelings are a mix of sadness, grief, loss, confusion, pain and yet gratitude. It is hard to hang on to the gratitude right now. Memories too. I will always be grateful to Becky Butler Powers. To me, she is still just “Becky.”

Mike and Becky both helped me years ago. It has been over 35 years since I met them. I met Mike first. We were friends and Mike asked me to come and clean their house. My first memory of Libby was of her in her baby bed. I would be very quiet and see her little blonde head bobbing up and down when she was napping. I would creep backward out of her room so I didn’t wake her.

Then there was little Katie. The first time I met her was not long after her birth. She had dark hair like her Mama and was beautiful too. She seemed to be the most like her Mama, where Roxy and Libby were a little more like their dad, but they are all beautiful.

Later they moved and I cleaned their house where they lived on a lake. Mike took care of the kids while Becky worked. I saw little Roxy probably more than I saw the other two, except during summers or other school vacations. They were all very different in their personalities, and all very talented and gifted. We spent a lot of time together as friends too. Mike and Becky and my Mike and me. Mike helped Mikey, learn how to fish. He would go with me to their house and loved fishing in the lake. I just ran across a photo of Mikey with Mike at their house.

Later Becky asked me if I could help her beloved Grandma Wilda, and her dog Hilda. Wilda laughed and giggled, just like Becky over her dog’s name rhyming with her’s, although Hilda was already named when she got her. Mike and Becky bought several paintings from me and were always very supportive of me and my art. We painted together sometimes and spent many good times together. When Wilda passed it broke my heart. But I was happy for her to be out of misery. She took a little piece of me with her. She was a little bit of a surrogate grandma to me, and definitely a mother to Becky.

When Mike and Becky divorced, it was like having a family divorce. Things were never the same for me, anyway. I loved and love Mike and Becky both and of course the kids too. We would see each other from time to time but it was never the same. Becky married Barry, and Mike remarried sometime later to Lynn. Becky and Barry and moved away from the house on the lake. Later they bought a house in Colorada and spent time in Indiana and Colorado. I know they were happy and we were happy for them but things were not the same.  I loved that place almost as if it were my own. I took great care of it and helped with the annual parties there. Becky loved setting up the dining room table for Christmas dinners and holidays.

When her mother died in her 50’s of cancer and then not too long after, her dad died suddenly of a heart attack, it really threw them all for a loop. Becky was a little unsettled by their early deaths. I reminded her that her grandma Wilda lived into her 90’s. I don’t know why I am going on about this other than to help me with my own grief. We should never take our family and friends for granted. We never know when they may slip away. At least Becky died doing something she loved. I admired her courage and joy for life. She had a razor-sharp, intelligence and was as funny as she was smart.

We were having a bonfire in our yard one weekend, and my old nearly blind dog, Rufus was walking around the fire. He looked like he was teetering near the fire. I stood transfixed not believing my eyes.  Before I had a chance to react, Becky swooped in and rescued Rufus from a possible fall into the fire. She laughed and said she had just rescued another dog earlier and that she should quit her job ( as a lawyer) to start rescuing dogs. We all laughed hysterically.

I miss planting her flowers with her every summer for her birthday and spending time with her. She was a woman of many talents, strengths, and weaknesses just like everyone else. But Becky lived her life. We never got the chance to paint again together like we planned but maybe on the other side, we will. She loved life, people, her family and exploring the world. God bless you and your sweet precious soul, dear Becky. Until we meet again, you are with the angels and will be a guardian for all your kids, grandkids and family. We will keep them all in our prayers. Love Shana and Mike too. 20191225_173952

I have a great idea for a story but I am feeling stumped about where to begin. I need to take my own advice and just write. Actually, I have started writing but it is work. Sometimes it just flows and writes itself. Then I wonder if I have just run out of ideas. I should take my own advice, and the advice of others much wiser and more experienced than me and check out some writer’s prompts. But I already have an idea of what I want to write about. Maybe I need to write about something else. I have several short stories, begging me to compile them into a book, but I just haven’t had the motivation. Writing is not just about creating and writing. Unfortunately, there is all the stuff that goes along with it. Formatting, editing, covers, agents, or not, if you want to self-publish. Reading advice from a successful writer who has a traditional publisher, who has decided to self-publish, because he already has a following, sometimes traditional editors want to edit your writing to death. Not only that, but you don’t get the royalties you get with publishing yourself. The upside of that, of course, is the advertising and marketing that traditional publishers do. They want to make money off of you too. I just need to remember why I write. Most of the time, I write because I love to write. It is the same with art, painting, sculpting, or whatever you do to create, do it because you love it and because it is who you are. 20191108_1909230

I had a great holiday lunch today. I should say we, had a great party and lunch today. Last year was the first year that I had the Stormy Night Writer’s group over for a New Year’s lunch. Since Bill and his wife couldn’t come because of a traditional thing they do every New Year’s Day and Friday worked better for everyone, although some still couldn’t attend, today worked out better for me. You never know when the last time it will be that you will see someone. I get maudlin on New Year’s Day. I know I have a bent toward that anyway. It sounds negative and maybe it is, but it is a reality to me. I know we are supposed to be positive and always look at the bright side, but the first thing that comes to my mind near the end of the year and the beginning of the new one, is who will we lose this coming year that we don’t know about now?

My mother always wanted to know the future. Had to know the future! Not me! She did everything she could possibly do to predict the future. Astrology, numerology, crystal balls, tea leaves, you name it she did it and that also includes Tarot Cards. I don’t want to know the future. If I knew 50 years ago what I would have to go through in my future I would have done myself in, not believing there was any way that I could survive it. I have, and I am a better person because of it, although I would never wish what I or my husband, Mike would have had to go through to get to where we are today. Ironically, we are in our “Twilight Years.” Ha, and I don’t mean like in the movie where we will be living eternal vampire lives, thank God. Hopefully eternal lives, but after this earthly body is done, which I am in no hurry to go anywhere, otherworldly yet. You can tell it is easy for me to get off track.

Back to today. We had a great time. I love our writer’s group. We all write totally different stuff, which makes it all the more interesting. We have a bond with each other that is different than I have with any other group. I can’t exactly explain it, but it is unique, special and priceless. Maybe the fact that we are all older makes it that much more precious. We don’t know how long we will have on this side of the turf. But then none of us do. It is just easy to forget as we go on, day by day, through our daily lives.

We supported Annette and Peg at their book signing in Goshen at Fables too during First Fridays, tonight. It was fun, and I got to play with their pony puppet and entertained some adorable children and adults too. They sold a lot of books, which you must purchase and read, “Don’t it just set you to Dreamin” or Dreaming. Ha. Not a good quoter, I am. It was a very special day and a special evening and I am looking forward to a New Year. I have another story, or book, depends on how it goes, either way, I will be writing another one this year, or possibly more. I am torn between, writing, painting, and sculpting.  Then there is teaching, which I will be doing too. I will also be telling my story tomorrow night, which I have no idea what I am going to say, but it will be what it will be.

Happy New Year to everyone, one and all, and God bless us all. God bless the whole world. I pray for peace, healing, and hope. Things look pretty bleak right now. So much horror, war, sadness, sickness, and pain. I hope we can all get our “caca” together, and yet, Grammarly I know that “caca” is not spelled correctly in English. It is off to bed I go, if I don’t go off on another writing tangent!