So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much!
-Rebecca

p.s. my mom now refers to me as the family "chronicler" - getting down all the family stories. How I love that title!! :)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Taking ME time

We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we'll also have a lot more joy in living. —Thich Nhat Hanh   
I read this on DJan's blog and felt it was meant for me at this time.


My husband was the greatest at taking time to relax and not feel guilty that he was not busy. Every afternoon he poured a glass of wine and took his pipe to the deck for an hour or so of just enjoying having no pressure or responsibility. 

I am finding my own methods of taking ME time and enjoying no pressure or responsibility -- at least for a short time. 

Today was wonderful! I worked in my studio for a couple of hours, and then I read and listened to some of my favorite music. With my Echo Dot, I can ask Alexa to play just what I want to hear. This thing is much more convenient and enjoyable than I thought it would be. I can ask it to play my favorite podcasts or read my current Audible book.

Tonight I worked on genealogy which I plan to do more of in the coming months. When I get into family history, I get lost in time as if I were working on a puzzle. It is far more relaxing than one would think and, like a game, I usually discover something new to further my research. 

I plan to get my studio de-cluttered in the coming months. With my job with NCWN-West, my work with Writers Circle around the Table, and my own projects like marketing my books and keeping up with my paper work as well as trying to do some writing, I just had too much going on in one space. 

So, I look forward to taking time for myself and doing just what I want to do when I want to do it. I plan to sit on my deck and watch the hummingbirds sip from my flowers. I am enjoying a pair of cardinals that come to my feeder.



I will learn to be lazy. That will be a chore for my mind because it won't slow down. I have been called "the idea person" and I suppose I am, but I hope to get better at meditation and mind control. I keep practicing and I think I am getting better.

In addition to boosting creativity (and being a generally enjoyable activity), daydreaming can actually make you smarter.

How about you, my faithful readers? Do you have trouble taking time for yourself, taking time to relax and not feel guilty about the things that need to be done? 

See you here next week.





Friday, May 10, 2019

Writers' Night Out Friday May 10 - Glenda Beall and Mary Mike Keller

Tomorrow evening, Friday, May 10, I will read some of my original writing at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, GA. Reading with me will be my dear friend, Mary Mike Keller.


My sister, Gay, is driving up from Roswell, GA for this reading. It is always special to have family in the audience when I read. Barry usually attended my readings and I was proud that he was there and he cared enough to come and support me.

The reading, Writers' Night Out, takes place monthly on the second Friday at 7:00 PM. I strive to do more than simply share my writing. A reading is a performance. I want to entertain the audience, not put them to sleep. I want them to enjoy my writing and my reading, but most of all I want them to enjoy the evening.

I will read a couple of poems and a personal essay, and I will talk about each one. A writer once said, "The patter is as important as the poetry." 
I believe that is true. The person reading must make the audience feel a part of the event.

So wish me luck Friday evening in entertaining the audience that comes to hear Mary Mike and me read. If you live in the area, I hope you will come. 
I am giving away a door prize and you might win.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What happened to my website?

If you have gone to www.glendacouncilbeall.com to find the writing schedule for Writers Circle around the Table, you have probably found Blue Heaven Press instead.
I am sorry, but something went wrong and I haven't been able to fix it yet.
So, to find the Studio Schedule for classes at Writers Circle around the Table, click on this link instead:
https://tinyurl.com/k3cgdht

You will see the description of the June 1 class and the bio of Vicki Lane. Please send your registration to me, Glenda Beall, 581 Chatuge Lane, Hayesville, NC 28904 or to the PO Box 843, Hayesville, NC 28904.  Fee for this three hour class is very reasonable as are all of our classes.
$50.00. 

This class is for fiction and nonfiction writers. Vicki Lane has been publishing books for many years and has a great following of fans. She keeps in touch with her readers on her blog and they keep up with Vicki between books.
I like that Vicki is open and honest about her life and her writing. You will enjoy meeting Vicki and learn so much from her class. Hope to see you at the table.





Friday, May 3, 2019

Finding Beautiful Emails in an Old Account

I have not used my AOL email account for a long time. Only notifications for Facebook have gone there in recent years.
But tonight, I decided to check on that account. I had about 5,000 emails in my Inbox, all notifications. But I had others saved in folders.
What I found were many wonderful loving and caring words from family and friends who wrote to me after Barry died. I cried again when I read them.

A wonderful man, Richard Argo, writer and facilitator of one of our monthly events sent this email, and I want to share it with you.

Glenda,
I am so sorry to hear about Barry's passing.  I was so much hoping he  
would pull through.  May I offer a portion of a poem by John Lynch  
Adair called Joy Returneth with the Morning.

So may it be, good Lord of all,
 When into darkness sinks my sun,
 And my stars go out, one by one,
To such calm slumber may I fall.
 And that which only faith had been,
 Awake to find a truth to be,
 Where no white sails go out to sea,
 But are forever coming in.

Peace be unto you,

Richard Argo

Sadly, it was not long before Richard was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away much too soon.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Is it Time to Reinvent Me, Again?



Today I made the decision to cancel my upcoming writing classes for this summer. After much soul-searching, I realized that all my time lately is spent at physical therapy, water exercises and other methods of improving my health. For the time being, I must give myself the attention I need. 

Making commitments while dealing with chronic pain and fatigue is difficult. I can still write from home when I feel like it and I can attend a few events when it is convenient, but I don't want others depending on me to be at my best when they pay for classes if I can't be sure I will be at my best.

So, this will free me up for the summer. Mary Mike and I want to go on a genealogy research trip or two when my PT is done. I also plan to spend a week at my sister's in Roswell, GA. I call her house my "town house" and she says my house is her "mountain house." It is fun to visit the city for a few days where I get to eat at some of my favorite restaurants and shop at some stores I enjoy.

Also, when I am away from this house, I don't worry about what needs to be done here. I am even thinking about what it might be like to move to a 55+ community where someone else takes care of the maintenance. I am not sure what is available in my area. But, I am thinking of checking it out.

I am still not able to move things back into my storage room which was flooded recently. When I have time at home, I try to go through boxes I took out of that room. That is quite a job, but I make such neat discoveries. You know how it is, you find things you forgot you had or that you thought had been lost. 

My dear friend, Tipper, put me in contact with her lovely daughter who is between jobs right now and the smart, strong young woman came over one afternoon to help me. She was my legs, up and down the stairs, in and out to the garage, and in just two hours we accomplished so much! 

I have known Tipper's twins since they were little kids and I love seeing how they have matured and become charming young women. My spirits lifted and even the pain faded while working with this Pressley Girl. The twins sing and play instruments and are very popular throughout western NC and north Georgia. I needed someone who could work flexible hours and that is just what Corie wants -- flexible hours. Next week, she will come over again. I look forward to seeing her. 

I have reinvented myself several times over the years, and I feel I am on the verge of a new invention of Me.  How about you? Have you reinvented yourself at different times in your life?

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Dear Readers, My friend, Mary Mike is the best!

My posts on Writing Life Stories sounds like a letter to a friend, I'm told. I guess that is what I am doing each week -- writing a letter to my readers, my friends.

Someone wrote to me and said it is too bad that more people don't read your blog. He doesn't know that I have many readers but only a few comment. I don't follow the guidelines for bloggers and I don't ask for comments, but am so happy that I have regular readers who do comment.

Those who subscribe by leaving their email address on the sidebar where I ask for followers, have my new posts pop up in their Inboxes. Often they email me rather than leave a comment on the blog page. No matter how they come, I always enjoy hearing from my readers.

Just like you, I have my share of challenges every week. No one's life is always easy and simple. I don't want to whine and complain, but my challenges seem to have grown completely out of control since last November. Last night was the latest one.

I was on the telephone with my dear friend, Mary Mike. We were talking about her latest find in genealogy. She is a whiz in locating ancestors and she knows all the online methods that would take me the rest of my life to learn. As we talked, I decided to walk downstairs to the studio and get to my main computer. At the bottom of the stairs, I saw that I had another crisis.

My small storage room where I keep office supplies, Christmas decorations, boxes of papers and other things I need to have close by, was completely soaked from a broken pipe where the water comes into my house. It was horrible that the entire floor was soggy, but the break in the pipe up on the wall was spewing water on the shelves and the walls.

I cried to Mary Mike, "I have to hang up. I have a water leak and flooding."
She said, "I'll be right there."
Plumber
I managed to focus on cutting off the water and calling the man who had installed the filter earlier this week. By the time he arrived, my friend had come in and begun hauling out boxes that were soaked on the bottom and some all the way up the sides.

We had no place to put them except the studio. I put down towels and throws to protect my hardwood floors. She began soaking up water  with towels while Richard, the filter man, went to work on the broken pipe.

As you know, I just had a water leak and broken hot water heater a few months ago. That whole event cost me nearly two thousand dollars. I wanted to sit down and bawl like a baby.

Whoever said that you spend less money after you retire or you don't need as much money after you retire was full of bull! Barry and I went to financial counselors and thought we had planned so that we would be well set in retirement. We didn't know that all the costs of living would skyrocket and health insurance, medical insurance, car insurance and homeowners would become outrageous. Groceries have become ridiculous. I'm told that the tariffs that our president has put on everyone has caused that. I pay more for one person now than I did for two people ten years ago. But, I digress.

My major problem was my flooded storage room. The water had sneaked through a wall into the studio in one place. But Mary Mike said, "We can take care of this."

I sent Richard to find the old shop vac in my garage. I am so glad I had not given it away or sold it at a yard sale. I haven't used it in almost twenty years. He could not find all the pieces in the dark garage, but resourceful Mary Mike asked me for duck tape. She took a part of a leaf flower and taped it onto the hose of the shop vac and Richard went to work. When he finished, we gathered all the fans I could find and put them in the wet storage room. Mary Mike positioned them to where they would do the best job. Then we took my dehumidifier and put it into the room also. By the time we were through, my back was killing me, and she was very tired. Neither of us is a young sprout.



"Keep the fans going for about a week," Mike said, to be sure it is completely dry.
"A week? I have a class to teach here in two weeks," I said, looking at all the boxes, lugs and bags on the floor of the studio.

After icing my back, I crawled into bed and slept well. Today, I am doing my best to clean up and decide what to keep and what I can store in my garage for now. I will need someone with a good back to move all this stuff out, and I hope I can find someone soon.

Life is no picnic lately. I learned a good while ago that I don't own this house. My house owns me and it is shouting its needs almost every day it seems. It makes me think of a house on our farm that belongs to a family member who has neglected it for years. No one lives there now and the yard is like a jungle, but nothing is being done to take care of it. Perhaps that old house was crying out for too many repairs and too much upkeep that the homeowner just could no longer manage. I can imagine the couple running out the door with their hands up screaming, "I can't do it anymore. I am gone. I will not come back."

Too bad they didn't have a friend like Mary Mike. She is amazing with what she knows but she has learned much of it because she had to take care of her house all by herself. I often said she was being tested by God, like Job in the Bible. How she keeps going on and on is a wonder to me.

This is my letter this weekend, dear readers. I am not going to run away, but I will be making some hard decisions in the coming months. Please send your positive vibes my way. Negativity is doing its best to drag me down. But it won't succeed for long. I still have much to do and just have to find the best way to do it.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Silas House says: No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent



A few years ago I had the pleasure of hearing Silas House speak at a NCWN Fall Conference in Asheville, NC.
I knew he was a good writer, but I enjoyed his speech more than anyone I've ever heard at a conference. He definitely has a deep southern accent. He said when he went to New York to speak with his publisher and others, he could tell they had to get used to his way of speaking. 

House, the author of numerous books among his other achievements, tells us how, ten years ago, he did not let someone make him feel ashamed or inferior because of his Kentucky accent. Instead, House enjoyed proving this man wrong.



Sunday, April 14, 2019

Writing about our lives, our families and ourselves

Today is Sunday already. I slept most of Saturday. I needed the rest from the chronic pain I seem to live with daily now.

But I am working on getting it under control. I have a writing class coming up on April 30, Tuesday at 2:00 PM. This is a memoir class sponsored by ICL, the Institute of Continuing Learning at Young Harris College.

ICL has been around for a number of years and they engage talented instructors in varied subjects that teach classes for adults, most of them retired people who live in our area. I have learned from some excellent teachers there, and I have taught several times as well.

Once an older adult told me, "My grandchildren think I grew up when people traveled in covered wagons, so I decided I needed to write about what my life was like."

I have been told, "I don't know how I can write about seventy years of life. It is just too overwhelming!"

That is why I help my students write about the most important parts of their lives and they can take it one small part at the time. You know the old saying How do you eat an elephant? One bite at the time.



When I wrote my family history book, I decided to write about my grandfather and grandmother and their ten children. I told the stories of each one of them in a few pages, and then I added the genealogy of each of them. They were not rich or famous, but their lives were examples of rural life in the late eighteen hundreds and early twentieth century in north Florida and south Georgia.

My grandfather, Tom Council, was born in 1858, a short while before the Civil War began. His father served in the war and was taken prisoner. They lived in a  rural area south of Tallahassee, Florida. Everyone in the family worked in the fields on the farm.

Tom's first child, a girl, was born in 1878 or 1879. His first son, born in 1883, died at the age of 14 from malaria. He is buried at the Council Cemetery in Wakulla County Florida.

The family moved up to south Georgia after John Henry died and the other children had a completely different life. The cotton mills were being built in the south by men from the north. Since there were no child labor laws at the time, all of the children in the family worked in the mill. The girls enjoyed their new life much better than working on the farm. In their teens they married and began families. 

In the 1920s, Florida began booming with growth and drew most of the family members to the Tampa area. All of my father's brothers and sisters ended up down there. I still have many cousins in the sunshine state.

I was so fortunate that my mother and my cousins told me their stories. I had to edit most of them and tried to include only the most interesting parts for my readers. 

Now I am working on writing about my brothers and sisters and my parents. Each one of them has a story that is unique and interesting. I hope I do them justice.

My mission in teaching is to help my students create interesting nonfiction narratives while including the facts in their lives or the lives of their family members. We can only do our best to tell the truth as we know it and remember it, because no two people will remember exactly the same things. 

I look forward to my classes, hearing the stories written by my students and helping them create the best narrative they can. We write short pieces that I use to teach the basics in writing. 

My classes are listed on www.glendacouncilbeall.com under Studio Classes and Off site Classes. I am so pleased when students write to me and tell me how much they enjoy our time together.


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Going Back to what was Once My Home

I am back home after a week down in Albany, Georgia, my hometown. I have lived away for twenty-five years. The town has moved west into another county, it seems. The weather was mild and sunny, just as I remember it. The clerks and most of the people I met were friendlier than I remembered when I left there in 1995.

The area has been heavily damaged by two tornadoes and a hurricane that demolished some neighborhoods in the past two years. But unlike most towns a long distance from a major highway system, Albany has all the chain restaurants you find in Atlanta because it is the largest and busiest town in southwest Georgia. I was glad to see that the old downtown area is gradually coming back with a beautiful riverfront area. Racially, the town is largely black now as many white families moved west toward Lee County when the schools were integrated back in the sixties.

This is my 90 year old brother, Max and his beautiful birthday cake.
On Saturday, March 30, we celebrated the 90th birthday of my brother, Max. So many people arrived during the afternoon at Merry Acres Inn out by the pool, that I didn't get to speak to many of them although I knew them. Max is father to four sons, and he has a number of grandchildren. His family is wonderful to him, and to their mother, who now has dementia. We all missed her at the party and Max says he misses her all the time. I'm sure he would have loved to have her at the party with him, but she never leaves home now and it would be upsetting to her to take her out.

We were happy that my cousin, Virginia, who is 91 years old, was able to attend the party and go to dinner with all of us that evening.
Max with his best friend, our cousin,Virginia
We call her Ginger, and she is such a delight that everyone who knows her enjoys being with her. She has been living for a short time in a fine Assisted Living Facility, but she has been depressed, so my sister Gay and I visited with her one day and had lunch with her and Margaret, another resident.

The food was excellent. The chef came out to speak to Ginger, and she introduced us.  I was happy to see the caring of staff people, including Brandy and Jonathan. For the most part, my cousin has excellent care. But it is hard to leave a large home with all your belongings and move into two rooms.

After our lunch of barbecue ribs and potato salad, we indulged in chocolate cake with ice cream. we went out on the patio and sat in the warm sunshine for awhile. Jonathan came by to check on Ginger and see if she needed anything. I was pleased to see that. I think there was some concern when we brought her home after the dinner Saturday night.They did not realize she would be out until nearly ten o'clock!

We were in Albany for five nights and had time to spend with my great niece, Carrie. She is an event planner and the party she hosted for her grandfather was tasteful with good food and beautiful flowers on the tables. I know she had some help from her aunt Dale who provided the cake.We all agreed that this was the best gathering of family we have had in a long time. I saw cousins I have not seen in several years and only a couple of the youngest generation were absent. One of them is in the Marines and could not come home.

Perhaps such a milestone in my brother's life touched everyone there, as it did me.
Max is the last of my four brothers that I grew up with and worked with as an adult. I felt a nostalgia I could not shake even as Gay and I drove back to Atlanta and to Hayesville. Tears burned behind my eyelids, but did not fall. I have accepted my losses and the inevitability of death. 

It is hard to return to the place where you grew up with many happy memories of a wonderful mother, a loving family, and know it will never be the same. What is normal for the young ones who live there is abnormal for me. The farm where I played and rode horses, built my dream home and lived with my dear husband for thirty years, doesn't look the same and is not the same. That hurt. I thought, as we left, that the next time I return, if I can return, will likely be for a funeral. I left hoping that generations of the Council family will continue to enjoy the farm my father struggled to purchase in 1942. I hope the family cemetery that he wanted on his farm will always be there and will always be cared for.

I know that, as Thomas Wolfe said, you really can't go home again. It just has to live in memory, and I am happy that I have those memories. I write about them and relive them in that way. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Music in Our Blood

HUGH BARRY BEALL and his mother, HELEN ALEXANDER BEALL


Helen Beall was the best mother-in-law anyone could have. She was smart, sweet and generous. She adored her son, Barry, and when I was with them, I felt that love that eventually spilled over to me. Helen and her friend Ann owned Helen Ann Dress shop. She enjoyed going to Market in Atlanta and bringing back dresses that were perfect for her customers. She would call and tell them what she had for them and they rushed down to the store in Rockmart, GA to purchase their special clothes. 
I never went to visit the Bealls that Helen didn't have some new clothes for me. She bought me underwear, pajamas, and finer clothes than I could afford on my teacher's salary. Of course, she had paid wholesale so they didn't cost her as much as they would have cost me in a retail store.

Helen was a graduate of La Grange College, the oldest private college in Georgia. She was the daughter of Roy and Myrtice Alexander, the couple I wrote about recently who brought movies to the rural community where there was no movie theater. Helen also played a musical instrument. Barry came by his love of music from her. She encouraged him to play in the band.
I was in awe of Helen because she could do everything, much like my friend, Mary Mike. She took care of her three boys, Barry, Richard and Hugh, and her business, as well as her house and yard. She cooked delicious meals, baked desserts that melted in my mouth. She loved to grow things and was an outdoor person. Like Mary Mike, Helen enjoyed mowing her grass. She appreciated the clean neat look after each swipe of her riding mower.

Helen and her husband, Hugh, had a place at the lake in their county. Barry and his father drove the boat and Helen water skied behind it. She was in her fifties when I met her and she blew me away with her energy and activities. 
My dear mother was much older than Helen and lived a completely different life style. Helen was closer in age to my sister, June. Barry loved to make his mother laugh. He made me laugh, too, and I miss that so much. I loved that he loved his mother so very much. Helen taught me that accepting is as important as giving. I learned that she enjoyed giving to us, and we should accept her gifts graciously. 

When I was young, I felt inadequate when around Helen. I was twenty-four when I married Barry. I just knew I could never be the wife Helen Beall was and wondered if Barry expected that of me. I worried that his mother might think I was not the kind of woman he should marry, but it was all in my mind. 

As years passed, Helen and I became closer and when she had surgery in her seventies, I stayed with her for a week. I thought I would be helping her, but she got up each morning and made breakfast for the two of us. About all I could do for her was keep her company, and I think she really appreciated that. She had no daughters and her son, Richard was divorced soon after Barry and I married. 

After we built our dream house in Albany, Georgia in 1975, Helen drove down and spent Christmas with us several years until she felt she couldn't make that long drive anymore. When I think of my blessings, Helen Marie Alexander Beall is one of the greatest.

1992 -- Barry Beall, dressed for church standing in our yard in Albany, Georgia. Barry was raised in the Baptist Church in Rockmart, GA. He sang there and his mother was a pillar of the church. But I had joined the Presbyterian Church and he did, too. He never went back to the Baptist church.
1995 - Barry, Glenda and Kodi, the Samoyed on the cover of Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins. This was our first Christmas at our mountain house. We were so happy. Our dream had come true. We had moved to the beautiful mountains and we loved it.
The Singing Disciples of the United Methodist Church in Hayesville, NC

Barry is second from left on second row. Many of these wonderful voices are  silenced now. Some of Barry's happiest times were singing with this group of men. They were very good and their songs were not always serious hymns. They sang some rousing tunes that made the listeners want to clap their hands or pat their feet. Barry's dear friend, second from end on right side of back row, invited Barry to sing with the group although Barry was directing our choir at the Presbyterian Church. Later, the preacher of the Presbyterian church, second from right on the middle row, joined the Singing Disciples, too.

Barry formed his own band in high school. He played drums and trumpet and was the soloist. He was a voice major in college. Music was a major part of our lives. He played guitar, and I often heard him singing and strumming a guitar on our deck. He owned several guitars, a banjo and a mandolin. He could play enough piano that he impressed lots of mothers who bought Baldwins from him for their children when he was with Zoellner Music in Albany, Georgia.
Tonight I am watching and listening to Michael Buble' sing the wonderful classics I heard so often in my youth. He sings the songs Barry liked to sing. 
My husband was a terrific singer and the biggest fan of Frank Sinatra and music of that age, so I often listened to that music with lyrics written by experienced and talented song writers. The words made sense and the melodies crept into your mind, hung there until you found yourself singing along with the radio. So different from most of the music I hear today.

Listening to Michael Buble' I could feel myself slow dancing to the easy sounds, my head on Barry's shoulder and his arms around me. I have missed this music, but I learned I can ask Alexa to play Buble' on Apple music.

Ah, music. It brings back the best memories. Do you have special music that brings back good memories? I'd love to hear them.



Saturday, March 23, 2019

Who Do You Think Are the Happiest Age Group?

Did you know that older women are the happiest group in our culture?

Why do you think this is so?

I am an older woman and I want to be in that group, the happiest people in our society. I thought I was happy, and in fact, I have been happy most of the time for several years now.

But, recently I find myself awakening in the morning and wanting to pull the covers up and just lie in bed awhile. I don't want to think about what is on my To Do List.

I have always looked forward to my day and my list of things I planned to accomplish. I enjoyed marking off  those things I completed, no matter how large or how small.

But after learning why older women are so happy, I began to take stock of my own life. Those women in the study who were happy said they liked being free to do whatever they wanted to do, have lunch with a friend, go shopping or just read a book. I have stacks of books I can't find time to read.

A recent world wide survey found that so long as they are in fairly good health, women in their seventies throughout the world are on average as happy and mentally healthy as twenty-year-olds.  

They said they aren't concerned about what others think anymore. (I am with them there.) They are free from worrying about keeping up with their peers or pushing themselves to accomplish goals. In other words, they have arrived and have nothing to put pressure on them anymore. Stress Free!!

An Octogenarian says: I retired three years ago.... I think as we get older and we retire, we get happier because we’re free to do whatever we want, we don’t have the responsibility of all the domestic chores and we don’t have the responsibility of taking care of children. So we are free to do whatever we want.

Well, I am close to being that older woman who is happier than when she was younger. I am planning to stop and smell the roses, sit on my deck and meditate or plant petunias, or learn how to take good photographs, or take two or three days just to work on genealogy again. I look forward to having time to go to the warm water pool and exercise instead of going to physical therapy twice a week.
Perhaps I will paint again. 

I let myself get caught up in responsibility for more than myself. I plan to let that go. My friends tell me, all the time, that I need to stop doing so much for others and just relax and take care of me. I never wanted to stop helping others and I can't see me doing that, but I will take more time for me. When health issues get in the way of your work, it might just be time to stop working so much.

With spring coming on, I have two writing classes planned, but I really enjoy teaching. We have two good instructors, Vicki Lane and Catherine Carter, lined up to teach at Writers Circle around the Table this summer, and that is not going to stress me out. 

The family business responsibility I have had for a number of years will soon be turned over to others and that will be a huge relief. Just keeping up with home repairs, heating and cooling, yard work, tree trimming, driveway repair and many other everyday chores with no one to share the load is more than I need at this time.

Soooooon...I will be free of all but my own needs, mine and Lexie's, and those are big enough to keep me quite busy. 


Two links to articles on this subject:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201112/happiness-in-old-age-why-are-those-over-70s-so-happy


https://www.recordonline.com/entertainment/20190305/book-notes-surprise-women-are-often-happiest-in-old-age

Sunday, March 17, 2019

I Missed Rick Bragg, but Hope He is Doing Well

I am just getting home from Roswell, Georgia, today. I made the trip down to attend a workshop by Rick Bragg, a wonderful southern novelist. The title of his workshop was How to Write about Your Family without Getting Killed. I registered a few months ago, sent my check and looked forward to Friday afternoon when Roswell Reads would host this event.

But, a few weeks ago I received an email that said Rick Bragg was ill. I have since learned that he has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He could not be there in person, but there would be a video of an interview with him. I was given the opportunity to have a refund, but I wanted to see the video.

So I arrived in Roswell on Thursday afternoon and had coffee with my sister and my niece. We went to dinner later that evening.  After I climbed into bed around 11:00 PM, I began having severe pain in my right foot. I knew what it was. It was nerve pain caused by spinal stenosis in my lower back. Sometimes sitting too long brings it on and sometimes I have no idea what ignites the the sharp stabbing pain that goes on and on and on.

I took extra strength Tylenol and wrapped my foot in my heating pad. But hours passed and nothing stopped the pain. I walked up and down the hall, wincing and trying not to cry out loud. Lying down made the pain worse and I could not sit at all.

After a few hours passed, I took a hydrocodone with Tylenol. It is a mild dose, but sometimes it breaks the pain cycle. However, not on Thursday night. Before daylight I had taken all the pain pills I thought were safe to take. Still, I did not sleep at all that night. After I had breakfast, I went back to bed. The pain had subsided. I finally slept. 

The Rick Bragg workshop began at 1:00 PM, but I could not go. I was so dopey from the pain medicine that I had to stay in bed. I slept off and on until evening. What a disappointment! 

I have done much research on Spinal Lumbar Stenosis and millions of people suffer with this horrendous pain as I have for the past couple of years. I am searching for a new method of treatment and I hope it works for me. My life is being turned upside down by this problem.

Dear Friends, please send positive thoughts my way. If you talk to God, please send up a prayer. I have much work to do and can't be sidelined by all this pain.