The Legacy Series is a Wrap

Hello, it’s Thursday morning. This may come as a surprise to some of you. That Monday holiday really messes with your mind schedule. 🙂

I’m celebrating with a second cuppa coffee this morning! I turned in the galley for the final book in the Legacy series. Kind of sad. I’m going to miss the Emerson clan.

Just in case you’re wondering what a galley is–maybe you’re familiar with the term when it refers to a narrow kitchen, or a boat (or ship) propelled by oars. Well, it’s also the mock-up version of a book. Kind of like a “proof”. Authors receive a galley copy for a final read-through of their masterpiece. This is their last chance to correct any errors still hiding in the prose.

Rebecca’s Legacy was a joy to write! I’ve wanted to tell Amy’s story since the day she was born. I was there, you know—halfway through book 1, Amelia’s Legacy. The newborn Amy Juliana Emerson looked like a little doll.

She’s still pretty cute. I hope my readers will love her as much as I do.

Rebecca’s Legacy releases August 7. Be watching for special events and a couple giveaways as the day approaches.

A Smile in the Midst

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday Morning friends. Thanks for stopping by. I’ve had a busy couple of weeks after taking a mini-vacation. We visited Indianapolis. It’s a beautiful city with lots to see and do.


Indy is a great place to hang out for a long weekend. You can walk everywhere, and we had so many choices of restaurants, it was hard to decide. Our favorite thing was walking along the canal, and dining at Harry and Izzie’s.

I’m finding lots of reasons to smile lately. This comes after a long season of worry and fear. A time when I was trying really hard to keep my natural optimistic tendencies at the top, instead of buried beneath a load of anxiety. No, I’m not talking about the big “C”.

I was battling a giant of a different sort. Mental clarity. I was having difficulty understanding and that was frightening, to say the least. I began to withdraw from circumstances that required me to be responsive. Even going out to lunch with friends became difficult. I couldn’t understand half of what they were saying. I tried to laugh when they laughed, and make appropriate responses, but I’m not sure it worked.

The noise in my head was overwhelming me. My brain felt sluggish and my ears felt stuffy all the time. I leaned heavily on texting and social media, rather than making phone calls. If I had an important call to make or receive, I put on earphones. I seldom went to movies, since I couldn’t understand what they were saying, and even had difficulty in church.

I managed to stay beneath the radar for a while, but my heart was telling me something was wrong, and I feared the worst. Would I lose my memory? I didn’t think so. My writing was going well, and I’d been able to keep up with my part-time bookkeeping job.

During a routine visit to my primary physician, she sensed I was having trouble and suggested I see an ENT. My last hearing test was several years ago, and she felt I needed an update. I spent nearly an hour in a soundproof booth, wearing noise-blocking earphones. I suspected the woman administering the test was playing video games or reading a good book, because I’d go for long periods without hearing anything.

I wasn’t hearing the sounds. Then she read words and had me repeat them. Okay, I’ve always believed that being in a noisy room with people talking all around me was the problem. But in that quiet little booth, I still couldn’t understand all her words. I flunked the test. My score was pretty devastating.

Many people suffer from diminished hearing as they age. In my case, you can add genetics into the mix. My mother struggles to hear, even with a hearing aid. Her dad was nearly deaf when he died at 76. All three of his brothers struggled with hearing issues. I loved those Christy’s, but some legacies you don’t really want.

The ENT summed it up, saying I was basically hearing disabled, and needed two hearing aids in order to “shore up” the situation. Most likely, if I live long enough, I’ll lose my hearing completely.

Not good news. Not the worst news either. I knew I could deal with it, somehow.

For a few days, I was a little weepy. But then I got busy and began to research hearing loss. All those scary symptoms I’d been experiencing were related. I’m not loosing my mind, I just can’t understand and process everything I’m hearing. I miss birdsong. Music doesn’t sound the same. Everybody mumbles. They sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve paid attention to people when they speak. I watch them and work harder to understand. I try to speak with more clarity. I let those around me know I have difficulty hearing. Most people are kind and cooperative. My grandsons get a little exasperated with me, especially after the third or fourth repetition.

Humor has been my friend. I told one of my granddaughters she could tell me her secrets. I don’t hear whispers at all. So, secrets are safe with me.

I’m smiling more these days, because I know the cause of my distress, and it’s not what I feared. This I can work with. My brain’s in good shape, so I can learn to deal with hearing aids, or reading lips, or even learning sign language if it comes to that. I don’t think it will, but have you seen the price of hearing aids? It’s like buying a small car, only they don’t last as long.

The sun is shining this morning, and I can see birds in the trees. I know they’re singing and one day, I’ll hear them again.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 NIV.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

CLICK TO TWEET: Many people suffer from diminished hearing as they age. #hearingloss #aging #health

Let Your Prodigal Go

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, Thursday morning! I hope you’ve had a blessed week. The best is yet to come.

Sometimes life is wonderful, peaceful, and good, but other times, we face hard situations. Each day can bring its own measure of storms and disruption. I’m remembering this morning, and as I do, I’m saying a prayer for those of you who are going through tough times.

A few years ago, I found myself in a difficult situation with someone in my family. Looking back on it now, I can see the path of destruction, kind of like when you visit an area recently visited by a tornado, or a hurricane. From the air, look down at it, and you can plainly detect the beginning and the end and what direction it took.

Divorce is a storm that not only divides a couple, it rips apart the seams of the entire family structure. Though I’ve never personally gone through divorce, members of my family have. When your child goes through it, your son or daughter, you are also affected. Especially if you loved the one your child is rejecting (for whatever the reason).

Yes, it’s their decision, but as a parent, you will want to get involved to try and save the relationship. Maybe, because you’ve been there, but always because you want to kiss the “owie” and make it all better. You have an opinion, and it may differ from that of your child.

Sometimes, the better thing is for you NOT to get involved. Sometimes, it’s actually better to take a step back, and let them go. Like a prodigal, they need to find their own way. Make their own mistakes. Heal their own wounds. At this point…

Whatever you try to tell them, they won’t hear you.

You can bind your prodigal in chains and lock them in the dungeon, but they will hate you for it. Instead, like prodigal’s father, give them what they want and let them go. It’s all right for you to tell them how much you hate doing it. You know they’re headed down the wrong road, headlong toward pain and hurt. But when you get to the point where their mind is made up, anything you say may be disregarded.

Take a step back and wish them well.

But don’t despair, your words can become good seeds that may lay dormant for a while, but will one day flourish.

It’s not easy. I can tell you, it hurts like crazy. I wept, then wept some more, grieving what once was and could have been, but never would be. I was so discouraged, I couldn’t even pray. I just concentrated on the name of Jesus, and tried to let go of my pain.

In the end, I told them what I wanted them to know. “I’m not turning my back. I love you, I’ll pray for you. I’ll be here, if you need me. Go in peace.”

They don’t always go. Not soon enough. They bring their conflict under your roof. You think you have to endure it. You don’t.

If their presence in your household causes conflict, don’t hesitate to put your foot down. “You are interrupting the peace of my household. I love you, but you need to keep your conflict on the other side of that door. If you can’t, then you’re not welcome here.”

Sounds harsh. Sounds a little like tough love. Don’t allow your prodigal to track their mud into your house.

In the parable told by Jesus (Luke 15:11-32), the father welcomed his prodigal back home. It doesn’t say how long he had to wait for the return. But don’t miss the part that Dad cleaned prodigal up before allowing the kid back in the door. No pig dirt inside the father’s residence.

One other thing to remember, guard your heart. For your own benefit and protection, don’t allow yourself to harbor anger and bitterness against either party. Both are dealing with hurt. If there are children involved, there’s more reason to work to retain peace. Strive to make your home a safe harbor.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.–Romans 15:13 NIV

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.–Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV

NOTE: I am not a counselor. I have only made suggestions and shared what worked in my situation. These would not apply to every situation. Don’t hesitate to find a counselor if you need further assistance. Your pastor can help, or suggest someone who can.

Here’s Looking at You, Mom

coffee, cup, laptop, memeHello, it’s another Thursday morning, but not only that, it’s only 2 more days till Mother’s Day. Are you ready for it?

As a daughter, a mom, and a grandma, I tend to look forward to the day. Growing up, I had many strong women in my life. Women who weren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. They wrestled livestock, plowed fields, chopped cotton, picked cotton, shucked corn, and canned their produce in 100-degree weather with no AC.

Friends, those were some stalwart individuals. They’re my heroines in life.

My mom is no less my heroine, though she wasn’t required to live off the land. She was a city girl, transplanted to the country. She didn’t much care for all that hard work, but she never shied away from it. We moved a lot. She counted about forty-two moves, in a recent conversation.

We usually lived in town, where she worked all day at a job, kept a clean house and three mostly well-behaved kids. I was thirteen when Dad finally found a job he liked, and could do well. He started as an insurance salesman and moved up to management. We were transferred from one city to another, because he was a good manager and could build up a lagging office like nobody’s business.

Mom adapted well. She would pretty much go anywhere for her man. He’d found her in Seattle, working the candy counter at a downtown movie theater. She was only seventeen, and he was nineteen when he talked her into marrying him. Still in the Navy, and about to head overseas to Japan, he took her home to his family. Mom ended up in West Tennessee with virtual strangers, waiting for his return.

That was either crazy stupid, or crazy in love. Either way, I’m glad she did it. The fact that she stayed with that man for so many years makes her a heroine in my book. I loved my Daddy. In fact, most everyone loved him. He was a true friend and a good ole boy. We all miss him like crazy.

Now, she shows her bravery in other ways. At eighty-four, she lives alone in a small apartment, an hour away from me, two hours away from big brother, but just a few minutes away from her baby boy, who takes good care of her. She keeps her little space clean as a whistle. Her favorite pastime is reading, and she reads a lot. She says it keeps her mind healthy.

She doesn’t get out a lot, as she’s very hard of hearing, even with a hearing aid. But this woman stays in pretty constant touch with several of her friends from childhood and a couple of family members. She sends out birthday cards and encouraging letters to some who are unable to leave their homes. And they love her letters.

My birthday cards come with lines added beneath the really meaningful parts, along with a few exclamation points. There was a time when this introverted woman never touched me, never told me that she loved me, but I always knew she was there for me. We didn’t always get along, but then I moved out, and we became the best of friends.

Since Dad died, she never lets an opportunity pass to tell me she loves me, or gather me in a bony hug (she’s quite thin). And this is how she is with everyone.

So, Happy Mothers Day, not only to my mom, but to all of you who are reading this, whether you have children of your body, or children of your heart.

And if your mom is still around, don’t forget to call and tell her you love her.

Happy Derby Week!

Hello, Thursday Morning friends! Pour another cup and join me.

It’s Derby Week in my neck o’ the woods. Our town is in celebration mode. We have all kinds of cool activities that kick off with Thunder Over Louisville (an all day event that ends with a gigantic award-winning fireworks show).

Click this link to see some stunning pictures and a vast array of activities in our “unique” city of Louisville:

It’s so much more than a two-minute horse race.

Do I attend any of these events? Seldom. Why? I’m not a “crowd” person, and the crowds are sizable. I have gone to Churchill Downs several times, but never on “the” race day. I love looking at the beautiful horses, so I still enjoyed the daily races.

No, on Derby Day you’ll find me at home. If the weather’s good, I’m working in my yard. At the end of the day, I watch the race on television. Many times, we’ve watched at one of our favorite restaurants. That’s actually fun, because the other patrons really get into the race. There’s a lot of shouting going on. This is when it becomes obvious–Louisville’s a little different.

I love its quirkiness. It’s a beautiful river city with a rich history. Yes, we’re known for bourbon and horses, but it’s a lot more than that.

So, I’m wishing my fellow Louisvillians a happy Derby weekend. May the best horse win.

By the way, I pronounce it Loo-uh-vull.