Category Archives: Family

Vacation for the mind


I’d love to take a long trip to the beach. Visit the Carolina’s or Maine but it’s not in my budget. Instead I had a chance for a long weekend on the lake. And for three days I was in another world.

Vacation to me means no cooking, cleaning or set schedules. My trip had easy-to-pullout meals of fresh veggies, fruit and whatever made it to the grill that night. Food tastes so much better eaten outside among friends and family.

We were blessed with great weather, cool and breezy as if we were on the beach. My mind unkinked and slowed, taking in the simple beauty of the surroundings. The area was filled the tiny chirp of hummingbirds and curious chipmunks.

Morning walks were full of visual pleasures that recharged my batteries. It was like having an artist date everyday. It’s a quaint community filled with small A-Frames, rustic open-aired getaways and a few if-I-win-the-lottery escapes. Each day I discovered some new visual treasure. I spotted a scarecrow guarding the vegetables, lush flowers, a stone castle and whimsical gardens.

The evenings were filled with laughter and small talk that we never seem to find time for in our busy lives. I’m not normally an outdoors gal, but we spent the majority of our time enjoying the weather on the deck till the temps finally rose.

Fully rested and sad to leave, we headed back home. That kind of break makes the upcoming Monday not so frantic. So I’ll take the lovely when I can get it and the memories will get me through till the next time.

Images of the past


Today my little boy turns 17. My son is no longer so little. In fact he towers over me, bending down to give me a hug.

It seems like yesterday that I held his hand as he took his first steps. Now he no longer needs my help as he grows into manhood.

When he was little I let his hair grow into long ringlets. I still have a ringlet from his first haircut. Now his hair touches his shoulders in blonde waves.

I use to play games to get him to eat different foods. Now he tries to get me to eat sushi and seaweed.

I use to read books like Harry Potter to him every night before bed. Now his idea of a good read is Introduction to Legal Theory.

He use to listen to things I said. Now I try to keep up with whatever is his latest interest.

I use to plan and take him on play dates. Now he makes his own calls and grabs a ride with one of his friends to activities.

Underneath all that male testosterone he is still my baby. He starts his senior year in the fall. College is looming over the horizon. So many changes ahead.

For today I will hold onto the images of the past while he eagerly looks ahead. Happy Birthday, Son. Hope each one is better than the last.


Writing and the Unicycle                         

This year I recommitted myself to working harder on my writing. It has been an uphill struggle every day. But I am determined not to give up.

Determination is what most writers that go on to sell say got them there. I’ve seen it happen with my chapter members. I’ve listened to this same advice from multi-published authors.

But in the last month I have seen it with my own eyes, in my son’s unshakable faith that he could master learning to ride a unicycle. Son is not an athlete. His idea of exercise is seeing how fast he can type. Which is pretty impressive at 150 WPM. I’ve tried to get him to walk with me, jog with friends, or take any kind of lessons to no avail.

Imagine my surprise when he showed me a video of a guy on a unicycle, then said he wanted to do that.  I was both thrilled that he was finally going to be active. But also hesitant to point out the pitfalls ahead. So I smiled and we started the hunt for one in our small town. In a strange coincidence his friend’s father still had his old one and gave it to him.

We brought it home and he started practicing 2 to 3 hours a day. The first week was all about trying to stay on for one wheel turn. In a week he broke the 30-year-old cycle.  I asked him if he was sure he wanted to continue. He just handed me his Christmas money and in two days he had a brand new one.

Everyday he was outside as soon as he finished his studies. I watched, heart aching every time he fell off, cheering when he stayed on. Every milestone was recorded. The first time he made it around the carport, fingertips out for balance. First time down the driveway, arms flaying like a drunken helicopter pilot.

In three weeks, he had gone from I want to do this to accomplishing his goal. Now we just throw it in the car and off to the park. While I walk, he unicycles around all the small kids who think he is very cool. I couldn’t be prouder of him.

I am still determined, even more so now. Just as I cheered my son on, he’ll do the same for me. He comes inside eyes shining in excitement, sweat on his brow, asking me, “Mom have you written today?” Sometimes all a writer needs is to learn to unicycle.

IMG_0375—Previously printed in the Music City Romance Writers Newsletter—

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