Goodbye, Dear Spatula…

Spatula

My spatula broke. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t seem like such bad news. It was really old. I bought it in some distant long-ago garage sale or kitchen aisle. I was young then, just starting out in marriage, parenting and life. A handy metal spatula, scraping up enumerable eggs off of sticky skillets, or flattened chip cookie failures. Many, many family dinners, wolfed down by hungry children. One day I realized that ten years had gone by and my spatula was still working. I had a metal spoon, same thing, and an old metal colander. ‘They don’t make things like they used to!’ And then it was twenty years old and then more than twenty-five. This spatula has been with me through everything.

And now, tonight, it finally broke. On the same day that my youngest went off for her last weekend before she moves out. I’m sitting here crying about a spatula. Those years past are precious.

The Lord is telling me there are two ways of looking at this. One is that the spatula is old and broken, beyond its usefulness. The other way is this: This spatula broke, not as a way of saying that everything good is over, but because its job was completed. I’ve served my family through a bunch of scrapes, and bent and got cracked. But I held on till they were strong enough to become adults. I should feel this as a huge accomplishment. It’s been such a privilege! I’m not crying now, but feeling peace.

Another New Release Romance!

SantiagoBlueParmesan

The cover will look like this above, and below, the back will be similar to this.

SantiagoBackJustEyes

It took me a long time to write Santiago’s In Trouble, from when I had the original inspiration. I thought it would be written like a dime novel. ‘Sensational!’ ‘High Drama on the High Seas!’ or perhaps just a plain ‘AIEEEEEEE!’

Those were elements I thought were going inside this story.

When I finally committed the words to the manuscript page, the resulting story was a surprise to me. My main character was half Puerto Rican, and he’s being afflicted for that. I don’t know where that came from. I don’t usually presume to write about another culture’s difficulty with prejudice. I haven’t had to face those trials. But the story was rolling out and the original inspiration gave way so I went with it.

The result is like my other romances. It has some quirkiness, and some humor. I’m pleased with it, and enjoy re-reading it. But I still, once I typed ‘The End’, had no idea why Puerto Rico was on my mind, or why my subconscious associated it with trouble, striking. As I said earlier in this blog, I should’ve prayed. That horrible storm came just a few weeks later and decimated parts of the wonderful island.

Naturally, at that time, I didn’t want to self-publish this book out. So chirpy, and romancy, and happy-ending like, it didn’t fit what was going on.

But now I’ve come more to terms with it. Puerto Rico’s In Trouble, but in the end, her people are strong, resourceful, and worth getting to know. One day, I hope to go there and see the cities for myself. See how my prayers were answered. The President has recently signed a 19 million dollar relief bill, so that’s good.

There are still much-needed recovery efforts going on. If it so moves you, you can donate. Here’s a link.

https://secure.projecthope.org/site/Donation2?df_id=7259&7259.donation=form1&mfc_pref=T&autologin=true&gclid=CjwKCAjw67XpBRBqEiwA5RCocfwZzu-wtgHRX41kqE7eiqfvReauuPMD6xkXZ137kKPq1vDb0tQPLhoCuD0QAvD_BwE

Down is Too Low, and Up Can Mellow Out!

ChildTeeterTotter

According to the description that I got this from, this photo is of ‘one of Max Sparks’ children playing on a homemade teeter-totter’.

Now, I’ve been feeling a little low lately. Maybe for the past year or so. Not depressed, per se, but aware of those things that are drear. Oftentimes the beauty around me burns it up, and I’m the old Vicky again. I figured this malaise was normal, I’m 57 now, and feeling what old feels like for the first time and I need to adapt. I need to start walking and taking vitamins and build up to it, and age gracefully.

But I’ve been feeling my losses too. Realizing the writing dream isn’t going to go where I wanted it to go, and then, once that small grief is moved out of the way, seeing what that writing dream was hiding. Pretending is part of childhood play and now I’m older. Those losses in your life, and I mean the big ones, will hurt until you die. Maybe aging is the time that you finally stop pretending and see yourself and your life like a flower noticing that it’s wilting.

And then, God gives you surprise gifts. My beautiful daughter gave me an amazing necklace the other day. I saw her love for me and all of a sudden I was a child again, crying with the joy of it.

I got sick a few weeks ago, and I was weak for so long that I couldn’t even write anymore. Now I could really see behind the curtain. A dark garden of sadness for my lost child, and all the disappointments of what I couldn’t give my other children. And worry about my loved ones, and a longing to be able to solve all their problems. How odd to be older and realize that I haven’t learned anything about patience at all! I want God to fix everything now! I’ve waited a long while for everything to be perfect! Time is running out!

And just like that, another surprise. I’m not old. I’m a child yelling with all the passion in my being because that pretty trinket was pulled out of my resisting hand by stronger fingers. ‘Shhh, wait a little longer, my love. Everything will be all right.’

God is holding me, because I’ve just caught a glimpse of a world I can’t control. I’m small, and weak, but He is strong. The other night I told Him I was afraid to be this anxious or depressed and just like that He answered my prayer. Peace came and took the anxiety away. After that I started feeling the spark of creativity come back. A small gift from God but it feels so big. I have to cry with the joy of it. I may be a wilting flower but I’m open to see the light and feel the mist of rain to nourish me.

Look at that picture I found above. I think that ‘homemade teeter-totter’ is funny. It’s a big up and down, you can tell. Like if it goes awry or a heavy weight falls on the other side Max Sparks’ child is going to fly from a catapult. And that’s how children face life. Big ups and downs, and all an adventure. I’m learning that older people creak over the small bumps, and cry with joy on the upside.

Thank you, God for holding me, and being in my future until I see You face to face. I’m a child in my Daddy’s arms on this Father’s Day. I love Him.

A Faith Comment

MoonlightPacific

I think faith that lasts through hardships is based on love, and the God you can’t bear to give up. You had faith before, the hard times come and all that lovely situational basis for faith is shredded and your emotions numb, sometimes in anger or bitterness. But you care about God. He is the One that you love. You don’t throw away a great love in your life because you’ve lost another one. You cling, in weak desperation. And in time, you discover, you begin to see again all the things God was doing to carry you through that hard time. You begin to feel and know His love for you again. And faith is not only restored, it is justified.

One Year Ago a Happy Girl in Heaven

Mom and Alisa

One year has passed already! The day my mommy passed away last year I didn’t bend in wailing grief. I’d already felt like I was losing her before I lost her, since it had been hard to get her on the phone, her hearing loss made you have to repeat a lot of what you said, and she was forgetting the little details more often. I’d been grieving in small doses, but thankful for her wonderful smile when I came over.

But as this last year has passed, I’ve missed my mommy at odd moments. Moments of joy in my grandchildren, or excitement when I made an accomplishment. I didn’t have her here to cheer for me, to  see the absolute preciousness of baby beauty, or to worry about what I was worrying about. I’ve had moments of awe too, when I think of how amazing she was. How wise, how lonely in her uniqueness, how willing to laugh at your jokes. She was off taking the dogs and the children to the river to play, not wishing she could lay out a towel on a tropical beach somewhere. She took on giving Christmas presents to four children back in the sixties even though she was a single mom and the money was tight. Not only did she give us enough to delight under the tree, but she also gave us kids heavy allowance at the end of November so we could learn to give (and wrap!) presents of our own.

I don’t like these landmarks, when I take note of the day of loss. For I haven’t lost her forever. One day, when I go to Heaven too, I’ll see her smile again. She and Josiah and I will sit by the tropical glow, in the glory of God’s love, and laugh.

My God, the Original World-builder

FlowersGreen

For Spring, 2019

When I swim in loops and swirls, the majesty of form;

Underwater colors are pronounced but indistinct.

When I see Spring in buds of flowers, delicate born;

Looking through bright green, undulating leaves, I think:

My God, He set things dancing.

He is the comfort after sorrow,

Aftermath of Winter in Spring.

The promise of all tomorrows,

Peach-tinted Heaven glimmering.

I’m glad He’s with me!

T.E.D.D.I.E. B.E.A.R. in S.P.A.C.E.

comet

I finished it, finally. My Teddie Bear completed his mission on the ship in non-outer space, and came home. Lots of Soft Sci-Fi going on, in this novel’s 109,000 words!

Whew! It starts out a bit tame, but once things get going there’s a lot of action in this one! And chock full of my own, no doubt tangled, concepts of Science!

I’m proud of myself! If anyone wants to read it, let me know!

Spark the Teddy

Firefighter

I’ve got big news! My Teddie Bear in Space book is almost finished! That’s right, Folks! There’s no crowd gathered, ha ha, but I’M very excited!

Bearnosemap

It was two years ago that I started this Sci-fi book. Now I’ve written the big climatic scene at the end! Goody!

Muddy Welcome

well-door

I’m pondering grace today. It’s the emotion connected with mercy. To be gracious is to forgive a person’s mud on their shoes and invite them in your home. ‘Come in!’ you say, all smiles. Then you sit them down and make them tea and tell stories til your home becomes theirs, for a little while.

You see, what you do with a person in your clutches, that reflects mercy. They didn’t want to step in the mud. Mud appeared, covering the pathway of life, and they wandered in. Now, covered in mistakes, they come to you with a list of things they could’ve done better.

Leave the mud at the door, and offer them a pair of cozy slippers. My dear Love, Jesus, did the same thing for me. He opened the door and there I stood, for I’d fallen in the mud. He gave me clean clothes and the light in His eyes. None of my mistakes existed anymore. Refreshed by His love, I’ll waddle around in this world, making a ton more mistakes and He won’t see any of them. One day, He’ll open the door and say, ‘Come in, my beautiful child. Welcome home to Heaven, and the fullness of My love.

Conundrums and Dreams

SleepingBeauty

I’ve never had such a writing experience before. Soft Sci-fi is either good for me, or its about to tip the precious mind over the edge! So there I am, again, pondering my time travel conundrum. At least, I must’ve been doing that in my subconscious more than I realized.

Put simply my problem is like this. In the movie Back to the Future, Marty McFly goes back in time and meets his parents. But he interferes with the natural course of their relationship. In his family photo, his siblings are erased, and even his own hand goes invisible. Because of his meddling with time, his parents never got married.

Thus causing the same conundrum. You see, if Marty McFly never existed, then who meddled and prevented his parents from getting married? And if no one prevented them, then they got married and Marty existed.

Now, everyone let the writers get away with this in Back to the Future. We were all having too good a time to point the obvious out. (Being 24 years old back in 1985, I had the pleasure seeing that movie in the theaters when it first came out! Such brilliance! I had to go right out and buy myself some shoes from the men’s section.)

Converse

I assume that my own story might not be as entertaining as Back to the Future. I tried to just say, ‘oh well, who’s going to read it anyway? It doesn’t matter if there’s a flaw!’

But it bugged me. I didn’t want my story left with this flaw hole. Argh.

And then, at three in the morning last night. I figured it out! Of course! They didn’t have a Time TRAVEL machine! Inside the bubble of their machine time was stretched, but only for them! They had 500 years, whereas their neighbors, only 250! Therefore, they had 250 more years to grow in technological advancement. They weren’t aware of the bubble they were in. It stretched out and then realigned, so that when the two neighbors met again, time was the same for both! The dimension I created is the detritus of that experiment, but it’s also barrier of the bubble. Once time aligned, both sides could now travel through this dimension, although they couldn’t before.

Ta Da!!! Maniacal laughter was heard, in my mind. Still I managed to wake up my husband.

NaponRick

He was kind and told me what science actually knew about such things. (Real Science, bah!) And finally, around five a.m. I went to sleep. Then I had dreams, which when I woke up, knew I had to put in my story. I now have a new character I must introduce.

Kind of fun, but as I say, taxing on the old bean. To all my scientist friends, if you see some obvious flaw in my reasoning, KEEP IT TO YOURSELVES!!!