One Liner Wednesday #1linerWeds

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I can do this

Want to participate in One Liner Wednesday? It’s easy – go check out the details here.

 

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Sharing the Love – of Mothers and Sisters

Valentine’s Day focuses on expressing your love – greatly for romantic partners, but also for friends, family members and other loved ones in our life. Two of my anthologies share many stories by a diverse group of talented authors of the love for their sisters and mothers: In Celebration of Sisters, and In Celebration of Mothers.

To share the love, during the month of love, for the next ten days, you can purchase a set of both books directly from me and SAVE $10!

One of the essays included in In Celebration of Mothers, ‘OMG! I’m Becoming My Mother’, takes a humorous look at the things that pop out of my mouth as I get older. Originally published on Scary Mommy, it’s reprinted in this anthology. In In Celebration of Sisters, I highlighted some of our many differences in ‘Not Two Peas in a Pod.’

For a few chuckles to lighten your day, here is OMG! I’m Becoming My Mother!

OMG, I’m Becoming My Mother

Trisha Faye

I opened my mouth the other day, and my mother popped out.

This was not supposed to happen, ever—at least not when I am still this young.

My sister and I used to joke together, back in our younger days (like, in our 30s) about how our mother was turning into Grandma. We’d chuckle that self-righteous laugh, because we knew that was never going to happen to us.

But somewhere along the line, we grew older and slid into another decade. We didn’t recognize that fact, at least not out loud and not to one another. After all, those odd stray gray hairs appearing at the most inopportune moments can be covered up. That “middle-age stretch?” Well, that’s what blousy tops and jeans with spandex are for. We can still rock it with the best of them…mostly.

Then one afternoon, after a particularly aggravating argument with a teenager, my lips parted, and my mother came hopping out: “Jason Patrick Dean (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent), if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?!”

Oh my God.

There are no appropriate words to describe the look on my face when I recognized the momentous event that had just happened. How many times had I heard this same exact phrase throughout my own teenage years? I called my sister to commiserate. “I know,” she said. “I’ve already heard Mom’s words come out of my mouth too.”

For the record, although she is several years younger than I am, my sister started her family earlier, so she was slightly ahead of me on this downward slide. “I was afraid to say anything. I hoped it wasn’t happening,” she said. As we started talking and comparing notes, we came to the conclusion that we’d been guilty of this for more years than we cared to admit.

“Don’t make me come in there!”

“Don’t use that tone with me.”

“It’s for your own good.”

“I know all. I have eyes in the back of my head.”

“As long as you live under my roof…”

“Close the door. Do you live in a barn?”

“Do as I say, not as I do.”

“Do you think money grows on trees?”

“Because I’m the mom.”

“Because I said so.”

The statements varied with the ages of the children. There were the standard responses we used on the younger ones, and then as their years advanced, we gradually slipped into the intermediate course of Mother Talk, rapidly earning credits that would have us graduating with honors.

The day when that first phrase leaps out and you recognize that it’s your mother talking instead of calm, rational, grown-up, independent you–I think that’s your graduation day, the day you take the mantel (whether you want it or not) and carry on down the road. That’s the day when you realize you’re on a long, slippery slope and you’re sliding down it much faster than you ever expected to.

Not that we’d ever wished to move on down this road. During our 20s and 30s, we thought we were immune to this syndrome. We were strong. We were invincible. We were our own women, not ones who would parrot our mother for the rest of our lives.

“I’m going to give you to the count of three.”

“I’ve had it up to here!”

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

The memories of words spoken long ago come drifting back through my memory. That’s when I realize I’ve been my mother all along. This change didn’t magically appear in my 40s. I’ve been her. I’ve just dressed her up in different clothes and makeup to disguise something I didn’t want to acknowledge.

“I’ll treat you like an adult when you become an adult.”

I guess I am now officially an adult.

I’m sorry, Mom. I’m sorry for all the times we laughed about how you were becoming more like Grandma Jones every day.

While we’re on the subject, I may as well apologize for all the times I talked back to you. For the times I didn’t clean my room—instead, I shoved everything under my bed. For the times I lied to you about where I’d been or what I’d done. For all the times I didn’t appreciate you or the sacrifices you made to give us what you could.

“If I told you once, I told you a thousand times…” Yes, you did probably tell us a thousand times, just as we’ve repeated to our own children.

I take a look in the mirror. A slight twist, a slight squint of the eyes. Yes, there she is—my mother. Maybe this growing older part isn’t all as bad as I’d thought.

***

Did you miss getting these books when they first came out? Here’s your chance to pick up a set of them – and Save $10! FOR TEN DAYS ONLY!

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Iona Mae Burk, the mother that inspired these words

A to Z Challenge Coming Up!

It’s getting closer to A to Z Blog Challenge time!

Yay! If you haven’t heard of it, this is where many (many) blogs participate in writing a post that corresponds to the ‘letter of the day.’ It starts in April, with ‘A’ on the 1st. We post every day during the month, working our way through the alphabet, except on Sundays. (Sometimes one Sunday, depending on how the monthly calendar falls.)

The A to Z Challenge has a survey out with a great prize for one lucky participant. To be entered into the drawing for the prize, just post about the survey – either on a blog, on Facebook, Twitter etc – and then take the survey.

Go check it out!
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2018/02/2018-pre-challenge-blogging-from-to-z.html

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Tales of a Tale #SoCS

SOCS

I’m participating in writing to a prompt for stream of Consciousness Saturday. No editing, no deliberating and changing things – just writing. The prompt for today is to tail/or tale. Use one or the other. Use both. Just write. You can have some fun with it too – here’s the link.

This was an easy choice for me. Tale – of course, because that’s what I do – I tell tales. Mostly about people or items from the past. Occasionally random totally fictional pieces. But quite often it’s a piece from the past that inspires the story, and very often I find family members entering.

Grandpa Jones did that this week. I’d started a new historical fiction short story – Best Thing Since Sliced Bread. I was using two small cookbooks from 1928 as inspiration. That’s it. That’s the whole nugget of how this got started.

When I started researching 1928, I discovered that the first loaf of commercially baked and sliced bread was sold in Chillicothe, Missouri in July, 1928. Another fun tidbit I learned was that several local delegates returned from the Republican National Convention, held in Kansas City in June 1928. A few weeks after they returned, Chevrolet Day was held – an exciting day where the community dressed up as flappers and sheiks and rode in Chevrolets with contests and prizes.

Perfect! Grandpa Jones was from Dawn, just outside Chillicothe. There were my historical tidbits and I created two fictional young girls to star in the tale.

Earlier this week I was talking to my mom and telling her about the new story I’d started. I explained the Chillicothe connection and how it came about. I mentioned Grandpa and said – he was probably just a young boy in 1928. Mom replied, “No, he was born in 1908, so he would have been twenty. He would have been tom-catting around already.”

Excellent! Grandpa Jones just made his entrance. I replied, “So if he was twenty, and from Dawn – just outside Chillicothe – then he probably would have gone to Chevrolet Day.”

“Without a doubt! That’s all he drove his entire life – Chevrolets!”

Luckily the flapper/actress wannabe/best friend doesn’t have a boyfriend. I have a feeling that she and Casey Jones will be dancing about town in this tale.

And by the way, I apologized out loud to Grandma Jones for having Grandpa flitting about town with the young flapper. Mom said that was alright, he didn’t meet Grandma until years later, when he whisked her off her feet and married her in 1935.

You’ve got to love the life of a writer. A little fact, a little history, and a whole lot of make believe. It’s all in the tales we tell.

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Embracing Life on Plucking of My Heartstrings

My Facebook page, Embracing Life, is featured today on Plucking of My Heartstrings!
Thank you so much for the Facebook Friday spotlight, Cheryl!
Go stop by Plucking of My Heartstrings and check out her blog!

Facebook Friday ~ Facebook Page ~ Embracing Life

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My Dad’s Books

My Dad’s Books

Every day I sit at my desk and glance up at a shelf filled with treasures. Among the many items there – a stack of aprons Mom made, candy dishes from Grandma Jones, a clock Grandpa Jones made, a puppy vase from Genevieve, a purple candy dish from Bea and Pauline – are three of my Dad’s books.

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I brought them home a few years when my sister and I were visiting him in Arkansas. He’d been doing a cleanup of his office and was getting rid of some things. He graciously let my sister and I pick through what we wanted, as we also enjoyed the morning looking at all of his old photographs of him as a young boy and from his time in the service. No, we didn’t get the chance to bring the photos home, but we had so many other goodies that we weren’t complaining.

I brought these three home. I could have brought a lot more home. If anyone walks in my office and sees that there are five burgeoning book cases and books are still overflowing with no room to give them a proper place, they might think I’ve hit book overload and shouldn’t get any more. But, no. I am a mere apprentice in the book arena. I learned from a master book collector – my dad.

Now these three books aren’t ones I chose because I wanted to read them. They weren’t on my ‘To Be Read’ list. I wouldn’t have gone looking for them. But they were my dad’s. The Star Book for Ministers (1957), The Simple Life (1904), and Fishers of Men, (1904). Inside each there’s small address labels, claiming the books as his, from the home I grew up in until we moved in 1969.

The reason I chose two of the books, is because of the little white letter on them. An ‘M’ and a ‘G.’ Those two letters so carefully painted on the base of the spine, throw me right back to childhood. I look at those and I’m transported back to Glendora, California. Dad built a huge bookcase in the living room. Huge to me at the time, but a mere shadow of the bookcases he has in his large office now.

We children had a small section on the bottom shelf where our books and Highlights magazines went. There was a hardcover series or two that we had at the time. I only remember my favorite book about Indians. The encyclopedias were near our books, and made for great reading, opening up fascinating new worlds. Once I learned to read I devoured books, and haven’t stopped yet.

But my favorite part of these early memories is the letters that Dad painstakingly added to his books. He had his own filing system, keeping books in order by categories, and these little white letters were the key to his organization.

Now I know they don’t pertain to titles or authors. Fishers of Men by Rev. B. T. Roberts has an ‘M.’ And the Star Book for Ministers, by Edward Hiscox has a ‘G.’ Dad must have grouped his books by certain subject matters. Maybe Ministry and Gospel? That’s just a guess. (And yes, Dad, if you’re reading this…you’ll be getting a phone call!)

Fortunately my Dad is still alive and I can call him and ask. Or email. Or ask when I visit him in a few months. Sometimes though, we don’t have the chance to go back and ask questions like this. I remember all the times I’d listen to stories from Grandma Jones – much too often tuning her out because my mind was on the kids, or I needed to wash a load of diapers, or what was happening at work. Yeah, yeah, yeah…I’ve heard that before. And now that Grandma’s gone, what I would do to have one more day with her, to ask her questions and just listen to her stories.

That’s part of the reason why I created three new journals. My Family Heirloom Journal is a place to record information and stories about different treasured pieces. I want to write things like this down, recording the memories in a place where my boys and grandchildren and read them later – years down the line when maybe they’d be wishing I were around to tell one more tale. Once I’m not here to tell them about their Grandpa organizing his books and the letters he’d put on them, or about my Grandpa Jones making a clock and the memories of watching him work in his small garage workshop, it can all be written down here.

Hmmm…maybe this isn’t such a good thing though. Now my boys really won’t be wanting to listen to my stories one more time. They’ll just wait for the printed version that they can scan through later.

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Books from Dad, candy dish from Grandma Jones, clock from Grandpa Jones, hand-towels with crocheted edge from Mom, quilt in background from Grandma Cline.

 

My Family Heirloom Journal, along with My Museum Journal and My Historic Homes Journal, have a pre-publication sale during February. Until February 10th, you can get them for $6.99 each (regularly priced $10.99), or all three for $20. After the 10th, they’ll still be on sale – each one $7.99 or all three or $23. If you’d like one, now’s your chance to grab one (or all three) and save!

Record History in these Three New Journals

via Record History in these Three New Journals

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