Y'all come on in!

Y'all come on in!

Sunday, December 24, 2017


Here's wishing all my family, friends and fans a wonderful Christmas. This year we are at the beach in Florida with a lot of our family. One group arrived last night and the others will filter in through the next couple of days. I love the sound of the waves lapping up against the sugar white sands. It totally takes all the tension from me and sets my mind to thinking about the next book I'll be working on while I'm here.
Life is good!!


Hugs to all y'all,
Carolyn Brown

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Strawberry Tarts...

Several people have asked for the recipe for strawberry hearts tarts that were served in The Strawberry Hearts Diner--
which is on sale at Amazon right now for only $1.99!

So I rustled up the recipe and the picture for all of y'all who have asked. Note: they are totally made from scratch and I used heart tart pans but they can be made in cupcake tins if you don't have the tart pans.

Strawberry Tarts
1 cup of finely ground pecans
2 T. sugar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 T. butter (not margarine)
1 T. ice water
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix together pecans, sugar, flour and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture is like cornmeal. Add the water and form into a ball. Chill for 30 minutes. Press into tart pans, keeping the dough as even as possible. Bake at 350 degrees until slightly brown, about 15 minutes.

8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 pint Cool Whip

Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Fold in Cool whip and fill cooled tart shells with the mixture.

1 pint of strawberries
2 T. sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 T. corn starch

Crush half of the strawberries to make 1/3 cup. Put in saucepan and add water. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes. Press through strainer to make 1/2 cup of puree. Return to saucepan and add sugar and cornstarch. Stirring constantly cook over medium heat until thickened and clear. Add a few drops of red food coloring if desired.  Cool to room temperature. Spoon over the tarts and either top with sliced strawberries or a whole berry.  Chill and serve.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Get Lost in a Story...

My good friend, Heather Burch's, brand new book, Something Like Family has hit the shelves. Today she is over at Get Lost in a Story answering questions. There's two of her books up for grabs and I'm offering signed copies of two of my backlist to each of two folks who comment on that site. So chase on over to the site, get to know Heather and leave a comment. You just might win one of four books!!

Abandoned by his mother when he was young, twenty-two-year-old Rave Wayne knows all about loss. That doesn’t mean he’s used to it. After he’s dumped by the girlfriend he assumed he’d spend his life with, Rave is longing more than ever to connect.
Then, as if by miracle, he receives an invitation from his grandfather, a man he thought was long gone, to come for a visit in rural Tennessee. Loyal, honest, and loving, dear old Tuck is everything Rave could have hoped for. He’s family. Soon, Rave finds himself falling for a down-to-earth local girl, and he thinks his life is finally coming together.
But the past isn’t through with Rave. When his mother returns after many long years, looking to reconcile the terrible mistakes that once defined her, Rave struggles to put together the unsettled pieces of his heart. Will this once-estranged family be able to come together to understand the meaning of unconditional love, the fragile bonds of family, and the healing power of letting go?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

First Chapter

Forever Romance presents the first chapter of
Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas!

Chapter 1
Nash could taste the sand in his mouth despite the bandana covering his face. Thank God that tomorrow he would be headed back to Texas for a month-long leave. He was looking forward to the green trees, fishing in the Big Cypress Bayou, and his grandmother’s cooking. But right now a little boy needed his help. And there was no one to save him but Captain Nash Lamont.
The whirr of helicopter blades above the base meant that it was time to leave. Three of his six-man team would be going home in flag-draped coffins—one of them had been married and had children. He’d been the one who saved Nash’s life at the expense of his own, but the captain couldn’t think about that now. There was a child in danger out there beyond the base perimeter. He could hear the mother screaming her son’s name somewhere in the dust behind him.
Nash rubbed the sand from his eyes and focused on the child outside the command center. He yelled at the kid, and the kid waved and nodded. He kicked the inflatable ball he’d been playing with all day toward Nash, but wind picked it up and twirled it back at him like a boomerang, floating over his shoulder and landing twenty feet behind him. Nash couldn’t take a chance on the boy running through that minefield, so he took off in long strides and threw himself on top of the little boy. Then in a flash, he was on his feet with the boy slung over his shoulder. With a kicking and screaming kid beating at his back, he prayed that he’d make it through the gates without stepping on an IED.
When they were inside the gates, Nash set the boy down and let his breath out in a long whoosh. He’d saved him— this time Nash had saved the kid. The boy might be upset, but at least he was in one piece. Everything was going to be all right. He had failed in his mission and half his team was going home in caskets, but he’d saved the boy.
Kasey tightly held the red bandana across her face and bent her shoulders against the wind bringing half of the dirt in New Mexico across the border into the Texas panhandle. When the storm hit she’d gone to the back door and yelled at her six-year-old son, Rustin, to get inside the house. When he didn’t come running, she’d yelled again and again and finally with worry and fear mixed, she’d started out to find him, stopping every few feet to scream his name.
He’d been kicking a ball around inside the yard fence the last time she checked on him. She searched the barn first, but no one was there. Then she remembered the last time he’d slipped off that she’d found him over at the ranch next door. His dog, Hero, had run away and Rustin had gone looking for him. Hoping that’s what had happened this time, she made a beeline down the rutted path leading that way. She’d moved to Happy the spring before to live close to family and to raise her kids in the wide open spaces of a ranch but it was times like this that she missed living in town with a fenced yard and close neighbors.
A quarter of a mile to the barbed-wire fence didn’t seem like far unless there was a fierce wind blowing dirt everywhere. When she reached the fence separating Hope Springs from the Texas Star Ranch, she found a piece of Rustin’s jacket stuck in the wire and flapping in the wind. She was on the right track. Hopefully, he was holed up in the barn and out of the driving, miserable dirt storm.
She crawled through two strands of wire and then called Hope, her grandmother, to tell her that she’d be back to the ranch house soon with the runaway. Shielding her eyes, she could see the barn through the sand. Who was that in the doorway? He was too tall to be Adam’s father, Paul, her children’s grandfather who leased the ranch property from Henry’s sister. She took another step and rubbed the dirt from her eyes.
Oh, no! Whoever it was had raced out and grabbed her son. He’d thrown himself on top of Rustin, then stood up with the boy thrown over his shoulder like a sack of chicken feed. Rustin was kicking and screaming out for her the whole time. She took a deep breath and started coughing when her nostrils filled with dirt. Feeling as if she was running in boots filled with lead, she could hear Rustin bellowing as she fought against the hard wind trying to knock her backward.
“What the hell!” She gasped for breath when she was finally inside the barn. “What are you doing to my son? Put him down right now!” She shouted as adrenaline rushed through her body like fiery hot whiskey.
Kicking and screaming, beating the man on the back with his fists, Rustin didn’t even see her and turned on her when she grabbed him away from the man. She put her boy behind her and faced the tall, dark cowboy. “Who are you and why were you kidnapping my child?”
Dirt dusted the stranger’s dark hair, but his near-black eyes looked blank, as if he was seeing but not seeing, if that made sense.
“I was saving him. You are safe now, Ahmid.” The man looked as if he was sleepwalking.
Kasey snapped her fingers in his face, and he quickly grabbed her wrist. She jerked it free and took a step back.
“I’m not Ahmid. I’m Rustin.” Rustin wrapped his arms around her waist and peeked around her side.
The cowboy’s brow furrowed in a frown. “You aren’t Farah. You have red hair.”
She jerked off the bandana, letting it hang around her neck, and shook her hair out of the stocking hat. “I’m Kasey McKay and this is my son, Rustin.” She took a step back and looked into his dark brown eyes. “What are you doing in this barn?”
He shook his head slowly. “I’m sorry. I fell asleep out here and when I woke up the sand—I thought I was back,” he stammered. “That’s classified. I am Captain Nash Lamont and I just saved this boy from—oh, no!”
He squared his broad shoulders, standing at attention, but after a few seconds they sagged and he ran a hand over his angular face. So this was Nash. Everyone in Happy had been talking about how he’d taken over Henry’s old ranch. He’d moved into the old house last week, but no one had seen him. Not at the café or at church the previous Sunday. Folks wondered if he might be like his great-uncle—a harmless hermit.
He was well over six feet tall, his black hair brushed the collar of his denim duster that strained at the shoulder seams, and those dark brown eyes darted around the barn as if he wasn’t sure where he was. His broad chest narrowed down past a silver belt buckle with the state of Texas engraved on it. Faded jeans, cowboy boots, a felt hat thrown over there on a hay bale said he was proud to be a cowboy. Yet he’d identified himself as Captain Lamont, and that was definitely military.
“You deserve an explanation.” His accent was a blend of Texas drawl and something even farther south, maybe Louisiana or Mississippi. “I was in the army and did some work in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Iraq. There was an incident involving a young boy who had kicked a ball outside the gates in dangerous territory. I tried to save him but didn’t get there in time and wound up with a head wound of my own. I came out here to check on the sheep and the sandstorm hit. I thought—” He shrugged.
“You thought you were back over there, right? The sand- storm and the kid out there in it gave you a flashback?” Kasey understood, but she still kept Rustin behind her.
Nash nodded.
Kasey had lost her husband, Adam, when he was on a mission somewhere over there in what the guys called the sandbox. Before that, she’d held him many nights through the nightmares that his job caused, so she understood. But it didn’t take away the fear that had tightened her chest so that she couldn’t breathe when she thought he was abducting her son.
“Mama, I’m okay,” Rustin said in a steady voice. “Cowboys don’t hurt little kids.”
“I would never harm a child, and I’m very sorry for the misunderstanding, Miz McKay.” Nash’s deep voice had a dose of deep-seeded southern in it.
“Have we met before?” she asked.
“I heard about you living on the next ranch over.” His gaze went over her left shoulder and landed on the barn door.
There was no doubt that he had been a soldier. Shoulders ramrod straight and squared off. Chin tucked back and eyes ahead. Filled with respect. Ready to do battle. No one stood like a military man, especially one who’d been a cowboy before he enlisted.
“Well, then, we’ll be going home. Welcome to Happy, Nash.” Kasey knew she should invite him to Hope Springs for coffee or supper, but she wasn’t feeling too hospitable, not with all those memories of Adam flashing through her mind. Not to mention dealing with a son who was in big trouble for wandering off when he was explicitly told not to leave the yard.
She pulled the bandana up over her nose again and stooped down to zip Rustin’s jacket, making sure that the collar protected his nose from the roaring wind and dirt.
“I’ll drive you home. My truck is sitting right there.” He motioned toward a black Chevy Silverado parked to one side of the barn. “It’s still blowing like crazy out there. It’s the least I can do for scaring you. And again, I’m very sorry.”
“Apology accepted, but—”
“Mama, I don’t want to walk home in this stuff,” Rustin whispered.
Kasey took one look out the door and realized her son was right. Visibility was practically zero. “Maybe we should just wait it out a little while right here in the barn until it lets up,” she said. She cast a glance at Nash as she pulled her phone from her hip pocket and quickly called her grandmother, gave her the news that she’d found Rustin and that the neighbor would bring them home as soon as the wind stopped blowing.
Nash smiled while she talked, but it didn’t reach his eyes. He sat down on a hay bale and a big white cat meandered out and hopped up in his lap. He started to rub her long fur and she curled up, as if she belonged there.
“That’s the white cat that Aunt Lila talked about. Can I pet her?” Rustin left his mother’s side and took a few steps toward Nash.
“Sure. You can even hold her if you want,” Nash said. “Sit right here and I’ll put her in your lap. She’s real tame.”
“My sister would love her. She’s purrin’,” Rustin said when the cat was in his lap.
“So you have other children?” Nash looked up at Kasey.
“Two. Emma is three and Silas is eighteen months.” She kept a close watch on her son, sitting so close to a stranger.
“And where do you live?” Nash asked.
“On the ranch right next door,” Rustin answered.
“Hope Springs, with my two brothers, Brody and Jace,” Kasey said. “Where did you live before now?”
“The last two years out south of Jefferson, Texas, on my grandmother’s little spread.”
“And before that?”
“Wherever the military sent me.”
His dark eyes were boring holes in her. Not like a man who was hitting on her but more like someone trying to place her in his mind. Like he’d met her before and couldn’t quite remember her name. But he did because he’d called her Miz McKay a few minutes before. When he did look up, his dark eyes were veiled. It was impossible to see exactly what he was thinking, but there was definitely something haunting Nash Lamont.
A couple of baas caused Rustin to cock his ear toward the stalls on the other side of the barn. “Is that sheeps I hear?”
“Yes, they are. I heard we might have a dust storm so I brought them inside. Want to see them?”
“You bet. I ride the muttons at the rodeo grounds sometimes,” Rustin said.
The veil on Nash’s dark eyes seemed to lift a little as he watched Rustin run from one stall to the other looking at his small flock. “Look, Mama, this one has babies.”
Kasey edged around Nash, careful not to get too close, still not fully trusting him, even if the white cat and her son didn’t have a problem with him. “They’re cute little things, but you do know this is cattle country, right?” she asked.
He straightened up and towered above her. “Yes, ma’am. But I’ve always liked sheep, so that’s what I’m raising right now.” He wandered over to the door and looked outside. “I think the wind is dying down. Please let me drive y’all home.”
“Come on, Rustin. We have to get home,” Kasey said.
Rustin took time to stick his hand into the stall and pet one more lamb before he ran to the truck. With long strides, Nash hurried ahead of them both and swung open the doors. Rustin climbed up into the backseat without a moment’s pause, but before Nash could slam the door, the boy’s dog, Hero, jumped right into the truck with him. Kasey hiked a hip on the seat and pulled the seat belt across her chest.
Nash slung open the double barn doors and then hopped into the truck, slammed the door shut, and fastened his seat belt. “Hope Springs? I drive to the end of my lane and turn right? I guess that dog belongs to you?”
Kasey bobbed her head twice.
“His name is Hero and he’s got a sister, Princess, and a brother, Doggy. They belong to Emma and Silas, but they ain’t as smart as Hero,” Rustin said enthusiastically. “I think he likes you.”
“He looks like a good dog.”
Hero flopped his big black head over the seat and licked Nash’s face from chin to ear then lay down with his head in Rustin’s lap. If it was true that children and dogs knew who to trust and who to back away from—everything would be just fine.
Nash sat rigidly straight in the truck seat, reminding her again of Adam’s posture, even if they didn’t look anything alike. Adam had topped out at five feet nine inches, and that was with his cowboy boots on. He’d had clear blue eyes and blond hair. He’d always looked so young that he was carded anytime he ordered a drink, and he had a smile that would light up the whole universe.
The man sitting beside her with a death grip on the steering wheel was a silent, brooding type who had a lot of darkness inside him. He might be late twenties or maybe early thirties, and no one would ever mistake him as being underage.
He drove slowly to the end of the lane, made a right, and then another one a quarter of a mile down the road. The first big raindrops fell, mixing with the dust to create mud that hit the windshield in splats. The wipers couldn’t work fast enough to keep the smears from the windows, so Nash backed off the gas and took them the rest of the way at five miles an hour.
“Rustin, you go straight to the bathroom and shuck out of those clothes. And you”—Kasey turned toward Nash— “you do not have to be a gentleman and open doors. Thanks for the ride.”
“You’re welcome,” he said. “And thank you, Kasey, for not shooting me. I apologize once again.”
“Didn’t have my pistol,” she answered as she bailed out of the truck and ran through the nasty rain toward the house. Dripping mud, she stopped inside the front door and kicked off her boots.
Wiping her hands on an apron tied around her waist, her grandmother, Hope, came out of the kitchen with Silas, Kasey’s youngest son, and Emma, the middle child, right behind her. Their little eyes widened out like they were looking at a monster.
“Mama, did you and Rustin have a mud fight?” Emma was totally aghast.
“Mommy all yucky.” Silas’s nose twitched.
Hope giggled. “Got to agree with them, Kasey. You look like you lost a mud-wrestling match. I was about to call to check on you when Rustin came through here like a shot and headed toward the bathroom.”
“I told him to go straight to the bathroom and get cleaned up. It’s practically raining mud out there with that dust storm.” Kasey pulled gobs of wet mud from her naturally curly red hair when she ran her fingers through it.
“Ick,” Emma said. She grabbed Silas’s hand and dragged him toward the living room. “Let’s go build a Lego princess castle.”
“Yep.” Silas nodded seriously.
“So, you got to see Nash Lamont, huh?” Hope sat down in a ladder-back chair beside the foyer table. “What does he look like?”
“He’s every bit as tall as Brody. Dark eyes, dark hair. Military for sure. He doesn’t talk a lot, but he seems nice enough.” Kasey started on down the hall.
“Did he mention his great-uncle Henry?” Hope fingered the gold locket around her neck with a wistful look in her eyes.
“No, but he had Rustin slung over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Scared the devil out of me.”
Hope clucked like an old hen as she stood up and brushed her hair back with her hand. She wasn’t much taller than Kasey, had gray hair and bright green eyes, and was still the queen bee of Hope Springs, even if she had turned most of the day-to-day operations over to Kasey’s brothers, Brody and Jace, the spring before. Her face and attention to style belied her seventy-two years. “I got to go call Molly and tell her that you almost killed the new man in town.”
“Granny!” Kasey’s green eyes, so much like her grandmother’s, popped wide open. “I didn’t even try to kill him. I might have if he’d been kidnapping my son, but he was having a flashback to the war stuff. Adam did that more than once. I felt sorry for him.”
Hope headed for the kitchen. “Might be wise to stay away from a man who’s got problems like that.”
Kasey couldn’t agree more, but then there was something in those dark, brooding eyes that made her want to know more about him. She dropped her dirty clothing on the bathroom floor and stepped into the shower. She lathered up her hair three times before the water ran clear. With a towel wrapped around her body, she peeked out the door before she darted down the hall. She almost made it to the wing of the house where she and the kids lived when the front door opened.
“Hey!” Her sister-in-law, Lila, grinned as she removed a mud-splashed yellow slicker and laid it across the chair where Hope had been sitting. Not a single bit of dirt stuck to her jet-black ponytail, and her brown eyes glimmered. “I heard that you had a confrontation with the new neighbor. I also heard that he’s quite a hunk.”
Kasey wiped a hand across her brow. “Granny didn’t waste a bit of time, did she?”
Lila followed her back to the bedroom. “I was out in the barn helping Brody when the storm hit. Thought I’d come get the whole story from you.”
Kasey told it again as she got dressed.
“So the part about him being downright sexy is true?” Lila asked.
Kasey shook out her curly red hair and started to brush it. “You ever read Wuthering Heights?”
“Of course. I used to be an English teacher, remember?” Lila nodded. “Is Nash a Heathcliff?”
“Oh, yeah, exactly.” Kasey nodded.
Excerpted from LONG, TALL COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Carolyn Brown published by Forever. Copyright © 2017 Carolyn Brown.
Available September 26!

Monday, August 28, 2017


Do you like Women's Fiction Books?

How about the amazing selection
(pictured above),
all signed and sent to you?
Then this is the contest for you!!

Several of us authors have a contest starting this morning
and the prize
is a signed book from each of us plus a $100 gift card.

Just click right HERE
and it will take you right to the entry
...plus all the buttons for the extra entries.
Good luck to you all!!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Family reunions...

Family reunions! Don't you just love them?

That's when everyone brings their favorite covered dishes, pies, cakes and other marvelous fattening foods and one must choke down a little of all of it or Granny or Great-Aunt Molly will get their feelings hurt.

So right along with the heat, mosquitoes, flies and poison ivy, we overeat on cherry cheesecake, Mississippi mud cake, fried chicken, barbecued ribs, potato salad and forty nine casseroles. And our little cellulites think they've died and gone straight to heaven.

Everyone eats until they look like a cross between Miss Piggy and the Pillsbury Doughboy and Aunt Molly, God love her sweet soul, passes out anti-acids from a quart jar like they were candy. And everyone smiles like they are having a lovely time with people they barely know.

Now it is not an easy feat for me to sit quietly in any situation but after my first reunion on the in-law side, deep in the heart of Yankee territory, I found there really is a gold mine in keeping my mouth shut and listening. I found a chair in the shade and my little fat cells were ecstatic after the third piece of Aunt Molly's peach pie.

Now Mr. B was amongst his own and visiting with his cousins he hadn't seen since they were all in Birdseye fashions. My half-breed children (who are all grown now but at that time they were just kids) were keeping true to their southern manners. After all, they did have to go home with me so they knew to say, "Yes, ma'am," and "No, sir." Of course, at that time no one was talking to me--after all I was a Texas Rebel and it was not good practice to fraternize with women who wore their skirts too short and talked with a Texas accent.

I could hear cousin Harriet tellin' about some horrible rare disease that she had, the worst case a woman ever had this side of the Mason/Dixon line. Before anyone could top her story, she gathered up her three bratty kids and said she was going home. The dust wasn't settled on the road before they commenced to rake her over the coals.

"Did you ever see such monster children? If those little heathens belonged to me I'd beat them with a white coat hanger until all the paint was gone every morning before breakfast! And she's not sick. She just wants attention. Did you see that plate of food she put away?"

"The first plate or the third?" Another one giggled.

They'd barely gotten over talking about her when Uncle Theodore's cousin's niece packed up her hen-pecked husband, six daughters and a cooler full of watered down Kool-Aid and off they went. She almost got out of hearing distance when she became the newest topic.

"Did you see the way that oldest daughter of hers was dressed? That thing she had strapped around her top that she called a shirt didn't have enough material in it to sag a clothes line. And the second one from the oldest was hanging all over that son of Henry's second son's wife. Her mother better get her straightened out or they'll be bringing a diaper bag to next year's reunion."

And so it went all afternoon. As soon as one left he or she became the topic of gossip so hot that it would scorch the hair right off Lucifer's horns.

So I sat there and discovered the secret of family reunions whether they be Rebel, Yankee or mixed company--listen, smile, nod occasionally and always be the last to leave!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Walkin' Two Miles...

You ever heard that old adage that says, "That broke me from suckin' eggs?" It comes from an old expression about a hound dog that liked to get in the chicken pen and eat eggs until one day he got crossways with a mama hen.

Well, that was very real to me several years ago and I flat out learned my lesson the hard way just like that hound dog did. It all started when my daughter said that we were going to walk two miles a day--before breakfast. She didn't say that we were going to attempt to walk two miles a day but that we would start with a reasonable amount and build up to the two miles within a year. No sir, she didn't and me not paying close attention was my first mistake.

Then she said we would drink two or three quarts of water each day which would be good for our muscles, all our insides, fat cells and I believe she mentioned something about ingrown toenails and gray hair. Again, I wasn't listening too closely because I figured that if I walked two blocks that morning I'd be ready for at least a gallon of water.

The first morning she arrived in her walking shoes, some kind of stretchy knee britches and a determined expression on her face that said this was some serious business. No jokes. No puns. No excuses.

I'd donned my stretchy knee britches and a long shirt to cover up a multitude of fat cells. The britches were necessary, she informed me, to keep our fat little thighs from rubbing together. Even though the thermometer on the back porch was not reading in the three digit numbers, I was afraid that much friction would set me on fire. I tied my walking shoes in a double knot so I wouldn't trip over the laces and I did my best to look as serious as she did.

Her legs are a good bit longer than mine so after that first block of doing double time to keep up, I'd started to pray that my britches would live up to the promise of keeping my thighs from going up in flames. Sometime during the second block, every fat cell in my boy started to moan and I started to sweat. I hate to sweat. I don't care if it's natural. I have never been accused of being a lover of nature.

"If we don't slow down your going to have to call the fire department and an ambulance," I huffed. My poor little heart was threatening to jump right out of my chest and race back home to the air conditioned house.

Good grief! This walking stuff was supposed to increase my cardio-vascular something-or-other and give me more lung power. My heart was tellin' me that I'd been lied to. And my lungs were screaming that they didn't need more power. My children were grown and grandmothers aren't nearly as prone to raising their voices as mothers are.

"You're walking faster than the speed of sound," I told her when we'd rounded the bend in the road.

"I'm hoping that we can build up to three miles by the middle of next week," she said without a hitch in her breath.

"Yeah, right!" I need oxygen. I had shin splits, chest pains and my feet were crying out in pain.

I survived the first leg of the journey, which was the mile mark she'd charted out. Now all I had to do was turn around and make it home. My mouth felt as if it had been swabbed out with cotton balls soaked in alum. But I managed to turn around and right there was a root beer bottle that someone had tossed out to the side of the road. It was half full and had a cap on it. I didn't care if the folks who tossed it had chicken pox, the flu or if the root beer was warm and flat. It was so hot that any self respecting germ had long since been fried and sent to that great germ place in the sky. I reached for it and my daughter kicked it over a barbed wire fence.

Lord have mercy! She could still kick a bottle like a football after walking a mile in the heat. I felt sorry for anyone who ever thought they were mean enough to tangle with her.

We made it back home where I collapsed on the sofa in a moaning heap. She made us each a tall glass of ice water and brought it to me. I wasn't sure if I wanted to drink it, pour it on top of my head or maybe soak my feet in it. It seemed a shame to waste it all on the inside of my body when the outside was in such pain.

Every day she arrived at my house at eight o'clock and at the end of the summer we weren't up to that three mile mark. She kept talking about the goal being four miles by Christmas. I couldn't burst her little dream bubble by telling her that four miles was her dream. It was my nightmare and if she pushed it past that two miles, I would jump the barbed wire fence and drink every drop of that root beer.

That all happened years ago and we stopped walking one week when the fall rains set in. Never got back to it but I did find my stretchy britches when I was cleaning out a dresser drawer. I trashed them in a hurry!

Y'all got an event in your life that broke you from suckin' eggs?