Friday, March 31, 2017
And saying that final goodbye when we know it's for the best--well, I don't like it either. It's the selfishness in us that wants to hang on to the ones that we love one more day, to say those things that we've put off sayin' and to get one more hug, to see one more twinkle in the eye at an inside joke.
That's the way I'm feelin' this week as I say goodbye to my precious brother-in-law, Dr. William D. Brown after he's fought a battle with cancer for the past 17 months. He's always been Brother Bill to me because for more than fifty years he's been my big brother. Being the oldest child in my own family, it's nice to have someone just a little older to share life with and to call my brother.
Way back in 1966 he and his new southern wife, Marge, were the first ones to welcome me into the Brown family. They stopped by Tishomingo, Oklahoma on their way from California to Arkansas to meet me. Then when Mr. B and I got married, Brother Bill was his best man and Marge was my Matron-of-Honor.
But I have one bone to pick with Brother Bill. While Mr. B and I were getting ready to go on our two day honeymoon, he decorated the car. It was a fine job and I truly felt like a new bride as we left in that little blue car. But, and there's always a but to a good story, he also fiddle with something under the hood before we left. Now the idea was that we'd made it about a block down the road and the car would stall out. We'd have to walk back (remember in 1966 there were no cell phones) and get help.
Only the plan didn't work the way it was planned.
We got all the way to Washington D.C. and that's when the car decided to stall out--at every red light! Do you know how many traffic light and stop signs there were in Washington D. C. fifty years ago? I do! Somewhere in the neighborhood of eight million. And those folks trying to get from point A to point B did not appreciate a car holding up traffic while Mr. B tried to get the car to start again. That's where I got my very first lesson in road rage and figured out exactly what that middle finger on a hand meant.
I was ready to park that car beside the Washington Monument and call my Poppa back in southern Oklahoma to bring me a wagon and a couple of mules. And the only thing that saved Brother Bill from the wrath of a southern Rebel when we made it back to Pennsylvania on Sunday evening was the fact that he knew how to fix the car.
As the older brother, he's gone on to pave the way for the rest of us that've been walking with him in this family for all these years. Selfish tears are shed and will be for days to come and we'll miss his humor, his example and his love. But (there's that word again) I'm so grateful that he's leaving me with a southern sister and I hope the two of us can make more memories as we travel down this road of life together. Lord knows, I'd have never made it through all these years without her. So hat's off Brother Bill for doing a good job while you walked on this earth. We love you and this song is for you...
LEAD ME HOME
We love you.
We miss you.
Dr. William D. Brown
April 3, 1943 - March 30, 2017
Friday, March 24, 2017
This picture pretty much says it all. Spring in Oklahoma means tornado weather
and we stay prepared...well, most of the time anyway.I remember a time when our three kids were young and it became one of those "dark and stormy nights" that Snoopy talks about. Then the tornado alert sounded and it was time to get serious about going to the shelter which was the underground elementary school about a block from our house.
I wasn't sure about the laws of child endangerment. Could the DHS come and take all three of them away from me if they found out I hadn't protected the little darlin's by takin' them to the shelter? I wasn't takin' a chance like that because my taxes had not been filed and I wasn't about to give up three deductions.
So I woke them all up from a dead sleep, made them get dressed and put on shoes. Of course we did have to get six stuffed animals for the girls and my son's hamster because it would have been the end of the world if they'd gotten blown away. Getting them all to the car was another trick since it had started to rain cats and dogs and baby elephants by then.
And that's when I realized I wasn't dressed. So it was a quick run between the raindrops back to the house to grab a robe. I sure didn't have time to get dressed and find shoes--no sir, that black cloud coming toward us meant business. So I slung my faded green robe over my pajamas which used to be purple but now were a washed out gray.
As I settled into my seat, Mr. B realized he'd forgotten his camera and it would be an unpardonable sin if he didn't get a picture of the tornado to send back to Pennsylvania to his brother. While he made a mad dash into the house to get the camera, I fastened my robe together with a couple of leftover diaper pins. The buttons had fallen off years ago but the pink ducky diaper pins kept me from being arrested for indecent exposure. (NOTE: My pajama top had a couple of holes in the chest area)
Finally, we were off to the shelter. Of course everyone in half the town of Davis had already arrived. Apparently, they didn't have to take along hamsters and stuffed Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald or a husband who had to have his camera. That meant the parking lot was full and we had to run in the rain for about half a block...did I mention that I didn't think to put on shoes?
We barely got into the cramped space when the all clear whistle blew. But, dear hearts, it was not before everyone in town saw my green robe pinned together with pink ducky pins or notice that I was barefoot. I shrugged and told them I was doing research and they all nodded--but I don't think the crowd of women with perfect makeup and wearing cute little hot pink yoga outfits believed me.
Mr. B was disappointed that he hadn't gotten to take a picture of the tornado. The kids simply went back to sleep when we got home. And me, well, I had a nice little funeral for my green robe. It had been with me through the birthin' of three kids and lots of good books read well into the night. It deserved a tombstone but our tax return wasn't big enough to buy one for it.
I invested in a fancy chenille robe with a zipper and some of those rubber shoes that you just slip your feet inside. And wouldn't you know it, the robe faded and one of the shoes got lost before we heard the sirens blowing again. But now the kids are grown and I don't have to worry about the DHS so when the tornado alert sounds, all I have to do is locate Mr. B's camera and light the oil lamps in case the electricity goes out.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
A little more of
Hot Cowboy Nights…
Hot Cowboy Nights…
Do you ever wish there was just a few more pages when you reach the end of the book? If only you could be at the wedding that was mentioned? Or maybe got to sit in the waiting room with the family when a new baby was about to be born?
A few months ago Hot Cowboy Nights hit the stands with Lizzy and Toby’s story in the Lucky Penny Ranch series. It got amazing reviews and made the USA Today Bestseller list.
And it also had an exclusive epilogue in the Walmart edition. On March 27, next Monday, that epilogue is going to be available for the folks who got their copy of Hot Cowboy Nights for an eReader or somewhere else other than Walmart. Again it will be an exclusive last chapter which will be published ONLY in my newsletter which goes out Monday, March 27.
If you’d like to go back and visit Lizzy, Toby and the family all you have to do to get that exclusive epilogue is sign up for my newsletter today. And it’s super easy…just fill in the two blanks at the top of my WEBSITE!