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Just a quick remodel update because the weather has been stormy.

We even got some SNOW!!!

This is a very good thing—we are way below our desired rainfall amount—but rain and snow does impede our siding efforts. Still, with the help of Paul’s brother, Don, who is visiting from South Dakota, we finished the west-facing side. I got to paint! 

Unfortunately, a storm moved in before we could move the scaffolding—and it’s been stormy off and on ever since. The fun just never ends around here, my friends. 😉 

One of the truly delightful parts of writing fiction is mining and exploring your characters’ unique personalities. The Sullivan sisters were born within minutes of each other, but they’re far from identical. Jenny is a leader, planner, teacher, worrier, and to my surprise: writer. Below, Sam reads aloud from the children’s book she wrote about her late husband:

       “’Josh was not a cowboy, but he loved his big brother, Sam, who was one. Every spring Josh would ride with the other cowboys to round up the cattle. He couldn’t ride as well as the others, and sometimes he’d fall behind and get lost, so Sam bought him a special hat—a green cowboy hat. This made Josh easier to spot.
       Josh loved his hat even though it was a little tight.
       He wore it to bed.
       His wife was not amused.
       This was not a good thing, but it wasn’t bad, either.’”

       Sam smiled and turned to the second page.

       “‘One day, Josh got sick. Real sick. The doctors told him he had cancer. He’d had the same thing once before when he was a little boy, and he thought he would get well with medicine. He took the medicine, but it made him too weak to chase cows. He still wore the green hat, though, when he sat on the fence and watched Sam and the other cowboys round up the herd.
       The medicine made Josh’s hair fall out.
       His hat fit better.
       This was a good thing, but it wasn’t perfect.’”

       Sam turned the page. Jenny saw him tilt his head to study her drawings. His lips flickered, and she knew which image he was looking at—Josh playing poker with four aces stuck in the band of his green hat.
       Sam cleared his throat then started again.

       “‘As sometimes happens, the medicine didn’t work. The doctors couldn’t think of anything else to do to help Josh’s body fight the disease. And Josh was getting very tired of fighting, anyway. He wanted to rest and laugh and remember all the good times in his life. His friends dropped by to play cards, and he always won. His family came to see him. Sam brought Josh’s favorite horse to the house. Some nice nurses made Josh very comfortable in a special bed where he could watch the birds and hear the sound of the wind in the trees.
       Josh died early one morning when the dew was on the grass, so you could see his soul’s footprints as he left.
       His family cried. Sam cried. The other cowboys cried, too.
       But Josh wasn’t in pain anymore.
       That was a good thing, but it was hard to say goodbye.’”

       When he lifted his chin, Jenny saw tears. He blinked them away before they could fall, but she saw them. After a moment, he turned the page.

       “‘Time passed, as time does. The green hat sat in a closet, getting dusty. But one day, a little boy named Tucker found it. He put it on and it fit just right. Like it had been made for him. He ran to his cowboy daddy and said, “Look what I found. Can I have it?” Sam smiled and told him, “It belonged to a special person. He was the best cowboy of all. He wore this green hat so everyone could see him doing his job. His name was Josh, and he was my brother.”
       Tucker wore the hat with pride.
       He wore it to bed.
       His mother was not amused.
       But Josh’s spirit looked down from above and smiled.
       This was a good thing. A very good thing.’”

       Sam passed his hand across his face, then closed the folder. “I don’t have the right words, Jenny,” he said gruffly. “It’s Josh. His spirit. The love he had for us. Thank you.”


Last week's Q&A was: Do you leave a light on at night?

Thanks for all the honest replies. I’d say the “Noes” took this one, but as we age, leaving a light on at night is probably a smart idea.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Jean Brown
Francis Castle

(Jean and Francis congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


This week’s Q&AHave you ever tried Zazen meditation? Yes or No?

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways:
email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.

Stay well, my friends, and happy reading,


Next week: Ensuite optics and Happy Birthday, JP!



Copyright © 2021 Debra Salonen