Category: traveling

One More Week

My husband and I are leaving on a trip next week. It has been a bit of a challenge to get organized for a trip and Christmas at the same time but everything is coming together. I think all the shopping is done—I have one more medication to pick up, but all the presents are bought and awaiting wrapping. There is plenty of wrapping paper and tape.

We are planning to have a family Christmas on Saturday with presents and a festive meal. The kids requested Dad’s meatloaf complete with mashed potatoes and peas (my suggestion, I like peas.) We can make it fun without trashing the whole kitchen.

Our son is living with us at the moment, but he has lived far away and has experienced a number of Christmases without Mom and Dad, but our daughter has always lived close-by and this will be her first. She has plans to spend the day with friends and invited her brother. I am sure they will have fun.

This is the first time my husband and I have been away from home for Christmas since we were first married. We will be celebrating our forty-first anniversary on this trip all packed in with Christmas and New Years. I am really excited. We are going to explore new places and see new things and old friends. There will be some time for relaxing in there too!

Right now, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Some Thoughts about Thanksgiving

(This was written the week before Thanksgiving, I’m running behind with posting!)

I’m sitting in a nice coffee shop this afternoon. There is a fire in the fireplace and I am here with some writer friends. We write a bit, chat a bit and drink delicious coffee. I am thankful that I am able to do this. The café is run by a local church so they have nice music in the background and a playground room next door.

Today, they have Christmas decorations out. The trees are covered with little white lights, and the throw pillows have snowflakes on them. It is festive, but not garish. I’m feeling the mood for the holidays begin to blossom.

My husband and I are planning a major trip in December this year. We have less than a month before we go—a month that includes two holidays! (The trip is in two weeks now.)

I am set for Thanksgiving, except for some last minute shopping, and most of the Christmas shopping is done. That is a new one for us, since we have been known to hit the stores on Christmas Eve. It is nice to get everything done ahead of time. Things were also eased by the fact that I asked our kids what they wanted. Yay! Of course they still add things to the lists, but we can cope with that.

I have plans to decorate the house on Friday or Saturday this week. I don’t like to rush the season, but this year I want the decorations out so we have plenty of time to enjoy them before we leave. Our family Christmas is planned for December 17, then our church Christmas dinner is on the 18. We set off on our journey on the 20. Things will be busy between now and then!

Meanwhile, I am concentrating on being thankful. I have a wonderful family and two of my children live nearby. My middle son is in the Air Force, so he has to go where they send him. I am thankful for his desire to serve, and for his safe return from deployment.

I am thankful for our house, and our friends. My writers group is important and I have known some of them for 18 years. We have a great church family, and nice places like this café to meet in.

All in all, life is very good.

O is for On the Road

August has been an “on the road” month for me, even if I didn’t wander far from home. The first trip was the farthest—my husband and I drove to St. Louis so I could attend Realm Makers 2015. This is a conference for writers of speculative fiction, and it has become my favorite conference. I love connecting with my tribe and the teaching is fantastic. As an added bonus, we can wear costumes to the banquet. This conference has grown from 75 people the first year, to 150 this year.

After I got home, did my laundry and caught my breath, I was off to the Sunbury River Fest with a couple of friends to set up a booth to sell our books. Tonya sold the most—she happened to see the most people she knew. Susan dressed her brand and got comments on her Barrel Racing prize buckle. I thought my Realm Makers T shirt would gain some attention, but alas, not. The comment I heard the most was, “I didn’t know any authors lived around here.” We always countered with a comment about our local critique group West Branch Christian Writers, but inside I wondered where they thought authors lived.

I thought I had some time to breathe, but last Friday one of my friends called to ask me if I had decided not to go to Women of Faith. I wrote it down wrong in my calendar! She said they were all at the church waiting so I grabbed my toothbrush and a bag and off I ran. I felt a little like Bilbo—off in an adventure without a handkerchief. I am so glad I made it. This year is the last for the Women of Faith tour; they are changing things up next year. It will be called Belong and is geared to meet the younger women. I soaked up the farewell messages from my favorite speakers: Thelma Wells, Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Meberg, and Sheila Walsh.

No breathing this week either. Next weekend I will be able to join West Branch Christian Writers at their first Book Fest. I got a tent and a canopy so I’m good to go. I hope it is not too hot. We were saved at the River Fest by the stand next to us that sold lemonade by the quart! I will be prepared this weekend with a thermos of water.

This is a new venture for our group, but I think it will be a good time to showcase our authors and what we write. Let me tell you, there will be something for everyone, every age.

I hope I sell a few books too.