Remembering

As I set out to photograph the flowers around my apartment complex, I couldn’t help remembering my grandmothers: Lela (paternal) and Marie (maternal). Both are dead now, one as recent as 2011. Seems fitting to think of them on Memorial Day. Though neither fought in a war—Memorial Day being a day to pay honor to military service people—they were soldiers nevertheless. Just not in the military.

    

In keeping with my habit of not posting family photos (I’m writing this blog under a pen name after all), I will not post photos of my grandmothers. (Sorry to disappoint.) Instead, think of the flowers I photographed as representing my grandmothers. 🙂

Now, what do I mean by soldiers? Imagine being dirt poor and having kids to raise. You fight a battle against despair every day. But you have to win this battle for the sake of your kids. Both of my grandmothers had large families—my paternal grandmother having nine children, and my maternal grandmother having fifteen. You read that right. Two of my mother’s siblings did not live to adulthood.

My grandmothers didn’t go to college. One grandmother didn’t even go to high school. But all of her children did. College too. Both grandmothers wanted their children to have a better life than they did.

    

When I was a kid, my family spent many a weekend traveling to Pontiac, Michigan, to visit my paternal grandparents, and many a summer’s day driving to see my maternal grandmother in Lake Providence, Louisiana. We never thought about the fact that my grandparents were poor. They loved us, and we loved being with them.

My paternal grandmother taught me to crochet. My maternal grandmother taught me to be generous even if I have next to nothing to give. That was how she lived.

Some people talk about antiques or trust funds passed on to them by grandparents. Neither of my grandmothers had much to leave anyone. But they left something money couldn’t buy—a legacy of resilience, faith, and unselfishness. Not to mention precious memories of time spent with them. Their personalities imprint just about every story I write (and even one that I ghostwrote under a different name).

   

This Memorial Day, I also remember the people of Manchester and the victims of the bombing at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22. My blogger friend Laura said it best in this post. She provided excerpts from a post and comments by another blogger friend, Andy, who lives in Manchester. Many of you follow his City Jackdaw blog.

Memorial Day also is a day for me to remember that I’m giving away two books.

    

Thanks to the random number generator, the winner of The World’s Greatest Detective is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Nancy Hatch!

The winner of Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L. M. Montgomery is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Jill Weatherholt!

Nancy and Jill, please comment below to confirm. If either of you would prefer an eBook to a physical copy of the book, please let me know.

Rosie Bloom is shocked to discover that the flowers she planted came up crocheted. She plans to contact the seed company to demand answers.

Photos by L. Marie. Rosie Bloom by Moose Toys.

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And Now for Something Completely Different

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Another long overdue post, and one with a random photo of a speckled Sussex hen no less. Rest assured: this hen has absolutely nothing to do with what you’re about to read.

After my bitter diatribe the other day, it is with great irony that I announce the following award nominations. (I just learned of another recently that I’ll discuss in a later post. The following nominations were made awhile ago.)

The always wonderful and lovely Patty of Petite Magique nominated me for the Best Moment Award. Please pop over and say hi, then gaze at all of the awards she has won!

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The quiet but deeply awesome Shooken over at Shooken nominated me for . . . I know this is difficult to believe, but here goes . . . the Super Sweet Blog Award. Stop by there and see why Shooken earned this award and others.

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Thank you both very much. I enjoy your blogs. Being nominated is quite an honor. Sadly, these nominations will have to remain that—nominations—at least for now. This week is crunch time for me. I’ve got a few writing projects going, one of which involves a mini-deadline this week. Plus, like Marvel Entertainment, I’m gearing up for phase 2. Only in my case, I’m talking about phase 2 of the writer’s process interviews, one of which will be posted on Tuesday.

So, I’m beginning to feel like Fry here.

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But I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you both for this lovely gesture of appreciation. 🙂

Once again, thanks to all who read my blog and put up with random photos of chickens.

Hope everyone has a great Sunday and a wonderful Memorial Day (or a Happy Monday to those of you in other countries :-)). Please take time to remember loved ones who have passed on, and those who remain. And see Star Trek: Into Darkness if you can. It’s totally worth it.

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Hen photo from wikipedia.org.