Jump to the Side

I’m in league with any woman who can keep more than one romance alive at a time. I’ve known readers who had several novels going at the same time. That bothers me.

Just the thought of reading more than one novel at a time makes me feel dirty. It is an act of literary infidelity. I’m not one to judge (of course, I am!), but when a reader engages with a protagonist, there is an agreement to bond until the end of the novel for better or worse.

I have also had a hard time writing more project at a time. However (here we go), I have been attempting to because I have more time to write than ever before. I’ve been working on a future Pulitzer prize for an eternity (if two years qualifies as an eternity).

All this is to say, we’ll leave the rich witch and the village people (haha! I amuse myself again!) to jump to this side of serious in the next story.

Introduction to Jumping to the Side

Where are the people who knew her when she was healthy? She moved on to the next town, the next state, the next adventure. Leaving them behind, she didn’t know what to say to stay in touch or didn’t want to. Now the adventure is bridging lost words across broken neurons.

On the Road Again

Another day. Another year.

I have reinvented myself so many times, I am getting dizzy. Oh, I am wrong. I fell and hit the back of my head on the sidewalk Easter morning, 2017. That is why I am dizzy.

My concrete business (yet another identity) was really taking off before then.  I worked hard that summer or tried to. However, seniors do not recover from concussions. Ever. They just get another new identity and a new diagnosis. Post-concussion Syndrome.

  • Bunnies. I have become a crazy bunny lady with far too many bunnies in my home.
  • Writing. I did Nanowrimo, a writing challenge, last month. Now finishing the novel I began earlier this year.
  • Facebook user. Group administrator. Two groups – NANO 365 and Central Illinois Writers Group.
  • Blogger. Stay tuned for more about bunnies and writing. I am still trying out this new identity in full, public view. Crazy, huh?

Music in the Cabin

Favorite Music Videos

I hadn’t been listening to music since Dave died until recently. Now, I mostly listen to happy music. No surprise, Pharrell Williams first comes to mind. The sad stuff makes me cry. There are times I need the sad stuff. Yesterday was Freddie Mercury’s birthday, the lead singer of Queen. Remember? We Are the Champions. It was also the birthday of a friend of mine who has convinced herself she is Janis Joplin incarnate. That’s cool.

Janis Joplin

Last night, I was looking for reggae music videos, happy and bouncy, as a good motivator for writing and cutting loose any inhibitions. It was suggested in a blog by Joe Bunting to Write Like Jazz, but I don’t like jazz. I like reggae. I found Bob Marley and pinned Stir It Up to my Pinterest board and then Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright.  Both great songs, positive smooth stuff.


I stumbled across Bobby Mc Ferrin Don’t Worry Be Happy before I fell flat on my face. Not really. I was in bed. Big surprise for me! There was Mc Ferrin with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra … dang, he is talented! I didn’t know about his background in classical music, the amazing range of his voice (think Ave Maria)  and “had me giggling in bed” sense of humor!

bobby mc ferrin


Dave and I didn’t listen to music very often. When we did, it had significance. The radio in his old Caddie didn’t work. He loved that piece of junk. (We once carried ten foot metal poles tied to its roof from an auction to home.) There was the time that I was mad at Dave and told him that Cher’s Believe was the best break-up song ever and then I played it really loud. (Yes, I can be that bitch.)

At the point where I couldn’t allow our friendship to go to the next level, I needed to get honest with Dave. There were some things, personal stuff, that I had to talk to Dave about. I was putting it off as long as possible. Then one evening, we were watching Julia Roberts in the movie Dying Young. Julia was a very young new actress. I had never heard of the movie. She is betrayed (of course) by her boyfriend and then goes to work for a man (Campbell Scott) who also betrays her but in a different way. He kept something from her because he loved her so much and didn’t want to lose her.

Dying Young       This really struck a nerve for me.

I started crying. Couldn’t stop. I had been keeping something from Dave and then I just blurted it out. No thought about what I was going to say or how best to say it. Just said it between sobs. Dave froze. He didn’t give me a single clue about what he was thinking. I got up and ran out the door.

The next day, I hated myself. Felt so damn stupid. I wanted to talk to Dave and didn’t want to have to face him again. All at the same time. I took my usual walk which took me past his house. We each had a house on the lake at the time and this was the one road around the lake (true). Dave saw me and called out to me. Could we talk for a minute? Sure, I said, though not at all sure.

I apologized for how clumsily I had blurted out something that should have been discussed. He said he needed to apologize too. I couldn’t imagine what for. He said, “During the movie, you asked me to dance with you. I should have been the one to ask you to dance. I’m sorry. I want to make it up to you.”

He went over to a pile of old 33 RPM records and put one on the record player. He offered me his hand and I stood up and we danced. If I hadn’t been in love with him before (and I was), I was certainly in love with him then. Dave said, “You have brought music into my cabin. I thought that was no longer possible.” He asked if we could still be friends. That was it. Just the dance to the scratchy record he had probably gotten at an auction.

Bucket List

There is a vintage Airline Acoustic guitar about as old as I am sitting in its case in a corner of my bedroom gathering dust. I bought it while at an auction with Dave. I told him I wanted to sign up for guitar lessons. His eyes widened and he said, “I would love it if you learn to play the guitar. Do it!” Learning to play that guitar is now on my bucket list. If Dave hadn’t gotten sick, I would have taken guitar lessons.  I was supposed to die before Dave did. Nothing happened the way it was supposed to. It never does.

What do YOU want?


“What do YOU want?” is the question that the hospice nurse asked. Dave called him “Bob the Pill Guy.” A few days after Dave had died and I was talking to Bob the Pill Guy on the phone, he asked the question “What do YOU want?” Repeated it two or three times. Because I didn’t have an answer, I just kept saying “I don’t know.”


First, there was the fog of grief. Going through the motions. Then it was evident to my family that I had to DO something. They convinced me to buy a house of my own. So I did. A fixer-upper. I needed something to do and that fixer-upper was months and months worth of doing. You will see for yourself when I get pictures up in later posts. Once I was moved into the house, I was doing things I had done before like quilting and going to auctions. You’ll see that stuff later too.


Still not feeling excited about being alive. By now it is Spring and I am working in the yard which hadn’t had any attention for years. I happened to see on Pinterest some DIY concrete garden stones. Of course, I pinned it to my Pinterest board. Very soon I was mixing concrete, sweating and lifting and I loved it!


One Friday morning, as I was driving through town, I noticed that the Farmer’s Market had opened for the season. That was the moment I started feel excited about being alive. A moment of inspiration. Clarity! I was going to start selling my garden stones at the Farmer’s Market! I thought I might make a little money, but something more important hit me. I would be out in the public, meeting people, talking to people, sharing my beautiful garden stones. That made me feel good about myself, good about being part of the community, and good about being alive!  It was summer and I wasn’t teaching at the community college. I had plenty of time to make more and more stones, load them up in the trunk of my car, throw a couple card tables in the back seat and there I was … selling garden stones at the Farmer’s Market!


Much has happened in the last couple years. Now, it is time to start writing again. Before, all I could write about was my sorrow, the loss of my darling Dave. Finally, though I haven’t forgotten all that I’ve endured, I can think about all that I have done and learned to do, all the projects that made my house a home and the fun I have had doing them. I have Oreo, the black lab that showed up at our door on the Thanksgiving before Dave died. I have stories to tell. I have a community, a huge global community. I found “sisters and brothers” on Facebook that I have never met. They carried me around the clock through eight months of Dave’s illness and still have my back today.


Dave was smart about getting information. Not like tech-smart, not at all, in fact. But he knew how to draw information out of people before they realized what he was after. Early in our relationship, before we were lovers, we were riding our bicycles around the lake. We did that at least once a day during this flirtatious but guarded period. I don’t remember exactly what we had been talking about, but Dave then said, “Maybe we should pray about it.” My response was “You go right ahead and do that if it will make you feel better, but I won’t.” And Dave started laughing. He was fishing, testing our compatibility in the spiritual realm. Apparently, I passed. l didn’t live in the spiritual realm, at least not in an organized religion kind of way and neither did he. We had no reason to talk about it any further until during his illness. He said he didn’t want to hear that people were praying for him. I think he did like knowing that they were thinking about him or, at least, that was how I felt about it. For me, it was just as I had first told him, if it makes a person feel better to pray, then pray your heart out. I didn’t mind hearing that people were praying for both of us. In fact, I like that we were in their thoughts, that they cared. Still, the reality was that Dave was going to die of complications from Stage 4 glioblastoma, in other words brain cancer. I would have to figure out how I was going to go on without him.


My world is expanding. That is what happens when you choose love over hate, Otherwise, bitterness pulls the walls in closer and the world folds in on top of you.  My world is larger and now it includes you. I am grateful. I am excited about being alive! Thank you for joining the storytelling, for being a part of the conversation. Please leave your comments below. I want to know what you want to do. I hope you will come back and we will visit again…