Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Into Spring. Please.

Since I last wrote to you, we’ve had three snowstorms.  In North Carolina.  Where it never snows.  Two weeks ago we had snow.  All Monday night the news shows concentrated on the weather.  They asked us to stay home so they could lay salt brine on the roads.  For the next few days, the bottom of the TV screen continually ran the list of what schools, businesses, etc. would be closed due to the storm.  We didn’t get a lot of snow, but the temperature dropped and the snow froze on top.  I couldn’t open my front or side doors because of the snow/ice ridge that blocked them. 

By Wednesday, I took our handy dandy hoped-we-would-never-have-to-use-it snow shovel and chopped away at the snow on the front porch in order to get the door open.  Then I ventured, very carefully across the porch, down the steps, and over to my car to go get two days’ worth of mail that had been accumulating in my mailbox.  The temperature didn’t get above freezing for days.  Finally, on Friday, it got up to 36 degrees and I once again ventured out to get milk and another two days of mail.  That was one super cold week; space heaters were on in whatever room I was in.

Last week on Monday night the screens were again filled with schools and business closings and frantic newscasters.  I woke up Tuesday to just over two inches of light, fluffy snow on the porch, car, and everything else.  It was so light, I could sweep it off with a broom.  Wednesday got a little warmer and melting was in full force. Then, Wednesday night, we were advised to stay off the roads so the brine could be spread and we were to stock up for a possible four to five days of being snowbound.  I needed groceries anyway, so I joined what seemed like the whole town of Garner at the grocery store to assure my existence.

Thursday, I woke up to just over an inch of snow.  The snow had turned to rain, leaving the white stuff heavy and crusty.  I shoveled a path across the porches just so I could get to the steps and to the trash can.  I looked out the kitchen window and had to laugh when I saw icicles hanging off the roofs of my birdhouses. Talk about a flashback to growing up in Vermont.  We used to have huge icicles hanging from the roof to the ground all around the house as though we lived in a crystal prison.  Oh yeah, I LOVE snow.  Ha.

The only person I know of that enjoyed this lovely weather was the little two-year-old next door who was outside in snowsuit, boots, mittens, and scarf, playing in the snow. 

As I write this, yesterday was in the sixties and tomorrow is supposed to be in the seventies.  I say, “It’s about doggone time!”  This is the South, after all, and it’s not supposed to get this kind of weather.  I read that the average temp for Garner for February is fifty-eight degrees.  Ha!  We barely got above forty for the entire month of February.

Have I vented enough?  After thirty years of living in San Diego, putting on a coat EVERY time I walk outside is for the birds.  Spring, I'm ready for you!
Quote of the Day: When men were all asleep, the snow came flying/In large white flakes falling on the city brown. Robert Bridges


Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Painted House

John Grisham wrote a book called, A Painted House.  Well, I now live in a newly-painted house and am loving it.  There are no cotton pickers or mysteries surrounding my house as there were with Grisham's; nevertheless, it is a much brighter color than it was.

 Then            Now

Obviously I can't hold a camera straight, both pictures are crooked, but you get the idea.

I had a bit of a mold problem that my daughter discovered just before Christmas. We let the office at the Indian Creek community know about it and they immediately sent men right out to clean and seal the windows, inside and out.  Then when the weather warmed a little more, they began working on my house in earnest--taking off the shingles and stripping the house right down to studs and insulation.  I had large sheets of plastic covering the front half of the house for four days. When all the leaks and bad areas were taken care of and sealed, they put new siding  on. Then ran pipe under the porch to collect the rainwater that runs down the road so it will channel off to the side, away from the house.

The shutters, gutters, porch lights, house numbers, and doorbell were taken off, and kept off, until the house was painted.  I asked the office if I could have the house painted yellow and they agreed.  For two days the painters had all the windows and doors covered with plastic as they spray painted the house.  I couldn’t see outside for those two days, but then, it was so cold there wasn’t much to see.

The shutters and gutters still need to be put back on, but I wanted you to see my bright new home.  It will look so much better when the shutters go back on and I plant roses next to the walk. 

Quote of the Day: Painting is silent poetry, and poetry painting that speaks.  Simonides 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Start of a New Book

By  now you've all heard about my novel, Willard Manor.  Probably more than you ever wanted to!  Well, for the last few months, I've been working on a prequel to that novel, meaning it's the back story of one of the book's characters. 

The new novel is called Leaving Mark and I want to give you a taste of it by giving  you the prologue.  Here is how the book starts:

Leaving Mark

July 16, 1957.  Shots were fired.  The peace and quiet of the New Haven Green was shattered as people scurried in all directions desperately trying to find a place to hide.  The bearded hot dog vendor cried out then crumpled to the freshly-cut grass, relish dripping into his puddle of blood.  A woman, dressed in a navy blue suit and heels, fell backwards, her briefcase scattering its contents on the Green.  Attorney Leonard Fortier, who left his office in the Fisher Building to grab a quick lunch, was shot as soon as he stepped outside.  The wild-eyed gunman then aimed the gun at himself and pulled the trigger.

Survivors waited until no more shots were heard before cautiously emerging from their hiding places.  They looked in stunned silence at the carnage.  The New Haven Green quickly came to life as a building security guard put in a hurried call for help and onlookers came to the aid of those who were dead or injured.Flashing lights of ambulances and police cars, their sirens screaming, ascended on the grizzly scene and, as if out of nowhere, television and newspaper reporters appeared, rushing to get the scoop only to be shooed away by the police.

When the shooting began, Eleanor Rawley had been sitting on a bench enjoying her hot dog.  After the first shot, she crouched behind the bench  and from that vantage point saw her boss, Attorney Fortier, exit the building and collapse on the grass.  When it was all over, she ran to her boss calling his name, but when she saw his blood pooling on the walkway, she let out a scream and collapsed next to him.

Eleanor came to in the arms of a New Haven policeman.  He checked her for any visible wounds while an EMT tended to Len.  In a shaky voice, Eleanor said, “We have to call Mabel . . . his wife!”

The Green was buzzing with first responders, ambulances and gurneys.  Cries and wails were loud enough to be heard over the sirens.  Inside the lobby of the Fisher Building, people lined up at the two pay phones.Ten minutes ago the Green had been a peaceful refuge from stuffy law offices; now, four people lay dead. 

And Mark‘s life would be forever changed. 

Stay tuned for more to come.

Quote of the Day: Books cannot be killed by fire.  People die, but books never die. Franklin D. Roosevelt