Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dog Hair in the Refrigerator

Many thanks to Heather Huffman for including my guest post in her "Writer Wednesday" blog series.
My husband and I operated a very exclusive doggie day care for the past year. We had only one client: our daughter and her boyfriend's exuberant German Shepherd mix named Toby. Either Erin or Elliot dropped him off at six each work day and picked him up about twelve hours later. They lived in an apartment. We have a yard and a doggie door, a doggie door my husband had permanently sealed (or so he thought) after the death of our last dog. We had no intention of getting another.

Don't get me wrong. I don't dislike dogs. I grew up on a farm. I rode horses, milked cows, fed chickens and pigs. We also had several dogs through the years, but they were "outside" animals. My mother would never consider allowing them indoors anymore than she'd invite the pigs or chickens into the family room. Read more . . .
Tom, Erin and Mozart in 2000

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 - What a Year!

I've never written one of those holiday letters some send in lieu of Christmas cards. But 2014 was quite a year, and sometimes you just need to share (or brag) a little.

The year began with a bang, and I'm not referring to the fireworks at midnight. Tom and I were with a sister and her husband at their island get-away. We were settling for dinner, but I couldn't relax. For some reason, I checked my phone. That's when I learned that my first novel, Running Secrets, had just been released.
There were more fireworks in February when Tom and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Because my life is dictated by an academic calendar, our real celebration had to wait until quarter break in late March when we flew to Paris for the first time. A week in the City of Lights and another exploring the hills of Provence was a second dream come true.
Erin's 25th birthday, Ride-to-Work and the beginning of bike training as well as the publication of my second novel, Biking Uphill, marked the month of May. I had a busy summer of promotional readings, intense bike riding and long hours of writing while Erin flourished at her new job at Harborview Sexual Assault and Trauma Center, and Tom continued laying business plans for a new venture into the world of legal recreational cannabis.
In July, my third dream came true when I stood at the podium of Seattle's premier book store, Elliott Bay Book Company, and celebrated the publication of Biking Uphill. The same month I rode my first century, and then August arrived and I completed RSVP, the 2-day, 200-mile bike ride from Seattle to Vancouver, Canada.
Throughout the summer, Tom struggled with weakness associated with a rupture hiatal hernia and the frustration of trying to find a home for his new business. For a normally healthy, can-do man, it was a tough time.
In October, we celebrated my 60th birthday at a cabin in the San Juan Islands. A few days later Tom was in surgery at the UW Medical Center. I took a week off work to be his Nurse Ratched. I'm certain he was relieved when his mother flew out for a visit, and I returned to teaching. By November he was slimmer, stronger and sexier than ever! And, he signed a contract on a new production facility for the business, fondly referred to as The Shack given the work needed to get it up to production speed. With a 15-minute commute in a city that seems to be exploding at the seams, he's not complaining.
 Thanksgiving was a quiet affair at our house. Tom still needed to be careful of consumption, and Erin and her boyfriend, Elliot, were traveling in Spain. Now Christmas has arrived. I'm busy with the final edits of my third novel, Walking Home. Tom's working like a madman at The Shack with plans of having Prohibition Gold edibles on the market by summer 2015. Erin, Elliot and Toby, the dog, just moved in with us - an austerity measure designed to save for a down payment on their first home.

The tree finally stands in the front window, the monster sofa moved in with the kids, and for the first time ever there's a television and a dog in my living room. It all goes to show that people can change. Even when we're old and gray!

Happy Holidays
 and Here's to All Your Dreams Coming True in 2015!