When Patrick and I built our house, we had quite a debate over the type of fireplace we would have. I wanted to be done with the mess of the old fashioned wood burning fireplace. I hated cleaning it out and the constant trail of dirt, moss, and whatever that fell from the logs onto the floor. Bringing in more wood, meant bringing more of a mess. It was a problem. And it wasn’t just the mess. It was the constant wadding up of newspaper, splitting little strips of kindling, and digging deep into the wood pile for dry wood. Just getting the fire started was a job in itself. Keeping it going was another situation all on it’s own. It was basically, no fun.
My family is approaching the first holiday season without our Jackie; Mother of seven, Grandmother of twenty three, Dads wife of sixty two years. It will be tough, I’m sure, her place beside Dad glaringly empty. We could be miserable and tearful and resentful to God for taking her away. Yet her time had come, just as every ones will, and I have decided to be grateful on our day of thanksgiving for all the years of love and laughter we shared with the woman who brought us so much joy. I have found some great pictures of Mom in our overflowing box of photos that never made it into an album. She is young in many of these, vibrant and embracing life. Just looking at these pictures brings her back into focus. She will never really leave us, never in spirit anyway. I think I’ll pack them up and bring them along for the rest of the family to enjoy on Thanksgiving day.
Now that it’s November, this is the view from outside our car windows, regardless of the time of day. It’s dark and foggy and there’s no way around it. We have become moles struggling to get around in the dark. We get up and go to work in the dark. We leave work and go home in the dark. We pick up groceries in the dark and go for a run in the dark. If I had it my way, every light in the house would be on all winter long. I would add lamps to every corner old man winter lurks, driving him out with my make believe sunshine. I’d turn the heat up to eighty degrees, wear shorts and a tank top and sip ice tea while listening to music from the Caribbean. I’d wear sunscreen.
Don’t ya just love em! I don’t know how anyone lives without a dog. I swear, they work hard at their job and their job is keeping us in line. Our dogs tolerate very little laziness in our lives. They cut us no slack and demand a good long brusque walk every morning regardless of the weather or anything else. A hip replacement isn’t excuse enough for our dogs. Morning and evening we are expected to get out that door and make it count. God bless em! Dogs are honest. They tell us we’re bugging the heck out of em by getting up and moving away from us, leaving the room, going under the bed, growling. No bad words exchanged, just bug off before I bite your face off. It’s refreshing, isn’t it? We always know right where we stand.
Remember when every one of us girls wanted to be “Jeanie” for Halloween? If it wasn’t Jeanie, it was a look close to it. Sexy, adorable, alluring. We had flat tummies, trim thighs and firm arms. Everthing was right where it was supposed to be. Weren’t those the days? Now, we’re rushing out the door to get those priests and nun costumes featuring long black flowing robes that leave us covered from head to toe, before they’re sold out. It’s also fun at this age to be pumpkins or M & M’s or a full moon as the costume intentionally adds forty extra pounds to our frames, but looks cute as a bug, or so we tell each other. This year, I wore an old fashioned flapper dress. It was longish, and covered me well. I like all the fringe because it kind of covers up whats underneith. I had a fluffy pink boa that shed everywhere I went but also covered me up because it was wrapped around my arms and neck and everywhere. I also wore a nice feathery something or other on my head that kind of took care of the hair. Not only that but my legs were well hidden in black stockings…
Adeline, my novel, is scheduled to be released the end of January, 2011. As time is moving quickly and January is only three months away, I thought it would be fun to post the prologue to Adeline, and hopefully spark a little interest. I hope you enjoy it. Adeline By: Mary Ann Hayes PROLOGUE I’m going to tell you a story, and believe you me, it’s true. So you just remember that when you feel your eyebrows rising and your mind saying she must be crazy. It isn’t crazy at all, it’s just the truth. Might be hard to believe, but life is full of surprises and you just never know what’s coming your way. Now, I know I never should have gone out there in the first place. I mean I know I’m old, eight seven is getting old I suppose, but it doesn’t mean I have to quit living and I’m sick and tired of everyone expecting me to. Anyway, if I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t be saved right now. I’ve had a battle going on my whole life, since I was a little girl. I never could understand how my sister slept through the battle that…
We’re not so old anymore, me and my peers. We’re wiser than we’ve ever been, tougher than we ever imagined we could be, and still as physically fit as we were twenty years ago. Maybe more. Definitely more. Oh… and we’re very sexy now. We used to be cute, but now we’re drop dead sexy. It is no longer a mere suspicion poking around in the back of my mind. It’s a for sure real deal. How do I know this? Because almighty Hollywood has confirmed it and they always get their way. If you have doubts, just go see the movie RED. Never mind that reality is totally out of reach on this one, the fact is, it makes a point that I’ve decided to take to heart; the older we get the better we really do get! Ignore the ridiculous shoot em up business, the constant riddle of machine gun fire we see while examining our aging idols pearly white teeth and the sparkle in their still bright blue eyes. And for goodness sakes, don’t read too much into how they can take a bullet without it becoming more than a minor inconvenience. Old is wild! It’s out…
A new week begins. A fresh start. Monday morning presents us with an opportunity to make the next seven days count; I mean really count! Monday has had a bad rap for as long as I can remember. For most of us it’s the beginning of a long work week and the end of the cherished weekend. Most of us tend to resent it. But what if it’s the kick start to five days of accomplishments; goals being met, problems being handled and maybe even solved? What if Monday became a day of celebrating the chance to do better this week than last, to smile, to laugh, and to love more?
Once upon a time, there lived an old ghost. His old bones were covered in seaweed and barnacles and he wanted nothing more than to have them discovered, cleaned up, and buried properly. Why did everyone else get to rest their weary bones in peaceful places, yet his were left in the cold and the wet with sea life growing all over him? It was tiring wandering the earth as he was, waiting for rescue. Rest would come only after having his old bones discovered and removed from the bottom of the slimy bog where they lay for the past one hundred and twenty three years. He had done all he could to lure the curious nature lovers to the bog over time. Yet, so obvious were his ghostly activities, that the bog gained a reputation as being frighteningly haunted. And for good reasons! Consequently, it had become nearly impossible to lure the living to his unpleasant place of unrest.
The Chase His lungs ached, ready to burst, yet he had no choice but to keep running faster than he ever knew he could. There was the deafening sound of a rushing river up ahead. He knew it wouldn’t be in sight until he was flying through the air, hurtling himself off the cliff he was closing in on. He twisted his neck and shot a glance behind him. Survival mode kicked in. His legs pumped harder, thighs burned and calves threatened to cramp. There wasn’t a choice. It was jump or… he shuddered. He’d jump, of course. Would the pursuer have second thoughts? After all, it was a good thirty foot drop into frigid rushing water whirl-pooling around jagged rocks and masses of tangled debris. It was possible, wasn’t it, that he’d escape?