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Almost through the darkness of winter

It’s spring … oh, okay, maybe not yet. But it’s definitely time for spring, if you measure the length and severity of this winter. Just talk to anyone from Boston or Montreal, and you’ll see in their shell-shocked, still frozen eyeballs how badly we all need the season to get here. In fact, if you listen closely, you’ll probably hear the whispered chant: “6:45 P.M. March 20–if I can just make it to 6:45 P.M. March 20 …”???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

That’s the official time that spring begins in Eastern Daylight Time.

It’s been a hard and long winter and we all deserve the rebirth and rejuvenation we associate with this season. The English definition of “spring” is to pounce, to leap, to jump into activity. Water bubbling up from the ground is called: a spring.

So let’s pounce. Let’s bounce off the bleakness and cold of a severe winter and get into action.

For me and for mom that will mean looking forward to marketing and talking about our latest book: Violet Fate. It’s our favorite so far, but it came out during the worst winter of our life. We experienced the kind of loss that stops all action and all desire to plan the future—we lost my father, her husband.

As we were driving this week to pick up his last effects, we talked about what we are feeling now. We are still reeling, but we want to move forward again. And one of the feelings we recognize, when it comes to getting published is astonishment: who could have imagined just a few years ago that mom and I would have three books out and three more in action. Who would have thought that my sister Allyn would be a successful children’s book author with even more books in action than us or that she would inspire us to pursue this dream? Who could have imagined that mom and I would ever be called a “mother/daughter writing duo,” would appear on television, would give talks all over Northern Virginia? Who could have predicted Mom and I and Allyn would sweat together through the ups and downs of getting published.

We had to put our talks with Applebee’s about an official launch on hold to get through the loss of this winter. But we’re talking to them again, and we’re going to make it happen with one change: it will be a book party—a celebration of the surprises life has in store. Some of those surprises may include sub-zero weather and mounds of snow … and soul-wrenching grief. But others will start with what inevitably happens in spring: a seed germinates, spreads its tiny sprout through the nourishment of the soil where it’s placed, sticks its little head through to the sunshine, and if give enough food: grows into plants and finally flowers.

 

Genilee Swope Parente

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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My turn with the million

Genilee wrote last week about what she would do with one million dollars.  She suggested that maybe this week I could do the same because desires change with age.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Fifteen years ago, I would have bought my husband a new fancy new luxury car.  As Genilee said in her blog, that kind of gift would give me a personal thrill. Today, however, he might still want one, but I wouldn’t buy it. What good is a car to him or to me when neither of us can drive.  Fifteen or 20 years ago, I also might have chosen to take a long European trip, but that’s hard to envision today since we are both using canes and walkers. I can’t see how such a trip would be pleasurable.  However, I do have a substitute for that European jaunt―a worldwide cruise on a luxury liner.  That would be wonderful.  I don’t know how much we would be able to see of the different countries we visited, but I’m sure if I was that rich, I could work something out.

But before I take that trip, I think the first thing I would do with my million would be to give each of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren $50,000 to spend in whatever manner they wished.  I would also give monetary gifts to a few of my very good friends and to the Alzheimer Research Association in hopes that families in the future won’t have to go through what my family is experiencing.  Those few things would easily eat up about $600,000; then I’m figuring $200,000 for that cruise (like I said, I want a luxury liner.)  What was left, I’d put in the bank and then move my husband and I to an assisted living community I have visited and found ideal because of how cheerful the people are, how good the activity director is and what a great feel I had for the place (yes, Chancellor’s Village, I’m talking about you folks!).

I know all this will not sound very exciting to our younger readers (and we have many of them); but our desires change with age. Well, maybe desires isn’t the right word. I guess I mean our needs change.  I think our desires actually stay pretty much the same, but get adjusted as our daily realities change.

To be honest, though, I don’t think I will have to worry about any of this.  I don’t seem to be winning any lotteries, and I don’t think I can achieve a million bucks with $15 royalty checks from our books!  It’s surely a good thing we enjoy the writing and seeing our work in print―we certainly aren’t going to earn a million in my lifetime.  Maybe Genilee will reap a little of it someday.

Either way, it’s fun to dream!

F. Sharon Swope

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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