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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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Conquering the Dragon

Conquering the Dragon

My dear 85-year-old mom is caught up with this week in doing battle with Technology.

She bought a new computer and her kids bought her a new, higher resolution, flat screen, big bad monitor that we hope will help her with her failing eyesight.

I have to admire those my mom’s age who are brave enough to tackle technology (and yes, Verna, I’m including you!) It’s scary enough to have to face all the bells and whistles and foreign concepts that go along with cell phones and satellite technology and new operating systems. But to face it when you’re visually impaired like my ma and have no computer geek husband (my personal saving grace) to help you figure it out is beyond brave.

My mom knows the value of today’s technology, just as she knows the miracle of modern medicine (she’d be blind now if born 10 years earlier). Technology helped her reach this dream of becoming a published author. Of course, it’s also been the cause of many an afternoon of frustration such as a recent few hours spent trying to figure out how she’d turned her work upside down. And I mean that literally: her monitor showed a view that was flipped 180 degrees!

But thank goodness now for a free program my brother Mark found called NVDA (http://www.nvda-project.org/). It talks her through the commands on her computer and reads back what she types. And we’ve just discovered that Microsoft Windows has an access center provided with most computers that has a narrative aid (it reads the screen) and a magnifier. My sister in law Cindy also bought me Dragon Speak for Home, which allows you to dictate instead of type and works amazingly well.

However, having these wonderful technology tools available is one small step in the stupendously large task of learning how to use them. I am no great computer whiz myself, and I see just fine. But I can tell you that after playing with all of these in an attempt to set them up so that mom could get started just about drove me completely bonkers.

So we’ll check in with Sharon in a week or two and see if she still has her sanity as she tries to slay the friendly dragon.

Genilee Swope Parente

P.S.  We will be at Potomac Woods Apartments, 2001 Southampton Street, Woodbridge, VA 22191 Wednesday, March 20 at 11, and they have kindly invited the general public. Come see us, buy a book, get a book signed or just chat. We’ll be at Stafford Garden Apartments for a signing tomorrow at 1:30.

Genilee Swope Parente

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Christmas Miracles

This Christmas, God tied my present up with a big silvery bow and presented it to me early. It was the gift of wonder.
We feel wonder frequently when we’re little ones: discovering a four leaf clover in our own front yard, feeling the fragile softness of a baby kitten in our hand, seeing the lights of the Christmas tree we just decorated go on for the first time of the season.O
Most of us experience that balance of awe and warm happiness less and less the older we get. It still comes in giant stages—I remember exactly how I felt when I realized I was in love with someone I could spend the rest of my life with and when I saw my first sonogram of my daughter. But our adult daily lives are too often busy surviving the stresses of reality.
However, this Christmas, I became an author. And as I saw my book in print on ebook and then held it in my hands for the first time, I was filled with amazement and joy. What’s more, like many Christmas presents, I was able to share this one with my family, not just the sister who got both my mother and I writing, but the rest of the group of people I love, who have given mom and I so much support as we struggled through the phases of getting a book published.
Not very many people get to experience such pure satisfaction in their lifetimes. I have wanted to be an author since I was very little and have never been more fulfilled than seeing my own words come together the right way. But like most people, I allowed my adult realities to block out even the possibility.
And that, dear readers, is the source of the wonder. To believe again, as I did when I was small, that I can do anything if I look for the right path. To believe again, that good things do happen on their own—the world is not meant to be a cruel place. I know I was lucky to have found the right publisher; to have a sister that believed in herself enough to become a children’s book author; to have been born to a woman of creativity and a man who would support me even if I’d decided gutting fish was my calling in life. I also know I am blessed with a happy marriage and a happy teenager (yes, it can happen!).
But I also know that what I feel when I see my book is a gift.
I wish I could pass it along to every person who reads these words. But that’s now how it works. Instead, I just want to say: find your own path to wonder. It can be a rocky road, but none of those rocks is big enough to prevent you from moving forward if you’re driven by passion.–Genilee Swpe Parente

Twist of Fate is now available in both print and ebook at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. The first author signing event occurs Monday, December 17 at Victoria Apartments, Woodbridge, Virginia. AND CHECK OUT THE INTERVIEW ON ALLYN STOTZ’s BLOG: http://allynstotz.blogspot.com/2012/12/author-interview-f-sharon-swope-and.html.

Thanks, Allyn!

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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