The Importance of Knowing the Time #Reblogs #TuesdayTidbit #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Note: I posted the following here a year ago. If you’ve read it before, I hope you’ll agree it’s worth a second look. If it’s new to you, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

***

In January of 2006, three months after Bill and I were married and two weeks before he suffered his first stroke, I learned the value of having an effective time piece. Bill and I took the bus from our home in Sheridan, Wyoming, to Fowler, Colorado, to visit Bill’s sister and other family and friends for a couple of weeks. In our haste to get to the Sheridan bus station at three in the morning, I forgot to put on my talking watch after showering and didn’t realize it until it was too late. The following excerpt from My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds describes a faux pas that occurred as a result of me not having my watch.

***

One morning, soon after we arrived in Fowler, Bill shook me awake and told me it was seven o’clock. Shirley’s cleaning lady was due at eight, and I didn’t want her to catch us in bed. At a quarter to eight, after having showered and dressed, I settled in a recliner in the living room with my radio and headphones.

Shirley wasn’t up yet, and this seemed odd. I also noticed that it didn’t appear to be getting any lighter. I tuned in a public radio station out of Pueblo, and after fifteen minutes of national news, a local announcer said, “Good morning. It’s six a.m.”

Barely able to contain my anger, I stomped into the bedroom where Bill was dressing. I didn’t want to yell for fear of waking Shirley. “You idiot! It’s only six o’clock.”

Bill laughed. “I thought my watch said it was seven.”

“Yeah, right,” I said, as I sat on the bed and took off my shoes. “That’s why I don’t use a Braille watch anymore.”

“Well, let’s go out to breakfast.”

“You go out to breakfast,” I said, as I lay on the bed and covered myself with the blanket. “I’m going back to sleep.”

I turned on my side and closed my eyes. I heard him leave and knew he was mad, but I didn’t care. As I drifted back to sleep, I vowed never to forget my watch again. Little did I know that this was the last trip Bill and I would take together.

***

How about you? Can you remember an instance when you didn’t have a watch or a way to tell time? What happened as a result?

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

-Christmas Morning Anticipation #TuesdayTidbit #Excerpt #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

 

Here’s another teaser from my latest book, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, which you can now download from Smashwords absolutely free until December 31st. See below for details. This little scene was published in the current issue of The Writer’s Grapevine, which you can read here. It’s Christmas morning, and sixteen-year-old Natalie and her ten-year-old sister Sarah, along with their dog and grandparents, eagerly wait for their parents to get out of bed, so they can open their stockings.

***

Chapter 30

 

Natalie

 

The next morning, Sarah shook me awake before it was light. “Natalie, wake up. It’s Christmas! Let’s see what’s in our stockings!”

“You know we can’t do that. We have to wait until everybody’s up. That’s the rule.”

Footsteps sounded in the hall, and someone tapped on the door.

“Come in,” we said.

The door opened, and Grandpa stuck in his head. “Grandma’s making hot chocolate. You girls might as well come down.”

“Are Mom and Dad up yet?” I asked.

“No, not yet, so be quiet.”

We put on our robes and slippers. Squeakers jumped out of his bed and wagged his tail. Sarah picked him up. “Come on, Squeakers. We put a stocking up for you. Let’s see what Santa brought!”

In the living room, as we did every year, Sarah and I gazed in wonder at the blinking lights on the Christmas tree, the packages underneath it, and the bulging stockings hanging above the fireplace. Grandpa was in one of the armchairs, his nose buried in a newspaper.

I noticed a box on the mantle above my stocking with a note pinned to it. I walked over to take a closer look.

Without lowering the newspaper, Grandpa said, “Don’t you dare! Sit down, and let’s wait for your parents.”

“I’m just looking,” I protested. I spotted a brand name on the side of the box. “Olympus! It’s a camera!”

Grandpa lowered the newspaper. “Why don’t you girls go see if your grandmother needs help with the hot chocolate?”

“Okay,” said Sarah, turning toward the kitchen. “Squeakers probably needs to go out, anyway.”

I reluctantly followed her out of the living room.

A few minutes later, we were all sitting in the living room, drinking hot chocolate. Sarah and I were on the couch with Squeakers between us, and Grandma and Grandpa were across from us in armchairs.

***

Now, I have one exciting event to announce, and I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of it. Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, The Red Dress, and My Ideal Partner are now absolutely free as part of the Smashwords end-of-year sale, which will run until December 31st. You can click here for more information and to download these books.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

A Christmas Party to Remember #OpenBookBlogHop #Excerpt #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “If you could invite anyone in the world to be your dinner guest, who would you invite?”

***

To tell the truth, I can’t think of anyone I would invite to my home for dinner. Although I enjoy eating dinner at other people’s houses, not being much of a cook, I’ve never relished the idea of having dinner guests.

On the other hand, my late husband Bill loved parties. After we became engaged in 2005, he threw a barbecue at his home, inviting at least fifty people, including members of my family. So, after he suffered his first stroke, I volunteered to host our annual Range Writers Christmas party, knowing how much he would enjoy the festivities and how difficult it might have been to get him into someone else’s house in his wheelchair.

Fortunately, it was pot luck. So, I didn’t have to do much cooking. And how did Bill thank me for my efforts? He hit on another woman. Well, he didn’t mean to do that. As you’ll see from the following excerpt from My Ideal Partner, being totally blind, he didn’t realize I wasn’t sitting next to him when he suddenly extended his hand and said, “I love you, honey.”

***

As I mentioned before, one side effect of a stroke is that the person has little control over emotions. Often while listening to a talking book or email message, Bill would start bawling because the material moved him. When I sat next to him, even in public, he frequently put his arm around me and told me he loved me. As we all sat in the living room, laughing and chatting, Bill extended his hand to the woman sitting on the couch next to his recliner, thinking it was me. “I love you, honey,” he said.

From across the room, I heard and saw everything. “Oh, sweetie, that’s Mary,” I said.

Embarrassed, Mary rose and offered to trade places with me. As I sat down next to Bill and took his hand, I said, “I turn my back for ten seconds, and you’re hitting on another woman.” He laughed, and so did everyone else.

After that, I always made sure I sat next to him at parties, and if that wasn’t possible, he always knew where I was.

***

How about you? If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be? You can click here to participate and read what other bloggers have to say.

***

Now, I have one exciting event to announce, and I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of it. Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, The Red Dress, and My Ideal Partner are now absolutely free as part of the Smashwords end-of-year sale, which will run until December 31st. You can click here for more information and to download these books.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Opening Just One Present #Tuesday Tidbit #Excerpt #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

 

When you were growing up, were you allowed to open just one present on Christmas Eve? The family in my new book, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, has this tradition. Below is an excerpt where they do just that. This part of the story is told from the point of view of Daryl, the father. Other characters include his wife Marti, his two daughters Natalie and Sarah, and his parents.

***

That night, as we usually did on Christmas Eve, we went to the early evening Mass, then ate a late supper of homemade oyster stew. Marti had inherited the recipe from her mother and perfected it over the years. After supper, we all gathered in the living room, where we would each open just one gift.

“I want to open the one from Natalie,” said Sarah. She searched among the packages and gift bags under the tree and soon found it.

The week before, Marti, Natalie, and I had bought the tree and decorated it, and Sarah hadn’t seemed to mind that we’d done this without her.

“Well, kitten, you might as well go first,” said Dad.

Sarah sat down between Natalie and me on the couch and tore into the present with gusto. I glanced across the room at Marti, expecting to see her grimace, since she liked to save wrapping paper. But for once, she only smiled.

Sarah must have read my mind, for she said, “Oops. I’m sorry, Mom. I promise I’ll be more careful with my other presents.”

“It’s all right, honey,” said Marti.

“What’s in there?” said Mom. “Show us.”

***

What’s in Sarah’s present? Why did she miss the tree decorating? Read the book and find out. By the way, it’s now absolutely free from Smashwords. Please see below for details.

***

Now, I have two exciting events to announce, and I hope you’ll be able to take advantage of one or both of them. First of all, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, The Red Dress, and My Ideal Partner are now absolutely free as part of the Smashwords end-of-year sale, which will run until December 31st. You can click here for more information and to download these books.

Also, I’ll be playing the piano and singing on Thursday, December 23rd, at noon mountain time at The Hub, here in Sheridan, Wyoming. If you live in my neck of the woods, you’re welcome to come and enjoy a delicious, nutritious lunch while listening to my music. If you’re unable to attend, you can view the event on Facebook, and a recording should be available later. You can click here to visit the event’s Facebook page. Again, I hope you can take advantage of these exciting events.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Trying to Avoid Grandma #ItsSixSentenceStoryThursdayLinkup #Excerpts #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Six-Sentence Story Thursday Link Up. This week’s word is “lost.” Here’s a six-sentence excerpt from my latest book, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me.

It’s Halloween night, and the nursing home, where sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother lives, is having a party. Children are invited to trick-or-treat. Residents are given candy to hand out, and staff and volunteers facilitate games for the children. In this scene, Natalie is trying unsuccessfully to get out of taking her ten-year-old sister there, since their grandmother no longer recognizes Natalie. As the scene opens, the family is at the dinner table, and Natalie’s mother is talking to Sarah about the party.

***

“I can’t guarantee they’ll have butterscotch, but I’m sure they’ll have other flavors you like.”

Sarah brightened, and Mom said, “Natalie, you promised yesterday. Please? After tonight, I promise you’ll never have to see your grandmother again.”

I looked to Dad for more help, but he only shrugged. “Whatever,” I said, turning my attention to my spaghetti, although I’d lost my appetite.

***

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above with her six-sentence prompt for this week. You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ six-sentence creations. If you live in the United States, I hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website