The Earring Debacle #Wednesday Words

When I was thirteen years old, I couldn’t get motivated to do much reading on my own, due to my visual impairment. I preferred to have my mother read to me instead. One book we read together was about a Jewish family in New York who had five girls and one boy. It was part of a series that I believe was called All of a Kind.

One of the girls in the story, who was my age, had her ears pierced. I found this process horrifying and vowed no jeweler would stick my earlobes with a needle just so I could wear earrings. Mother must have thought otherwise, for on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, she bundled my younger brother and me into the car, telling us we needed to do an errand. When I asked her where we were going, she said, “You’ll see.”

At the time, I’d requested, for Christmas, an electric chord organ I’d seen in a department store. So, I thought we were going to purchase it, but how would we get it home in our Mercedes Benz? As Mother pulled into a parking space downtown, she said, “Well, Andy, shall we tell her?”

“Yeah!” my younger brother answered.

Turning to me, as I sat next to her in the front seat, Mother said, “You’re going to get your ears pierced today.”

I was mortified. The last thing I wanted was to have my ears pierced. But I’d been raised to be appreciative of gifts, even when I didn’t want them. So, what could I say?

The jewelry store was packed with exuberant children and harried adults, doing their last-minute Christmas shopping, but I was far from happy. The woman who finally took us into a back room must have been reading my mind because she said, “Hon, are you sure you want to do this?”

I could have said no, but Mother would have gotten mad, and Andy would have called me a chicken. So, I pasted a smile on my face and said yes.

After applying plenty of alcohol to both my earlobes, she did it with a sort of hole-puncher that inserted earrings. It hurt a lot! In order for the holes to stay open, I needed to wear these earrings for at least six months. They had to be turned and alcohol applied to my lobes several times a day, and my earlobes were sore at times. Mother bought me pair after pair of earrings, which I reluctantly but diligently wore. In school, I was envied by other girls who didn’t have pierced ears.

Eventually, my ears became infected, and I had to let them close over, much to my relief and Mother’s consternation. By the way, I did get that electric chord organ for Christmas, and it was one of the best gifts I’d ever received. Now, besides the piano, I had one more instrument I could play.

How about you? What was the worst Christmas present you ever received? Thanks to blogger Stevie Turner for inspiring this. She also asks what was the worst gift you ever gave. I can’t think of any, but maybe you can. If so, you can share your memories in the comment field below or click here to participate in Stevie’s blog hop.

Please note that for the next few days, I’ll be taking a staycation to celebrate Thanksgiving. This means there will be no posts either here or on Facebook Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. If you’re in the United States, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday, and will see you back here Monday.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Her First Turkey #Fiction, #Tuesday Tidbit, #Reblog

The dining room table was covered with a white cloth. Linen napkins adorned the eight place settings that each contained a plate, silverware, and a glass. Two of the glasses were plastic and had milk in them. The other six wine glasses were empty. A bottle of wine and corkscrew were placed in the center of the table.

Pat admired her handiwork with her limited vision and hoped her mother-in-law would approve. This was her first Thanksgiving with her in-laws, and she willed everything to go smoothly. With a sigh, she sauntered to the doorway and called, “Okay, dinner’s ready.”

They all trooped in: her husband Steve, his parents Harry and Lee Ann, his brother and sister-in-law Rob and Linda, and their two children; Jayson, eight, and Ella, five. As Pat hurried to the kitchen to bring out the platters of food, she heard her mother-in-law say, “All right everyone, this is Pat’s first turkey. I don’t want anyone to say a word if it’s dry.”

“Do I have to eat the turkey if it’s dry?” asked Jayson.

Linda appeared in the kitchen doorway. “Can I help?” she asked.

“Sure,” answered Pat with a sigh of relief. “Take the turkey to Steve so he can start carving it.” She carefully removed the electric knife from a nearby drawer and placed it on the platter next to the bird. “Then you can come back and get the potatoes and gravy. I’ll get the stuffing, salad, and cranberry sauce. Oh, I still need to take the rolls out of the oven.”

“Take your time,” said Linda, placing a reassuring hand on Pat’s shoulder. “This all looks wonderful.”

After the turkey had been cut and the wine opened, and all the food was served, Pat was relieved to hear the satisfying sounds of cutlery scraping against plates. Still too nervous to eat, she stared at her food.

“Ummm, this turkey is nice and juicy,” said Lee Ann.

“I knew it would be,” said Pat with a smile. She picked up her fork and took a bite. It was delicious.

“Have you cooked a turkey before?” asked Lee Ann. “I’d think that would be hard for someone who can’t see.”

“This stuffing is delicious,” said Linda. “I’d love the recipe.”

The room fell silent, and Pat could feel everyone’s eyes on her. She didn’t want her in-laws to know that she hadn’t prepared the meal, but now that someone had asked for a recipe, what could she say? She didn’t know the first thing about making stuffing. Her mother had never shared her recipes with her.

She took a deep breath and said, “To be honest, I’m not much of a cook. The turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, salad, and rolls came from Albertson’s. The cranberry sauce came out of a can. I ordered the pumpkin pie from Schwan.”

“Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!” came Ella’s sing song voice from the opposite end of the table, breaking the tension. “We sang that at school yesterday, and I told everyone we were going over the river and through the woods to Uncle Steve and Aunt Pat’s house, but it doesn’t fit into the song.”

Everyone giggled, and Pat said, “You’re right, sweetie. It doesn’t, and I’m sorry I missed your program yesterday. I had to work.”

“That’s okay,” said Ella. “I really like your turkey.”

“I do too,” said Jayson. “It’s not dry at all.”

“The potatoes are great,” said Steve. “I think they’re just like Mom’s.”

“Oh you,” said Lee Ann with a laugh.

“I like the salad,” said Rob.

“The rolls are wonderful,” said Harry. “Excuse me. I’m going to have another.”

“This was a great idea,” said Linda. “Maybe the next time I host a holiday dinner, I’ll do the same thing. It would save a lot of time.”

Lee Ann cleared her throat. “Linda, surely you realize that nothing compares to a home-cooked meal. However, this is rather nice. Pat, I’m sure it would have been next to impossible to prepare a meal like this from scratch when you can’t see.”

There it was again. Pat’s mother-in-law expected less of her because she was visually impaired. Maybe she should have tried to cook a turkey. She’d seen plenty of articles on cooking in Dialogue and other magazines for the blind written by sightless cooks. In fact, there had been step by step instructions on how to cook a turkey with no sight.

The rest of the family continued eating and chatting as if nothing were wrong. But Pat put down her fork and hung her head, as shame washed over her. Her appetite was gone.

***

“What are you smiling about?” asked Steve a month later, as they were driving to Rob and Linda’s house for Christmas dinner.

“Promise me you won’t say a word,” said Pat. “I told Linda I wouldn’t tell anyone, not even you.”

“You and Linda can trust me. My lips are sealed. Now spill.”

“Okay, Linda ordered the prime rib, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, and apple pie from Warehouse Market.”

Steve burst into loud, uproarious laughter. “Mom’s gonna be pissed.”

“Not if she doesn’t know,” said Pat. “If she or anyone else asks for a recipe, Linda will promise to email it to them and send them a recipe she finds online. I wish I’d thought of that last month.”

“I do too. I didn’t think Linda would ask you for that stuffing recipe. It was pretty good, though. But I think this Jell-O salad you’re bringing is going to be a hit.” He tapped the Tupperware container she held securely in her lap.

“I figured if my friend Jackie could make this recipe with no sight at all, I could make it with some vision.”

“I think you’re right, honey.”

“If anybody asks for the recipe, I have it right here.” She tapped her pants pocket that held the printed recipe. “I saved it on the computer so if more than one person wants a copy, I can email it.”

“Good for you,” said Steve. “That talking computer of yours sure works wonders.”

“I downloaded a book from the National Library Service for the Blind called Cooking without Looking. Maybe next year, I’ll feel more confident about cooking a Thanksgiving turkey.”

“Maybe we could do it together. It’s about time I learned how to cook.”

***

The above story appears in Magnets and Ladders and The Writer’s Grapevine.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

`Grateful for Abbie

Thanks to fellow blogger Joan Myles​for featuring me today. Check this out!

Jewniquely Myself

*Abbie Johnson Taylor’s voice is evident in her music, in her poetry, in her essays and her stories. It is the voice of a woman seeking to balance tenderness and strength, a woman striving to leave her creative mark in a world crowded with voices. I only wonder where I will find her next.*

***

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

I see blue sky above my silent back yard.

In the distance, dogs bark.

A saw whines, followed by other construction noises.

A plane flies overhead.

Far away, a train whistles.

Caressed by a cool, autumnal breeze, I reflect on my life, at peace.

***

The above poem was published in the November 1st edition of The Weekly Avocet. I wrote it in my back yard one Sunday afternoon.

***

Abbie lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, she cared for her late husband Bill, totally blind, who was partially paralyzed by…

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Over the Bridge and Along the Creek #Musical Monday

Today, I would like to sing, for you, a parody I wrote of a familiar song we associate with this time of year. When I was single, I often walked from my apartment to my grandmother’s house for holiday meals and other occasions. My route took me across a bridge and along a cement walking path that meandered next to a creek. Hence, the song.

I wrote two verses: one from the perspective of a cane user, which I am, and one from the viewpoint of a guide dog user, which I’ve never been. I know plenty of guide dog users, though. Enjoy, and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

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Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Alice Massa’s Profile #Sharing Sunday

Thanks to Joan Myles for inspiring this feature. Just in time for Thanksgiving, this week’s blogger bio comes from Alice Massa, author of The Christmas Carriage and Other Readings of the Holiday Season, which I reviewed here. I met Alice years ago through Behind Our Eyes, an organization of disabled writers to which I belong. Since I’ve known her, she has provided me with a lot of support and inspiration. Here’s what she has to say in her own words.

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Profile

 

Growing up in the Hoosier hills of west-central Indiana, Alice Massa has always cherished family, dogs, reading, and writing. From a rural grade school with only 88 students to Clinton High School where her graduating class included 104 students, Alice was blessed with teachers who gave her a strong foundation in grammar and punctuation. With BA and MS degrees from Indiana State University, as well as a second master’s degree from Western Michigan University, Alice taught for 25 years—the most recent 20 years at Milwaukee Area Technical College from where she retired in June of 2011. After years of reading and evaluating the writing of her students, Alice is now sharing some of her own writings through this blog. When Alice sits at her computer desk, her amazing guide dog Zoe is lying nearby. Long walks with her Leader Dog Zoe, a black Labrador/golden retriever mix, have generated many ideas for writing endeavors, some of which will appear in this blog.

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Unfortunately, Alice’s beloved guide dog, Zoe, passed away unexpectedly several years ago. She has another guide dog now, Willow, who has also inspired her writing. You can learn more about Willow and Alice’s previous guide dogs and read some of her delightful poems and memoirs on her blog.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

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