I’ll Keep This Memory #Poetry

Welcome to National Poetry Month. For the rest of April, when I’m not re-blogging other posts or sharing my musical memories, I’ll post either a poem of my own or a review of a poetry collection.

 

Today’s poem comes from My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, which you can download from Smashwords absolutely free this month. See below for details. You can click on the poem’s title to hear me read it.

 

I’LL KEEP THIS MEMORY

 

Of my wedding always,
guests seated in rows of white plastic chairs,
an arch framed by flowers and balloons,
the string duo that played Pachelbel’s Canon
as I marched down the aisle
and “Ode to Joy” as we recessed,
unaware that tragedy would change our lives.
***

By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books. As always, thank you for reading.

 

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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

Bohemian Rhapsody #Monday Musical Memories

A couple of days ago, I featured a parody of this song. Now, here’s the original.

I first heard this song in the 1970’s when I was attending a church camp. Sponsored by the local Presbyterian Church, the program was called Niners Camp because it was for students going into and coming out of the ninth grade.

We were told not to bring television sets or radios. So, one of the girls in my cabin brought a tape deck. Our counselor grudgingly allowed us to listen to music only during free time. This we did when we weren’t wading in the creek or engaged in other activities with the boys. The girl who brought the tape deck only had one tape, which had a variety of songs by different artists. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen was one of them.

Like many songs during that period of time, it didn’t have much meaning to me until I became an adult. Telling the story of a convicted killer about to be executed, it starts out somber and serious, then becomes more of a comic opera, as the song progresses. The parody is similar except it’s obvious the executioner is the coronavirus. If you missed it, click here. Then, you can compare it with the original below. Happy listening!

 

By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books.

 

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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

A Visit from my future Husband #Excerpt #Thursday Book Feature

On a warm spring morning in March, Dad and I drove to the bus station to meet Bill, who’d been traveling all night from Fowler. A woman getting off the bus ahead of him asked me, “Are you the one getting married?”

“Um, yeah,” I said. Had he told everyone on the bus he was marrying me?

“Well, he’s doing just fine. He’s right behind me. Congratulations!” she said before hurrying off.

When he emerged, he kissed my cheek and said, “Hello, sweetie.” He never kissed me or spoke to me like that before.

In a daze, I stood there while Dad collected Bill’s suitcase. Bill put his hand on my shoulder, as he would do many times when we walked together, and we followed Dad to the car.

***

Want to know more? Read My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books.

 

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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

Long Arm of the Law #Monday Musical Memories

When I was in college during the 1980’s, one of my friends was a Kenny Rogers fan. While driving to and from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, about 150 miles north of Sheridan, Wyoming, my home town, we enjoyed such songs as “The Gambler,” “Coward of the County,” and “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille.” But my favorite is the one I’m featuring today, and I don’t think it was as popular. It tells the story of a coal miner’s son who falls in love with a wealthy judge’s daughter.

At the time, I’d developed an irrational fear of policemen after reading an Ellery Queen mystery that contained a lot of police brutality. Now, I knew that thanks to Miranda and other measures, this sort of thing wasn’t likely to happen to me. But that didn’t stop a sinking feeling of dread overcoming me when the police were mentioned. Years later, this fear inspired my first novel, We Shall Overcome. My fear has since evolved to respect.

This song teaches a valuable lesson. Crime certainly doesn’t pay, but if you’re lucky, you might get what you want in the end. Rest in peace, Kenny Rogers.

By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books.

 

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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

Last Time I Saw Him #Monday Musical Memories

In the spring of 2005, after my late husband Bill wrote me a letter, asking me to marry him, he traveled by bus the 500 miles from his home in Fowler, Colorado, to Sheridan, Wyoming, to visit me. We spent a week together, during which he officially proposed to me in front of family and friends at a restaurant, and I said yes. All too soon, it was time for him to get back on that bus and return to Colorado.

So, like the couple in the song I’m featuring today, we said our goodbyes before he boarded. Unlike the couple in the song, the only moisture on our faces, as we kissed, came from raindrops. It never occurred to me to shed any tears because there was no doubt in my mind that he would be back. But the certainty I felt that he would return didn’t stop the ache in my heart, as the bus pulled away from the station and disappeared. You can learn more by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

 

 

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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

A Winter Adventure #Thursday Book Feature #Poetry #Excerpt

The following poem appears in the current issue of The Weekly Avocet. It was also published in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver.

 

You may think this doesn’t look like a poem, and it doesn’t. It is what’s called a prose poem, which means basically that it looks like prose but reads like poetry. You can click the link below the poem to hear me read it.

A Winter Adventure

                                            

 

On a cold, cloudy day, we strap on our skis, boots, head up the trail. I inch along, sure I’ll fall at any minute, as my skis slide through packed snow.

“Left foot right pole, right foot left pole. See if you can go faster,” Dad says. I prefer to keep my slow, plodding pace.

 

At the top of the hill, we retrace our steps. My feet slide out from under me. I land flat on my back. “Smile,” says my brother, holding the camera.

 

“Stick that camera where the sun won’t shine,” I want to tell him.

 

“You’re not falling right.  You could get hurt,” he says. I remove the skis, walk the rest of the day.

 

A Winter Adventure

 

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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Drive #Monday Musical Memories

This was one of my favorite songs when I was in college. Now, even though it’s about love gone wrong, it makes me think of my dad, especially when the vocalist sings, “Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?”

In 1973, when I started the sixth grade after we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, my dad insisted I walk to  and from school. I’d always wanted to do this, having read stories about other kids walking to and from school every day. In Tucson, Arizona, where we’d lived before, this hadn’t been possible because the state school for the blind, where I spent the first five and a half years of my education, and then the Miles Exploratory Learning Center, where I was mainstreamed six months before we moved to Wyoming, were miles away from our home.

But here in Sheridan, our first house was just up the hill from the elementary school. So, walking to and from school was easy, except in winter when snow and ice made the hill treacherous. Occasionally, Mother or Dad drove me, but most of the time, I walked.

When I started seventh grade, the junior high school was a mile away. Dad claimed he’d walked that far when he was a kid, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that, and Mother agreed with me. She and I prevailed, and I only walked a few blocks to  and from the bus stop each day.

In the spring of my eighth grade year, we moved to another house that wasn’t within a school bus route. So, I had no choice but to walk the mile to and from school each day. The good part of this was that my route took me through downtown Sheridan, and I often stopped at a cafe for a milkshake on my way home from school.

The high school was closer, but the route there was difficult, taking me across a busy street, with no lights or stop signs, and up a hill that was treacherous during the winter months. In favorable weather, I walked, and it’s a wonder I’m still here to tell the tale, not having been killed while crossing that busy street. In the winter, Dad or Mother drove me, and Dad often grumped about doing this.

Now, here’s the irony. As an adult, after completing my music therapy internship and moving back to Sheridan and finding an apartment and a job, Dad said he regretted being so hard on me about walking to  and from school. On the contrary, I told him, I’m glad he encouraged me to walk when I could. Because participation in physical education classes was difficult due to my visual impairment, walking to and from school gave me some much-needed exercise.

A few years after I started my job at the nursing home, Dad sold his coin-operated machine business. This gave him more time. So, he was available more often when I needed a ride. I used the local transit service to get to work, but sometimes, I wasn’t finished until five thirty in the evening when their buses were no longer running. In those cases, Dad often picked me up after work.

After I married Bill and after he suffered his strokes, Dad often gave us rides when the transit service wasn’t running. When we acquired a wheelchair accessible van, Dad was our main driver. After Bill passed, and I sold the van, Dad still gave me rides when I needed them and couldn’t use the transit service.

Dad left this world suddenly in 2013, not having a chance to wonder who would drive me home or anywhere else. I’d like to think that he, like Bill, is watching me from above and at peace, knowing I can usually get a ride, either from the transit service or from friends.

 

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

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.