A Road Trip to Remember #Open Book Blog Hop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Please be sure to read to the end of this post to find out about a live interview in which I’ll be participating tomorrow. If you miss the program, don’t despair. It’ll be recorded, and I’ll share it here and on Facebook as soon as it’s available.

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Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop question for this week is this. “You’re going on a road trip: where are you headed? With whom? What are your snacks? Music? Plans?”

Since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I’d love to tell you about a road trip through Ireland, but I’ve never been there. However, I remember many road trips I took with my family through the United States when I was growing up.

My most memorable journey was one I took with my father in 1971 when I was ten. We were living in Tucson, Arizona, at the time. My paternal grandfather here in Sheridan, Wyoming, had just passed away, and Grandma needed help with the family’s coin-operated machine business. That summer, Dad volunteered to drive up to Sheridan and give her a hand for a while.

Originally, he was planning to go alone, but at the last minute, he asked me if I wanted to accompany him, and, always ready for a new adventure, I said yes. We left one warm evening in our old Mercedes Benz. After driving for a few hours, we finally stopped at a campsite where Dad unrolled a sleeping bag on the ground next to the car, and I stretched out in the back seat.

The next day, still in Arizona, we drove through the Navajo reservation and stopped at a trading post, where we saw Indian beadwork and other items. Being visually impaired and only ten years old, I couldn’t appreciate such things, but I enjoyed sitting on the porch, drinking Coke, and watching people come and go.

We then drove into Colorado and spent that night in Durango. Below is a poem I wrote about that night, which appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. you can click on the Play button below the poem to hear me read it.

 

A Memorable Stop in Colorado

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

In the summer of 1971 at the age of ten,
I traveled with Dad from our home in Tucson, Arizona,
to Sheridan, Wyoming, to visit Grandma.
While bar hopping in Durango,
I had Coke–Dad drank something stronger.
One establishment served hot dogs.
I liked them plain with not even a bun.
I must have had at least three.
Intoxicated, we made our way to the car.
I slept on the back seat
while Dad slept on the ground nearby.
Who knows where we were when we woke up?

The next day, we drove to Mesa Verde, where we toured a cave, crawling through parts of it on hands and knees, which I found exciting. We spent that night with friends in Beulah. Despite my limited vision, I loved stairs, and this house had them on the outside. So, to get from one level to another, you had to go outdoors and up the stairs, then enter the house through another door. If I remember correctly, there were three levels. I also enjoyed playing with other kids in a nearby creek.

The next afternoon, we drove to Denver, where we spent some time with my maternal grandparents before traveling the rest of the way to Wyoming. In Sheridan, I loved to play the jukebox and pinball and bowling games in my paternal grandmother’s garage, which had been converted into the coin-operated machine business’s shop. I met a couple of girls close to my age, who lived down the street, and we spent a lot of time listening to music in the shop. I got to go swimming, and we spent one day in the mountains where we observed a log rolling competition, which was interesting, although I couldn’t see a lot of the action. We also attended a rodeo parade and local band concerts in the park, which I also enjoyed.

In August, when it was time for me to start school, Dad needed to stay in Sheridan a little longer. So, he drove me to Denver, and I flew alone back to Tucson, which was also exciting. Dad returned home a month later. In the summer of 1973, my family moved to Sheridan permanently, and Dad ran the coin-operated machine business for the next twenty years until it was sold.

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What about your most memorable road trip? You can either tell me about it in the comment field below or click here to participate in Stevie Turner’s blog hop.

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Thursday March 18, 2021, Tell It to the World – Chat with Author Abbie Johnson Taylor: 7:30pm ET, 4:30pm PT, 1.30pm HT

 

In this month’s call, guest author Abbie Johnson Taylor talks with us about her writing life and more. In a brief interview, led by Patty Fletcher, Abbie will give a presentation and then take questions from the audience.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor is the author of two novels, two poetry collections, and a memoir and is working on a third novel. Her work has appeared in The Writer’s Grapevine, Magnets and Ladders, The Weekly Avocet, and other publications. She’s visually impaired and lives in Sheridan, Wyoming, where she cared for her totally blind, partially paralyzed late husband, worked as a registered music therapist with nursing home residents, and helped other blind and visually impaired individuals. When not writing, she participates in a water exercise class, sings in a women’s group, and enjoys walking, reading, and listening to podcasts.

Website: http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com

 

To join us and subscribe to our email list to receive the daily schedule, which will include Abbie’s call-in info, send a blank email to: Acb-community-events+subscribe@acblists.org

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service 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

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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On Top of the House #Poetry, #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

When I was growing up, one of the houses where my family lived in Tucson, Arizona, had a swamp cooler mounted on the roof. It wasn’t always reliable, and it always broke down during the hottest part of the summer.

In the following poem, I talk about a time when I accompanied my father onto the roof one day and watched him fix the cooler. I remember how slanted the roof was but also my view of the world from up there, which I illustrate in the poem.

It was published in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and you can click the Play button below to hear me read it. I posted it here back in 2011, but I hope you’ll agree it’s worth a second look. Enjoy!

 

On Top of The House

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

The cooler stands silent, inert,
dares Dad to fix it.
At the age of eight, I perch on one of the roof’s slopes,
gaze in wonder at the world below.
Mother calls from far away, yet close.
Where is she?

Dad hunches over the cooler.
“Turn it on,” he calls.
After a pause, it springs to life,
distributing cool air throughout the house’s interior.
It’s time to leave the top of the world.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service 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

 

 

Novel Touts Value of Knowing One’s Culture #Thursday Book Feature

Pigs in Heaven: A Novel

by Barbara Kingsolver

Copyright 1993.

 

This is the sequel to The Bean Trees, which I reviewed here a couple of weeks ago. Taylor and her six-year-old adopted Indian daughter Turtle are living happily in Tucson, Arizona. While vacationing at The Grand Canyon, Turtle sees a man fall into a spillway. She and Taylor alert the authorities, and the story becomes national news.

As a result, Taylor and Turtle are asked to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show. In Oklahoma, a lawyer for the Cherokee Nation, after seeing Turtle on TV, questions the validity of the child’s adoption, which occurred three years earlier. When Taylor learns of the lawyer’s suspicion, she and Turtle hit the road. Her mother, who lives in Kentucky, travels to Oklahoma to visit her cousin and plead their case.

Parts of this story could have moved along faster, but otherwise, I was riveted. On cold winter nights, without leaving my recliner, I traveled through desert heat from Arizona to Nevada to Washington State and finally, to the small town of Heaven, Oklahoma. From a Las Vegas coffee shop, where we meet a waitress with a Barbie obsession, to a Cherokee ceremonial dance in Oklahoma, the author drew me into her story. Although the ending was satisfactory, I would like to have seen a few details resolved. Otherwise, this second novel by Barbara Kingsolver is a good story.

 

 

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 Novel about Compassion and Friendship #Thursday Book Feature

The Bean Trees

by Barbara Kingsolver

Copyright 1988

 

A couple of years after graduating from high school, Taylor leaves her rural Kentucky hometown, driving a beat-up old car, with no particular destination in mind. In a small Oklahoma town, after getting her car repaired, someone leaves an Indian baby girl on her front seat. Taylor decides to keep her and names her Turtle.

She and Turtle arrive in Tucson, Arizona, on four flat tires and settle there. She finds a place to live and makes friends. The book has other sub-plots involving her housemate, two elderly neighbors, and a refugee couple living above the tire shop where she works.

I could relate to this story because I did some of my growing up in Tucson, Arizona. The author’s descriptions of a picnic and visit to a local zoo remind me of similar trips I took with my family in the area when I was a child. Although this book was published in 1988, it reflects the plight of immigrants today, which is, I believe, much worse than it was back then. The Bean Trees is Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, and I’ll probably read more of her work.

 

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.