Exploring Kendrick Park #WednesdayWords #WeeklySmile #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.In favorable weather, I enjoy walking through the local park, feeling a fresh breeze, breathing in the scent of new-mown grass and flowers, hearing the happy cries of children in the playground, the chatter and occasional recorded music from the picnic shelters. When my family first moved here to Sheridan, Wyoming, a cement road encircled the park. A few years ago, half of that road was converted into a walking path, limiting traffic.

On the afternoon of last Saturday, May 14th, the sun shone in a nearly cloudless sky, and the temperature was in the upper 60s. I told myself I would take a short walk, since I had a lot to do. But when I came upon a side trail that veered off the main path, my feet and white cane had another idea. I’d taken this trail a year or so ago, and it had led to a dead end. But this time, to my surprise, it took me up the hill I used to climb as a teenager to get to the high school. Unlike the steep, wooden boardwalk I used in the 1970s that started in the park and ended in the high school parking lot, this cement path had a gradual incline.

I told myself I should turn around, go back to the main path, and continue walking the route I’d originally planned. But if I did, not knowing where this trail went would drive me nuts. So, I kept going, despite the myriad tasks awaiting me at home.

The creek was on my right side. After walking for a few minutes, I looked across it and spotted the senior apartment complex and YMCA soccer field I often passed while walking another trail on the other side of the creek. On my left, against the side of the hill, metal benches were strategically placed. I sat on one of them while deciding whether to go on or turn back. Curiosity got the better of me.

After walking for about a quarter of a mile, I found myself, not in the high school parking lot, but on the street where the high school is located. I realized that one only needed to turn left and walk about another half a block in order to get there. At that point, I did turn around, my curiosity satisfied.

What was once the high school back in the 1970’s is now a junior high. The old boardwalk is now history. But I’m glad students can still walk through the park and up the hill to school. However, I don’t think many kids walk to school these days. But taking that stroll up Memory Hill, so to speak, made me smile, despite the fact I didn’t get nearly as much done as I’d planned to do that day.

What made you smile this past week? You can click here to participate in this week’s blog feature or leave your comment below.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

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?

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Seen and Unseen #TMI Tuesday

I originally wasn’t planning to do TMI Tuesday this week because I found a couple of the questions strange, to say the least. But after reading Lynda McKinney Lambert’s post, I was inspired. So, here goes.

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What’s invisible but you wish you could see?

 

Because I’m visually impaired, there are some things I can’t see. For example, on the rare occasion I go to a movie, if I sit close enough to the screen, I can catch most of what goes on. But I can’t read subtitles or most other printed material. So, I must depend on whoever I’m with to read and describe things for me. Our small-town local movie theater doesn’t have audio description.

 

Would you rather watch your neighbor(s) having sex while you are in the same room or anonymously watch your parents having sex?

 

I don’t want to watch anyone having sex. I don’t even like reading books with graphic descriptions of lovemaking. To me, sex is a private matter and not relevant to most stories.

 

For what are you nostalgic?

 

I long for the days before COVID-19. Although things are gradually getting back to normal here in Sheridan Wyoming, many large gatherings, including our annual rodeo, have been canceled. Although I’m not a fan of rodeos, I understand the negative effect this cancelation will have on our local economy, which is driven by tourism. Normally, I’d be looking forward to band concerts in the park starting in July, but I doubt that will be happening this year. Then again, it could be worse. So, I’m not complaining.

 

What is an unwritten rule where you work?

 

Since I work from home and live alone, I have no rules except for when my cleaning lady comes. I ask her to refrain from moving anything because no doubt I wouldn’t see well enough to know where she put it. Most of the cleaning ladies I’ve had have been  very good about this.

 

Which body part do you wish you could detach and why?

 

I don’t want to detach any body parts. As a caregiver for my late husband, I’ve seen, firsthand, the difficulty caused by not having the use of certain body parts. If you want to learn more, read My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

 

Bonus: What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?

 

My brother in Florida purchased a robot vacuum cleaner and named her Peggy. She doesn’t even look like a vacuum cleaner. She resembles a toy flying saucer rolling across the floor. She does pretty well when she’s not hung up on throw rugs and other items that end up in her way.

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Now, it’s your turn. Click here to learn how you can participate. Alternatively, you can put your answers in the comment field below. Don’t feel you have to answer all the questions, especially the second one. It’s a doozy!

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, my latest book, The Red Dress, is available for download from their site here. 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.

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