Auld Lang Syne #Musical Monday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

What am I doing New Year’s Eve? Probably what I do every night, stretch out in my recliner with a good book, magazine, podcast, or movie. What did we do on New Year’s Eve when I was growing up? Not a whole lot.

On rare occasions, we went out to eat, but we usually didn’t stay out late. One year, we lit sparklers in the house when the ball dropped on Times Square. Because December in Wyoming was cold and snowy, we didn’t take them outside. It’s a wonder we didn’t burn the house down.

Then, there was the year Dad got pulled over for drunk driving and would have spent the night in jail if Grandma and Uncle Jon hadn’t bailed him out. You see, because my father sold and serviced coin-operated machines, he was often called on New Year’s Eve and other nights to fix a broken jukebox in a bar where there was no other entertainment. On this particular New Year’s Eve, the establishment to which he was called was in a rural area. And, of course, he stayed after fixing the jukebox and enjoyed one too many. Fortunately, a highway patrolman caught him before he could have an accident.

On New Year’s Day, Mother always insisted on taking down the Christmas tree and other decorations. Although everyone was present when the house was decorated, my father and younger brother often had places to go on New Year’s Day, or they were sleeping it off after a night of celebration. So, the task of un-decorating fell to Mother and me.

I loved taking down ornaments just as much as I loved putting them up, fingering the glass balls and snowmen, angels, and other figurines. Although Mother grumbled about the lack of assistance, I didn’t mind. After everything was taken down and put away, I helped her haul the tree to the alley, where it would eventually be picked up by the sanitation department.

What about you? What do you remember doing on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day when you were growing up?

The song I’m singing today is synonymous with ringing in a new year. According to Wikipedia, “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. As I’m sure you all know, its traditional use is to bid farewell to the old year at midnight on New Year’s Eve. But it can also be sung at funerals, graduations, and as an ending to other occasions. The phrase, “Auld Lang Syne,” has been used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570-1638) Allan Ramsay, (1686-1757) and James Watson. (1711) It’s loosely translated as “for the sake of old times.” To learn more, click here.

If you know the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” you might want to sing along with me. Whatever you do New Year’s Eve, please keep others safe from the coronavirus by not gathering with a large crowd, and please don’t drink and drive. This post is part of Dr. Crystal Grimes’ holiday blogging party. Happy New Year!

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.

***

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Breath of Heaven #Musical Monday

I’ve posted this song here before, but since it’s one of my favorite Christmas songs, I hope you’ll agree it’s worth another listen. When I first heard it in 2005, the plight of the Virgin Mary, as depicted, captivated me. For some reason, I’d never looked at the Christmas story from her point of view before. At the time, I’d been married to my late husband Bill for two months, and we were happy, never dreaming that tragedy would strike a month later.

But it did, in January of 2006, in the form of a stroke that paralyzed Bill’s left side. We weren’t sure if he would ever walk again. You can learn more by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

After Bill’s stroke, I remembered the song and found myself identifying with the Virgin Mary, wondering why this was happening to us and if I would have to deal with the uncertainty alone. Thus, I was inspired to write a short story about a pregnant teen who gives birth in a barn. Later, I wrote a poem, which you’ll find below the audio player. It was published in the fall/winter 2018-19 issue of Magnets and Ladders. In the recording, I recite the poem before singing and playing the song.

According to Wikipedia, Amy Grant, who popularized this song, co-wrote it, along with a book based on it. The song appears on her album, Home for Christmas, which was released in October of 1992. In the 1980’s, Amy Grant was one of the first artists to cross over into popular music on the heels of her successful contemporary Christian albums. You can learn more about her here.

Now, I hope you enjoy my rendition of “Breath of Heaven,” along with the poem the song inspired. This post is in response to Dr. Crystal Grimes’ holiday blogging party. Click here to learn how to participate.

 THE POOR BLESSED VIRGIN

She stands, alone, cold, weary
after traveling many days and nights.
Why was she chosen to bear this Holy Child?
Must she do it alone?
Will Heaven help her?

***

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.

***

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My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Day by Day #Musical Monday

I’ve sung this song many times but never performed it. It comes from Godspel, and one summer when I was in high school, my mother hoped I would sing it in a production of this musical. After a busy schoolyear, the last thing I wanted to do was be in another play. But, over the years, I’d learned that when Mother wanted me to do something, it was best just to go along with it.

To my relief and Mother’s consternation, I wasn’t cast in the production. I didn’t even have a chance to audition. The director, who Mother knew from the local theater guild, after advertising the production, which would take place in the local park’s band shell, told her son, who was in my class, to pick whomever he wanted to be in the play with him. I had a crush on him, and he didn’t know it, and, of course, he didn’t pick me.

When Mother confronted the director, the other woman pointed out that being in the production would have been dangerous for me, with my limited vision, because they were doing it on monkey bars. I couldn’t argue with that, especially since I didn’t want to be in the play, anyway, but both my parents, in outrage, threatened to resign from the theater guild. Fortunately, they came to their senses.

So now, here I am, singing this song, accompanying myself on the piano, and not crawling around on monkey bars. Thank God! Enjoy!

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

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

September Song #Musical Monday

In the summer of 1979, before my senior year of high school, we were having our home remodeled, enlarging our screened-in back porch to make it a music room. I’ve always been sensitive to loud noises, especially those created by power tools, cement mixers, and other construction implements. So, as a distraction, I took up singing and accompanying myself on the piano. I’d been doing this since I was twelve, but I wasn’t serious about it until that summer.

For my birthday, I’d received Willie Nelson’s album, Stardust, on cassette. This album popularized such old standards as “Blue Skies,” “Moonlight in Vermont,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” and “September Song,” the one I’m singing for you today. So, I decided to learn some of these songs.

Once I did, my younger brother often joined me on drums. By that time, Dad had acquired a string bass, and he occasionally played along.

Since the room that was being remodeled was adjacent to the dining room where the piano and drums were located, we no doubt entertained the construction crew. When men came through the dining room on their way to the rest room, they complimented us. By summer’s end, the addition was complete, and we had a new room in which to play our music.

According to Wikipedia, “September Song” was composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson. It was introduced by Walter Huston in the 1938 Broadway musical, Knickerbocker Holiday. It was also used in the 1950 film, September Affair, and in the British television series, May to December, and was recorded by numerous artists.

My rendition is based on Willie Nelson’s version. If I’d recorded it during that summer of 1979, the music would no doubt have been punctuated by hammering, sawing, and drilling. Now, during this last week of September, you’ll just hear the song. Enjoy!

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, and may you always have positive experiences.

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

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms #Musical Monday

The song I’m featuring today was one I heard years ago on a radio drama my local NPR station was broadcasting. Entitled something like Night of the Hunter, it was about a killer disguised as a preacher. After he murders a widow, as he’s pursuing her children, he sings, “Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms.” The children manage to escape, and the faux preacher is apprehended.

I later learned the song sung by this villain is actually a hymn. I overheard it being sung during a church service at the nursing home where I worked. According to Dr. Crystal Grimes, whose lovely rendition I’m featuring today, this was a bluegrass classic. In her post linked to below, she plays the song on her liar, shares her first memories of singing it, and provides some background information. Enjoy, and may you always be safe and secure from all alarms.

 

Via Leaning on the Everlasting Arms #Music

 

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, 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. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

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.