What I Did on the Fourth #MondayMusings #Jottings #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.

When I was growing up in Tucson, Arizona, during the 1960s and early 70s, we attended fireworks displays on the Fourth of July, which were usually held at the university. Although I don’t remember too much about them, I imagine that during my early childhood years, the loud banging and popping scared me to death. But when I grew older, despite my limited vision, I loved sitting on the grass, looking up, and beholding the multi-colored lights and shapes that seemed to sail across the sky. I vaguely remember one year when I could see fireworks from our front lawn, and I thought they could be seen all over the world.

After my family moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1973, we stopped attending fireworks displays, because there weren’t any here. By that time, I was twelve years old and wasn’t nearly as fascinated by them as I was when I was younger. Dad decided that we should buy our own and shoot them off on the Fourth of July, even though it was illegal.

I remember one particular Independence Day when I was in high school. The street where we lived had little traffic. Relatives from out of town were visiting, and we were all gathered in front of our house to watch Dad’s makeshift fireworks display, which was taking place in the middle of the street. It was getting dark.

Dad was hunched over, igniting something, when suddenly, a car appeared, seemingly from nowhere, and drove slowly toward him. We all held our breath, fearing a neighbor had called the police about our fireworks. As the car drew closer, we realized that it was only Grandma. In her old age, she drove more cautiously than she did when she was younger. She pulled to the curb, stepped out of her blue Cadillac, and we all laughed with relief. After that, we went outside the city limits to shoot off our Fourth of July fireworks.

How about you? What have you enjoyed doing on the Fourth of July?

Thanks to Tom Kaufman, facilitator of The Breakfast Bunch, a program held on Zoom through ACB Community Calls, for inspiring this. The Breakfast Bunch is a weekly chat activity where we meet to reminisce about anything and everything. If you’d like to learn about other community programs sponsored by the American Council of the Blind, you can email:  community@acb.org  and request a daily schedule that will land in your inbox. I hope those of you in the United States have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

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And now, I’m pleased to announce that until the end of the month, all my books can be downloaded from Smashwords ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of its summer/winter sale. You can click here to visit my author page and download these books. Happy reading!

 

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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