A Road Trip to Remember #Open Book Blog Hop

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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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Importance of Knowing the Time #Tuesday Tidbit, #Excerpt

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In January of 2006, three months after Bill and I were married and two weeks before he suffered his first stroke, I learned the value of having an effective time piece. Bill and I took the bus from our home in Sheridan, Wyoming, to Fowler, Colorado, to visit Bill’s sister and other family and friends for a couple of weeks. In our haste to get to the Sheridan bus station at three in the morning, I forgot to put on my talking watch after showering and didn’t realize it until it was too late. The following excerpt from My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds describes a faux pas that occurred as a result of me not having my watch.

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One morning, soon after we arrived in Fowler, Bill shook me awake and told me it was seven o’clock. Shirley’s cleaning lady was due at eight, and I didn’t want her to catch us in bed. At a quarter to eight, after having showered and dressed, I settled in a recliner in the living room with my radio and headphones.

Shirley wasn’t up yet, and this seemed odd. I also noticed that it didn’t appear to be getting any lighter. I tuned in a public radio station out of Pueblo, and after fifteen minutes of national news, a local announcer said, “Good morning. It’s six a.m.”

Barely able to contain my anger, I stomped into the bedroom where Bill was dressing. I didn’t want to yell for fear of waking Shirley. “You idiot! It’s only six o’clock.”

Bill laughed. “I thought my watch said it was seven.”

“Yeah, right,” I said, as I sat on the bed and took off my shoes. “That’s why I don’t use a Braille watch anymore.”

“Well, let’s go out to breakfast.”

“You go out to breakfast,” I said, as I lay on the bed and covered myself with the blanket. “I’m going back to sleep.”

I turned on my side and closed my eyes. I heard him leave and knew he was mad, but I didn’t care. As I drifted back to sleep, I vowed never to forget my watch again. Little did I know that this was the last trip Bill and I would take together.

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How about you? Can you remember an instance when you didn’t have a watch or a way to tell time? What happened as a result?

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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

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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Travel the World Through Poetry #Friday Fun Reads

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Away from Home

By Carrie Hooper

Copyright 2020

 

What Amazon Says

 

In this collection of fifty-six poems, the author, who is blind, shares thoughts on some of her many travels. Part One, A Week at Sea, contains poems about a cruise she took with eight members of her family. Part Two, Other Adventures, includes poems inspired by places she and a friend visited in western New York, a trip to Florida, an unforgettable day in Des Moines, Iowa, and much more.

 

My Thoughts

 

I met the author, Carrie Hooper, years ago through Newsreel, an audio magazine that allows blind and visually impaired people to share ideas, music, and other things. Not only does she write poetry but she’s fluent in several languages and is an excellent pianist and singer. She even gives lessons. I was pleased a year or so ago when she joined Behind Our Eyes, an organization of disabled writers, to which I belong.

I love the way Carrie tells the story of the cruise she and her family took through poetry. I was with her on the ship, walking the deck, eating in the dining room, swimming in the pool, and singing karaoke in the casino. What’s more, I didn’t get seasick as I’m prone to do. I also accompanied her to various ports of call while on the cruise and to other locations she writes about in the second part of her book. It all fascinated me.

I invite you to do the same. Through this book, you can travel to interesting places without having to worry about plane tickets, cruse reservations, food, and other details. You won’t even have to wear a mask.

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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

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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What’s That Smell? #TMI Tuesday

Don’t judge a blog post by its cover. I doubt you’ll need to hold your nose while reading most of these questions and my answers. Enjoy!

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What is the last song you sang?

 

I perform songs here regularly as part of my Musical Monday feature. The last song I sang was “In the Garden.”

What place are you longing to visit?

 

I’d love to go back to Jupiter, Florida, to see my brother and his family. We always have a great time together. Maybe when this pandemic is over…

Tell us about the last time you were insulted?

 

A fellow blogger once told me I needed to be more creative. Well, I’m using my imagination to the best of my ability, and we are all creative in our own way. What’s creative to one person may not be as creative to another. I’m trying to develop a thick skin and not let such implications bother me, but it isn’t easy.

When was the last time you hung out with anyone not in your immediate household? What did you do?

 

I sang. I perform with a women’s choral group. For the first couple months of the pandemic, we didn’t practice at all, though we met a few times to visit via conference call. Then, at the end of May, in a peak of ingenuity, our director invited us to her home, where we practiced in her driveway. For the next few weeks, since it was warmer, we practiced on her patio, which was shaded. Then, one windy evening, she moved her car out of her garage, and we became a garage band, consisting of a keyboard and at least ten voices. I think that’s how we’ll stay for the rest of the summer.

 

Fill in the blank: I spend a lot of hours ________

 

 

Writing. When I’m not doing that, I’m participating in water exercise classes, reading books and magazines, and listening to podcasts and the occasional radio program.

Bonus: Which is worse–smelly feet or smelly breath?

 

They’re both bad, but what’s worse is the stench of fecal matter. During the six years I cared for my late husband, I dealt with plenty of that, and you can read more in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

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Now, it’s your turn. To learn how to participate, click here. Alternatively, you can answer one or more of the questions in the comment field below. Any way you do it, I look forward to reading your answers.

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.

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.

 

We Are the Champions #Monday Musical Memories

The song I’m featuring today was our fight song when I was on the high school speech team during the 1970’s. One of the guys had a portable eight-track tape deck and a cartridge containing this song plus its companion, “We Will Rock You.” We, as a team, often listened to these songs in his hotel room. While traveling, when that combination came on the radio, the volume was turned up, and we all sang along, distracting our poor coach, who was, by the way, driving the van we used for most of our trips to speech meets.

“We Are the Champions” can be applied to this current situation. Since its inception, the world has been through so much. We can survive this. If we keep doing what we’re doing, i.e. staying home, only going out when necessary, wearing masks, etc. we can be the champions against the coronavirus. Enjoy the song, and keep fighting.

If you’re on Facebook, you’re invited to a promotional event called Mayday Magnificence, in which I’ll be participating May 1-3. Authors, myself included, and businesses will promote their work and maybe share a few laughs. Please click here to join the event. I hope to see you there.

 

 

By the way, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are now available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated by the coronavirus. This sale will run until the end of May. 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.