This or That #TMI Tuesday

This week’s questions are all about choices. See what you think, and feel free to make your own.

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Money or Fame? Why?

 

I don’t need either one. I’m happy with the amount of income I receive, and fame comes with a price, that of privacy.

 

Fish or Chicken?

 

I like both. My favorites from Schwan are chicken cordon bleu and breaded blue hake.

 

Sleeping at night–too warm or too cold?

 

This time of year, I’m in danger of being too hot while sleeping. Although I have a window air conditioner in my spare bedroom, even with it and the ceiling fans going full blast, cool air doesn’t always get to my bedroom. I’ve looked into getting central air conditioning, but  because I live in an old house, this would be expensive. Besides, here in Wyoming, we only need air conditioning maybe two months out of the year. So, I can’t justify the cost.

 

Beard or Moustache? Why?

 

Well, since I’m not of the male persuasion, I don’t have a choice. For me, it’s neither. When my husband Bill was alive, I liked his face smooth as a baby’s bottom.

 

Cars–classic or modern?

 

I’m visually impaired. So, I don’t drive. But if it were possible, I’d like one of those self-driving cars that I could just tell where I wanted to go and have it take me there, no muss, no fuss.

 

 

Which holds more beauty–smile or eyes?

 

Because of my visual impairment, I’m not qualified to answer this question. But I’ll say that they’re both equally beautiful.

 

Soothing the soul–hiking or shopping?

 

I prefer to take a nice walk. Here in Sheridan, there’s a cement trail that meanders along the creek and allows me to hear its babble and the chirping of birds first thing in the morning. That’s what soothes my soul.

 

 

Bonus: What is your favorite type of foreplay?

 

Since Bill was impotent, we didn’t engage in much sexual activity. But after his strokes, we enjoyed snuggling in bed, my head resting on his shoulder next to his, my right arm around him, his right arm around me. I often buried my face in his hair, drinking in its scent, and kissed it. You can learn more about our life together by reading 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.

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Drive #Monday Musical Memories

This was one of my favorite songs when I was in college. Now, even though it’s about love gone wrong, it makes me think of my dad, especially when the vocalist sings, “Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?”

In 1973, when I started the sixth grade after we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, my dad insisted I walk to  and from school. I’d always wanted to do this, having read stories about other kids walking to and from school every day. In Tucson, Arizona, where we’d lived before, this hadn’t been possible because the state school for the blind, where I spent the first five and a half years of my education, and then the Miles Exploratory Learning Center, where I was mainstreamed six months before we moved to Wyoming, were miles away from our home.

But here in Sheridan, our first house was just up the hill from the elementary school. So, walking to and from school was easy, except in winter when snow and ice made the hill treacherous. Occasionally, Mother or Dad drove me, but most of the time, I walked.

When I started seventh grade, the junior high school was a mile away. Dad claimed he’d walked that far when he was a kid, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that, and Mother agreed with me. She and I prevailed, and I only walked a few blocks to  and from the bus stop each day.

In the spring of my eighth grade year, we moved to another house that wasn’t within a school bus route. So, I had no choice but to walk the mile to and from school each day. The good part of this was that my route took me through downtown Sheridan, and I often stopped at a cafe for a milkshake on my way home from school.

The high school was closer, but the route there was difficult, taking me across a busy street, with no lights or stop signs, and up a hill that was treacherous during the winter months. In favorable weather, I walked, and it’s a wonder I’m still here to tell the tale, not having been killed while crossing that busy street. In the winter, Dad or Mother drove me, and Dad often grumped about doing this.

Now, here’s the irony. As an adult, after completing my music therapy internship and moving back to Sheridan and finding an apartment and a job, Dad said he regretted being so hard on me about walking to  and from school. On the contrary, I told him, I’m glad he encouraged me to walk when I could. Because participation in physical education classes was difficult due to my visual impairment, walking to and from school gave me some much-needed exercise.

A few years after I started my job at the nursing home, Dad sold his coin-operated machine business. This gave him more time. So, he was available more often when I needed a ride. I used the local transit service to get to work, but sometimes, I wasn’t finished until five thirty in the evening when their buses were no longer running. In those cases, Dad often picked me up after work.

After I married Bill and after he suffered his strokes, Dad often gave us rides when the transit service wasn’t running. When we acquired a wheelchair accessible van, Dad was our main driver. After Bill passed, and I sold the van, Dad still gave me rides when I needed them and couldn’t use the transit service.

Dad left this world suddenly in 2013, not having a chance to wonder who would drive me home or anywhere else. I’d like to think that he, like Bill, is watching me from above and at peace, knowing I can usually get a ride, either from the transit service or from friends.

 

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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Over the Bridge and Along the Creek #Monday Musical Memories

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, here’s a little ditty I wrote to the tune of “Over the River and Through the Woods.” Years ago, when I was single, I often walked from my apartment to my grandmother’s home for family get-togethers, Thanksgiving included. My route took me over a bridge and on a walking path next to a creek, hence the song.

As you’ll note, I wrote two verses: one from the perspective of a blind person using a cane and the other from that of a guide dog user. I’ve never used a guide dog but know people who do. So, I hope I’ve portrayed that realistically. Now, click on the link below to hear me sing this parody.

 

Over the Bridge and Along the Creek

 

How about you? Did your family travel anywhere for Thanksgiving when you were growing up? How did you get there? Was there the usual fare: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc? Whatever you do this year for Thanksgiving, have a great holiday!

 

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

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Thursday Book Feature: AWOL on the Appalachian “Trail

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

By David Miller

Copyright 2010

 

In this memoir, the author explains how and why he left his job and family and hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia for five months in 2003. He describes conditions on the trail, shelters, hostiles, and other places where he stayed, and his encounters with other hikers and wildlife, inserting snippets of information about his life into his narrative. At the end, he gives advice to anyone wishing to hike the Appalachian Trail.

This book helps put life in perspective. My minor aches and pains are nothing compared to the agony David Miller suffered on the trail as a result of foot infections, a sprained ankle, and other complications, some of which nearly caused him to abandon his hike altogether. When I work out, I tell myself I’m only exercising for an hour at the most, not walking for ten hours a day through rough terrain. On frigid winter nights when I burrow under my blankets in bed, I’m thankful not to be soaking wet, trying to get dry in an equally wet sleeping bag.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail is quite a challenge. If you’re up to it, great. If not, I highly recommend this book. You’ll successfully hike this trail from the comfort of your own easy chair.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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Walking to School

One thing on many parents’ minds is how their children will get to and from school now that classes are in full swing. Some students take the bus while others are driven, but how many children walk to school anymore?

During the first six years of my education in the 1960’s and early 70’s, we were living in Tucson, Arizona. Because of my visual impairment, I spent the first five and a half years at a state school for the blind before being mainstreamed into a public school. Because these facilities were too far to walk, and there was no bus, my parents drove me to and from school each day. However, I read stories about other children walking to and from school and longed to be able to do that.

When we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1973, my wish came true. For the first couple of years we lived there, our house was at the top of a hill, and the elementary school my brother and I attended was at the bottom. During sixth-grade, I delighted in walking to and from school with other kids.
When I started seventh grade, the junior high school was farther away. Dad wanted me to walk, but Mother prevailed, and I took the bus. I did walk half a mile to and from the bus stop each day, and that was fun.

In the spring of my eighth grade year, we moved to another house that was not within a school bus route. This time, Dad said I could walk, and Mother didn’t argue. It was a mile, the longest I’d ever walked. The route took me through downtown, so when Dad walked with me, he showed me how to cross busy streets with traffic lights by listening and watching the direction the vehicles were traveling.

Once I got the hang of it, I loved the long walk to and from school. I often stopped downtown, either at Brown Drug or The Palace Café, and had a milkshake. That was my after-school snack.

High school was a different matter. My main obstacle was a busy street with no four-way stop sign or light. At this point, I was given a cane that I held in front of me while standing at the corner in the hope that someone would stop. Hardly anyone did, and I often waited a long time for a break in traffic before dashing across.

After that, it was smooth sailing, through the park and up the hill. Thanks to that intersection, though, I soon lost interest in walking, especially in winter when the boardwalk up the hill was slick with snow and ice, and there was no railing. I was only too happy when my parents started driving me to and from school each day, although I could tell my father was disappointed.

I understand his disappointment. Because he had to walk to school every day as a kid, it was only fair that his children should do the same. I wish I’d continued to brave that intersection. Better yet, I could have taken a longer route.

In the good old days, many children in rural areas walked over a mile to and from school each day. I remember reading in The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder about Laura and her sister walking home from school one day during a raging blizard.

Nowadays, I see children getting off of school buses every day but rarely encounter them walking to or from school. Because of security concerns, real or imagined, many parents are too over-protective. This is sad. Whatever happened to the good old days?

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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