Waiting to Exhale Through September

 Today marks the anniversary of my son Chase's death. I usually mark this date in my heart and outwardly keep going through the motions of the day. And then his birthday comes a few weeks later. I mark it on my heart again, sometimes send him a Facebook shoutout on his page. It's been more than ten years and the loss is still just as painful. The tears flow just as heavily. The he'd-be-this-age-now-and-doing-these-things-now thoughts wash across the floor of my mind, leaving behind minefields I step on at the most random moments.

I tell myself that if he were alive, he would have left my house by now like all my other kids, living his own life. It's just like he moved away farther, to a place I can't visit, without cell reception. But then there are times when I feel his presence so clearly that I don't need a phone call to reach him anyway. I feel his happiness at being free and doing whatever it is that he is doing. 

With cystic fibrobis I would still be counting every one of his breaths instead of holding my own until September is over. September has become a month when so many people die. My friend's husband and my other dear two friends' parents. There seems to be more celebrities that pass in September as well. Jimmy Buffet was the first I've heard of this month late last night. Or maybe I only think more pass in September because I'm more attuned to it. I don't know.

But as years pass there is also joy in September. My grandchild who shares Chase's name was born this month. Chase probably loves that. And two days before Chase's birthday we're celebrating the marriage of his brother to an amazing woman. 

Perhaps this September I can release the breath I'm holding a little bit earlier. 

Where Love Really Does Conquer All

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What I Carry

What I CarryWhat I Carry by Jennifer Longo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love those books that you can't wait to get back to and are sorry you have to put down because you have to work instead of read all day.

"What I Carry" is one of those books. I loved Muir and the way she portrayed what it's like being a child in the foster care system. My heart hurt for her and rejoiced as she opened hers up and took the chance on trusting people when she never had been able to before.

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Happy 2023


It's time to say adieu to 2022. I started my 3rd year teaching High School English to Freshman. I'd love to say it's been going great but I'm still learning the best techniques to manage the classes and keep them engaged. I feel like an imposter nearly every day but keep on faking it until I make it. 

I watched a Ted Talk the other day about power poses and how your body language can actually stimulate your brain and make good things happen so when I get back to school I'm going to do the Wonder Woman power pose before the students come in. 

I've been creatively busy and the past couple of months with a new series of books. 
I finished the last two books in the Chapel Pines series and the first book in the Billionaire Brigade series. I have a plan and a planner to get the next five books completed before the end of 2024. 

It's going to be a busy year but a great one. How about you? What are your goals for this year? 

My First Escape Room



While I was in Utah a few weeks ago, I went to my first escape room with my sister Heather and her family. I had no idea what to expect really. We went to Alcatraz Escape Rooms and picked a Harry Potter themed room. 

They put us and another group of 4 or 5 (total strangers to us--my first thought was that I would have to work and talk with people I didn't know) into a dark room the size of a small dining room. I'm looking around completely clueless about how to start while they went over the rules. Then we were off. 

Everyone starts scrambling and I have no idea what to scramble for. I noticed that there were colored pennants on the wall. Most people were working on figuring out what the two foot columns were for when I called out that there were pennants on the wall. Someone who knew what they were doing decided to match the colors with the columns to get a combination. Okay then, I see how this works now.

There was a chest set with a clue to find the white queen's winning play with several examples of the game board. This is where I become both brilliant and a complete moron at the same time. Brilliant, because I know enought about chess that I immediately knew the correct sequence and loaded them on the board. A moron because as soon as I placed the final piece a trap door opened in the wall behind me and a wand popped out. I give the wand to my sister's daughter, but I did not get the connection that it came from the chess piece. I don't know how much more time I wasted trying to figure out that chess game that I had already solved. 

It so it went. I had moments of brilliance and moments of being utterly clueless. It was really fun though, with lots of laughter and even working with strangers who were okay. It seems like we were smarter than we gave ourselves credit for because we kept second-guessing ourselves. We ended up escaping with five minutes to spare so Huzzah to us! 

I highly recommend these as good family fun!