A Change of Pace; Prologue

9 August 2019

Hello everyone,

 

Because of the fact that our baby is due in September, I won’t be writing regular blog posts for a while. However, in the mean time, you’ll still receive blog posts from me every month – all because WordPress has this wonderful system of scheduling blog posts to publish at a later date. My wonderful followers, I know you will remain faithful in reading my posts. Unfortunately, life happens and when it does, some things need to be put on hold for a while. Once the baby is born, I promise I will try my hardest to write my blog posts.

 

However, I’m looking forward to it! Now that we’ll have a baby at home, the humor for life which I always try to incorporate in my blog posts will only increase. I enjoy telling all kinds of stories, so of course that will never change. In the mean time, I’ve decided to publish a chapter of my work-in-progress book, “Time & Tide”. I hope you will all enjoy 🙂 I hope you all won’t mind if you happen to see a typo every now and then. All I ask is that you keep an open mind, and think only of the story at hand. This is only a work in progress, after all. 🙂

 

Prologue 

The day was partly cloudy, sunshine trying to beam through the clouds but not quite succeeding. In the city of Seattle, Washington, Addison James Whitworth tapped his fingers on a large, brown desk. Addison was the oldest in the Whitworth family. He knew he was going to get the wealthy inheritance once he and siblings’ father had passed. But that would be a while, of course. He still had time to help in the family’s “career.”

Addison had sharply cut, rich black hair that always looked slick and greasy, cool. He was twenty-eight years old, even though he looked thirty-five, and always wore a suit. He was sitting in a large room with white walls and darkly painted paintings. There was a small window behind him, creamy white lace curtains blowing in the breeze. He again tapped his fingers on the desk, a grave sign of impatience.

He slammed a button on a machine in front of him, beeping the company secretary. “Sally, have you heard from my father yet?” he demanded gruffly.

Sally Berg, the constant scared-stiff secretary, answered in a strained yet calm voice, “He said that he was going to be a little late, and that your siblings are on their way.”

“It’s about time,” Addison grumbled, and thanked the secretary sharply before leaning back in his leather armchair.

Still restless and impatient, he got up off his seat to the window, and gazed outside. The Seattle skyscrapers and other tall buildings could be seen in the distance, along with many other mansions and highly expensive complexes around the area. But the only reason that he could, however, was because Seattle was beyond the Whitworth gardens. The mansion he was standing inside was four stories tall, with many rooms not needed and not used. There was a huge garden surrounding the entire mansion, along with a big, wide, and tall front, metal gate that could only be opened if the arriver knew the password. Every one of his family members, along with every staff member in the mansion, who were also starkly hooked to the entire Whitworth company, a very wealthy business, knew that if they went outside the entire business’s resources, they would get fired. Being fired was the best thing that could happen to them, if they were lucky.

He just happened to be gazing out a third story window of his office, and wished that his father didn’t work as a lawyer on the side of the family business. It would make things a lot easier and safer, but then some people might still be curious, so for the umpteenth time, Addison Whitworth noted that perhaps his father was continuously doing what was best for the family, and for every one of his five children.

He cleared his throat, and then fisted out a cigar from his pocket. He lighted it, and then tossed the closed lighter on his large expanse of desk. He gazed briefly around the room, at the several lounge chairs and many bookshelves of dictionaries, various encyclopedias, and any other book his father or him had ever bought or owned. Most of them had to either do with history or politics, yet some of them were great novels, like “The Grapes of Wrath” or “To Kill A Mockingbird.” But those time periods was as far as it went for purchasing books.

Suddenly, the white, wooden door of the office flew open. Addison looked up just as a tall lady with shoulder-length, curly light brown hair and terrified, wide blue eyes entered the room. Wrinkles ordained her soft cheeks, and she had three different rings on various fingers of her left hand: a wedding ring, engagement ring, and a mother’s ring, doting five different birthstones. In Addison’s opinion, the ridiculous thing was a symbol of a mother’s great, adoring love for her five children. Yet all Addison had for his mother was resentment.

“Addison!” the woman exclaimed, her voice squeaky, and she hurried over to him in her formal wear of a tight, short-sleeved, blue blouse, and long, black skirt with matching heels. A diamond necklace glittered around her neck, along with diamond earrings. “You cannot do this, my son! You just cannot.”

“It has to be done, Mother.” He shook his head, talking around the cigar at the corner of his mouth. “If it’s not done, it’ll be an entire disgrace to the company’s business livelihood, not to mention this family.”

“This family has become a too-strict, no-good place that will just deteriorate as the years go by!” Amelia Whitworth reached forward and clutched both hands against her son’s suit coat. Her eyes were pleading with him madly as she looked up into her son, six inches taller than her. “I am your mother, my sweet boy. Your mother! How can you even dare to do this to your mother? All because of that man?”

Addison’s green eyes turned into disgust as he gazed down at his mother, and then clasped a hand around hers. He pushed her off him, and then stepped back. “That man happens to be my father, Mother.”

“Yeah, a father who uses his children for money, wealth, and dishonesty.” She shuddered, hugging herself. “I don’t understand why you have to do this. I just don’t. I raised you, your brothers, and sisters better than this, Addison! It even says so in the Bible—”

“You know we don’t read the Bible unless we are curious about a piece of history,” Addison snapped, and then scowled at her. “You are anything but a mother anymore…Amelia.”

Amelia’s gaze snapped up, and she threw a glare at her son. “How dare you call me by my first name! You’re my son! You’re supposed to call me Mother, or Mom!”

“Ha!” Addison shook his head, and then looked up to see two young women enter the room. “Ah, you’re finally here.”

“We would’ve been here earlier,” the youngest girl, nineteen-year old Emily Ladonna Whitworth remarked with an innocent toss of her long, dark brown wavy hair. She crossed her arms, and leaned against the wall. “But we couldn’t find Cole.”

“What!” Addison exclaimed, and stomped his foot. “This is a family meeting!” He ignored his mother’s scoff from behind him. “He’s every bit of family as the rest of us.”

Emily’s hazel-green eyes narrowed, daring Addison to say that she didn’t tell him so. Cole was being a disgrace to the family legacy as their brother. “Well, what do you know. So what are we supposed to do about it, huh?”

Addison quirked an eyebrow.

“Addison!” the second, twenty-one year old sister, Lorraine Jeanne Whitworth exclaimed at her oldest brother, disappointment lacing her beautiful blue eyes. She shook her head at him, her shoulder-length, light blond curls shifting. “How many times have I told you to stop smoking cigars?” She gave a face of disgust. “No wonder it smells horrible in here all the time.”

“They’re stress relievers, Lor.” He shook his head back at her. “And when it comes to Cole, why shouldn’t I have this right?”

“Ah, don’t worry,” twenty-five year old, short brother Jack Walton Whitworth proclaimed lazily as he stepped into the room behind his sisters. His green eyes looked darker against his wavy and short, dark brown hair. “The thugs will find him eventually. They always do.”

Addison rolled his eyes. “Oh, for the last time, Jack! Will  you quit calling them thugs?”

“Okay, fine.” Jack shook his head, coming to stand beside Emily. “I guess I can’t wait until Karl, Slade, Linus, and Russ get here, then,” he added sarcastically, with a lace of bitterness.

Almost all at the same time, the four siblings turned to gaze hateful glances at their mother, standing beside the window.

Amelia glared right back. “How dare you,” she snarled, clenching her hands around her crossed arms until her knuckles were white. “You’re my children!” Her voice broke on the last word, and she bit her lip. “How dare you.” She shook her head, and then looked away.

“Anyway,” Jack added as if neither one of them had even heard their mother speak. “When are we going to get this show on the road?”

“Yeah,” Lorraine chimed in, “are we having the meeting afterward?”

“Quite so.” Addison momentarily slipped his cigar from his mouth to blow smoke into the air. He ignored Lorraine’s roll of the eyes. “There are quite a few things Father and I need to discuss with you guys.”

“I wish it could’ve waited for another day,” Emily pronounced. “I have an accounting job to get back to.”

“Don’t we all,” Jack added wryly, and then a lopsided smirk braced across his mouth.

“Well. Let the show begin,” came another voice, and they all turned, even Amelia, to see a tall man with graying, dark brown, wavy hair, and piercing green eyes. Byron Gonzalo Whitworth looked strict and angry and determined, as always, and he leaned a bit on a cane, though he mostly used it to just look nice. He wore no wedding ring on his finger, however, despite him still being married to Amelia. Reading glasses were clipped to his single breast pocket, and he cleared his throat.

“Father,” Addison greeted the man, but he didn’t show as much respect on his face as the rest of his siblings did.

Jack, Lorraine, and Emily even showed more respect for their father by looking more formal and polite. Emily leaned away from the wall, Jack straightened his tie, and Emily cleared her throat and raised her chin.

But Byron looked around. “Where’s Cole?” he demanded gruffly.

Even though Emily winced, Addison remained in control. “The guys are probably looking for him, sir.”

“We couldn’t find him or contact him for the meeting,” Lorraine said to her father softly.

Byron huffed. “Boy! Can’t get him to do anything around here.” He shook his head with more anger than disappointment. “If this keeps up, he’s going to have to go, too.”

That statement brought Amelia looking up with surprised fright. “Not Cole,” she whispered, and then braced forward toward her husband. Addison tried to reach out to grab her arm, but she was too fast. She hurried up to clutch her husband’s jacket like she had with Addison’s before. “Not my youngest boy! Oh, dear, Byron, you wouldn’t!”

“It might have to be done,” Byron stated quietly, and then barely looked at her. “You…You are no wife of mine.”

Stark hurt blazed through Amelia’s blue eyes, and then she glared at him, finally letting go. “Nor are you a good husband,” she snarled, and then stepped back. “You’re nothing but an idiotic, pompous windbag.” She turned away toward the window.

Byron scoffed, untouched, yet showed no smile on his face. He rarely smiled. “Call me what you want, Amelia. But in the end…” He shook his head. “It won’t matter.”

Addison reached into his other pocket, and pulled out a small device. Pressing a button with his thumb, he talked into it. “Linus, where are you guys?”

“Headed upstairs,” came Linus’s faint reply.

“Good,” Byron huffed again as Addison tossed the device onto his organized desk. “We need to get this over with, the sooner, the better.”

Amelia shuddered, her eyes filled with tears as she kept her gaze at her feet.

“Sir?”

They all turned to see three big, muscular thugs stomp into the room, all dressed in black and wearing hefty belts with guns.

Linus Townsend, the biggest one, was clutching the collar of Cole Douglas Whitworth, the literal disgrace of the family. “I found him in the trees. I don’t know what he was doing.”

“Get off me,” Cole snarled, and then jerked away. His short, light brown, blond-streaked hair was messy, as if he’d been running his hands through it a few times. He wasn’t dressed formally, either. He had a nice white shirt that was not tucked in, and he wore a black tie very loose around his neck, along with black slacks and matching dress shoes.

Cole’s hazel-green eyes filled with unmistakable pain as he gazed at his mother in the corner.

“It’s about time, you idiot,” Addison snapped, momentarily taking out his cigar and clutching his mother’s forearm tightly at the same time. “What were you doing? In the trees, of all places?”

“Trying to hide, to figure out a way to stop all this nonsense,” Cole exclaimed in a high-pitched voice, and his eyes filled with tears. “Come on, Addison. She’s our mother.”

“More your mother than ours these days.” Addison shook his head, and a playful grin stood at the corners of his mouth. “Since you’re such a mama’s boy.”

Cole glared at him furiously.

“That’s enough, boys,” Byron said, and then looked at his thugs. He nodded his head toward Amelia. “Guys, go on.”

Three of the thugs went over and grabbed Amelia tightly just as her arms dropped to her sides helplessly, and tears began streaming down her cheeks. Russ, the smallest thug, fisted out a gun and held it at the woman.

“No!” Cole screamed, and he lurched forward, but Slade, the thug standing at the door, grabbed his arm. Jack grabbed the other arm, both determined to keep Cole back. He was supposed to be a good use to the company. “Please.”

His face very emotionless, Byron glanced at a piece of rumpled paper. “Amelia Whitworth, you are charged with being a conspiracy against this family…” He re-folded the piece of paper, and placed it back into the inside pocket of his white-striped, gray suit coat. “…And are ordered to die immediately.”

“So long,” Addison quipped, and then grinned.

“Mom!” Cole exclaimed, tears pooling in his eyes. His shoulders started shaking as he tried to struggle free, glaring at his oldest brother. “You cannot do this! She didn’t do anything wrong!”

“Of course she did,” Addison remarked.

“I suggest you shut up now, Cole,” Jack said angrily from behind Cole.

“Mom,” Cole whimpered, staring at his mother tenderly, yet very sadly as she choked on a sob, and gazed lovingly back at her son. “I love you.”

Amelia nodded, mouthing, “I love you” back, just as Russ cocked the pistol.

“No!” Cole yelled, and then squeezed his eyes shut.

A piercing gunshot hit the room, followed by a soft thump.

Emily gazed with interest at her nails, and then raised her eyebrows. “Can I go back to work now?”

“No,” Byron stated. “That’s enough, Emily.” He frowned at her. “There’s still business to discuss.” He glanced at Cole. “As for you, Cole…”

Cole glanced at his father angrily, being let go by Slade.

“You will not dishonor this family.” Byron pointed at his son with his rich black cane. “You will continue with your college studies, but I suggest you obey whatever we say. The next meeting is next month. You stay quiet throughout the entire meeting this morning, and continue doing so for the rest of the meetings unless you have something to say that you know will particularly interest us.” He shook his head. “You will do exactly as Addison or myself say, and that goes for the rest of your siblings. Otherwise, we’re through!” he added sharply. “Is that understood?”

Cole swallowed hard, and then gazed momentarily at his mother’s body. He swallowed again, and a single tear rolled down his cheek.

“Yes, Father,” he said softly.

Jack patted his shoulder, as if he was glad he’d finally agreed, and let go of him, too.

“Good.” Byron nodded, and then cleared his throat. “We need to discuss other business matters now, then.”

His face contorted, Cole gazed over at Addison.

From around his cigar, Addison grinned at him, but it did nothing to soothe Cole’s pain.
*************************

 

 

 

 

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When God Surprises You~

12 July 2019

 

Hello, everyone,

 

God has been known to surprise me a lot in my life, but sometimes, I forget to thank Him. I think that’s our fault in those moments – that we forget to thank Him for all He has given us. Sure, we ask for things in prayer every day – but do we ever really think to thank Him?

 

There have been so many dark moments in my life, just like everyone else’s life, where I’ve found I could not have gotten through that tunnel of darkness if the Lord hadn’t been by my side. We must have that relationship with Him, though, and serve Him the way it commands in His Word, in order for it to make a real difference in our lives.

 

When I was a kid, I was extremely shy and quiet. Because of that, I often got ignored or put on the back burner. I often got made fun of and ridiculed. Everyone I knew were very outgoing and didn’t know how to deal with a quiet, shy person like me. That darkness a shy person feels can only be understood by introverts. To this day, sometime I’m still shy, but I’m 95% better than I was back then. I owe that only to God.

 

When I was in college my sophomore year, I decidedly disliked my major of mass communications that I was in. It wasn’t for me, and I simply had to find my way. A professor suggested I take up a degree in English instead, and once I changed my degree, my life was forever changed. I loved college classes because of that, and grew much more knowledgeable in my work as a freelance writer. Not only that, but my degree gradually landed me a job that I love. I owe these things to God.

 

In 2011, after a bad breakup with my first boyfriend, I wanted nothing to do with men for the rest of my life, which left me miserable, because finding my one true love had been my #1 goal and desire in life aside from serving God. But God surprised me: a friend introduced me to my future husband. I took a risk and after four months of getting to know him through our daily text conversations, he mustered the courage to ask me out. Then, at KFC, we met for the first time, and that meeting changed my life. Because of God, my husband is my #1 blessing in my life and my best friend. I owe everything I’ve experienced and love to God for blessing my husband in my life.

 

And finally, last year was when it didn’t look very hopeful for us to get a house. Also, we felt like God was making us wait for a baby. These two things were constant thorns in my side. And then, last December, God blessed us with the opportunity to finally get a house. Then, a week or so after we started looking at houses, I found out I was pregnant. And now, we’re perfectly happy in a twin home and will be expecting a kid in September! Although, I felt ashamed of myself for doubting Him in the times when I had. The day I got our pregnancy confirmed with a doctor, I was on cloud nine. The whole drive home, I could not stop praising and thanking God for His blessings. After waiting for what seemed like forever, crying about it and praying about it daily, I had resigned myself with the realization that if God willed for these blessings to occur, He’d make it happen. And He did! He understands each and every one of us better we know ourselves. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout this entire past trial, it’s that God surprises us in His most perfect timing.

 

Believe that today! I can’t wait to see how God surprises my family and I in the future. So if you’re reading this, stuck in a rut and wondering how God will possibly pull through for you – believe this today, folks. God WILL come through for you! Yes, it will be within His most perfect timing, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. The world doesn’t revolve around us, our needs, and our wants. God wants us to serve Him and lean onto Him – not out of weakness because we’re not weak – but out of love, respect, honor, and adoration toward Him. He knows what’s best for us. No, it may not be exactly what we prayed for, but even in time, you will see that God knows that His answer to our prayers – not ours – worked out better than any other conclusion we could’ve ever imagined.

 

Do you have questions about this or how to come to God? Or maybe you’re struggling and need a listening ear? Hit me up by an email message or a comment below! I always love hearing from my followers.

 

Also, once the baby is born, I recognize that I’ll have little to no time for writing. I understand that my writing may need to be put temporarily on hold. But that’s okay – you know why? Because I trust that God will surprise me, as He has surprised me in the past, and as He will continue to surprise me. And He’ll even surprise YOU! But only if you let him 🙂

 

Have a safe, happy, and fun July 🙂

 

JMK~

Future Writing Goals~

5 May 2018

Hello, everyone,

 

As a writer, one is always making goals for oneself, it seems like. I try to write them down as often as I possibly can, because if I don’t, then it really bugs me until then.

 

Below are the goals I hope to accomplish between either the remainder of this year of next year. I understand that, as I’ll soon be a full-time worker, mother, homemaker, and wife, I might have little to no time for writing. But still, that is people’s assumption, that they must give up on their hobbies or dreams in order to accomplish another dream or desire. That is not necessarily true. Aside from being a Christian wife and mother, I plan to still be an avid writer as much as I possibly can. Therefore, below are my goals:

 

  • Research some more literary agents and publishers to send query letters to.

 

  • Send query letters to literary agents and/or publishing companies.

 

  • Finish hanging up all the wall hangings left to hang up in our house.

 

  • Finish organizing, planning, and decorating the nursery.

 

  • Start and complete gardening and landscaping projects around the building of the house.

 

  • Create and schedule enough blog posts to last throughout the rest of the year and into the beginning of 2020, so I can focus on other, more important things during that time.

 

  • Continue to be devoted to helping out others as much as possible and helping out / being more involved at church.

 

  • Finishing writing my book, “Crimson,” and any other book that may be left unfinished, even if remains unedited.

 

  • Staying involved on social media as much as I can.

 

What are your goals for the remainder of the year, as well as any summer goals? What is your favorite hobby? What are ways that you put one dream on hold to take hold of another dream?

 

Have a good one, everyone 🙂

JMK~

How to Live a Happy Life~

19 April 2019

Hello, everyone,

 

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, and I do apologize about that. I’ve spent the past couple months getting prepared for our house and baby, as well as planning, organizing, and nesting. I have missed writing, however, very much, and even after the baby is born, I still plan to write. I’ll never give it up.

 

So with everything going on around you, living a busy life day after day, how do you still live a happy life?

 

Well, I can honestly say that I’ve never felt truly happy until I’ve heartily prayed about the things in my life that bug me, and then leave the rest to God, trusting Him to handle it in His own good time. It gives you such peace when you finally allow God to take care of even the smallest things in your life, such as what you and your spouse are going to have for supper that night. I’ve been known to pray about such things. It gives me the courage to rely on the Lord even more. In fact, you can rely upon Him with anything in your life that may bug you. Praying about it simply makes it all disappear, as well as causes you to realize that maybe the situation isn’t as bad as you may think. After all, you’re giving it to a big God who is more than capable of handling it!

 

The main reason there is a growing rate of suicides in the world today, is because people are not truly happy. They may have hobbies that they love, family members that they love, and so forth. But if you don’t a hundred percent give everything to the Lord, then how do you expect to endure true peace in your life? Even after a couple of days of neglecting to pray, I feel weak and empty inside. Many times, I’ve heard how people in the news admitting that they felt suicidal or depressed, because they felt so empty inside.  That emptiness and depression wouldn’t be there if only they had given their problems and burdens to God. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. There are still things that I personally struggle with and have to cry out to God about them every day, but I pray that God will help me through them and give me the wisdom and guidance to know how to encounter such trials. Maybe the trial is a person in our life who brings us down in some way, or maybe it’s an event or circumstance that you dread coming across either occasionally or regularly. Maybe it’s something in your own personality that you wish was different. Whatever the case, give it to the Lord. Even though He knows what we need and want before we ask Him, we should never be afraid to ask Him for things, because that’s what builds a lasting relationship with Him.

 

There was a time in my life when I hardly ever prayed to God unless I absolutely needed something extremely important changed or a problem fixed within my life. I realize now how wrong that was. Aside from asking for things we need and want, as well as giving all of our burdens over to Him, we need to do so with a thankful heart. A lot of times, if we get a prayer answered, we forget about how fervently we’d prayed to God about that situation that we don’t even thank Him for the answered prayer! We must stop this. After all, God gave us His Son to die on the cross to pay for all of our sins. Jesus was innocent; we are not. God gave us the blessing of our spouse; our true friends; our family; our home; our jobs; our cars; our gift of life to breathe and live each and every day. If we only pray to God whenever we need Him, we’re not giving Him enough credit and we’re definitely not being very fair to Him who has given us all things.

 

So once again, do you want to know the key to a truly happy life? God. Find God, and you find yourself and every answer to every problem in your life. Find God, and you’ll never be depressed or suicidal. Find God, and everything will work out beautifully in your life. And trust me – as soon who prayed fervently every day for years for a baby and a bigger home, and those things have happened – they WILL turn out all right. 🙂

 

Happy Easter, everyone 🙂

 

JMK~

A Story the Vacant Buildings Could Tell~

A Story the Vacant Buildings Could Tell~

19 February 2019

Hello everyone,

 

When I was growing up, life seemed so much simpler. For everyone, I believe, it does feel that way. When you’re in junior high, for example, the only things you’d hafta worry about are: cleanliness, making sure your school homework is due on time, and staying out of the way of school bullies. Right now, I’d gladly go back in time and live at least one day during my junior high years, but not to do it again – rather, to remember who I was back then and how I’ve changed from then until now. Also, I wish I could have at least one more conversation with my grandmother again. I miss her every day, and unfortunately, it wasn’t until she passed away that I came full force with the abrupt realization of how fast time really does go. I remember visiting her house when I was a child where she served me tea and cookies, only to grow up and walk through the now- empty house as an adult.

 

I’ll give you an example of how fast life goes: in the above picture is the welcome sign to Leith, ND, where my mother and her five siblings grew up out in the country. This tiny, sleepy town only has one working business: the bar, and the remainder of the buildings sit still, silent, and closed down, boards up with stories left to tell.

imagesThe above picture’s building used to be the post office. I’ve looked through the windows before, and there are still fliers left hanging up inside it. One year, the town was having an anniversary celebration, and it was fun to see most of the buildings open, walk around inside them, and inspect how life once used to be. In the early 1900s, my late great-grandpa Julius ran the town creamery with his father and then with his brothers. His wife, Gram Margie, used to tell us stories when she was alive, stories of harsh winters spent where my late grandma Rita and her brother sometimes walked to the creamery to stay warm instead of walking all the way home. One afternoon when I was a teenager, I sat with Gram Margie in her assisted living family room, flipping through old, black and white photos  and asking questions; the stories she told me really struck.

 

Country music legend Alan Jackson (who happens to be my all-time favorite country music artist by the way) even touches on such details within his song, “Little Man.” I grew up listening to old country music legends whenever we traveled to town or even thirty miles away where the best and most affordable grocery store was for us. My mom even had it running on the house stereo as we helped her clean house on Saturdays. It gradually became a comfort to me, and to this day, I refuse to listen to “modern” country music. You can’t beat the classics like Clint Black, Alan Jackson, George Strait, etc., and I find it sad that a lot of school kids nowadays don’t even know who those people are. I consider them part of my childhood, as well as part of who I am as a person. Why? Because it was those songs that we listened to as we traveled to places with my parents. And it was those car rides that made me think and ponder my life and who I was – not in a negative or depressing way, but just pondering how far God had taken me thus far. Whenever we went to Leith, ND, which was at least once a year, it was like coming home. Not only did we get to see my maternal grandparents, but we got to appreciate even more country side living and how it’d shaped us as human beings. I feel the same way with my parents’ home, especially now that my maternal grandparents have now passed on and we don’t visit Leith anymore. I’ll always be a country girl in my heart, because that’s how I was raised.

 

We each have our story to tell, and one day, we’ll tell those stories to our grandchildren and, God willing, great-grandchildren. I hope and pray that I get to do that one day, to tell them about my life and the blessings God has granted me. Nowadays, as my husband and I work every day, as well as work to get a bigger place to live with a baby on the way, I realize we are starting our own legacy. At one time in their lives, our grandparents were doing the same things. Then, suddenly, one day they wake up in their old age and realize their spouse is gone and they can barely walk. I wish I could’ve asked my grandparents more questions, such as how they’d handled life challenges when they were building houses and creating their families. What were their thoughts, feelings, and ideas? How did God so creatively chart their life courses?

 

You’ll get busy with taking care of the house, raising kids, and working – and then bam, before you know it, you’re sitting in the nursing home pondering your life. It’s rather sad, really, but it’s also needful, because it makes you want to cherish those good memories and good times more and more every day. I know I’ve written a blog post similar to this one before, but I cannot stress even more of how important it is to cling to life and cherish every moment. What kind of legacy do you plan to leave behind? And how do you want to live your life? Hopefully not with regret.

 

As I live my own life, in the here and now, I plan to enjoy the good moments, wonderful times, and pleasant memories as often as I possibly can. Because before you know it, in a blink of an eye, life ends and all that remains are the stories that your children and grandchildren continue without you.

 

If the empty, closed down, and boarded up buildings could talk, they’d tell stories on who had lived or worked in that building. In fact, they’d probably never stop talking. Story after story they’d tell of the human beings who stepped foot between those walls, busy with life, going about their business with no thought at all how maybe, just maybe, that very business might be closed down one day. Old ones die, and houses that were built with two hands by an in-love couple who raised a houseful of children are now left behind to rot.

antler1downloadleith

Look at the house in the second picture above – it’s dark, empty, and lonely, left behind by a happy family that grew up laughing, playing games, and learning about life. Look at the buildings in the other pictures. They’re all empty, abandoned, and alone, no longer wanted and no longer needed. Gives you something to think about it, doesn’t it? There were once memories in all of these similar type places throughout the country. The buildings could tell us story after story.

 

Back in the 1900s, I can just imagine the hustling of an old shop’s door jingling open and closed as the workers carried out their business. Young women in their thirties, with long dresses and thick coats, stringing along several small children, to make a deposit at an old bank that no longer exists, or to mail a letter in a post office that is now closed down. Their husbands are at home, farming the land. The children they carry along were our grandparents. If you think about it, it steals your breath away to ponder how life begins and changes in an instant. When an old one passes, new life begins, and so forth will life continue until Judgment Day. We’re only here for a short time, after all – only 80-100 years, if we’re lucky. Let’s make the best of every moment and every day that we have left. One day, after we pass, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be following in our footsteps: growing up, graduating from school(s), getting married, having children, buying a house, raising the children, and then, growing old. Before long, our memories become farther and farther away from our future generation’s minds, and one day, a child picks up a picture of you eighty years later and asks her grandparent who that is. Then, after an explanation, that picture will be placed back in a drawer to rest.

And in the mean time, our grandchildren and great-children will one day whisper,  “I hope I make her proud by carrying on her legacy.”

 

JMK~

Writers & Personal Style~

22 January 2019

 

Hello, everyone,

 

I love to watch a good movie, preferably anything of either the superhero kind or a romantic drama / comedy. Everybody has their own tastes and preferred genres when it comes to movies. Some like horror movies or can’t seem to get enough of Stephen King flicks. Others watch only inspirational movies. For myself, it’s a mix. Around Halloween especially is when I really get courageous enough to see a new horror movie. But the point is: everyone has their own tastes.

 

The same is true for artists – some prefer watercolors; others, a different type of painting style. For writers, we all have our own genres that we prefer as well. I prefer romantic suspense, because I love a good love story, wound together within a intense mystery where the reader gradually pieces together a puzzle. Maybe that’s why Kate Morton is my favorite author. Also, there’s nothing wrong with the genre you prefer, or the type of writer you are.

 

The only thing wrong is when somebody makes it their priority to try to hurt you or else ruin the objectives to your dreams in which you’re currently working so hard for. These people are called bullies. Online, they’re called cyber bullies. Now there’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism – the kind where people kindly correct you about how to be better at your dream career or hobby. That type of stuff I happily accept. But, as many of you probably know very well, there’s the ugly type – those who purposely try to say cruel and untrue things about you. They may post an ugly comment on a social media page of yours, or share your information just to publicly humiliate you or else try to destroy your public image on social media.  I’m not sure what causes people to want to purposely harm others to get what they want or maybe to even make them feel better about themselves, but I’ve dealt with it enough times to realize that these people are not worth even corresponding with. So whenever someone does try to purposely get you, just remember one thing: nobody can ever prevent the dream career or hobby you’re trying to reach. Absolutely nobody. All you must do is block them, maybe fix your privacy shields a bit if you need to, and move on. It’s not even worth trying to defend yourself to people who are not keeping an open mind or open heart about the kind of person you are, or the art you’re trying so hard to create.

 

Writers aren’t perfect. Human beings aren’t perfect, and we haven’t been since before Adam & Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden. If writers make a mistake, maybe they aren’t aware of it. Maybe they need some kind advice. But don’t berate them, embarrass them either publicly or privately, and don’t belittle them. In the long run, such cruelty isn’t going to benefit you, especially if readers discover you’re cruel to other authors/writers. Don’t you want people who follow you on social media to look up to you?

 

Writers – we are all in the same boat here. We all want the same goal: to be published, and to positively affect the world through our stories. But how exactly are you doing that if you’re being a bully to other fellow writers/authors? Still, I forgive you. This post isn’t about shooting daggers at anyone, but rather, showing people the right and wrong ways to criticize art. The art of writing is a beautiful thing. God blessed us with the talents to commit pen to paper and create amazing stories. But God did not create us to harshly or cruelly criticize other people’s mistakes or personal styles. Such negative attributes are straight from the devil.

 

Constructive criticism is beneficial and is much encouraged. Going forward, please make sure that the criticism you give others is not going to hurt them in any way, and is said in the nicest way possible. As an artist, writer, or whatever hobby or career you’re passionate about, you’re always going to receive criticism. You’re also always going to have the chance to give criticism. But just make sure that both are done in the right way. Otherwise, it not only tries to destroy that artist or writer’s character, but it begins to eat at your character as well.

 

There are millions of people out in the world longing to make a difference to the world. Don’t try to ruin that for them, especially when you’re trying to make a difference yourself. Instead of being an enemy, be a friend, because friendship will change a person’s life for the better; enemies only destroy.

 

So writers, I encourage each and every one of you to write in your own personal style! Work your hardest and be the best that you can be, and don’t let anyone ever create doubts in your mind about yourself. Don’t ever let anyone try to thwart the dreams you’re working to accomplish. I especially encourage you to pray about it, because with a little bit of hard work and a little bit of fervent prayer, God WILL bless you.

 

Have a good week, everyone. And remember, be nice. 🙂

 

JMK~

Christmas Memories~

Christmas Memories~

23 December 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

What are your favorite Christmas memories spent with your grandparents? Did you used to bake cookies / other desserts with Grandma or Grandpa? Or do you simply remember being surrounded by them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, relinquishing the cherished memories of simply being together.

 

This holiday season will be the first Christmas without my grandmother, a wonderful lady who taught me so many things in my thirty years of life. She taught me how to work hard for what you’re most passionate about, never give up, and never stop trying. She taught me that one doesn’t have to have good looks to be successful in life; among other things. Ever since I was a little girl, I enjoyed baking with her. Saturday afternoons growing up, I’d go next door to my grandmother’s house where she had fresh baked cookies cooling on the counter, and always offered to make me some tea. She had a ton of different kinds of tea, so she always gave me my list of options of teas I could choose from. She’d always recommend one, too, and together we’d sit together at the kitchen table, and she’d look over the day’s newspaper or magazine and ask me what I was up to these days, even if she’d only seen me a few days before. My grandma always had her dark hair, no matter how old she was, short and permed perfectly. Her bifocal glasses sat at the edge of her long nose. Her hands were spotted with age, but ones that reminded me of comfort, love, and patience as she taught me how to sew images on dish towels and kneel at the foot of the bed at night before saying my prayers.

 

I’m thinking about my grandma a lot this holiday season, such as how, every year, she created little drops of fudge and divinity for her grandchildren to enjoy. My sisters and I, my parents, and as many cousins as could come, celebrated Christmas Day afternoon opening gifts that my grandmother had given to all of her grandchildren. You could tell, simply by the joy on her face, that she adored seeing the looks on her grandchildren’s faces as they opened their gifts, while being quite humble about her own gifts. My grandma put her whole heart into the spirit of Christmas, and aside from God, family meant the most to her. I so wish I could hear her laugh again, her pleasant voice, and the comfort one can have simply by being in their grandmother’s presence. I plan to one day tell my future children about her and the woman who meant so much to me. I loved her very much.

 

This holiday season, make sure you’re humble within the spirit of Christmas, that you’re more excited to give rather than receive gifts. Cherish the sweet home holiday traditions you share with your families, and study them fondly so that one day, they’ll be rigidly clear in your mind as you think upon what once was. Bake lots of Christmas cookies and candies, even if you end up having to throw some. Buy different kinds of wrapping paper. Find lots of cute little knicknacks and streams to hang around your house, aside from a simple Christmas tree. If, in your head, you’re finding excuses to not go to a certain relative’s house or to visit this person or that person – don’t think on the negative. Because Christmas is about the positive, and sharing the season of giving and sharing with those we love most.

 

Happy Holidays, everyone 🙂

 

JMK~