November 22, 2011. I roll out of bed, my mind already spinning with all that has to be accomplished. Thanksgiving is in two days. The still frozen bagged turkey has to be transferred from the fridge to the bucket of cold water I insist is the only proper way to thaw it. I make a mental note to have the hubs fill the bucket as I trip over the basket of cleaned items that must be put back in my bathroom. A sense of sleepy achievement swells in my chest. I managed to get both upstairs bathrooms and my dressing area thoroughly cleaned the night before. This, on the heels of having cleaned two entire floors below me, is cause for celebration. It's part of who I am. I must have a clean, organized environment in order to function. It is akin to my RA. I have learned to live with it.
Before you open your mouth to let an "Awwww, she has RA", don't bother. Sympathy is wasted on me. I have no use for it. There are many diseases much worse. My parents died from cancer, my sister-in-law died from ALS, my co-author's son has FOP. My minute RA is hardly worth a mention. Truthfully, I am likely more active than you.
I toss a pink hoodie, two pair of go-to jeans and several socks in the open suitcase beneath my bedroom window before heading downstairs. After Thanksgiving Day, when two of my children and their families burst into my house for our traditional feast, the hubs and I will head to Upstate New York to visit with our youngest son and his family. I shudder at the thought of traveling on Black Friday Morning through Philadelphia traffic one scant night's sleep after a day of cooking and cleaning the remnants of a kitchen that will surely resemble a war zone. On the other hand, is there ever a good time to travel through a maze of Philadelphia traffic?
Once downstairs, I turn on the laptop and start a list of sundry items I'll need to pick up tonight. My fingers are typing a list while my mind fast forwards to 'the book'. Butterflies dance through my belly as once more, the realization that it is written hits me. From Chapter One to Chapter Forty-Three, it is written. First six chapters edited. No longer aware of my list, my thoughts are focused on "No Gentleman is He." "We did it," I murmur with a smile for perhaps the thousandth time in the last two weeks.
It didn't hit me when I typed the last word. In fact, the last word was only the last word until the edits. It threw me for an overjoyed loop when my co-author sent back the first few chapters of edits. Like a ton of bricks. The first in a series of Historical Romances set in various geographical locations during the American Revolution.
It was then I noticed the date. November 22. It is the anniversary of President John F Kennedy's death. Yet another piece of American history; unlike the war for independence, it is one I remember. Second grade elementary school, Mrs. Evan's and Miss Foster (no one was Ms. in 1963) walked in front of me, barely aware of their surroundings, let alone my small form a few steps behind them. It lives in the hearts of everyone in my generation and is irrevocably linked to this time of year.
My attention drifted to life in the ensuing 48 years since that fateful day; both mine and life in general. I am relatively sure President Kennedy would be disappointed in our country today; as would the founding fathers that are sprinkled throughout the series of books my co-author, Lynette Willows, and I, are writing. Still, we have come a long and great way since 1963. The technology alone is mind boggling. The internet, Ipods, smart phones, DNA, MRIs...unfathomable forty-eight years ago! I wrote a book with a friend from Canada whom I would have not met without the internet.
On a personal note, my own life has seen many changes. I have married my soul mate. A man who still fills the turkey-thawing-bucket at my request along with loving me the way he did all those years ago. We've had three incredibly children who have bestowed ten amazingly wonderful, healthy grandchildren upon us. We have buried both of my parents and after a tumultuous relationship my only sibling, she and I have come to terms and learned to be friends.After thirty plus years of a successful career I have now switched gears and written the first of several books.
On November 22, 2011; I have rich memories, both happy and heart-wrenching, to carry me through. And much to be thankful for.