Here’s some disturbing news. We’ve been deep in this pandemic for five months. Probably longer, but we all know my math sucks and if it’s considerably longer, please don’t tell me. It’s depressing enough without you making it worse. Since it is depressing, let’s stay on the positive side of things this week.
We have some new visitors. Evidently our raccoon friends have been doing the nasty, because what appears to be a momma showed up with three little ones in tow. I say little ones, although compared to a kitten they’re not little, but they’re considerably smaller than momma, who is about the size of a small pony. That might be an exaggeration, but our raccoon visitors are huge. Must be the cat food they steal.
I was watching them on the monitor and the four raccoons were on the patio, eating the stray cats’ food, while two of said cats watched. The babies apparently decided investigating the black cat who hangs around outside would be more fun. Typical baby animal stupidity, since the cat didn’t want to play and smacked one of the babies upside the head. Now, I don’t know a whole lot about raccoons, other than they like to mess up all the water bowls by washing their food and are masters of opening food containers you thought were locked down. But even I could tell Mom got her hackles up. She didn’t attack the black cat, but I’m sure her nonverbals were warning enough, because he ran away. Amazing, because he’s a fairly fearless cat, unless you try to pet him. Lesson learned. Don’t mess with momma’s babies. If my math is correct, (fat chance,) we now have a total of eight raccoons who steal food and the occasional possum who shows up. And Ed saw a squirrel next door, which we never see out here. I may hang up a “ZOO” sign.
I’ve also discovered that when you have a purpose in doing something, no matter how much you dislike doing it, it makes the tedious more palatable. Yes, I’m talking about face masks. We’ve made over 800 of them and are still making more. Why? Good question. I was right on the verge of stopping a few weeks ago because it seemed pointless. The one organization I was going to give a bunch to got all they needed. But I couldn’t seem to stop. Every time I’d think about it, I kept hearing a “No” in my head. And then I got a Facebook post that one of the Indian schools I sponsor needed them for the upcoming school year. Because I had listened to the voice in my head, we shipped out 200 almost immediately, which put our supply considerably down. (Yes, we’ve given away that many.)
I decided if St. Joseph’s needed them, St. Labre did, too, so I contacted them. Yep. They were thrilled to get my e-mail, and I made a new friend in the process. So moral of the story? Well, two morals, actually. 1) Life is so much better with purpose. Especially if you’re making face masks. 2) Listen to the voices in your head. They’re normally right. Unless they’re telling you to eat a Snickers bar, in which case not so much.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Writing without being published, I might add. On more than one occasion, I’d prayed to be published. And God ignored me. Okay, okay, He wasn’t ignoring me, but I didn’t get published. Could be because I’d rather write than submit novels to publishers, so I’d give up on trying to get published. Yes, I know there’s a moral in there, too, but it’s so obvious I’m not even going to say it.
At any rate, when I finally did get serious about getting published, I ended up finding my wonderful publisher. And as of last Thursday, I have FIVE novels published. Four in the Misadventures and Alamo series, and one in a new series. The Executed Executive…a Nosy Parkers mystery. I love that book. I love the series concept, I love my main character, and I love Ellie and Peter, two other “main” characters. So moral of this story? God gives you what you want/need in His time, not yours. And He uses some kind of an “interest” system, because He always gives you more than you asked for. I asked to see my name on the cover of a book. That wasn’t good enough for Him. I now have my name, or rather my pen names, on the cover of five books, and more in the pipeline.
Ed and I were talking about that the other night. On 22 Feb 90, Mom gave me a small picture frame, with “Hold Fast to your Dreams” imprinted on the bottom. She typed “I believe in you” and the date on a small piece of paper and taped it to the top of the frame. Mom was my biggest supporter and I just wish she were here to see the books. Yes, I’m pretty sure she knows what’s going on, but we all know it’s not the same thing.
I’d be willing to bet she made an appointment with God to tell him what she wanted for me. I’m not sure how it works up there, and I don’t know if people in Heaven are allowed to harass God, but if they can…she would, until He just got tired of listening to her and got me published. So…thank you, Mom. I miss you. Her birthday will be 22 July, and even though she’s been gone for 20 years, I still wish I could celebrate it with her.
Love never dies. It doesn’t even fade away. In today’s world, more people are finding that out, and I feel sorry for the ones left behind after all the deaths we’re seeing. I hope they take comfort in knowing they’ll see some of them again. For those of us who believe, that’s the only thing that helps us get through such a loss. All of that isn’t on a positive note, so let’s end with this. I’m positive it will be okay. No matter how bleak it looks, no matter how much we’re sick to death of everything that’s going on, no matter how hopeless it seems, we’re not alone. God has our hand firmly in His and He’ll get us through this. Why am I so positive? Because He said He would, and God don’t lie. Plus, if He can get through my mom nagging Him, He can do anything. So, hang on and don’t let go. It will be okay. And Happy Birthday, Mom. We miss you. Nagging and all.