You Probably Already Know This, But I Wrote a Book

Last fall, I spent some time sitting in a chair with my laptop, writing a book. That’s a100 Things to do in Charlottesville cover_high good thing for someone who’s feeling a little under the weather to do. I always wanted to write a book, but was never sure what that book would be, and as it sometimes happens, an opportunity arose, and I took it.

I procrastinated at first, but from contract to deadline was only a few months, so those last couple of weeks were spent head down, typing away.

The book came out in March. I’ve done a couple of events and the book sells in several local stores and online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It’s a REAL book with a real publisher and everything! Sometimes even I surprise me.

Today I’m doing a signing at Beer Run, a place where I know everyone, and everyone knows me. It’s a little like coming home, and it’s important to me to share the book with friends in this place. In the early days of writing the book, I’d sit at the corner table at Beer Run with an Allagash White and my laptop. Yep, the first few pages were written at a bar. What a surprise!

I hope to see lots of you this afternoon at the event, but if not, I hope you’ll let me know if you picked the book up somewhere else.

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Lincoln Land, Save me a Horseshoe

You guys. You guys! I am taking my Gentleman Farmer home to meet my parents. It’s high time he met them, (and they met him) and I’m looking forward to giving him the Tour of my Childhood sites. We’ll go in search of horseshoes (the sandwich), visit the Lincoln Museum (continuing our aim to tour all the presidents’ homes, except for the ones from Texas), and catch a show at the Muni.

I have to say it’s weird, thinking of being in Springfield with a boyfriend, something I haven’t done (or had) since 1988-89. I was there earlier this year without him and it just felt totally wrong. I’m really glad we’re making this trip.


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On Forgiveness and Moving On

I met a woman recently who was in the midst of a difficult divorce when her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Given the circumstances, and while their relationship is not ideal, they’ve tabled the divorce. AND — you won’t believe it — but she’s his primary caregiver.

Another woman I know, divorced more than 30 years from her husband of only a few years, is helping him with end-of-life decisions.

It’s wild, isn’t it, what the universe asks of us in our relationships with other people.

I’ve learned a lot about love, forgiveness, letting go, and focusing on the future, especially in the last three years or so. I’m still learning and I’m sure I will be for a long time.

I don’t believe in holding grudges. I don’t believe in hating people. I don’t believe that any good comes from hanging on to anger — no matter how valid.

I’m not saying any of that comes easily. I have to work at it, for sure. But every time I make the decision to let go or forgive, I am better for it. A weight lifts.

I’ve read it many times and it’s true: we forgive NOT for the other person. There are situations where the other person may never even know they’re forgiven. They may not care. They may want to hurt you. It doesn’t matter — you don’t forgive them for them — you do it for YOU.

That’s some of what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I hope it helps someone else today.

More on forgiveness:

From the Mayo Clinic

Hi Sugarplum!

The Forgiveness Challenge

Password Therapy


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Teen Moms in Yearbooks: Yes or No?

NBC is running a story this morning about the reactions by some parents and students over a yearbook spread that features teen moms.

Some people feel like featuring students who were pregnant and raising young Aaron Hannibalchildren while in high school glorifies teen pregnancy and is a bad practice.

I disagree.

There are high school students who get pregnant. There will probably always be teen parents. I was a teen mom — 19, with a year of college in, and married, but a teen mom nonetheless. Leaving them OUT of the yearbook is unacceptable. Recognizing them for the achievement of being parents while finishing school is better.

Anybody that thinks that there’s ANY way to glorify teen pregnancy is just nuts. There’s nothing glamorous about it. Telling the story of the total makeup of your high school population, their whole lives, challenges, successes, bad hair, silly outfits, ridiculous quotes, sports and arts involvement is the WHOLE picture of high school. Don’t leave any of it out.

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Nature Bites

It surprises some people to learn that I like to camp. I guess I don’t seem all that outdoorsy. I’m not a Birkenstock-wearing gal. My family, as in my mom, dad and sisters, didn’t camp, but they managed to send me off to camp as a kid, and I fell in love with canoeing, campfires, and the freedom of wide open skies and the beauty of the countryside.

A couple of weeks ago, we camped in a cabin, which feels like cheating to me, but in early May, the weather has a pretty darn good chance of being freezing. It was ideal — a perfect outdoor weekend with glorious weather, lots of biking on mostly flat trails, sailing in the Chesapeake Bay, wonderful food easily prepped in a real kitchen, hot showers and real beds. It was still cool enough to not be buggy, but warm enough to happily sit on the beach.

This past weekend, we headed out again, this time to camp in a tent. It had rained a lot in the previous couple of days and the damp leaves, the mildew and mold that goes along with that, did a number on my allergies and respiratory system. Ticks were everywhere! Trails were washed out, making trail biking and hiking rather unpleasant. The company and food was super, which made it all worthwhile, but I felt a little less like a camper, this time, and I’m wondering if I’ve gone soft.

There’s so much about camping I love, that even with less than ideal conditions, I’m still eager to get out there, to see new parks and camping sites, to get out on the water in some way, and to conquer the challenges of roughing it triumphantly, or at least with as much comfort as I can manage.

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