Thursday, March 22, 2018

On History

Folks - it's been a year and a half since I was trolled and threatened after someone shared my blog with a group that did not share my views, forcing me to go private the same week my third book was published (there's been a fourth book that will be a post for another day).  That was tough, and shutting it down when I had a book just out that people told me not to write was even tougher because even though many of you wouldn't read the genre, not having a blog as a platform was pretty much-guaranteed FAIL. Fortunately, despite my former publisher saying "do NOT publish a conservative Christian novel"  I did, and it won a major literary award last year, becoming a best-seller and is being looked at for a movie (likely not to happen as there's not enough action in it, and I'm not going to add that it just to sell it,  but just the option was kind of cool).
Then the Piano Guys pianist, Jon Schmidt, and his wife loved it and wrote me a letter. (If you've not listened to their music you are missing out).
and the next thing you know, I got to help produce one of their videos with a few of their other supporters. 
So life was good, I just didn't have the entire HOTR community to share it with.

I really didn't understand the trolling.  I  never once posted anything about the election, only history and freedoms and family (and bacon!) and I hope they will leave me alone as I've sorely missed all your company.  I realize I have probably lost 95% of my readership built over 10 years but I am thankful for those of you that still visit, read, stop and say hi in other social media, and even buy my books.  I am indeed grateful.

I won't be able to post daily like I used to.  For most of first 8 years of the blog, I was living on my own and had a lot more time to write.  Now I have the company of my husband, a 100-year-old house under restoration, and Dad is requiring more of my time and commitment, gladly given, so it leaves less time for writing. But thanks for being my blog family.
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The pictures of Dad and the house here were taken on a visit the year before my brother died, making the photo 5 years old. Colonel Harry Allen D. He still lives on his own, house and yard tidy, still spry, though he turns 98 in a couple of months.  His companion, the great and powerful Oz, was almost 12 when this picture was taken.  Dad can no longer drive but he still works out 6 days a week. He can't do 18 holes on the golf course anymore, he goes for a walk every day the weather permits.  His secrets to health? Exercise, hard work, integrity, commitment, good scotch, and adopting two kids when your friends are becoming grandparents. Yes, we have a home nursing aide 12 hours a day, to help with medications and meals and companionship since he refuses to leave his home to live with us, but he is still mentally sharp and wishes to keep as much of his independence as he can.

He never planned on getting Oz.  She was the family member of a family member who had been childless despite years of trying.  Suddenly, there was a baby, one which the Dalmatian didn't kindly share the house with.  Despite the movie of their namesake, it's not a breed good with children, and action needed to be taken.  Surprisingly, Dad was the first of the extended family to offer her a home.

Being a senior, she didn't need a lot of exercise though they enjoyed that long walk each day.  The evenings were spent with her dozing on the dog bed that Dad spent more on than what was granted for our college educations.  Dad was of the mindset that he put himself through school, we should do the same. In looking back, I'm glad as it gave me a work ethic lost on many, as well as making me more self-reliant and wiser about the perils of the world to a solitary soul.
I think of Dad in those last days with his four-legged companion. As the sun descended in the West,  he would sip of amber liquid as he talked to his furry companion -  stories of years past, those stories of opportunities, of hope and longing, tales perhaps best left for youth and temptation, as they traveled through the years until what remains is only tenderness and regret.

They were stories, such as the rest of us are building, but his have in their background the shadows of two women and two children he has outlived, looking down on him wistfully, with sealed lips, and heaven's healing. He visits them on a  round trip drive of several hours to the military cemetery with his nurse, a stop at several graves, a garland of leaves and flowers woven around the simple stones, fresh as is their memory.

He's doing well despite a mild stroke about 10 years ago. I took much of the summer off from work and stayed with him through the initial recovery and he was up and moving about surprisingly fast. He was out of the wheelchair in three weeks. The doctor recommended a cane when he started getting up and around walking. He didn't want to use one as "those are for old people". So I got him a hand carved "hiking stick" with a big bear on the crest of it. That's so not a cane. He used it on his walks until that day he had to acquiesce to a walker (with flames on it no less).  But he still walks and for that I am grateful.
It is hard to come to grips with aging. I see it in myself, after blowing out a knee and having much its support structure surgically removed, the damage beyond repair.  I remember the Orthopedic surgeon saying "I usually see these injuries in professional football players  - what did you DO?" to which I replied, "busted a move, walking the dog". I went from rappeling into a dark place surrounded by crime scene tape to having to use a scooter at Wal Mart. That was not a fun time.

But getting past that, the surgery, physical therapy, and a year with a German physical trainer that wore a shirt that said "I'm the trainer, you are the victim", otherwise a vibrant pretty young woman, I made it. I may not be as fast as I once was, but like Dad was as he reached middle age, I'm stronger than I was at 30, wiser, no longer snared or fixed in the frail web of hopes and fears that is our youth, but fixed and established on that rock which is our well-aged reasoning, with which we cope by some means, or perish.

98 years.  I realize, having lived more than half of that, how much Dad has seen.   From growing up in Montana, with woods rich with game and streams full of fish, dark soil drenched under Spring thunderstorms, rich and waiting for seed.  From desolate hard winters, in a time of our country where bellies were empty and they looked out on barren land where hope should have been, wondering if they would survive until spring.

Then war, chosen by destiny out of a paradox of background of squalor and strife, he became an officer in that great war, as if God himself put a warrant on his hand to protect his men, and bring them home. Those were long years indeed, separated from my Mom, where words were shared without speaking and they would weep without tears. Life ahead then was just a dream that both of them were too quietly frightened to have.  But he survived and came home - to my Mom, who waited years for his return, only to marry him and bury the first child they bore together.
Then the ensuing happy and hard years, where he watched his only son and two beloved wives leave him to go to their reward.  He never blamed fate, that arbitrary revenge against the souls on earth that seek to rise above the trials of earthly caution. He looked at life as one lit by all glory of all possible risks and renunciations, trusting his heavenly Father to bring him home, only when it was his time.

No matter what he lost, family, or health, he never complained, he never cried and when I watch him napping I see those hand, those old Colonel's veined and sun- marked hands, holding strongly to his Bible that he reads from each and every morning.

I realized it as I watched him. The future is what we make of it, every single day, a gift. We don't see if it if we are too much in a hurry, something Dad taught my beloved brother and I. The clouds may sometimes darken the sky but the joys are still there, showing themselves in a profound, attentive glance, like a hatchling peering from a next deeply recessed nest in the boughs of an ancient tree.

Dad still shares those pearls of wisdom and though at times his voice on the phone on the more difficult days is little more than an anxiously happy whisper, I listen.  The conversations aren't deep, usually, he just wants to hear about my work day, what we had for dinner, what the weather is.  Yet every conversation is permeated with our history.

We talk every day, but we communicate beyond that as well.  Dad doesn't have a computer, a cell phone or tablet. So for my Dad, between many phone calls, I write letters and he writes them back. Letters.  Faded with time, a bit frayed around the edges, the words upon them written with clear, flowing script. The stamp carefully placed, the envelope addressed with precision.
It started with letters from my father to me when I first moved away from home, carrying with them that sense of watchfulness that no parent ever loses, no matter how old you get. I never took his questions as to my life and who I was keeping company with as being intrusive, rather they were a vigilant affection, even as he put to flight the recollection of the world's abiding danger and trusted me to make my own way.

No one really had computers back then for personal use other than at school, the phone was the most common source of connection for the family. But as computers became second nature, my father continued to write me letters, refusing to learn to use a computer. Harriet (my stepmom) would read him my blog, the words in there as meaningful for him as if I had written them on paper, read aloud by the woman he loved. (Yes, Harry and Harriet). But he will not take up a keyboard, and will not before he is gone, so others print out some of the posts for him to read now that she is gone these many years. He's probably raised an eyebrow to more than one, but he knows how he raised me, where I come from, and where my heart is.

Simple letters, simple words.

The letters themselves are not full of particularly sage wisdom, or things that might be considered of great depth. They are simply the doings of his day and the memories of his heart. What was planted in the garden, where he went out for lunch after church. A bird he saw on a long drive, a story of that steelhead trout he finally caught under the covered bridge at Grey's River. He wrote to me after he buried someone he loved more than life, words flattened out on paper, like rain, but not lost like rain, streaming out to a valueless torrent of dissolution. His words, though heart-rending, uplifted me, a love not lost through life's unravelings. When I held on to him at that grave, while taps played in the distance, his words were engraved on my heart.

They were words that didn't teach, or lecture or portend, but words, that on their reading, mattered. For they filled me with elation that in their capturing, those moments would never be lost, that even when my Dad was gone, there would be stories, of meals, of moments, of caring. They are words gathered in a bundle wrapped in ribbon in a drawer, words worn like a garment that will keep me warm as November descends.

Is that a testament to the power of the word or simply the power of the habit of writing? That which, however mundane, comes to our mind each day. Small, succinct phrases of thought that capture the dots of our lives, connecting us, transcending time or moment. What was in the past is here in my hand now, as if it transcends time and for just a moment we are free of the confines of past tense.

He is here with me now, with his story of that fine day, that could have been a week ago, or 50 years. His words caught and released, a brilliant day, a fighting salmon. A trip to the store, or a small prayer over his breakfast, shared with me here, as if the paper had caught it in time. Our lives are in these moments, gone too quickly, rushing water over our days.

Each of us lives in the present, yet we contain our past, and we can not put our future into words until it too, becomes our past. Time is an illusion and death is a transient bend in a long journey that will take its own time. Past, present, future, I'll retain my Dad's stories, his laughter splayed across a small white page as if part of the paper. As I fold it up and place it carefully in my desk drawer, to perhaps be opened up one day again, a thought comes unbidden. I realize that what is here, be it thought, emotion or the trivial events of our day that we share, for someone, somewhere, will be the most precious of memory.

As I write these words Dad will still be asleep, Oz contained in a small wooden box on which rests a pawprint that was her last act.  Dad slumbers in memory surrounded by those things familiar for decades, left in the warm comfort of the annealing ash that is his history.

I take out an envelope and small piece of paper, and on it scribe some other words. Not a blog post, but simply words. You have loved me when others did not, I am grateful to be your family.  There is no place I am going to mail it to right now but I feel better for writing it. I put it in the envelope and seal it with a small kiss from my lips, the paper resting for a moment like a wafer on my tongue, confession, redemption.

156 comments:

  1. Wow, so glad you're back. I've missed reading here.

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    1. Thank you Patrick, everyone has been SO kind and patient.

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  2. Reopening HOTR has made my day! I have missed it these many long months. And another book? Released yet, or upcoming? I look forward to it.

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    1. Thank you Vic - your forgiving patience is a testament to your family. Both and email are now back up. (I shuttered both). Thanks for all the visits to the dog blog.

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    2. The last book was Calexit - the Anthology with Old NFO and other blogger/authors. It's sold quite sell. My novella in there is called "Freedom's Ride". Fifth book I will start on this summer to come out next Spring. 4 books in 4 years and 3 blogs plus job and marketing, and I was getting burned out.

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    3. Thanks for sharing the book title. I just Amazon'd it via Kindle.

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    4. If you want an autographed copy, let me know and I will mail.

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  3. The simple joy of reading your words is a thing of great value.

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    1. Thank you for maintaining the friendship on Facebook during the absence of HOTR>

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  4. We got that same 'Walking stick' for Terri when she hurt her knee. Every time I see your picture of that bear I laugh out loud.
    By the way, My keyboard is all wet from the dust in my eyes.
    Again I must say "You rite good!!!' I used to say that you are like Kodachrome, but some other reader has said it better. You paint with words; and your paintings are quite beautiful.
    Give
    Abby a pet.
    Say Hey to EJ
    Rich in NC

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    1. Rich - your friendship both on and off blog these many years is very valuable to us. Partner in Grime as well sends his regards.

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    2. The Montana Western Artist Charles Russell said once something to the effect that people who could write with words rather than pictures had the greater gift.

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  5. I was in cleaning up my reading list, dead links and those bloggers I enjoy who suddenly go MIA. I just never get around to hitting the "delete" button on you. So today I once again am poking around my list and clicked on your link, and. it. worked.
    Happy to see you back. As I caught up on the reading and recipes and family it felt like apple pie fresh out of the oven.
    Of course for years I thought you were out west, now I discover you are just across the pond from me. Family near you both west and south of Chicago so I do get down there every now and then.
    Looking forward to more wonderful reading
    tctsunami

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    1. Thanks! I've been married almost 5 years, but didn't actually move up here until 2 and 1/2 years ago when I finally got transferred (though now I technically work for DC). We're out in the Western edge of Cook County, far enough away from the bad areas, and it's quiet where we're at.

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  6. Good to have you back and posting at HOTR.

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    1. Thanks Aaron - and if you are the Aaron, I think you are, congrats on the pilot's license, I was quietly following all of that.

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  7. Welcome Back, Brigid. As someone else said, "it made my day".

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    1. Juvat you always leave such kind and supportive words for me wherever you are. That's truly valued.

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  8. Welcome back Brigid. You've been missed. So happy to be back in your company again. You and Pinch both IM me that you both are starting back up again. I'm loving it.

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  9. With your permission I will share on FB your post with my friends so as to hopefully regain old and possibly some new readers.

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    1. You are welcome to share. A few of Neptunus Lex's friends are visiting now. He was one of the people that encouraged me to submit my first book to a publisher, for which I'm eternally grateful.

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  10. Oh, Brigid - I had no idea!! And I too am glad to see your blog again - love your thoughts and words.

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  11. What a pleasant surprise to see your blog near the top of my RSS feed as opposed to the bottom.
    Nice post about your dad.

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  12. Gosh it got dusty in here of a sudden. You are a genuine gem of a person, never change! All the best to you and your family, especially your dad. Open invitation for dinner and brew in SW Michigan. End September is blackout though, Ireland is calling.

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    1. When Dad is gone and I have some vacation days I can use we'll take you up for that.

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  13. Glad to see your blog again, missed you. Love your books!

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  14. You are back! So sorry you had to shut the blog down, I missed reading about your life, the remodeling, Abby, your dad, and the recipes. Welcome back. Carol S.

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    1. Thank you Carol - the house projects haven't been too hectic the last year due to husband's traveling, but SO happy to get the kitchen gutted!

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  15. Replies
    1. I had so much fun writing the novella during the hiatus. Thanks for making me a part of that project.

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  16. Replies
    1. Thank you for patiently waiting Richard.

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  17. Replies
    1. Thank you. My best to you and yours.

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  18. Best news of the year! Please stay!

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  19. Welcome back to the public domain, my friend. You've been sorely missed. :)

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    1. Not sure what happened to my first reply but I truly enjoyed your posts over this long winter, as much as Partner was out of the country for his job.

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  20. So very glad you are back. You have been greatly missed.
    Looking forward to your future postings.
    Stay well and be happy.
    ~ Ron C

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  21. Yea!! You are back. I missed you while you were gone. Was always happy to read when you posted on Borepatch's site. And am glad your Dad is doing ok.

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    1. Dad is holding his own. We will likely have to go full time nursing care in the home in the next year, which means reverse mortgage as I can't shoulder $20 an hour 24 hours a day, but the Lord will provide.

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  22. Welcome Back, and a big hug for dad!

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    1. I will, he always mentions you when I got out there, he truly enjoyed your visit to his home.

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  23. Replies
    1. Thanks for keeping in touch in the interim

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  24. Jim Curtis passed the word that you are back - - I'm glad of it. God Bless to you and your family!

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    1. Hi Bob - it's been fun seeing you on the book of Face and hope we can continue that as well.

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  25. Brigid!!!! Wow! Just about 5 days go, I was cleaning out dead links on my blogroll, I saw yours, clicked it and it was the "closed" message and my finger lingered over delete but for some reason I didn't.

    Perhaps hope you would be back? Perhaps intuition?

    Just glad. Welcome back.

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    1. Hi 1st man, my best to you and your partner! It was actually a bit "odd". The other night, blogger would NOT let me into the "private blog", not recognizing me. My password was correct and as the blog author, I had easy access. But it would NOT let me view the blog, saying I did not have access (and I was in the Brigid acount, NOT the one for the dog blog). The thought of being locked out permanently was bad, as I have some draft chapters of my next books stored there. I basically said a little prayer that if I could get back in, I'd take it as a sign I should go public and 5 seconds later, the page opened up.

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  26. Welcome back, Don't fret about the trolls. There are more of us than there are of them.

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    1. Indeed there seems to be. Thanks for your understanding and support.

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  27. I can't even begin to tell you how much I missed your blog, Welcome Back! I loved :small Town Roads" by the way. And dang the pollen must be bad this morning my eyes seem to be leaking.

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    1. Hi Chip. I understand, I just chopped up a bunch of onions for fajitas tonight and I'm still leaking.

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  28. I am so glad you are back. I have read your posts at Borepatch, and was grateful to him for posting them, but I always hoped that you would start up again. It is a sad world that the trolls can be so vicious. I pray that it doesn't happen ever again. So many things have happened in your life since you have been gone, it will be good to catch up on them. I know that it is a blessing that your dad doesn't use a keyboard. You will treasure the letters that you have from him your entire life after he is gone, in a way that electronic bits and bites of data just does not make you feel. Be blessed, and have a wonderful spring.

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    1. Yes, so many cards and letters from Dad. I wish I had more memories of my Mom, she was so young when she died. I was blessed to have a truly loving stepmom though and for that I'm grateful.

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  29. I had wondered where you went when the blog "went private". It is good to have you back. as some of my preferred blogs dry up it is great to have one of the best come back. Hat tip to OLD NFO for spreading the word.

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    1. I'm not sure I'll do another 10 years, technically I can retire in 3 years and may take on some other hobbies but until then, at least you'll continue to hear from me.

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  30. Nice to read you again! I'm glad I kept you bookmarked.

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  31. Ah...It's like returning to the home of an old, dear friend. Glad to see the welcoming door open again.

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    1. I've liked that for the most part people here have been wonderfully supportive.

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  32. I am one of your followers who rarely comment. Recently been following some of your older posts from another blogger. Pleased you have returned. Thank you.

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    1. I'm glad to be back. Thank you as well.

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  33. I've been following your guest posts and am thrilled that you're back. And movies don't need action to be good. In fact, a lot of movies use action to cover up the fact that they are garbage. So your excellent book should make an excellent film.

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    1. I'm not thinking they'll snag it, but the attention the book got after the award was great.

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  34. Glad to see you back Brigid. God love ya!

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  35. Welcome back! It was a sad day in the blogosphere when you had to take yours private and it is great to see you back here and writing again. I had followed you over to Borepatchs blog, but am very happy to see you back here at home. I'm thankful Peter over at BRM is passing the word and had a link up to here. All my best to you, EJ, and Abby!

    Regards,

    J.D. Brown

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    1. Peter was kind to do that. Do you he was the one to marry Partner in Grime and I. That was truly a fun day.

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  36. I am so glad to see your return. You have more friends who sincerely love you and your work. Live long and prosper!

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    1. I'm seeing that! Love long and prosper as well!

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    1. I got your message on my phone earlier in the week but I couldn't open the pictures. I'm assuming fire engines :-)

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  38. Welcome back, we've missed you!

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  39. So glad your back, as you have one of the greatest blogs. I will now visit again on a regular basis. Best regards, Dave in AZ

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    1. Hi Dave - thank you! Hard to believe HOTR has been around almost 10 years.

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  40. Glad that things are settling down for you.

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    1. Thank you for all you have done for me. My best to you and your beautiful bride.

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  41. Dang, Brigid, that dust in Rich's house must have blown up here to SW Virginia. I love the way you write. It gives us great joy out here in flyover country. Please keep it up as much as your life allows. May God bless you and your family.

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    1. God has richly blessed us. We've had our losses, but they are tempered by a lot of joy and the help of our Church family.

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  42. Welcome back, God bless you and yours

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  43. Glad to have you back missed the recipes. I have read the books one more to go and more on the way I see. I to like many others that have read your books like the way you write with feeling. Keep up the good work, nice to see you back HOTR.

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    1. Lyn - thanks for the support of the books. If you want an autographed copy, just drop me a "do not post" email with a safe address for you,and I'll send you one.

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    2. I got your address. I'll get the new book autographed and mailed out this week. I'm within walking distance of a post office.

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  44. I doubt I can understand the trolling either. I've seen an awful lot of human behavior, naively regarded as un-possible in a "civilized society", unmasked in the last 17 months. Let's say my conceptual framework for what comprises civilization is now being wholly reconsidered.

    As for your former publisher - ("do NOT publish a conservative Christian novel") - forget it. I read it, and loved it. It's comforting. Knowing that I still share a planet with those that hold such values close is comforting.

    Meanwhile, I still use your sourdough recipes...

    Wonderful to have you back.

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    1. airphoria(love the name by the way). It was a shock, I've had some jealous sea hags be nasty online before but just being taken down because I like the values I grew up with was hard.

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    1. Hi, my friends. Sorry we didn't' get up your way the last trip to Dad's, that's a bit far for him any more to travel in the car, but he misses those trips to the area.

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  46. I would like to echo so many, Welcome back. You have indeed been missed. Welcome back.

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    1. James - those words mean a lot. Many thanks.

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  47. Welcome back! You've been missed.

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  48. Thanks to borepatch's hosting, the literary absence was partially salved. Glad to see this thing "go hot" again.

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    1. That was very kind of him to do, I needed a break from blogging daily but to just go silent was pretty hard. Thank you.

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  49. Adding to the cacophony of the others...glad you're back, can't wait to try some of your newer recipes.

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    1. I didn't post too often here, after 3 books and a novella I was creatively a bit wiped out, but there should be a new recipe or two to be found.

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  50. Welcome back Brigid! I liked the guest posts on Borepatch and all, but it'll be good to have you back on the ole blogroll. I think we need you now more than ever.

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    1. I'll still do an occasional post over at Borepatch, that's a great bunch of readers.

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  51. Hey Brigit;

    Welcome back :) Peter had posted that you were back up and running. I wondered what happened when your blog went silent, I thought you were one of the casualties of the "night of digital long knives" that had snared a bunch of conservative bloggers the past year but I didn't think you were overtly political. I have rebookmarked your blog.

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    1. I really tried to stay out of politics, unfortunately the post that was shared with a political group was more conservative than most. Given my line of work, I've had death threats before but I didn't want them to attack my creative work as well.

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  52. Glad to have you back. Sorry for the trouble you suffered but glad to hear that your writing has remained successful. I'll still be reading!

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    1. Jon - I've been blessed. There was a lady at church who I organized a chili supper with and got to know much better who said "I'm just surprised how humble you are with all that you have done" and I just said "God gave me the brain, makes the words and the fingers work, I just drink the caffeine".

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  53. Welcome back, Brigid. This is like a flower opening unexpectedly in a bare field, lovely to see.

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    1. Lovely words you shared. Bless you.

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  54. Glad you are back. Your writing is always a welcome treat.

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    1. Thank you. When Dad is gone, we plan an extended road trip to Indy and hope you will join us for dinner. We can't guarantee a hippie will fall off the bridge into the canal again but it will be fun.

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  55. Cried like a baby. I can admit it.

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    1. I understand, a lot of tears were shed as I wrote my books. I am a closet goofball so I am not always so serious, but when the muse strikes, I just go with it.
      Thanks for your kind words and your gentle heart.

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  56. Glad see the door back open on your own site. Put up at the top of the sidebar again at Borepatch.

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    1. Excellent, and I will do a guest post over there, you all have such a great group of loyal readers.

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  57. Very very glad to see HOTR back up and your posts back on line. Welcome back, you were missed.

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    1. Thank you, slowly working on the next book, a series of vignettes about flying.

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  58. Glad you're back! Missed the stories, the thoughts, and the recipes.

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    1. I did a pretty good fajita recipe yesterday that started as an experiment as I didn't have the ingredients for the online one. I'll be posting that.

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  59. Glad you are back. Been reading your stuff over at Borepatch which is how I found out the lights were back on here. My solution when I had to start using a cane was not camouflage but to buy a cane made by Ka-Bar.

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  60. Goodness! In an age when all my favorite blogs seemed to go the way of the dodo, I missed this one the absolute most! So glad to see you up and blogging again, even if it's not at the same frequency as before. The internet is a much darker place without Brigid.

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    1. Bless you - if things are not too crazy at work or with Dad, I'll try and post every day, but there are times I have to go "out of pocket" for a few days. I really appreciate your words. So many things I would have missed had I not started this. My husband was a reader who asked me out for coffee (I'd read his Dad's blog for years and knew his whole family) I've made dozens of friends off blog, who now gather at my house for meals, and I had the encouragement to write my first book, let alone multiple books. I'm deeply grateful.

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  61. Having you back on your blog is a beam of sunlight on a dreary Friday. Bought all your books, but still haven't been able to read Barkley's. I already felt like I knew him from the years of your writing him into your blog. His death had an impact I was not expecting. I credit your writing ability for that!
    BTW, authors seldom have creative control over films, so your story may end up with additional bang and flash to satisfy the filmmakers desire for control. It's the Hollywierd way.

    I've read many thousands of books, and your writing style stands out noticeably. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you Will, if they want to do bang and flash and remove the religious element, I will say no. It's just a courtesy really for those that win this book award each year. They have no obligation to actually make it into a film, they just consider it. Thank you for your kind words on how I write as I have zero training beyond basic English in college for undergraduate studies.

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  62. While you were on your forced hiatus, I retired from a law enforcement agency in the Belly of the Beast (DC) and moved to a more congenial spot. I am one of your most dedicated and unknown lurkers (except I met Old NFO once in Leesburg). I missed you terribly, and having you back is a joy. Welcome, and God bless.

    Nashville Beat

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    1. We've likely passed each other at one point in the hall before you retired. . :-) Thanks for sticking around and enjoy that retirement. I have 3 years to go, but as Partner doesn't retire for another 29 years (insert cougar joke here),I may work a few extra years just to add to the bug out stash.

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  63. So glad you're back! I thought (worse case) maybe you had a serious illness, not some stalker(s) threatening you! I love reading your blogs! Take care!

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  64. I just stumbled on your blog. What a treasure. Thank you for opening a window onto your world. Your Dad sounds like a wonderful man.

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    1. Owen - thanks for taking the time to reply. Dad is a treasure, WWII Vet, and a great father.

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  65. So glad you are back! I have missed your words as you were a daily stop and then gone.

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    1. Welcome back Rey.Thanks for your support and understanding.

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  66. Glad to see you are back. Your writings still move me.

    Merle

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  67. Adding my "Welcome Back!" to the pile. We've all missed you.

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    1. Hi Larry! Yes, I also didn't comment at others I still read so not to attract the same trolls, glad you are doing well.

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  68. I was visiting your blog first daily and then weekly, hoping you’ll be back. Thanks for posting again.

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    1. As the man that has absolutely the most beautiful name on the internet, I'm glad you were patient.

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  69. welcome back, you are such a fascinating and admirable woman. I'm so sorry about the trolls. Hang tough and best wishes to you and yours.

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    1. Thank you Andrew. I'm smiling as how I would describe myself is "weird" but fascinating and admirable works. Our best to your family as well.

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  70. YOU'RE BACK!!! I'm so happy that you are. I thought I lost you for good. I kept the link to your blog hopping that one day when I clicked on it, I'd be rewarded as I was this morning, with the joy of reading your beautiful prose. Welcome back Brigid. I really missed you.

    Your French Canadian admirer not far from Montréal.
    Luc

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    1. Thank you Luc, your comment made my Day. I have extended family from Quebec (who understand why I order Montreal Bagels at great expense from the bakery up there). I'm very happy you kept trying.

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  71. Oh, and I was so eager to tell you how happy that you're back that I forgot to tell you that the first thing I was looking for was how was your dad. You don't know how good your story made me feel.

    Luc

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    1. His health has declined much in the last year and a half, but he's still more spry then most people who are turning 98. He exercises every morning and takes a long walk each afternoon. He still wont live with us, but I make sure he has good nursing care, and fill up his freezer with easy to heat homemade meals when I fly back and forth.

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  72. We get them at St-Viateur. I bet you get them at Fairmount?

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    1. I get the St-Viateur ones. They have an online store that ships to the US (it's $35 four four dozen and $54 for shipping but so worth it) I don't think Fairmount ships outside Canada.

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  73. I was so happy to see your blog is available again - I missed reading it very much. Your writing is calming & though-provoking to me.
    Nancy

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I started this blog for family far away and to share my life and writing with friends. Comments are welcome but please treat this place as you would visiting any friend. I want everyone to feel at home here. If you post advertising for a business or service and I do NOT know you, it will be reported as SPAM. Don't even bother.