Bill is my husband of almost 32 years. We met in 1977, and
became friends right away, though our friendship grew over the next four years.
We eloped on June 6th, 1981, later having our marriage blessed.
When I first met Bill he was playing lead guitar. I walked
into his apartment with friends, and was captivated immediately. He was
friendly, sweet and I felt comfortable with his welcoming ways, not to mention
that he was adorable.
As I got to know Bill we both realized we enjoy much of the
same things: sports, fishing, nature, animals, and more. We shared life goals,
morals and values. We are not identical, but we share everything. Loyalty,
honesty and commitment are things we both take seriously.
Bill grew up on the South Side of Chicago. I am a
North-Sider. If you know Chicago, this says a lot, in itself. Even the way we
speak is different. The North-Sider tends to enunciate very clearly, while
South-Siders tend to speak very casually. The infamous Mayor Daley was a South
Sider. To me, this made Bill that much more colourful (and he is).
Bill attended the schools of Chicago’s South Side during a
difficult time, the late 60s-early 70s. He went on to gain some college,
eventually forging a career in manufacturing. Starting as a machine operator, he
worked his way through Inspection, Engineering, and ultimately Sales. After
over thirty years in this field, he was laid off during the most recent
“Recession”. Manufacturing being out-sourcedto other countries has hit the
U.S. very hard in many ways.
Not one to sit still, Bill reinvented himself. He followed
his father’s footsteps into trucking. He went to school, and got his CDL with all of
the credentials; Bill never does anything halfway. He wanted to contribute to
society, being part of the solution, not part of the problem. He has an
excellent record as an over-the-road trucker. He follows the
rules of the road, as well as those of trucking. He takes his job and safety very
seriously, because it is.
When not trucking, Bill still plays guitar. He is an
extremely talented guitar player, learning at age eight. Bill has been in various
bands over the years. While he is mainly a lead guitar player, he is also a
talented rhythm player and bass player. He can read music and play by ear. A
true musician, he understands music theory.
Being raised half-Hungarian, he can play polkas and
classics. His love however is Classic Rock, Classic Country, and Rockabilly.
His trucker dad was a musical influence. Bill’s dad had grown up a country boy,
raising chickens in southern Illinois. He was a great influence to Bill in many
ways, including musical tastes such as Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.
Bill has a great love of nature and wildlife. He has helped
me save many animals over the years. He has learned the ropes, both supporting
and assisting me in my endeavours. Not raised with animals, he grew to love
them. He has a real soft spot for all critters. Cats had to grow on him, as his family was not cat-friendly. I
refer you to his comment on my recent “Cat & Author” Mark Twain post: http://mcguffysreader.blogspot.com/2013/03/cat-author.html
Having a deep compassion for every living thing, Bill is
also an excellent gardener, with an extremely green thumb. He can grow anything,
and has saved many plants, too. His respect for all things in nature runs deep.
In other areas, Bill bowled on a league for many years, even
bowling a perfect game. His team came in first place more than a few times. He
also is a fan of football, and NASCAR. Bill is indeed a “good old boy”. He is decent, honest, funny, sweet and has a heart of gold.
A very favourite past time is fishing, when he can find the
time. We always compete on this level, as to who can catch the biggest, baddest
fish. It is our hope to spend our “Golden Years” fishing and soaking in nature.
This is just a brief “pondering” on my Bill. So,
when you see a trucker, think of Bill. He is a real guy, with morals and
values, just doing his job to the best of his ability. He also has someone at
home who loves him and is waiting for him.
Carrington has life figured out. She is a successful denim designer, in the
fast paced city of Chicago. Then she is called home to the East Coast to settle her
father’s estate and it changes everything, including Maris.
finds long-forgotten home movie, changing the way she sees things now. Taking
custody of an old dog while reconnecting with old friends also causes her to
rethink her life and herself.
wonders if the life she created is as important as the one she once had. She
finds herself torn, and weighing the two lives. She also finds herself more
aware of the lives of those around her, comparing her own life to theirs.
lives we create and the things that bring us there are part of who we are. Some
of this may be fate, but some of it is choice based upon who we are and what we
want. It is our own personal purpose to piece it all together.
DeMaio has written another beautiful novel that addresses these issues with
heartfelt emotion. Her characters are believable and authentic to the story.
This is a very comfortable book, like denim and a mug of good coffee.
are many forms of love. In this novel, the resilience of love is both evident
and sustaining, however fragile it may be.
is a novel of two very different women who are longtime friends. Though they
lead very different lives, their bond is a constant acceptance and strength for each woman.
has had a difficult childhood, but has risen above it all to marry a successful
attorney. It is not the life she once planned, but it is a very good life. The
one thing missing is a much desired baby.
is a free spirit in a longtime relationship with someone who will never offer
her stability. Suddenly that is exactly what she finds she needs. She must make
serious decisions for her future, and who it will involve.
friendship deepens to a new level as they find themselves in an unusual kind of
role reversal. They are drawn even closer together to figure things out in new ways.
college reunion brings Corrie face to face with her past. The love of her life returns, and he is looking for her. Abruptly
leaving town many years before broke Corrie’s heart, affecting her forever.
Now that he is back, she is faced with serious soul searching.
characters in this novel are tightly woven and very human. Their plights,
emotions, choices and decisions are all very genuine. The reader is immediately
drawn into their world.
Sherri Wood Emmons delivers another novel of real situations and characters that you
can believe in, hope for and care about. She is a gifted author. I have read every one of her novels, from her first. I look forward
to each novel, and am always very pleased with her work. I highly recommend her books.
Ruta grew up poor, in an Italian blue collar area near Boston. The area had the
frightening history of involvement during the Salem Witch Trials. It was difficult
then, and remained difficult in Domenica’s time.
mother was a drug addict and dealer, whose life rose and fell with her
addictions. Yet, she remained true to her daughter, giving her a love and
respect for art, in all its forms.
memoir is of a young woman coming of age during a time of changes in her world,
and the world at large. It chronicles her relationship with her mother, and
breaking away from her learned behaviours to find herself. This is a very powerful
taunting, insults, and judgments had gone on her whole life it seemed. She had fought them, and then tried to ignore their words and assaults. Eventually she gave up, knowing she would never fit into their mold or be like them.
she decided that she no longer cared to conquer them. She finally realized it
was more important to conquer herself.
double-degree Ivy League graduate, with a fiancée, Sarah had it all going in
the right direction. Then she was hit with breast cancer, losing it all,
alone and now invisible, Sarah relocates to Portland, Oregon to begin anew.
There she meets a young mother and her five daughters, all from Somali, Africa.
They are refugees, left alone after Hadhi’s husband abandoned them.
out to Hadhi, who also feels invisibility of loneliness, Sarah begins to heal.
She helps the young mother and her daughters to find their way and their life
in America. In doing so, she finds her own way in her new life.
painfully lovely memoir, it is deep and healing. Those who have struggled with
the feelings of loneliness and invisibility will find hope and purpose.
And on the 8th day God looked
down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker!". So, God
made a farmer!
God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day
in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past
midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer!
I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle
enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous
machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done
feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back
real soon...and mean it. So, God made a farmer!
God said "I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a
hunk of car tire make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps.
And who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week
by Tuesday noon. Then, painin’ from "tractor back", put in another
seventy two hours. So, God made a farmer!
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the
hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when
he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So, God made a farmer!
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and
yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed
pullets... and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a
meadow lark. So, God made a farmer!
It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight... and not cut corners.
Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed...and rake and disc and plow and
plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self-feeder
and then finish a hard day’s work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody
who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who'd laugh
and then sigh... and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants
to spend his life "doing what dad does". So, God made a farmer!
To all farmers, everywhere, as we pray for a year of blessings & bounty. May your crops be healthy & plentiful. Thank you for all you do all year, every year.
book follows Helen brown’s memoir, Cleo, the wonderful memoir of the cat
who healed her family during a time of many changes. Cleo was a very “persnickety”
cat, and just what they needed.
Cleo is gone. Many believe that once a pet crosses the Rainbow Bridge, it will
send you a pet that you need. Here comes Jonah! She wonders if high-energy Jonah
is the answer, as he is very different than Cleo had been!
son is getting married and starting his own life and family. Her daughter is
beginning a questionable quest of her own (a Buddhist nun), much to Helen’s
concern. Helen, herself, has serious health issues, facing breast cancer. Life
is chaotic and filled with a whole new set of very real challenges.
new memoir is another wonderful book by Helen Brown. It is genuine and honest.
Cat fanciers will especially enjoy Jonah and his own way of healing, just as Helen did.