The Calm After the Feast

Thanksgiving is a very traditional holiday, with family, friends, turkey, and lots of mashed potatoes. This year was a bit untraditional. A bit last minute, Chinese food, but extra servings of love and good times. The plan was originally to drive to Georgia to see family. But…the closing of the house was rescheduled…again…and so the road trip was off.

My wonderful man and I spent Thanksgiving showing his parents the new house and then sharing Chinese Thanksgiving dinner. And it was wonderful. Wine, conversation, and new traditions. And that is the things about life. The opportunity to make new memories is always around.

We could have been upset about the cancelled trip (and I was for a little while), or we could make the best of the situation…a new house, new plans, packing, moving, figuring out hat goes were in what room. And let’s not forget the Christmas decorations! Oh, it’s going to look like Christmas all up in there.

It’s always fun to plan a move to a new place. And a little scary.

Life is short. Too short to be upset when plans change, even though that might be tempting – being upset for a short time is natural. But you can’t stay there, or you’ll miss the good times right in front of you. So figure out what can be salvaged, find a way to enjoy where you are. I would have missed wonderful Thanksgiving if I stayed upset. Instead, this was one if the best Thanksgivings ever.


It is a time to take pause and give thanks. And indeed, this has been a year like no other in my life. I have worked harder a d longer than I have in manner years, if ever. But I have been incredibly fortunate in what has been accomplished, that the risks and gambles taken worked out.

And then there is the love. All of the love. There is no doubt that I am loved; friends, family, neighbors, and my wonderful man.

And this year I am grateful for so many things this year. And as I write, there are people waiting, love waiting, laughter, stories, food and good times waiting

Life is short. Be grateful, even in the hard times. It will the bad times easier and the good times better.

Holiday Cheer

It’s that time of year again. the start of the holiday season. And this year it seems to be starting a but early, with Christmas commercials on TV and radio Halloween day. I actually saw Christmas lights up on city street lights before Halloween as well.

Maybe it’s supply chain issues, maybe it’s just because for many it will be the third Christmas under Covid and 3 years since seeing loved ones, but everything Christmas is early this year. Everything about shopping, eating and spending time with family being rolled out early. Or maybe we just need a bit of Holiday cheer after 3 years of a pandemic, several years of the political circus, and now inflation, high gas prices, mandates and those supply chain issues.

Maybe putting up the tree a little early this year isn’t such a bad idea. After all, it gives us an excuse to be festive and to celebrate this life that we have.

And this year there will be a lot of celebrating. But even among the dinners, parties, gifts and wrapping, even realizing how incredible blessed and fortunate I am, there will be a space in my heart reserved for my family who is no longer here. There will be moments of missing my parents, and those holidays of my childhood. And as I cook my mother’s recipes, there will be a melancholy in the corner of my eye.

And now, more than ever, is the time to keep those we love close and appreciate their presence in our lives, This year is a great year to raise a glass to those memories that make us smile and tug at our hearts as we sit by the fire. And now is the perfect time to make this life, the best one we can – a life well lived and well loved.

Life is short. And precious. So spread the holiday cheer and tell the people you love that you love them. It will put a smile on their face and a spring in your step. After all, no hearth glows brighter than one that is lit in love and shined with a heartful heart. do it now, especially if you feel far away.

By the Grace of God Go I

They say that well behaved women never make history, and that you can’t play it safe and live an extraordinary life.  It is also said that you have to take risks to accomplish anything. I’ve always been a bit of a gambler, taking risks and banking on my faith and ability to work hard to see it through. Sometimes I lose, but most of the time I win, and I grow and learn every time.

When I was just out of high school, I applied for a job at a radio station just to get a tour of the studio and ended up getting the job.  Just decided that day and took the risk and took the job even though I had no experience. And it worked out as a career for almost 15 years.

A few years later when taking a private acting class, the instructor was tired of seeing bad Shakespeare from people who thought they were good, so he banned it from his class. He said anyone caught doing Shakespeare better be good enough to impress him, and no one had yet. But I knew I could do it. So I practiced until I was great, did the monologue and then held my breath and waited. His response was “I said you better be damn good to do Shakespeare in my glass and not get kicked out.  And you were damn good.”

Then many years later I moved from Columbus to Atlanta, which doesn’t sound like a risky gamble…except I didn’t have a job or a place to live when I drove the loaded U-Haul. I took the risk that I would find a place to live that day…and I did. I looked at one house, paid the deposit and unloaded the truck. And I found a job the next day. But a big risk. What if it hadn’t worked out?

In 2010 I quit my nice stable job in finance that I hated in order to start my own writing business. No back up plan, just getting out there, working hard and praying harder. It was in the middle of the recession in Atlanta, after the housing market had crashed. Business was slow, times were tight, money was short and the hours were long. There were many 16-18 hour days then, as I was also putting my nephew through college. I was so exhausted, but I still worked hard and prayers harder and it worked out. I made a name for myself and now have a great career. But it is by the Grace of God that I have been able to do so well, because everyone who has hired me has been willing to take a chance on me. And I have done my best to earn that.

I gambled big once again when I relocated to Texas – moved to a house that I had only seen online and not in person. I said a prayer, paid the deposits, packed up everything and headed south with a friend, my plants, and my cats. Who does that?? I do. And it turned out great. This was the one of the best decisions I have ever made.

And now, I’ve made another huge gamble, rolling the dice, praying and working hard, to make it happen. And by the Grace of God, I rolled all sevens. Jackpot.

After a lot of prayers, hard work, phone calls and negotiating, it has all come together. Which is huge. Because this was the biggest gamble of my life.  And there were times I got discouraged and doubted whether or not it would work. So I would pray. And all I can say is that but by the Grace of God go I. Because the odds were rather lopsided.

Recently I read a an article that talks about choosing your hard. It outlines how being overweight is hard, getting in and staying in shape is hard. Choose your hard. Being poor is hard, saving money is hard — choose your hard. The article went through a whole list like that, and it truly resonated with me when I read it. So when I got discouraged, I would remember that article and think about choosing my hard. What hard did I want, if I get to choose?

But with God and my faith, none of this would have worked.  I am an excellent writer, but I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without those people believing in me and giving me the chance. Because they just as easily could have told me no. So many pieces and legs to this plan that I hatched and the risks taken, but everything has lines up. And the relief felt is palpable.

And so my knees hit the floor as I cry and give thanks for being so very blessed. and I am acutely aware of my blessings