Free books September 19, 2021

BookRunes has several FREE suggestions. They are both favorite authors and favorite books. We’ve seen them before but they are worth seeing again.

Hailey’s Haven: Christian Romantic Suspense (Smoky Mountain Secrets Book 1)

A safe place to call home…
After escaping her abusive foster parents thirteen years ago, Hailey Donovan thought her nightmare was over. Gatlinburg Tennessee had been a safe place to live, until she’s nearly hit by gunfire while hiking the Smoky Mountains. Her instincts are to avoid law enforcement, especially handsome park ranger Rock Wilson, but when more gunfire echoes around them, they’re forced to work together to escape.

More attempts against Hailey convinces her to leave the city to start over someplace new. Rock talks her into staying and fighting against the unknown assailant. Rock senses Hailey has been traumatized in the past, and is determined to uncover the mystery surrounding her. As Hailey and Rock seek the truth behind the escalating attacks, Rock realizes he’s also in danger of losing his heart. Can Rock provide Hailey the save haven she desperately needs?

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The Demise (The Braxton Mysteries Book 1)

From five time Amazon All-Star author Diane Moody comes The Demise.

Tiny Braxton, Tennessee, is a quiet, tight-knit community wrapped around an old town square just a stone’s throw from Nashville. But when the town’s most prominent citizen is found dead at the base of its water tower, news of Peter Lanham’s apparent suicide roars through town like a massive tsunami.

Peter, the handsome, beloved CEO of Lanham’s Fine Foods, had taken a small, family-owned grocery store founded in 1927, and grew it into a successful national chain. With most of Braxton’s residents employed by Lanham’s corporate headquarters, word of Peter’s demise left them searching for answers. What could possibly have made him take a swan dive off that tower?

Julie Parker is convinced he didn’t. As receptionist at Lanham’s executive office suite, she’s determined to find out what really happened to her boss. An aspiring actor who also stars as “The Lanham Girl” in the company’s TV commercials, Julie prides herself on her perceptive observations and people-skills. Who better to find out what happened to Peter up on that water tower?

Matt Bryson, on assignment as a rookie Special Agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, isn’t about to let the attractive receptionist intrude on his first case. She may be a hometown insider, but he’s perfectly capable of solving the case without “Miss Marple” screwing up his investigation.

A perfect setting, a cast of oddball characters, and just enough drama to raise lots of suspicion. The stage is set.

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Happy Reading!

This and that September 19, 2021

Photo by Narda Yescas on Pexels.com

I’m taking a break from a strenuous task and figured I may as well write a little while I’m sitting. I’m tied to the computer anyway as I’m chatting with an old college friend living in Norway.

The weather here has been much cooler this last week or so but today is lovely and warm and I’m trying to get some things off my to-do list before winter sets in. We just never know how it will go. The change over to winter can happen any time within a six week window it seems. We will be at the early edge of that window in a few weeks.

On to another thought very much alive in my mind:

I’m still shaking my head over our bizarre experience yesterday. I wanted to order-in pizza to make my visiting grandsons happy (the local kids, not the ones moving home from overseas) and I wanted to arrange payment so the parents could pick it up on their way in to town.

I never order-in food , at least it’s been many, many years since the last time I did, so this was a totally new experience. Let’s just say it did not go well. This is a well known and popular franchise with a thriving business and a fancy website that I did not find to be user friendly. In the end the method they wanted me to use to arrange payment did not make me happy. So I called the store. That didn’t work a whole lot better as they don’t take credit cards over the phone. I guess I can see why but…

Normally I could have gone to pick up and pay for the order myself but my daughter currently has my car.

In the end I still wanted pizza so I figured out a convoluted way to pay the bill and phoned the order in again.

When I was on the website I noticed they had a three star review and it seemed very strange for this particular business.

I guess now I know why. When my son-in-law went in to pick up the order they couldn’t find it. Chaos seemed to be reigning in the pick-up area. Between my daughter coming to her husband’s aid and her phone calls to me to confirm order details it was finally located (actually, I think it was another staff member joining the hunt who was better at looking.) The food was delicious but I think I would still have to give the whole experience a three star review. Not something I wish to repeat anytime soon. On top of all that one of the pizza’s was incorrect. Rather than all different two were the same. Not exactly happy about that.

Oh well, It was fun having my family here to visit. We had a good time despite the glitch.

While the electrical stuff was under scrutiny by several interested parties (dad and son,) the two youngest grandsons and their mother were going around the house with long sticks clearing spiders and their webs off the siding. They found a really big spider (not as big as some pictures I’ve seen but big enough) this spider had to have been pregnant or something given the big belly(?) on it. Anyway, after everyone finally had a look at this fine specimen one of the boys smacked it. It blew up. They were in awe looking at the sight of the blown up spider. We aren’t sure what the fluid was all about but it was impressive.

It was definitely a day for making fun memories.

While we weren’t impressed with the mix-ups in the pizza it wasn’t enough to spoil our day. We had a good time together.

Tomorrow is voting day, I’ll have to find a ride, I keep forgetting I’m without a car.

I can hardly wait to vote and I hope it counts. We need a change.

Later.

I’m on my way out to finish my power washing chore. What an improvement!

Read and enjoyed September 17, 2021

Today is my baby brother`s birthday. He is also referred to as my little brother. Well, both of my brothers are my little brothers. Which tickles me immensely. Mainly because they are both a foot or more taller than I am. Size much make a difference because some among our family members and friends assume I am the youngest, which I think is quite hilarious.

It is a great pun and I love it. I was going to enlarge on that thought but explaining takes all the fun out of it.

This was not going to be a this-and-that kind of post but it is sort of turning into it, mainly because the keyboard is driving me crazy. I think I must keep catching the control key when I am headed for the shift key. You know how that goes, unwanted symbols that are seemly impossible to get rid of most of the time. Between unwanted symbols and a font size that keeps changing, moving on to a simpler layout seemed like a good plan.

What I intended to do originally, was to share an enjoyable book. I forgot it was supposed to be an adaptation of a fairy tale. Really, it just seemed like a great historical romance with lots of angst. After the fact, though, I can see the likeness, probably to Cinderella. In a loose sort of way.

The story was well written, engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even if the heroine was running for her life half the time.

The Beautiful Pretender (A Medieval Fairy Tale Book 2)

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences

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If I had to pick a favorite read for the week, this would be it.

No new books today but there is always tomorrow.

Happy Reading!

This and that at the end of the day.

This is a time when I just start talking and see where it goes. Usually it starts with a thought, an undeveloped thought. That’s how this one went. A thought and need to stop the endless round and round. It helped. Not sure it makes sense. 🙂 Also, I’m trying hard to be careful, which is constricting, for a few reasons. I hope this gives you hope.

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There is so much going on these days, Scary stuff, if we look at it closely. It’s easy to automatically expect the worst because we don’t have the ability to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

I spent a lot of time tonight watching news clips from contributors who seem more interested in honest journalism than biased manipulation. It’s good to keep up with what’s going on in the world but there is a downside to it. It’s draining and discouraging.

In response to tonight’s viewing session I’m writing to let out some of the angst and negativity. Maybe it will help me gain a new perspective.

All of my life there have been regularly occurring dire predictions about what was going to happen to the world one day. Time lines were built and we lived in fear, differing degrees of it depending on the whether. Whether or not someone, or something, seemed like more or less of a threat at that particular moment.

It was easy to believe that there would be a moment in time when destruction would take over and we would be forced to live in apocalyptic desolation and torment. I think many of us still live with that dreadful expectation. We believe that one day evil will take over the world and we will be living in slavery and punishment. Life as we know it will be over.

Decades-long thinking have been acting as a foundation to the thought pattern that resulted in my discouragement tonight. Intentionally or not, we are programmed to think the way others decided that we should.

What if we are wrong about the predictions of how things are going to go? What if we have been looking at things from the wrong perspective?

You might call me a little crazy, thinking like this but I know these worries are real. Especially with the newest generation growing into adulthood. Their view of the world is serious and worried. They are regularly being presented with possible catastrophic events and for some of them the future of life looks hopeless. I can relate to what they are feeling. I remember as a middle teen lying in bed worrying about aircraft overhead, wondering if it was a Russian bomber coming to get us. After all, how many times had we been told the Russians are coming to take over the world, be ready.

Ok, we won’t keep going on with that thought pattern but worries are real, in our minds at least.

By the way; the Russians did not come, aggressive threats went away, and after awhile life went on and we forgot we were ever worried. Until now. When things seem to be heating up again.

In the normal scheme of life, never mind what’s gong on right now, we seem to grow the most when we experience hard and difficult places. I’ve heard more than one person say I would never want to go through cancer again but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I’m different because of it.

What if – instead of punishment and destruction coming in our future, it’s something entirely different? What if – the purpose of these earth shaking events is not to defeat us, but to cause us to rise up and grow?

Globally, as a culture we have become weak, lethargic, and apathetic. Most of us have never had the chance or the need to stand up and fight for something.

What if the reason for the hard place we’re currently living in is to cause us to get up out of our soft chairs and become Olympic champions. What if we are being called to rise to a challenge, to become more than we ever thought possible.

Most of us will never be Olympic champions or Navy Seals but what if there is some need close to home that we could become passionate about filling?

I think that’s the secret right there. Passion.

Most of us think … but what could I do?

Paying attention to our surroundings will help us see needs we would normally miss.

So, I got a little off track with that train of thought.

What if – the purpose of these earth shaking events is not inevitable defeat but to strengthen us so that we are useful and evil doesn’t have to win?

I like this view for the future much better than the inevitable one of defeat.

This took much longer than expected, and my brain is fried.

I hope this makes sense to you the way it did in my head.

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I think – We are not meant to be overcome but to be over-comers.

Be encouraged.

Free and bargain books September 16, 2021

BookBub has a FREE suggestion. It’s from a popular author and it’s a book I’ve read and enjoyed.

Nearly by Deborah Raney

For Claire Anderson, her position as a teacher in Hanover Falls, Missouri is the realization of a long-held dream. In this loving small-town community where her beloved grandmother resides, she attempts to cast aside the memories of her troubled childhood.

Michael Meredith finds worth as a nursing care home administrator. Until an unwelcome investigation concerning suspicious deaths among the home’s residents threatens his career and his integrity. In the midst of this crisis, friendship blooms and deepens between Michael and Claire—until an agonizing secret is revealed. One that may tear the delicate fabric of their love. Is their faith strong enough to survive their astonishing discovery?

Deborah Raney has woven an intriguing tale… Her characters breathe life as they struggle with deep, heartfelt needs. What I loved most was the message that hidden sins and a painful past cannot be stuffed away and forgotten without the cleansing power of God’s forgiveness. —an amazon.com reviewer

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1531 Entertainment has an interesting suggestion from an author I’ve not seen before.

Loving the Horseman: The Cañon City Chronicles – Book 1

Sweet Historical Western Romance Book
Never in all her seventeen years had she dreamed she’d wake up in a barn.

Loving the Horseman – The Cañon City Chronicles – Book 1
The Hutton family is back—two generations of adventurous men and courageous women carving out a life in the Old West.
Annie Whitaker refuses to wait for some man to come along and make her life better when she can do that herself. And then Caleb Hutton rides into town.

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Happy Reading y’all

Bargain books September 15, 2021

Another good day for books. BookBub has a bargain suggestion by an author we see often.

Show Me a Second Chance: Small-Town Single-Father Cowboy Romance (Cowboy Crossing Romances Book 2)

Frightened by a possible stalker, a big-city marketing manager flees to her uncle’s B & B in the small town where she once felt safe. A place where neighbors know each other and where she fell in love with a hometown hero over two decades ago. Only now, that handsome cowboy is a large ranch owner with a little daughter and soul-deep scars left by his alcoholic ex-wife. Kimberly Byrd made mistakes that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Can she allow herself to love and be loved again?

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1531 Entertainment has several suggestion for us. Both from familiar authors.

Miriam’s Song

In her eventful lifetime, Miriam was many things to many people: protective older sister, song leader, prophetess, leper. But between the highs and the lows, she was a girl who dreamed of freedom, a woman who longed for love, a leader who made mistakes, and a friend who valued connection.

With her impeccable research and keen eye for detail, bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith offers this epic story to fill in the gaps and imagine how Miriam navigated the challenges of holding on to hope, building a family in the midst of incredible hardship, and serving as a leader of a difficult people, all while living in her brother’s shadow

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Lynette Eason is one of my favorite authors.

Acceptable Risk (Danger Never Sleeps Book #2)

Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when her convoy is attacked and she’s taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander–Sarah’s imposing father–to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it.

Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she’s discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the Army. Until she learns of her brother’s suicide. Unable to believe her brother would do such a thing, she puts her plans on hold and enlists Gavin to help her discover the truth. What they uncover may be the biggest story of Sarah’s career–if she can survive long enough to write it.

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I’ve read this last book and it was a favorite.

On a more personal note:

Previously, I’ve mentioned two of our beloved teenagers were attempting overseas flights for a move back to Canada. They first attempt was interrupted by a typhoon. Their second attempt was successful today. They’ve cleared customs and will soon be at their final destination. So happy for them and their anxious parents left behind. We are excited that now we get to enjoy them for a little while. Enjoy them before they establish a life and move on.

I hope you enjoy some of today’s books.

Happy Reading.

Read and enjoyed September 15, 2021

Three of these authors were new to me. All were enjoyed and I hope to see each of them again soon. The last author, Laura Beers, I’ve read and enjoyed a few times now and look forward to more from her as well.

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Currently, I’ve started a new book by an author encountered a couple of years ago.

The Iceberg: Fulton Ridge Series Book Two (picture below)

It’s about a couple of guys who have been friends for years, now they are in a successful and growing business together. Jerrod bought a house with a huge kitchen that would accommodate their catering needs. He’s decided he wants the company name changed to feature him. Curtis is not falling for it. They already have business cards and the van is set to be painted on Monday. It’s a done deal.

Jerrod, never one to give up, is trying to force the issue with a win or lose bet he thinks he can win. They had been next door to meet the neighbor who, though not necessarily unfriendly, was not entirely thrilled to meet two new guys while in her less than flattering gardening clothes. Jerrod declared he was going next door to borrow a cup of sugar they didn’t need and if he came back with it, his prize for winning the bet would be Curtis asking the yet-nameless neighbor out for a date.

It worked, he had his cup of sugar and her name. Now Jerrod insisted Curtis pay up. Feeling this whole thing was unfair to the neighbor he tried to get out of asking her out. Jerrod, ever adamant, insisted he either ask for a date or change the company name from Courtesy Catering to Jerrod Catering.

Jerrod was in for a big surprise… Curtis went next door.

The welcome Curtis received from the neighbor wasn’t cold and unfriendly, so he started with wanting to make up for all the frivolous interruptions they were putting her through. He then mentioned he had two tickets for the symphony on Saturday. Since Jerrod would be unable to attend, would she be interested in the extra ticket.

Jerrod truly didn’t expect to lose. When he found out he lost not once but twice – both the name and the symphony ticket – let’s just say, the taste of a backfired plan is not all that sweet.

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I’ve haven’t read far enough yet to have a clue as to why Hannah has earned the title of Iceberg. I’m guessing there are secrets in her past that may account for trust issues.

These guys are so different. It looks like Jerrod mostly flies by the seat of his pants and it’s an ongoing challenge for level headed Curtis to keep them both out of trouble.

The three of them together could be very interesting.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Reading y’all

Bargain books September 14, 2021

1531 Entertainment has some interesting suggestions.

A Piece of the Moon: A Heartwarming Novel about Small Town Life Set in West Virginia in the 1980s

An inspiring southern fiction story from the bestselling author of War Room
When eccentric millionaire Gideon Quidley receives a divine revelation to hide his earthly treasure somewhere in the hills, he sets out to find a fitting hiding spot, choosing only a few Bible verses as clues leading to untold riches of gold, silver, cash . . . and one very unexpected—and very costly—item.

Treasure hunters descend upon the hills of West Virginia, including those surrounding the small town of Emmaus, where TD Lovett and Waite Evers provide the latest updates and the beating heart of the community on radio station Country 16. Neither man is much interested in a wild-goose chase for Quidley’s treasure, though. Waite is busy keeping the station afloat and caring for the bruised souls who have landed there. Meanwhile, TD’s more intent on winning over local junkyard owner Pidge Bledsoe, who has taken in a shy, wounded boy to raise.

But after an estranged friend goes missing searching for the treasure, TD is unexpectedly drawn into the hunt. As TD joins the race to find Quidley’s wealth, he discovers where his own real treasure lies, and he begins to suspect there’s a hidden piece to Gideon Quidley’s treasure that no one could’ve expected.

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I read and enjoyed last years Mosaic Christmas Anthology and I’m happy to see this year’s show up in my suggestion feed..

The Heart of Christmas: A Mosaic Christmas Anthology III

“At Christmas, we always…” And thus a tradition is born. The rituals stay the same, but if betrayal, illness, unfaithfulness, or tragedy strike, can cherished traditions survive?

When unexpected twists throw life out of kilter for the people in these stories, will beloved, time-honored customs lead them back to the heart of Christmas?

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My current read is an author I’ve not encountered before and I have to say I’m enjoying her very much. I’m looking forward to seeing more from her.

Tell Her No Lies 

Even the most admired families have secrets to hide . . .

Nina Fischer carries a camera wherever she goes—so she can view life through a filter. Safely. After her mother abandoned her to the streets, Nina has kept people at a distance, including her uncle, who adopted Nina and her sister. Wealthy and proud, he is a good man, a fair judge, and someone many in San Antonio admire. 

But when he is murdered, and the detective assigned to the case accuses Nina of the crime, she knows she must act. She’s determined to use her journalism background to find the real killer. The two men in her life want to help, but can she trust them?  She’s known Rick since they were children, but now he’s an attorney whose political aspirations seem more important than Nina’s tragic loss. And then there’s Aaron, a news videographer; using their friendship could break the biggest story of his career. 

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Check these books out and see what you think.

Happy Reading …

on a good day when the sun is shining brightly, my car has had it’s overdue oil change, and I actually left the house and talked to people. They were the oil change guys but hey that’s something, right?

I’m a hermit, what can I say. lol

Free and bargain books September 13, 2021

Today has been a good day for books. We will start off with BookBub, they have a FREE book suggestion for us.

The Forgiving Hour: A Novel 

Amazon quote:

Twelve years ago, Claire Porter thought her entire life was over when she learned that her husband, Dave, was having an affair with a young college student. Following their divorce, Claire started over, including changing back to her maiden name of Conway.

Claire now feels pretty good about her accomplishments. She has raised a wonderful son, Dakota; enjoys her work; and finally has a new love. When Dakota informs her that he is engaged, she looks forward to meeting his fiancée, even as she wonders if 31-year-old Sara Jennings is too old for her “little” six-foot-plus boy.

Secrets never stay buried long, and only God can help Claire find forgiveness when betrayal comes back to haunt her.

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BookRunes also has a FREE suggestion for us. The first chapter or two has me thinking this could be a fun read.

The Iceberg: A Christian Romance Novel (Fulton Ridge Series Book 2) 

Amazon quote:

Meeting her was just the tip of the iceberg.

Curtis wants to build his catering business, not get distracted by the beautiful woman next door. When his business partner’s penchant for betting catapults him into an unexpected date with Hannah, Curtis falls in love.

Hannah wants to be left alone in her cocoon of reading and gardening. She never asked to have her life of solitude interrupted. Her heart isn’t ready. Time hasn’t healed all wounds. How will she let go of her past and give love another chance?

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A bargain suggestion looks interesting too

When Two Souls Defy Destiny: A Historical Western Romance Book

Amazon quote:

Melinda’s twin sister may be utterly in love with a local man, but her family is set on her becoming a mail-order bride. As Melinda is saying her final goodbyes to her beloved sister, a brilliant yet risky idea presents itself. Melinda will take her place on the train instead, allowing her sister to stay in town and have a chance with her love. By the time their ruse is discovered, Melinda will be walking down the aisle with her future husband…

What could possibly go wrong with such a perfect plan?

Reginald Dawson started out in life with nothing and built a fortune from the goldfields in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Now, with a large hotel and success within his grasp, he is on the brink of having it all. When he posts an ad looking for a wife, he only has one thing in mind: to find someone sweet and genteel to be his companion and partner in life. With a lady of refinement at his side, even his tainted past could be overlooked, right?

The problem is, lies have a way of being exposed...

Both Melinda and Reginald have their fair share of secrets and neither is what the other expected. Melinda’s daring new husband seems to have a sinister secret in his past and Reginald’s perfect wife turns out to be a feisty suffragette. With danger looming and past mistakes catching up to them, can they even dare to imagine a chance at true love?

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There are several more so was for Part two.

Hopefully some of these appeal to you.

Happy Reading

No thoughts on milkshakes

The Sunday Scribblings story prompt today was milkshakes. I think it was chocolate milkshake day but I could be wrong about that. I don’t dislike milkshakes but rarely order one. My drink of choice usually is coffee, second choice would be iced tea. But not sweet tea. I tried it once when travelling in the south, couldn’t do it. I would pick salty over sweet any day of the week.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On the other hand, I do enjoy some desserts, especially if they lean toward the semi sweet side. Cheese cakes, tiramisu, tuxedo cake. I’m drooling already just thinking about them. Best change the subject.

I still don’t have a big appetite after the reaction to my second shot. My energy levels have not recovered either. I’m a little discouraged over that. Winter will soon be here and I need to get outside to do winter clean-up before the snow flies. One good thing about the snow – at least I don’t have to feel guilty about neglecting the yard.

Staying inside today produced a good chance to pay bills and respond to messages. That brightened my day considerably. The sad side of it, though, is knowing what my son and his wife and daughter are going through today. They will be putting their two oldest on a plane in a few hours to fly home to Canada. This isn’t a visit, they are moving home to see what comes next for them now that high school is nearly finished. I remember what it was like the first time my son flew off to a foreign country for who-knows how long. It was tough.

At the same time, I can relate to both sides. I have been the leaver and the left. It is much easier to be the one striking out on a new adventure. So many new things to experience. The left get to look at an emptier house every day and keenly feel the loss.

The adventurer doesn’t miss out on sadness though. Unfamiliar culture and languages can magnify homesickness. Even just a new and unfamiliar city brings it’s share of homesickness. No one gets away pain free.

On the other hand, sadness and homesickness means we loved. We can’t miss what we have never loved. What a blessing to have loved and been loved.

The three boys living here are excited to welcome their cousins. My daughter is left wondering how she is going to survive as the only woman with six guys. It will be an adventure, for sure. I tell her be glad it’s not girls, they would have to install another bathroom or two. Although if the girls were anything like the two of us, hogging shower and bathroom time would not be a big issue.

All that said, I enjoyed my kids when they were teens and I think she will enjoy these boys too. They are all loving kids.

Well, word is just in, the first leg of the flight was cancelled which means they will miss the connecting flight. At least they have a travel agent to take off some of the pressure. Arrival time will be affected, although this is not a total surprise.

Turns out the problem is a typhoon. 😦

I guess this is to be continued…

A sister about to miss her brothers.

They will be missing her too.