Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Back in the Saddle Again

 I've missed blogging. If you are here, it means you stuck around during this long absence, and I appreciate it.

Updating everyone on Paul's progress over on the Caring Bridge site was an appropriate substitute while we all tried to survive the demands of his recovery. THANK YOU to everyone who followed our story there. I'll keep the site open for occasional updates. His head wound and broken bones have healed remarkably fast and well. Now we face the long, slow haul of regaining use of the left arm, paralyzed by a spinal cord injury and "waking up," as they say, in tiny increments, and also regaining overall strength.

I have experienced my own healing during this time and am better able to function and focus than I was during the unbelievable shock and stress of those initial weeks.

One of the many ways Paul's fall upended our lives is that he is suddenly retired from his jobs of teaching, preaching, and running a business. We don't know if or when he'll return to these duties, or in what form or to what extent.

But these life-altering events are not without little hidden blessings, and here is one of them: Paul wants to be useful, so he offered to take on a few responsibilities such as emptying the dishwasher and feeding the chickens so I can have a regular time every morning to go to the Sparrow Nest and write.

We will try that exchange for a few weeks and see how it works. I've never been good at keeping schedules but it helps to commit to a specific length of time and then evaluate how it's going.

With that in mind, I created a schedule for blogging in October. On Saturdays, I'd like to alternate between a regular essay-type blog post or update and an Ask Aunt Dorcas post. I have a stash of questions in hand that I hope to have "Aunt Dorcas" address, but you can send me more, if you wish, at dorcassmucker@gmail.com. If you have other ideas for posts, send them along as well.

Then, on Tuesdays, I want to post a bit of fiction. They called them serials back in Charles Dickens's day, I believe, when the newspapers printed A Christmas Carol chapter by chapter. I grew up on the "continued" stories in the Pathway magazines and recall the disappointment of reaching the words "to be continued" and the anticipation of reading the new installment when it came. I'm not sure I admitted back then that I enjoyed "Bevely" in Young Companion, but I did.

I have three or four stories I wrote for my fiction group, just for practice. They're not long enough for a book, but I have a few ideas of other ways to use them, and decided in this year of Covid and crisis, it would be fun to share one as a serial.

It's a story about two teenage girls, written at middle grade level. Don't read it looking for a lesson or anything deep. I only wanted to tell a semi-realistic story based on my own and others' experiences.

Thank you to all of you who reached out to us during this difficult summer. It's good to be looking ahead and moving beyond simply surviving.

See you on Saturday.