Welcome, Peepers!

I’ve been rolfed (loved it), and had lots of other body work, and something the rolfer said stuck with me: When pain comes, we almost can’t think of anything else. When pain leaves, we often don’t notice.

I think she was right about minor aches and pains, the stiff shoulder gradually eases, the sore foot is better a week later. I had migraines for years though, and I can assure you, when I woke up on day three, and that sucker was finally crawling back under the rock from whence it came, I noticed. On those rare occasions when I could kick one early with caffeine, I noticed all over the place.

But picking up from last week–what are we looking forward to?–I’m focusing now on what I’m putting behind me. I heard spring peepers last night for the first time, and that reminds me that winter is drifting away. For this year, I’ll soon be done with entire weeks of unrelenting overcast. That weather pattern got so bad in Maryland this year that I bought a DayLight to shine at myself first thing in the day.

I’ve turned in the three books I owe Grand Central publishing–my first New York deal!–and the process has gone well so far. I won’t have to write those books again, and it’s onward and upward to whatever series lies ahead. (Suggestions welcome. I love Percival and Esther to pieces, but haven’t they meddled enough?)

I’ve settled in to the wrap-up phase at my law office. I’ll probably be going to court for another year at least, but the burden will be lighter and lighter, and oh… the stuff I can get rid of. Emotional, physical, logistical. It’s good to be the dowager queen.

I’ve been through the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death, which is a milestone. Life is moving on, and that’s exactly what she’d want for me.

I recall a line from Anne Lamott, when she was talking about how to help a friend who was in the absolute Slough of Despond, somebody who’d been overwhelmed for too long, and was too tired to even pitch a hissy fit about the unfairness of it all. (Warning: the context was both political and religious.) For many paragraphs, Anne prosed one about the glories of creation and the wonder of life, and the stages of grieving, but she also noted that sometimes, all you have to offer is…. “Mornings are nice.”

This for me remains mostly true. Mornings are nice. Each day comes around offering some mystery and potential, some joy and some challenge, and that day says hello to me with a morning. The day might also present a lot of drudgery and disappointment, but on first impression, there’s always some potential there too, and if nothing else, another night is behind me.

What have you put behind you? How are your mornings nice? To one commenter, I’ll send a print version of Dukes in Disguise (the ebook version being on sale for $.99!).





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16 comments on “Welcome, Peepers!

  1. Celeste (who is trying very hard to be an upstairs dog) woke up at 6:30 am this morning. I wish she has the sleep-in on Sunday gene! She was so happy to see me and go out in the snow with Molly , her mother. I couldn’t be mad at her– she was so happy to start the day! Celeste does make my morning nice as she views each new day as an adventure.

    I am looking forward to the end of Daylight Savings time. I am a bit sad to wake up in the dark and return home in the dark. Come on Spring! Plan to walk during my lunch break.

    My first review in my new department is behind me. I was thrilled with my review and so happy that I took a leap of faith and switched departments!

    I am reading and reviewing contemporary books this year. Needed a break from the historical genre. This change took me out of my comfort zone and I am enjoying reading new authors and loving their characters.

    I love your contemporary books and would love to see a new series from you. Maybe set in Maine? New Hampshire.? And there’s always Nicholas– he must have a child, niece, nephew who needs a story? Or a murder mystery featuring Axel and Matthew?

    Enjoy your week!
    And don’t enter me in this week’s giveaway….read Dukes in Disguise and loved it.

    • You had so many setbacks on the quest for a position that fit you better. That whole effort def goes on the “that’s behind you!” pile. And yes, Celeste–most dogs–are the spirit of morning with four paws. My Murphy is the same way. ALWAYS thrilled to see me come down the steps at the beginning of the day.

  2. One of my son’s has a chronic illness, diagnosed one month after his 18th birthday. He has struggled with the unfairness of it–BTW I think it’s unfair too–but he has managed to received three college degrees, one with honors, as he did. He is living at home (and working, in his chosen field, but getting indentured servant pay)while he decides–or not–if he will get a PhD.

    This week was rough for him, illness-wise, but he didn’t make me especially sympathetic by his behavior…..I am so over it! It sounds terrible but I finally realized he needs to *man-up* about his own illness and treatment. I can’t take seeing him ill and then whining about the unfairness etc. etc.–I am tired! So, I decided, I will do what I can for him if he needs me but will walk out of the room when he starts the “it’s not fair” routine. I know it will be hard to *walk away* but I need to for my own sanity!

    Instead of an Esther and Percival tale, why not Valentine and family? Are his children musical? You and I are musicians so…..what’s up with his musical career and his kids and……? Could be somethin’…..we all love the Windhams!

    The first year after you lose someone you love is the hardest I am told. I think that’s mostly right; the intense emotions because less intense. Still, little things crop up….it will be three years in July since we lost my Mom. I am better but there are times I still get emotional over something so silly, it makes no sense. I think love makes no sense! 🙂

    • I think this is one of the reasons men don’t live as long as women. From our first cramps, we get used to the idea that it’s not always going to be fair or fun. Then the joys of childbearing, breastfeeding, PMS… as soon as our bodies begin to act female, we realize they are a mixed blessing, and ye gods… menopause. It’s not that our bodies betray us, it’s that that’s how a body IS. Imperfect, often painful, requiring maintenance and still the darned thing hits you with migraines and hot flashes, cramps and thyroid problems. We are handed several “new normals” throughout our life cycle, and we did nothing to deserve any of it.

      Your son’s illness is doubtless no walk in the park, but it sounds as if he’s grieving the loss of his health beyond what’s reasonable from your perspective. Maybe counseling–but then, guys don’t.

      One thing’s for sure: If you’re one of his primary supports, then you MUST walk out of the room when you’re overtaxed. He thinks it’s tough now, wait until he tries to muddle along without Mom on his team.

      Wishing you a good support network for you, and good books.

  3. I put everyday behind me and know that it’s done with and I’m grateful for each and every morning because of all the promises it holds. I can’t do anything about what’s done and past so based on words my late Mom said to me “just get through today” and stop worrying about anything else. Everything passes, good or bad.
    Carol L

    • My mom gave me similar words, and they’re wise. Yes, there’s a time to ponder and analyze, but there’s also a time to turn out the light, roll over, and GO TO SLEEP. Put it behind you, and onward we go!

  4. I’m a morning person – always have been. It’s when I’m my sharpest and have my most energy. Always try to use that to my advantage. Whatever task is most difficult, I try to accomplish it in the a.m.

    If you are taking suggestions for time periods for future books, my favorite is the Edwardian Era. Might be because I love the fashions from that era. It just always seemed like it would have been a nice time to live. Enough modern conveniences (in cities anyway) to make life bearable but not enough to make it a rat race. Not many romance novels from that era. Maybe because of the looming specter of WWI.

    Whatever you choose to write in the future, I’m sure I’ll love it. You are a really good writer, who is getting even better all the time.

  5. Grace. I have begun to read a few passages from Scripture to give me calm and peace. It doesn’t always work but I try! Joy in the morning!

  6. I’m celebrating finally getting a new car this weekend. Such a load of worries gone, even if I’ve traded them for 6 years of car payments. Now I can drive in bad weather without worrying, no more clutch on my bad side, and maintenance will be soooooo much less. Plus, other people can drive it as needed after years of being the only one who knew the complicated stick shift. Best of all, I can seat more than one passenger and there’s places to plug things in. 21st century technology at long last. Huzzah!

    I like Georgian AND Edwardian. My only nitpick with contemporary is I read to escape. Harder if I’m sharing a time zone with the characters.

  7. I have a part-time job now and thinking I wouldn’t be thrilled after so many wonderful late nights reading and sleeping in, but I look forward to it (although I do miss those long nights reading so I try to make extra daytime reading lol). I work hard at not dwelling on life’s disappointments and now I have something really wonderful to look forward to – my oldest is going to have a child and at 66 I finally get to be a grandmother. (Both my mom and sister were only 45 and my sister has 8 grandchildren but that means a lot of great nephews and nieces!)

  8. Morning are best! Cup of coffee in one hand, my puppy cuddling in my lap and my big boy (8 now) keeping my feet warm. I have Mary Balogh’s 2nd book, (not crazy about her 1st, but she’s so good that I’ll give this one a try)the latest “In Death” book, and Eloisa James’ newest on my table next to me. Which to read first? Such a delightful dilemma. Grace have you ever considered a time-travel story? How about going back to Scotland to the days of clans? Oh, the possibilities…but please no vamp/werewolf books.LOL Congrats on lightening your legal obligations. I’m looking forward to more “Grace” books on my table in the morning. And I still remember my Mom often, even though she’s been gone over 12 years. Love always remains. When I cook her recipes or recall a story about her to a friend, her life isn’t forgotten.

  9. I confess I am not a morning person. Yesterday, my husband and I had a little Valentine’s Day celebration at the house. I made a simple meal. I got a plastic Valentine’s Day tablecloth. I have to wait until the last minute to put it on the table. The cats think it is a cat toy or a cat fort. We saw “SullY”, which I enjoyed. I am going out of town this weekend with some of my girlfriends, so that will be nice. I am turning 53 on Saturday. I don’t mind getting older, but I wish my health was better.

  10. We had our first baby four months ago. He is lovely, but he does not sleep well (wakes up most hours). After his first wake up he comes in bed with us and I spend most of the night contorted around his small body/with him attached to my breast. Snuggly, but not conducive to good rest! (I am on maternity leave and my husband is still working full time so night shifts are mostly my responsibility). In the morning my husband takes our son for an hour or two before work so I can properly stretch out, which is wonderful. Plus, it’s happy making hearing them downstairs enjoying each other!

  11. I’ve been suffering from back pain since Feb. 1. It came out of nowhere, utterly excruciating. My days have been all about just trying to find a way to be comfortable and in tolerable pain. Fortunately, the tide is turning and I am mostly pain-free and heading to PT soon. I have put behind me my desire for every day to be full of stuff, excitement and doing, doing, doing.
    Dealing with this pain, the worst of my life, makes me long for a simple, boring day, of course, free from pain and any discomfort. Such days are a blessing for sure. And my mornings are nice because I have a ritual of going out, gazing at the sky, saying hi to the birds and the day and filling up the bird bath with fresh water and topping off the seeds.