Monthly Archives: May 2011

Slipping Through the Cracks


plant in sidewalk
Isn’t this a wonderful photo? I found it on morguefile.com. It was taken by giulian.

Luke 10:33 (NIV) But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

It’s hard to tell how old he is. His long, wavy brown hair is clean, and his reddened face makes me wonder if he is/was an alcoholic or just has weathered skin from being in the sun. His warm brown eyes belittle the rest of his appearance, which includes almost always dressing in camouflage.

I met him at the convenience store. Every night, night after night, week after week, month after month, he stands outside because once there was a robbery and he wants to make sure the women who work late at night into the wee hours of the morning are safe. The company doesn’t pay him to do this. He does it because it is his way of serving others.

His little red moped scoots down the road to his sparsely furnished house without air conditioning. His voice is soft and his grammar is pretty bad. He’s lived in Spartanburg all his life.

Being a writer, I’m always asking people questions. This drives my daughter nuts! She says, “Mom, you shouldn’t ask her such personal questions.”

I always respond with the same answer. “Well, Mol, I’m a writer and that’s what writers do.” If I had a dollar for every time we’ve had that short conversation, I’d probably be buying a home in the Hamptons.

Anyway, I needed an extra pair of hands and a strong back for my move in December 2010. I asked the gal at the store if she would trust him to help. She said, “Absolutely. We’ve never had anything go missing as a result of him being here.”

So I asked him if he would like to make some money, and he said “Sure” in his slow Southern drawl.

He did show up to help and did a wonderful job.

A few days later I saw him at the soup kitchen where I volunteer.

Fast forward to night before last. I had a car full of groceries and garage sale items I hadn’t unloaded yet. I was exhausted from running around, and it was getting late. I didn’t want to make 10 trips to the car, so when I saw him outside the store I stopped to ask if he would like to help. He agreed and came over, unloaded the car, hooked up my new flat screen TV (small for my office; I guess I’m finally in the 21st century now!).

Then we had dinner. I’d bought some fried chicken and potato salad. He wolfed it down. We chatted. He told me he’d had a job at a car wash in town for 20 years, but then he found a better job and then lost that one. He hasn’t had a job since and now does whatever work he can find. His friend lets him live in the house rent free.

He told me he doesn’t have food stamps, disability or any type of government assistance. Amazing. Seems like everyone these days gets that stuff, and some of them actually look like they live better than I do, taking vacations and so forth.

It used to be that when I would meet someone like him I would immediately take the person under my wing, try to fix and change them, and mostly feel self-righteous — as if I was God’s special messenger doing my part one person at a time.

I don’t do that anymore. I learned my lesson the hard way after getting ripped off by two people I tried to help…sometimes I’m a very slow learner.

He’s coming over today to do some planting for me because I just can’t get down on my knees right now. It’ll probably take an hour, and I’ll pay him $10 so he can have some money to put gas in the moped.

This man has slipped through the cracks of our society. So many have. One of my passions is helping the homeless. My dream is to renovate some of the old schools, mills, etc. around here and turn them into sustainable housing. I still have time.

Some people say you shouldn’t give people on the street money. Instead, they say you should buy them a meal. Over the years, some people have said to me, “Most of them are just alcoholics or drug addicts, OR (with a smirk) they’re mental cases, and THAT’S why you shouldn’t give them money. You can never be sure, you know? You never know what they might do to you.”

Though these people are partially correct, I ALWAYS give someting. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’ve been homeless so many times (never on the street, but very close).

Anyway, what do you do when you pass someone on the street who asks for money or you meet someone who is slipping through the cracks? Does it make you feel as good as it does me when you help someone else?

And, would you like to help me make my dream come true? Let me know what you could bring to the table (skills, money, who do you know, etc.) by emailing me directly.

Have a blessed day.

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When I Was 20, I Wanted a Kitchen Filled with Tupperware.


front door

Welcome to my world.

My daughter’s dad worked for the only traveling opera company in the United States that sang all the operas in English. That’s how I learned to love opera. La Boheme is my favorite. The starving artists, fated romances and Paris setting lured me into Puccini’s melodic music. But I digress.

We stopped working for the opera company after the spring tour in 1969. My husband got a job at an architect’s office (he did sets and lighting for the operas) in Tampa, Florida, and we finally settled down in our first apartment. I remember jumping up on a chair and screaming the first time I saw a Palmetto bug. (Think HUGE, very HUGE roach-type insect).

I also remember selling Avon and meeting the gal who lived down the hall with her new husband. Teresa was a tiny thing with bouncy curls and dark brown eyes. She invited me over for iced tea one afternoon, and I just about opened my mouth wider that ever before when I walked into her apartment.

She had freshly ironed shirts hanging on a hook on the kitchen door. I asked her about it. “Oh, I love ironing my husband’s shirts,” she said. “They just look so good when I’m finished.” Rather than think her arrogant, I wondered if perhaps I should start ironing MY husband’s shirts as wel. After all, he had a “real” job now, so maybe that would be a good thing to do.

Our talk turned to other things and eventually got around to wedding presents. That marriage of mine was a shotgun marriage without the gun. I wasn’t pregnant. We just decided to get married, so it all happened with very little planning. It certainly wasn’t the long white dress with trailing lace veil type affair I’d always dreamed of, but it did the trick.

Theresa showed me some of her wedding presents (she and her hubbie had JUST gotten married with all the bells and whistles. We”oohed” and “ahed” over the shining crystal glasses, matching china and sparkling silver flatware. Though I loved the idea of throwing small, intimate and formal dinner parties, I wasn’t really sure that’s how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

Then she escorted me into the kitchen from the living room where we’d been drinking tea and proudly pointed out one cabinet that was filled to the brim with Tupperware. “I just love Tupperware, don’t you?” she asked.

I did. Though Tupperware had been around for almost 40 years, it was all the rage. So handy, so sturdy, so convenient. A housewife’s dream. My dream. I was beet red with envy.  I wanted a kitchen full of Tupperware. But I didn’t have the money to buy it, and nobody had given me any as wedding presents.

I forgot about that incident until this morning. At one garage sale on Saturday last week, I found a GIANT turquoise blue Tupperware container for a buck. Perfect to hold my kitties’ food. What a steal. What a deal. What a delight!

Today, I don’t want a kitchen filled with Tupperware. If I had to pick a material thing out that I really want, I don’t know what it would be.

It’s ironic how our wants change over time. At some point in our lives, we want a job or a better job, a loving husband or wife or partner, children, grandchildren, a new car, a bigger place to live, more money in our bank accounts, more time off, a perky puppy, the latest fashion garb…the list goes on and on. But these are all things or people we think might make us happier.

But what is it you really want? If I offered you peace and a smaller place to live, would you take it? If a stranger came up and handed you $25,000 dollars with the condition that you had to give it all away, how would you respond? What would you do if you could have pratically no stress in your life, but you had to live on half of what you’re living on now?

It’s easy to want things, impossible to hang onto them, and simple to let your worries get you down.

It’s harder (but gets easier) to accept exactly where you are and in what circumstances you live, and to recognize you have what you need.

What’s really hard is accepting yourself for exactly the way you are, be grateful for everything and everyone you have in your life, cease judging others, and stop comparing yourself (or comparing others) to you. All of that takes a lot of work on the INSIDE. In the end, though, it’s the most gratifying work you’ll ever do.

What is it you REALLY want today? If it’s material things, more money or some of the other things I mentioned, will you really be any happier if you get it? Or will you then move on to the next item on your list of wants.

Whatever it is, I wish you peace and joy.

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I Met an Extraordinary Young Man at a Yard Sale Today


Camelias
Smokey Camelias – I need to learn to take better close-ups, but I love this photo!

My daughter loves to go to garage sales on Saturday mornings. When we’re together, we do that sometimes too. Every time I think of garage sales, I think of her.

Last night I went to bed too early. I woke up wide awake at 3 a.m. I decided to make the best of it, so I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out a closet and figured I’d go back to bed around 5 or 6. No such luck.

A friend of mine was having a yard sale today, so I decided to go. He told me it was starting at 7. I showed up with coffee and a sausage biscuit for him, figuring he probably hadn’t had time to eat breakfast. It’s fun to do random acts of kindness, don’t you think? They’re not something I plan usually, but I always get such pleasure when I bring a smile to someone’s face because of some small act.

Anyway, after that sale, I decided to hit some more. I found two small tables for my large houseplants, a turkey roaster (small), a strawberry pot and a few other things.

I went to one sale where they were selling lemonade for $.25 a glass. I asked for a large cup and paid $.50. A homebaked cookie came with the drink. So delicious.

I’m trying to remember what exactly I bought at that sale and can’t. All I can see in my mind is this tall young man with brown curly hair and a beautiful blonde wife and three-year old daughter. He walked out to the car with me and we started talking.

His house was for sale, so I asked him where he was moving. “We’re moving to Louisville, Kentucky,” he said.

“For a job?” I inquired.

“Yes.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m in family medicine. I’m just finishing up my residency here.”

“Aren’t there any good jobs here for you?” I asked.

“Yes, but there’s a special clinic for low-income people in Louisville. That’s where I want to work.”

We talked a little more about how he’d be making a lot less money practicing medicine in a clinic setting rather than private or hospital practice.

“It’s okay with me, though. I really feel God is leading me there. I want to serve people.”

Here’s a new doctor who is going into medicine for the reasons that doctors did years ago. Instead of looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in income each year, he wants to use his talents to help those in need.

I have some friends who are struggling financially right now. Any of you who know me know I struggled for almost my whole life with money matters. It was difficult, gut-wrenching and frustrating beyond belief to not know where the next dollar was coming from in order to keep the electricity on.

But God protected me and kept me safe and always provided just exactly what I needed. I didn’t see that for the longest time. And lots of times, even when I did know I had everything I needed, I was resentful, jealous and green with envy (pun intended) of all the people who had much, much more than I did.

I’m glad I went to that sale today. It made me ever-mindful of how much God loves me and how blessed I am to have friends and family who care, a place to live, food to eat, a car to drive and two precious kitties to sleep next to me at night. And it made me think of all the people who go into various professions to help others. I’ll never forget this young man. I know he will bless and be blessed.

I hope you will be blessed today.

P.S. After the sales, I hit the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. And guess what I found?

A six-foot ladder for under $20! Why is that important? Because now I can hang the plant hooks myself, change the light bulbs and do a great job washing my windows.

Thanks for all the comments so far! If you like my blog, I hope you’ll send this link to your friends and family members.

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When Your Heart Hurts, Look at the Sky


sunflower

A perfect sunflower from my garden

Someone close to me said some extremely unkind words to me today. It hurt my heart. At first, I wanted to run and hide under the covers. Then I wanted to scream  “Why did you say those things? Don’t you know it hurt my heart?”

Finally, I just sat in front of my computer looking at the screen. Then I petted my cats. Then I made a phone call to a good friend who understands this situation. Then I was up and down the rest of the afternoon, getting nothing done except my dishes. Finally, I went to see some people tonight. I feel better now, but my heart still aches.

We all say mean-spirited things to people. Some of us do it more often than others. Some of us hardly do it at all. When I was growing up, I know I wounded my parents with my Scorpio tongue. I never thought about how my words might impact them…I just said what I wanted to say.

When I married, my husband helped me around the house. He did the best he could. But I would get angry and say he had done things the wrong way. Pretty soon he stopped helping.

Some time ago I decided I don’t ever want to hurt people with angry words again. I’m working on it.

Lots of us don’t realize that we can never take back the words we say when we are upset. It’s all about US – OUR feelings, OUR situation, OUR take on things. And so the harsh words jump out of our mouths faster than the frogs in the jumping contest in Calaveras, California.

Probably most of us apologize eventually. Not always, and not everyone, but my guess is most of us. We say we’re sorry. We utter that we’ll never do it again. We beg for forgiveness. We see the look on someone’s face after we say something painful to them and wish we could have thought before we said it. Some of us do that.

Other people never look back. They decide they’re entitled to express their feelings no matter who they hurt. These people are arrogant in my opinion. They believe that because they have the right to verbally stomp on anyone they want.They don’t want or believe in forgiveness, and they’re very unhappy people.

When someone barges into your consciousness with cruel words, what can you do?

You can do like I did and do a bunch of different things to try to take your mind off of the incident.

You can pray for the person to have what you want.

And, you can look at the sky like the sunflower picture at the top of this post and know that, just as with everything else…this too shall pass. God’s light is shining on you, even if you’re hurting.

I hope nobody hurt you today and that you did not hurt anyone. But if they did or if you did, forgive them and forgive yourself. The power of forgiveness is one of the greatest natural remedies for heart hurts.

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What Eating Chinese Food, Gardening and Fishing Have in Common


Veggies from my 2010 garden

I found a great new Chinese/Japanese place to eat yesterday. I’d driven past it a million times, but something always kept me from stopping. Since my favorite soup/salad restaurant in the same area closed down, I thought it was time to try the Fuji Steakhouse in Spartanburg, SC.

If I had a fancy cell phone with all the whistles and bells, or if I’d thought to bring my camera, I’d be showing a picture of the most amazing plate of food I ordered. It was tofu with veggies and fried rice. Huge. Really. Beyond delicious as well.

While I was eating and reading a new book by Janet Evanovich I found at the dollar store, something occurred to me. I always eat Asian food with chopsticks. After two years in Korea and a love of far Eastern cuisine my whole life, I consider it almost a sin to eat these delicacies with a fork! As a matter of fact, I have also taught tons of people to eat with chopsticks in under two minutes. However, I digress.

What came into my thoughts was that you have to pay attention to eat this food with chopsticks. I don’t mean shoveling it in your mouth without thinking as you do when you’re eating with a fork. I mean you REALLY have to pay attention. If you don’t, you’ll not only not be able to eat anything, but you also may wind up with food all over the table and your clothes if you don’t. Real hand to mouth contact, so to speak.

I’d been working in my yard for a good part of the morning before I went out in search of the perfect meal or perfect deal. I found a pretty perfect deal, but I decided to wait.

When I’m working in the garden or fishing, I lose track of time. I am fully engaged in those particular hobbies of mine, just as I am paying exact attention when I eat Chinese food.

The Buddhists call it “mindfulness.” The new-agers call it “meditation.” Many Christians call it “prayer. It is being fully in the moment. It represents a time when we can concentrate profoundly on what we are doing, without letting the stress of our everyday lives get to us.

For me, I don’t think about what I’m going to eat, wear or if my house needs repairs. I forget painful memories, don’t worry about anyone else and feel joy and peace in every part of my being.

It is my way of communing with God, nature and my inner self. I sometimes get great revelations when I do so. I sometimes don’t.

I did forget for a moment yesterday and spilled a little food on my bright turquoise peasant shirt. I almost tripped and fell while walking down my uneven pathway while gardening today.

But I always catch fish. Come to think of it, it’s that time of year, and I need to go fishing.

One year I had the extreme pleasure of living in the mountains of Northern California. I went fishing every day there wasn’t snow on the ground. I caught tons of rainbow trout, my favorite fish. I felt awe at watching a family of ducks grow up. seeing the leaves turn their brilliant colors and looking at the reflection of the trees in the crisp, clean and cool water. That was one of the most painful years of my lives in other respects, but the fishing made the pain go away.

I hope you have hobbies or habits that do the same for you.

What will you be mindful of today?

Hey, and if you’ve read this far, how about leaving a comment! I’d surely appreciate it.

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RESPECT – or how I’m learning to listen to others instead of myself


Bootsie and Annie, respecting each other

I’ve been thinking about the word “respect” today.  I love words. They have so many meanings and contexts. In particular, I was thinking about how we show respect to the people in our lives.

Of course, there are those whom we pretty much have to respect: our bosses, law enforcement personnel, the IRS auditor, our teachers, students, and our cats and dogs. When we were young, most of our parents demanded respect. “Obey the rules.” “Do what I say because I say to do it.” “Clean your room.” “Eat your veggies.”

What about friends and family members? How do we show respect to them, or do we?

Do we think carefully about what we say or write before we do it? Do we take their needs into account as much as we do our own?

Living in a fast-paced, technologically-oriented world, the days spin by faster than we can count them. Email, instant messaging, texting…all these take up more and more of our time. I think most people expect instant replies to messages and even to phone calls.

There was a time when if I didn’t get a response to an email within 24 hours, I started wondering what was wrong. Then I would turn that wondering inward and wonder if I had done something wrong. It was a vicious circle. The more I worried, the more I got depressed thinking that the person must be mad at me, upset at something I’d done or was just plain ignoring me.

It took me a long time to figure out that it isn’t about me. None of it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t (and still do occasionally) upset people.  I do.  But people have their own lives to live, and just because I don’t hear right back doesn’t mean they don’t care.

How often, I wonder, when a person asks for something from someone else does the person doing the asking consider the impact of that asking on the other person?

How many times, I ponder, do we project our own expectations onto the people in our lives?

In other words, if you ask someone a question and you don’t like the answer, do you show that in your tone of voice? Do you ever make judgments about someone’s life based on the answers they give to the questions you ask?

I have done all of the above.

And I don’t want to anymore.

I want to learn to respect people for where they are in their lives. I want to be the kind of person who stays calm during conversations and doesn’t get emotional or angry or frustrated. I want to be a rock in people’s lives — a rock to whom they can turn for advice, a pebble that they can toss across the water in fun, a person who makes them feel good.

Just because I don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean I don’t care. It also doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. It just means I don’t agree. Just because you don’t agree or approve of something I do or say doesn’t mean you have the right to tell me how wrong you think I am.

I spent most of my life as a person afraid to express my feelings. I thought that if I showed people how I felt they would judge me and go away. I was afraid of being alone.  I was afraid of being lonely.

If I stay focused and calm in my spiritual nature, I believe I can express my feelings in a way that doesn’t trample someone else’s reality.

In the same way, if I concentrate on helping others and on respecting their boundaries and opinions, I think I become a better person.

Look at your pet or pets. I have two calico kitties who (mostly) respect each other. When one gets in the way of the other, the first one usually moves. They chase each other up and down the hall, wait patiently to be fed, and they both have their spots next to me in bed. Recently, though, Annie has been trying to steal Bootsie’s spot. Bootsie waits until Annie is settled and then comes in on the other side of the bed to sleep in her new spot. I like that.

Respecting others doesn’t mean giving up who I am. It doesn’t mean that I’m not entitled to my opinions or that I expect others to agree with them. It does mean that I am learning to respect myself, probably for the first time in my life. (I’m a slow learner.)

And that is something worth waiting for.

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It Comes Around – A Love Letter


Two reasons to live: My daughter Molly and my grandson Hammie

We laugh or get deadly serious about the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” People use it to describe their financial, romantic and familial relationships and situations. Folks who are REALLY into it say that everything we do has a consequence on some level and that we need to watch what we do and say in order to avoid the bad karma that comes with not taking care of ourselves, our belongings and other people.

You may wonder what all this has to do with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD. In a word – everything.

For years, I smoked with abandon. When I started at the age of 17, I thought it was the cool thing to do. I remember sneaking outside to have a cigarette and my mom coming out the side screen door. “So, you’re smoking,” she said, “I wish you wouldn’t, but if you’re going to smoke, you may as well smoke a good brand of cigarettes.” I needed her stamp of approval, and the next brand of smokes I bought was Parliament. I think they cost around $.40.

Now it is 45 years later, and I just got out of the hospital after staying there for one week. The reason? COPD as a result of my smoking thousands of cigarettes day after day, week after week and year after year. Never mind the financial cost. I’m writing this as a love letter to my friends who smoke, teens I don’t know who smoke, and people I’ll never meet who smoke.

I’ve been sick for months. Everyone I’d meet noticed my horrible cough. Strangers asked me if I was all right. “Yes, I’m fine,” I glibly replied. “It’s just a smoker’s cough, so I’m not contagious.” I’d lie down at night, only to cough so hard I had to get up and throw up sometimes. When I went to the movies, people turned around and looked at me as if I was certifiably crazy for coming to a public place and disturbing the story line with my cough. Gradually, my sinuses filled up.

I tried everything to get the mucous out of my sinuses…steam, Vick’s, saline solution, decongestants, everything. I even tried those little strips you put on your nose. Sure, they worked fine, until they fell off in the middle of the long and lonely night.  My doctor prescribed drug after drug and told me mine was the worst case she’d ever seen.

Now I’ve been out of the hospital for five days. The cure is almost as bad as the disease. I’m on massive doses of prednisone, a steroid drug that opens my bronchial tubes so I can breathe. However, the side effects are more than difficult to bear. I can’t sleep, I’m so jittery I could dance all night, my head aches constantly, the acid in my throat would fill a car battery, and worst of all, I look like the Pillsbury doughgirl.

You may be wondering why I call this a love letter? The reason is simple. Sure, I’d read about COPD, lung cancer, emphysema and all the rest of the complications from smoking for years. I saw pictures of brown lungs compared to pink ones, watched people in wheelchairs holding onto their portable oxygen tanks, and been told of friends family members who died of smoking related causes.

One of my dearest friends quit smoking 10 years ago and now has lung cancer that spread to her heart, her bones and her liver. After two years of invasive and painful treatment, she has decided to take no more treatments. I asked her if it was worth it, and she said she really didn’t know. Throughout the whole time, she remained as cheerful as anyone could, as inspirational as a wise mentor, and as hopeful as a young and naïve child.

You may think you can’t quit. You may have tried everything as I did for years. The patch. The gum. The prescription medicines Wellbutrin or Chantix. Cold turkey. The new electronic cigarette. Herbal cigarettes. You may worry about gaining weight, wearing all your feelings on your sleeve and verbally jumping on anyone who happens to cross your path.

Hear my words.  It’s worth it to quit – NOW.  You do NOT want to go through what I’ve been going through.  It’s not fun, it’s not pleasant, and it’s no way to live. There WILL be consequences to your habit of puffing on little white paper-wrapped tobacco sticks.

You may be one of the lucky ones. Just a bad cough for the rest of your life. On the other hand, you may wind up like my friend. Or me. In some cases, I think a diagnosis of cancer is better than one of COPD. Why?

Because at least with cancer you know what you have. You have treatment options or you can opt out of treatment and start your bucket list.

But with COPD, if you want to live anywhere near a comfortable life, the options are not anything but inconvenient, uncomfortable and make you into a basket case – literally.

You’ve seen those people with their oxygen tanks. Imagine having to spend the rest of your life carrying one of those around everywhere you go. Get on a plane for a trip to visit the kids or see your granddaughter graduate? Yep, just take along your tank. Plan a trip to the Mexican Riviera for some sun and fun? Sure, just don’t count on snorkeling or scuba diving to see the wonderfully diverse sea life. You can’t. You’re on oxygen.

Am I getting the point across? So far, I haven’t been put on oxygen. I can’t imagine living that way. To me, it offers no quality of life. It’s simply a way of existing. And who wants to only exist?

So this is my love letter to you. If you know me personally, you know I love life, humor and exploring the world. If you don’t know me on a personal level, understand that there is nothing in the world that I’d rather be doing right now than walking in the footsteps of Christ in the Holy Land, climbing up the hill to see the Parthenon, or braving the late spring cold to visit World War II sites in Poland and other countries.

But I am stuck here. I can’t go any of those places until my COPD is “stabilized.” And what if we can’t get it stabilized? Am I doomed to staying within the confines of the United States and never fulfilling my lifelong dreams of traveling to parts unknown?

Hindsight is 20/20. If I knew I’d be going through what I’m going through now, I would have gritted my teeth, rubbed my fingers until they were raw and screamed in anger at every person who looked at me the wrong way. It would have been worth it. This is NOT worth it.

Take charge of your life and health. Quit now. I will support you. I will stand by you. I will pray for you. And I know that if I can finally quit, you can too. And I know that if I can save just one person from having to experience the horrible consequences of lifelong smoking, I’ll feel I have done my job for the day.

God bless you and good luck.

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Hello world!


Me, relaxing in Costa Rica, March, 2010

It’s time. This freelance writer has had a long dry spell, but my muse is finally working again.

You may wonder who I am and why I’m starting a blog. It’s simple.

1.  I have wisdom to share.

2. I know that my words are part of me, and I want to share them with more people.

3. I’m greedy. I’d like more writing assignments, so maybe some will read this and think – “I could use her skills on my website, my book, my articles, etc.” I’ll never know unless I ask.

A little about me:

My name is Ellie Kuykendall, and I live in my nearly perfect two-bedroom yellow house in South Carolina with my two calico kitties. It’ the first house I’ve ever owned, and I love it. I also love gardening, swimming, fishing for rainbow trout, reading, walking, eating out and going to flea markets and garage sales. But most of all I love God.

My writing experience includes articles for magazines and newspapers, contributions to books, and tons of website content. I started writing when the late 90’s boom for freelance writers hit the Internet. It was easy to get writing jobs then. People posted on places like Craigslist , and they paid anywhere from $.05 to $.50 a word.

Times have changed. Now everyone in the world wants to be a writer – we seasoned professionals call them “wannabes.” And so, the Web is filled with blogs and tweets,  updates and photos on Facebook and YouTube. Prospective employers check these sites to see if applicants are the type of people they want in their organization, folks look for high school and college classmates, and families stay in touch with their keyboards (whatever happened to the old fashioned dial phone? 🙂

So welcome to my world. You may love what I say or hate it. You may wait breathlessly each day to read my latest post or read one and wonder what turnip truck I fell out of. But one thing I promise. I will make you think, question and laugh. I’ll move you to cry, smile widely or pet your dog with gratitude. No matter how you feel when you read my writing, though, I hope you’ll share those feelings with me. And, if there’s anything I can do for you or anything you’d like to hear my opinion on, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

Shalom and may the peace that passes all understanding be yours forever,

Ellie

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