After Downton/The Rhythm of Life . . .

Like many of you, I was addicted to PBS’s Downton Abbey and choked back tears when it ended. Truth be told, the theme song for the program is still set as one of my ringtones. I suspect it’ll remain set to that familiar tune until mid-summer. Spring is a time for new beginnings, but sometimes letting go of things we hold dear proves difficult. But, of course, life has a certain rhythm to it, and like it or not, even without Downton,  Life still goes on, doesn’t it?

Debra, Patty and us (500x375)My first book signing took place three years ago and any author will tell you that nothing is comparable to that mountain top experience. Not only did I sell all 25 books the bookstore had on hand, but over 40 people attended, including hubby, Jim, who took everything in stride as patrons referred to him as “Mr. Gray.” (Tessa Gray is my pen name). What made this particular book singing even more memorable is that one week after the book signing, the bookstore went out of business. I lost everything, except the memories, of course. Still–life still goes on, doesn’t it?

Aunt June & Uncle Tommy with QuiltTwo weeks ago we said goodbye to my husband’s, Aunt June. June left Pittsburgh in the 1950’s and headed to The Big Apple to begin a career in music. My personal claim to fame is that I have an aunt (she’s actually not my blood relative, is she?) who sang in the chorus of the Metropolitan Opera. Pretty cool when you think about it. My niece, Tricia lamented over how much she’d miss June’s laugh (it actually had a lilt to it, just like people write in their books!) I made her a memory quilt several years ago and celebrate how much she enjoyed it. Aunt June can never be replaced, of course, but Still–life goes on, doesn’t it?

Dearest ChloeIn May, I’ll be saying goodbye to a book series I thoroughly enjoyed because all 4 books are set in my beloved native state: Minnesota. As I wrote them, memories flooded me. The last book is dedicated to my classmates at good old Osseo High School. We (the class of ’66) will celebrate our 50th reunion on August 27th. These books were a labor of love and brought back many fond memories of my high school years. Still–life goes on, doesn’t it?

GetAttachment.aspxAs you begin celebrating the beginning of springtime in a few days, I challenge you to create new beginnings–to overcome whatever disappointments you’ve experienced along the way and start fresh. I saved all my high school homecoming buttons and they remind me of several classmates who insisted I must have been a cheerleader because I’m an eternal optimist. In the writing world, and frankly, in any endeavor, we are sometimes forced to be our own cheerleaders–to believe in ourselves when no one else does. As you recover from setbacks and move forward, may you hear that familiar Irish Proverb ringing in your head:

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back.

In the grand scheme of things, Life goes on, doesn’t it?






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