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Donna's Journal
March 29, 2005

     Weary long winter days are slowly moving back from us like the ebb and flow of the ocean. Backward it seems to be going away from us now. All the beauty of spring with a promise of new life wants to give us hope and belief in resurrection.  Hard, stale old bulbs we buried last fall are sending up colors so vibrant.

      Let last years disappointments get buried in the same way. However there may not be a promise of anything so lovely coming from them. Years and years of saving stories, jotting things down on paper of any kind from brown to lined note book paper finally culminated in the publishing of some of those stories,  you know.  When my first royalty check came it was the most hollow feeling,  I think I've known in a very long time.

       “How much is your check?”  My husband asked me.

       “You don't want to know.”  I told him but really I didn't want to tell him.

        “Would you believe 30 dollars?”  I tried to be matter of fact so my disappointment wouldn't be so evident.

        Together my husband and I had weathered so many disappointments it is rather like, “So what else is new?”  He turned his head toward me for a moment and looked directly in my eyes.

       “You are kidding?”  He said and then just as quickly  looked away. I knew there would be nothing  more said about it.

       “Well, you know, books have to sell to make a royalty check.  I need to get out and do book signings. The way it is with you having to work just to keep up with mounting prices on things isn't giving me much time to do that.”  I knew I didn't have to say anything more. He wasn't talking about it. We two together are like the team that never wins,  I was thinking. We played hard, worked hard, but just never seemed to be able to,  quite cross over to that other side. The side that would have kept us from eternally watching every little purchase, worrying about how to pay for dental work, house repairs, car repairs and so on and so forth.

       “I did what I had to do when the publisher offered me six percent. An unpublished author isn't going to have publishers beating the door down. I'm just fortunate to get a first book printed.”  I was trying to lift my husband's spirits by reasoning with him.”

     “No one in the family is speaking to me now.  For whatever reason that is,  I don't know.  I didn't expect them to carry me on a throne like Cleopatra;  but this?”

      “Oh they will come around. I wouldn't worry about it.”  As usual my husband's easy going ways would win out.

       Easter came,  same  as always,  every year. As if to bind up our wounds and disappointments the back yard filled with people. My daughter's, husband's family came in great numbers.  They went about starting the Bar B Q grill, unloaded their own groceries, put the meat on the grill and our celebration was starting. The weather was a bit cool but I didn't care, this was sheer heaven for me. For years I was always the one having to do so much of that by myself. This new life and family with their habits of pitching in and doing was better than anything I had ever experienced before.

     When they first came there was a bit of a morose feeling which told me that family was probably living the exact trials as we were. Later in the evening when we leaving the party to come inside everyone called a happy  good-bye  to us.  The children were running and playing, the adults were laughing and joking with each other. The heavy quiet mood was gone and I felt good about that.

     Someone called out, “Thank you for letting us come.”

     “Thank YOU for coming,” I called back. “It was wonderful. We must do this again soon.  Maybe a wedding?” I grinned as we walked away.

      “Oh groan!  A wedding?  Who? Who?” Someone else asked.

      “The youngest couple's faces both lit up when their names were called. It was evident they were pleased with the suggestion.”

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