A trip down memory lane…

23 Apr

Steve and I were back on the road again, this time to familiar roads, memories, extended family and friends.  We travelled to St. Louis, Missouri to hold our first official “book store” book signing, for The Year of the Cicadas.  I was a little nervous, I am sure it is because I was not “in charge.”  The bookstore manager was in charge and I was a little in the dark about how it would be going down. Our other book signing events have been at unusual places, creative spaces and have been a lot of fun. As an independent writer and self publisher, you get creative and go with it.  In my mind, this book signing will be all stuffy and professional.

The moment I saw the St. Louis Arch, I felt a pang of homesickness. This is the place where seven very crucial years of my children’s development happened. We moved here when James was only eighteen months old and Paul was seven, with Elizabeth and Bryant scattered in the middle of their siblings.  This is where my children learned how to throw baseballs, kick soccer balls, ride horses, and drive four-wheelers.  We spent countless hours at the zoo and the science center here.  Everywhere I looked there was another vision of my children running and chasing each other.  Their laughter and smiles locked into my memory banks.  I wanted to reach out and touch them as youngsters just one more time….just for a day, or maybe a week.  Life doesn’t work that way, they are now the parents, and I am the grandparent. It is my grandchildren running, throwing balls chasing and laughing with each other.

I should not have been nervous, the “official bookstore book signing” was not a big deal at all.  It was wonderful to look out and see the love and support in that room.  Children who had grown up with my children were there and my children’s beloved Uncle, who chased them through the barn and woods while playing hide-n-seek. A friend or two of Steve’s from his former work years here showed up as well. The life-long friend who was with Steve and I on our first date thirty-three plus years ago was even there. As I looked out at this crowd of love, we quickly concluded the book signing, and took the party over to a local pub, visiting throughout the evening.

We spent the next day driving by our old little horse farm. Suburbia has found it and subdivisions abound all around it now, but there was a pang in my chest at its sight and it pulled on my heart-strings.

We visited with the young man, Grant Henry whom the book signing was in honor of.  He is home now from the hospital. After his car accident, surgery and traumatic brain injury, he is sporting the same blue collar that Bryant wore.  His parents look tired but hopeful…. the last month has taken a toll.  Their energy will come back, their son will heal, but life will never be quite the same for them.  The Robert Frost quote, “The only way out is through” now has a new meaning, for they have come through, and will continue to go through for a while yet.

So many emotions, so many memories, so much love.  Driving through town and heading toward home we stopped by the St. Louis Botanical Garden, a perfect ending to our emotional weekend.  This is where my passion for gardening took off. Walking through these beautiful gardens twenty-seven years ago, I knew I wanted to leave a beautiful garden behind when I pass on.  The year has turned, and once again it is Spring.  My world is covered in that new spring green, proof that the circle of life continues. I leave these gardens behind, along with the memories that I hold dear to my heart, back to my yellow farmhouse with the green roof, to my gardens, and to my grandchildren.



Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website www.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.


3 Responses to “A trip down memory lane…”

  1. Susan Docking April 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    I just finished your incredible book and I loved it. It was so powerful, yet tender. We have a son with special needs and at times your thoughts and feelings were ones I have experienced, both the setbacks and the triumphs. Thank you for sharing your family’s journey. I will spread the word that this is a book that needs to be read!

    • theyearofthecicadas April 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      Susan, Thank you so much for your kind words and for liking our page on Facebook. I checked your page out when you “liked” ours. I also lived in Lenexa Kansas for a while. It is a small world. I am hoping that by sharing my personal journey while being open and transparent, it might help someone else to feel brave enough to open up, or at least say “yes” I understand how that feels. Prayers to you and your son for a wonderful journey, time passes quickly when you look back on these years, slowly while in the midst.

      • Susan Docking April 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

        I am so touched that you actually wrote me back! What an honor! I am now the head of your Kansas fan club!

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