Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today my husband and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. That seems like such a long time, and yet nothing compared to the couple I heard about who were celebrating their 80th. What a blessing for them to be together that long.
It will be 40 years come this fall since we first met when our two rival schools merged together to make one school. Two years later we became engaged while on a trip out West with a group of college friends. In the Grand Teton National Park! I guess that's why I still consider the Tetons one of the most beautiful places we've visited and why I chose to set Chance's Return there. It's been over 25 years since we last visited those mountains, but I haven't forgotten how majestic they are and how perfect a setting for a romance. I still remember the horseback trail rides we took, the scenic drives through the park, and the chill of 32 degrees on a mid-summer morning. We always camped, and it was a bit of shock to wake up to that. I remember walking around Jackson Hole and seeing the antler arch in the park, and stopping to visit the little chapel in the valley. I remember seeing those powerful rivers and reading about the settlers who had crossed them and made their homes in this northwest corner of Wyoming. Even then, I think I knew I would write about them someday.
I hope we can go back to the Tetons some day soon, because there are other stories I would like to tell about this magnificent area of our country, but I feel like I need an update that no amount of book or internet research can give me. I need to see that spectacular mountain range and feel the nip of a chilly mountain morning in July again. Maybe for our 40th? I can only hope.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Those last minute decisions...

Have you ever made a last minute decision that suddenly turned out to make a big difference in how your day went? One morning a few weeks ago, I was heading out the door for a job interview for a second part-time job. At the last minute I stopped and hurried back to my computer, remembering I'd wanted to send some writer friends an email reminder about an upcoming lunch date.

While I was quickly typing out that email, I suddenly heard a loud racket right outside my living room window. I couldn't figure out what on earth I was hearing, and when I looked out was surprised and dismayed to see several large branches falling from one of the old maple trees in our front yard. It had been windy the night before but the wind had died down some, so it seemed strange for the branches to suddenly break. What was even more unsettling, the branches now lay in the driveway, right in front of my van. Nuts, what was I going to do?

I finished sending off my email, grabbed up my purse and keys and ran out to figure out how I was going to get to the interview. While they really didn't appear to be very large branches, in truth they were pretty heavy, and I had a less than fun time moving them. But I did manage to get them out of the way and was able to make my interview on time. Of course the writer in me always has to wonder, what if? What if I hadn't stopped to send that email? What if instead I'd been in my van, driving out just as those branches were falling? Instead of going to my job interview, I might have been calling the insurance company to report damage to my van (which is 9 years old but is also paid up, and which I intend to keep driving for a few more years). I might not have made the interview on time and lost the chance to make some extra money to help pay for my trip to Washington DC this summer.

But as it turned out, my angel was watching out for me that morning. The worst thing that happened was I had to move the branches out of the driveway, and I wasn't even late for the interview. So, sometimes those last minute little decisions can make a big difference.

And oh yes, by the way, I got the job!