For more years than I can count, every three weeks on the button, I have gotten my fingernails done in a salon. And in non-winter months, toenails too. I discovered this indulgence along with so many other middle-class women during the past 20 years. It is amazing how nail shops went from zero to big business in seemingly every strip mall and business block in small and large towns alike.
I started this habit about the time I underwent a full makeover. I lost a bunch of weight, started getting my hair highlighted, tanned in a salon, bleached my teeth. It all took a lot time and yes, cash. It all took a lot of maintenance just to look, as I often told friends, average.
For all of our 37 years of marriage, I have been the lead grocery shopper. It would be unfair to say that I do all of the food buying. We figure that Brian has gone twice—even though neither of us has the foggiest idea of when those trips might have been.
So that’s why I was recently taken aback.
“I’ll go grocery shopping with you,” the man says.
As much as I love contemporary Christian music both in church and on the radio, I cherish the old hymns. I miss hearing them regularly. One of dozens that resonate is The Church in the Wildwood. Even though my childhood church was not brown, it was in the vale, nestled along the east fork of the Whitewater River between steep hills to both the east and west of town. From the cemetery on the grounds, you look to the west and see a good stand of wildwood.
Everything begins at home. For me, and I hope for you, home is that safe place to fall. It’s where we can be ourselves, find welcome and choose to relax or dig into a project. It’s where we can study, read, take care of personal business, enjoy a meal, watch TV, listen to music, visit with family and friends or do absolutely nothing.
I have a blog. And you are reading it. How cool is that? For me, anyway.
If you decide to stick around, and I hope you do, you'll soon learn something about me. I collect stories. But what's a story if you can't share it? That's what I'll be doing right here. So let's start with how this blog came about.
The pretty blonde standing to your right in my kitchen? Oh, that's Janis Thornton. She's author of Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies, a traditionally published cozy mystery. (I know, that's pretty neat). She also is author of Frankfort (Images of America) and Tipton County (Images of America).
Funny story, but not in a ha-ha kind of way. This is just the kind of thing that happens to me and I am so glad that it does. Back in December at the Indiana Historical Society Author Fair, Janis and I are both selling our books. After the event, we're standing in line in the gift shop there (which is quite nice, if you haven't been).
I'm not sure how we made a connection but we briefly chatted to find that she is a former editor of The Frankfort Times. That is a sister publication of my former (Nixon Newspapers, Inc.) and current (Paxton Media) employers, owners of The Courier-Times in New Castle. We know some of the same people, and one of those is the mentor we both share: the incomparable Ray Moscowitz, retired long-time Hoosier publisher and NNI editorial executive! He's a newspaperman to the core.
Janis manages Ray's social media, has assembled large projects for him, and is his trusted and talented adviser and friend, as he is hers. I told her that anyone who commands that kind of respect from Ray has my admiration.
So I became Facebook friends with Janis and picked up a Kindle version of her cozy mystery. We have shared some marketing ideas and I told her I would love to have a website / blog. So what does she say? That she will help me. Today is the day. And this is the website and blog! How nice is she?
I could have spent a few more hours swapping newsroom stories and book tales with her but she had a luncheon date and I had a website to tweak. Hot dog! (No Frankfort pun intended but puns always happens to me too).
Before she left, we got my husband Brian (you may as well meet him, his name will pop up) to take our photo. We wanted to give Ray a shout-out. The lesson I learned today, besides a thing or two about setting up this site, is that you never know how a connection or a mentor will keep connecting and keep mentoring in unexpected ways.
You see it was Ray who brought us together today. And thanks to Ray and his talented friend Janis, I'm in business! Ray, I hope you see this. Blessings to you and continue on your road to restored health. Prayers sent your way. And thank you Janis, my new friend and adviser. We'll get together and talk shop.
To the rest of you, please fill out the box to subscribe to this blog. I'm still learning my way around this thing so maybe we'll learn together as we go. Let's share stories, shall we?