Welcome to our World, Grace Ann

At 5:11 this morning my life and all of God’s marvelous creation changed. A beautiful little girl was born to my daughter, Erin and her husband, Jim. I love her already and I love her name. Grace. Her name will always remind me of a favorite hymn, ‘Amazing Grace how sweet the sound . . .’ All are doing wonderfully well.

I’m going to offer a corny analogy.

For what will be about nine months, a new story has been forming inside of my mind, my heart, my and my guts, too. Forming itself, day after day. Consuming my thoughts, keeping me awake at night, testing my patience. Having started the ‘serious’ writing in January . . .I’m expecting a delivery date in early September–how many months is that? I warned you, CORNY!
‘The Sons of Marella Windsong’ is the working title, so my creation has a name. I’m plodding through the second rewrite/review . . . the tedious stuff of reworking and refining. Creating the story is fun, teaching it to walk by itself and raising it to maturity is work. A labor of love. I’ve been asked this question more than once, in one form or another: ‘How do you do it? How do you come up with a 300 page story?’ I don’t. Some find that reality hard to believe. I simply put a bunch of characters together in a place and time that are familiar, and let them interact with each other. They do the same stuff that you and I and the folks next door do–maybe in more dramatic fashion, maybe not. They take me along for the ride.
I know that I’ve covered this theme before but it seems new in the retelling. The new story is about a single mother and her twin sons. One is reckless and driven the other his opposite. In each story I borrow some people from the past–some real and some fictitious; I do that in this story as well. The Hibbing Morans have been behind me for years, Father Mickey Moran for three books. He’s back again. And, if you’re a reader, you know this author loves baseball and the Twins. So, it’s only reasonable, that a baseball story has been in the back of my thoughts for a long time.
I’ve written the past two stories from a desk in Naples, Florida, where I am fortunate to be during the harsh months in my home town of Hibbing. As I get to know this part of the country better, I find it almost natural to bring my ‘characters’ down here for part of the story. And, down here is only a short trip from the Lee County Sports Complex where the Twins hold their spring training camp. (I’m in Ft. Myers quite a bit during February and March).

In a few weeks I’ll be driving home. I’m praying that most of the snow will have melted and the temps will be above freezing by June. I’m anxious to get into my gardening and all the things that sometimes make me homesick–even when I’m walking the sugar sands of the Gulf coast beaches in eighty degree sunshine, with an ocean breeze at my back, and dolphins frolicing off the shore.
Forgive me, I get carried away. The reason for my blog this afternoon is where I started. Little Grace Ann will probably live most of her early years here in beautiful Naples. Her big brother, Jack, has handled the transition from Minnesota to Florida rather well and her mother has come to love the heat and humidity that so many ‘Northerners’dread. We don’t choose where we are born–that’s something that happens to us. As we get our wings, we choose where we want to be. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been born in northern Minnesota–to my beloved parents? I can only wonder. All that I know for certain is that years ago I signed a contract to teach at the incomparable Hibbing High School–the best decision I’ve ever made. There is a profound wisdom in the simple adage, home is where the heart is.
It’s taken me 708 (count them) words to say hello to my new granddaughter–my sixth grandchild. God bless her always and God bless you.

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