Tag Archives: Baby Boomer

Changes & Strengths

30 Apr

I cannot believe it has been 50 years since I graduated from high school.  Wow!  That is not possible.  But alas, it is true.  As a young high school graduate, I was 17 years old, the youngest in my class, and I know now, very naive.  I was unable to get a job outside my small hometown, because large companies did not hire anyone who was not 18 years old.  I lived with my parents and worked odd jobs until I turned 18 in the fall.  I had been raised in a home that was very strict on the daughters, but not so on the sons.  The boys were allowed to go and do whatever they could get by with.  Can we say double standard here?

I was not allowed to date until I was sixteen.  I was constantly cautioned not to put myself in situations where I could get “in trouble”.  This included teen sex and teen pregnancy, which was a great fear to parents in those days.  I knew a number of girls who got “in trouble” and was sent away.  Returning later without a baby and claims of just visiting various family members.  If you got “in trouble”, you were forever labeled wayward or bad.  Good girls were not allowed to associate with them.  We were supposed to stay virgins until we married.  Our goal in life was to stay at home to be a wife and mother.  There were no encouraging words to go to work outside the home.  Amazing how times have changed???

I just could not see myself in that role before I had a chance to see what life was all about.  I left small town America and went to the big city.  I was able to get a great job with Southwestern Bell Telephone.  I learned how to be a city gal and I loved it.  I also began to see how times were changing and how attitudes were also.  Working women became the norm.  More divorces began to happen as women no longer accepted the roles they had been forced into.  We have graduated—with many struggles from women in the past who fought male suppression to keep us “pregnant and barefoot” in the home.  I heard that phrase a lot growing up and it really turned me off.  I am not a feminist, but I do like the freedoms we now enjoy because of many battles fought by other women from the past.

Barefoot & preggo

I have been a daughter, wife, mother and now grandmother.  I have learned that I have failed many times, but each time it strengthened me to grow into the person I am today.  It is said, “we learn from our failures”.  That is true. No one likes to fail.  But out of the ashes comes strength.  In my first book, The Runaway, I showed Linzie to be a strong woman who has endured life’s trials.  She knows that if she wants to accomplish more she has to get out and do it.  Trusting always in the Lord to lead her steps, she ventures from her comfort zone.  I hope that in reading her adventures, you will be encouraged to find your own adventures.  Never give up on your dreams!

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60’s are the Cat’s Meow

25 Apr

Everywhere I look there are news articles about baby boomer health issues. Are there really no other interesting topics for the media to discuss for people in our generation? Just because we are over the hill doesn’t mean we are two steps from the grave!

baby boomer health

We are healthier and are living longer than our parents and grandparents.  We have retired, for the most part, and are looking for fun and excitement.  At least, I am.

 baby boomer fun

I have heard that some people call women in their late forties and fifties, “Cougars”.  This is a term that is used to describe women who go after younger men.  Well, why wouldn’t you want to go after younger men?  They are delicious!  If you had your choice of a hard Popsicle or a soft bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day, which one would you pick?  Does age really matter if both parties like each other?

It has always been accepted for an older man to date or marry a much younger woman.  That phrase became known as a “May-December” relationship with everyone elbowing each other behind the couple’s back with smirks on their faces as if they knew what went on behind closed doors.  (Truth be known maybe nothing!)

However, it may surprise a number of people to know that a mature woman can be very sexually active a lot longer than a man…..unless the older man has been good about taking care of his health and is able to remain sexually active.  Of course, we can discuss the pros and cons all day long about who or what is correct, but it comes down to each individual’s likes and dislikes.  I have known some women who do not want anything to do with sex after their spouse has passed.  Then there are others who want to remain sexually active, but can’t find anyone her age that is able.  Hence, she will begin to look for young men!

I have coined a new phrase (at least I have not seen it out there) for women in their sixties and beyond, and that is “Mountain Lion”.  The mountain lion is a strong cat who takes care of itself and its lair.  I think a new term for us Baby Boomers would be appreciated.  We don’t want to be lumped into the “younger” group and not be recognized in our new status. We have our “bucket list” of to do’s and want items.  We have many varied interests from sky diving to riding motorcycles and everything else in between.

mountain lion

Is there anyone who will agree with me on this?  Would love to hear your comments.

The Runaway Excerpt — Boomer Lit Friday!

1 Mar

Image

I believe that being part of a couple means fulfilling one another’s needs. I felt I was doing all the giving, but got no nurturing or understanding in return. I had made my choice and never expected pity; my life wasn’t terrible. Still, all I ever wanted was to be with someone who wanted to share the same interests, like reading, cooking, travel or just spending a lazy afternoon together.  Is that too much to ask for?

I‘m not sure I can ever have that relationship at this point in my life. I don’t want to be hurt or disappointed again. I’m not leaving here in search of another man—I’m leaving to find myself. I can be happy without the entanglements of a man. This is my time. This is my adventure into the unknown. So here I am leaving the security that I had ever known, for what? For many years I’ve felt a strange beckoning. I wasn’t sure what it was exactly, but the feeling has grown so strong that I can no longer ignore it

Romance Central Book Feature – The Runaway by Augusta Wright

21 Jan

Romance Promo Central is happy to welcome Augusta Wright to the blog. She is here to share some information about her book, The Runaway. If this sound like something that you would be interested in reading, please find some links at the bottom of the post and pick up a copy.

Finally! A romance novel with a Real Woman!

Linzie Russell is not your typical fictional leading lady. She’s better. She represents the single empty-nester woman in a very sexy yarn.

Long a fan of the romance genre, Texas Hill Country authoress, Augusta Wright has picked up a pen and written the novel she has wanted to read. Heroine Linzie Russell has raised her daughters and been a devoted wife to her late husband. For the first time in her adult life, she is determined to live for herself.

Linzie fell in love with the Colorado Rockies years ago while on a family vacation. Now she imagines herself in a cabin at the foot of the Rockies where she can study the culture that fascinates her, the Ute Native American Tribe.  She finds the Estes Park cabin, a new girlfriend and a devoted animal companion—she also discovers other passions.

Little does she know the landlord of this dream-cabin is going to be the man who pursues her with the passion she has been missing all of her life.

Wright takes the reader on a cultural history lesson that tells the story of a forgotten tribe while showing her audience the beauty of the Southwestern wilderness, and the reignited desire of this normal woman who could be our next door neighbor.

Excerpt:

Chapter 11

Jack Lassiter sat at his desk in his high-rise office building in New York City staring out the glass encased corner office at the activity on the East River, but seeing none of it.  He was deep in thought regarding the information he had been reading in the portfolio on his lap.  The private detective in Texas had sent full details and information on the life and times of Linzie Russell.  His conscious quipped him because he had not believed her and had had a report run on her.  Knowing that he had to be very careful with people he surrounded himself with, he had given over to having her checked out.  Now he felt bad because everything she had said about herself was true.  He could understand her better by knowing the hardships she had faced. Of course, he knew she would be furious with him for having done that.  He’d have to make sure that she never found out.  And he had been the one deceiving her.  She would be so angry with him when she discovered his deception of who he really was.  But in his defense he decided that it was always best to know who you can trust and who to be careful of.  He functioned in a very different world then where she came from.  She would be surprised to learn just who he was.  He smiled to himself when he thought of how she had come to Estes Park seeking to get away from all the stresses and demands of her life.  He used his times there in the much the same way.  He posed as a tribal game control officer so that he could come and go on Indian business as well as his own businesses and no questions asked.  It had worked very well for a long time until Linzie.  He was afraid to go back now because he would be too near her.  It was safer to put distance between them. But safer for whom, he wondered? His private secretary interrupted his musings, announcing over the intercom that Clayton McDonald had arrived for his appointment.  “Please show him in,” replied Jack eagerly.  He knew Clay always had a big oil deal to present him when he came to town.  He was always ready to work with Clay because down through the years he had made Jack a ton of money. Clayton McDonald came through the large double doors of Jack’s office.  He was tall, good looking, and wore a business suit with a Western flare, including a white Stetson hat and handmade leather cowboy boots.  First impressions spoke volumes where this well-dressed, good-looking man was concerned.  He was confident of his abilities to produce moneymaking oil deals, which showed in his manner and demeanor.  Men and women were drawn to him, because of his self-assurance.  He was an excellent salesman who knew his business and product. Jack came around his large dark cherry wood desk to shake Clayton’s hand.  “Good to see you again, Clay.  How have you been?”  Jack asked as he motioned for Clay to sit down in one of the dark leather chairs. “I’ve been very busy since the last time I was here in New York.  Business has been very good,” he replied with a big grin on his face.  “I really like your office location,” Clay said as he walked over and looked out the windows on the world down below.  “I have always wanted to open an office in New York and have my office space overlooking the East River just like this,” he reflected as he continued to view the blue sky and the river traffic. “If you ever decide to open an office, let me know and I will lease you some office space in this building,” Jack replied casually. Clay turned around quickly, shocked. “You own this building?” “Yes and a few others as well, you’ve made me lots of money, Clay.” “Yes, I have,” replied Clay thoughtfully. “When did you get in?” Jack questioned. “Since we last saw each other I’ve opened an office in Dallas so I flew from there this morning coming straight here.  I have appointments tomorrow with other possible investors, but wanted to see you first to discuss if you want in on this one.  It’s going to be big, I think,” Clay said as he warmed up to his favorite subject the oil business. “You know I want in. Tell me about it, but first where are you staying?” “I am staying at the Plaza.  I like the place and usually go there when I am in town,” answered Clay. “Great, I have a penthouse suite there and have been staying there myself since I came back a few weeks ago.  Why don’t we have dinner tonight, either there or any place you prefer?” asked Jack. “Sounds like a winner to me,” answered Clay.  “Now let’s get down to business.  Here are the plans for this new field I’ll be drilling. You can decide just how much you want to invest before I leave today. That way I’ll have a better idea when I meet with the other investors tomorrow how much more will be needed,” he said to Jack as he opened his briefcase that he had set on the desk and began to pull large sheets of papers containing maps, graphs and calculations. Just as they began to look at the maps, Jack’s cell phone rang.  It was Linzie calling.  He was surprised she was calling this time of day although she had never called him before so how would he know what time of day she called.  He laughed to himself.  He decided not to answer but then remembered he had not changed his voice message greeting and did not want her to hear it.  “Will you excuse me a minute, I really need to take this,” he said as he answered her call. “Jack, I need to talk with you,” she said after he answered. “I’m in a meeting right now.  Can I call you back later?” he expected her to say yes, but she did not. “No, I have just a short message for you and it will not require you to call me back.  I want you to stop sending the roses.  My house is full and overflowing.  It is no longer anything I am enjoying.  I know you may think this is a funny joke but I am serious.  So serious, that if I receive any more flowers, I’m filing harassment charges again you.  Do you understand me?” she was yelling by the time she finished her speech. He was speechless.  She was angry over a few flowers. “I’m surprised that you’re so angry over a few bouquets of roses,” he answered her anger with a little of his own. “A few bouquets?  There are more than 20 bouquets sitting all over my little cabin.  I have guests coming and am overwhelmed with what to do with all the flowers and my guests.  I am warning you, do not send any more flowers,” she stated loudly and hung up on him. He was shocked that she had hung up on him again before he had had a chance to get a word in edge wise.  He turned and looked at Clay who was staring at him with a silly grin on his face as he said, “Thought you didn’t mess with the fluffs anymore?  I believe you said one time “too much trouble and not enough sex”.  Wasn’t that what you said?” Clay repeated Jack’s statement with a laugh at the end. Jack just glared at his comment.  “I have just been threatened with harassment charges because of sending her a few flowers,” stated Jack angrily. “Just how many flowers are we talking about,” asked Clay becoming more interested in the love life of his friend. “Oh, uh, I don’t know.  I told the florist to keep sending them every day until I told her to stop.  I guess I forgot to tell her to stop,” he finished lamely. Clay went in to peals of laughter.  “No, wonder man, she is angry.  How long has this been going on?” Clay asked as he fought to control his hilarity. “Uh, since, uh, several weeks ago after July 4th,” he said in a lower voice. Clay laughed again. “You better fix it now or you may never see her again.” Jack looked at Clay and replied, “But what should I do now?” “You must think I know all there is to know about women.  But I have a secret for your ears only, NO BODY KNOWS!  It’s a big mystery that we fellows just have to search out and stumble around on our own until we get it right, or we keep screwing it up until we get it right,” Clay smiled. Jack had no answer to his friend’s clever quip. “I’m just not sure which way I should jump from here,” Jack remarked. “How long have you been sleeping with this gal?  How much time do you have invested in your relationship?  Maybe you just need to move on down the road and forget about it,” volunteered Clay with more of his words of wisdom. “You’ll be surprised to know that I have not slept with this woman.  She has rebuffed me and pushed me away at every turn, but I just keep going back.  There is something so special about her that I just cannot keep my hands off her.  She was recently widowed and has been dealing with all the stress and trauma from that.  She wants her space but I have a hard time giving it to her when I am in the same town as she.  So I came up here to try to allow her time to heal,” Jack said aloud, more to himself than to Clay. After a pause Clay said, “Well, that’s a lot more information then I needed.  All I can say to you is you have it pretty bad.  You are going to have to come up with a plan to win her over.  We know now that flowers are not the answer,” he finished laughingly. “Thanks, Clay, I can always count on you to help me out with my romance problems.  How’s your love life these days?” Clay just grimaced at the obvious slight.  “It’s wonderful.  Now, let’s get back to things we know something about like making money and leave the women problems at the door, OK?” Clay asked as he smiled at Jack with merriment in his eyes. They worked for several hours, going over the proposed drilling sites and expenditures of the buy in that Clay was offering. When they finally parted, Clay had gotten Jack to invest over 3 million dollars in his new field.  They both were pleased with the business arrangements and agreed to meet at 6 o’clock for an early dinner in the hotel’s dining room.  Clay was tired and needed some rest before tomorrow’s grueling day.  They shook hands and he left. Jack returned to his desk chair and turned back around to stare blankly out the window of his office.  He was trying to decide what he should do next to calm Linzie down.  He dialed the florist’s number now to cancel any more flower deliveries to her.  He laughed to himself thinking she had threatened him with harassment charges.  After he canceled the flowers, he remembered her saying she had guests coming.  Who was it?  He had a moment of jealousy prick him.  Before he knew it, he was calling Jan to find out everything that had been going on.  He waited for her to answer and planned to use the excuse that he was just checking in with her to see how their business arrangements were working out.  He knew what questions to ask to find out what he wanted to know.  After he hung up from talking with Jan, he had a relieved look on his face.  Her guests were her children and their families and all were coming within a two-week span of each other.  They were coming up now before school started.  He smiled thinking that should keep her busy for a while. He thought of his own three sons and realized that he had not spoken to any of them in a few days and decided to call them now.  He first called his eldest, Jack Lee III but everyone called him Trey, to check on him and his young family in Houston.  Trey and his wife, Tammy, had already made him a grandfather with twin boys almost a year ago.  He was still trying to get use to the idea of being a grandfather.  Man that sounded old! After visiting with him for a while, he called his second son, Jaxon, who was a twin to Trey, and in his final year of college at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.  He was majoring in archaeology.  He worked in “digs” during the summer in different parts of the country.  He had always had an interest in things of the past and this field was right up his alley. He wasn’t sure where he would find him but he hoped he was within cell range.  He was. His final call was to his youngest son, Richard, who was working during the summer in Denver while he attended the University there and lived in their family home.  After he had spoken with everyone, he felt better just knowing that they were happy and busy.  They had made plans to meet for Labor Day and would figure out where specifically as the time got closer.

 

http://romancepromocentral.com/2013/01/17/book-feature-the-runaway-by-augusta-wright/#comment-6872

The Revolving Book Showcased The Runaway

21 Jan

THE RUNAWAY by AUGUSTA WRIGHT (contemporary romance) 

The Runaway Cover
Friday’s Revolving Book is the contemporary romance THE RUNAWAY by AUGUSTA WRIGHT.

NEW RELEASE!

ONLY $1.99 ON AMAZON KINDLE! AMAZON: http://tinyurl.com/bly53dt

SYNOPSIS: Linzie Russell raised her daughters with love, and was a devoted wife to her late husband. But, for the first time in her adult life, she is determined to live for herself.

Linzie fell in love with the Colorado Rockies years ago, while on a family vacation. So she decides to rent a cabin at the foot of the Rockies to study the culture that fascinates her, the Ute Native American Tribe.

But when she meets the owner of the cabin, she isn’t prepared for the passion that sparks into her life, or falling in love with a dynamic man.

AUTHOR BIO: Augusta Wright lives on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country where she writes novels and researches Native American history and culture.

CONNECT WITH AUGUSTA ONLINE: BLOG: https://augustawright.wordpress.com/ FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Runaway/310820319025116 GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16109639-the-runaway

http://therevolvingbook.com/2013/01/18/the-runaway-by-augusta-wright-contemporary-romance/

In honor of the only 12/12/12 I will ever see…

12 Dec
  • In honor of December 12, 2012 I am posting Chapter 12 of The Runaway today.

    Chapter 12

    I could not remember a time in my life when I’d been so happy.  I loved living here in what was truly God’s country.  The mountains spoke to me on a daily basis.  The riot of Pansies and Petunias, glories of God’s creation, which bloomed in the flower boxes along the deck, were not only beautiful, they gave off the most heavenly aromas.   The long stem roses had finally stopped coming, and the remaining ones were slowly fading.  It made me sad to look at the faded ones because it reminded me how people grow old and fade, or even worse, how love fades as a flower that has gone uncared for.  But I did not have time to bemoan faded flowers or lost love—my family was coming—my daughters and grandchildren and that was all the happiness I needed.

    I had visited Grandmother Luly a few times since our initial meeting and had come away each time refreshed by her energy and her caring.  She was teaching me ways to live on a spiritual level—ways that I had never dreamed possible.  Luly’s insights were so amazing to me.  Our interviews had progressed nicely and I was learning so much about the Ute people that my heart ached for the hardships that they and other tribes had had to endure.  As I thought more about the book I wanted to write, I knew I wanted it filled with both stories of early times and modern times. Those stories needed to be factual and interesting with the human element intertwined in it.

    Wolf accompanied me each time I went to visit Grandmother and Wolf and Luly greeted each other with love and caring.  Wolf was my protector, but for Grandmother there was a silent bond of kindred spirits.  Wolves were one of the animal spirit guides across Native American beliefs and it was a special person who had a wolf as their protector and friend in this life, or so Grandmother taught me.  Knowing that I had both of them in my life, made me feel special.  After our last visit, Grandmother made me promise that I would bring my family to see her when they came to visit me. I was honored and thrilled by her request. 

    Both girls and their families would be driving up to Colorado, but not at the same time.  Anne, Colby and their five-year-old twin sons, Will and Wes, would arrive this week, the last week of July, because their school in Texas started early.  Liz and her two, Cooper and Gracie would come the following week, but they had planned to have a day or two when all would be here together.  With Jan’s help I learned about events in and around town where we could keep my grandchildren entertained.  There were many activities for all ages and I would be able to offer them choices.  Of course I wanted Jan to be included in the activities, as much as her job would allow.  Jan and I had become dear friends in a short period of time.  I knew when I left Estes Park I’d miss our daily contact very much. 

    With my children grown and me on my own, I knew I wanted to be involved in something I could call my own. I never regretted being a housewife, mother, community volunteer and charity organizer when my children were growing up. But I wanted something more. It was Jan who gave me the idea that maybe I’d enjoy working in real estate. She had different clients and projects from apartment rentals to ranch sales that she was never bored or chained to her desk. I knew I would enjoy that kind of variety. My cell phone rang; it was Jan’s office number. One of her agents was looking for her and Jan wasn’t picking up; she hoped Jan was with me.  Anita was excited because she had received a call from a man looking for a high fenced river ranch and he had cash.  If she could find it, he would buy it.  I smiled as I heard the excitement in her voice, “OK, calm down now,” I told her.  I know Jan trusts you to make good decisions.”

    “I know of several ranches that would fit his requirements,” she said.

    “Go ahead and set the appointments to show him.  You’re just overwhelmed because Jan’s not there, but you’ll do fine.  Now go make your boss some money, I know you can make this sale,” I said, encouraging the young woman as if she was my own daughter. 

    I was not worried about Jan. I knew it was her habit to turn off her cell phone when she was with a client. She gave whoever she was with her full attention and promptly returned calls when the business in front of her was completed. Jan was a consummate professional and I admired how she had worked hard to become a success in a male-driven business.  It was profitable, but very demanding.  She had an all female office and she had personally trained each of her agents in the art of being a business professional.  It had worked very well.  Would I want all those demands? I wondered. The interaction with people and helping them find their perfect home appealed to me, but I really wanted to have the time to write. Jan called me later that day to thank me for giving Anita such sound advice. “Motherly advice beats corporate speech any day of the week,” Jan said.

    A few days later I learned she had got a full-price contract on a game and river ranch.  The buyer represented some big corporation and wanted to use it as a retreat for its owner and employees.  It would close quickly so Jan and Anita would be getting a nice chunk of change.  “Anita feels very blessed because those kinds of deals don’t happen every day,” Jan told me.  I was glad for Anita because she really needed the ego boost as well as the financial gain. 

    Anne, Colby and my grandsons finally arrived and we were immediately sucked into a whirlwind of activities for the children as well as the adults.  One special treat was sleeping out of doors on the deck.  Colby and the twins had brought their bedrolls so that they could “rough it” in the mountains.  Wolf seemed to be taking all of it in stride with the appearance of the children since they were not a part of his normal lifestyle.  Wolf had started traveling with the family when we left the cabin to go on our adventures.  He liked being with me and I was very careful to warn everyone about him and his protective nature of me.  But after the introduction ritual was carried out, he seemed to be fine with my family.  Actually, he was not very friendly with my son-in-law, Colby, but over all he did not bother him.  I observed that each night, as the children and Colby bedded down in their sleeping bags out on the deck, Wolf would ease between the boys to sleep and keep watch over them.  I smiled, knowing that he would protect them with his life if he had too. 

    During the family overlap visits I was able to tell my daughters about meeting Luly Elkheart and my plans for writing a book.  They were very supportive and expressed their confidence that I would be successful.

    The cabin was crowded with both families, but I didn’t mind. It had been a long time since the whole family had been together, although everyone was trying to talk at the same time.  The grandchildren were stimulated by the surroundings and ran in and out, and up and down the stairs shouting to each other to come and see what they had discovered. 

    One evening after dinner everyone was talking loudly, trying to be heard above the din, when a loud knock sounded at the front door.  As all eyes turned to the glass door, a wolf howled at the same time, causing shivers to run up and down everyone’s spines.  There standing at my front door was a tall Indian Chief dressed in his war bonnet, painted face, ornately beaded buckskin shirt, fringed pants and beaded moccasins on his feet.  Wolf sat by his side and howled again.  The sound had stopped everyone in their tracks and they continued to stare at the door. I recognized John’s face and moved toward the door to let him in.

    “John, how nice of you to come by, I would like for you to meet my family,” I said, opening the door as if an Indian chief came by every day.  My family remained frozen, which amused both John and me. We burst out laughing.

    “Everyone, this is Grandmother Elkheart’s grandson, John Elkheart.  He is a tribal chief and a Shaman of the Southern Ute Nation Tribe that is located in this area.  And he is my friend and part owner of Wolf,” I explained.

    Cooper was the first to advance to John. “I’ve been interested in Native Americans and their customs my whole life.  Why are you in full dress and here at my grandmother’s house?”

    When John smiled his white teeth gleamed from his handsome dark face. “Well, I had to go to tribal council today because we have been working on dances and rituals for an upcoming Pow Wow.  Our local tribe and families like to have a smaller one before we go to the big meeting of Nations in September.  We have many contests to see who is the best dancer, drummer, or singer so my family takes time to practice our arts before the big Pow Wow comes.  My grandmother insisted that I come up here in full dress and invite all of you to our family Pow Wow Friday and Saturday.  You can come either day or both days.” He watched the changing expressions on all their faces.  The children had moved closer to him after Cooper had been so bold to ask questions, but the adults were still confused about how he fit in with me.  He flashed me an endearing smile, and I was also confused how he fit into my life.

    I introduced John to my daughters and their spouses. He was gracious and shook each of their hands as if they were the most important person he’d met. I blushed as he praised me to my family.  By the time he left, he’d become a bigger than life hero to my grandchildren and an even bigger question mark to my children. I’m sure they were thinking, Just how many men is our mother seeing? but we made plans to go to the Pow Wow with him.  He agreed to come by at 9:00 a.m. so that we could follow him in our cars to the meeting place. I invited him to stay for supper, but John graciously declined, and left.

    My grandchildren kept asking me all kinds of questions about how I met him and what they would see and do tomorrow. I answered them as honestly as I could, but since I’d never been to a Pow Wow, I was just as uncertain as they were. I asked Cooper to get my laptop, and we looked up Ute Pow Wows on the Internet.  That got them out of the kitchen and busy with other things so that I could continue to prepare supper. I noticed my daughters had gone upstairs, whispering.  They finally came down wanting to talk.

     “Mother, we would like to know if John is married?” quizzed Anne.

    “No, he has been widowed for about five or six years.  Why do you ask?”

    “Well, he seems to be very interested in you and wanting to meet your family.  We were wondering how you feel about him?” Anne continued her questioning.  Liz just stood there silently listening and watching me.

     “John has been very kind to me since I arrived.  However, I don’t think there is that kind of interest on either of our parts. Jan told me he had a great love for his wife and misses her terribly.  I don’t think he’s ever gotten over his loss.” 

    “But Mother, what about you?  Have you gotten over your grief or is it still too fresh?  We never talk about your feelings so we just don’t know.  Would you tell us something?” pleaded Anne. 

    “I’m much better since I came up here.  And yes, I am slowly recovering from my loss, but not to the extent that I am looking for someone new.  OK?”

    I turned to check on the roast I’d placed in the oven when I noticed the UPS truck coming up the lane. The UPS man came to the door with a large package in his hands. I took it and signed his electronic pad. I placed it on the counter, wondering who it could be from.  “Did one of you send this?” I asked, thinking it might be an early birthday present.

     “No, Mom, we don’t know anything about it,” Liz said.  Then they laughed, making me more suspicious of the package. The package had the logo and lettering of Saks Fifth Avenue of New York City. Everyone was watching as I removed the lid, pulled the tissue paper back, and lifted a beautiful slinky black silk nightgown with black pearls and sequins encircling the neckline, a matching robe and a pair of black mink bedroom slippers.  It seemed that everyone was holding their breaths including me as I held up the most beautiful nightgown I’d ever seen in my life.  The material was the smoothest and softest I’d ever felt.  Who was this from? I was shocked; this could not be for me.

    Shocked, Anne asked, “Mother, who would send you something like this?”

    “Well, is there a card?” Liz asked as she stepped forward and began to search the box, finding a small card in the bottom.  “Just who is Jack, Mother?”

    “Let me see that card,” I demanded. My anger and embarrassment began to show.  The card read: Thinking of You, Jack.  “I’m going to kill him!” I whispered as I stared at the card. I saw shocked eyes staring at me from my family.  My grandchildren were uncertain at what was unfolding and my daughters were so shocked at the implications they were unable to speak. 

    “OK, Mother, bring your sexy nightie upstairs, we need to have a conference with you,” commanded Anne. 

    Anne turned to her husband and said, “Do you think you could find something for the children to do outside for a while before we serve supper?”

    “Sure, Honey, I’ll take care of them,” he assured her as he motioned for all to follow as he held the glass door open. 

    As six-year-old Gracie walked by Colby, she asked, concerned voice, “Is Grand in big trouble?”  They could hear Colby laughing as the door closed.

    Upstairs my daughters watched me as they waited for answers to their questions.  “If you would both please sit down and quit pacing, I’ll try to answer your questions with what I know,” I said and patted the bed on either side of me.

    “Mother, we were very concerned about your mental state when you did your “little” disappearing act back in May.  After we came up, we both were relieved that you had found a place where you could recover.  But both of us have been surprised at the “strange men” who keep popping up.   We want to make sure they are not after your money.  All we want to know is who are they and are you interested in any of them?” Anne pleaded.

    “Mom, you talk to us on the phone but we just feel we’re not getting a clear picture about what is going on in your personal life,” added Liz.

    “My personal life—you mean my sex life, don’t you?” I sniped. 

    “Mother, we just want to know what is going on with this wild Indian for one, and this guy sending you a sexy night gown.  We want you to think about disease like STD’s or worse. We just want to make sure we will not be surprised with a new stepfather that comes out of the blue,” Anne finished with a high note to her voice. 

    Liz had tears in her as she said, “Mom, we know you loved Dad, but there were problems.  We just do not want you to make a mistake with some guy that is why we are concerned.  We want to be a part of your decision making regarding a new love in your life.”

    I had many responses circling in my mind, but I finally controlled my exasperation and said, “Girls, I know you are very concerned about what you think your mother is doing.  And yes, I am aware of STD’s or worse and I want to assure you that I am not having unprotected sex or in fact, I am having no sex.  I have been very “chaste” since I have been here. 

    “Besides, if a new stepfather was in your future, you can rest assured that you would be the first to know.  But that is certainly a scenario that I do not ever plan having.  I am free, and plan to remain such.  Now regarding these “strange men” as you so colorfully put it.  John is Grandmother’s grandson as I told you.  But I met him earlier in the summer before I even knew Grandmother.   It was actually through him that I met her and was granted an interview.  As it turns out, Jack and John are cousins in some way.  Although, Jack does have some Native American features, he is very handsome in his own way.   He also works for the Tribal Council and is a game warden of sorts for the Ute Nation.  He’s been very mysterious about his activities.  He says he travels a lot for the Tribal Council.  He was here for the Fourth of July picnic and we went to the street dance together.  We had plans to go the next night to the rodeo, but he disappeared without so much as fair thee well to me.”

    I heard the tinge of anger in my voice as I talked about Jack. I took a breath and continued my story, “Then out of the blue, he starts sending all these roses every day.  I finally had to threaten him with harassment charges if he did not stop.  Then today I get this sexy nightgown.”

    Anne wanted to say something, but I continued, “You will be surprised to know that I have been asked out repeatedly by him, and others, but I have graciously declined because I just did not want to have to deal with a man again. Now you know all my dirty little secrets,” I said as the tears began to flow.

    “Mom, I think he could be an assassin.  They are very secretive like that, you know, and will not let anyone get close,” teased Liz. She hugged me, and her lighthearted response made me laugh.

    Anne chimed in, “That could explain a lot of the travel and staying away from mom.” We hugged, cried and laughed together for several minutes. 

    “Ok, let’s go finish supper and make our plans with the children about tomorrow.  The trip tomorrow to meet your Indian friends is really beginning to sound like it will be educational and very entertaining,” said Anne as she led the way downstairs to the kitchen.