The Queen Comes Home

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After two and a half years, my grandmother and I were in quite the routine.  Daily television favorites, including “Days of Our Lives, Dr Oz, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!.  We watched a lot of episodes of THE WALTONS, Little House On The Prairie, Matlock, and Andy Griffith.  Children’s movies, classic black and whites, the epic Gone With The Wind…we shared a lot of television time together.

We also read.  Bits from the internet, newspapers, books and the Bible, I often would read passages of scripture while we settled in for the night’s rest.

We also had food routines, breakfast would consist of Pear Preserves, Bacon Toast and sometimes oatmeal, along with a dish of applesauce with her morning meds crushed and mixed in.  Let’s not forget the COFFEE and “something sweet”. Lunch from “Meals on Wheels”, supper would be something healthy, like chicken or fish, but also fun things like Salmon Stew or Chicken N Dumplings. Comfort food, to soothe the weary soul.

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In the evenings, after we were in pajamas, I would get her a cup of coffee, make sure she had some fresh water and give her  nightly medicine, and then she would go to bed.  All to start over the next day.

Friday morning, (April 3rd) she slept in,  or so I thought.  As it was a few days before Easter, we (my aunts and I) decided she should have her bath on Friday rather than the anticipated busy Saturday.

While the evening before had commenced much like usual, that morning, she did not wake up.  Not a peep, not a response.  When her eyes finally opened, they were blank, unseeing, like she was visiting a far away place, not willing to come back to where we were.

Throughout the day, her children and grandchildren gathered by her side, tearfully keeping a vigil, waiting for a sign of the fiery woman who has been our matriarch for nearly 90 years. Friday evening, my daughter arrived and sat with her, saying a prayer for God to give us strength to do His will, whatever that was.

Saturday morning, while very little change had occurred, we all agreed that she needed to at least be seen by a doctor, just in case what presented as simply a stroke was something more treatable.

Turns out, while there was a stroke resulting in significant paralysis, her main problem was a UTI, treated with antibiotics.

She is now home, in her room, where she wants to be.  We have a team of 6-8 people that will take turns sitting with her, so that no one will be alone in the house for longer than a half hour.

I had wished, and stated in an earlier blog post, that we would be able to bring her out to see the children hunting eggs in their finery.  Unfortunately, she was at the hospital still, but we gathered in her honor Easter Sunday after church, in that old brick house in Abbeville, and ate and laughed and silently worshipped our Lord for allowing us to have her in our lives for so long.

Regardless of what happens in the coming days, we will celebrate her 90th birthday on June 14th;  the same time that the queen of England will celebrate her own birthday.

Evelyn B Page.  Our Queen,  home where she belongs

HAPPY EASTER 2015

Abbeville Square

The daylilies are blooming, the bees are hovering around the dogwood flowers; every store has mother’s day and Easter baskets and dresses for little girls are in every window.

My grand-daughters are joining me at my grandmother’s house for an old fashioned Easter Egg hunt.  I can hardly wait to see their faces as they search through the flowers and grass for their treasures.  I am most certain that the sunshine forecasted for the day will enable us to bring my grandmother out on the porch to oversee the festivities.  What a glorious thing that will be!

Tina, Easter 2014

The April 9th issue of the White County Telegraph will have an article about me.  I am still getting used to being interviewed, and it only makes me slightly nervous.  It’s amazing that, I can face a crowd of 1000, sing a song I never even rehearsed at a karaoke show, or read from one of my novels to a crowd of well-wishers….but you put me one on one with a reporter and I freeze like a popsicle.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

Weekend Blues

Weekends in Abbeville are full of excitement.

It seems every weekend there is a festival, carnival, bbq or benefit and quite frankly, that is one of the reasons I chose Abbevlle for the backdrop to the Festival Series.

On any given Friday or Saturday night there are bands playing around the square, a movie playing in the park, a gala or dinner in the Livery Stable, and lets not forget the Opera House players; it seems they always have a good show there.

However exciting the weekends are around us, in our little world, in my grandmother’s house, the walls echo the voices of the days long past.  The giggling whisper of children who were told three times to go to sleep, yet couldn’t stop sharing the secrets of the day; the stories told by the elder former soldiers, lingering over the names of the men who were lost out of reverence; and who could forget the women’s light joking and sing-song voices as they prepared the meals, and the scents of the food wafting through the house made your mouth water!

In my grandmother’s living room there are photos around the walls that seem to speak volumes.  The laughter is gone, but for a brief visit from a young relative, but those photos tell a story that is bittersweet.  Every inch there is a carefully hung picture frame, sharing the loved one within the glass and wood to all who enter.

There is a picture of me, with my two oldest children.  I do not recognize myself, but I remember the day it was taken.  There is a small little beach ball sitting in my lap, due to the impending birth of my third child, a baby so comfortable in the womb that his due date of FEBRUARY 14th would come and go til his final arrival, March 13th.  9lbs, 9oz.  I gave birth to a toddler!  But he was bright eyed, with a shock of bright red hair and the cutest little pointed ears you’ve ever seen.  We celebrated his 25th birthday just last week.  Seems like yesterday.1511123_1105804446112017_8471470682490920873_n

I guess that’s why I love the writing life. In. a manner of minutes I can be so far away in the past, re-telling a story, or making up one based loosely on memories, the melancholy tendencies that accompany long term caregiving  are far from this world/  The house is filled with laughter, loved ones are gathered at every area, children run amongst the daffodils and daylilies.  The lovely smells and happy noises make the house smile with pride.  This is my family, it thinks, all who are inside these walls are of my heart

The indulgent smile of my grandmother finds me staring far off and she murmurs, “you okay?”

I return her smile and nod.  When you’re in a house of love, how can you be anything but okay?

Welcome to New Followers

I saw that I had some new followers so I figured it was time to update my readers on what’s been happening in the Festival world.

 

First, again we are close to the beginning of SPRING, and all the magic it entails.

New Author Photo

Robin Lynn Wildes

With so many inches of snow in the Northeast, so much cold ice and rain in the South, I am sure I am not alone in welcoming this long overdue season!

Spring Festival in Abbeville, SC will be April 30-May 2.  I will be up on the square at some time during that weekend, ready to share my goodies and books.

Book Three, “Building Toward Forever” will be available on May 5th.  But I will have some pre-orders available, and some sneak peek paperbacks for sale.

The Fourth, and final book in the series, “Night Music” will release in time for Christmas.

Personally things have been challenging with the care of my grandmother.  She needs to have constant companionship, and I am not the type to just put the TV on and leave her alone.  SO, that is why the 3rd book has taken so long to come about.  By the time she goes to bed at night, I am exhausted!

Hope to have these cards available for all convention attendees

I am planning to attend the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention, this year in Dallas, Texas.  I will have some exciting giveaways and promotional items available, so if you are in the area May 13-19th, please drop me a line so we can meet!  I always love meeting my readers.Promotional items I will have on my table

 

 

 

Now a little snippet of information on the upcoming sequel to “No Strings”:

“Building Toward Forever”

Book Three will take you to Abbeville on New Year’s Eve.  A gala First Night celebration finds Adriana Evans, youngest daughter of Clyde and Sylvia Evans, upset and disturbed by the impending visit of architect Preston Cartwright.  Preston was a friend in college, and the room-mate of her boyfriend Brian. One night, when he escorted her to an awards dinner, he crossed the line of friendship against his better judgement, and kissed her at the end of the evening.  The kiss was remembered fondly by both, but outside of a few taciturn emails, the two never spoke of the evening again.  The upcoming refurbishing of the county firehouse brings Preston to her hometown, and Adriana, now unattached, is surprised to find out that her mother, a committee member, has offered the family homestead for his accommodations.

Adriana is a cake decorator, more distinctly, a Master Sugar Artist.  Her creations in confections have won her various awards and she is on the fast track to success.  Television producers are vying for her to appear on various cooking shows and contests, and she is considering this when the romance of a lifetime begins as Preston starts to pursue her again.

A whirlwind romance ensues, amid the colorful backdrop of Abbeville, and Preston’s hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Building a life together takes a firm foundation.  Love and trust are the keys to that solid base, and Preston works hard to win that from his chosen mate.

 

I hope you will enjoy the third book in the series, and I promise it won’t be so long before you hear from me again.

 

 

Festival Time is near!

In just a few short weeks the daffodils will be blooming, the Mountain Laurel buds will be fragrant, and the sun will shine every day…well…ALMOST every day.

 

Are you looking forward to the warmth of Spring and Summer as much as I?  Personally, I doubt it!

 

These past few months of being inside are torture for someone who loves the sunshine and fresh air.

 

Well, May is a busy month for us.  FOR ONE..I am trying to put the finishing touches to “Building Toward Forever” for the RT Booklover’s Convention…a national event to launch Book Three of the Festival Series…thought it would be ideal…we’ll see if I can pull it off.

Trinity Street Painting

ALSO, the first weekend will find yours truly in beautiful Abbeville, South Carolina (the backdrop of half of book two, FYI) at their annual SPRING FESTIVAL.  Look for the banner…I hope to be set up somewhere near the Court House on the square.  For more info you can go to my author site at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008P67WN4

Taking daily care of my grandmother has been enlightening.  When her mind goes back in time, and we wonder where she goes, my imagination takes root, and I believe she is just looking for that peace that she had when her children were young, her parents were still with her, and the love of her life was by her side.

On April 19th it will be 10 years since my grandfather, Benjamin L Page, left our earth.  Not a day has gone by that we haven’t thought of him in some way or another.

Sitting at the table where he used to sit every morning, well it brings back memories that are bittersweet at best.  I could never imagine my life without him in it, but since his passing, I’ve lost several other people that also meant the world to me.  But, the Dead do not worry about such things…and we are to use OUR time to it’s fullest…never discounting what their presence meant to us.  That is the debt we all owe.

 

 

In other news, the AMAZON BREAKTHROUGH NOVEL contest is in it’s 2nd stage and guess who’s included in the 200 some what Romance novels….why yes…”No Strings, Book Two of the Festival Series”…I liken this to the American Idol phenomenon, where it made it past the PRODUCERS (the review board) and is now in front of the judges.  Take heart, little one…your time is coming!

In Celebration of all this and more…look to the Amazon site to purchase No Strings for your Kindle at a discounted price this week.  Sale will start March 25th and run until April 1st, and the price will go up as the days progress…so get in there quickly to get the best price.

http://www.amazon.com/No-Strings-Festival-Robin-Wildes-ebook/dp/B00H285SFK

 

Take care and have a wonderful week!

Finally…No Strings has arrived

This past Tuesday, No Strings, the long awaited sequel to Love Never Ends, was launched.

People have been downloading and commenting already, and I am overwhelmed.

This road has taken me through a myriad of emotions, but the final result was well worth it, and I hope you, the reader, agree.Product Details

Product Details

Some of the more exciting things that have happened are funny, heartwarming, and soul-wrenching, but I would not be the writer I am today if I had not experienced these things.

First and foremost is the ongoing care and compassion we have encountered taking care of my grandmother.  This past Thanksgiving we had over 60 people come to share the meal with us.  That is every one of her children, most of her grand-children and all of her great-great grandchildren were there.  She was alert, and happy, sitting at her table with everyone.  We made several pies, chicken and dumplings (our tradition), vegetables, bread, turkey, ham,  mac and cheese…the food was incredible.  My very artistic aunt brought along some special treats for us (Turkey cookies, cake squares with Clemson/Carolina logos, and of course CHEESECAKE…and we’re talking the REAL stuff here, not the mix.)  The whole day was spent with laughter and good times.

When I attended the Indie Mashup in Arkansas, I had my favorite traveling companion, Cricket McDonnell with me.  We road long into the night from Birmingham AL and stopped just outside Tupelo Ms to stay the night in a Hampton Inn.  We were treated warmly, and got the rest we needed before heading the rest of the way to Springdale (a suburb of Fayetville) Arkansas.  When we came home three days later, we stayed at the same hotel.  I am in awe of people’ whose job it is to take care of so many people that they will never see again.  We have encountered many people in our travels, and have yet to meet someone that wasn’t kind and giving.

On the day of the event, a young lady approached my table, with a book.  Inside were pages where she had photos of books…mine was one of them, which she asked me to sign.  I had a lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes, but I signed her memory book.  It was a classic moment for me, and one I will treasure for always.

The other night, I was sitting with my grandmother watching “Hallmark Hall of Fame‘s” movie “Christmas in  Conway” and I posted that I was doing this.  My Facebook page is connected to my Twitter account, so it posted there too.  A few minutes later, my phone beeped, and I saw that my post had been RE-tweeted, by none other than the Executive Producer, Brent Shields.  He is now following my posts on Twitter, and Facebook…and I can only hope that through social media, I can get “The Festival Series” into the hands of an ambitious screen writer.  I would love that!

I enjoy writing, and I try to do so every day…even if it’s just to share some stories/news with my readers and friends on Facebook.  I look forward to meeting more and more of you in the coming months.

Are we there, yet?

New Author Photo

New Author Photo

People keep asking me if I’m going to ever publish Book Two.

Well…of course I am….but you all deserve an explanation as to why it’s taking so long.

1st…I’m a woman…and I reserve the right to change my mind at any given time without warning.

2nd…I’m a writer…and must conform to the guidelines of what my characters tell me, and when they decide to go SILENT (and I mean…MUTE!!) I have to wait for them to come back from wherever they went to tell me their adventures.

3rd…simply….ILLNESS!!!

 

My grand-mother, The 88-year old JEWEL of our family, has been sick all year.  She is battling congestive heart failure, chronic bronchitis and COPD, recurring  pneumonia, and just for added stress…had a minor stroke and a severe brain bleed requiring emergency surgery.  NOW she is home, and for the most part she is clear as a bell and steadfast in her faith.  Her doctors do not want her to be left alone, leaving our family, while extensive, to take on the task of spending time with her.  Always a joy, but nonetheless, time consuming.  I will always be thankful for the time I’ve spent with her, fixing meals, doing odd jobs, and just sitting there in the chair beside her, laughing at the soap operas and reliving childhood memories through classic television like “The Waltons” and “Little House on the Prairie”.

ALSO, my editor, Cricket, has also been pretty ill in the past few months, so what we have assembled, (we being myself and my new formatting and proofreading expert, Nancy) is still getting processed.

Now…the crux of the issue….How to make “BOOK TWO…NO STRINGS” as much of a joy as “BOOK ONE…LOVE NEVER ENDS” was, if not better.

It takes a lot to get this story down….and a lot of time that I just do not have a lot of at this time.  But I assure you, my special readers, the story of Nikki and Joe, will be heartwarming, intensive, and exciting…and well worth the wait!!

IN THE MEANTIME…follow me on Facebook… at https://www.facebook.com/FestivalSeriesBooks1and2

I have been invited to a AUTHOR EVENT in Springdale, Arkansas for October 26th.

Front of flyer for Indie Mashup

Front of flyer for Indie Mashup

FLYER for Indie Mashup

FLYER for Indie Mashup

I am also planning some personal appearances…so stay tuned and come see me!!

You all are why I do what I do, and I assure you that NO STRINGS will be on the shelves before you know it!!

Also, your continued prayers for our family as we deal with the day to day care of our Matriarch is needed, welcome and oh so appreciated!!

 

Be blessed!!!