Memories and Counting Down to Release Day

The first day of November is sort of a special day for me. Of course, it is the release day I have chosen for my book, “His Yankee Wife”, but more than that, it was my grandparents’ wedding anniversary.

Growing up, I was always at Mamaw and Papaw’s house. As a baby, Mom and I lived with them. Then, every weekend it seemed I was spending the night. I would ask to come over, and Papaw would say, “Get ye poke of clothes ready.”

Papaw is a former coal miner from WV. He and Mamaw grew up in a coal town centered around a railroad, a church and a general store. There was a one-room schoolhouse that went only to the 6th grade, but kids who went to high school road the train to school. Adults heated their homes with coal stoves, and if they needed to use a telephone, they did so at the Post Office.  and no one knew whether they were poor or not, because everyone they lived near was in the same condition.

Mamaw lived in Blakeley, and Papaw lived in Laurel Fork, and they were married on November 1, 1955. After moving around a bit, they settled on a piece of property up Kelly’s Creek near Pond Gap, WV.

Some of my earliest memories involve biscuits for breakfast along with either oatmeal, gravy, fried apples or cooked and sweetened rhubarb, pinto beans or homemade beef stew with cornbread on cold days, barrels of rain water for pouring into the ringer washer when the well was low and long, summer days playing outside. I helped carry wood for the wood burning stove, got stung a lot by the bees who enjoyed the apple trees, played with squirrel tails after Papaw went hunting, learned to sing alto along with Mamaw in church and thought that life couldn’t get any better.

Fast forward to 2011. On February 20, Mamaw died. She was buried 5 days later in a cemetery way back in the holler. Learning to move on took a long time. One of the hardest things was not knowing anyone who had the same memories as I. Today, I wish I could ask her about her memories. It bothers me that memories die along with the body. Yet, they don’t have to, especially when the one holding the memories is a writer.

I have always loved stories and began writing when I was 8 years old. “His Yankee Wife” will be my 4th published book. It isn’t about my family; it’s a family I created. However, something about it reminds me of my grandparents and what they shared with me over the years. My main character, Rae remembers her grandparents with fondness and has returned to live in their home.

I am so looking forward to release day for the story, and to celebrate, each Wednesday leading up to November 1, I will be posting short excerpts on my Facebook launch page. I hope you will come and join the fun. The address to it is


Don’t forget, you can also come join the discussion on my author page,


Ok, now it’s time to get my students moving toward school work, so I gotta run. Catch ya’ll next time, and I hope to see you on Facebook. Have a fantabulous Wednesday.


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