It starts with two. A man and a woman meet and some spark ignites in their hearts. They maybe dance around one another for a little while until they decide to become lifetime partners. Then they get married and have children. That’s the way it was for my mother and father-in-law. My mother-in-law didn’t get married until she was 26. She said she had plenty of offers but she wasn’t about to get married during the worst years of the Depression. Besides she had to wait for the right man to come along – a tall, handsome man named Truman who’d been batching for a while. He was 29. I don’t know how they met. I should have asked. Maybe at a church. Maybe through mutual friends. But they did meet and married and didn’t waste any time having a family. Five kids in ten years. Then those five kids grew up and each met somebody who made a spark ignite, got married and started their families. Those children carried on the family tradition until now after 60 some years the family has grown to 68 (I think, but there are 2 babies on the way) counting spouses who become part of the family when that spark gets serious. About half of those came to our house for a reunion Sunday and here we are minus the picture taker. You can’t have a real reunion without making everybody line up for a picture, can you? Some of the men groan and the kids act up, but you need a picture to remember this moment in the life of the family.
For fun and to honor Truman and Christine who wore hats to church, we all wore hats to church Sunday. I’m not a hat wearer, but my daughter-in-law went shopping and found me a hat. I wore it but maybe I should have looked in the mirror when I put it on. With the whole clan coming to my house I didn’t have much time for mirrors. In the good old days, hats were a necessity for going to church. Every woman wore a hat, but then one day some person who must have been a lot like me said hats weren’t necessary any more and a lot of hatmakers went out of business. But I’ve used hats in my books. When you’re writing historical fiction, things like what a character wears to church or wherever can help set the time period. In my Hollyhill books, I have one of the characters wearing a red hat to church to show the change in her spirit. Of course with my Shaker books, all the Shaker women characters are wearing bonnets. (My last two main characters didn’t like wearing the bonnets. Maybe I made them too much like me.) Not much variety of clothes in a Shaker village since they dressed in like clothing. They did wear various colors and were the first makers of those beautiful Dorothy cloaks.
I’m off this morning to get my grandbaby twins for a little stay here while the rest of the family take a break that combines fun and business. I’ll be taking them home Sunday before I have my hometown book launch at the local library on Sunday afternoon. That’s always a fun time when I get to talk about my new book and give away some books and hear what my hometown reading friends have to say. If you’re in the area, come on down. You can check out the details on my schedule on the website.
And now to Sunday’s winners of autographed books. This is the two winner week. I was so busy Sunday I forgot to draw for the winners until Monday. The winners are Juanita and Donna V. I’ll be sending you an e-mail to get your addresses. One more drawing next Sunday. If you’ve sent me an e-mail, your name’s still in the hat. There we go with hats again. Maybe next time I’ll talk about the different hats a writer has to wear. Hope you’re somewhere cool. It’s hot here in Kentucky!! Might flirt with 100 degrees tomorrow.