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Finding Joy

Nick is continually teaching me.  Often his perception is profoundly different than mine.  I learn these lessons if I am paying attention.  One of the easiest things to notice about Nick is that he finds joy in simple pleasures.  He loves it when people are laughing.  He loves to hug others and receive hugs.  He loves to blow bubbles.  And it is even better when there are little kids running around laughing and popping the bubbles as he blows them.

Blowing bubbles is not an easy task to learn.  Oh I know there are lots of kids who get the concept pretty early.  The skill is often practiced just before the first birthday so that parents can get “the picture.”  You know, the picture of the baby blowing out the candle on the first birthday cake.  Google it, you will be amazed, there are even videos on YouTube to help parents get this done.  By the time the kids are two, they usually have it down pat.

For many years, we would ask other kids to help Nick blow out his candles because he couldn’t do it.  Just before his 7th birthday, Nick finally gained the skill.  My sister Rosie made a wonderful birthday cake with a road made out of icing and Hot Wheel cars on the race track.  It was amazing.  Nick was so excited.  He blew out all of the candles, one by one.  Then he asked, “Do it again?”  We thought, why not?  This was a big deal.  We re-lit the candles many, many times.  We were all laughing and crying at the same time.

He was able to transfer the candle blowing skill to blowing bubbles from a wand.  He will sit for hours in the spring and summer, enjoying himself.  Often he will blow one bubble at a time, watch it go up in the air and float away.  Sometimes he will comment on where he thinks that each bubble is going.  Commonly, they are going to friends houses, other times, they are going to Ireland or Denver or … If they pop before they disappear, it makes him laugh.  And when Nick is laughing it is contagious, everyone laughs with him.

For his 39th birthday last month, Nick invited everyone he knew to come to his party.  Over 80 people joined Nick for the afternoon of food, fun and laughter.  Arden and I were grateful for the outpouring of love and Nick was excited that everyone came to his party.

I believe that we all need to figure out what brings us Nick’s level of enjoyment.  We often get so busy with life that we miss out on simple pleasures.  Pursue what brings you joy, whether it is taking a walk, reading a book, or visiting with a friend.  If those things don’t do it for you, try blowing bubbles.  It is pretty fun.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.