<![CDATA[Books By Deanna - BLOG: Selling Books]]>Fri, 15 Dec 2017 04:45:11 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:40:42 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog6637515A Cause for 2018
The Therapy Dog at Work
    The first book published for me was in 2010, The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog. It’s a nice gift for anyone who likes dogs, or anyone interested in therapy dog work. This book will clarify for all, the difference between Service Dog and Therapy Dog. They are not the same animal!
    It’s gotten quite commonplace to see dogs accompanying their handlers in places that used to be verboten. I, for one, am happy about that reversal. But it has also brought about confusion, and misuse.
The book is not a training manual, as in A, B, C, 1,2,3. Rather it discusses the dog’s innate qualities and gifts, enhanced by training, and how they are utilized in therapy. The stories show how important the interaction is between humans and animals, especially marginalized humans.
    People pretending they have certified animals is a dangerous practice. There is a website (perhaps, more than one) that instructs one that for $45.00, any dog can be certified a therapy dog. It explains the law concerning therapy dogs and service dogs. It says, you must keep your registration with you all the time. If anyone questions, which by law they cannot do, just show them the card. No one is allowed to ask you anything about the dog, they can’t ask why you need the dog, or what service the dog performs. You don’t have to answer them. They can only ask is it a service or therapy dog. That’s all. You are protected by law. For $45. That’s what it says.
    A young man at the nursing facility where my mother is, has one of these dogs. I reported him. I also wrote to the D.A. in FLA asking that the licenser be put out of business. This is a dangerous practice and must be stopped.  
    While petting Buddy, this man told me all about his black lab that weighs 125 pounds who is his "therapy service dog." The fellow is in a wheelchair and was temporarily there for therapy. I asked him what the dog did for him, and he was off and running with his $45 educational spiel. His girl friend was going to bring the dog in for a visit one day soon. I looked up the website he’d mentioned. His spiel was verbatim!
    When we walked in the front door,his dog saw Buddy. He lunged, lifting the girlfriend off the floor and pulling her like a water skier toward us. He was snarling, growling, hackles up. I swiftly yanked Buddy into a resident’s room and pulled the door shut.             Everyone at the nurses’ station witnessed this,
and were surprised to see me walk toward the agitated dog. I asked the girl on the floor if she was okay. I told her to take the dog out of the facility. I turned to the guy and said, “Do you realize what would have happened if one of the fragile residents had been between your dog and mine?”
    Everyone began to reassess the wisdom of having a therapy dog visit their facility. Maybe dogs shouldn’t be here at all. I said loud and clear, “That dog is NOT a therapy dog or a service dog. He is an unmanageable pet who needs to stay at home.” On the way out the front door the dog lifted his leg on the door casing.  
    People are doing this for all kinds of reasons: they don’t want to board their pet while they go on vacation; they want to fly with the dog; they like the prestige of having a special animal. None are reasons to endanger other people or other animals. It also jeopardizes the existence of therapy dogs and service dogs as their reputations are tarnished by these phony registrations and the “real” law that protects them.
    If you are looking for a cause for 2018, perhaps you can join me in this one. Write to your representatives and congressmen and write to the D.A.s whose states allow these businesses to exist. Buddy and I thank you.
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:54:37 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog6758807Angels and Angles
Author with Family Angels
   At the Night Market in Peachtree City a woman came to me with her hand outstretched, introduced herself, and said she wanted to meet me and talk about “some things.” I gave her my card and said, “Let’s talk!” I had no idea what she wanted to talk about. What was her angle?
   She’s a new author whose book will be out in the spring. Her name is Angela Simpson. Her book is Journey with the Holy Spirit, published by Laurus Co. I’m passing this on because I think this will be a book many of us will be interested in reading. Why? 1) She’s passionate about the material. 2) She took two years to write it, another two to find the right publisher. 3) She’s not looking for that instant success angle. 4) She’s asking the right questions about all the facets of the writing industry. 5) She knows there is more to it than a title.
   Those criteria add up to a good book. If she had said: “This is the story of my life. I wrote it last summer on vacation. No one wanted to publish it, so I published it myself. I’m probably going to sell a thousand when I put it on Amazon,” I wouldn’t have bothered to write down her name. I like autobiography, I understand how hard it is to interest publishers, and I know folks think you get rich if your book is on Amazon. But that mindset for a new author says a lot about the quality, the intensity, the longevity, and that author’s business approach. I probably wouldn’t buy it or read it. If I could even find it.
    But, her angle was the right one. She had a story to share. She took a long time trying to tell it the best way. She worked a year with a professional editor before submitting it to a publisher. She edited, she rewrote, she was rejected; she didn’t give up. She worked harder to make it better, dug further to find the right pub for her work. She didn’t take it personally. She asks questions. They’re good questions she’d thought about, not adlibbing to impress me. She was looking for real answers and was trying to cobble together a business plan that would work for her and her work. She has long-term goals.
    No author, no matter how good the story idea is, can get to publication alone. We all have our angels. There are no short cuts in this business, no quick angles. This author is going into the business with her eyes wide open, willing to learn, she’s patient, willing to make changes and accommodate, but passionate enough to control her content. Making money is not her motivation. She acknowledges the Angels on her shoulder and trusts the Holy Spirit to guide her. Angel vs. Angle. I know what that outcome will be! I’ll remember her name, Angela, and I’ll look for her book in the spring.
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:12:11 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog3182590​Teapots and Turtles
Edenton's Teapot
    I’ve noticed on my book travels that many towns have symbols, other than their official seal or state flag. These take the form of a mascot and appear on their coffee mugs and tee shirts as well as the town’s signage. In Edenton, the town symbol is a tea pot. This references the Edenton Tea Party of 1774. This occasion was the earliest recorded organized political action by women. Fifty-one women signed a document and sent it to the king supporting the American cause of taxation without representation, and established a boycott of all British tea and cloth. The teapot is on the town’s logo.
    I noticed that the little town of Hertford nearby Edenton uses turtles on their souvenir shirts and mugs. The turtles, I thought, were sea turtles. I didn’t understand why because Hertford isn’t actually on the seacoast. Why, I wondered, would Hertford use that as their logo?
    I signed a book for a little girl at the Museum of the Albemarle who wore a half scallop shell on a necklace chain. It appeared to have five little “gemstones” in the shell. I remarked about it and the mother said, “Oh, we live in Perquimons County, so of course, there must be turtles.” I looked closely, and the little faux gemstones had tiny gold legs, and a knobby little turtle head.
    “Isn’t Hertford in Perquimons County?” I asked.
    “Yes, ma’am it is.”
     “And the sea turtle is your symbol?”
    “It isn’t a sea turtle,” the little girl said. “They’re sliders!”
    The mother explained to me that by the bridge that crosses into Hertford is a large log in the water. Turtles are always on the log, even in bad weather. People come to see the turtle piles and take pictures. Biologists come to count them and study them.   
   “They’re some kind of bog turtle that happen to like our log,” she explained.
    I suddenly realized I had seen that! The day we went to Nags Head we drove through Hertford just to look at the town. Dave was driving and I, looking out the window, laughed aloud and said, “There’s a heap of turtles!” And it was a heap! I described to him the turtles are stacked several deep on a log that sticks out of the water; shiny, black, flat turtles. “Like a stack of black pancakes!” I laughed. I saw them as we crossed the bridge, just like she said. I didn’t realize I was looking at their town mascots.
    What is unique about your town? What is your town’s symbol? I’d love to know.
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:56:58 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog2318748​Invitation to Advent
    Advent, my favorite season, began yesterday. Before getting on the road to drive home we attended Mass at St. Ann’s in Edenton. The pastor’s message was short and poignant. It was so creative, I thought I’d share it with you. This is what he said.
    “Imagine, on this first day of Advent, you go home and find an envelope in your mailbox. Just a plain white envelope. It has just your name on it. You suspiciously open the envelope, and carefully unfold the letter. It has a seal at the top; it looks official. It says:
    Your Lord and Savior, His Majesty your King, requests your presence at a celebration for the arrival of His Son. The celebration will be held on the twenty-fifth day of December. It is strongly recommended that you use the days between now and then to prepare yourself for this celebration with prayer, meditation, abstinence, confession, hospitality, and service to others. Your response is requested.
    How will you respond to such an invitation? Will we prepare and be ready or will we simply crash the party?”
    Wishing you a blessed and meaningful advent of preparation for the party.
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 12:47:22 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog6658599Somerset Place
Outbuilding at Somerset Place
    My readers know what happens when I see a brown and white sign. I must follow it. We saw it on our journey to Manteo and Nags Head.  This week we drove back to that historical site and discovered a treasure.
    Somerset Place is a North Carolina State Historic Site in the small town of Creswell, not far from Edenton. From 1785-1865, Somerset Place was a prosperous and active plantation producing rice, corn, and wheat. It encompassed over 100,000 acres. Somerset Place offers a comprehensive social history of the family life of the plantation’s residents including the planter family, overseers, freedmen, and enslaved. There were only three plantations in North Carolina that worked more than 400 slaves; Somerset Place was one of them. Eighty of the slaves were brought from West Africa in 1786, with knowledge of rice cultivation. Slaves on this plantation dug irrigation and transportation canals, built a sawmill, gristmills, barns, stables, work buildings, dwelling places, and cultivated the rich fields.
    This plantation was a business investment of three men for more than 40 years. In 1830, the property, on the shore of a large lake, was inherited by one of their grandsons who lived there with his wife and six sons. When the Civil War ended in 1865, so did slavery in the United States. Without unpaid labor, the plantation systems that characterized the antebellum South, could not be maintained.
    While many historical sites consist of information boards and a replica of a building, this plantation has a lot of actual things to see and learn about.
    The 6,809 square-foot family home was a luxury of space and privacy that was uncommon for the average North Carolinian. A large number of household service buildings standing include a dairy (1840), kitchen/laundry (1808), and the nearby rations building (1830) where barrels of molasses, rum, blocks of sugar, and other bulk items were stored. A smokehouse (1830) large enough to hang 400 hams and pork shoulders, the salting house where the meat was preserved, and a boarding school (1840). The boarding school is now the visitor center, but when the six sons were old enough, they were moved out of the parents’ home into the school to live with their tutor, the plantation minister, and 25 Plott hounds. Several of the slave quarters are preserved.
    The plantation also had four homes for extended families. Two have been reconstructed, as well as the plantation hospital, stocks, and the overseers’ home. There are archaeological remains of the jail, the Episcopal Chapel, the outside hearth, enslaved kitchen, and above-ground cistern, as well as the wood house.
    Somerset Place offers age-appropriate tours and hands-on activities for schools as well as guided or self-guided tours, all of which are free. I recommend it if you are in eastern NC, near Creswell, and interested in American history. 
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:24:38 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog3099711Home for Christmas
2016, Sapphire Valley family Christmas
    My husband and I grew up in Michigan in a small town of 7,000. We left to go to MSU; we married a year later. Our first Christmas was in Spartan Village, the married housing at MSU with a $2.00 tree and homemade paper ornaments, learning to be a family. Following graduation Dave accepted a job with IBM in New York, the farthest from Michigan either of us had ever been. We moved every few years for the next twenty years, celebrating Christmas in many homes.
     Our first home in NY was a brand-new garden apartment. That’s what it was called, a garden apartment; I don’t know why, there was no garden. Our first baby was born here, so it was a Garden of Eden for us. We shared our Christmas with a child from an orphanage. Our Open Door Tradition, our family’s version of hospitality, began here. That followed us to every home and became a trademark of our family.
    We moved from that one-bedroom apartment in Wappinger Falls, NY, to a rental house in Hopewell Junction. Our brick Cape Cod near the Taconic Parkway looked so pretty decorated for Christmas with our few ornaments. Our second daughter was born in this home. I loved living in the country, the big garden, the wild canaries, our one neighbor, the elderly landlords who came from the city on weekends. It was an exotic and snowy paradise. We already learned that all it took to make a home, was us, together.
    When IBM transferred us to Columbus, Ohio, we landed in a townhouse. This was a new concept for us, and we enjoyed it while we were there, sharing the yard with other young families with small children; but we were ready to be homeowners. Coming up with a down payment was a bit of a stretch for us, but we managed, and we moved before our third child arrived. This was to a three-bedroom house with an upstairs; brick on the bottom, frame on top; an older neighborhood; shutters; overgrown shrubberies, cranky neighbor. This was where we learned our first lessons in maintenance, yardwork, and neighbors. When a beautiful snow covered the ground, I baked cookies, called a few neighbors, put the girls on a sled and pulled them down the road. It was our first caroling party, a tradition begun in 1966, and continued until 2000. We loved our starter home, and thought we’d stay forever.
    We outgrew the house with baby number four and we moved to a new construction, a Tudor in a new housing development, in time for kindergarten at the neighborhood school. Our church was in the back yard, and we were surrounded by parishioners who became lifelong friends. Our most unique decoration that Christmas was a silver wreath made from IBM punch cards. Every IBM family made one! We added child number 5, built a screened porch and patio, and planned to stay forever. The week the porch was finished, we packed and took the next transfer to Raleigh, NC.
    Our new Dutch Colonial in a country club development was beautiful and needed no work at all. All it needed was furniture, which we didn’t have a lot of. The house was modeled after The Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg, so decorations for this house involved learning to make Williamsburgish-style decorations. Child number six was born here. We enjoyed the amenities until it was time to move to Lexington, KY.
    Here we lived in an older brick ranch in a more rural setting. Though it was a neighborhood with a lot of neighbors, the rolling blue grass and area horse farms gave it a rural feel. We had many friends here, and loved our home – once we finally finished the remodeling. Every window that Christmas held an electric candle I bought at a garage sale for a quarter each. Then, we moved to Gaithersburg, MD, taking our candles, carols, and cookies with us.
    We were now in suburban D.C., a commuter neighborhood. This was a “planned” community, with everything built in for convenience, schools, pools, offices, and everything laced together by bike paths that went everywhere safely; a great place to raise kids, and we planned to stay put. In this neighborhood I learned to make gingerbread houses. Our 7th child was born here. On her first birthday we transferred to Atlanta, GA The gingerbread tradition moved with us, reminding me every year of those friends.
    Our beautiful new home in Atlanta was in a bedroom community, Sandy Springs, on the north side of Atlanta, in a cluster neighborhood of cul-de-sacs. Safe, convenient, good schools, close to church and parochial school. We stayed in that house for eighteen years. All seven kids were raised there, graduated from high school, left home, got married. It was in this home that we celebrated years of traditions from all those Christmases and friends, gone before.
    Our next move was the first one that wasn’t job related; it was the first one whose location we chose; it was the first home we planned and built; it was our retirement dream. We planned to stay there forever.
    We’ve been in our big log home in the mountains for twenty years now, longer than we’ve lived anywhere. We love Sapphire Valley. The house is larger than two people need. It’s a beautiful area. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather live. But, it’s a seasonal place. Many of the friends we had no longer come. We don’t have neighbors. We used to be active in the country club. Now we aren’t. We used to golf and ski and hike. Now we don’t. Our needs have changed. We didn’t outgrow this house. It outgrew us.
    It’s interesting how the home speaks to us, letting us know it’s time to move on. I don’t want to listen. I know and love every creak of the floor, every pop in the logs, every beautiful change of season. I argue with the house, “But, I love you. I don’t want to go.” But House continues to nudge us. “It’s time to let me go.” This might be our last Christmas in this house. We’ll pack up our gingerbread recipe, years of ornaments, and find something completely unexpected that will become home once again, where we’ll be for Christmas
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 12:29:24 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog6641853Birthday, Again.
    When did I get this old? I remember wishing I was “old enough” to wear nail polish. My mother said little girls shouldn’t wear nail polish, especially if they chewed their nails. By the time I grew out of that habit I might be old enough to wear nail polish. Eager to be old enough, I was, nevertheless, embarrassed about getting the first bra. I didn’t want it to be washed and hung on the clothesline for the world to see. I remember my first kiss beside a ping pong table, my first date to the movies. I wanted to be old enough for a driver license, to have a job, to save money for college. My friends had a surprise sweet sixteen birthday party for me, I had a boyfriend; prom; graduation! Surely, I was old enough now!
Yesterday was my birthday, again. I don’t feel any older. From sweet sixteen, to a bride; overnight, it seems. I became a wife, a mom, and a grandma. I don’t remember anything special about most of the birthdays come and gone. Except one. November 22, 1963.
    It was a cold, rainy, dark day, as it often is in East Lansing, MI, in November. I’d walked across the campus under my umbrella to a doctor appointment, and planned to take the bus home later, home being the campus married housing. I sat in the crowded waiting room checking my watch. The doctor appeared at the door, where I expected to see the nurse calling my name. He leaned against the door frame. His voice was choked. We all stared at him while tears dropped onto his cheeks.
    “My wife just called me on the telephone. President Kennedy ... has just been shot.  I’ll be closing to go home.” It took a few minutes for those words to sink in. Shot? The President? Our President? No one said a word. Behind us, the doctor hung “Closed” on the office door. We all believed the world would end that very day.
I think of this momentous – now historical –  event every birthday. Many birthdays and events have come and gone since then, happy, sad, good, and bad. And all of them, just a tiny particle of Time. That doctor, I’m sure has died.
    We tend to think of Time in terms of our lifetime. But, once, the Sahara Desert was a green lush Eden. Once what is now a coastline was part of a main land. Once, what is now a beautiful resort, was swamp where dinosaurs roamed. The course of rivers created canyons out of mountains, and floods created plains; natural disasters changed geography, and continue to do so, a few feet at a time. In our lifetimes we see by-passes built around towns and watch ghost towns disappear sometimes within a century, as new suburbs continually change boundaries. Leaders, evil and good, change control and back again. In my lifetime a President was assassinated and there are people alive who voted for him, and others who weren’t yet born.
    The universe is constantly changing, recycling, repurposing, reinventing. We are just a tiny breath, a teardrop. No matter how old, how grown up, no matter how many birthdays we have, we are inconsequential to Time and the changes it brings about. The older we get, the more apparent that becomes. We “know” history, 200, maybe 300 years’ worth, but, that too, is only a speck, just a breath of Time. Most natural cycles aren’t completed in a human lifetime. We never see a completed cycle, the big picture. We experience only that part that happens while we are here.
     We have to be good stewards of our environment, we must take care of what we’ve been gifted. But we mustn’t believe for one moment that we oversee Time and Change. We just aren’t that important. No matter how old we grow, how many birthdays we celebrate, how wise we feel, we will never be God of the Universe. We need to stop taking ourselves that seriously! Stop presuming so much credit. We can not hold back Time. Give the worry over time and change to God, and just be grateful for another birthday. One day we will all finally be old enough.
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:12:19 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog2353064Sidewalk Walking
Walking in Edenton, NC
    Last Christmas our family began the conversation about us – “the parents” – selling our home. Everyone had suggestions of where we might want to live. The problem for me, I explained, there is nowhere else on earth I’d rather live than the mountains. How about…no, too hot; how about…no, too far; how about…no, too crowded. So, the next question was, “What would be your ideal place to live, if you could go anywhere you wanted?” (Which we can, by the way.)
    I thought about all the lovely places I’ve been with my books, and the people I met there, what I observed, what I knew, and what I thought I knew. “I want to live where there are sidewalks,” I said. Everyone laughed. “Sidewalks?” “Sidewalks are important?” “Yes. I’d like to be able to walk to somewhere, as in a destination: drug store, post office, neighbor, I don’t know. Somewhere. Sidewalks make a neighborhood, where kids trick or treat, and folks wave when they pass by walking their dogs. Sidewalks make community. I’d like to live with different ages, different cultures, all passing by on the sidewalk, saying hello to one another, passing houses that are all different.” My adult kids were puzzled. I grew up walking on sidewalks. They did not.  Dave did. He understood, but he was surprised by my response. We’ve lived in 11 homes; I loved them all; only one had sidewalks that didn’t lead anywhere.
    When I return from a book trip I talk about the unique place I’d been; often they are small towns, but with something interesting and unique to tell about. Not that I wanted to live there, just that I’d enjoyed my visit there. And so it was that he surprised me last summer when he announced he’d rented a place for three weeks in Edenton, NC, next November. I love visiting Edenton, that’s true, but, three weeks? How about a weekend? He thought we should really experience living there for a while. So here we are, it’s November, in Edenton, and we’re sidewalk walking, trying it on for size.
    The funniest thing about sidewalk walking is Buddy. He just can’t get the hang of it. You see, Buddy is used to walking through the woods, in the road, on the left against traffic, in case there is any. He’s a nice leash walker, but crosses when he needs to, always staying on the left side of the road. He just knows that; amusing, yes. But now we’re on sidewalks. No woods; just grass next to the sidewalks. He pulls to cross streets to get to the left- hand sidewalk, taking heel position to a new level. Once he’s comfortable on the left-side sidewalk, he’s faced with the next conundrum. Which side of the sidewalk should one pee on? He weaves back and forth from one grassy side to the other grassy side. There’s a choice to be made; grass left, grass right. If he decides to lift his leg on the right-hand side of the left-side sidewalk, he must first turn his body around. He can apparently only lift the left hind leg! Is that normal?
    We enjoy meeting folks on the sidewalks, stopping to admire their roses, visiting with painters, and walking along with the postman, who delivers mail on the porches. Buddy watches that with interest and waits for her to rejoin us. Buddy’s delighted to discover the local folks carry dog treats in their pockets. Dog walking on the sidewalks of Edenton is like trick-or-treating every day for dogs! I think Buddy could adapt to sidewalk walking. We’ll walk over to the hardware store later and buy something. Small town living at its finest.
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:29:31 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog4917379A Surprising Little Place
Edenton Trolley at the Barker House
    I learned early on in life that the best surprises come in small packages. I shouldn’t be surprised, then, to discover so many surprises in this little town of 5,000 on the coastal plain of NC.
    Buddy and I were walking yesterday morning when we saw a trolley. It was puttering along on our street here in the Historic Cotton Mill District of town. An authentic trolley car is to modern bus service what wooden Chris Craft boats are to modern speed boats. You just know you are looking at something special! I googled Edenton Trolley and we decided to make The Edenton Historic Trolley Tour our excursion for the day. And what a wonderful tour it was, with a guide who knew her tour so well that even though she rode backwards she knew exactly where we were, the history of the houses and the folklore. She’s a wonderful tour guide and hostess.
The second big surprise was to discover the historical marker for Harriet Jacobs. In 2010 I enrolled at Brevard College to take a class in YA Literature. My first editor at BJU Press said my Avery books were YA and I didn’t know what that was; I knew I needed to know that. I enjoyed the class so much that the next quarter I enrolled again and took African American Literature. I loved studying the Harlem Renaissance, poetry, Toni Morrison, and best of all, the Slave Narratives. It was here I first met Harriet Jacobs. She’s my model for courage, sacrifice, and patience. She wrote so brilliantly about her seven-year exile hidden under the roof to protect her children, watching them grow up through her little peep hole, listening to their voices from her silent world. She’s a study in how to make helplessness into strength. And yesterday on the trolley tour, I saw her world. If I knew she was from Edenton, it was a fact I’d forgotten; it was the surprise of the day, yesterday.
    I visited the Public Library yesterday to keep an appointment with the children’s librarian. She purchased four of my titles, took my publisher’s catalog to study, invited me to come to story hour in two weeks with Spirit the Tiny White Reindeer, and booked me for next fall to do the Blue-Eyed Doll presentation. That was all a lovely surprise. Little town, big library programs!
    Small historic places, big new surprises.
<![CDATA[Mini-Blog]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:13:02 GMThttp://booksbydeanna.com/blog-selling-books/mini-blog6346892Where are you now and what are you doing? 
Living in a Cotton Mill Home
    It’s a rather odd story, actually. We, Dave and I that is, are on a vacation. Yes, Buddy, too. It’s true we’ve brought our computers, iphones and ipads, but we also brought golf clubs, books to read, and I brought my quilting. So, technically, that’s vacation, right? It’s more complicated than that.
    We are in Edenton, NC, on the Albemarle Sound. Edenton is listed as one of the prettiest small towns in America. I’ve been here several times because it’s close to Elizabeth City where I’ve given presentations and signed books at the wonderful Museum of the Albemarle. I would go home and rave about this pretty town. I guess Dave thought I might like to live here. He rented a place for three weeks to give it a trial run. No. We are not on a house-hunting trip. We are not. Though we do have an appointment with a realtor to see some of the available houses. We are not. But let me tell you about Edenton.
    We are renting a cotton mill house in the Cotton Mill Historic District. About two blocks in all directions, the district is protected. The homes are tiny. And mostly, they are just alike. You walk in the front door and walk straight through to the back door. The walk-through is not a center hall. It’s a narrow path on one side. The other side is a series of 3-sided cubicles which are the rooms. It is so tiny Buddy backs out of the bedroom; he can’t negotiate a turn! The exteriors of the houses are either shingle or board and all have metal roofs, which they say allows the wind to pass through without tearing off shingles. Lots of greenspace between, around, and behind, gives the district kind of park ambiance.  The three streets all dead end at The Cotton Mill, about four blocks long, and now converted into modern condos that maintain the look of the historic mill. Fascinating how they’ve preserved all that. My guess is that all this green-space was once planted in cotton. The country side around Edenton, still is. I love cotton fields in bloom.
    At the end of our street, the factoring office, is now the museum of the Cotton Mill Historic District. It’s open Saturdays and Sundays, so after Mass yesterday we walked over there and advanced our education.
    Later, we took Buddy for a walk to The Battery Historical District and the Albemarle Sound. Beautifully preserved homes 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, with small yards, big trees, and interesting gardens. I’d really love to peak into some of those.
    It’s raining today, and Dave has some work to do for real estate back home, but when the rain stops we plan to walk Buddy downtown. He hasn’t figured out sidewalks. He’s used to walking on the left side of roads. On the sidewalks he weaves back and forth checking out grass on both sides! Sidewalk walking is a brand-new skill for our mountain dog. For all of us. It’s a pretty place. Three weeks.