What am I really thankful for? by Barbara Edwards

With Thanksgiving coming fast, I wanted to share with you.
thanksgiving 2012 036Since this has been a really good year, I had to think about this.
I finished Dixie’s Gift and it will be released December 7th by the Wild Rose Press. I have the next two novels in the Rhodes End Series more than half done.
I went to The Romance Writers of America conference in New York and had a great time. I got a request for a full manuscript. I have my fingers crossed.
We have a new baby in the family named Charlie and he is the cutest baby boy.
We painted the living room. Not because it needed new paint, but to make it cheerier. Nice warm gold now.
Finally, I put together two photo albums. Can you picture a huge plastic bin full of photos? Well, I have two and I am slowly- tortoise pace—sorting and labeling them. My daughter-in-law asked for the photos of my son, giving me some incentive. She was surprised at the number and I’m barely started.
My husband and I visited the last of fifty states. Wow. I have a zillion digital photos and can’t find the time to sort them either. I know it sounds odd to say it was North Dakota. The reason is that we went through South Dakota to visit Mount Rushmore on the trip west.
My flower garden looked spectacular. The perennials grew like weeds and bloomed all summer.
IMG_0351Everyone came over for the Fourth of July fireworks in the park next to our house and we had a big picnic, too.
thanksgiving 2012 022I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner at my other son’s house. I’m making turnips and cruschiki (Angel Wings). My daughter-in-law loves turnips but she’s the only one. She loves the way I make it.
Then there is Christmas Eve at my other son’s house. A family tradition for us to gather on Christmas Eve. I have to make ornaments to give to each person. Another happy job.
What is your happiest event this year?

Dixie's Gift
Dixie’s Gift
About Dixie’s Gift
Ellen Carter deeply grieves for her husband Dan, but at least she still has Dixie, her beloved Malinois. However, soon Dixie leaves her too. But the faithful dog cannot rest easy in heaven while her mistress is unhappy. Dixie pleads with the Archangel Michael to let her send help, and intercedes for Ellen in the only way she can. But will Ellen get the message, and more importantly, will she accept Dixie’s gift?
Sexy newcomer Michael Burke can barely take enough time from his successful restaurant for a decent night’s sleep, let alone romance. Still, he is intrigued by the beautiful widow and can’t resist entering her shop. Sparks fly, and when Ellen has an accident in a snowstorm, he comes to her rescue. Trapped by a blizzard and aided by Dixie’s Gift, Ellen and Michael find more than shelter–they find love.

He brushed a wisp of her hair from her cheek. It clung like spider silk to his fingers.
He rubbed the strand and his heart raced. When her lips parted, he bent forward to taste their soft curve.
Sweet, so sweet, he thought as her mouth melded with his. His hands slowly slid from her slender shoulders to her waist. Soft as a feather, she sighed. Her curves fit against his hard chest like matching puzzle pieces.
The lights blinked, dimmed, and then flared back on.

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How do you give thanks? By Barbara Edwards

My Mom,

Long before politicians started pushing the value of volunteering, my Mom, Helen Gadamowitz, was a good example for me and my sister Patricia Anne Nadeau. We were far from well-to-do and money had to stretch to cover food, clothes and medicine. My Mother gave her time instead and taught me to do the same.

I was a member of our church’s Altar Society before I hit middle school. I found that what I gave didn’t equal what I received. One member taught me to crochet. Another’s daughter became a friend.

Over the years I’ve given time to many organizations. Because of my kids I was with the Boy Scouts for eleven years, the Girl Scouts for five and the Parent/Teachers association for six. Don’t get me wrong, I helped because it allowed me to spend more time with my children. The giving benefited me. It gave me hours of wonderful experiences with my sons and daughter. We camped with the troop, went to

Theresa Piazza Spahr Stark

summer day camp, and met some fine people. I can’t list the other places I volunteered, some for a day or a week.

From there it was a jump to RWA chapter President. I benefited so much from the writers who shared their talents and knowledge that I founded a chapter in Connecticut, The Charter Oak Romance Writers.

Again when I thought I was giving, I received so much more.

I taught Sunday School and joined the church choir. The joy I received cannot be measured.

So here I am making a list of things that I’m thankful for. Not in any special order.

1. My sons: the perfect men. Said with a mother’s smile but a belief it’s true.

2. And my Daughters-in-law who gave me grandchildren and are the greatest women I know.

3. Strength to survive the loss of my daughter Theresa Stark (Piazza, Spahr) was a gift from God, that and the sweet memories.

4. My grandchildren who are proving to be talented, smart and generally wonderful.

5. The ability to write is a joy that allows me to share my heart. Thank you God for five books published when I didn’t believe I could do it and for the dozen more in the pipeline.

6. How can I give enough thanks for my husband’s survival of his heart attack?

7. I thank God for the stubborn streak that pulled me through health problems that others failed under.

8. Thank you for my family, my friends and life.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Count your blessings and share your love.

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The real reason for Thanksgiving

Everyone is writing about Thanksgiving, but what do we really know?

The Indians and the Pilgrims sharing a great feast to celebrate the harvest is the popular tale. There is evidence of a different story, a love story to be exact.

Several years before I wrote my first book, I visited Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. It’s a pretty place on the Connecticut-Massachusetts line.  They have an excellent collection of historical items.

In the museum was a display of letters written by the children and grandchildren of the original settlers. The Pilgrims didn’t leave many personal writing, probably since they had no spare time or energy for simple pleasures. Or maybe their letters were sent back to Europe.

I spent several hours reading the missives. They described incredible hardship and fortitude by a people who didn’t understand how terrible the conditions would be. Since the spelling, language and writing were all in a manner suited to that age, they were difficult to understand.

Then I found it. The truth about Thanksgiving and what they were celebrating.

Do you remember the story of Squanto teaching the Pilgrims to plant corn? Popular writing says he did it out of the goodness of his heart. Guess what? The truth is Squanto was a lovelorn suitor for the hand of a widowed Pilgrim lady.

Indian culture demanded he show his future in-laws that he could feed the family. Squanto was under the mistaken belief the Pilgrims were one family. Remember they called each other brother and sister?

So what did he do? He taught them how to provide for themselves.

The letters say he married his fair lady. Other letters mention several marriages. Many died that first winter and those left were starving. In those harsh, desperate times I bet those women thought themselves blessed.

The biggest quandary was what to call their children. Were they Indians? Or Pilgrims?  The solution seemed to be to call them what they desired.

As a love story, it can’t be beat.

Happy Thanksgiving.

And those letters were on loan and no longer on display.

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