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It’s hard to get started as a writer and most authors don’t pull in a lot of money quickly unless they and  their books are well-known. This takes hard work,  time, and patience. I’ve recently been enlightened on how to make a million dollars writing, and since I’m now considered an author, though not famous yet,  with two books under my belt and one in progress, it will be a piece of cake.

This stupendous idea came to me when H and I visited the campus book store at the college. He’s taking a class for re-certification so he can keep teaching. I know – he just retired!  He keeps saying he’ll go back if the right job opens up. We’ll see. But anyway, it gets him out of the house for two mornings a week and his brain is getting a workout so I won’t complain.

He’s the “old man” in the class. The rest of the students are babies compared to him. He could also probably teach the class since he has his doctorate.

H had already rented a used textbook for this theory class and bought the workbook from Amazon. The teacher has now decided they will be using a sight-singing book for some of their tests, one of which he doesn’t have.

Now, this class he is taking is Theory II. He took it way back when he was first in college, but since he only needed the credits to re-certify he is allowed to take it again. The other students had taken Theory I last semester, already had the sight singing book, and would probably use it again for Theory III and Theory IV. They were getting their money’s worth.

So are you ready for this grand idea of mine? Here it is –

I’ll write a textbook! 

On what subject – I haven’t yet decided, but that’s where  all the money is. In textbook sales. It will need to be on a subject that won’t take up too much of my time with research since I really would rather finish my current fiction book project. The money looks good though.

The cost of textbooks these days are outrageous! You can buy the new sight-singing book H suddenly needed halfway through the term, for $114.00 plus tax, or rent a used one for $47.00 plus tax. It’s a book he will never have any use for again so the practical thing was to rent. Of course there were no used copies available.

Oh, but wait! Look here! You can also rent new copies – at $102.00. What!? You do the math. Where do those figures even make sense? For $12.00 more he can buy the book and sell it back for half price if its been kept in good shape. You get $0.00 back when you rent and if you forget to return it in the specified amount of time, they charge your credit card for the full amount of the book. Believe me, I know. Andrew was always forgetting to return his rented books, resulting in an exorbitant charge on his card he wasn’t expecting – then it was too late. 

The teacher for this class is a colleague of  H’s and they have worked together before. His thought on the matter was this. “If it had been me teaching this class and Dr. “blah-blah-blah” was the student and I knew she was only taking the class to re-certify, I would have made her a copy of the pages she needed and not make her purchase a useless book!”

Yes, our thinking is on the same track with this one! But of course, teachers can’t play favorites, can they?

Who needs a slightly used sight singing book for next semester – half price?




December 3, 1992 had been cold and rainy all day, and by 4:00 in the afternoon the streetlights and headlights were already glaring on damp darkened skies as we made our way, ninety miles north, to the hospital.

Hours later, three minutes before midnight, Andrew came into our lives. The Saints had been playing on tv and the rain was still coming down.

Arriving as number five, eighteen years after four older sisters, and the youngest one seven, of course he was my favorite. At least that’s what his sisters think. The truth is, the youngest is always the favorite until the barrel is empty and they’ve all left the nest. So they’ve each had a turn. Now it’s fair game. Who shall it be?

December, 2016 brought Andrews twenty-fourth birthday, college graduation, acceptance to grad school – too far away – and Christmas, all wrapped up in one big package. Throw in the removal of his four wisdom teeth on the twenty-third and him moving to Tennessee today, and that package was a hefty one.

It seems like only yesterday we dropped him off at Troy University, two hours away, with a few belongings and necessities. After all, it was an easy trip and there would be ball games, symphony concerts, and percussion ensembles for us to attend. We would see him often to take him whatever else he might need.

Moving out of the dorm and into an off-campus apartment, after his freshman  year, he needed his bed. His chest of drawers, bedside table, bookcase, and filing cabinet soon followed.

It took a couple of trips during the months of November and December, and one more today, but we finally got all those articles of furniture and the many boxes of stuff he had accumulated – and couldn’t see parting with – moved back home. He wouldn’t be taking anything to Tennessee except his clothing and a zillion percussion instruments, mallets and mallet bags.

Yes, I said zillion, and I said bags. He collects percussion instruments and mallets like most people collect stamps. After shoving that djembe sideways on top of the already over-filled front passenger seat, I was hoping he would be able to use his side mirrors while driving through Atlanta, because the rear-view mirror only gave him a view of his full-to-the-brim back seat.

We filled his car up with gas and took him to lunch. With his silence I could tell he was sad about leaving Troy. After all, it had been his home-away-from-home for the past five years. I think we may have factored into that sadness somewhere.

With a full trunk, back seat, and front seat, would he have enough air to breath in those cramped quarters on the trip to Lee University? I guess he did because he let us know about five and a half hours later he had made it.

So now he’s really gone, and I’m sad, and there isn’t another one to take his place.



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