Making the Best of What Life Deals You

Yesterday and today I’ve been thinking about tough people. Those people who pick up themselves when Life has knocked them down. There are 3 reasons why I’ve been thinking about this.

1. On Sunday my son said he had to write an essay about his hero. “I don’t have a hero. Who has a hero?” We thought about it and decided he should write about his grandfather, my father in-law.

He was a World War II vet who served in the Pacific. He came home from the war, got a college degree on the G.I. bill, and became a cotton farmer. Back when my husband was about six, my father in-law had a farming accident and lost his left arm. He was being pulled into the machine and had only seconds to think about what to do. So he did the only thing he could do, he broke the arm to escape. He wrapped his shirt around the wound, walked 1/4 of a mile to his truck and drove 2 miles back to the house. My mother in-law drove him to the hospital with my husband in tow.  That in itself is astonishing, but I’m even more impressed with how he has lived his life. My husband says that his father healed (I don’t know how long, a month?) and was back at farming. Having one arm never slowed him down. He kept on farming until recently when he turned 90. And on top of that, he never complained about his situation, never once. Talk about a great example on how to live your life!

2. This is one of the reasons I’m writing about west Texas. I can’t tell you how many tough people I met out there. Of course there are resilient people everywhere, but there is just something about west Texas that still has that pioneer spirit. In my book I mention, in passing, a woman who lost her husband. It was cotton stripping time so she drove the tractor (one of those HUGE tractors!) to bring in the crop. My husband was really impressed because those are not easy to drive! The other farmers came together and helped her finish. Isn’t that wonderful? They always come together when someone needs help.

3. Over on Writer Unboxed, Therese Walsh talks about working on her second book. The blog post is called “Notes From a Desk: Love the Rock You’re Pushing”.  She talks about how difficult it was facing the book, writing it. She worked and worked and finally fell in love with writing again.

Well that’s also how I feel about my writing. I’m STILL working on my novel. As I said in my comments on the WU blog,


I’m still working on my first book and the shiny new honeymoon glow has faded. It has morning breath and belches, but I force myself to work on it because that’s what writers do. I like to think I’m tough, that I can face whatever Life throws at me, but this is hard! So many people have no idea how tough it is.

It is a labor of love, like taking care of a child. It stinks sometimes and cries and moans, but I’m sticking with it. I would feel sick in the pit of my stomach if I never finished it. If I go more than a few days without working on it, I start to have bad dreams. 😛


So I’m sticking with it, even though it’s hard. I mean really, can I complain? After all, it’s a labor of love,  a stinky, irritating, joyful labor of love.



Posted in Uncategorized by with 7 comments.


  • Kim Bullock says:

    I agree that there are a lot of tough folks here in Texas! Sounds like your father-in-law was a no-brainer for your son’s assignment. I’m still cringing, though he’d probably scoff that he just did what needed to be done.

  • VP says:

    LOL Yes, they are tough and just do what needs to be done. 🙂

  • Cool story about your father-in-law. They were indeed The Greatest Generation. I do know y’all know from tough down there. Fire ants, scorpions, etc, are just the little stuff. T’s post really helped me today, and so does your comment (love that analogy). Glad you’re keeping at it!

  • VP says:

    Thanks, Vaughn. It helps to know there’s a big community of writer friends out there. I’m glad you’re in it too. 🙂

  • Kathy Waller says:

    This is the kind of story that needs to be recorded. I’m glad you suggested it to your son and that you put it on your blog.

  • Eva Pohler says:

    Both your blog and your writing is beautiful! I can’t wait to read your book, and I KNOW it will be brilliant!

    • VP says:

      Thanks! I know it’s taking a long time to get it written. I’ll let you know about our short story anthology when it comes out. I think you’ll like my story.

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