Archives for posts with tag: children’s books

We are in Virginia visiting Sammie. It is so good to see her. I am so proud of her!

Last night we went to a restaurant for dinner. We got to reminiscing about our old home. Sammie has few memories of the house, but I remember it with nostalgia. Luke did not want to leave that house. (He was 5.) He said his sister was more fun in the old house.

We talked about the time Sammie squirted glue all over the new kitchen floor and her dad’s tools…. About the time Luke got into a can of paint and painted a design on the floor of Wes’s shop, then used the wall to clean off his hands….about the time Sammie scared her dad when he was up on the roof painting, making him almost fall off…. About living in the new house and the old house and building and trying to carry on a normal life all at once…. About the apple trees…. About the little house wes built for the kids to play in….

All that caused me to remember other things about that house. One time Luke wanted to go see his dad in the side yard. Instead of walking over to him, he decided to walk around the hedge. This took him extremely close to the very busy road that we lived on and he was only 3 or 4. I remember an extreme fear. Perhaps it is this instinct a mother has to protect her children that causes such fear and such intense pain if she is unable to keep a child safe.

The summer do 1988 was very dry. We went for what seems like months without rain. It was hot, too. We played outside a lot, but mostly tried to stay cool in front of the fan (We had no air conditioning.) reading books. I’ll never forget the day it finally rained. We had gone to get ice cream cones after playing at the park in Uniontown. It started raining on our way home. By the time we got there, it was pouring. The kids and I started laughing, running all over the yard, and putting toys in the garage so they wouldn’t get ruined. It was fun, and the rain felt good!

All this reminiscing made me dream about Luke last night. It has been a long time since I remember a dream about Luke. It was good. Sometimes when I dream about him, it almost feels like I got to spend time with him. The only problem is waking up. In my dream Luke was about 12 or so, he had plans to build a top for the ping pong table and surprise his dad. He was measuring and planning and talking about how happy Wes would be. He said this would make it the best spring ever. The details of this dream are already fading. That’s the other problem with dreams, they never stay in the memory long enough.

I miss my little family. I miss my little kids. Mostly, I miss Luke.

Please remember to visit my book’s website: http://www.noordinarybones.weebly.com

 

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Luke was in corps school at Great Lakes, Illinois. His dad, Wes, and I went to visit when he had a couple days leave. We decided to drive to Milwaukee because none of us had ever been there.  We really liked the city, although Wes was having a hard time driving because the stop lights were at the sides of the road rather than in the center of the intersection.  Luke yelled to him to stop more than once. Luke and I found this quite amusing, but I think Wes was getting frustrated with himself.  

After spending a little time in the city, one of us, probably Luke, pointed out the fact that we were relatively close to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Now, there is one thing you have to understand about Luke, Sammie, and their father; they are, above all else, Packer fans. (I have become a fan, too, out of self defense.)  Well, upon realizing this, it was a short jump to piling back into the car and heading the rest of the way to the “homeland.” 

The ride to Green Bay was quiet, long, and boring. Luke was sleeping.  

Once there, we, of course, visited Lambeau Field and the gift store. Luke had his picture taken by Curley Lambeau and Wes had his picture taken by Vince Lombardi.  We all had pictures taken by Bart Star. In his picture, Luke is pointing to the future and the better quarterback, Brett Favre.  (This was an ongoing argument between Wes and Luke.) 

Of course Luke wanted to eat at Brett Favre’s Steak House.  This was an experience.  They actually brought out the cuts of raw meat for you to choose.  This made me NOT want a steak, so I ordered a salad.  Wes, who already wasn’t feeling well, waited for us outside. Luke, having a stomach of iron, ordered and ate a steak.

The way back to Great Lakes was not quiet, long, or boring. Luke was awake and in rare form. He regaled us with stories about boot camp, corps school,and childhood. I can’t remember a time when I laughed so hard or so much. Luke had an amazing sense of humor!  One of my greatest regrets is that we did not record the entire ride.  

One of the childhood stories he shared was about finding a skeleton in the woods when he was small. The bones were hard to pull out of the ground, and he told himself that yanking them out would give him nightmares, but he really wanted them. This is the story I used to create “No Ordinary Bones.”

“No Ordinary Bones” is a picture book about Luke and his dog J’amy finding bones in the woods, digging them up and worrying about nightmares. I really enjoyed writing this story and creating the pictures to go with it. All proceeds from the sales of the book go to the Luke Emch Memorial Fund and the Semper Fi Fund for Wounded Marines.

Please visit my web site http://www.noordinarybones.weebly.com

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