End of Vacation and Book Sale

As my vacation wound down, it was especially hard to leave the lake after three wonderful days of lovely scenery and wonderful company with my brother and sister.

In Memphis, there were two gatherings with the whole family, Friday and Saturday, and I got to visit with brothers and sisters I haven’t seen in years. There were also most of my grandchildren, and two great-grands, and nieces and nephews I had to be reintroduced to. Reminded me of something from many years ago when I hadn’t seen my nephew Chuck in too many years. It was during a visit from Texas to Michigan and my youngest brother, now all grown up, walked from the laundry room into the dimly lit kitchen.

His face I recognized, but not the tall guy behind him. Brother Paul didn’t introduce me to his ‘friend’, so I stepped up and said, “Hi, I’m Paul’s sister, Maryann.”

The young man grinned and stuck out his hand. “Hi. I’m your nephew Chuck.”

Through the years, and many family gatherings, since, we’ve always shared a chuckle over that.

While in Memphis, a few of us went to the National Civil Rights Museum and saw the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. That was a sad, as well as enlightening visit, and if you ever travel to Memphis, it would be well worth stopping there. The exhibit spans the years of slavery up to current times, with all the good and bad in between.

I was shocked to see how the people were packed into the ships to bring them to America, or any other country that exploited the African people. That’s the way they had to stay for the entire voyage. If they were allowed up on deck, even briefly, they were shackled hands and feet like animals.

Below deck of an old sailing ship with statues of men sitting with knees pulled up and little room between him and the back of another man.

In the picture below, that isn’t Rosa Parks, who is credited for ending seating discrimination on busses, but one of the women who walked to work every day for a year during the bus boycott. Black folks riding to work and back every day made up the bulk of the revenue for the bus company, and that hit to the bottom line is what finally prompted the bus company to allow Black folks to sit wherever they wanted in the bus.

Stature of a woman walking past the open door of a bus.

So much of the exhibit brought back memories of the struggles of the 60s and 70s in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement. It wasn’t pleasant having those memories stirred to my consciousness, but, like so many other dark stains on history, we should not forget.

If we forget, and dismiss, atrocities like slavery, the Holocaust, the displacement of Native peoples, and so many other horrors inflicted on humanity, it’s too easy to let it happen again.

Okay, on to more vacation fun.

I wish I was better at taking selfies, but, well, I’ve not had a lot of practice. 🙂 But here I am with my sister, Nita, and brother, Michael, the last evening we had at the lake.

Three people, woman, woman, man

During our stay, we took the lake rules to heart, although none of us wanted to throw our old bodies into the lake. It was just nice to sit by the large windows with our coffee in the morning and a cocktail in the evening, not venturing out too often to sit out on the deck.

There was a heat advisory every day, and we definitely took that to heart.

Lake Rules hanging between two oars: Relax, Wake up Smiling, Nap Often, Jump in the Lake.
Trees and part of a deck looking out on water that looks like a mirror.

Above, the early morning stillness of the water with no wind at all. That was the view if it was cool enough to sit on the deck with coffee.

Water stretching toward a horizon reflecting the light pink of the sky.  Image bordered by trees.
Just toward dusk, the sky reflected to perfectly in the water.

In the picture below, I was just able to capture some of the beautiful colors in the ripples of the water as the sun started to slide into evening. A boat had gone by in one direction and a jet ski in the other, creating the interesting pattern of waves.

Trees with water in between that has ripples going in opposite directions.

Looking for the ducks was always fun as we tried to spot them coming into the cove where there were boat docks filled with kids who would feed them, and then heading out in the evenings. We never could see where they went after the snack, nor where they went to spend the nights. But they would come back and forth every day. That we could count on.

About 14 ducks swimming back to where they will roost for the night.

The entire trip was one that I will not soon forget.

Vacations are good times to read, and we all did a lot of that at the lake. Both of my sibs read a book each and started a second. I was reading a bigger book, that’s my excuse for not even finishing it before we left, but I won’t jump back into work for another day, so maybe I can get through the last few chapters.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towels is a terrific story. This review snippet sums it up well: “The Lincoln Highway has suspense, humor, philosophy, and a strong sense of time and place, moving quickly and surely toward a satisfying conclusion . . . Like the intercontinental route that it is named for, The Lincoln Highway is long and filled with intriguing detours. In the hands of a master wordsmith like Towles, it is definitely worth the trip.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I’ve been enjoying the read so much. Great characters and plot, with touches of humor and wisdom. Some of my favorite things in a story.

Book cover. A car driving alongside a RR track where a train is running parallel. Lots of smoke coming from the engine. Rural countryside.

I’d not read his other books, but I’m definitely going to remedy that as soon as I can.

Before I go, some other exciting book news.

First the sale at Apple for Evelyn Evolving is still running through July 5, so if you buy books from the Apple store you can get this book about my mother’s life for only. $0.99

And, the publisher has also put the book on sale for only $0.99 as part of Kobo’s U.S. Independence Day Sale.



For even more great reading deals, my books at Smashwords are included in a special promotion for the month of July as part of their Annual Summer/Winter Sale! This is a chance to get my books, as well as some from many other great authors, at a discount.

Click here to find my titles: Open Season – free, Boxes for Beds – $1.99, Stalking Season – $1.99, Doubletake – $1.99, and The Wisdom of Ages – $0.99

If you are so inclined, I’d love it if you’d share this promo with friends and family who might like to snag a good deal on a few new books.

Thank you for your help and support!

Happy reading and Happy Fourth of July Holiday.

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