Fun things to research

Fun things to research

Now that I am in a more stable situation (still no income, but at least I have a place to myself), I’m leisurely pursuing ideas of places I want to research. I had started a novel about 5 to 10 years ago, that I want to get back to… researching it, at least. Yes I WILL get to writing it eventually, but I may need to start back at the beginning. The novel itself started in the beginning days of St. Augustine, Florida… and then I took it to the Outer Banks of North Carolina a century and a half later. Martin and Catalina(Katherine) are in St. St. Augustine, their great-great-granddaughter Harriet is in the Outer Banks. Catalina started out as a ward of Mary Tudor (best known in history as Bloody Mary), who is married to Martin (gladly) by order of Queen Mary in Mary’s last days. They leave England when Elizabeth becomes Queen, but not because Martin dislikes the new Queen. He was a secret Protestant, and chooses to spy out the Spanish Colonies for Elizabeth. Catalina herself has reasons to want to live in obscurity. She has Tourettes Syndrome: a condition not diagnosed or named until the 19th century, but known by its symptoms much earlier.  It makes life uncomfortable, to say the least.   I’m still working on their story. Also working on how their descendant Harriet’s part of the family will end up in the Outer Banks: it’s do-able, the contact was not frequent, but it did exist.

I adore the Outer Banks. I also love St. Augustine (hate Florida, but love St. Augustine), so any excuse to research and visit in either region is worth it:-). I have sort of missed Catalina and young Harriet, so it’s time to get back to both of them. By the way: Harriet has inherited Catalina’s Tourette’s Syndrome. It is an inherited condition. Why did I inflict them with Tourette’s? Because I have it, and I wanted to explore how it would affect women in previous centuries. I have incredibly ignorant people shun or mock me even in this the 21st century because of my condition, even when there is much more knowledge about this neurological condition. I have always wondered about the lives of people who had the condition in past centuries. Eighty to Ninety percent of the people with my condition are males who pass it down through the female; no, not my family. We got it passed down to the female… and it’s some question as to which side passed it to me.

Well, if I have to have the condition, at least I can make it work to my advantage… it gives me an excuse to use my imagination. If I ever get this novel written and published, maybe some poor girl will take courage from it. In the meantime, I plan to soak up all the time in the Outer Banks that I can. I was able to spend ten years exploring St. Augustine, while living there. Not planning to move to the Outer Banks, but I certainly intend to visit it as often as I can!

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Journey has finally changed!: ie. no longer homeless

Journey has finally changed!: ie. no longer homeless

Otherwise known as: I am no longer homeless:-)! I now have an apartment of my own. I spent New Years Eve in my own place, and I am so very grateful to God.  I do not miss that homeless shelter one bit…. and, yet, I don’t believe that I’m about to say this, but I am actually glad I went through it. I did get a romantic partner out of it, which I would have never expected…; I also got a dear young friend, who just had a little baby… so I am now an “Aunt” since I consider the mother to be the younger sister that I never had. And I have learned what I can tolerate when I have to. I also learned to trust in God even more than I thought I already did. I learned how important it is to get rest for my body (thanks to the lack of it at the shelter), and how desperately I need quiet and privacy (again, thanks to the lack of it at the shelter). I’ve learned to be careful to have a healthy diet. I may no longer end up being a “night owl”; I used to go to sleep at 1 or 2 in the morning, and then sleep through to 11 or 12… or 1. Now I wake up at 7-8 am, and go to sleep by 9… this after nearly a year of waking up at 5:30 am and having to leave the dorm by 6:30 am, and trying to go to sleep before 10 (lights out was at 11, but I tried to get to sleep before that). I may end up neater as a result of this: my new romance likes to be neat – I would pick a guy who likes to be neat <good-natured roll of eyes>… I personally tend to be a mess (just ask my family or close friends). Maybe my guy will get me to reform??… could be… And after living with  some women who were anything but neat, I’ve realized how unpleasant a mess can be.

A new part of my life journey: we’ll see if I can correct the mistakes I made in the previous parts of the journey. I’ll also see where the romance goes. I’ve gained confidence from being loved and finally having a man in my life as attracted to me as I am to him. It took me until I was 53 (the romance started on my 53rd birthday, as a matter of fact), but truly: better late than never!

I’m also planning on working on a doctorate in history. I haven’t forgotten that. I’m trying to pick up on the French (already had one European language with the German, need a second one). I’m still working on what area of European history that I want. Medieval, Renaissance, or 18th century? Don’t know yet. That’s something to work on. It will be English/British history: that much I know.

Dreams are wonderful things… and I am grateful to the Lord for the chance to dream these dreams in my own apartment.

The picture is of Konstanz, one of the towns in the previous part of my journey – not where I live now <grin>… I would love to get back to it while I’m doing the doctorate, though… or  before:-)

 

Still here…

Still here…

I’m still here at “Camp Happy Homeless”, and still alive. Frustrated, but definitely alive. Getting closer to housing (now at the top of the waiting list), but still here.

Getting obstacles removed – ever so slowly (practically glacial), but still getting cleared out of the way.

Social security disablility got denied on this first round, but may get approved when reconsidered. Praying hard for that.

Potential romantic interest came back into play, though right now it’s still at friendship stage… I’ll gladly accept that for now.

For all the frustration, and occasional mild bouts of depression, things are more positive than they had been a couple of months ago. For that I am truly grateful to the Lord.

The weather is MUCH nicer than it had been. A couple of days of rain here and there, but not a deluge. Much cooler, and my body (and mind) is profoundly grateful for that. Last Friday I took myself for a walk to one of our main historic sites (the Salem part of Winston-Salem), and the weather and foliage were gorgeous! It felt so very good… and I feel alive and alert and happy when I am able to get walks like that. It’s great for my emotions and my soul.

I was asked recently what my goals are once I leave the shelter (“Camp Happy Homeless”, as I facetiously call it). The answer came quickly: start preparing for working on a doctorate in history.  Haven’t decided if the doctorate will concentrate in the 16th century (with Cranmer and Cromwell), or in the 18th century (with John and Charles Wesley), but the challenge of deciding will be a welcome challenge. I’m also looking forward to deciding which program and school to go with. I am NOT looking forward to trying to finance the process (shudder!), but that too is an integral part of the process!!! Actually: it may be concentrate on Martin Luther and Katherina von Bora Luther. I’ve always been fascinated by Martin and Katherina: tomorrow is Reformation Day (know to others as All Hallows Eve – aka Halloween), so it’s a good time to consider that potential.

Life can be challenging, but I find myself enjoying the challenge — there are always mountains to conquer, and goals to strive for.

Castles in the air…

Castles in the air…

This is going to be my new home after I leave the homeless shelter:-) Hey, one can always dream!  Actually my real “castle in the air” is to do my doctorate in 16th century English Reformation studies or 18th century Methodist Studies: anything that requires me to do studies abroad in Great Britain would thrill me:-)  It sounds improbable, and to some unrealistic, but I have a knack for doing what some consider to be impossible for me.  When I was 8 years old, my parents were told by a school psychologist that I wouldn’t even get past high school (unless it was in the lowest quarter of my class), and forget about college.  My parents (especially my father) refused to accept that negative vision for me. They didn’t tell me what I wasn’t supposed to be able to do until I had already done it: then they rejoiced with me that I had accomplished it… reading at 99 percentile for the country in the 7th grade standardized tests, graduating in the UPPER quarter of my class (instead of the lower quarter), my BA, my MLS. Dad died before I completed my second Masters, but Mom got quite a bit of satisfaction in telling people that I had two Masters (although she had fought me tooth and nail to get me to give up on that second masters – but that’s a story for another time[!!!])… !:-)!. Right now, I’m in a lull of peace and quiet and contentment. This will only last a couple of days or two, but it’s a blessing while it does occur. I need these soothing, restful minutes before the next storm breaks overhead…. and I thank God for them..!!

In the past couple of days I have been memorizing a hymn written by Paul Gerhardt during the 30 years war (mid-1600s) which was translated by John Wesley in the 1700s. The name is Give the winds your fears: the tune is Festal Song (same as Soldiers of Christ, Arise).

“Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.

Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way; wait thou His time; so shall this night soon end in joyous day.

Leave to His sovereign sway to choose and to command; so shall thou, wondering, won His way, how wise, how strong His hand.

Let us in life, in death, Thy steadfast truth declare, and publish with our latest breath Thy love and guardian care”.

God’s blessings for each of you, and Happy Belated Easter/Resurrection Day!