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!

and waiting, and waiting, and waiting….

and waiting, and waiting, and waiting….

Well, STILL on the waiting list. Was supposed to be in the apartment by now. One of the ways we comfort ourselves around here is to remind ourselves that God has lessons we can [continue to] learn at the shelter. I’m willing to learn, but I wish the class would finish up for the semester!! The Lord understands…  Another saying is that what doesn’t kill us, strengthens us: if this “exercise” (being homeless) is meant to STRENGTHEN me, just what is the Lord planning for me that needs that much extra strength?? Yikes!!  I’m not doubting the Lord here, and I’m not being disrespectful (and the Lord knows that, even if some my readers don’t know me enough to realize that): I’m just tired and frustrated, and sometimes quite angry. My Tourette’s medicine even stopped working for me, and that had to get adjusted…. not that there’s any STRESS HERE that could set off my tics <caution: dripping sarcasm>. The doctors have found medicines that work much better, though. I’m VERY grateful to the Lord for that (and grateful to the doctors too). My Dad used to say that if I’m angry with God, I might has well tell God: the Lord will know it anyway, and can easily handle it, and God wants me to get it out of my system. One of the reasons I was angry about still being here, after being told that I’m on the top of the waiting list, is that I desperately wanted to be out of the shelter before the worst of summer. We have to walk to get breakfast and lunch, and to wait at bus stops to get to libraries or stores (etc.). I can’t handle waiting out in the heat and humidity; my body can’t stand the heat.  It’s the number one reason why I left Florida: it’s not that it doesn’t get as hot as Florida (- it sure can), it’s just that the intense heat only lasts about 4 months at the most. In Florida, the summer basically lasts nine to 10 months: and that was the NORTHERN part of Florida. The other main reason I didn’t want to be in the shelter in the summer – esp. not in August. – is because it’s an emotional draining time for me (when I’m already physically drained by the heat and sun).  Four years ago at this time, especially during this part of August, Mom was entering the final phase of the pancreatic cancer. I wanted to be in an apartment by now, so that I’d have a place to rest and to have some privacy for grieving.  The grieving process is on-going. I miss her. Terribly. I won’t wish her back to suffer more (!!), but I miss her terribly. Mark, Paul, and I were blessed to have a loving mother who loved us for who we were, and who always wanted the best for us. Mom and we didn’t always agree on what “the best” looked like for each of us, but we knew she loved us each deeply.  I have met too many people at the shelter, and in the homeless community at large, who have NO idea what it’s like to have a loving mother who cares for them. In some ways, I am glad that I am here. There are people here, half my age, who can use a mothering (NOT Smothering) figure to care about them, and to let them know that there are people who treasure them as they are. So I guess the Lord does have lessons for me to learn: and have lessons in love that I can teach others. My parents may not have been perfect (no humans are), but they were they best parents that one could possibly have. It’s the fourth anniversary of being privileged to give back to Mom just some of the love that she gave to me.

A note about the image I used.  There were a number of choices, but the Rose grabbed my attention:  it  reminded me of Mom. Mom’s middle name was Rose, and mine is too. She was named for her beloved father’s mother, who died just a few months before she was born. Her grandmother Rose Ruhl must have been incredible woman, because her daughter-in-law (Mom’s mom, and my beloved grandmother) adored her. My mom was given her mom’s name for her first name, and Rose for the middle name. When I was born, apparently, there was no question that my middle name was going to be Rose. To this day, I frequently request people to call me Donna Rose, and not just Donna.  If I had married and had had a daughter, that little one would have also had the middle name of Rose — or maybe I would have given it to her as her first name instead. I find the flower to be a very resilient flower & a beautiful one. The Lord knows that I have learned to let Him teach me to be resilient, and I’m told at the shelter that I have an inner (and <surprise to me> an outer) beauty that I don’t give myself credit for.  Mom, you would be having fits and more fits about me being in a homeless shelter, but I promise you that the Lord has a purpose in this and, despite my occasional anger and frustration, I am grateful for what the Lord is teaching me, and for how He is using me in this situation. The Lord is pulling me through this, and is strengthening me for more work.

 

Spring is coming:-)

Spring is coming:-)

I love this time of year. I can sense Spring in the air, but there is still the crispness if winter hanging about. I like Winter, I hate summer, so I always prefer the beginning of spring to the end of it. When other people feel trapped by the cold of winter, I feel trapped by the heat of summer… At least in North Carolina, though, the summer doesn’t last forever like it does in Florida. This is yet another reason why I prefer to hang around in the homeless shelter in Winston-Salem while working towrd getting a place of my own – I have NO intention of moving from this state (or even this town) that I love so much. I feel much healthier than I did even a couple of weeks ago (the bronchitus cleared out this past week); the asthma never has come back since I moved up here to NC from Florida… and I heartily thank the dear Lord for that!
I did find out on one of my trips to the E.R. this past month that I am beginning to show the first signs of Congestive Heart Failure. Both my beloved Grandmom and Grandpop (Mom’s parents) died from it – and Mom probably would have, if she hadn’t ended up with pancreatic cancer instead – so I’m not surprised that the condition popped up in me. My father’s father (and *his* father) were already dead at the age that I am now from heart disease. Despite all of this (and my rather weak body consitution to start with), I rather suspect that I will probably end up living into my 90s – it would be just my luck to make it past 100: cracking jokes about my bad health all along the way.
Well, I’ll try to let you know how the seart for housing is going when I write my next blog! There is hope in the Spring:-)!