Yes, it’s an empty plate. I had fudge. Great fudge made by the best fudge maker ever.
But before I took a photo I ate it.
All of it.
So my choices were an empty plate or a photo of my extended stomach. You should be happy. The plate won.
Fudge is one of those memory joggers in my life. My Aunt Valerie made fudge when I was little and it was a mysterious thing. I wanted to know how she did it. Still do.
I’d try but it only turned out like my aunt’s 50% of the time. Was it because: the humidity was too high, I didn’t own a candy thermometer, or I thought water from the tap was cold enough to test for the magic threads which let you know when it was time to take the fudge off the stove?
Or was it because I was impatient? Those that know me well are now nodding their heads yes at this one. I can persevere, but it’s because I have to considering how many times I jump ahead trying to finish something, only to have to start over.
I kept trying through the years, my brother and I would twirl the taffy like fudge onto a spoon to eat it. Sometimes we needed the ice pick to break off a section. We were troupers never giving up on eating it no matter how it turned out.
Then something wonderful happened. I met Janice through our church. She makes fudge. Great fudge and my most favorite kind of all: white chocolate fudge!
So not only is ‘F’ for Fudge it’s also for Friend, she is now my Fudge Friend. She get’s this title because when I told her my sad tale of having eaten my fudge without taking a photo, she drove over to my house with this:
I know, the letter ‘E’ is supposed to be for elephant.And it would apply very well to my family. We don’t like to forget anything and most of the time we do more of a ‘forgive but not forget’ action.
So I’m changing to ‘E’ is for Eraser.
Most of the time I’m happy to pull out a cute smiley face and erase a tiny hurt caused by someone.
Everyone has moments when things are said, meaning to be funny or not knowing they have touched a live wire in your body.
If you work with others, are a mom, or a wife sometimes you have to pull out a package of these things to erase the everyday, ‘wish that hadn’t happened’ moments.
And then there are those wounds that need the extra heavy duty industrial strength remover. Often it has to be used more than once because the marks still remains. It maybe close to invisible but it’s still there.
When I get to that point and I can’t get that ‘thing’ erased and I want to drag out the ‘elephant’ and remember I know it’s time for me to hit my knees. That’s when I thank God that He has erased my mistakes so cleanly they can’t be seen at all. Then I ask to help me erase the hurts from my mind caused by others.
This is my husband, Ed’s story. I’m envious because I can’t track anything in my life this way.
At 15, Ed wanted to buy a car and fix it to drive when he was 16. But he had no money, he made a little bit working at the turkey farm part time. One day a high school senior stopped by and mention he worked at Dr Pepper and was quitting. He was pretty sure Ed could get the job if he went in with him the next day.
Ed went and was hired. And from that seemingly small decision to take the job at Dr Pepper he can connect all but two of his oldest friends to the soda company and eventually me.
Working at Dr Pepper forced him to make new friends–ones that lived in Belleville instead of of O’fallon. The friends he made there encouraged him to make even more friends beyond the city limits of his home town.
Terry was the first friend, who introduced him to Mike who became Ed’s best friend. They introduced him to Jerry, which led to Ed going to college and joining a fraternity.
Then Jerry introduced Ed to Debbi-who later became became his wife.
Debbi was my cousin. She later died as did my husband, both from different kinds of cancer.
Ed and I started dating, then we married and combined our families. All because Ed worked at Dr Pepper and married Debbi my life changed!
Because we married, Ed went back to church where he has made a lot more new friends.
Isn’t it fun how one decision driven by necessity can be used by God?
Through that one moment of saying yes to the factory job all things in Ed’s life–wife, family church friends and 17 cases of Dr Pepper in the garage can be linked.
By the way my favorite drink just happens to be Diet Dr Pepper and no I didn’t leave the period off the Dr because there isn’t one!
Over at pentalk today the challenge is to write about something you remember connected to weather.
Ed and I were talking about that yesterday as we dined on yummy sandwiches from Nora’s on Tamm Ave. They have amazing gluten free bread from Free Range Cookies.
As we were enjoying the cold blast of air coming from the ceiling we began to reminisce about the summers of our youth.
Neither the house or car had air-conditioning. On days like the one we have had the past few days where the temperature rises to 95 and higher my brother and I would soak wash clothes and plaster them to our bodies. Then we would stand in front of the fan. We never went to bed early. It was too hot. Instead it was late nights watching old movies with mom and eating popcorn. Sandwiches for dinner were always on the summer menu.
Going for a car ride meant windows down, even when we got out and left the car. Coming back and sitting on those seats brought yelps of pain.
The best part of cooling off had to be the sprinkler. Those delicious drops of cold water hitting hot skin was the afternoon treasure and sometimes a bucket of water over the head occurred.
After we were cooled, inside we went refreshed, we’d lay on top of blankets on the floor. The fan pushing air over us as our mom read to us.
It’s my turn today to host Author Julie Carobiniand her new book, Fade to Blue.
Julie, will you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Sure! I write seaside stories filled with faith, flip flops, and waves of grace. My family and I make our home on California’s central coast, and I’ve written five novels plus hundreds of published articles on everything from parenting, to team building in the workplace, to Christian surf dudes on a mission. How did you become interested in writing?
My father wrote magazine articles on the side, including interviews with entertainers such as Fred Astaire and Fred MacMurray. Always loved that! I too became an article writer almost twenty years ago, but I always yearned to create fiction. I wrote two novels that did not sell, but as they say, third time’s a charm, and my debut novel, Chocolate Beach, released in 2007 (re-released with recipes in 2011 as an eBook). By that time, I had a renewed faith in God as well as a redefined focus on the kinds of stories he was leading me to write.
What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
Ever since the inception of the Otter Bay Novels with Sweet Waters, I’ve wanted to set a book with the famed Hearst Castle as its backdrop. So much intrigue and mystery about that real castle on the hill and its eccentric, yet astute owner. Of course, novels are more than their location. So after writing the 2nd of these stand-alone novels, A Shore Thing, even I longed to know what happened next for the big-hearted, single mom from that story. Fade to Blue satisfies that curiosity …
What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book? Writing this story was much like holding a seashell, constantly turning it over in my hand. Though they’re often tossed into the sea with nary a glance, seashells are intricately beautiful—even when broken. The more I examined the shattered life of Suz—the heroine of Fade to Blue—the more beauty I found. Only the One who restores our souls can make that happen.
Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
I hope readers get lost in the story and the beautiful setting, that they revel in God’s creation as much as I did while writing it. I also hope they experience the Good Shepherd’s gentle leading (Psalm 23), and fall in the love with the concepts of forgiveness, sacrifice, and grace—as much as they do the breathtaking locale.
What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
Although I’ve been compared to some amazing writers—something that humbles me—I also know that God made each one of us uniquely. I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5. One unique aspect of my books is the focus on God’s creation of the sea and everything in it. My characters have loved dolphins, sea lions, otters—even giant, glowing sea anemones. But they take that admiration a step further by drawing closer to the God who made such beauty.
How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
This story reminds me not to dwell on the past, but to prayerfully, joyfully—and ‘hope’fully—move forward. Such lessons there! Suz Mitchell made mistakes in her past—so have I—yet healing brokenness and restoring souls is God’s business. Praise him for that!
Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?
I have more than one favorite, but this one’s been spinning in my mind again lately: Psalm 19:14 NIV, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
I love to comb the beach, to jog the sand with Charlie the Dog, and take coffee breaks with my husband—so adore that man!
As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
Just that I hope people reading this are encouraged to follow their heart’s desires with the Good Shepherd as their guide. God took all the lows and highs in my life and created something new with them. Although I’d always wanted to write, I had no inkling that I’d be writing beach- themed novels one day. I just kept praying and writing and seeking until an idea popped into my head. I followed that idea, and now find myself talking about my fifth novel filled with ‘waves of grace.’ Be encouraged!