Upsides


I know we’re all having moments right now when we just can’t take another minute of being at home, where we have all the chores staring us in the face and no good reason not to do them, or the distress of just missing our family and friends. I’ve had plenty of them in the last month and a half since we started the work-from-home at the day-job, just prior to the stay-at-home order in our state went into effect. I miss our once or twice a month Sunday family dinner with my boys. I miss seeing my co-workers every day at the office. I miss being able to just run out and get some random thing I didn’t know I needed until I needed it.

But I am happy that I can stay safely home and not endanger myself or anyone else. Plus it does give me a few less reasons why something on my never-ending to-do list has to wait another month or six months or till whenever.

One thing on my rotating to-do list is to get all of my photos, including all of the pictures my aunt gave me that belonged to my grandparents, and photos of hers, and pictures that I acquired when one of my other aunts died, and the ones from my mom and my dad scanned or otherwise digitized. It’s a pretty daunting idea. Just with my own photos, there are so many albums, from when I got my first camera around age nine or ten. Then the boxes and storage totes full of pictures from other family. It’s going to take forever, and I really want to sort them into some kind of order first, so we can easily find by time frames. I haven’t started on it yet, though it’s a big project. But I did get an opportunity this week to dig through some of those photos, and it was so much fun.

My wedding anniversary is coming up, and it’s one of those off-years where the ‘suggested’ gift items aren’t all that exciting, but one of the suggestions is pictures. I spent some time searching for a frame I think my husband will like, and then I went downstairs to look for a photo to put in it. I actually got to spend a nice chunk of time browsing old pictures, starting with our wedding and moving through the last twenty-six years. I considered a couple with the boys, or with all four of us, or some from a vacation we loved and want to repeat. It was so much fun looking through pictures of the boys when they were small and smiled for photos, of places we’ve been together. I did finally settle on one from our wedding that will be perfect in the frame, and that was fun, too. We hardly ever dig out old photos, and I can’t imagine why when they’re such wonderful reminders of people and places we love.

That block of time this week is one of the things I am thankful for during this long stretch at home. And it’s made me rethink putting off the photo project too much longer. I know there are pictures in my enormous collection of my grandparents, and their parents, and I can’t wait to dig through them all again. I may research having someone do the actual scanning of pictures for me, just because it is going to be such a huge undertaking, and before the scanning can happen, I first have to organize them all, which will be an even bigger step, I think.

Before I go back to my Sunday chores, I have a little snippet from Light the Way Home to share with you.

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Lucie had been on Mac’s Light Island for almost three weeks, but the view from the back door of her temporary home still took her breath away. Right now, she realized she’d been standing there staring, slack-jawed, at the sunlight glinting off the grey-blue ocean waves for a good five minutes. Shaking her head, she pulled the door shut and stepped down onto the sidewalk, feeling in her purse for her car keys.

She closed her fingers on the fob as a giggle reached her ears. She turned to the white picket fence that bordered the property next door as a big multi-colored ball sailed over it, toward her. “Oh!” She caught it before it hit her in the face, then started across the grass, balancing the ball on her hand.

Another giggle sounded as she neared the fence, so she adjusted her direction a tiny bit and came to a stop looking directly down onto a tousled blond head.

“I think you lost something,” she said.

The little boy’s face tipped up quickly, his blue eyes wide with surprise–as if he couldn’t believe she’d found him already.

Lucie grinned and held the ball higher.

He smiled as he got to his feet, brushing off his jeans-clad knees.

From seeing him playing outside several times already, she’d guessed he might be four, but now at close range, she scaled that back to three.

“Hi, I’m Hayden,” he said, holding out his right hand.

It was her turn to be surprised. She shook his hand, bemused. “Hi, Hayden, I’m Lucie.” Not too many three-year-olds had such good manners. Aside from the ball toss at her face, that is. “Nice to meet you.”

He glanced up at his ball. “Me an’ my dad are your neighbors.”

“I see that.” She noted he hadn’t mentioned his mom. “Who were you playing with?” She gave the ball a little bounce.

“Maybe you wanna play with me.” Guileless blue eyes locked on her face.

Ah. She squelched the pang in her chest. “I wish I could, but I’m on my way to town. Maybe we can play another time?” she added when his grin vanished.

“Like this afternoon?”

“Hayden!”

The deep voice got her attention–and the boy’s–just before a tall, sandy-haired man rounded the back corner of the next-door house.

Lucie’s mouth went dry. Wowza!

He frowned when he saw them, but his stride never slowed, just changed direction, toward them at the fence. “Hayden, we have to go to Grandma’s.” He stopped close to the boy. “You were supposed to stay on the porch.” His brown gaze lifted to her face. “I’m Nate Baxter.” He stuck his right hand out. “Sorry if Hayden bothered you.”

She reached across the fence slowly, trying not to gawk at her hot neighbor. “Lucie Russo. And he wasn’t bothering me, we were just making a date to play ball.” She met his palm and gave a firm shake, pretending not to notice how warm his callused fingers were around hers. Or how wide his shoulders were in the dark flannel shirt.

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The chores I’m headed back to now aren’t as much fun as paging through old photos, but I’m still grateful to have them and the time to do them. What are you doing this week that you might not have time to do if the world hadn’t gone berserk? Not that I’m looking for more things to add to my to-do list. It’s plenty big enough to last me a long, long time.

#sneakpeeksunday #CommonElementsRomanceProject #paranormalromance #excerpt #romanceauthor #eroticromance #CommonElementsnovella #todolist #newrelease #romancewriter #romancenovels #ElizabethAndrews #LighttheWayHome

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