The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

I’ve got to be honest, I haven’t read the complete works of Dickens, but I’ll always remember the opening line from A Tale of Two Cities.  Those words defined my life this week—‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

Stop and smell the roses

Stop and smell the roses

Monday morning at 8:27 a.m. I received an email from a respected agent asking to read my full manuscript. Life couldn’t be much better—well, having her love it and make me an offer could be a little better, but still, I was flying high. My query to this respected literary agent piqued her interest! My dream was coming true.

At noon I went in for an ultrasound to see if I might have a hernia—no big deal. As the technician asked me more and more questions, I began to suspect she was seeing something abnormal. At 3:00 p.m. the phone rang and since I didn’t recognize the number, I let it go to voicemail. As I listened to the message, the first words I heard were something about not wanting to alarm me.  My doctor was happy to report that I did not have a hernia, but he needed me to see a specialist to check out a mass on my bladder. Mass? Tumor, cyst, cancer?  What the hell? Definitely the worst of times!

The specialist would see me on Thursday—exactly 72 hours after ‘the call’. This doctor normally wouldn’t have had an opening until July, so I was beginning to feel the gravity of the situation. Seventy-two hours doesn’t seem like much, does it? Just enough time to re-evaluate my entire life. Continue reading

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Who am I?

I admit it!  I was about the dorkiest kid on the block–maybe even the dorkiest within a five block radius.  I couldn’t see the nose in front of my face, which was a surprise as that nose would one day be my most prominent feature.  But, as a toddler, with glasses as thick as coke bottle bottoms, my world was a blur, or make that two blurs.  I was cross eyed–trying to merge the views from each eye into one big picture.   IMG_0413

But, with my best eye, I managed to start reading and planning my escape from my fuzzy world.  It would be years later and many changes in glasses before I would look up and say, “What is that bright light in the sky?”  My parents howled.  My older sister just rolled her eyes.

It was my Mom who finally spoke, “Why, that’s the moon, Jacquie.” she said, trying to contain her laughter.

The look on their faces told me they were in shock.  They couldn’t believe I had never seen the moon.  They’d pointed that direction many times and I thought I saw something, but suddenly I knew I had only seen a street lamp or a distant porch light.  This was incredible.  Or should I say, they were incredible (that damn double vision, again).  In any event, my world was suddenly brighter with the illumination of Earth’s glorious moon(s).  My life could begin to shine.  I, Jacquie Rene May, was ready to make my mark on the world. Continue reading

Dog Daze — Hanni’s Story

Adopting another dog was the last thing on my mind when Hanni, an adorable Dachshund/Chihuahua mix (a Chiweenie), was dropped into my lap.  She’d seen at least two homes before mine.  I can only guess how her life began, so I’m going to stop here and let her tell her story in her own words:527

Hanni’s story as told to me (she barked and I typed):

Sometimes you get up before I’m ready to come out from under the covers (I sneak under the comforter as soon as you fall asleep, but of course you know that and just let me keep doing it—thanks, Mom). But most days I need to lick your face to remind you it’s time to get up. How many times do you need to press snooze, anyway? I can’t get too mad, though; you may not be quick to rise, but you’re awake and your hand finds that special place behind my ears that makes me sigh. As I roll over, you get the hint and rub my itchy belly (I’m allergic to grass so even with my allergy meds, a little extra rub to soothe the itch is welcome). A dog’s life is not so bad—at least not now.

Life wasn’t always so comfortable. Memories of my puppy days with my first family are sketchy—all I know is one day I saw a squirrel and everything changed. I found a hole in the fence and chased that rodent till my legs were tired and, to add insult to injury, the little varmint ditched me. There I was, miles from home—no squirrel and no family. I hadn’t counted on getting lost, but I was deep in the woods without my people, my house or my doggie blanket. Continue reading