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My 1950s Beach Vacation 0

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The view from my patio/reading/writing spot.

Okay, in most ways, my vacation was NOT very much like those taken in the 1950s. But in some ways it was, and it was quite a departure for us!

We’re time-share suckers. My inlaws have had time share since before we were married, and one year we did the meeting thing at a resort in Myrtle Beach and ended up buying in. So we’ve stayed at a cabin resort in Tennessee and a sprawling place in Orlando. Big, two-bedroom, two-bath places with full kitchens. Plus a couple of different places in Williamsburg, VA, thanks to my inlaws.

But we wanted to go to Cape Cod. We couldn’t do it when the kids were younger, because New England is a WHOLE different place from Myrtle Beach. It’s seasonal, the places are smaller and older, and people actually use their time share instead of banking it. So we finally were able to do it this summer, at a little place in Provincetown.

And I mean LITTLE. The kids were in a studio in the main building that overlooked the parking lot. Their room had AC and was a little bigger than ours, but it’s A room. Sofa bed and Murphy bed. Tiny TV. Table and two chairs. They also had a full stove with an oven and a decent-sized bathroom. Our room was pretty much the same, except we only had two burners on a countertop, and our bathroom was tiny. But we looked out on the ocean. BOO-yah.

So okay, there was a lot that was great about that. I spent a lot of time on the patio, reading or writing (a little) and I spent a few mornings and an evening on the actual beach. But these tiny rooms were so close together. We overheard everyone’s conversations. The screaming kids next door were not well supervised, and once even came into our room. And we had no AC, so we ended up sleeping with the doors open (no windows) so we had the awesome breeze. It make me think of back in the 50s, when people went to the same places for vacation every year, and were in and out of each other’s rooms, having a community event all week or even all summer.

We were also right next to the volleyball net, so there were often people playing right outside our room. One afternoon, there was a huge party, with booze and music and interesting people, like the guy who wore a pink strappy one-piece bathing suit and neon pink sock/legwarmer things with a matching sweatband around his head. We didn’t judge. Hey, we were in P-town! 🙂

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I made a friend during low tide on Monday morning.

I was a bit sad that we were on the bay side of the Cape, and the location was so full of seaweed that we couldn’t really swim. I mean, huge piles of it landed on the sand every night. And there wasn’t really much surf, since it was sandbar heaven. We went to a beach on the ocean side one day, but it was calm (aka boring), and it was like someone used an infusion blender in the water. The seaweed made the water soupy.

But we did have a super-fantastic experience with a whale watch. There’s a sanctuary over a shelf about an hour from Provincetown, and we got to watch a huge pod of humpbacks feeding, including a couple of babies. The guide counted 18, and she said she’d never seen so many at once. There was also a pod of dolphins before we left the harbor, and we saw finbacks and minke whales, too. The humpbacks were INCREDIBLE, though. Right next to the boat at one point!

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The water turns green from the bubbles they use to bring up the fish.

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We ate at The Lobster Pot, which was awesome and had a wonderful staff. The server seemed to love his job, and the host (owner?) went to the same college as my daughter (my husband was wearing an Emerson T-shirt) and I think that got us seated twice as fast as we normally would have.

The rest of vacation was filled with a visit with my brother and cousins after four long years, dinner with a friend, and hours of watching Olympics with my family. Definitely a winner of a trip, even if the effects of it lasted zero-point-three seconds after leaving the Cape. Alas, such is the way we live today!

What’s the best/most memorable thing you did this summer?

My farewell relaxation spot on the last night. This guy hung out staring at us forever!

My farewell relaxation spot on the last night. This guy hung out staring at us forever!

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AWOL…. 1

Yes I know I have been absent with out leave and I am so sorry.  Weekends are always busy and with everything going on in life I seem to find very little time for myself to write or do anything else.

Last month I told you all I was getting divorced. The soon-to-be-ex and I have talked quite a bit about how this will work and we are both in complete accord so that is a huge relief. We are going to sell the house and split everything down the middle. Pay off my truck so I can own it free and clear and take the same amount of money and pay down his Jeep payment so he has less money going out a month on it.  We are going to pay off our younger daughter’s personal loan she had to take for college and my older daughter is going to switch cars with her dad. He is going to take her little Elantra that the tree fell on last summer and she is going to take my Santa Fe because it has fewer miles on it than the car she is giving to her dad. Since we are paying off the loan for her sister I will invest some money into the Santa Fe and get the AC fixed, a new steering wheel installed, and will get it painted. That way she has something nice to drive and her dad can park his new Jeep and drive the Elantra back and forth to work. She and I can share my Yukon for when she has to haul more than one child with her. And we are going to buy both of them new laptops.  The rest of the money will go to help us each hopefully put a down payment on a new home and we can get on with our lives.

As for getting on with our lives…. I have, surprisingly enough, met a man who I am very interested in. We met by chance and hit it off right away. As we have talked over the past month or so we have come to realize there is something bigger than either of us pushing us together. We have the same interests and goals, the same religious beliefs–something I did not share with the soon-to-be-ex–the same taste in music and TV shows….  The list goes on. He lives across the country in another state on the East Coast, but we are planning on meeting soon to see where this relationship might go. We are both pretty excited about this!!

Now for some of you this may seem like it’s too soon for me to consider a relationship since I am still getting out of the one I have been in for over 30 years.  However I don’t feel this way and here is why:

There has been nothing between my almost-ex and myself physically in over 20 years. He was not interested after the first couple of years together and then after his heart condition occurred it was completely out of the question even if he had changed his mind–which he never did. We have been basically platonic room mates these past few years and I am ready to move on and find someone who actually loves me and cares about me as a woman and a partner in life.  This man seems to be the one I could have that life with. When I say we talk–we TALK. He had an extended weekend from work and he completely switched his schedule around to accommodate my time zone so we could be on my time zone. We have literally spent hours on the phone talking about everything and anything that comes to mind. We are planning on meeting next month and we shall see where this goes from there.  I think we are going to have a great time!

So life goes on. One day at a time. I was not looking for a relationship at all so this has been a fun surprise. At my age having a second chance at love is pretty awesome so I am going to see where this takes me and enjoy the ride as long as I can! As for being AWOL–well, I will do my best to be here every week from now on but there is no guarantee–this coming weekend is my big camping trip with my girls so we will be in the mountains communing with nature and each other for four days!  I will have lots of pictures and I am sure plenty of funny stories from the antics of my grand-daughter on her first camping trip so stay tuned!  If not this weekend then for sure next weekend 🙂

 

 

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When “Escapist” Fiction Becomes Real 3

As you are reading this, I’ve run away!

I’m in Barcelona, Spain right now (assuming all has gone according to plan). My husband is heading up a conference in Girona, which is about an hour north of Barcelona, and I get to be the ride-along spouse.

Today, we’re heading out to the Barcelona Art Museum (which is right next-door to the Miró art museum. Because museums EVERYWHERE!)

I have a particular goal: I’m looking for a painting of the Virgin Mary holding the Holy Grail, which has flames shooting out of it. This medieval painting came out of a tiny church in the Pyrenees mountains, and supposedly hid the actual Grail. The Grail has been moved to Valencia, Spain, but the painting is right here.

How did I hear about this painting? While doing research on Girona, I ran across a mystery series by Caroline Roe—the stories of Isaac of Girona, a healer in the Jewish Quarter of Girona, Spain, in the 1300s. If you like Cadfael mysteries, this eight-book series is right up your alley. This blind Jewish healer routinely solves mysteries on behalf of the bishop of the Girona Cathedral—including one that involved murders surrounding the theft of the Grail from its mountain hideaway.

Well, I got curious. To the Google! To the Wiki! Turns out Caroline Roe is a medievalist who researched and wrote about real people and places. The cathedral is real. The Grail legend (and this painting she mentioned in the book) is real. The bishop was an historical figure, although our sleuth was made up.

As a result of indulging in great fiction, we now have new plans on our itinerary. And one more bonus? The Girona cathedral (and other places around town) are the new set pieces for the filming of Game of Thrones. I’m trying to see if I can get my husband to ride up the 91 stairs to the cathedral on horse, a la Jaime Lannister. I’m going to sit in narrow alleyways and tell the world, “A romance writer has no name.”

What about you? Has fiction ever shaped your reality?

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