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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Still alive--if not quite kicking!

I'm going to keep this brief, because who wants the gory details of another person's medical woes? Suffice to say that my summer was pretty much taken up with a nasty little tumor. I'd known there was a problem for a couple of years, so I take the blame for letting it go so long. I was kind of wrapped up in my husband and his big event of last summer (I'll refer to the posts of June through August of last year if you missed them.) It hardly seemed fair for me to get bad news of the medical variety, too, so I waited. To wrap this up, my tumor was malignant, but of a very slow growing variety (see, I knew I had time on my side!) The doctor is sure it's all gone, but we'll check every three months to be sure.

If you've dealt with medical issues, specifically of the provider sort, you know that nothing is cheap and everybody wants their share of your pie. I was well aware of the financial consequences the day John was taken several hundred miles by ambulance. His bills swamped us, along with the loss of my part-time income. After all, there wasn't anyone else to take care of him, plus the hotel where I'd worked for 9 years was sold the week I was by John's bedside at the University of Kansas hospital. Everyone lost their job. Some were rehired, but since I knew I wouldn't be able to work for the foreseeable future, there was no chance I'd be included in that number. In the course of a week, we were upside down budget wise.

Anyway, by now you get the picture. We were deep in the hole before my little issue, so now we're better off looking down than up. Don't get me wrong. People have been generous. We'd be worse off otherwise. But the pile of bills far exceeds anything I'd expect friends and family to help with. We did try to refinance the house, but our debt to income ratio was already too far gone. So, now what?

I never give up hope, whatever the crisis. So many are in this particular boat with us, we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We just want to dig out of this the best way we can.

I had a bright idea this weekend, which I'm going to share here too. My book sales have suffered from lack of an advertising budget, which is now absorbed by our regular bills. I've tried some new things, which look promising, but then it occurred to me that in this day of fund raising for everything from travel to funeral to pet surgery expenses, I might use my books to do something similar. I put together a post for FB and crossed my fingers that no one would be offended. It goes like this--

"I may be going over the edge here--but you're my friends, right? I've shared our woes with you since last year when John fell, and you've given us your wonderful support and prayers.
I see sites like Go Fund Me set up to benefit everything from student trips abroad to living expenses for cancer patients. So many honest requests for the more fortunate to share with the less. Though at the moment I certainly qualify as one of the less, I'm not prepared to go that far. I still have faith that we'll work our way out of this.
HOWEVER, this morning in the ongoing effort to balance too many bills with too little income, I had a crazy thought. IF EACH OF MY 444 FRIENDS HERE BOUGHT ONE OF MY BOOKS (all priced at less than $3 on Amazon) two months from now I'd be able to bring all our bills current with a little to spare. If you've read this far, thank you. If you're able to help in this way, bless you."

People are truly amazing, aren't they? I had no idea what kind of response, if any, I'd get. But right away, I could see how generous my "friends" can be. That alone, without the income from the sales, gave me even more reason to keep digging. 

So I'm posting this here, in case anyone is still following me. What can it hurt, right? 
If you're interested, the link to my Amazon page is below. All the titles are available through Amazon, and most are also published on SmashWords, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo. Just search my name and you'll get to them. Thanks for reading!! Comments welcome!
P.S. By the way, a little update on John--He was told in January he'd never walk without assistance again. Guess what? He proved them wrong! His leg is strong enough now, but pain in his lower back won't allow him to stand for more than two minutes. The theory is that with all the hardware in his leg, his gait is off, etc. He's going through a series of injections now, so we're hoping! And of the bills are still coming! Such is life!