Monday, July 28, 2014

They Said It Wouldn't Last: An Essay

Hopefully, every single one of you have special days in your lives.  I know I do and because of what my husband has taught me over the past twenty-five years they are not just the ordinary holidays.   

I always liked my birthday, but it was not a particularly special day within my family.  Not so since I met Ed.  He calls my birthday the most special day of the year because, he says, it is the anniversary of my birth.  He always makes it a wonderful day for us to share every year, and I try to make his birthday special, too.      

A friend recently wrote that she isn’t going to celebrate special days and holidays anymore.  That made me feel sad.  I know that certain religions do not celebrate holidays.  I am unsure why.  Jesus celebrated.  I think that we should, too.   

This week my husband and I are celebrating a very special occasion.  We are celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary.  Not our governmental anniversary, but the day we designate and celebrate as our anniversary.  I am glad that we celebrate and make holidays the days that are sacred to us.   

A twenty-fifth anniversary is a special anniversary for any couple, or to commemorate anything that has lasted that long, but this one is especially sweet for us and I’ll tell you why.  They said it wouldn’t last!  Who are they?  Everybody.  To a person when they commented they just knew that our union was not going to survive.   

Ed and I, however, knew something they didn’t know.  We knew that we had been looking for each other our whole lives and once we found each other we were not going to let go, and we haven’t!   

We have nearly lost each other through sickness and accidents, but not of our own accord and I hope it stays that way.  We are so blessed to have found each other.  We have shared many special days and holidays--not the least among them has been every day.   

Yes, they said that it wouldn’t last.  Oh, maybe they were right.  I bet that they meant last for fifty years!  They might be right about that, because we probably won’t live that long.  But, for each new day we are blessed to share, I know we will live contentedly, satisfied and happy until we are forced to part.   

My hope for each of you is that you find your special person.  A person for you to love and cherish and one who feels the same way about you.  A person with whom you share your regular days and your very own special days.   

Happy 25th Anniversary to us!   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee July 28th, 2014

All Rights reserved

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Investigation: Part 2

From the short fictional mystery series Body in Cold Rock Creek   

A week into the investigation the coroner ruled the death a homicide.  The still unnamed male victim died from blunt force trauma.  It looked like he had been hit squarely in his left eyeball socket.  He had no water in his lungs which ruled out drowning.  Bloodhounds nosed up the creek and found where he went in the water.  There were no signs of a struggle leading the investigators to decide that it was a body dump.   

No one who knew the man came forward; although, his description had been shown area wide on all the television stations and in the newspapers.  No leads.  The sheriff, Matt Stephens, kept coming back to the farm tracing the man’s float back up the creek to see if any piece of evidence had made its way off the subject’s body onto the shore.  No such luck.   

Finally, things died down and Naomi and Edgar got back into their routines.  Naomi had been avoiding the creek, but it was such a beautiful summer morning that she went out early walking along the path on the bank when there right above the big rock many hundreds of feet downstream from where the man’s body had been found she saw something just under the water lodged against a root.   

It had been dry for the past few weeks and the creek was low.  Naomi always used a hoe as a walking stick.  It provided good support and was also helpful to remove snakes from the path and she was happy she had never had to use it to discourage a black bear.  She, however, didn’t feel too secure in the possibility that it would help to scare off a bear, but at least it seemed to make more sense than the sage advice of making oneself appear larger than one was and making lots of noise.   

She got to the edge of the water and stuck the hoe under the strap of what appeared to be a backpack and yanked.  It was quite large and heavy, but it came up dripping cold water.  Naomi thought, I’ll bet that was his.  She bent to look at what she recognized was an expensive piece of gear.   

Naomi had Sheriff Stephen’s cell phone number as they had gotten friendly, because she sometimes walked the creek route with him.  He answered on the second ring, “Sheriff Matt Stephens.”   

“Hello, Sheriff.  It’s Naomi Childers.  I found something.  I think it is his backpack.  It was downstream stuck under some roots.  The water is low.  I fished it out, but I didn’t touch anything.”   

“I’ll be right there Naomi.  Where are you?”   

“Right near the big rock.”  The sheriff knew exactly where the big rock was, because right below it was a good fishing hole where he, and most of the fishermen in Cold Creek County, fished often.   
"I’m on my way, Naomi.  Will you stay there with it?”   

“Sure,” Naomi replied.   

When the Sheriff and his deputy arrived he put on rubber gloves and carefully unbuckled the leather closures.  “Nice backpack,” he mused then he let out a long low whistle when he opened the wallet that he found in a compartment inside the pack.   

Deputy Martin asked, “What Sheriff?”   

“I can’t believe we never got a missing person’s report on him, Red.”  Naomi and Red Martin looked at each other and waited until the Sheriff stood up holding the still dripping billfold.   

“It seems that our victim was none other than Gilbert Mac Waycastle.”   

“You don’t mean the Gilbert Mac Waycastle owner of,” Naomi hesitated, “well owner of Gargantuan Technology Systems--GTS?”   

“That and nearly everything else technology related.  One of the richest men in the world.  Wonder why we or no one else recognized him?”   

“Well he was real bloated and part of his face was shattered and had to be reconstructed, besides I don’t guess people who run in his circles watch our local news or read newspapers from our area.  It does seem strange, though, that there was nothing in the national news about his disappearance.”   

“It does indeed,” Matt Stephens replied.  “I guess we are in for it now.”  He pulled out his phone and called the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  He asked them to send a crime scene investigative unit and gave them the address and directions to the farm after telling them that this was possibly a crime that required more equipment than he had at his disposal.   

“You didn’t tell them who the victim was, Sheriff,” Red Martin said.   

“No I didn’t, Red.  I didn’t want this matter to leak out the way things sometimes do.  We will tell them when they get here.  I bet he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.  If we determine that he had crossed the border into Virginia or was last seen in North Carolina, then I guess that we can expect that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be called in.   
The Sheriff asked Naomi to show him exactly where she found the backpack.  He didn’t see anything else in the spot.  He told Red to go back out to his car and move down and set up at the lower bridge that crossed the creek.  He knew that there would be officers combing the creek from where the body had been put in all the way to where the creek entered the river if not farther.   

“Well, Naomi before this is all over with you may even get your creek dredged out.  I know they will leave no stone unturned on this one.  I guess you’d better go back up to the house and warn Edgar that he won’t be having any peace around here for quite some time.   

To be continued ….   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee July 26, 2014   

All Rights Reserved        

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Is It Bad? A Poem

Is it bad that I would rather write than eat?   
Publish, blog, Facebook and Tweet.   
Is it bad that like a child I want to pretend?   
Making up characters and the places that they are in.   

Oh, how I love to create the scenes.   
Letting my creations live or letting them die.   
I can make them or break them.   
Good or evil flows from my pen.   

Is it bad that I would rather write than …?   
Nah, it is good.   
Just pecking on the keyboard   
With my fat little hands.   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee July 23, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reading Leads to Freedom: An Essay

When I was in the fourth grade and was being shown around my new school the person conducting the tour took me to an amazing place.  It was a place I did not know existed.  She took me into a nondescript single room and simply stated, “This is the library.”   

My eyes must have bulged.  I had never seen so many books.  Shelves were lined from stem to stern with books.  I remember turning to her and saying, “Whose books are these?”   
She replied, “Ours.”   

“Ours,” I said.  “What does that mean?”   

She explained that any student could go to the library and “check-out books.”  She had to explain to me that meant that any student could go and borrow a book or books and bring them back in a week and borrowing the books was free.   

My love of libraries began.  I already loved books, but I had little access to them.  Now, I had full access to every book in the place and I dug in.  A student could check out two books at a time.  I made a habit of reading as many books as I could.  I later learned about public libraries where one could get a library card for free and borrow any book in existence that was either there or through inter-library loan.   
Because my parents paid little attention to what I did and because at that time there were many liberal teachers and liberal librarians, there was a wide range of authors on the shelves.  I began reading beyond my years authors such as Faulkner, Steinbeck and Pearl Buck to name a few.   
In my immediate family, there were many things too taboo to say out loud or ask questions about.  Not so with books, I learned about many things through both fiction and non-fiction.  I kept reading.  By the time I was in high school I tried to read a book a night.  I gained a wonderful vocabulary and did extremely well on all word type testing because of my extensive reading.   
I traveled across the world and time and place through books and I grew to know many people, male and female, young and old and of nearly every nationality.  I read what the characters were thinking and how they thought.   

Some characters were nice people, some were evil and most of them had a mixture of good and bad.   Books, the authors who wrote them, and the characters they created molded me.   

Books changed me from a shy child from the foothills of North Caroling growing up in south Florida to a child then later a woman of the world; although, I had not literally traveled the world.  I grew and knew beyond my years because of books.   

I worry now because I don’t think enough children, young people and even adults learn the joy of reading and the value of what can be found on the written pages of books.  Many people have never been to a library.  They do not know that the doors to everywhere can be found there by stepping through the library door.  Libraries now have many forms of media—not just books and most of it is still free.   

Make no mistake, I am not saying that I could talk the kids of my time or other people into reading.  Most of the time folks said, “I hate to read.”  I neither understood that then nor do I understand it now because reading leads to freedom.   

It is becoming less common for people to hold actual books in their hands.  Many words are on tablets and phones and on computers—just as these words are.  That is okay because words can travel quickly across the world to people who may not otherwise be able to get them and I think that is good.   

But, I also want people to be able to hold a book in their hands.  Hundreds of years from now I want people to be able to pick up some of the same books that I read, and be able to find the exact words written down that I read and thought about.  Because written words can cross generations and boundaries and borders.   
What if the words of the great thinkers had not been written down?  What if an emerging writer writes profound thoughts that are not put into print?  Will those ideas and those characters be lost to us once the present technology changes if they are not put into print?  I fear so.  What is to stop that from happening?   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee July 21, 2014
All Rights Reserved


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Part 1: The Body in the Creek

From the short fictional mystery series Body in Cold Rock Creek.    

Naomi was standing on the bank looking at the creek, like she always did, just watching and listening to the water flow across the rocks when she spotted something too familiar lodged behind a log on the other side of the wide creek.  It was just below the rapids and the water was rushing over it.   

“Damn,” Naomi said aloud.  “Damn.”  She knew that the tranquility of her refuge on the creek would soon be shattered when all the law enforcement personnel, and vehicles and the coroner got there to remove the body from her and Edgar’s portion of the creek.   

Coroner, was that what they were called in Tennessee?  She didn’t know, because it seemed that every state called the same job by a different title.  She was well aware of the Medical Examiner’s offices in both Dade and Broward Counties in Florida.  She had been to each of them too many times seeking the cause of death during the course of her death investigations, but she had mistakenly thought that was all behind her.   

Now, here floating in the creek bordering her and Edgar’s property bumping in and out as the water plunged it backwards then forward into the log across the creek was a body.  One that she found.  One that she was first on the scene.  That was new.  That was different.  She had never been first on the scene.   

Naomi’s instinct was to rush across the deep water and retrieve the person floating face down.  Try to revive him.  It looked like the person was a man.  She knew, however, that he was as dead as a doorknob and that now his body was evidence which she should not touch.  He was dead and floating on the top of the hole where, she knew, the trout were swimming right under him.   

Dear God, thought Naomi, surely they are not gnawing on him like he was a fat night crawler, or a nymph or an intricately tied fly.  Surely not but, she thought, fish are opportunistic.  To them bait is just bait and if they are hungry they strike at whatever is available and today it was the body floating above them like one long buffet.   

Naomi was unsure how much time had passed since she first saw the body.  Had it been a minute?  Had it been an hour?  Sometimes time takes on a mind of its own and a second can seem like a lifetime or a week can seem like a moment. Naomi didn’t know how much time had passed, because she stood mesmerized looking at him.  Helpless.  Knowing that he was gone.  This body floating in her creek had kick-started her memories back to the past.  So many bodies, so many deaths.   

Do something fool, she chastised herself.  Do something.  Call that nice sheriff, the one who had knocked at her and Edgar’s door not two weeks past.  The one who was running for office.  The one who everyone liked and wanted as sheriff, but they hadn’t gone out and voted so his opponent won the primary.  He was knocking on doors handing out post cards telling people how to write-in his name on the ballot during the real election in August.  The election that would determine who was going to be the sheriff of Cold Lake County.   

Call him, her inner voice screamed.  Naomi pulled the cell phone out of her pocket.  The one unlike the one most of her friends carried.  She flipped it open and her fingers, seeming to be on the body of someone other than herself, dialed 9-1-1.   

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?” said the female voice who answered the call.  “9-1-1, what is your emergency?” the voice repeated.   

“Oh,” Naomi replied.  “Sorry,” she hesitated.  She inhaled deeply and a voice, not seeming to be her own, spoke to the faceless female on the other end of the wireless transmission, “My name is Naomi Childers and I’ve found a body floating in my creek.”   

To be continued ….   

 ©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee   July 19th, 2014   
All Rights Reserved         

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Waking up and thinking
Oh no, another ordinary day
Then the extraordinary happens
Every pore begins to exude the specific
All air is purer and
All things become exquisite   

Waking up and thinking
Oh no, another ordinary day   

Then it happens and everything
Becomes agony
Every breath too heavy a labor
Every movement surely impossible to make
It goes on…Forever   

Then dreaming
Oh, just to have an ordinary day   

©    Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee, July 16th, 2014
I wrote this poem in December 2012.
It was previously published on Project Dream Again's Blog

Monday, July 14, 2014

I Want to Find Peace: An Essay

The world is in terrible turmoil today.  There are wars and rumors of wars in many places across the globe.  I want to find peace, but how can I do that when I can’t even find peace in my own life, within my own home or with my own family?   

It is easy to want peace, but hard to have peace when we as humans are not peaceful.  I am ashamed, because I do not do more to promote peace beginning with myself.  How have we gotten to the place where if a person or a people do not do exactly what whomever declares themselves the big boss says do, then the big boss or their designee just kills the offending parties?   

Frequently, this is done, and has been done, since the beginning of time in the name of the big bosses’ god.  It does not seem as if we as humans have learned anything since the world began even though Jesus told us what to do using very few words:  Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.   

I find the loving God part easy.  It is the loving of my neighbor that I find difficult, but if I don’t love my neighbor am I really loving God?  I think not.  We’d better learn to love our neighbor as well as our God, because if I want to find peace then it had better begin with me.  It is the personal responsibility of each of us, because every one of us is a stepping stone on the road to peace.   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee, July 14th, 2014   
All Rights Reserved       

Friday, July 11, 2014

Savannah Charleston: A Post Civil War Historical Novel

As promised, here is the first chapter of my first novel.  I will not be sharing the rest of the novel on this blog.  I am continuing to edit it as I look for an agent and a publisher.  I hope that you enjoy the beginning and that you will want to read the rest of the book.  

Chapter I

            Savannah heard arguing out in the store.  She sat on the edge of her chair and cocked her head.  The sounds stopped so she returned to the account books that she kept for her father.  Suddenly, she heard a loud crash and she ran toward the sound.  As she entered the store she saw the new tool display strewn across the floor.  She also saw a fearsome man dressed all in black.  He had a terrible scowl on his face.  She noticed that Jacob, her father’s main shopkeeper, had turned ashen as he attempted to be heard by the man, “Sir, I will check on your carriage.  You are right it was due in today.”
            The man cursed loudly then Savannah spoke softly, “Sir, may I be of assistance?”
            The stranger stopped as he surveyed her up and down momentarily forgetting his anger as the thought of bedding this beautiful vision crossed his mind.  “Damn if I need help from this stupid shopkeepers whelp!” he hissed.  “Get out before I turn you over my knee or worse.”
            Savannah inhaled deeply suppressing her own anger.  She paused very calculatedly as she smiled sweetly and thought how much she hated carpetbaggers.  She then replied very softly, “Sir, this is my father’s employee Jacob a very capable man, but if you would like someone else to serve you perhaps I can help.  I am Savannah Charleston Morris daughter of General Beauford Morris owner of this store and the nearby plantation Golden Light.  However, if you would prefer assistance from the owner himself you are free to ride out to see my father.  He is in the north field checking on the cotton.”
            “My apologies Miss Morris,” the stranger replied as he bowed in a deeply exaggerated manner.  “Reginald R. Ryan at your service.   My apologies for the coarse language.  I think I will ride out to meet your father and share my wishes with him.  I will see you again.”  At that he turned and brusquely left the store.
            The hair stood up on the back of Savannah’s neck and she shivered.
            “Oh, Miss Savannah your father is going to be so angry,” Jacob moaned as he began righting the tool display.  “Do you think he will can me?  I need this job so bad.”
            “Now, now Jacob you know how much my father relies on you and needs you.  I am sure that everything will be just fine.  What a terribly disgusting man.  Papa will handle him!  I’ll tell papa what happened so you try not to worry.  But I am afraid I will not be able to put my head back on figures this morning, so I will see you after dinner.”
            Savannah left through the front door and rounded the side of the large new frame building.  The store had to be rebuilt after the war as the old one was burned by the Yankees when they came through Charleston Bend.  She untied and mounted her horse, Tessa, and galloped faster than usual toward home.  She was trying to run the unpleasantness of the encounter out of her mind.
            Savannah rode to the back of the plantation near the kitchen door and as she dismounted Andrew the youngest and only surviving son of Jacob ran toward her.  “Can I brush down Tessa and feed and water her Miss Savannah?” he asked. 
            “May I,” Savannah reminded him, “and yes you may.  Thank you Andrew.  Then wash up for dinner.  April probably has it about ready.”  Savannah liked that since the war dinner was served informally in the kitchen where the slaves used to take their meals.  Now, with just family and a few paid staff things were very different. With so many dead all the survivors kind of clung together and made up a whole new family doing things like eating together without regard to former stations.  Not all people did this but she was glad that her family did.  She was also conscious that Golden Light had only survived because the Yankees had used it as a field hospital and for general quarters. 
            “Oh no, Miss Savannah won’t be no eatin’ in the kitchen this day.  You got big company and April is fit to be tied!  I’ll be eatin’ in the kitchen, but not you!  Real big doin’s an’ goin’s ons roun’ here today,” Andrew informed Savannah.
            Savannah was so startled that she didn’t think to correct Andrew’s grammar.  Instead, she hurried into the kitchen.
            “Savannah, thank goodness you came in early today.  Your mama wants to see you upstairs right away,” April informed her as she was scurrying around the kitchen.  “Quick, go now.”
            Savannah ran to the back stairs yelling as she ran up them, “Mama what’s wrong?”
            “Girl,” her mama said, “must you act like a wild uncouth roughneck?  Remember yourself.  You are a southern lady.”
            “Oh, Mama, those days are long gone,” Savannah replied.
            “They are not for you,” her mother sternly replied.
            “Mama, what is going on?  What is the matter?”
            Rhonda Morris didn’t answer but lowered her head.  Then, being a true southern lady, she quickly composed herself and replied, “Savannah honey, go to your room.  Myrtle is in there and she will help you bathe and dress for dinner.”
            “What?  Help me bathe and dress for dinner?  Mama you act like it is 1860.  No one helps me bathe and dress for dinner.  We don’t bathe and dress for dinner anymore.  Sometimes we dress for supper, but now we all have to work!  There was a terrible disruption at the store this morning and I am way behind in my work.  I want to get a quick bite then go back to the store.”
            “Savannah, please do as you are told and as quickly as possible.  We are having important company for dinner.”  Rhonda momentarily suppressed a sob, “Your father has an important announcement to make.”  A large tear rolled down her cheek.
            “Mama, what’s wrong?  You are scaring me.”
            “Honey, just please go do as I ask.  I have to get ready too.”
            Savannah went to her room and was surprised to see every female on the place there fixing her a full bath and fussing about every detail of all of her best clothes.  Wordlessly they all assisted her and she complied.

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee  July 11th, 22014
All Rights Reserved

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Community of Us: An Essay

I recently wrote a thank you to my readers and I mentioned that we had become the community of US.  I described how we weren’t bound by borders or seas.  Since then, I have been thinking about what a community of Us would look like.   

I realized that I have never seen a town or a settlement called Us.  I’ve seen other names describing the place where it is hoped that people live wonderful lives, such as Pleasantville, Hope, Wrightsville and many other such names.  But, why haven’t I heard of a place called Us?  I did a Google search and found no Us.   

Perhaps, it is because no group of place namers wants any of us to ever get the opinion that we are a community of us.  There have been communes where groups of people intentionally decided that they were going to share everything.  I have neither lived in one nor know much about them, except how they are depicted in the media--usually after something terrible has happened.   

Are there communities of us even if they are not named that?  I hope so.  When I briefly described us, a writer and readers, as a community I believe we are.  We can, however, feel secure in this community of Us, because we have privacy and anonymity.   

But, why are there no geographic places named Us?  I think that is because it would send people the wrong message.  It would signify that anyone who lived in or moved to such a place would belong there just because they were there.  It would mean that it did not matter what gender or sexual orientation you are.  It would be all right whatever your race is or what country you came from.  In fact, when you got to Us you would automatically be welcomed and embraced.   

Are you, like me, seeing the problem here?  If we lived in Us would that mean that our neighbors would all be our friends?  Would it feel totally natural to accept each of us as we are?  What about persons with disabilities--any kind of disabilities?  Um, that would require a lot from the citizens of Us.   

What about our neighbors knowing our business and borrowing our things?  Could they just come onto “our” property and get whatever they wanted or needed without even thinking about asking our permission?   

There are many things about Us that I would like.  I would have no problem with gender, or gender orientation, or race, or nationality or disability.  I would not mind living close to persons who have committed crimes--we do anyway--just so long as they have changed their lives and no longer intended to engage in such ways.  Perhaps they, and all of us, would act better if we were truly folded into a community.   

I would, being totally honest, have some problems living in the town of Us.  There are people whom I would not welcome and things I would not like, because there are some people whom I do not like, either because of their behaviors or because of their personalities.   

Also, I am a private person.  I do not tell people my business or ask them theirs.  I do not always feel like being social.  Perhaps all our issues would not prevent there from being the community of Us, because those matters could be resolved by being respectful of our neighbors and their personal needs and they in turn being respectful of mine.   

Maybe there is no community of Us, because no one would really move to such a place.  An open and caring place.  Maybe, all of us know that if there was such a place as Us it would really be just in name only, because of who we are.   
I do not know if I could adapt and learn to live in the town of Us.  I would like to think so.  However, I know one thing for certain—I would never want to live in a town called, and meaning, “Just Us.”   A place welcoming no one after I got there.  Closing the door.  But wait, aren’t there many places that are in reality Just Us no matter the actual name of those towns or those places?  If we find ourselves in Just Us would we seek directions, and follow the road and move to Us?   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee   July 7th, 2014
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Swimming Lessons in the Venice of America: Installment No. 4

From the series Uprooted

Every morning Aunt Lou dressed for her job at Broward General Hospital.  She put on her starched white uniform, her white stockings and white shoes and pinned on her starched white nurse’s cap and walked to work.  Uncle John left for work at his store and sometimes daddy and the children would go with him, but most days the children were left home alone while daddy took mama to look for work.  She soon found a job working as a cashier at a grocery store.   

Then daddy started taking her to work every morning and he decided that Rebecca and Robert needed swimming lessons.  He decided that after the family started taking drives looking around Fort Lauderdale nearly every evening house hunting.  He saw that there was water everywhere and that made him fear for the children’s safety.   

Uncle John said that Fort Lauderdale was the “Venice of America” named after a place called Venice in Europe.  There, he said, the streets were water.  Here, the streets weren’t but there was water nearly everywhere else.   
He said that nearly the whole place had been water and swamps, so some people got the idea to build sea walls and start dredging the mangrove swamps.  They put the dirt from the swamp beds behind the seawalls.  That meant that there was a dry place to build houses and roads on.  Then, the houses were right on the canals that were left between the sea walls.   

So, daddy insisted that Rebecca and Robert learn to swim.  Daddy took them to a place that looked just like a castle called the Las Olas Casino Pool.  Looks can be very deceiving.  The place was monstrous.  First, the children had to go into the locker rooms and leave their street stuff there.  The place was as cold as ice.   

Then, they had to shower in cold water before getting into the pool.  Rebecca couldn’t understand why someone had to wash-up before going swimming.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, Rebecca had to wear a bathing cap.  Robert didn’t have to wear one, because he was a boy!  They said that it was to keep hair from clogging up the pool’s filters.  Rebecca said that Robert’s hair was just as likely to clog up the filters as hers was, but her argument did not work.   

After showering the children were made to climb down a ladder into the pool’s icy water.  It was miserable, but both children learned to swim many different strokes and they each learned to dive off the small diving board into the 12’ deep water and to jump off the high diving board into the deep end.  They had to master different things to advance to higher classes which they both did over time.   

The best thing about swimming lessons was when they were over daddy would take them across the street to the ocean and let them play in the ocean to have fun and to warm up.  Daddy quit worrying so much, because Rebecca and Robert could both swim like fish.   

Rebecca and Robert never liked swimming lessons even when, while trying to persuade them how great the pool was, they were told that Johnny Weismuller, better known as Tarzen from the movies, swam there.  The children saw pictures of him at the pool in the newspaper and on post cards, but Rebecca and Robert remained unimpressed.  Especially since, no matter how many times they were at that pool freezing and taking lessons always keeping an eye out for him, they never once saw him there.  Not one single time.   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee, July 5th, 2014
All Rights Reserved


Friday, July 4, 2014

New Friends

When I started this blog in the middle of June, 2014, I had no idea how it would open up the world for me.  I was hopeful that someone somewhere would want to read the words that I wrote, but I had no idea.   

I am overwhelmed and humbled by the number of people who have visited my blog.  I am astonished when I see the number of people who have visited my words from the United States and from numbers of other countries.   

I want to say hello to all of you and to welcome each and every one of you to my site.  Although I have no idea who you are, I feel friendship for you and an intimacy with you.  I wish that we could sit down by the creek and have a glass of sweet tea, a southern favorite, and talk and visit.   

Anyway, thank you for coming.  I extend my hand in friendship.  I call you neighbor.  If any of my words add to your lives in any way whatsoever then I am thankful that they came to me from deep inside my writing well which does not hold water, but words.   

We are a part of a community.  It is a community not limited by borders or seas.  We are only bound to each other by words and the invisible thread of the magical internet.  We are each free to stay or free to go.  But, we are united despite our nationalities and our differences.  We are the community of US.   
Soon, I plan to share the first chapter of my first book with you.  It is a book set after the U.S. Civil War.  It is the story of an 18 year old girl/woman from South Carolina whose life is turned upside down so that she has many unexpected adventures.   

You will find that the main characters in my novels and stories are definitely not “couch potatoes.”  I hope that you will enjoy meeting them!   

I plan to put the series Uprooted on hold after the next story.  I will start a new series about life on the creeks and in the mountains and towns of eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina--in short stories from and about life in Appalachia.  I hope that you will like it.   

I plan to continue publishing a poem each week and an essay about whatever is nagging at my head.  I welcome your comments either through the comment section or through emails.   

You are welcome to come and visit this site anytime.  I invite you to come often.  I also hope that you will tell your friends about this blog, if you feel that they would gain anything from visiting here, too.   
Thank you my new friends, I send many blessings to you and I hope that you have a wonderful day.   

In peace and in love, Patty   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee July 4th, 2014

All Rights Reserved     

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Waiting: A Poem


How much of our lives do we spend waiting?   

Waiting is so hard.   

Waiting does not care.   

Waiting laughs at my discomfort.   

Waiting is my enemy.   

Or, is waiting my friend?   

©Patty F. Cooper, Elizabethton, Tennessee July 2nd, 2014   
All Rights Reserved