This story was the answer to the ongoing questions in my head as to what I would do without my husband Steve. Would I be stuck forever in the city because I'd be too afraid to live in the country alone? Would I be able to manage a farm by myself? Not to mention that every time that he came home late when we did live in the country I would have already planned his funeral and had him dead and buried in my mind. Such is life for the worried.
I am a tough lady who feels that I can do anything, but there is that place way down inside where I worry. This story allowed me to take a look down deep and realize that I really *can* do anything I put my mind to. I was able to look at my fear, call it out, and overcome it, thereby making friends with the unknown and the scary.
One weird thing is the naming of my husband in the story. Jack is my dad's name. It was weird to have that name come to me and not go away, but that is what happened so "Jack" he stayed.
"Jack" is very much like Steve. There are a few differences, but for the most part, even singing the "Put another log on the Fire" song, it is Steve. As I've already mentioned, the main character is me. Steve told me that he has read that the first stories you write will be autobiographical, and with this work he is right. The story is located on a 120 acre farm in Adair County, Kentucky, in a little town of Gradyville. Steve and I lived there for five glorious years. It was my eden in the beginning, yet it got a little hellish at the end. After having Michael, our youngest son, born 10 weeks early, our economic condition deteriorated rapidly. Stress over having to take Michael back to the hospital for yet another surgery mixed with worrying about the mortgage left a bitter taste. I felt like I was being evicted from Eden, just like Adam and Eve.
After reading through my story, I found holes in the logic and Steve found some too. I am still thinking about remedying them, but then am also thinking of leaving them. I won't ever desire to publish it. It is my first work. And another reason is as follows:
"I like the fact that in ancient Chinese art the great painters always included a deliberate flaw in their work: human creation is never perfect." - Madeleine L'Engle
My work will never be perfect no matter how hard I try, and it is okay with me that it isn't.
One thing that discombobulated Steve was the scene after the main character came into the house and knelt down to pray. When she stood up, she had insight into the love and all the preparations her husband had made for her. Steve doesn't think that way, but I do. It might not be logical to have those thoughts on the front of the mind when your favorite dog has just been eviscerated, but that is how I think.
I really enjoyed writing the story and peering into the depths of my own soul. This story was really for me.