Our son Jef is on his way home from Kuwait. What do you want me to cook while you’re here, I said. Anything, he said. Then thought again. No lima beans and no stuffed peppers. Drat, I had a new recipe for lima bean-stuffed peppers. And he’d just as soon not have baked chicken again any time soon.
There is an enormous U.S.Army base in Kuwait that I believe the Kuwaitis built for us in gratitude for rescuing them from the Iraquis in 1991. If you do a Google Earth search, you’ll see how barren that land is. It’s alllll brown. Jef has a picture of one lone tree growing out in the middle of nowhere, and there is a small patch of lovingly-tended grass at the entrance to the mess hall. I think that may be the only plant life for miles.
The base serves as a way station for material going on to Afghanistan. Jef isn’t involved in that, though. He monitors satellite communications.
First stop for Jef, Colorado Springs where his wife Katie and their little girl Kalynn are waiting for him. I think they’re all going to be mighty glad to see each other. Then they’ll come on down to see the old folks, meaning my husband, my mother, and me. Going to spend some time out at the lake, swimming and throwing the ball for Josie, our lab. Kaylnn, who’s four now but was still three last time she was here, is used to big dogs who tower over her and fearlessly plays the authoritarian human with this creature that ways twice what she does.
Going to be a good week.
Gretchen Craig’s lush, sweeping tales deliver edgy, compelling characters who test the boundaries of integrity, strength, and love. Told with sensitivity, the novels realistically portray the raw suffering of people in times of great upheaval.
Gretchen was born and raised in Florida. She’s lived in climates and terrain as diverse as the white beaches of the Gulf Coast, the rocky shores of Maine, and the dusty plains of Texas. Her awareness of place imbues every page with the smell of the bayous of Louisiana, the taste of gumbo in New Orleans, or the grit of a desert storm.
Rich in compelling characters and historical detail, Always and Forever is a sweeping saga of Josie and Cleo, mistress and slave. Amid Cajuns and Creoles, the bonds between these two remarkable women are tested by prejudice, tragedy, and passion for one extraordinary man. Gretchen’s first novel won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence for Mainstream with Romantic Elements and was chosen as an Editor’s Pick in the Historical Novel Society reviews.
Ever My Love, winner of the Booksellers Best Award from the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America, continues the story of Cleo and Josie’s families, of their struggle for principle, justice, and love in a world where the underpinnings of the plantation culture are crumbling.
Crimson Sky, inspired by the pueblos, mountains, and deserts of New Mexico, evokes the lives of people facing neighboring marauders and drought. Now the march of Spanish Conquistadors up the Rio Grande threatens their homeland, their culture, and their entire belief system.
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Oh, I can tell you are so happy to have your son coming home. Enjoy! Yay! Give him a big thanks from me for serving our country.