LIFE: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

BR

It’s always a little exciting when someone you know writes a book AND gets it published. A longtime friend of mine, Steve Lange, is that person. I was given the amazing privilege of getting to read his novel, Breathing Room, even before it was released. Ultimately, when the Breathing Room Three-Part E-book Series was released on Amazon Kindle last year, all three became #1 bestsellers!

Breathing Room follows Jack and Patricia Christopher and their six sons over the course of two decades. It is the tale of a family searching for a haven that will provide relief from the seemingly unending struggles that oppress them. Intermixed with the tragedies, their story is woven together with moments of humor and tenderness. This novel is loosely based on the author’s own experiences growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

By the second chapter I was hooked and found myself in a perpetual state of wondering what would happen next. This book is real and raw and the experience of reading it leaves you feeling sympathetic toward each and every character. Whereas most stories tend to have a clear distinction between those who are “good” and those who are “evil,” Breathing Room portrays a family of flawed, yet utterly human individuals that the reader easily identifies with. I came to care for the Christopher family as I joined them in their quest for a place to breathe, an end to the tragedies that seemed to wash over them with the predictability of the ocean tides.

There are certain books that, as you read them, you can envision the film version. Breathing Room is one of those books, not an action packed blockbuster, but a slow moving, family drama that draws you in and leaves you with a sense of loss when it is over.

At times while I was reading Breathing Room I gasped as I remembered my own eleven year ordeal searching for a place to breathe, waiting for the feeling of imminent disaster to pass. I recall experiencing something akin to a feeling of relief when disaster did occur because the stress of wondering when it would come was finally over. For anyone who has experienced that longing for a place of shelter from the storms raging around them, or who has ever hoped for something more than limping cautiously through every day, Breathing Room is for you.

Breathing Room reminds us even in our darkest moments, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that  Hope is not dead.

Hope is never dead.

Breathing Room is releasing today (June 20, 2015) in print. I hope you will take a moment to explore whether Breathing Room is a book you might enjoy. Here are all the Breathing Room links you will ever need.

Links to Breathing Room the Book/Ebook

Facebook Page

Follow on Twitter

Email: Stevenlangebooks@gmail.com

Mailing Address: PO Box 3254 Harvey Cedars NJ, 08008

I was in no way, shape or form compensated for this review. All opinions are most assuredly my own. 🙂

This post was originally posted in April 2014. I have updated it with the news of the release of the print book.

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Zany

zany final

Names for posts I may never write:

Why Does My Bathroom Smell So Weird?
My Kids are the Worst Magicians Ever.
My Office Mate Plays the Same Songs Over and Over Again, and They’re All Depressing.
I Didn’t Shower Today and I Got A Lot More Done.
I Don’t Care for Tomatoes on My Salad.
Sometimes I Sing Opera Real Loud, to Keep the Crazy Away.
There’s Nothing Worse than Aspirating on a Piece of Broccoli.
I Would Never Hide Grammy’s Tacos.
Automatic Toilets Don’t Flush for Me.
The Milk on My Cereal Tasted Almost Over the Hill, But I Ate it Anyway.
If You Massage My Feet I Remember Better.

Yuck! Ocupado

Attention Bathroom Door Non-lockers: While using the bathroom in a public location – please lock your door. While it may not be a big deal to you to be visited on the toilet while doing your business, it sure is an unpleasant surprise for the viewer – i.e. Moi. 

Sincerely, Scarred for Life.

lock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Bathroom.

You would think that the above plaque would be unnecessary. Sadly, no.

Is there some sort of thrill that is derived from being walked in on while on the pot?

Are certain people simply forgetful?

Is it a matter of just not caring?

What are you, a locker or non-locker?

Some months ago my youngest daughter came down from our house into the public office area to use the bathroom. If you read my Naked in a KFC Bathroom post you’ll know that she needs to disrobe to poo. In this case she merely removed the bottom half of her clothing and, for a little while, proceeded to walk around the populated office area wearing only a shirt and nothing else, thankfully I work with my parents and brother. Soon after, she was back on the pot doing her business. As I left her in there to perform she called after me, “Mom, shut the door, someone might see me.”

Proving without a doubt that being seen naked on the toilet is exceedingly more embarrassing that being seen naked anywhere else.

X-ercise

funny-dog-cartoon-lost-puppy-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d really like to lose some weight.

I also really love to eat.

This is a dilemma I’ve struggled with my whole life.

Occasionally I remind myself that there is an answer to this conundrum, a figurative and literal having my cake and eating it too. You may recognize it by its common name,

Exercise.

I’d like to think carrying an overflowing basket of dirty clothes from the third floor down to the basement laundry and back up again would be a valid substitute for traditional exercise, but sadly, the waistband of my jeans cutting into my stomach fat tells me otherwise.

In my book, grocery shopping should also be considered exercise. Load the bags in the cart, into the car, out of the car, up to the first landing, up to the second floor and then bend over lots of times to empty the bags and put the food away. That has got to equal a run around the track or 74 jumping jacks at least.

My thighs beg to differ.

The truth is, I’d really like to lose some weight.

But I also really love to eat.

Weird Things I Witness

car

Once I went over to ask a neighbor (of a home I was cleaning out) when trash day was; I caught the woman at the exact moment she found her beloved cat dead. I started to comfort her and then the cat came back to life. Seriously, it moved and then walked away.

By the way, trash day is Friday.

I was in Express at the local mall a few weeks ago near the back door that opens onto the parking lot. While I was looking at a table of jeans near the door (searching desperately for my size – why are there never any size 12s? Plump girls need jeans too) a man came in from outside. He was standing near the jeans and I heard him call over another man. Within a couple of seconds both men grabbed a huge pile of $80 jeans each and ran out the back door.

I can’t make this stuff up.

A couple years ago while I was watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks over the Delaware River flaming ash was falling from the sky. I watched a piece of ash land a few feet behind me and light the grass on fire. Simultaneously a piece landed on a man’s pant leg and lit his jeans on fire.

I always wondered if that could happen.

On the topic of fire, while I was driving down the local highway last week I realized that the car in front of me on fire. The entire bottom of the car was flaming. I pulled way back and made sure the driver knew.

He eventually pulled over and jumped out. I drove on home.

I don’t know why I witness this kind of stuff. Maybe it’s because I am a single parent of four young children and therefore am required to be hyper aware of what is going on around me at all times. Maybe I am just in the right place at the right time. Maybe it’s a gift.

What weird things have you been witness to?

Vows & Vidalia Onions

Vidalias, where have you been all my life? If only I could find a man like you…

At two weeks shy of my 40th birthday I discovered Vidalia onions. I’ve been a long time onion crier and for the first time in my life I cut an onion that didn’t bring me tears.  Could there be a man out there like a Vidalia onion – one who doesn’t make me cry? (in a bad way, good tears are totally cool)

Would he need to have been born and bred (possibly conceived) in Georgia?

Would any Southern gentleman do?

If I ever do find my very own Vidalia onion of a man, I have one addition to the traditional vows that I would like him to add.

Groom: “Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all others and holding only to her forevermore… 

…and take out the trash whenever the need may be

trash 1

This should never happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do.”

🙂

I’ve enjoyed spending the month of April writing through the alphabet with the A to Z Challenge. I’ve been waiting for “V.”

Unwanted

I trash pick.

I’m not even ashamed of it – unless I get caught by the owners of the trash, that is. The TRUTH is – I love it. I talk to anyone and everyone about it because I ❤ Treasure Hunting. If the treasures are among the unwanted and thrown away – so be it.

It’s incredible what people throw away.

Recently my neighbor died. (Read about that here.) His adult daughter came and cleaned out his apartment. She bagged up everything, marked it as trash and left. I’m not gonna lie – I dug through every single bag. The result was, I now have six large black trashbags of good (some new) clothes to go to a charitable thrift store that supports an organization I love.

I had four bags of good men’s pants, shirts, blankets, and socks that I handed out to the homeless last Saturday.

I have enough stuff for an entire yard sale.

I also found actual money; brand new, in the package AA batteries, several ebay-able items and enough kitchen wares to stock a kitchen.

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Hand Painted Rochard. There were two of these in a box marked “Trash.” Oh yeah, they’re already on ebay.

Unwanted. -Not by me.

And since we’re on this topic – this is one of my most favorite blogs: http://garbagefinds.com/2014/04/23/public-relations/

Top 10 Things Spoken in Our Home (by me)

top ten

  • Stop being weird.

  • You need to be patient.

  • Settle down.

  • Stop shouting at me.

  • I’m pooping. You need to wait. (shouted from the bathroom)

  • (add anything here about moving faster) …or the Zombies will get you.

  • Stop touching/hitting/looking at/imitating/irritating/licking/laying on/laughing at your sister.

  • What did you say? I wasn’t listening.

  • Go tell Grammy.

  • I love you, little girl.

Shimmying

shimmy

I like to wear skinny jeans because when I pull them up I get to do a little shimmy to get them over my bottom. I love to shimmy. We good Christian girls don’t get many opportunities for shimmying. I take what I can get.

I shimmied into my bathing suit for the first time yesterday since last summer. There was also some tucking and stuffing involved.

My eleven year old was having a birthday party with her two besties at the local indoor water park and I admit to seriously looking forward to those five hours in the hot tub by myself. Sadly, I was hardly alone, the hot tub was packed. On top of that, most of the jets didn’t work and the ones that did were so forceful I needed a seatbelt to keep myself from being ejected from the seat and out of the pool. To top it off, as soon as I sat down, a man with a towel on his head (yes, an actual towel) sat right in my personal space. Not cool.

However, before any of this ever happened, I did need to spend a little extra time in the shower shaving parts of me that hadn’t seen a razor since last August. The Winter Build Up. I figured if the amount of time shaving The Winter Build Up equaled the amount of time I would get to relax in the hot tub, it would be a pretty fair trade.

In the end I spent most of my time with a damp towel wrapped around me (not my head) reading a novel that I read before. Not bad for a Monday night.

And at least I enjoyed the shimmy.

Quiet

 

Forestwander.com

It’s kind of like walking a tight-rope over an abyss.

Apparently, the fact that I work and parent full time and I am also compelled to blog seems a bit strange to some people. Honestly, until they brought it up, it seemed perfectly natural to me, but now that I think about it,

HOW IN THE WORLD AM I DOING THIS?

I was happily unaware that I was walking a tight-rope over an abyss – until someone kindly pointed it out. Now that I know, it has occurred to me that this might be a little crazy.

Since I already have my crazy full on, I’ve decided to attempt to find someone to watch my children for three days/two nights and get away. I need a little quiet to listen to the whispers in my head.

I don’t know if or when it will happen or what will be the outcome, but I know this to be true, behind the loads of laundry and the clamor of the kids, amid the drop offs and pickups and earning of the daily bread, there are whispers.