On a Personal Note
It’s been a long while since I’ve posted and even longer since I’ve done any writing. This was my sabbatical year to get “must do” home projects done. Well, the year is coming to an end and I have three bathrooms partially finished. There is always something that holds me up. Waiting on someone else to finish their part or life in general. My bedroom has looked like a workshop and warehouse since July. I simply do not get the mileage per day that I used to. One would think I’m getting older!
Family has had its demands as well and I thank God that I have been able to spend quality time not squeezed in between chapters and deadlines with loved ones. It’s been a leap of faith to put home and family first, while keeping my writing on the back burner. Yet, all along, God has been giving me glimpses of my new hero and heroine. The vignettes are becoming more and more detailed, as if to say, it’s getting close to tush in the chair time. And the ideas and conflicts He has revealed to me for each character are far better than the ones I started with on paper last year. Isn’t He something?
Meanwhile the holidays are stampeding full tilt toward me. And you know what? Let them come. I am not ready compared to previous years. Shopping, Mom’s and mine, is almost done, but no decorations are up beyond window candles. But I’m not fretting as I have in years past, when all had to be done by my son’s December 15th birthday.
The decorations aren’t what the holidays are about anyway. Neither are the gifts really. What angst we put ourselves through! How many gifts do we give because we feel obligated? Or perhaps our heart isn’t in them. Add exhaustion from trying to do it all, financial pressures and store mobs and it’s no surprise that we often find ourselves robbed of joy this time of year.
Okay, this is not what I intended to write. Please bear with me. God’s gift to us is coming to mind, how it doesn’t differ a lot from gift-giving scenarios in homes across the world. That gift didn’t come easy either, for the Father or the Holy Family. Look at what Joseph and Mary went through and would go through. The joy versus pain ratio left a lot to be desired.
And how long had God sent prophets and performed miracles to show His love for us? Frustrated as He must have been, He still gives the greatest of all gifts…His only begotten Son. The Word made flesh. Given to a world that didn’t deserve Him. At a cost that would break the Father’s heart.
Why? In a word, love beyond human understanding.
Oh that we, and I mean me too, might give so unselfishly, with our love laid bare, stripped of fancy wrappings as the newborn Christ child when He came into this world. Face it, when we give to some, it’s with our all too human subjective love. Not God’s God’s unconditional love.
It’s not the gift, but the spirit in which it is given. Talk about a challenge for a busy, demanding season...and sometimes demanding people.
Wow, God. Is it humanly possible? Can I keep that in mind this year and find joy where it is often stolen? Father, I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me toward that end this holiday season. The joy is mine already. Your gift to me, that I might pass it on.
Dear friends, this is the joy I pray for you. That the Holy Spirit sweeps you up higher than the holiday blur. Just accept and then share the joy. Infect others with it. Glory to God in the highest, AMEN!
A Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Due to the necessities of life, Windsor has become skilled at painting, wallpapering, refinishing furniture, upholstering, and other handywoman tasks about the house, as well as becoming adept at some acupressure, reflexology, and shiatsu healing techniques. Doing the first sort of begat learning the latter. But all in all, Linda takes ups and downs of life with the comfort of her grandmother's wisdom. "The sun don't shine up the same dog's derriere all the time." Okay, so Linda cleaned it up a bit. The gist is, all things come to pass, both the bad and the good...and the first makes us truly appreciate the latter.
Linda Windsor makes her home at a restored and "growing" late 18th century home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Above the Windsor front door hangs a sign saying "Fort Necke, assigned 1684, established 1830," which means the land grant is older than the current building. She purposely left off the ageing brought on by the restoration to her mind and body - not enough space to accommodate the number. Chronologically, she admits to celebrating another birthday, just like the rest of us, each year on July 8th -- which also happens to be the anniversary of the day the Liberty Bell cracked.
Actually, her home is made up of three separate houses, which were put together as was often done in colonial times to make a larger dwelling as its family grew. The oldest is dated circa 1798, with the other two around 1830. The quaint characteristics of the home make it the ideal setting for writing about the past. It has massive exposed beams, some dressed and beaded, while others are hand hewn and water sawed by the original owner, who owned a saw mill on the millpond nearby. A large "walk-in" cooking fireplace with a bee hive bake oven provides the means for delicious open hearth meals on a cold winter's day. Rooms with modern conveniences like plumbing and closets, were added by Linda and her late husband James during the restoration.
There are any number of friends and family always dropping by, usually for meals, and an assortment of stray cats have also made their home at Fort Necke. The key phrase in the Windsor household is "the more the merrier!" Another favorite sign is posted inside, reading "Registered Historical Nut House."
Amid the often chaotic "country inn" atmosphere, Windsor has written quite a collection of historical and contemporary romances as both Linda Windsor and Linda Covington. Windsor's historical novels are known for her distinctive voice and flair for incorporating history with romance and adventure, while her contemporary romantic comedies are guaranteed to warm the heart, lift the spirit, and tickle the funny bone. One reader commented, "Be sure to keep tissues handy. I laughed so hard I had to keep wiping off my glasses." Windsor insists that nothing is more entertaining than life itself, be it past or present.
With a degree in education from her local university, one of the greatest rewards to the innate teacher in Linda was hearing from readers that her Irish Gleannmara series was approved for some middle school English book reports as well as being used in home-schooling. To Windsor, entertaining, or keeping the pages turning, while educating is as much as any historical novelist can ask for.
Another interest is music. She and her husband retired from a ten year stint with a professional classic country and old rock and roll band in which she played guitar and keyboard, and sang lead and harmonies. They met and married through music, their band playing at their own wedding reception. It was an early afternoon wedding and somehow the beautiful tiered cake never got cut until midnight, but a good time was had by all, including the bride and groom! For years James and Linda shared a music ministry, performing for area churches and charities. She confesses to occasionally eyeing an acoustic electric bass guitar, but thus far, tackling yet another instrument has intimidated her.