I have been suffering through bad day after bad day recently. I had a fender bender. My favorite football team got plowed into the turf in the playoffs. I have been suffering a great deal from weather-induced arthritis pain, low blood sugar, and viral infections. And I even reached the download limit on my WordPress account, meaning I will have to pay more money to post new pictures.
But this blog is percolating along at 30 views per day or more. I am being read and exposed to the light more than I ever have in my whole writing life. That doesn’t earn me a penny, in fact, it costs me money, but it has to be a very good thing. I deal with pain and hardship through creativity. I create things to make it better.
When I was a kid, there was a little old German lady that lived in our little town. She had a tattoo on her forearm. She had been in a concentration camp in Poland in the 1940’s. But , living as an Iowan, she was the most cheerful and loving old lady I knew. She gave me chocolate bars for holding the door open for her at the Methodist church. She gave homemade cookies to all the kids constantly. She did not have any children of her own for very sad reasons that no one ever talked about. She loved it when children visited her at her little tar-paper-covered house that we nicknamed “the Gingerbread House”. I vividly remember being there one cold winter night after choir practice when she gave us gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate. She told us on that snowy winter evening, “Gingerbread makes everything better.”
I have to believe that philosophy is essentially correct. My stories are like gingerbread. If I cook them just right, they will have that good ginger taste that soothes all hurts and longings. So, I started putting together a story in honor of her. She is already a character in several of my stories. But I needed one where Grandma Gretel was the main character. And it has to be about baking gingerbread and telling stories. In fact, I think I will bake a little magic into it. The gingerbread men she bakes will actually come to life. And I will put together a theme about overcoming the darkness with a smile and wink and a recipe for gingerbread.