People deal with stress in different ways. While we’re certainly not going to claim that we’ve come anywhere near to experiencing the kind of stress that our family and friends on the Panhandle have experienced in the aftermath of hurricane Michael, checking in on friends and recovery progress on a daily basis, even from a vantage point 1,000 miles away, provides its own levels of emotion, anxiety, discomfort and, yes, stress.
There have been many moments when, after talking with Panhandle friends or reading their posts about how they’re having to rebuild their communities, their homes and what’s left of their lives, we have had to just stop.
Just stop … and try not to feel guilty about how lucky we are to have found out that Johnnie’s Dad is safe, that our little yellow house is OK or that our part of the Panhandle, because of its comparative lack of destruction and quicker projected recovery, is where many of the lineman and other first responders are finding places to stay that haven’t been completely devastated by Michael.
Just stop … and think how lucky we are to have each other.
We have a luxury that our friends in the areas devastated by Michael don’t. As we write this, we’re not living with it and IN it 24 hours a day. We can try to do something “mindless” to just pause, take a breath, and point our minds in a different direction for a few minutes.
We did that the other day, with surprising results.
One of us made a comment and we both laughed at the wording of the comment. Then, for some strange reason, we found ourselves quickly agreeing that the words used could make an interesting character name. Then, we started thinking about what kind of character it would be. Then, what kind of personality it would have. Then, what kind of life would it have and … and …
We know we’re being a bit cryptic in our description. That’s intentional. We don’t want to give too much away … yet. Because, the character idea started taking on a life of its own and we started writing some ideas down and before we knew it, roughly 2 days later, we’d finished writing a children’s book!
We wanted to get an opinion from a writer we trust, so we shared it with Steve’s brother, Lee, and he was as enthusiastic about it as we are.
We’re now exploring publishing options and looking for an illustrator.
Even now, when we’re feeling a little overwhelmed with some of life’s realities, we find that going to our new creation and reading it out loud makes us smile.
We don’t think that’s a bad thing for a children’s book to do.