Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More on small towns

I love small towns. I use one in my Ellen McKenzie series, Santa Louisa aka Paso Robles, CA., and have watched both of them grow over the last few years, but still remain small towns. Grandparents pick kids up after school and three generations go to the high school football games. Everyone knows everyone else, and that can sometimes be intrusive, but it sure helps when your next door neighbor plucks your kid out from behind the horse barn along with her own, where they were trying to light the matches that dad used the night before to light the barbaque. Those close relationships come in real handy when constructing a murder plot. Secrets are harder to hold onto when everyone knows your family history generations past, and has no hesitation talking about it. Residents of small towns share lots of things besides gossip. They'll turn out to celebrate weddings, christinings, and funerals. They'll bring cassaroles, pies, and cakes to any and all of these events and they stick together in times of grief and times of tragedy.
I live in Gaffney, South Carolina. We have been in the news a lot these last couple of weeks. A seriel killer landed in our town. Our town! Quiet, comfortable, friendly Gaffney. For the first time, folks locked their doors. They did more than that. They piled pans, bells, and anything else that might make a nose against them. Big dogs got adopted. One woman I know kept her shotgun with her, hung on her arm, for almost a week. I don't know if she knows how to shoot it, but it was there. I am scared of guns and have never owned one, but thought flightingly of buying some amunition. Why, I don't know. All I could have done was throw it at the guy if he turned up on my doorstep and I don't think that would have done much good. But we were scared witless. All of us. The killings were so random, so sensless, anyone could be the next victim. This wasn't a book, filled with hair raising thrills, this was real fear, the kind that made you leave on all of the porch lights and made your eyes pop open in the miiddle of the night whenever you heard a noise. The memory of that fear will not disappear quickly. The random cruelty of those shootings will leave a mark that will not be erased from this small community any time soon. And the grief that weighs on the families of the victims will be shared, in some small part, by all of us. The killer is dead and our fear is slowly dying as well. Life will gradualy return to normal. but I hope that another memory about these awful few days will remain with us. This community did what it always does, it came together. People comforted, protected, prayed for each other. They fed each other, hugged each other, and stood ready to do whatever needed to be done. And they will continue to do that. Small towns are wonderful places to live. Kathleen Delaney And Murder For Dessert

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm back

I haven't been on here since right before Thanksgiving, but I have a pretty good excuse. I can even get a not from my doctor, if I need one. Seems that right before Thanksgiving, two days before to be exact, I went to Georgia to pick up my grandkids and bring them back here, (here being South Carolina) only I started having some trouble with my left leg. Numbness, cold, very cold, and pain in the calf. I tried to ignore it because the kids and I had all kinds of plans. First, we were going to start our Christmas shopping and then Dalia and I were going to make chocolate cherry cake and a cranberry orange mold for our Thanksgiving dinner, Ronaldo was going to tear up all the bread for the stuffing (tearing is more interesting to a 6 year old boy than baking) and then we were going to go to Kings Mountain to hike the history trail again, things like that, only the leg got worse and their mother wouldn't let us start for my home until I got checked out at the local emergency room. Didn't get back out of the hospital until December 20th, minus one perfectly good leg. Well, I guess it wasn't that good. It seems that the blood would no longer pump through the arteries and vessels even though I had two stents implanted and had just had an arterial bypass. No blood flow means lots of bad things happen to the tissue. In other words, it dies, and as all us mystery writers and readers know, death is sort of final. So---that's why I haven't been around for awhile. However, I have a new one. Not nearly as shaply as the old one, and I am having to learn to walk all over again (I think learning to walk when you are around one is easier because you don't have as far to fall) but when this one starts to hurt, I can take it off and put it in a corner, which is more than I can say for the old one. This has taken some gettin used to, but I'm learning, getting stronger, and life is starting to return to some semblace of normal, so much so that I went out and bought a new car. thought both the economy and I needed a boost. So, if any of you reading this have had any experience with amputations and can or would like to offer a little advice or comment in any way, I sure would love to hear from you. In the meantime, keep your sunny side up, I'm working on mine. Kathleen Delaney