Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trouble by the foot

Or should I say trouble of the foot?

One of the worst aspects of aging, I've discovered in recent years is that years of trekking around in high heels has taken its toll. One of my feet is a real pain...literally. It has a bunion, which I seem to recall my grandmother having, and a hammer toe. I hate not only how it looks, but the impossibility of finding shoes that fit.

So, I have turned into one of those people at whom I used to laugh, wearing socks with my sandals. Thanks goodness I live in warm climates all year-round so I can get away with sandals in any season. Otherwise, I really would be cause for chuckles..and quite likely pneumonia.

My socks, at least, I tell anyone who risks a comment, are fashionably color-coordinated with my outfit. In fact a clerk at Walmart one day was actually awed and amazed by my orange socks (cantaloupe?) which perfectly matched my capris. I am clearly a fashionista for the over 65 set, or at least those of us who were too stupid in our youth to watch what we put on our feet.

Over the past few weeks I've been on a mission to find new shoes for summer. This is not a joy. So far I have ordered from a total of four different companies, found things I could wear at three of them and reordered the best in other colors. Only one pair has been shipped back. My house now looks a little like a shoe store after a particularly insane sale. And I wander around in one pair for an hour, then change to a different pair, all in an attempt to either break them in or decide if they're even tolerable.

Because I actually have an aversion to returning the bad choices, I normally have a stash of unworn shoes lingering all over the place as well. I think it may have something to do with admitting I made a mistake. This is a very costly route to follow, so I'm working on racing back to the post office with the misfits.

Of course, the permanent solution to this would be to take my poor foot off to a podiatrist and get it fixed. It seems likely I'll have to do that eventually since my entreaties to overnight guests to come in and bash that hammer toe with, well, a hammer in the middle of the night seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

So, a word of advice to any of you with perfect feet. Don't take them for granted. Treat them kindly. Otherwise, you'll be forced to contact me for the best places to buy sandals and socks.


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Saturday, April 17, 2010

On the road again...

This is the time of year when my car and I become very well-acquainted. I've just finished the long journey from Miami to Virginia with stops in South Carolina to visit friends and North Carolina to visit family. And now I'm about to head out again to Ohio on a book tour.

For those of you who live anywhere near Columbus, here are a few of my plans.

I'll be doing a booksigning at Barnes and Noble, 1739 Olentangy River Road at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 29. Hopefully we'll have plenty of copies of Sweet Tea at Sunrise there, along with Home in Carolina. Can't get there? I'll be signing stock at several local bookstores, so you may be able to pick up signed copies of my books all around town.

I'm also going to be at the book fair at the Romantic Times convention at the Hyatt Regency, 350 N. High Street, on Saturday, May 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I believe there's a $5 entry fee for the fair which will feature lots and lots of authors.

Right after the book fair on Saturday, I'll be hosting a tea at 2 p.m. If you're interested in attending that, I believe there are a very few tickets left. Please contact me at no later than Monday, April 19. These remaining spots will go on a first come, first served basis. We're going to have lots of fun debuting the video on friendships based on your contest entries, along with some terrific door prizes. There will be fabulous food, and a special magnolia cookie from my favorite cookie company, Flour Pot Cookies. I hope some of you will be able to join us for this event.

For me this trip to Columbus is a homecoming of sorts. Not only did I graduate in journalism from Ohio State, but I worked for the now-defunct morning paper for several years. Other than the wintry blast of cold, I loved Columbus, and I can't wait to get back to see how the town has grown, to visit with lots of old friends and see the campus again.

And I'm really looking forward to getting to see some of my readers from the area, so stop by one of the events if you can. Getting to chat with you is one of my favorite things.



Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Easter message

Although there are many religious holidays throughout the year, I think most of us of various Christian beliefs celebrate Christmas and Easter with the greatest sense of joy. These are also the occasions on which many of us take a deeper look at our faith and spirituality and how it fits in with our overall belief system and guides our lives.

I was brought up to believe that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Now, it's possible that I got that all wrong, but I interpreted it to mean that it should apply to all of our neighbors, no matter race, religion or anything else that might make them something other than a mirror image of ourselves. In other words, I grew up believing that we are all God's children.

Therefore I tend to react with dismay to some of the things people choose to do in the name of religion. Obviously the most horrendous of these acts are the suicide bombers who take hundreds of lives each year. But in recent days another act, conducted in the name of religion, has been publicized and left me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

A small church in Kansas has apparently made it its mission to take its message of hatred toward homosexuals to the funerals of United States soldiers killed in action. In its own convoluted logic, the men and women who defend this country are, therefore, defending homosexuality. Therefore they see it as entirely within their rights to spew their vitriol at the funerals of servicemen.

Now I am a great believer in the Constitution of this country and an ardent supporter of the right to freedom of speech, but what kind of compassionate Christian can possibly find it acceptable to make a mockery of the solemn occasion of a funeral for someone who has sacrificed his or her life to defend our freedoms? Not only are their families grief-stricken by their loss, but now they're subjected to protests outside their churches or at their cemeteries. I know this has happened in the past with anti-war protesters. I didn't like it one bit better then. It breaks my heart just to think about it.

Add in the fact that the grieving father who sued the group over this outrageous behavior at his son's funeral first won a lawsuit against them, then lost in the next round in court and has now been ordered to pay the court costs of the protesters. Thankfully people from all over the country have been chipping in to help him out.

I understand that the right to freedom of speech is intended to protect even the most hate-filled among us and their messages, but it seems to me that common decency and a true Christian heart would dictate that there are some limits to this. To cross that line in the name of religion strikes me as even worse.

Just something to think about on one of the holiest days of the year. Happy Easter to all of you. May your hearts be filled with love and compassion toward one another.

Sherryl Woods


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