Three years later, 2011 rolled around, along with the noble enticement of distraction #2.
Fostering puppies was now a fined-tuned machine: wake at 4am, clean up the puppy mess from the night before, wash the puppies, feed the puppies, exercise, wake the kids, clean the puppy mess, make lunches and at 7:14am, herd my children into the car for the drive to school.
Listening to NPR on the way home, I stayed current on the world because I have few friends and don’t like to watch TV. Getting home, I’d clean up after the puppies, do all the household stuff, shower then read or research on fields of interest like conscientious parenting, nutrition and how to find your purpose in life. Yes, it was stirring again. Distraction had finished its work, nudging me to find the next piece of the puzzle.
Confession time. I have this embarrassing and geeky habit that I skirted above. I love to read and summarize books (non-fiction of course), putting the information in matrices and pictures to illustrate the relationships between data, information and themes or topics. I’m not drawn to novels. Researching and expanding my knowledge was the stuff I did in any spare moments, hungry to learn more about yawn-inspiring stuff.
An old co-worker of mine, Leslie, loved this obsession of mine. Her perfectly manicured pink nails would march on my desk, smoke rising from the printer in my office, lines of anxious co-workers forming outside with their unopened copy of the latest corporate literary mandate, on their way to the meeting where they would be drilled on what they learned. Leslie even proposed I make a business out of it. But alas, there were other plans for my odd habit and my secret fascination with science and self-improvement titles that never landed on the top seller list.
I’m odd. I know. It’s why I’ve always kept to myself.
One day in the middle of some research on nutrition, an idea popped! I’d go back to school! Forget my previous major of Marketing! What I was really wanted to do was teach children to make conscientious food choices, to know how their food was grown, how the nutrients functioned in their body and the affect chemicals had on our health and our world, how they could change the world by changing their choices, to not fall prey of Teddy Grams! My vision was something like Mrs. Frizzle meets Bill Nye, Oprah dances with Tony Robbins; science meets exuberant inspiration on a website or You Tube channel!
I was so far off the path. The Divine had to do a lot of nudging with me. I’m fixed in my ways, not routine, fixed, a non-Leo type may even call it stubborn. More on astrology later.
I started with a couple of classes at Belmont University. Financial institution that it is, Belmont had required classes too, one of which was Dr. Marty Bell’s History of Religion. News of this requirement did not sit well, grating against that freedom-thirsty and rebellious outlook mentioned in my last post. No one was going to brainwash me into thinking the Bible was the tool I needed to ‘right’ my life. But Dr. Bell had a well-earned reputation and I was curious, which is a trait that can get you into trouble.
Still, I wasn’t prepared that night when he walked into the classroom. Dr. Bell is a 6’4” Methodist minister with a grey pony tail tracing way down the back of his finely tailored suits. The room bustling with conversation, and I alone in the front corner near the door, he asked for total quiet. Then, with hands the size of Hagrid, he lifted the wooden stick and with a swipe, the notes of the chime cleaned the air, echoed across the room, meeting the dark glass windows, fading into the night waiting beyond, peace found between the contrast of music and silence. What does this have to do with writing a book series? I’m about to tell you.