Stories that will make you laugh out loud and heart-felt poetry will keep you reading from the first page to the last.
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DONNA HALE CHANDLER, POETICALLY CORRECT (Order here for autographed copies)
The author starts her story as a high school student where she meets and eventually marries her high school sweetheart. She then takes you on a series of enjoyable side trips as she poetically tells of her husband's military service in 'Uncle Sam and Vietnam' and in a number of very funny short stories about raising her children.
In one such story her young daughter tells her that 'she's not growing hair there' when she grows up and in another she asks, 'what does a HANDICAPPED car look like?" This after stopping to point out several vacant parking spots nearer the front door, (as they are making their way from the back of the parkig lot in a downpour) and being told that those places are reserved for handicapped.
Years later, after a very brief retirement, the author's husband will lose his battle with cancer and her life will detour in a different direction. She finds much to live for in a senior life romance, all of which will be neatly spelled out throughout this approximately 150 page book of short stories and poems. You will find many more laughs, than tears in this very enjoyable accounting of the author's life. She just seems to have a knack for finding the 'funny' in any and all of life's many situations.
Autographed copies of LIFE HAPPENS (My Story) can be purchased by going to: http://poeticallycorrect.webs.com/
This book is also available through: https://www.createspace.com/3465653
And of course, Amazon. com which will give you a peek inside.
My husband and I had barely gotten married when he was sent to Vietnam. I was so excited when he called to say he was again in the States, I hung up, jumped into my car to go get him with only an itty bitty idea of exactly where I was going.
GOD LOOKS AFTER FOOLS
The year was 1968. The month was August. I was living in Kentucky in my parent’s home. My husband was in the Army, serving in Vietnam and it was time for him to come home again. As a matter of fact, we all felt it was long PAST time for him to come home. The last I’d heard he was ‘waiting for orders’. and I had learned that servicemen ‘wait for orders’ OFTEN. That old “hurry-up-and-wait” comment was right on the money.
My parents were preparing to leave on a week long vacation to Daytona Beach, Florida. I was SO hoping that my husband would arrive home during that week. He’d been gone a year and to have a house all to ourselves for a whole week would have been like the honeymoon we weren’t able to have. Our first attempt at getting married was postponed when all leaves were canceled because of some perceived emergency. We were finally married during a week-end pass several weeks later. The wedding took place on a Saturday and he had to be back at Fort Knox, Kentucky on Sunday evening. He was required to be ready to report for duty at some amazingly early hour on Monday morning. The point being, having missed out on a honeymoon, we were planning to make up for lost time.
Those who remember the Race Riots of the late 60s, will likely understand the reasoning behind my father giving me his hand-gun. He instructed me that if I had to drive any distance after dark to make sure this gun was lying, loaded, on the seat right next to me. I listened with half an ear. Nothing was going to happen to me. I wasn’t going to be driving any distance after dark so I just let Dad be dad and promised him I’d be very, very careful.
The day I saw my parents off on their trip, I suddenly felt lonely. I’d been waiting and waiting for them to leave and now that they were gone, the house was awfully quiet with no one around to talk with. I paced the floor, willed the phone to ring, tried to telepathically tell Don to call me and let me know that he was at least on his way. Not knowing is not fun and I was starting to get annoyed with him for keeping me in the dark.
Finally I gained control of my roller coaster emotions, reminded myself that he would call as soon as he possibly could, and took myself off to bed for the night. About midnight the phone rang. If I hadn’t been so young and agile I surely would have broken my neck trying to get to the phone. Nobody calls in the middle of the night. I knew it must be him. He’s going to tell me when he’ll be home.
And yes, it was Don calling. He was not only back in the States. He was in MY state. He had just landed in Lexington, Kentucky, which was as far as he could get by plane. He would have to wait till morning to get a bus the rest of the way. I told him to stay put, not to move a muscle or go anywhere, I would come for him. After I jabbered and cried and told him I was coming, I slammed down the phone, threw my clothes on and ran out the door, only to have to run back inside because I forgot my car key.
As I backed out of the driveway I remembered my dad telling me to be sure to take the gun, “lay it on the car seat if you go ANYWHERE after dark.” Being the obedient daughter, I pulled back into the driveway, flew back into the house, grabbed the gun, laid it on the car seat and off I went again.
I had been to Fort Knox when my husband was stationed there so I knew how to get that far. However I’d never been to Lexington. I knew the general area and figured that if I got on the highway, sooner or later I’d see an exit sign that said Lexington Airport. I think Lexington is about 120 - 150 miles from Ashland, where I lived but it seemed as far away as the moon. It was the middle of the night. The roads were empty and I had that crazy gun laying there on the seat.
As I drove along, alone with my thoughts, I pictured the gun getting accidentally knocked off onto the floor and going off, shooting either Don or me. The more I thought about it, the more I knew that was exactly what was going to happen. How horrible to survive Vietnam only to come home and be accidentally shot by your own wife’s gun. No, I just couldn’t let that happen. So I pulled off at the very next exit, even though I was losing precious travel time, unloaded the gun, and put it safely out of sight. As long as I couldn’t see it, as long as it wasn’t loaded, it couldn’t possibly hurt either of us.
Around 2:00 in the morning I started seeing Lexington signs so I knew I was getting close. Unfortunately none of the signs said anything about an airport. Rather than take a chance on driving too many miles in the wrong direction, I decided to stop and ask directions. Not much was open at 2:00 in the morning, probably because of the unrest between the races but I stumbled upon a coffee shop. Pulling into the parking lot, I could see two men inside eating doughnuts and drinking coffee.
I went in, trying to look mature and worldly, and asked if either of them could tell me how to get to the Lexington Airport. Several seconds of silence went by before one of them finally spoke and said, “”Which one do you want to go to?”
WHAT? THERE’S MORE THAN ONE? I felt my heart fall to my stomach and tears sting my eyes. I didn’t’ feel very mature or worldly any more. I felt scared and silly.
Why hadn’t I gotten more information from him? For goodness sakes, if I ever did find this airport, I didn’t have a clue as to which airlines he flew in on. I’d just jumped into my car and headed out. What a stupid thing to do! Now it’s 2:00 a.m., I have no idea how to find him or get in touch with him. I struggled to keep from crying.
In a small defeated voice, I answered the man and said “I don’t know which airport.” His friend spoke up and said, “George, don’t give the young woman a hard time, I’ll bet she’s looking for the big airport. Don’tcha think?”
“So,” George asked, “What do you want at the airport? Why do you need to go there in the middle of the night?”
It didn’t occur to me to tell him it was none of his business. I needed some help and there didn’t appear to be anyone else around. I told him that I was going to pick up my husband, who was just getting home from Vietnam.
“Well Missy, why didn’t you say so?” says George, looking at least a little bit friendlier than he had when I first walked in. He then wrote down the directions on a napkin, wished me luck and I was quickly out the door and on my way again.
In a very short time I found the airport and what an airport it was. It was HUGE! To a “Bible Belt Kentucky girl” it seemed as big as a city.
I was NOT going to let myself get discouraged again. I followed the signs to ‘Parking’. Of course at this time in the morning it wasn’t hard to find a parking place and I marched into the airport prepared to walk from one end to the other, if that’s what it took. I knew my husband was there somewhere and I WOULD find him before the sun came up on another new day.
As I walked through the automatic doors, I saw him, not 10 feet away, walking in my direction. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even walk to meet him. I just stood there and cried and cried, thinking, he’s home. He’s really home.
It has been said that “God looks after fools and lovers.” This little 120 mile trip in the dark is proof… even though I didn't know the way, He got me there.