It has Been A Month…

Today marks one month since Pam posted to her blog. Life tends to take turns in unexpected ways. This past month was like that in several ways…

Pam B. Newberry, a little older than 61, of Virginia was reported missing and presumed lost at sea on September 14, 2018. Her brother, Archie, called Pam’s husband, Albert, and was not able to speak with him. “I think she left for Ireland or maybe even Scotland,” Archie said. You should talk with Pam’s daughter, Julie.

After checking the airlines, and not finding Pam’s name among those listed. Julie told us she contacted various cruise lines. She said, “It wouldn’t surprise me that she hitched a ride on a cruise ship making its way across the Atlantic for the winter. I talked with her neighbors. They said they saw my Dad leave with several bags in tow.”

Then, one of Pam’s BFFs called. “I gave Pam a ride to the Charlotte airport where she got a plane. The weather was not too bad that day. She let me video her getting out my car. She was so happy to be going on a trip. She loved to travel, you know even though she was scared of flying. But, now, I’ve not heard from her. I have no idea where she is. She promised she would write me once she arrived wherever she was going. She wouldn’t tell me where. I’m worried.”

Albert, a retired Public Safety Director for the little hamlet where he and Pam have a seven-acre farm told a neighbor the day before he was seen leaving, “Pam and I like trying or experiencing different things—we’re Renaissance people. It seems no one really knows what someone would or could do if given the chance. Including me after being married to Pam for over forty-years.”

A high school chum of Pam’s said, “I saw her car at Lover’s Leap along the Blue Ridge Parkway. You don’t think they jumped, do you?” Another called and admonished Julie. “Do you know where she is? Why would you let her disappear like that?”

The neighbor said Albert seemed calm about the fact Pam hadn’t been seen since he came back from an errand in town. He said, “I was with her most of that day. When I last spoke with her before I had to run to Lowe’s for an errand, she said she would make us a gourmet meal. She loved cooking, trying new recipes, and enjoying a glass of wine while she worked in her kitchen wearing one of her many aprons she collected over the years. I miss my wife.”

Jean said, “As her sister-n-law, she told me things she didn’t always tell others. She always wanted to learn to fly. She went to the airport alright. She got a plane alright. But, it wasn’t a commercial plane. She rented a two-seater, and she took off over the ocean. She wanted to be like Amelia Earhart. She is an independent woman who wanted to go to Ireland.”

When this news reporter called Julie asking about the rumor that Pam flew a plane to Ireland, she replied, “That’s plum foolish. She didn’t know how to fly. And, she has claustrophobia. Besides, she gets lost driving in town. If anything, she is doing a famous stained glass piece for some magical place. Or, she’s helping a community of free-spirits farming and living off the land. She loves growing her own food.”

She went on. “Did you know that she owned several restaurants in various parts of the country. And, she managed them all from home. She works magic with food. Her favorite place state-side is in Bolinas, California. Back in 1997, she setup a quaint little restaurant there. It is one of the best kept secrets of hers.”

Then, a fellow writing friend, Rosa said, “My friend was a comedy writer for variety shows and even received some awards using her pen name–Juan Day-Isle Gough. She did all sorts of technical writing gigs for some really big dudes in the northeast area. I imagine she’d become a YouTube sensation one day, given the chance. Her audio work is pretty impressive.”

Pam’s great-niece said, “I think she is hiding out in the John Muir woods or the Redwood Forests or she and Uncle Albert might be in the hidden world of the Great Smokey Mountains. Aunt Pam told me once that she loved the old growth forests the best. She said there weren’t many of them left, but I bet if she has the chance, she’d get herself a cabin there and you’d never see her or my Uncle again. They are constant companions and love each other. Neither one would go away without the other.”

That’s one story. Another is that for the past year and one-half Pam’s been gradually getting sicker and sicker fighting a hidden illness that conventional medicine did not know how to diagnose with the usual tests. It turned out to be a chronic condition that got worse over the course of twelve years. During that time, Pam had six colonoscopies and six endoscopes. Nothing was found. Yet, her symptoms persisted. And worsened. The inflammation was horrible and the pain severe. She often said that she knew in her heart of hearts she had cancer and they didn’t know how to find it.

One fateful day, it took a wise voice to change the course of her life. An understanding nurse practitioner suggested she try food allergy testing. She did. She learned that she was allergic to soy and sesame and all of the related products. Her symptoms were like having poison ivy in the lining of her digestive system from the top of her esophagus to the end of her colon and all points in-between. After learning how to remove soy and sesame from her diet, her life changed. For the first time in years, she wasn’t in constant pain or suffering from constant loss of blood.

The relief overwhelmed her. She took a break from the busy hustle-bustle of the world. It happened to coincide with Albert’s retirement and their fortieth anniversary. Two weeks away from all forms of communication, a piece of tranquility came over her. She decided to use this newfound free time to catch up on her writing. Her novel-writing had suffered the last six months. She was behind in meeting her deadline.

“Something strange happened,” she told me when this reporter reached her yesterday. Pam continued, “I found that weaning myself from feeling I had to do this or I had to do that freed me to love writing again. I was no longer chained to it. I was doing it because I loved doing it. I was free!”

This reporter asked, “Will there be other moments where you won’t be doing things you’ve done in the past. You know the kind of things I mean — get on FB, write your blog regularly, work on your current book, do your stained glass, work in your garden, be a gourmet cook — those kind of things?”

“Yes,” she said.

Update: Pam has written about a third of her new book. She is not going as fast as some would like, but she is having a wonderful time writing again.

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Cheers,
Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows

 

This post – “It has Been a Month…” was first posted on Saturday, October 13, 2018 on Pam’s Blog.

Make some fire!

A Quick Post — Storm’s Brewing — Oh, My!

Hello Reading Fans…

Mr Scruffy and Pam here to say we are trying to get back into the swing of writing, posting, and being caught up with life.

Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows“Taking two weeks off for vacay proved to put Pam further behind than she thought she’d be. I tried to warn her. But, Nooooo. She didn’t listen to me. Her trusty Owl.”

Image of Pam“Mr Scruffy, I bow to you. You know me better than I know myself!”

 

Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows “I do believe that KC understands that perfectly.”

 

“That is why she is the protagonist, and I’m the lowly wordsmith.”Image of Pam

 

Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows “That’s why I think I should take this blog post over. Now, Pam’s reading fans take heed, Pam is busy writing Book Two – DarkShadow. She is very far behind her schedule due to a summer mixed with illness, a lot of research, gardening, and her husband retiring.

She apologized to many of you on her FB author page, but I’m not sure she realizes just how far behind she is.

What’s that you say? Why is she behind?

For one, she didn’t listen to me. For another, while working on a particularly dark section in Act One, she had some issues figuring out how dark to go.

You see, she is a scaredy-cat. Seriously! She jumps in the dark all the time. You see, there is this scene that harkened back to when her Mom was in the hospital (Read her memoir – The Letter – for insights). And, during the early part of the summer, due to some illness, she was going through the process of trying to have an MRI completed of her brain.

To add insult to injury, Pam is severely claustrophobic and couldn’t do the test. She ended up having a CT scan instead. It didn’t show everything as the neurologist would have liked, but Pam got through that test with the help of drugs.

Shhhh. I thought she was not all there without the aid of anything artificial too. As her loving husband said, “At least they found she does have a brain.” (Shades of the Wizard of Oz coming through. I don’t blame you for laughing.) She doesn’t know I’m sharing this information. Why am I sharing? Because it kinda of explains why she’s been slow writing this section of the book.

As her friend, and I hope yours, you will understand. She is about ready to get out of a dark side of the book and move into some interesting twists and turns. She is hoping she’ll be able to write with more speed.

Image of Pam “Mr Scruffy. Are you still talking?”

 

Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows “Actually, I’m about done. I was giving your reading fans an update as several had contacted me asking where you were and what you were doing regarding Book Two – DarkShadow.

Image of Pam “Thank you, Mr Scruffy. It does seem like it is taking forever. I’m working on it!”

 

Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows “Woot! Woot! I’m sure you are! Seriously, she really is doing just that! Stay tuned!”

 

The development of Book Two – DarkShadow is making progress. Click to acquire your copy of Book One – The Owl, the Sword, & the Efil Stone or sign-up for Pam’s Newsletter to get updates and consider joining the VIP SQUAD for more info on other opportunities.

Thanks for following Pam’s Blog! If you enjoy reading, please share with family and friends.

Write On!
Pam's Signature

 

 

 

A Quick Post — Storm’s Brewing — Oh, My! was first posted on Pam’s Blog on Thursday, September 13, 2018.

Make some fire!

A Tribute to My Dad

This is a guest post by Julie Newberry, our daughter

HAPPY RETIREMENT, DAD!

Julie and Albert on Reed Creek
Julie and Her Dad, Albert, on Reed Creek in August.

So, my Dad, Albert, retired Tuesday, July 31, 2018. He has work for the Town of Wytheville for 36 years in a variety departments, such as Maintenance, Fire Marshal, Building Inspection, and then finally Director of Public Safety, where he spent most of his time.

In his early years, he was also a volunteer firefighter. As a young child, there were many days both my parents worked crazy hours. So my dad took me with him on fire calls. I would set in the truck with our dog, while he would fight fires. Lots of times, I would also set in the fire truck and talk with the engineer on duty. Later in life, Dad told me stories about how sometimes I would be sound asleep in a dispatcher’s chair when all-heck would break loose. The dispatchers would just smile and shake their heads at the sleeping child.

My later childhood years I remember using a fire truck as my jungle gym—swinging around the handgrips and climbing on the back. But, I think the most fun I had was when riding on the back of a fire truck during the town parades.

A story Dad shared with me was a time I got locked in his work truck. I was about 4 years old. He was working on one of the stop lights at a major intersection in town late one winter night. He told me since it was cold out and our black lab, Lady, and I were in the truck that he would leave it running to keep us warm.

Dad had an old white pickup truck where the windows rolled up with a handle and you had to push the locks down. There were these tiny triangular-shaped little windows too. He parked the truck in the center of the intersection to block traffic while he worked. Dad got out of the truck to work on the controller for the traffic light. When he got done and was ready to head home, he realized the truck was locked and he couldn’t get in. Lady’s chin had pushed down the locking buttons.

For several minutes, Dad tried calling me over to unlock the door. Every time I went to go to the window, Lady would knock me over. I giggled and would sit there. After some time went by, Dad decided to call for backup. Two police officers came. They tried everything to get me to unlock the door. But Lady would just keep knocking me over. They used candy to entice Lady away from me. But, the second they moved the candy toward me, Lady would go after it. I wasn’t the least bit interested in candy. I was laughing at Lady.

Finally, one officer had a tool and he was able to pry open one of the side vent windows, and then unlock the door. By then, Dad was beaming red with frustration. A police officer said, “Don’t you yell at her; it wasn’t her fault.” Dad never did yell at me for that. Years later Dad told me the story. Since then, I often joke that the police officers are my bodyguards.

There were times when I would ride with Dad in his work truck, driving around town. We would have calls come over the radio that a bear was seen in town. So, we joined in the chase. One time, a bear was seen near the interstate. That time I watched my dad come face to face as it stood on its hind legs. I looked on with amazement and excitement. Not seeing my Dad’s face of fear, I watched him lead the bear to safety, back into the woods.

Other times, the forest service men would tranquillize a bear and place him in the back of their trucks to be transported somewhere else. While the bear was in the back of a truck, I would walk up to the bear and pet them saying “Good Bear!” As time went on, I would have several interactions with petting a bear. So, from that time on, Dad called me “Bear.”

Another time, we heard on the radio a police officer calling for back up. We were only a couple blocks away and my Dad rushed to the call. It was at a corner gas station. I saw my Dad and two police officers, one being a female officer, wrestling with a citizen trying to place them under arrest. All of sudden, they all went crashing through a big glass window. They finally got cuffs on the person. To my amazement the broken glass hurt none of them.

There are many stories I could tell of spending time with my Dad while he was at work. I was very lucky that I got to spend time with him while seeing him doing what he loved to do.

Through the years, I was able to see first hand the sacrifice and the many long hours my Dad spent serving and protecting the Town of Wytheville—from fighting fires to becoming the Director of Public Safety. In my eyes, from early on, my Dad is and will always be my hero for the sacrifices he made. Maybe that is why I like to volunteer at my church all the time. I want to give back just like my Dad did.

Albert in his TOW Shirt
Albert on his last day of work with the Town of Wytheville.

Congratulations and Best Wishes on your retirement, Dad. May you enjoy your retirement! You deserve it!!!

Lots of Love,
Bear

 

This posted first published on Pam’s Blog on August 10, 2018.

Make some fire!