It’s hot enough to melt the metal handle on my purse, even if placed in the shade. That might be an exaggeration, but it borders on the truth. It’s July and my husband and I are staying with our son and his family in Hot Springs, South Dakota in an Airbnb apartment on the uppermost floor. We’ve hit the jackpot because it has air-conditioning in each window and the extra luxury of ceiling fans. My husband and son are golfing in the hundred-degree scorcher, Chloe’s mom is napping on the couch and I’m coloring with Chloe, our five-year-old granddaughter. The fan whips cool air above our heads. She tells me she can’t color with her best friend, Olivia at daycare. I ask her why? She tells me because they fight, but Olivia always apologizes. I ask Chloe if she apologizes to Olivia. Silence. I try again as we both color on the same picture. “Grandma,” she says, “stop asking questions!” I smile to myself.
I’ve been accused of the same crime before. Asking so many questions. Where do you live? What’s your dog’s name? What breed is she? Where did you go on your trip? Why did they move there? Did you work there long? It’s just I love peoples’ stories and a good memoir delights me almost more than peanut butter chocolate crust cheesecake with homemade whipped cream.
Some writers struggle with writing a memoir. They wonder, Is it ho-hum? Is it self-indulgent? I’ve wondered about mine. Who in the world wants to read about me merrily driving a John Deere tractor, singing a Beach Boy’s song at the top of my lungs while plowing a field, then making a turn too wide and ripping out a barb-wired fence at the end of the field? Surely, others have done that. Who would care to read it? It’s that doubt that leaves my manuscript tucked away in a file for over twenty years. I know I need to muffle my critic’s voice inside, dust the manuscript off and believe my story is worth sharing with others.