The Ties That Bind
Recently, I attended a book event in Oklahoma City. My sister flew in from Denver for the Saturday evening gala, but her flight wasn’t until early evening the next day, so we decided to have a “cousin” lunch on Sunday. With over thirty first cousins, there’s hardly a major city in the US where we don’t have a cousin or two. And we don’t see them nearly often enough. Family reunions are great, but there’s nothing like taking an intentional break from our busy lives and breaking bread together with family.
So over chips and queso (sorry, this is breaking bread in my family) and steaming plates of enchiladas, we caught up with each other’s lives—the latest news, celebrations, and the struggles that are part of life. The thing about cousins is that you have a common ground. You replay funny things that happened as kids and talk about your parents and grandparents and no one has to be “filled in” because you’ve heard the stories before. Or you learn a new twist on a family legend. Treasured times indeed and not a surprise that the themes of family and the “ties that bind” pop up frequently in my novels. They’re the earth I spring from, the roots that have anchored me growing up and which feed my spirit today. We share a spiritual heritage and stories that are unique to us.
As we left the restaurant that “cousin” day, we all vowed we’d keep in touch. I’m not holding my breath, but it did make me thankful for family and the heritage God planned for me even before I was born. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Is there a family member you need to call today? Pick up the phone. You’ll be glad you did.
SWEET DREAMS: It’s 1962, and Dusty Fairchild, daughter of a self-made millionaire and oilman, wants to go to college. Instead she is sent to a private finishing school in East Texas. Although she’s never wanted for material possessions, Dusty longs for independence and adventure. The only upside to attending Miss Fontaine’s is having her cousin and best childhood friend, Paisley, join her. Paisley has traveled the country with her bohemian mother, but she dreams of putting down roots and living a settled life. At Miss Fontaine’s, their loyalty to each other binds them, but when they fall in love with the same handsome young man, their relationship teeters on shaky ground. Only after a tragic accident do they learn where their true hearts-and dreams-lie.
Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. A child of the fifties and sixties, she recalls it as a glorious time when the summers were lazy, colors were brighter, and music filled her heart. Carla’s desire is to take readers to that familiar place in their hearts called “home.” Her three previous novels have won both local and national awards. Sweet Dreams is her newest release. Learn more about Carla at www.carlastewart.com or follow her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ChasingLilacs) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/carlastewartauthor).