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dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
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Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Week Three

 

Well this has been one eventful and interesting read and I hope as enjoyable to you as it was to me and I thank you all for participating. Now on to the questions.

 

When Jo reaches Kate still in India two things happen, Jo finally gets useful advice on Gracie and Kate is relieved that someone needs her.

1. It’s obvious from Kate’s phone calls home that the household is only surviving by a thread
Why do you think Kate hasn’t felt needed

 

Sarah goes to seek out Colin in his “native setting” where she quickly realizes just what kind of reconstructive surgery he does for a living
2. Does Sarah see him as selling out, why or why not

 

Kate arrives home to a hornet’s nest with Paul
3. How do you feel now about her trip to India, have you changed your mind about Kate, why or why not

 

After the Madeline tea and the confrontation with Gracie’s Grandma and Jessie It finally dawns on Jo why Rachel left Gracie in her care
4. Do you agree with her decision now, has your feelings changed toward either Jo or Rachel's choice of guardian for Gracie
5. How do you feel about how Jo is handling the situation

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him
7. Were you surprised that as long as they’ve known each other that they still have so much to learn about each other.

 

8. Final thoughts

 

Inspired Wordsmith
whiteginger
Posts: 919
Registered: ‎08-30-2010

Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


dhaupt wrote:

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Week Three

 

 Although you may not think my comments are brief as you scroll and scroll to finally reach the end, I AM working under a limited time limit here, and I'm sure I won't be able to say everything I want.  Here goes:  

 

When Jo reaches Kate still in India two things happen: Jo finally gets useful advice on Gracie and Kate is relieved that someone needs her. Kate has always done EVERYTHING for her family and done it all so seemingly effortlessly that she has been unappreciated.  And she has fallen victim to her her own estimation of herself as "just a mother and housewife."

 

I really enjoyed the handling of the Colin/Sarah good-bye in India and then the next thing we see is Sarah coming home with Kate.  I was, of course, thinking that Sarah had told Colin in India that it was over.  When Jo finds that Colin has told Sarah to come to CA to see him and urges Sarah to go over Kate's protests, I couldn't decide whether or not I agreed with Jo or Kate on this.  Sarah's and Colin's meeting in his office confirmed my suspicions that Colin didn't really love Sarah, but loved the idea of her--the "goodness" of her and the fact that he felt himself a better man when he was with her.  Sam's earlier explanation that Colin should have amputated the boy's leg instead of risking the five-hour operation and infections has already prepared me for Colin's choice in the medical field.  I'm sure that Sarah also knew the truth, that the real "miracle" of Colin's long ago surgery was that the boy survived in spite of Colin's efforts.  When Colin says that if Sarah chooses life with him, she can still help by heading charities and raising money for medical aide, I don't think Sarah feels that Colin has sold out.  This is just the final moment of clarity in her growing  realization that Colin has never really been the the man she has idealized him to be.  I think she feels sorry for him (or maybe I'm just projecting my feelings about him onto Sarah :smileylol: ).  Sarah has said all along that no one can expect life always to be perfect. Colin will never be happy with imperfection, although he, himself, is imperfect.  Even Sarah's calmness would not ultimately save him.  And Sarah would try to be his savior.  What would she be getting from the relationship?  I loved Colin's final words about if Sarah needs to see a hero all she has to do is look into the mirror. 

 

Kate arrives home to a hornet’s nest with Paul.  Thank goodness for Jo!   I wanted to jerk some sense into Kate myself when I realized that she was thinking of "caving in" to Paul and taking the "blame" for her "breakdown."   The kids' reactions to her return were wonderfully drawn moments.  No pretty package tied with a beautiful bow on this husband/wife reunion.  Realistic.  I liked it.  

 

After the Madeline tea and the confrontation with Gracie’s Grandma and Jessie It finally dawns on Jo why Rachel left Gracie in her care.  Jo's apartment scene was the hardest for me to get my mind around.  I could not reconcile the sweet, seemingly caring grandmother with the woman who was going to snatch Gracie away from Jo without a word of warning.  [And then TOTALLY IRRELEVANT--I got thrown off by Jessie's shoes.  She's wearing heeled boots one minute and something else a moment later(?) ]  I'm glad the "families" are working out an arrangement.  Jo's upcoming vacation from Gracie, complete with a brief fling for Jo, was a bit of a shock for me, but actually it sounds like a "Rachel" arrangement.  Even with a daughter to care for, I don't think Rachel ever lost herself, the desire to have independent experiences and adventures.  

 

The hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for.  The "wedding" was wonderful and the honeymoon spot was predictable, but perfect nonetheless.  So much to say, but NO MORE TIME.

 

Final thoughts-- I still think this is great movie material.  I had  "scripted" and "directed" many of the scenes when it hit me that I was going to have problems getting so many stars to accept equal billing for the movie.  So, I decided to make Sarah my main story and then, of course, Kate's thread worked in nicely; but Jo's story got lost.  I really do hope to see this on the big screen some day, so I had best leave the scripting and directing to those better qualified!

 


PS:  Deb, Lisa, Muse, April, Elaine, Pati, et al.     I won't get to discuss these wonderful characters, their conflicts and triumphs, with you on this last part.  I'm headed to Prague for 10 days.  (I know, I know.  It's a terrible fate, but someone had to accept it . . . and I did!)  Lisa and Deb thanks for the great read!  Everyone, thanks for the fun discussion.

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


whiteginger wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Week Three

 

 Although you may not think my comments are brief as you scroll and scroll to finally reach the end, I AM working under a limited time limit here, and I'm sure I won't be able to say everything I want.  Here goes:  

 

When Jo reaches Kate still in India two things happen: Jo finally gets useful advice on Gracie and Kate is relieved that someone needs her. Kate has always done EVERYTHING for her family and done it all so seemingly effortlessly that she has been unappreciated.  And she has fallen victim to her her own estimation of herself as "just a mother and housewife."

 

I really enjoyed the handling of the Colin/Sarah good-bye in India and then the next thing we see is Sarah coming home with Kate.  I was, of course, thinking that Sarah had told Colin in India that it was over.  When Jo finds that Colin has told Sarah to come to CA to see him and urges Sarah to go over Kate's protests, I couldn't decide whether or not I agreed with Jo or Kate on this.  Sarah's and Colin's meeting in his office confirmed my suspicions that Colin didn't really love Sarah, but loved the idea of her--the "goodness" of her and the fact that he felt himself a better man when he was with her.  Sam's earlier explanation that Colin should have amputated the boy's leg instead of risking the five-hour operation and infections has already prepared me for Colin's choice in the medical field.  I'm sure that Sarah also knew the truth, that the real "miracle" of Colin's long ago surgery was that the boy survived in spite of Colin's efforts.  When Colin says that if Sarah chooses life with him, she can still help by heading charities and raising money for medical aide, I don't think Sarah feels that Colin has sold out.  This is just the final moment of clarity in her growing  realization that Colin has never really been the the man she has idealized him to be.  I think she feels sorry for him (or maybe I'm just projecting my feelings about him onto Sarah :smileylol: ).  Sarah has said all along that no one can expect life always to be perfect. Colin will never be happy with imperfection, although he, himself, is imperfect.  Even Sarah's calmness would not ultimately save him.  And Sarah would try to be his savior.  What would she be getting from the relationship?  I loved Colin's final words about if Sarah needs to see a hero all she has to do is look into the mirror. 

 

Kate arrives home to a hornet’s nest with Paul.  Thank goodness for Jo!   I wanted to jerk some sense into Kate myself when I realized that she was thinking of "caving in" to Paul and taking the "blame" for her "breakdown."   The kids' reactions to her return were wonderfully drawn moments.  No pretty package tied with a beautiful bow on this husband/wife reunion.  Realistic.  I liked it.  

 

After the Madeline tea and the confrontation with Gracie’s Grandma and Jessie It finally dawns on Jo why Rachel left Gracie in her care.  Jo's apartment scene was the hardest for me to get my mind around.  I could not reconcile the sweet, seemingly caring grandmother with the woman who was going to snatch Gracie away from Jo without a word of warning.  [And then TOTALLY IRRELEVANT--I got thrown off by Jessie's shoes.  She's wearing heeled boots one minute and something else a moment later(?) ]  I'm glad the "families" are working out an arrangement.  Jo's upcoming vacation from Gracie, complete with a brief fling for Jo, was a bit of a shock for me, but actually it sounds like a "Rachel" arrangement.  Even with a daughter to care for, I don't think Rachel ever lost herself, the desire to have independent experiences and adventures.  

 

The hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for.  The "wedding" was wonderful and the honeymoon spot was predictable, but perfect nonetheless.  So much to say, but NO MORE TIME.

 

Final thoughts-- I still think this is great movie material.  I had  "scripted" and "directed" many of the scenes when it hit me that I was going to have problems getting so many stars to accept equal billing for the movie.  So, I decided to make Sarah my main story and then, of course, Kate's thread worked in nicely; but Jo's story got lost.  I really do hope to see this on the big screen some day, so I had best leave the scripting and directing to those better qualified!

 


PS:  Deb, Lisa, Muse, April, Elaine, Pati, et al.     I won't get to discuss these wonderful characters, their conflicts and triumphs, with you on this last part.  I'm headed to Prague for 10 days.  (I know, I know.  It's a terrible fate, but someone had to accept it . . . and I did!)  Lisa and Deb thanks for the great read!  Everyone, thanks for the fun discussion.


I'm green with envy girl, you have a wonderful safe and great trip.

Thanks for your comments 

Hurry back to us whiteginger

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008

Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

[ Edited ]

I think Kate didn't feel needed because her kids were getting older and Paul had his job to keep him busy. All the things that kept her busy when the kids were young, she didn't need to do as much. I think a part of her felt like her family took her for granted. It seemed that she kept her household running flawlessly and her husband and children just took for granted that it would always be that way. When Kate left for India, they got a taste of just how hard she worked for her family and it wasn't as easy as it looked.

 

It was surprising to me that Sarah didn't feel that Colin was a sell out. I thought maybe she would judge him more harshly for what he did for a living especially when he told her that the reason he did it was for the money. But, true to her nature, when Sarah found out what he did for a living, she realized she couldn't mock what he was doing, that it was honest work. She wasn't angry with him for not telling her the truth about himself in Bangalore, but she knew that she would never be able to fit in his world and that she needed to say good-bye to him once and for all.

 

I knew Paul was mad that Kate left for India but I wasn't expecting him to be as mad as he was when she got home. I thought by that time he would have cooled off a bit. All I kept thinking about when they reunited at the house was how awkward this confrontation must be with Jo standing right there! I still feel that it wasn't right of Kate to just take off to Bangalore without consulting Paul, but I also understand that she was feeling lost and wanted to prove to herself that she was more than just a housewife.

 

I couldn't believe that Mrs. Braun was trying to take Grace from Jo without even discussing it with her. When Jessie told Jo about the lawyer they had contacted, I was enraged. From the beginning, I had thought Rachel made a good choice in choosing Jo for Grace's guardian. As the chapters, flew by, I could see how much Jo really cared for Grace. In Jo's flashback, she remembered Rachel telling her that she should adopt a child. Who else would know better how to take care of an orphaned little girl? Rachel asks her. I got chills while reading this. I think Jo has handled the situation with Grace extremely well. She has proved she would do anything in her power to be the best possible guardian for Grace and she even found a way to work out the custody issue with Mrs. Braun. In my opinion she went above and beyond what anyone could have expected of her. When Grace and Jo were sitting on the bench in the cemetery during the revealing of Rachel's headstone, Grace asks Jo who would take care of her if Jo were to die. (I cried during this exchange.) I think Jo handled the situation in the best possible way, asking Grace who she would like to take care of her if that were to happen and making sure Grace knew she would always be loved and taken care of.

 

I loved the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him and thought it was the perfect way for them to get together. It brought a huge smile to my face. I was extremely glad that I got my happy ending! I did have to laugh though, at how much they didn't know about each other. They've known each other for years and still have so much to learn about the other person. They probably have so much more in common then Sarah ever thought possible.

 

Final thoughts: I loved how the novel ended with Jo, Sarah and Kate all hugging each other and Kate thinks they are hugging so tightly that there is only enough room in the middle of their circle for "one athletically slim mountain-climber with a big heart." Rachel. It was such a sweet moment that I cried. What a great ending! This was a wonderful book about friendship, one I would recommend to others and would love to read again!

April
Distinguished Wordsmith
aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


whiteginger wrote:

 

PS:  Deb, Lisa, Muse, April, Elaine, Pati, et al.     I won't get to discuss these wonderful characters, their conflicts and triumphs, with you on this last part.  I'm headed to Prague for 10 days.  (I know, I know.  It's a terrible fate, but someone had to accept it . . . and I did!)  Lisa and Deb thanks for the great read!  Everyone, thanks for the fun discussion.



Whiteginger, have a good trip! I had a great time discussing TPCAMOF with you! See you soon!:smileyhappy:

April
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dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


aprilh wrote:

I think Kate didn't feel needed because her kids were getting older and Paul had his job to keep him busy. All the things that kept her busy when the kids were young, she didn't need to do as much. I think a part of her felt like her family took her for granted. It seemed that she kept her household running flawlessly and her husband and children just took for granted that it would always be that way. When Kate left for India, they got a taste of just how hard she worked for her family and it wasn't as easy as it looked.

 

It was surprising to me that Sarah didn't feel that Colin was a sell out. I thought maybe she would judge him more harshly for what he did for a living especially when he told her that the reason he did it was for the money. But, true to her nature, when Sarah found out what he did for a living, she realized she couldn't mock what he was doing, that it was honest work. She wasn't angry with him for not telling her the truth about himself in Bangalore, but she knew that she would never be able to fit in his world and that she needed to say good-bye to him once and for all.

 

I knew Paul was mad that Kate left for India but I wasn't expecting him to be as mad as he was when she got home. I thought by that time he would have cooled off a bit. All I kept thinking about when they reunited at the house was how awkward this confrontation must be with Jo standing right there! I still feel that it wasn't right of Kate to just take off to Bangalore without consulting Paul, but I also understand that she was feeling lost and wanted to prove to herself that she was more than just a housewife.

 

I couldn't believe that Mrs. Braun was trying to take Grace from Jo without even discussing it with her. When Jessie told Jo about the lawyer they had contacted, I was enraged. From the beginning, I had thought Rachel made a good choice in choosing Jo for Grace's guardian. As the chapters, flew by, I could see how much Jo really cared for Grace. In Jo's flashback, she remembered Rachel telling her that she should adopt a child. Who else would know better how to take care of an orphaned little girl? Rachel asks her. I got chills while reading this. I think Jo has handled the situation with Grace extremely well. She has proved she would do anything in her power to be the best possible guardian for Grace and she even found a way to work out the custody issue with Mrs. Braun. In my opinion she went above and beyond what anyone could have expected of her. When Grace and Jo were sitting on the bench in the cemetery during the revealing of Rachel's headstone, Grace asks Jo who would take care of her if Jo were to die. (I cried during this exchange.) I think Jo handled the situation in the best possible way, asking Grace who she would like to take care of her if that were to happen and making sure Grace knew she would always be loved and taken care of.

 

I loved the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him and thought it was the perfect way for them to get together. It brought a huge smile to my face. I was extremely glad that I got my happy ending! I did have to laugh though, at how much they didn't know about each other. They've known each other for years and still have so much to learn about the other person. They probably have so much more in common then Sarah ever thought possible.

 

Final thoughts: I loved how the novel ended with Jo, Sarah and Kate all hugging each other and Kate thinks they are hugging so tightly that there is only enough room in the middle of their circle for "one athletically slim mountain-climber with a big heart." Rachel. It was such a sweet moment that I cried. What a great ending! This was a wonderful book about friendship, one I would recommend to others and would love to read again!


april, I'm glad you got your HEA too and so much more with this novel too.

I too was struck by how much they didn't know about each other, it was something I took for granted until Sam mentions that his dad is an Anglican Minister, and I was like WOW, Sarah I'm so glad you woke up

Scribe
ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,530
Registered: ‎10-24-2008

Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Week Three

 

Well this has been one eventful and interesting read and I hope as enjoyable to you as it was to me and I thank you all for participating. Now on to the questions.

 

When Jo reaches Kate still in India two things happen, Jo finally gets useful advice on Gracie and Kate is relieved that someone needs her.

1. It’s obvious from Kate’s phone calls home that the household is only surviving by a thread
Why do you think Kate hasn’t felt needed-I think that she felt that she was overloaded. She just wanted her husband to help out a little. Also to have some romance in their lives.

 

Sarah goes to seek out Colin in his “native setting” where she quickly realizes just what kind of reconstructive surgery he does for a living
2. Does Sarah see him as selling out, why or why not- No I think that she realizes that where he is is where he is needed for him.

 

Kate arrives home to a hornet’s nest with Paul
3. How do you feel now about her trip to India, have you changed your mind about Kate, why or why not-It gave her some insite into to her relationship and the courage to really talk to Paul. To make him realize that she needs something for herself. Not just for the kids or him. She wants what they had when they first married, just in a different way. A date night, help with the kids. Any little thing to help her.

 

After the Madeline tea and the confrontation with Gracie’s Grandma and Jessie It finally dawns on Jo why Rachel left Gracie in her care
4. Do you agree with her decision now, has your feelings changed toward either Jo or Rachel's choice of guardian for Gracie- I think that Rachel left Gracie with Jo because she knew that Jo would be a good mother to Gracie.
5. How do you feel about how Jo is handling the situation- I think that Jo is doing the best she can. She is getting really good advice from Kate and I think that she will learn as she goes.

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him- I think that is was great. He did it his way.
7. Were you surprised that as long as they’ve known each other that they still have so much to learn about each other.- The friends, yes, Rachel gave them the courage to open up to new experiences and let things about themselves and each other.

 

8. Final thoughts- I really liked this book. It is a really good friendship book. I loved the ending.

 

 

Great choice, Deb. I am going on to the next book.

 

Talk to you in April.

 

ReadingPatti

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


ReadingPatti wrote:

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Week Three

 

Well this has been one eventful and interesting read and I hope as enjoyable to you as it was to me and I thank you all for participating. Now on to the questions.

 

When Jo reaches Kate still in India two things happen, Jo finally gets useful advice on Gracie and Kate is relieved that someone needs her.

1. It’s obvious from Kate’s phone calls home that the household is only surviving by a thread
Why do you think Kate hasn’t felt needed-I think that she felt that she was overloaded. She just wanted her husband to help out a little. Also to have some romance in their lives.

 

Sarah goes to seek out Colin in his “native setting” where she quickly realizes just what kind of reconstructive surgery he does for a living
2. Does Sarah see him as selling out, why or why not- No I think that she realizes that where he is is where he is needed for him.

 

Kate arrives home to a hornet’s nest with Paul
3. How do you feel now about her trip to India, have you changed your mind about Kate, why or why not-It gave her some insite into to her relationship and the courage to really talk to Paul. To make him realize that she needs something for herself. Not just for the kids or him. She wants what they had when they first married, just in a different way. A date night, help with the kids. Any little thing to help her.

 

After the Madeline tea and the confrontation with Gracie’s Grandma and Jessie It finally dawns on Jo why Rachel left Gracie in her care
4. Do you agree with her decision now, has your feelings changed toward either Jo or Rachel's choice of guardian for Gracie- I think that Rachel left Gracie with Jo because she knew that Jo would be a good mother to Gracie.
5. How do you feel about how Jo is handling the situation- I think that Jo is doing the best she can. She is getting really good advice from Kate and I think that she will learn as she goes.

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him- I think that is was great. He did it his way.
7. Were you surprised that as long as they’ve known each other that they still have so much to learn about each other.- The friends, yes, Rachel gave them the courage to open up to new experiences and let things about themselves and each other.

 

8. Final thoughts- I really liked this book. It is a really good friendship book. I loved the ending.

 

 

Great choice, Deb. I am going on to the next book.

 

Talk to you in April.

 

ReadingPatti


Thanks for the comments Patti, I'm glad you liked the novel :smileyhappy:

Author
lisavergehiggins
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎02-11-2012
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

I'm so enjoying reading all these comments now that you've all finished the book!  I confess to there being a lot to "wind down" in the story as I wrote the latter third, and I'd wondered if I could get it all in within the page restraints of the publisher . . . but, then again, I could probably spin a whole new story out of the threads left behind.  (Jesse, anyone . . .?) 

 

Mrs. Braun's reaction at Jo's apartment is one of those issues that I very much wanted to explore -- how extreme grief after losing a child, and the complications of a difficult medical diagnosis can throw a life into absolute chaos, to the point where you blind yourself to certain realities, and behave in ways that are unintentionally hurtful.  I've actually been exploring this theme quite a bit in my third novel (coming out March 2013), which concerns a 46-year-old widow and mother who, four years after the death of her beloved husband, still grieves in a very physical, very intense way--not realizing what effect this has on so many of her family and friends.

 

I'd like to add here one more time that anyone who has been following these (fabulous) conversations and would like a hat like the ones on the cover of PROPER CARE, please do contact me via my website  www.lisavergehiggins.com/contact.htm and mention that you're on the Barnes & Noble forum.  My publisher is gearing up for the release of the NEXT book, so we'd like to get the hats in good hands!

 

Lisa, still cleaning up after the rather raucous St. Patrick's Day Party at my house last Saturday . . .

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

[ Edited ]

lisavergehiggins wrote:

I'm so enjoying reading all these comments now that you've all finished the book!  I confess to there being a lot to "wind down" in the story as I wrote the latter third, and I'd wondered if I could get it all in within the page restraints of the publisher . . . but, then again, I could probably spin a whole new story out of the threads left behind.  (Jesse, anyone . . .?) 

 

Mrs. Braun's reaction at Jo's apartment is one of those issues that I very much wanted to explore -- how extreme grief after losing a child, and the complications of a difficult medical diagnosis can throw a life into absolute chaos, to the point where you blind yourself to certain realities, and behave in ways that are unintentionally hurtful.  I've actually been exploring this theme quite a bit in my third novel (coming out March 2013), which concerns a 46-year-old widow and mother who, four years after the death of her beloved husband, still grieves in a very physical, very intense way--not realizing what effect this has on so many of her family and friends.

 

I'd like to add here one more time that anyone who has been following these (fabulous) conversations and would like a hat like the ones on the cover of PROPER CARE, please do contact me via my website  www.lisavergehiggins.com/contact.htm and mention that you're on the Barnes & Noble forum.  My publisher is gearing up for the release of the NEXT book, so we'd like to get the hats in good hands!

 

Lisa, still cleaning up after the rather raucous St. Patrick's Day Party at my house last Saturday . . .


OMG that must have been some party Lisa, I mean it's Tuesday :smileyhappy:

 

What great introspection you gave us on these characters and the novel.

Have you ever thought to go back and re-visit one of your novels, extend the reach so to speak and take it down the road a few years.

 

And Peeps please heed Lisa on her request for you all to go to her website, you could all be stylin in some pretty cool headwear.

www.lisavergehiggins.com/contact.htm 

Wordsmith
elaine_hf
Posts: 389
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


dhaupt wrote:

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Week Three

 

Well this has been one eventful and interesting read and I hope as enjoyable to you as it was to me and I thank you all for participating. Now on to the questions.

 

When Jo reaches Kate still in India two things happen, Jo finally gets useful advice on Gracie and Kate is relieved that someone needs her.

1. It’s obvious from Kate’s phone calls home that the household is only surviving by a thread
Why do you think Kate hasn’t felt needed

 

Sarah goes to seek out Colin in his “native setting” where she quickly realizes just what kind of reconstructive surgery he does for a living
2. Does Sarah see him as selling out, why or why not

 

Kate arrives home to a hornet’s nest with Paul
3. How do you feel now about her trip to India, have you changed your mind about Kate, why or why not

 

After the Madeline tea and the confrontation with Gracie’s Grandma and Jessie It finally dawns on Jo why Rachel left Gracie in her care
4. Do you agree with her decision now, has your feelings changed toward either Jo or Rachel's choice of guardian for Gracie
5. How do you feel about how Jo is handling the situation

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him
7. Were you surprised that as long as they’ve known each other that they still have so much to learn about each other.

 

8. Final thoughts

 


Just finished the book during my lunch hour - what a wonderful ending! I suppose we could see it coming, but that didn't lessen the pleasure one teeny bit. Thank you again, Lisa, for your book and to Deb, for selecting it!

 

1. Personally, I think that Kate hasn't felt needed by her husband. It's not the kids that don't need her, she is certainly an integral part of their lives - and schedules. Which are overwhelming, which is maybe why she hasn't felt that her husband has connected with her. It's almost like she's insulated herself from him, by surrounding herself with these complicated schedules and arrangements, thereby keeping him at arm's length. I don't think that he is the sole blame in the path their marriage has taken, and she's come to see that, too.

 

2. No, Sarah will probably never see Colin as having sold out. She's grown up in a lot of ways since her trip from India, and part of that includes that she sees the bigger picture now. You might think she had seen that due to her interesting travels, but somehow that seems to have kept her from seeing the rest of the world. Maybe this is a naive comparison, but it's a little like monks living a cloistered life - they may be in a beautiful, serene place, but they don't see the whole world from there. Sarah needed to see Colin in his 'native land' in order to realize that there's a place for his kind of medicine, as well as hers. All of life isn't built on necessity - maybe that makes him not the man for her, but it doesn't make his profession less valid. She's the one that put him on a pedestal - and kept him there, in spite of himself.

 

3. Kate's trip to India has brought her marital crisis/situation to a head, and that seems to be the thing she needed to force her and Paul to have their long overdue conversation. I still don't agree with her actions, but in this case I think that they have brought a good ending to the problems they faced. And maybe they needed her to go away, for Paul to see just how much she does and is over-involved with, and for her to realize that there's a problem in their marriage to begin with. How many times does she wish she could just go back to her pre-India, pre-skydiving days? To her comfort zone, which was getting distinctly uncomfy...

 

4. Yes, I love that Rachel left Grace to Jo! I didn't really focus on Jo in the beginning, but we probably knew she was an orphan and that just slipped my mind. Putting all of that together, Rachel really didn't have another viable choice. Her parents are ill, her sister is young and has a life to grow into, and Jo was financially capable. She just needed to see that she was emotionally capable as well. And how else do you learn that lesson? Those darned kids never come with their instruction manual.

 

5. Jo is doing a great job handling the situation, and now is not falling apart at every little mishap and misstep. It's like a switch had flipped for her, once she realized that she could connect and relate to that little girl.

 

6. and 7. I don't think that the marriage proposal could have been framed in a better setting! So appropriate for both of them, and traditional in the sense of their surroundings. Perfect! And no, I'm not surprised at their lack of knowledge about each other - Sarah never allowed herself to open up to Sam, so she never allowed herself to really get to know the person inside that body. 

 

8. Final thoughts? I love the idea that we could have another book, set somewhat in the future for all of these ladies. But I think my imagination can do a good job with that, too. Looking forward to your next books, Lisa - and to sitting on my porch with a hat on my head!

Elaine

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
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elaine_hf
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


aprilh wrote:

whiteginger wrote:

 

PS:  Deb, Lisa, Muse, April, Elaine, Pati, et al.     I won't get to discuss these wonderful characters, their conflicts and triumphs, with you on this last part.  I'm headed to Prague for 10 days.  (I know, I know.  It's a terrible fate, but someone had to accept it . . . and I did!)  Lisa and Deb thanks for the great read!  Everyone, thanks for the fun discussion.



Whiteginger, have a good trip! I had a great time discussing TPCAMOF with you! See you soon!:smileyhappy:


I second April's sentiments - have a wonderful trip, and we'll be chatting again soon!

Elaine

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
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dhaupt
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


elaine_hf wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Week Three

 

Well this has been one eventful and interesting read and I hope as enjoyable to you as it was to me and I thank you all for participating. Now on to the questions.

 

When Jo reaches Kate still in India two things happen, Jo finally gets useful advice on Gracie and Kate is relieved that someone needs her.

1. It’s obvious from Kate’s phone calls home that the household is only surviving by a thread
Why do you think Kate hasn’t felt needed

 

Sarah goes to seek out Colin in his “native setting” where she quickly realizes just what kind of reconstructive surgery he does for a living
2. Does Sarah see him as selling out, why or why not

 

Kate arrives home to a hornet’s nest with Paul
3. How do you feel now about her trip to India, have you changed your mind about Kate, why or why not

 

After the Madeline tea and the confrontation with Gracie’s Grandma and Jessie It finally dawns on Jo why Rachel left Gracie in her care
4. Do you agree with her decision now, has your feelings changed toward either Jo or Rachel's choice of guardian for Gracie
5. How do you feel about how Jo is handling the situation

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him
7. Were you surprised that as long as they’ve known each other that they still have so much to learn about each other.

 

8. Final thoughts

 


Just finished the book during my lunch hour - what a wonderful ending! I suppose we could see it coming, but that didn't lessen the pleasure one teeny bit. Thank you again, Lisa, for your book and to Deb, for selecting it!

 

1. Personally, I think that Kate hasn't felt needed by her husband. It's not the kids that don't need her, she is certainly an integral part of their lives - and schedules. Which are overwhelming, which is maybe why she hasn't felt that her husband has connected with her. It's almost like she's insulated herself from him, by surrounding herself with these complicated schedules and arrangements, thereby keeping him at arm's length. I don't think that he is the sole blame in the path their marriage has taken, and she's come to see that, too.

 

2. No, Sarah will probably never see Colin as having sold out. She's grown up in a lot of ways since her trip from India, and part of that includes that she sees the bigger picture now. You might think she had seen that due to her interesting travels, but somehow that seems to have kept her from seeing the rest of the world. Maybe this is a naive comparison, but it's a little like monks living a cloistered life - they may be in a beautiful, serene place, but they don't see the whole world from there. Sarah needed to see Colin in his 'native land' in order to realize that there's a place for his kind of medicine, as well as hers. All of life isn't built on necessity - maybe that makes him not the man for her, but it doesn't make his profession less valid. She's the one that put him on a pedestal - and kept him there, in spite of himself.

 

3. Kate's trip to India has brought her marital crisis/situation to a head, and that seems to be the thing she needed to force her and Paul to have their long overdue conversation. I still don't agree with her actions, but in this case I think that they have brought a good ending to the problems they faced. And maybe they needed her to go away, for Paul to see just how much she does and is over-involved with, and for her to realize that there's a problem in their marriage to begin with. How many times does she wish she could just go back to her pre-India, pre-skydiving days? To her comfort zone, which was getting distinctly uncomfy...

 

4. Yes, I love that Rachel left Grace to Jo! I didn't really focus on Jo in the beginning, but we probably knew she was an orphan and that just slipped my mind. Putting all of that together, Rachel really didn't have another viable choice. Her parents are ill, her sister is young and has a life to grow into, and Jo was financially capable. She just needed to see that she was emotionally capable as well. And how else do you learn that lesson? Those darned kids never come with their instruction manual.

 

5. Jo is doing a great job handling the situation, and now is not falling apart at every little mishap and misstep. It's like a switch had flipped for her, once she realized that she could connect and relate to that little girl.

 

6. and 7. I don't think that the marriage proposal could have been framed in a better setting! So appropriate for both of them, and traditional in the sense of their surroundings. Perfect! And no, I'm not surprised at their lack of knowledge about each other - Sarah never allowed herself to open up to Sam, so she never allowed herself to really get to know the person inside that body. 

 

8. Final thoughts? I love the idea that we could have another book, set somewhat in the future for all of these ladies. But I think my imagination can do a good job with that, too. Looking forward to your next books, Lisa - and to sitting on my porch with a hat on my head!

Elaine


Thanks Elaine, great comments, you know talking about Kate it struck me all of a sudden when Paul told her that she treated sex with him as something she had to scratch off a list. So true and I love you thoughts and comments about how she felt too. And yes I am a BIG sucker for a happy ending :smileyhappy:

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Mountain_Muse
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


Deb et al
So sorry I am just getting to the board.  A sudden hard case of URI over the weekend left me out for the count for the last few days.  Coming up for air, literally.  I have been reading through all the posts and trying to get the gunk out of my brain so I can think clear enough to put my thoughts on paper.
One thing that has impressed me through this whole book is how each of us has read a different story.  Each of us has seemed to focus in on a character and live the story through their eyes.   Sarah, Jo, and Kate were not just characters in a book, they lived and breathed within these pages.  We have found ourselves ranting and raving at them, with them, and yes, Ginger (who is making us all jealous that she's off having a blast in Prague) falling head over heels in love for the tall dark and handsome knight in shining armor.  
These ladies didn't sit around cafe tables and chat about problems or go shopping or hours at each other's houses for afternoon teas.  They changed diapers, cooked meals (or hired chefs too), dealt with daily matters that we do on a daily basis.  They lived.  We didn't read through a romantic fantasy, we read about life, love, death, survival, and hope.  Lisa, you just these common everyday things together in such a way that we became a part of them and were able to identify with them on a visceral level.
Now to at least some of the questions.  I'll come back later and answer those i don't get to now.
1. Kate feeling needed.
Kate's problem with feeling needed is that Kate has lost her identity.  She has disappeared into the wall flower of motherhood.  Now she's Paul's wife or "sissy's" mom.  Even when she is out doing PTA or soccor mom duty's it is as someone's mom.  She feels like she no longer has her own identity.  That loss started when the first baby was born and Paul decided he did not want his children to grow up like he did, so they moved across country and Kate settled into fulltime motherhood and Paul traded his bohemian lifestyle for a white collar and tie.  With that trade, the person who Kate had always been and the Paul who she married slowly disappeared like the morning mist over the Savannah.  At this point, Kate didn't know who she was any more and by the time she realized that Paul wasn't joining her in India she was sure he remembered who she really was either.
2. Save for Later, this was a no brainer
3.  Ahhhh back to Kate and Paul.  Life, marriage, happiness, and reality.  With the last section of the book, all the pieces of Kate started to pull together.  My "AhHa" for her was when (I think it was Jo) talked about when they were in college and during their junior year she had a little melt down.  Then the week before finals their Senior year she had a major melt down and went off the deep end that included stripping on top of a mountain.  I got the picture at that point, that Kate melting down was not a new thing.  
Now, my question is, why was Paul clueless about these meltdowns?  Had she never had a meltdown during their 15 years of marriage?  No way!  But, this one was monumental!  Granted she had pushed herself hard enough, long enough, and had wound herself up tighter than an old grandfather clock, but she never provided a place for her to let off steam or give herself time.  Ooops.  Now the big kaboomb has happened, Kate went into hyper-space thinking that life could backtrack 15 years and her and Paul could reconnect like 15 years ago.  Small problem.  Gunpowder doesn't have much fizzle if you let it get wet.  Second problem, once wet and it dries, gunpowder is a regular brick, but no Kaboomb. :-) .  Elaine had it right.  Paul's sex WAS a check mark on her list....just go back and read it (twice).
But, there is a God, and there is sun behind that line of thunder clouds hanging over that house hiding behind the makeshift tent camp.  Paul DOES love Kate.  He loves her very much.  Just like she loves him.  They have just forgot how to communicate this information effectively to each other.  Having the key ingredient, yes they can work through things.  I think the melt down was a wake-up call for Paul that maybe he had been taking Kate forgranted and had actually turned into "the establishment" that his parents so hated.  I think that these weeks with his kids was good for him because for the first time since they were born, he actually got to know them, listen to them, care for them and discover them as His.  I don't think Kate had ever really let him close enough before this to be a hands on dad.  I see change coming on this matter.
More later.  
I love this book.  Thanks, Lisa for writing such a livable, story and letting us live it together this month.  Thank you, Deb for finding Lisa and sharing her with us.
Muse
dhaupt wrote:

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship
Week Three

 

Well this has been one eventful and interesting read and I hope as enjoyable to you as it was to me and I thank you all for participating. Now on to the questions.

 

When Jo reaches Kate still in India two things happen, Jo finally gets useful advice on Gracie and Kate is relieved that someone needs her.

1. It’s obvious from Kate’s phone calls home that the household is only surviving by a thread
Why do you think Kate hasn’t felt needed

 

Sarah goes to seek out Colin in his “native setting” where she quickly realizes just what kind of reconstructive surgery he does for a living
2. Does Sarah see him as selling out, why or why not

 

Kate arrives home to a hornet’s nest with Paul
3. How do you feel now about her trip to India, have you changed your mind about Kate, why or why not

 

After the Madeline tea and the confrontation with Gracie’s Grandma and Jessie It finally dawns on Jo why Rachel left Gracie in her care
4. Do you agree with her decision now, has your feelings changed toward either Jo or Rachel's choice of guardian for Gracie
5. How do you feel about how Jo is handling the situation

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him
7. Were you surprised that as long as they’ve known each other that they still have so much to learn about each other.

 

8. Final thoughts

 


 

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
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Mountain_Muse
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


dhaupt wrote:

 

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him

 

This question I wanted to answer as a stand alone.  

When I read the story of Sam's proposal, I about fell off my chair.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long long time.  It actually took me back ten years to an incident that happened involving our then 21 year old unmarried daughter.  BTW, if she knew I was telling this story my head would be perched on the top of a spear somewhere in the Congo.

 

Our daughter was dating a young man whose Missionary parents had and raised their family in the Congo region of Africa.  After dating for several months, during an evening visit, he waited till our daughter had left the room and then turned to us and asked what we thought of the worth of our daughter.  

Without batting an eye, dad responded "2 cows, a goat, and 3 chickens.". 

Once the stunned look left his face, he cracked up. "Well, that's where I was headed, but didn't realize you knew the tradition of my country.  I think she is worth more."

After a good laugh all around, we set it aside as sister walked back in the room.  Later Fred shared the story with a couple of friends who shared the story.... well it got back to a couple of young men who had been doing their best to get sis's attention.  The next Sunday we were met at the door of the church with two more offers, including a cadillac and I forget what else.  That set off the bidding war between the three young men for several weeks, till our daughter had had enough of the hilarity at her expense.  

So....long story short....we ended up with nada.

 

Love the story!!!  Perfect, perfect.  He did it right!!!!

 

Muse 


 

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

[ Edited ]

Mountain_Muse wrote:
So sorry I am just getting to the board.  A sudden hard case of URI over the weekend left me out for the count for the last few days.  Coming up for air, literally.  I have been reading through all the posts and trying to get the gunk out of my brain so I can think clear enough to put my thoughts on paper.
Muse I'm so sorry you were not feeling well and I hope you're better now.
One thing that has impressed me through this whole book is how each of us has read a different story.  Each of us has seemed to focus in on a character and live the story through their eyes.   Sarah, Jo, and Kate were not just characters in a book, they lived and breathed within these pages.  We have found ourselves ranting and raving at them, with them, and yes, Ginger (who is making us all jealous that she's off having a blast in Prague) falling head over heels in love for the tall dark and handsome knight in shining armor.  
And isn't this the mark of a truely insightful and brilliant writer who can pull more than one story out of her novel.
But, there is a God, and there is sun behind that line of thunder clouds hanging over that house hiding behind the makeshift tent camp.  Paul DOES love Kate.  He loves her very much.  Just like she loves him.  They have just forgot how to communicate this information effectively to each other.  Having the key ingredient, yes they can work through things.  I think the melt down was a wake-up call for Paul that maybe he had been taking Kate forgranted and had actually turned into "the establishment" that his parents so hated.  I think that these weeks with his kids was good for him because for the first time since they were born, he actually got to know them, listen to them, care for them and discover them as His.  I don't think Kate had ever really let him close enough before this to be a hands on dad.  I see change coming on this matter.
I think many of us know what it's like to fall under the catagory of wallflower of motherhood and that's why we all had such strong feelings about Kate, Paul and her leaving. And yes Paul was partly to blame for the "meltdown", but it's also a testament of us as readers how we all had very different feelings and ideas of what she "should" have done and how those feelings vary between us.
I love this book.  Thanks, Lisa for writing such a livable, story and letting us live it together this month.  Thank you, Deb for finding Lisa and sharing her with us.
You're very welcome, as you know I just turned in my review for Lisa's upcoming June release One Good Friend Deserves Another  I can't let you see it now, but as soon as the publication is printed and put on shelves I'll share it with you all. The upcoming novel is a much different novel than this one, told by Lisa's brilliant voice.
Plus you never know, we already have two returning authors this year who were with us last year, maybe we'll have to add Lisa to that list too.

 

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dhaupt
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


Mountain_Muse wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

 

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him

 

This question I wanted to answer as a stand alone.  

When I read the story of Sam's proposal, I about fell off my chair.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long long time.  It actually took me back ten years to an incident that happened involving our then 21 year old unmarried daughter.  BTW, if she knew I was telling this story my head would be perched on the top of a spear somewhere in the Congo.

 

Our daughter was dating a young man whose Missionary parents had and raised their family in the Congo region of Africa.  After dating for several months, during an evening visit, he waited till our daughter had left the room and then turned to us and asked what we thought of the worth of our daughter.  

Without batting an eye, dad responded "2 cows, a goat, and 3 chickens.". 

Once the stunned look left his face, he cracked up. "Well, that's where I was headed, but didn't realize you knew the tradition of my country.  I think she is worth more."

After a good laugh all around, we set it aside as sister walked back in the room.  Later Fred shared the story with a couple of friends who shared the story.... well it got back to a couple of young men who had been doing their best to get sis's attention.  The next Sunday we were met at the door of the church with two more offers, including a cadillac and I forget what else.  That set off the bidding war between the three young men for several weeks, till our daughter had had enough of the hilarity at her expense.  

So....long story short....we ended up with nada.

 

Love the story!!!  Perfect, perfect.  He did it right!!!!

 

Muse 


 


OMG, Muse great story thanks for sharing (I'm keeping it copied and pasted and put in my safety deposit box in case I need to bribe you sometime)

 

now spill, did anyone of those boys get the girl

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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


dhaupt wrote:

Mountain_Muse wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

 

 

Ah the part we’ve all been waiting for the hunky “black brit” and Sarah FINALLY make the love connection we’ve all been all through the novel waiting for
6. How did you feel about the way Sam asked Sarah to marry him

 

This question I wanted to answer as a stand alone.  

When I read the story of Sam's proposal, I about fell off my chair.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long long time.  It actually took me back ten years to an incident that happened involving our then 21 year old unmarried daughter.  BTW, if she knew I was telling this story my head would be perched on the top of a spear somewhere in the Congo.

 

Our daughter was dating a young man whose Missionary parents had and raised their family in the Congo region of Africa.  After dating for several months, during an evening visit, he waited till our daughter had left the room and then turned to us and asked what we thought of the worth of our daughter.  

Without batting an eye, dad responded "2 cows, a goat, and 3 chickens.". 

Once the stunned look left his face, he cracked up. "Well, that's where I was headed, but didn't realize you knew the tradition of my country.  I think she is worth more."

After a good laugh all around, we set it aside as sister walked back in the room.  Later Fred shared the story with a couple of friends who shared the story.... well it got back to a couple of young men who had been doing their best to get sis's attention.  The next Sunday we were met at the door of the church with two more offers, including a cadillac and I forget what else.  That set off the bidding war between the three young men for several weeks, till our daughter had had enough of the hilarity at her expense.  

So....long story short....we ended up with nada.

 

Love the story!!!  Perfect, perfect.  He did it right!!!!

 

Muse 


 


OMG, Muse great story thanks for sharing (I'm keeping it copied and pasted and put in my safety deposit box in case I need to bribe you sometime)

 

now spill, did anyone of those boys get the girl


Lol, and we still do, at our house.  Remember the old nursery ryhme?  Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief.  I think she covered them all (well maybe not the thief, except for the heart thief.)  

The Pilot, Realtor, and Rich man's wooing competition lasted about a year.  The bids got up there, but the pilot flew away, and the thief ran away with her heart right out from under the 2 Rs, who never quit trying to woo her to the end, but both came to her wedding with blessings and puppy dog eyes.  

BTW  Sis and her husband remain good friends with the 2 Rs after all these years.

 

Muse

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

Muse, I LOVE this story!!!!  I'd beg to use it . . .but I kinda already did!:smileyvery-happy:

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Re: Week three discussion of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

[ Edited ]

Lisa, I'm ROFLOL I thought the same thing. Do you know my daughter perchance? LOL We had the privelege of living in a wonderfully unique place for 30 years where we raised our kids. Because of our work we found ourselves in the company of the great and mighty down to the simple salt of the earth. It provided a great back drop for the kids, BUT did give us some interesting quandries... like the time a delegation from another country had tibbled a bit too much one evening and tried to "buy", not rent, but "buy" to take home, me from my husband... I can laugh now. Talk about thewall flower wife wake-up.  OH BOY.

Muse

 

Debbie,

I promise, these aren't stories.  They're the living truth, no exagerations either. The only other person I know who could continually keep herself in this much trouble was Laura Ingles on Little House

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.