There’s a saying in the south: “Trouble comes in threes.” In my case, I think it comes in nines.

It all started the weekend before July 4th. My husband fell and injured his wrist. X-rays showed an occult fracture of the navicular–a small carpal bone at the base of the thumb. The doctor put him in a splint that encases his thumb and he has to wear it for 4-6 weeks. Since he was injured, I thought I’d help him in the yard instead of spending my weekend writing,


Earlier, he’d mowed around the pool and there was grass on the concrete. I got a push broom and started sweeping.  And somehow, I managed to forget there was a pool behind me and I fell backwards into the shallow end.

My elbow hit concrete.


My hip hit the first step and I rolled into the water–fully dressed. I wound up with a scraped elbow and a bruised hip that left me limping for days.

Then the week of the fourth, my aunt, cousin, and cousin’s daughter went to stay in our camper at the beach. They arrived on Tuesday and tripped a circuit breaker running the A/C and microwave at the same time.

My aunt called me at work and I told her where the breaker box was. When she and my cousin stepped out to flip the breaker, my cousin’s four-year-old daughter, Gracie, shut the door and locked them out. I guess my luck was starting to rub off on them.

My aunt called me at work again and I walked her through the camper breaking and entering processes.

My cousin is the same age as my oldest daughter. She’s young, pretty, athletic, curvy, and limber. But like me, Carla has a hefty booty.  She and her butt look like J-lo. My butt looks more like a giant sack of wiggly Jell-O.

Despite Carla’s bodacious  booty, she 006managed to wiggle through the storage bin under the dining table and into the camper to unlock the door.

Another crisis averted.

Then I showed up.

My camper is no longer located ocean front but in a park 6 miles away, near the sound. We don’t normally have a problem finding public beach access, but it was a holiday weekend.  By the time I arrived and we packed our stuff for a day at the beach, there wasn’t a parking spot to be found. So, we went to Fort Macon State Park instead.

145Gracie seemed to have a good time.082

Spending July 4th at a historic site seemed appropriate. 152

Later that afternoon, we found a parking spot at Radio Island–a beach access on the intercoastal waterway between Morehead city and Beaufort.160

Then we headed back to the camper to shower and change for supper. We ate at a seafood joint outside of Swansboro and watched the fireworks from the parking lot afterward.

T026Then we tried to get back to the camper. On the other side of town.030

And got stuck in festival traffic. As we sat idling on the bridge between Cape Carteret and Swansboro, my engine sputtered.  I looked down and the needle on the temperature gauge was pointing to OMG It’s About to Blow!

I pumped the gas pedal, said a prayer,  and turned in front of on-coming, 2 mile an hour crawling traffic to get to a side street. I cut the motor and we all piled out the car.

As luck would have it, I had a 2 gallon bottle of water in the back of my Equinox. I’d bought the distilled water for the golf-cart batteries and had never taken the jug from the car.

So, my aunt, Carla, Gracie and myself sat on the sidewalk waiting for the motor to cool so we could add the water to the radiator. We were parked in front of a gorgeous, “Looks Like a Plantation Home Instead of a Bank” bank. The bank sported a long front porch with four white rockers out front.

We started making jokes about climbing onto the porch and waiting in those rocking chairs instead of sitting on the hard sidewalk waiting for the engine to cool.

The fireworks and festivities had ended and it was getting late. The only thing on the street besides us and the occasional car driving by were the port-a-johns.

We had water and we had a place to pee. Things could have been worse.

Then we noticed a couple of  skanky surfer dudes slink by a couple of times.

Being the big fans of Criminal Minds that we are, we discussed survival strategies in case the thugs attacked.  I suggested throwing a rock through the bank window to set off the alarms and bring the cops running. My aunt asked why I wouldn’t just chunk the rock against the thug’s head.

Then Gracie cried, “Help! my fingers are stuck!”


We looked down to see that poor little Gracie had somehow wedged her  fingers into a crack between the sidewalk and  curb.

While Carla was trying to pull Gracie’s fingers out, a firetruck drove by. My aunt and I cracked up as we discussed flagging it down so the firemen could cut Gracie from the concrete.

But Carla managed to get her daughter’s fingers unstuck and we eventually made it back to the camper.  The next day, my aunt and cousins went home and my husband, Johnny, arrived.

He replaced the cables on the golf cart and added the distilled water to the battery cells. Then he tried charging the batteries only to learn the battery charger had gone bad. And golf cart chargers are almost as expensive as the batteries.

We said screw it and went to the beach. 048

 When we got back to the camper, my husband asked if a roof leak he’d repaired the last time we were there was still keeping the rain out.

“Sure,” I said. “It doesn’t leak at all anymore.”

Then I stepped in the corner to show him how dry the ceiling was and my foot nearly fell through the floor.  So, I pulled back the rug and discovered mold, mildew, rotten wood, and a giant, freaking hole.     057

So, we said screw it again and we went to the Dock House in Beaufort. We sat on the balcony, ordered a couple of drinks, had supper, and listened to the band.


Johnny pointed out the irony of the prominent use of electric guitars in a group called Acoustic Highway.  Despite the Oxymoronic name, the bad was good.


On Sunday, we tore the carpet out of the camper, covered the hole in the floor and went home. And exactly one week later, the sump pump in our basement at home died.  With all the rain we’ve had lately, the ground was saturated and without a sump pump, the basement flooded.  It rose about three feet and short circuited the hot water heater.

.009It took two days to pump all that water out.  By then, the insulation sagged and everything was moldy and mildewed.  My dad replaced the sump pump and temporarily fixed the hot water heater. He brought his supplies to my house in the back of a trailer. He left the trailer parked in my yard on Sunday night. And on Monday morning, I backed into it.

I now have a long scratch down the side of my car. But hey, I managed to pop the bumper back into place all by myself.

I know bad things come in three’s, but I think we’re on something like nine. Granted, it’s nothing catastrophic.  Just damned annoying and expensive.  But things seem to be turning around for us now. Although the damage to the camper wasn’t covered by insurance, damage to the house was.

As for the camper, the kitchen vinyl ran the length of the camper beneath that moldy carpet. Once we pulled up the carpet and repaired the hole in the floor, we were able to save a small strip of carpet to cover the area where the vinyl stopped. We now have a large square of vinyl surrounded by carpet trim. It actually looks better than it did before. And a vinyl floor at the beach is a hell of a lot easier to vacuum than carpet.

Then on Tuesday, an author from the Author Roast and Toast blog invited me to join them.

The Author Roast and Toast is a fun blog that hosts virtual parties for new book releases. The gals at Roast and Toast are multi-published, talented women I am going to love spending time with. We will be roasting and toasting most every Friday. So, if you’re an author and you want to celebrate a new release or the one year anniversary of an older title, check us out. If you’re a fan of romance, stop by and see what fun we have with our “guests.”

We’d love to see you at