En Route

Mother died today….

Sometimes the most memorable journeys we take En Route are in our hearts and minds, and today was one of those times for me.

Quite by accident, I chanced upon a blog about stay-at-home mothers, and how little value society now places upon a vocation that was once considered a sacred trust, and stay-at-home mothers were not second-class citizens, or thought of as uneducated and boring.  

The nurturing and molding of decent human beings is a gargantuan task. It takes every ounce of strength, courage, and compassion that you have, and it goes on round the clock, week after week, and year after year, and when a mother dies, everything stops – everything. There’s a hole in your heart that never heals, and that’s true no matter how old you are – we all have (or have had) mothers. Suddenly, there’s no one there to clean the house, cook your meals, or hold your hand when you’re sick, or comfort you when you’re scared. There are no arms to rock you when your world falls apart, no kind and gentle words of wisdom that only mothers, it seems, can impart. Our mothers are critical to our well being, and the loss of one’s mother is devastating. Can you think of a job or occupation that could possibly be more important?

I can scarce believe some of the derogatory comments I’ve heard in this vein, so I felt compelled to comment on the value of stay-at-home moms, and with a quote from Albert Camus (author of The Stranger) fresh in my mind, I did so.  I don’t often give my opinion, as I’m well aware of what it’s worth, but sometimes I feel that to be silent would be criminal.

My comment on the blog:

‘Evening!

Interesting comments.

In a nutshell:  Since children are highly portable, it’s possible to be with your children 24/7 and still be ‘out’ in the workforce.  My husband and I had nine children (only four are still living in the flesh, I’m sorry to say, but that’s another story, or blog. You can read about our adventures at http://www.enroutewithjesse.com ).

Home is where the family is, and while I’m a missionary/author/singer-songwriter/musician, and naturopath, I took my children with me wherever I went in the world – and I’ve traveled most of it .. My husband and I home schooled them and kept them in our proverbial hip pockets until they were ready to branch out on their own, which they’ve all done, and now we’re blessed with several grandchildren.  Our kids who have kids are all stay-at-home moms, by the way, which I find both gratifying and interesting.

I’m not knocking working mom’s here, as I’ve always been one, and I don’t doubt for a moment that most moms are doing their best for their children, but is the choice to leave their kids for ten or more hours a day an informed one?  Somehow, I think not.  I applaud all moms and dads who are working hard to provide for their children (which is their obligation, of course), but I’m *deeply *concerned about the absence of mothers in the home.  I’m concerned that I can type ‘Latchkey kids’ in to this comment and not have a spellchecker correct me.  As old-fashioned as it has now become, I strongly believe that children should be within arm’s reach of their parents until they are old enough to go it alone.  What other species can you name that abandons its children for material anything?

To be sure, leaving one’s child to work all day is sometimes unavoidable, but let’s be honest – most working mothers don’t work because they have to, they work because they want to, period.  The needs of children nowadays too often come after the wants of their parents, and I’ve lived long enough to watch the present trend take hold.  This is not progress or liberty, it’s the shift from family to ‘self,’ and that shift will be the undoing of those who subscribe to the ‘self’ philosophy, but the greatest casualties in this moral war, will always and forever be our children.

The fall of *every* world power in history was preceded by the disintegration of the family unit.  When families fall apart, so do individuals, villages, towns, cities, and finally nations, and people become displaced, confused, and lose their sense of identity… and their roots, and they begin to question their intrinsic worth, and their reason for being.  Just look at North America today, it’s spiritually, morally, and financially bankrupt – and the U.S. won’t be a world power for much longer, sadly.  It was a great country once.

As unpopular a comment as I’m sure this will be, I firmly believe that if one *intends* to avoid raising one’s children oneself, or at least have them brought up within the family unit (as in Grandma looks after them for you), I don’t believe one ought to have them – it’s selfish, irresponsible, and… unkind.  If you disagree, I invite you to visit any daycare five minutes after working mothers drop their children off – it’s nothing less than heartbreaking!

While I don’t wish to downplay the importance of fathers in any family, there’s a reason why people all around the world agree that one of the most poignant and ‘best first lines’ in any novel is:

‘MOTHER DIED TODAY.’

Gets you where it counts, doesn’t it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

Love and All Good Things – Jesse.’

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The featured image for this post is the cover from the second book in the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series The Least of These.  You can read the first five chapters here –

http://jesseleighbrackstone.com/first_five.pdf

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En Route

Flight….

This magnificent bald eagle was perched motionless high up in a tree beside the Bridge River, focused intently on catching a glimpse of silver scales flashing in the fast-moving water – breakfast for his growing family, and a slow, grizzly death for the unsuspecting salmon. I watched him for a moment or two, his head darting back and forth, his yellow eyes skimming the pearl gray water, his pinions disheveling in the biting wind.  He ignored me, and as I coaxed my Canon to come to life in the chill of the early morning, I snapped him as he left his perch, diving at 105 miles per hour, but he disappeared in to the canyon before I could get his prey on film.  Man!  I hate that!  Anyway, he put me in mind of a song I wrote not so long ago, and used (in part) as the opening to Chapter Twenty-one in book #4 – The Gathering Dark – in the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series.

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Most of you probably know by now that all of the chapters in all of the books are preceded by a poem, prose, or a song to set the mood for each chapter.  If I’d had this fellow then, I think I might have included him….

 

‘Black Roses

 

Last night I dreamed of black roses

With blood dripping red from their thorns

And the sky was a strange kind of crimson

That never did change with the dawn

And I stood there and stared at an eagle

Its yellow eyes stared back at me

It was caught up in flight and soon gone from my sight

And I wished that eagle were me

 

Last night I dreamed I was flying

And my wings took me out into space

As the stars drifted by me I wondered

Why no breath of wind kissed my face

It was dark, it was cold there and empty

Each glimmer of light far away

And part of me wanted to run from that place

Another part wanted to stay

 

Last night I dreamed I was aching

For somebody warm in my bed

Just someone to hold me, but nobody told me

That I’d wake up lonely instead

And I cried for the sand and the sound of the sea

For the softly whispering foam

And I do confess it’s a mystery to me

Why I can’t seem to find my way home’

 

 

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(Above) Scanning the waters.

 

IMG00118ahdinner

Ah… breakfast!

 

 

I love flight, I always have, and I’ve flown in most kinds of planes, I suppose, from hot-air balloons, to gliders, to MiGs, to all sorts of commercial planes.  The only one I haven’t been up in, and would still love to experience, is a Dassault Falcon 7X.  Ah, but I managed to live vicariously… a little, in enjoying Tom’s and Jenny’s journeys in theirs.

Despite the sense of loss and longing at the conclusion of Black Roses, it seems to me that we’re all searching in one way or another, and however far our journeys may take us, we’re just trying to find our way home….

Love, peace, and All Good Things – Jesse.

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TAUO Presentation Box halfsize

Read the first five chapters of the seven-novel Time & Unforeseen Occurrence series here –

http://jesseleighbrackstone.com/first_five.pdf

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En Route

Sometimes life really *is* a ‘Day at the beach….’

And sometimes it just needs to be!

Darlin’ and I have pulled two thirty-six-hour shifts in the last four days, and we’re… not operating on all thrusters, to put it politely.

I knew we were in trouble when we each downed two caramel and walnut brownies, and we’re not supposed to eat those – we’re diabetic!  (But boy, were they good!) Drastic times call for drastic measures!

Renewed in strength from our sugar high (which never lasts long), Darlin’ headed out the door to fix our friend Mike’s computer, and I looked at V’ger (my research computer) with solid determination, and set about sorting out the day’s tasks when… it farkled!  V’ger, my trusted friend, who searches throughout cyberspace, where no one has gone before, for the data I need to write my novels – farkled!  I mean, I could understand Mike’s computer coughing and spluttering – I’m pretty sure Noah used it on the ark, but… V’ger?  I began to smell a conspiracy, and narrowing my eyes, I mentally ran down all the people who might want to sabotage (or delay) our tour, but… I couldn’t think of a living soul – unless we count the devil.  Well, I suppose he’s not technically a living soul, but that’s another blog post. Undecided as to whether or not I was paranoid, or merely a victim of acute sleep deprivation, I decided I’d better ‘handle with care’ what was left of my gray matter, and turned to R2, my writing and photography computer (he’s never been on line – I don’t trust cyberspace), hoping to salvage a brain cell or two of sanity, and look what I found….

It was another day like this one at first – after too much work and worry (uncharacteristic for either of us – the ‘worry’ part), and… not enough time, we hit desperate some time in mid-July.

My hair needed washing – a mammoth task then – before I cut 27″ off it because it was coming out in handfuls and wasn’t the thick, healthy mane I’d been used to all my life.  (Oh, it’a all right now, but I was sure I was going bald for a month or two, and I just thank God I didn’t!  Menopause – aaargh! scream)  The house needed cleaning, the dishes needed washing, and the laundry wasn’t done, but… we didn’t care.   We needed a break, and we needed it badly, so we grabbed the first items of clothing we found, dragged our weary selves into Buster, and headed for the beach, located three driving hours from our house, in Canada’s hotspot – Lillooet, and ooh, was it nice!  We parked Buster in the shade at Fraser Cove Campground and paddled, frolicked, and soaked up the sun on the shores of the mighty Fraser River.  My mind shifted into reverse… and began to drift….

Here are some of the images I coaxed out of R2 today, when he and I and Darlin’ spent a lovely day at the beach – again.

IMG00235Buster in the shade 

Buster in the shade up above the volcanic rocks on the beach.

IMG00121Darlin' paddling in the Fraser

Darlin’ paddling in the mighty Fraser River

IMG00224Jesse standing in Fraser

Me, looking like an accident, but thoroughly enjoying the 5 mins I am able to stand before I need to find my wheelchair.

IMG00377Brian stretching in Fraser

Darlin’ doing his physio exercises (he has a dicky back).  The bridge in the background is an old wooden ‘heritage’ landmark, and is, of course, unused nowadays, to preserve it.

IMG00380Brian the angel

A closer look.  Isn’t he luverly?  If I hadn’t already seen an angel, I’d think they looked like this.

IMG00448.drying off and soaking up the sun

Just drying off and soaking up the sun.  Mmm….

Darlin' putting my wheelchair into Buster

Darlin’ loading my wheelchair in to Buster.

IMG_0063_1Time to go home

Time to go home.

IMG00021Osprey heading for home

An osprey friend of ours, heading for home too.  We named him Elvis a couple of years ago – you should see this fellow dance around the rim of that nest!  It’s hilarious!

Ah… the places we can go….  I had a wonderful day, despite how it started.  If tomorrow doesn’t behave itself, I may have to revisit Maui.

Hope you had a wonderful day too!

Love and All Good Things – Jesse.

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En Route

Ooh… the pros and cons of deadlines….

Clicking on the widget (I like that word!) at the top of this page (the little square thingy with the horizontal lines on it), our countdown ‘clock’ told me that we have only sixteen days left until it’s time to tour.

Sixteen! I stared at the number and froze…. All of a sudden the 101 tasks we have to complete prior to leaving, seemed like a thousand, and sixteen days, a woefully inadequate amount of time. This deadline business does it to me every time. Can anyone out there relate?

Some people like structure, and love deadlines, and do their best work under pressure, but I’m definitely not one of those. If a deadline fan were a roaring whitewater river, I would be a gently flowing stream. I don’t like to rush through anything in life – y’miss too much that way. Now, I’ve been told that I’m a workaholic (and they say it as if it’s a bad thing) too often to wonder if I’m lazy; I know I’m not, as I frequently ‘work’ sixteen-hour days, but most of it doesn’t seem like work to me because I love what I do – all of it, and I doubt that activities that give us pleasure can count as ‘work’ in the negative sense, and I’m certain that they don’t require the ‘aholic’ addition to the word.

Anyway, as ‘frozen’ as I was, I just had to get a different perspective if I wanted to be productive today, so I uploaded the 386 images from the memory card in my trusty Canon, and peace washed over me like a river. Here’s why:

BralorneSunset

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DeerInMeadow1

DeerInMeadow2

Aren’t they beautiful? I have a couple of dozen gorgeous photos of the deer, and it’s so hard not to share them with you, but I don’t want to tax your bandwidth to tilting point. (Tomorrow, God Willing, I’ll post a couple of shots of Buster, our tour bus/RV.)

By this date, according to my ‘to do’ list, I was supposed to have this blog completed – y’know, with an eyecatching custom banner and all the fun-to-play-with bells and whistles that I want En Route to have, but as you can see, I haven’t managed it yet (good thing I’m not in sales). It’s more complicated, technologically speaking, than I anticpated, so I’ll have to do it in increments and hope that you don’t mind. Sigh….

Oh well, Darlin’ and I have almost finished recording all of the twenty-six songs we’ll use in concert this time out (we perform as a duo and use computer technology to back us up, which allows us to have multiple instruments, harmonies, and a full-band sound that works amazingly well on stage), which is great, as all we need to do now is tweak (mix) it a little, and that’s always fun to do! Speaking of which, I’d better get myself back in to the studio before Darlin’ thinks I’ve left him. We pulled a thirty-six hour shift yesterday (and a little of the day before, I guess), so we’re a tad sleep deprived today, and the audible gurgle emanating from the vicinity of my stomach tells me that it’s time to eat again too. Sheesh! Who has time to dine?

My love to all of you who’re with us En Route.

Jesse.

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En Route

Hello – I’m Jesse Leigh Brackstone, and you are now En Route….

I can see your brow furrowing now, perplexed, befuddled, and nonplussed, but somewhere deep inside a little part of you wants to know. En route to where, or what, and when, and what’s it all about…?

It’s about time, as almost everything is, and every living soul on this planet is on the same journey, and toward the same place. Some of us call it Heaven, and some of us call it Home, and others among us call it Paradise. There are those who know it only as a deep-seated longing, or perhaps a dream, or simply a knowing that there is something more… out there… waiting.

Well, En Route is not about a destination, it’s the journey we’re all taking together through this wonderful experience we call life. For some of us it’s short, perhaps only minutes, and for others it spans a century or more, but it isn’t the length of time that matters, it’s what we do with it while we’re here, and what we make of the moments we are given.

With only seventeen days left until we embark on our five-year-long Global Tour, Brian and I (henceforth known as Darlin’) would like to invite you to come along with us and share in our adventures, and hopefully, you’ll honor us by letting us share in yours – we’d like that!

For those of you who don’t know me yet, you’re probably thinking:

Who in the world is Jesse Leigh Brackstone, and why would I want to go anywhere with her? A woman nutty enough to still call her husband Darlin’?

The following link list will tell you all you need to know – and more.

My public Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/jesseleigh.brackstone – don’t forget to send me a ‘friend’ request!

My professional ‘Author’ Facebook page (no ‘friend’ requests permitted there) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jesse-Leigh-Brackstone/191034367638667

My personal Web site – http://www.jesseleighbrackstone.com/ – I’d love to read your review of my TIME & UNFORESEEN OCCURRENCE seven-novel series and JENNY’S SONGS UNPLUGGED! (Audio clips are on my home page.)

The first 5 chapters of TIME & UNFORESEEN OCCURRENCE can be read on my Web site gratis, at http://www.jesseleighbrackstone.com/first_five.pdf

My blog – En Route with Jesse – http://www.enroutewithjesse.com – is the central point of my social media network. Come share your thoughts and experiences as we make this wonderful journey through life together!

My You Tube Videos – interviews, songs, studio clips, and on-tour highlights… http://www.youtube.com/user/HoboMtnPublishing/videos?sort=da&view=u

My Linkedin addy – http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/jesse-leigh-brackstone/82/1a5/827

My Twitter addy – http://twitter.com/#!/JesseLeighBrack

My publisher – http://www.hobomountainpublishing.com/

My yuku profile – http://jessebelle.u.yuku.com/

Enjoy!

We give benefit concerts, write books, and songs, produce videos, albums, and tour the world in an old RV named Buster. We feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the sick and dying, and take care of widows and orphans…, and in the midst of all that, we’re privileged to see the wonders and the magnificence of God’s Creation (which we’d like to share with you), and to meet with people of every nation, tribe, and tongue, and we’d like to introduce you to them too. Some will no doubt make you laugh, and some may make you cry, but whether you shed tears of joy or sorrow, your life will be immeasurably enriched – I promise!

Why not make yourself your favorite cuppa, put your feet up for a while, and follow the links above? When you think you’ve read enough, and feel you’d like to join us on our travels, just come back here and click the ‘follow’ tab. You can follow us on your computer, your iPad, or your phone, or anything else that the techie minds come up with in the near future. (We’ve been doing this for forty years, so we’ve been here for it all!)

Post your own adventures in life – your highs and your lows – (we have millions of readers), and see how much happiness there is to be found in caring and sharing your life with others. You can join us alone or, if you like, you can make it a family affair. Children write some of the most precious posts of all. Share your photographs, your memories, your hopes, and your dreams, as we bring you those treasures from friends you haven’t met yet, but surely will encounter En Route!

Lots of Love and All Good Things,

Jesse.

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