Giving Thanks – Maybe

Kathy - greenKate Wyland


Next week is Thanksgiving in the U.S., a time to reflect on the things we are grateful for. Usually we think of new things that have come into our lives–new baby, promotion at work, new car.

Wedding partyWe’ve had several of those in our family this year, the latest being our older daughter marrying a wonderful man last month. But I’d like to talk about the “bad” occurrences that end up having good results. We’ve had a few of those too.

In March my husband had a mild stroke that put him in the hospital for a week. Turns out that one of his carotid arteries was 90% blocked and had been affecting his health and abilities for a while. Cleaning it out has given him lots more energy and clarity. He feels so much better. The experience also spurred a renewed emphasis on taking care of his health and evaluating the options. And that seems to be the only after effect of the stroke, for which we are extremely grateful.

houseJust two months later our landlord informed us that he was going to sell the house we’d been renting for a few years. We were faced with the unpleasant task of moving while my guy was still recovering and didn’t need the stress, or buying a house we’d never considered purchasing. After weighing the options we decided to take the plunge. Long term it should be a good investment. It feels good to be able to fix things the way want them. (Can’t wait to get rid of the outdated wallpaper.) It also feels good to be settled again. Each year when it was time to renew our lease I would start looking at other places to see if it would be worth moving. I won’t be doing that for a long time now. Instead I’m spending my time redesigning the landscaping and planning inside changes.

Of course we’ve also had purely bad things happen with no silver linings apparent. A nephew with cancer that has metastasized throughout his body, family and friends who’ve lost their jobs and haven’t found new ones, my horse Glory who is going blind from cataracts. (Unfortunately, unlike with people and dogs, surgery isn’t an option.)

The same kind of thing happens in our stories. Our protagonists are challenged and by facing the problem are changed for the better.

In my book Wyoming Escape, Mikela runs and hides from a killer at a dude ranch. To her surprise she encounters a man she can trust (a new experience) and who is willing to risk his life for her. She also finds a “family of friends” that accepts her at face value, which in turn helps her change how she interacts with her real family.

In my current WIP, when Callie Burns finds a dying man, the ranger who answers her 911 call is the epitome of the type of man she avoids at all costs. By the end of the story, she has changed her views of him and a number of other things.

How about you? What are you grateful for? Any mixed blessings?



Forewarning Cover

Healing is her life. Will it be her death?


Wyoming Cover - 4x6 - #2.

Wyoming Escape
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?


Cover - Images - 2.

 Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?


Connect with Kate Wyland:
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18 thoughts on “Giving Thanks – Maybe

  1. I’m so glad your husband is doing well after the stroke. That surgery is amazing. Years ago, my mother went in for a routine exam and was sent directly to the hospital for carotid artery surgery. Like your husband, she had over 90% blockage, but she’d had no symptoms. I was thankful for for the timely diagnosis and treatment, and always will be. You and your husband have an adventure before you, getting a place you can change to express your own tastes.

    The bad things are a different matter. Maybe that’s why I have such difficulty giving my characters difficulties; they’re my friends, and when they hurt, I hurt along with them. And as in real life, I’m not allowed to make everything all right. Isn’t it interesting how much belief and emotion we invest in our storytelling? It isn’t as easy as readers think. But I’m grateful I can create the stories.


    1. That’s cool that your mom’s doctor picked that up. The surgery is amazing.

      I think we all have problems giving our characters a bad time, but we need to or we don’t have a story. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a lot of violence in my books. Don’t want my “friends” to get hurt too badly. 😉


  2. Just a note regarding your horse. We have a wonderful animal eye surgeon in Seattle, WA that does all the eye work for the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo and does cataract surgery on many, many kinds of animals. I cannot imagine why a horse would be different (but then I am not a horse person) so if you haven’t had an opinion by an expert animal eye doctor, why not at least call Animal Eye Clinic, Dr. Sullivan, at 206-524-8822 – He would certainly know if cataract surgery can be performed on horses, and could perhaps guide you to a specialist in your area. Sometimes regulard (wonderful) vets say no and he says yes (been there, done that with our dogs).


    1. Thanks so much for the suggestion Jody. Unfortunately the UC Davis veterinary school agrees with my vet (who is top notch). Cataract surgery on young foals can restore partial vision, but it’s rarely successful on adult horses. Besides, she 29 and I wouldn’t put her through that stress. She’s comfortable where she is. I just can’t ride her anymore and have to be careful when I handle her. I’ll just take her for walks and give her lots of loving.


  3. Life does give us a fair share of good and bad. Sometimes we don’t know which it is until some time has passed. I am happy for you and your husband, with his health and your ‘new’ house. My sympathy and prayers for your nephew. I am sorry to hear your of your horse’s eye issues, but what a gift you are giving her.

    Our characters become our ‘family’ and like family we want the best for them, but they have to ‘go through it’ just like we do. Love the stories you have written and are writing. Doris


  4. I like your reasons for giving thanks. As you said, some things you aren’t very thankful for when they happen, but when good results occur we are thankful. So glad your husband is doing well. Enjoy your horse all you can (I know you will). You must have such grand memories! Most of all, enjoy your home and have fun making it “yours”. Happy Thanksgiving Kate. I am thankful for my book characters and I also hate it when they have to experience hard times. But I guess that’s what makes us writers, isn’t it?


    1. We writers are a little odd, aren’t we? Sometimes our characters are just as real to us as “real” people. Then it gets a bit confusing. As much as we’d like to, we can’t be nice to them all the time. Gotta give them something to overcome.


  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Kate. I’m glad your husband is doing so much better, and congratulations on the house. Sorry to hear about your nephew and your horse. Life is a mixed bag, isn’t it? But I’m (slowly) learning that joy can shine out even from behind the dark and hard stuff. That’s something to be thankful for.


    1. I think most things are a mixed blessing. If nothing else you learn and grow from the “bad” things and often face challenges with the “good” things. Just have to roll with the punches. But it is nice that our stories can have happy endings. 😉


    1. Oh Abbie, that is such a hard one. Such a mixed feeling of relief and sadness when someone we love is released from their pain. It sounds like you are getting on with your life and doing things you enjoy. Good luck.


  6. Good post Kate. I think we sometimes we’re meant to encounter bad and awful things so we can be grateful for good things. We just hope for the wisdom to appreciate it at the moment. Good luck with the new house. It’s yours. You can do what you want to with it.


    1. I guess if everything were good all the time, it would get boring and we’d stop appreciating what we had. Need the bad to value the good. And need to step back, take a deep breath and soldier on.
      Thanks for commenting.


  7. Kate- It’s a great thing to focus on those positives and put less emphasis on the negative of the past months. Of course, that doesn’t mean forget about the bad becasue they are usauly something that has a lasting effect. it’s more a matter of finding a way to deal with it. I’m glad your house situation is settled. That must have been a great worry and that your hubby is feeling better is wonderful to hear. I liked that little glimpse into your new writing. 🙂


    1. I have to say that the last year has taken a toll. Between losing two horses, my husband’s scare, the house, and several other issues, I have gotten really down. While I haven’t acknowledged it and have tried to look on the bright side, I’ve had a hard time moving forward, particularly on my writing. Gotta keep focused on the positives! This group is definitely a positive.


  8. Your post is heart-written and heart-felt, Kate; thank you for sharing. Many of us have traveled a difficult journey this year. I am thankful for friends and faith, as well as family, to help walk the road with encouragement, compassion, and love. May you feel surrounded by those positive things this Thanksgiving!


  9. Glad your husband is doing well and the two of you are working on making the house YOUR home. Here we are Thankful there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we are getting a faint glimpse of it. Hopefully in 2015 we can blow a little dust off the globe and enjoy the light.


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