Pride Goeth Before the Fall

When the manuscript for Nothing to Lose came back from my favorite copy editor, one passage was marked “Trite but allowable under the ‘What Mothers Say’ Exemption.”  ‘Pride goeth before the fall’ was certainly one of my mother’s all-time favorites.  In AA parlance, I could have entitled this blog ‘Falling off the Wagon,’ meaning I’d just had a slip in my sobriety.  Or I could have just said, ‘The wheels came off the bus.’  All three of those are trite but accurate.

On Friday of last week, I bent over in search of an iPad connector on the floor.  In the process, I tweaked my back.  When I straightened up, I had a back spasm that literally ‘took my breath away!’  (Also trite, but in this case absolutely true.) I already had that day’s steps ‘in the bag,’ as it were.  See what I mean?  That’s the whole problem with those little catch phrases.  They work.  They ‘get the job done.’  I don’t know about you, but I’m laughing now.  How many more of those little devils can I ‘pull out of my pocket’ in the course of writing a single blog?

What I learned is this:  In my natural state, I barely get 3000 steps a day.  Over the next two days combined, I didn’t hit 10,000.  Yesterday, I got may ten barely, but I took it in slow, measured steps, a thousand steps at a time.  I’m better today, but still a bit glitchy.

Because I’m calendar-challenged, I didn’t realize until this morning that I should have written my Thanksgiving Day blog last week, in order for it to arrive in a timely manner.  ‘My bad! ‘  Yup, there’s another one.

And so ‘a day late and a dollar short’  I’m going to tell you a few things for which I’m thankful.  (Thanks to Anne Medigovich, my high school English teacher, I put that preposition in the right place!) After all, ‘prepositions are NOT to end sentences with.’  There’s another one.

I’ll start with my husband.  Bill and I are coming up on our 37th anniversary, and I’m thankful for him every day.  Our first date happened to be the grand opening signing for my first book, and he’s been one hundred percent supportive of both my writing and me from that moment on.

I’m thankful for my kids and grandkids—the ones the ones that were here for Thanksgiving and the one’s who weren’t.  With most of the others living on the far side of the Cascades, not having them drive ‘over the rivers and through the woods,’ to say nothing of braving the snow and ice on Snoqualmie Pass seems like … well … ‘a no brainer.’

I’m grateful for my dogs.  Mary and Jojo, my long-haired dachshunds, keep me grounded.  There’s nothing like cleaning up a little doggie doo-doo to keep you from ‘getting a swelled head.’

I’m thankful for my very loyal book readers who have followed me and my characters through sixty-three books and counting.  I’m grateful for my many blog readers whose comments have kept me connected to the outside world during this time of enforced isolation.  And I’m also thankful for the fans who write to me.  Some of the things people share with me are deeply touching.

This week I heard from a man in Louisana who said that during the pandemic (I refuse to capitalize pandemic!) he was introduced to my books by his father who was a great fan of mine.  The son, Brent, became a fan, too.  Sadly, his father passed away from Covid in December of last year.  Brent is now such a die-hard fan that he tracked down a short story I wrote long ago, one of which I no longer had any record.  Second Fiddle was published in an anthology called First Cases, edited by Robert Randisi.  My files on that story disappeared when I moved from Microsoft Windows to Apple’s Pages, but Brent and his wife have now tracked down a copy and are sending it to me.  And I know that, from now on, whenever Brent reads one of my books, he will be reminded of his father.

But my exchange with Brent brought up another long-ago story.  A woman named Erin came to an early signing asking for me to sign a book in memory of her mother.  It seems her mother, one of my devoted fans, was in the hospital.  Erin purchased a copy but decided to read it herself before taking it to her mother’s hospital room.  When her mother passed away, Erin found the book with her mother’s book mark only half way through.  “I wish I’d taken it to her first,” she said. Sometimes book signings can be tough on mascara.  After hearing from Brent, however, I wrote to Erin as well and had a lovely reconnection with her.

The combination of those two meaningful communications this week left me feeling ‘all warm and fuzzy.’ (By my count, that makes eleven.)

Over the next few days, if one of your kids ‘steps out of line’ and you’re forced to tell him or her, ‘If you think you can get away with that, you’ve got another think coming,’  just remember it’s allowed—under the “What Mothers Say Exemption.”

And now, sit back and enjoy the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.

It may be the day after Thanksgiving, but I’m still thankful.

43 thoughts on “Pride Goeth Before the Fall

  1. Thank you for sharing. “What Mother’s Say” it’s important for those of us that have mothers no longer here. Bless your family and have a Merry and Bright Christmas.!

  2. Ad I’ve just added to my list that I’m thankful for you. You wrote back to me after I’d lost my mother early last year (not from Covid , but certainly in isolation at a long term care facility newly locked down in Yakima); and it meant so much to me that a beloved author whom I’d been reading for decades would do so.

  3. I do appreciate your weekly Blog. I have enjoyed your books for many years, but more so now with this weekly connection. You feel like a friend not just a favorite author. I recently came across your first book about Sheriff Brady. Loved reading about meeting Andy and their beginning relationship. It’ been great reading as time and age go on. Thanks agin for providing so much entertainment.

  4. Trite only became trite because these situations happened in various forms in the millions over and over again. ?

  5. I always look forward to six o’clock Friday morning. You were only Six minute ahead of me this morning.
    What is the date for your next book to be released? I believe it is a J.P. Beaumont book?
    I am glad you had a nice Thanksgiving.

  6. My husband and I have an ongoing thing about that end-of-sentence preposition. He says, “where’s —- at?” (I know where he got it, because his siblings do the same thing). I always say, “where’s —-?” He’s gotten to the point where it’s kind of a joke, and he responds with, “where’s —- AT?”

    I love reading your Friday blogs and this one was especially fun with all the mom sayings. We have much for which to be thankful.

  7. Thank you for being ‘there’ and something I look forward to ON Fridays. I have two sisters (Bisbee oriented) that also now look forward to UR blog as I do. Your blogs as well as books always seem to give us
    Food for Thought….Chuck in Tacoma.

  8. Your blog makes me homesick for Beau and Sheriff Brady. I’m all caught up. I need to give Ali another try. Keep writing. You make my day.

  9. I loved your little sayings. While you “pull something out of your pocket” I grew up hearing it said that you “pull it out of your hat”. Aren’t regional differences great?

    Here’s one from my Mom: Ever go upstairs to get something and when you get to the top of the steps you realize you forgot why you went there? Once you retrace your steps, you remember and get to climb those stairs again! My mom (emigrated from Germany) always used to say, “What you don’t have in your head, you have to have in your feet!” I think this might have been a German saying.

  10. Thank you once again, for adding some joy and encouragement to a Friday. Your message ‘hit the spot’… it was ‘just what the doctor ordered’. It really ‘fit the bill’.

    In reading some other comments on today’s blog, it comes to mind that I/we (my wife and I often read the same book …generally via kindle these days) have not started a reread of your books, and that was a warm and fuzzy thought as I have pretty much forgotten, other than pretty general information, the stories so can enjoy them all over again!! I am in agreement with another commenter that your blog somehow brings you closer to seeming to be a friend of sorts… and that adds to the joy of reading the blogs as well as new books.

    So, not that we are friends… when do you folks want to come over for dinner? We are only about 40 miles down I-5. Continue your walking and bending over… be careful with all movement… as we age, it seems to be much easier to tweak pretty much any part of our body. When you have your health, you have everything …when anything in ‘tweaked’ it has a way of significantly lowering desire to accomplish things…you just want it to get better.

  11. I loved your dilemma of “to cliché or not to cliché”. I’m an amateur writer and have found it so easy to use the cliché because it conveys just what I want said. Although I’m in a group of (mostly) published authors, so far they haven’t corrected me. Will pass your insights along. Thanks for the learning and laughing you gave me today.

  12. Yesterday during our post-dinner Scrabble game someone brought up “mind your p’s and q’s”, which I remembered the origin of (I know, preposition….), which then reminded me of my son’s 3rd grade teacher, who did a unit of study on such old sayings and their origins. That age, when the children were competent enough readers to be comfortable going beyond literal meaning but also able to be enchanted by language as a tool and a toy, was a perfect time to explore our rich heritage of picturesque speech. I’m thankful for all the Ellen Hausers of the world, who make our children’s education wonderful! I’m also thankful that J.A. Jance and other good writers keep our language alive, including all those “trite” sayings!

  13. Sorry for your injury, but glad you are healing and can still find humor in the situation. And I love hearing my mother’s voice come out of my daughter’s mouth when speaking to her daughter. Mother speak lives on and on.

  14. I love everyone of your stories. I love everyone of your books and I am looking forward to reading each one. Thank you Judy for being one of my favorite writers.

  15. How about “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”. Love your blog every week and cannot wait to get the new book! Happy Holidays.

  16. Judy, a miss is as good as a mile, you repeated several but obviously not all, leaving the door open for your fans to pile on additional comments. ?

  17. You say you “beaked your back.” I assume since you said nothing much more about it that you had a bad back spasm, and that your back was not broken.

    For years I struggled with back spasms. Finally a physio suggested I exercise a particular muscle, and I haven;t had one since. The muscle is the one that controls your urinary needs. Just clench it several times a day.

  18. I am thankful to have YOU as my favorite writer! I am seldom bored now that I have gone back to reading, which was prompted by your suggesting the Walker Series- I had turned into an online creature during quarantine, and had finally dipped back into an Ali Reynolds, which prompted me to email you, which led to the Hour of The Hunter….. Until I finished Dance of The Bones, and am now back to Joanna! (With a detour to Beau) I love that there are four different JaJance voices, as well as the wonderful Signore Bianco of Venice (Now all my friends’ favorite Italian character) I too have a wonderful husband, and I am delighted by the fact that your first date with Bill coincided with your first big book signing- (Can’t make these things up!) So I hope you and all of us fans have a lovely weekend- If I do say so, I think we are a nice crowd with excellent taste-

  19. You are certainly a great example of “pretty is as pretty does” as your books stand for how pretty you are. (My Mom’s favorite saying to point out my shortcomings.)

    One thing: So glad you are thankful for your children even the ‘ones’ who weren’t with you.

    I like others count you a friend although only through a few emails. We are nearly twins in background. Born the same year, same first regrettable spouses. I was and remain a writer at heart but my ‘books’ will pass with me, leaving only unfinished portions. Happy Thanksgiving–also a day late

  20. I read your blog and there is not one that doesn’t feel like ‘been there, done that’ in some aspect. I am 94 years old and every day is magic. Most of my contemporaries are gone, and I recall things that were so common in my younger years and the audience says “who?”, “what’s that?” “you did what?”. Anyway, I am a good story-teller and my one charge to my listeners is “If you’ve heard this one, stop me”. When people look at me me and say “You’re not 94!” I say “I’m as surprised as you are.” Never signed on for long term commitment, but here I am. I have read all your books and living near you makes me feel like a neighbor. Thanks for all the joy you have given me in so many forms.

    • Speaking of the ignominies of being old, I (89) tell my grandchildren that no one in the US played soccer until the 1960s, and that there was no pizza there until the 1950s, and they don’t even say “huh?”!

      Bob Glass

      • My father was 90 when he passed away and I used to marvel at the changes he had seen in the world. He was born in 1879. Imagine the time of his youth growing up in the great PNW and then cars and a man on the moon. I suppose we have also made great strides in knowledge and even the technical side that my grandchildren help me with constantly. Somehow we take it for granted that these things come to pass. I enjoy what I can and tolerate the rest. I miss golfing.

  21. In this year of firsts, I am thankful for all the support and love I have received after the death of my precious other half. And saying that reminds me of Mary Ann. Please tell her I pray she is being kind to herself, and celebrating days without melt-downs, but accepting the melt-downs as an affirmation of a truly special love.

    Thanks to you as well Judy. I love your books, but I think I love this blog more. It allows us to “know” you. Thank you for that.

  22. I love and use all those sayings. Positively I sound like a broken record most days.
    Hope your back continues to mend!

  23. My mother died at 82 on November 29, 2008. I think of and miss her every day. Many of her sayings have been coming back to me lately, one of which makes me wonder where it came from. When I’d be moping around the house during my teenage years she’d say to me, “Quit acting so hard done to.” I always knew I had a lot to be thankful for.

    • I often wonder about common expressions, especially when I hear them in unexpected places. I was in the red center of Australia, in Alice Springs, when a hotel worker said “My son got upon the wrong side of the bed this morning.” What an odd saying, I thought to my self, but i know right away what it means.

      Same with “hard done to,” except in my circles the saying was “hard done by.”

      Bob Glass

      • My mother always used the ‘wrong side of the bed’ one too. She was raised in western Pennsylvania in a very old family. They didn’t come over in the Mayflower, but were not far behind. I was an English major in college, so I learned a lot about language, but we never delved into these sayings.

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