Grace's Mosaic Moments

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Welcome to my very first blog! Can’t believe I’m actually doing this.

Why the reluctance to blog? Simple. I’ve always been jealous of my time as an author. Put me in front of a computer and I just want to write fiction. Romance and mystery, where I have the fun of getting up each morning and saying, “Wow! I wonder what’s going to happen today.” As you can guess from that, I’m an “out of the mist” author. If I created a 10-20 page synopsis ahead of time, I’d know what was going to happen and be too bored to actually sit there and write the book.

But at the end of 2010, I decided to take a hiatus from writing new books, draw a deep breath, and look around at some of the huge changes in publishing—foremost, Amazon’s Kindle, which sparked Barnes & Noble’s Nook. So along with beginning to adapt some of my backlist for Kindle and Nook, I’m joining the modern world with Grace’s Mosaic Moments, a blog dedicated to writing, publishing, travel, significant events, little nothings, family, friends, fun, and speculating about anything and everything. “Mosaic” allows me to cover topics from Why Read Romance to my visit to the CIA, to my adventurous trip home from the Singing Christmas Trees with my three grandchildren.

I hope you’ll stop by frequently and offer comments.

Today, I’d like to inaugurate Grace’s Mosaic Moments with a true story from December 2010. I dedicate it to all grandmothers and mothers who have ever found themselves and their young ones in ridiculous situations that just shouldn’t have happened. But did. The title of this very true tale:

How Not to Drive Your Grandchildren Home from the Singing Christmas Trees

My daughter is a blonde. She is also CEO of a Real Estate Investment company. This does not mean she does not have blonde moments.

Each Christmas my daughter and her husband take the extended family (about fifteen relatives and employees) to First Baptist Orlando’s Singing Christmas Trees, a truly superb presentation in a church that seats about 5000. This year, my son-in-law also bought tickets on the same night for a concert in downtown Orlando. So it was arranged that I would drive their three girls, ages 4, 6 & 7, home. Sounds simple, right? I even had help from others in the group to get all three little ones into my daughter’s SUV through the crush of 5000 people attempting to leave at the same time. So far, so good.

By the time the girls were settled into their seat belts, there weren’t many cars left in the lot. I buckled up, started the engine . . . and the car didn’t move. I tried again. No movement. My daughter had set the hand brake in flat-as-a-pancake Florida? I looked where the hand brake is on my car. Nothing. I looked where the brake was on my old car. Nothing. It was, by the way, nearly pitch black in the parking lot. The 7-year-old put on the overhead light for me, but I still couldn’t see any hand brake.

I got out of the car and called to the one couple still walking toward their car. They kindly came over, but they too could not find the hand brake. By this time people were getting into the car in front of me. We had a five-way consultation, the two couples and I, and the husband of the new couple gave it a try. Took him about ten seconds, while the rest of us stood by, red-faced. I like to think he was more familiar with Hyundai SUVs than I was. With profuse thanks to all, I climbed in. At last we could go home.

Figuring the couple who had been parked in front of me knew the way out better than I did, I followed them. Which took us out a different way than we’d come in. (Oops.) No problem, just turn right and right and . . . except in all the traffic I ended up in a Left Turn Only lane. (Double oops.) After two or three blocks I figured I’d better make another right and right and hopefully end up on the road I should have been on in the first place. Except . . .

We were instantly in a residential area, and that’s when I had time to glance at the dashboard and notice the Gas Light was on. Houses, houses everywhere, and not a sign of a thoroughfare with a gas station. And at that dire point, the 7-year-old said, “Gramma, do you know where we are?”

Uh, no. But of course I didn’t say so. I just kept doubling back until I saw—oh, joy—a stoplight. And at the intersection, a GAS STATION. Before pulling up to the pump, I tried calling both my daughter and my son-in-law. I was not happy! Lucky them, their phones were off. They were enjoying their concert at the new Amway Arena.

The children, fortunately, knew which side the gas tank was on, so we managed to pull up with the pump on the correct side. I popped out, stuck in my credit card, and the silly machine wanted to know if it was a debit card. When I said no, it cancelled the transaction. I tried again. Same result. To say my blood pressure was soaring would be putting it mildly. There I was with three small children in the car, and I had to go INSIDE. Fortunately, we were right in front of the door. I told the children to stay put and dashed inside, where the attendant managed the transaction while I kept looking out the glass door.

Put ten dollars worth of gas in my daughter’s car and headed out, the children completely angelic or I might have lost myself along with the car. We did a couple more turns, looking for lots of lights signaling a major road. And there it was. Kirkman, the road that runs past Universal Studios. I was so turned around by this time that I simply chose a direction, knowing either north or south would lead me to a major east-west road that would take us home. And, sure enough, in less than a mile there it was, the 408, Orlando’s East-West Expressway. Yay, hurray!

But, no, this isn’t the end of the story. The night’s “annoyances” will be continued in my next post on Friday, January 21, 2011.


  1. This is hilarious! I can see it all unfold. Great blog post. :)

  2. I died my hair red to get away from blonde jokes, mother....!

  3. Sounds like the start of an adventure. Good luck with the new blog!

  4. Rebecca, Susie, & Wynter, thanks for being the first to comment on Grace's Mosaic Moments. (Though I have to admit I expected Susie's comment to be even more pungent!)

  5. Your grandchildren sound like darlings. The thought of being lost in Orlando does not sound like fun at all! Congratulations on your new blog. :)

  6. Love to see you kept your great sense of humor through what must have been a scary experience!

  7. Grace:

    Glad to see you made it to the blog world. And, FYI in case you're ever in a rental car, look at the gas gauge and there'll be a little arrow pointing either left or right. That's the side the gas tank is on.

  8. Having experienced that area of Orlando last summer, I hope it helps that my husband, SIL, daughter and four grandkids all agree with me that Orlando is the most confusing place in the country to drive.

    Glad to see you in the blog world,Grace!

  9. Oh, dear. Knowing that area fairly well, I can only say congratulations on getting yourself successfully UN-lost, Grace. The roads by that church are a little crazy.


  10. Welcome to the world of blogging, Grace! I love your first post and look forward to reading the rest of the story.

  11. OMGosh! Simply hilarious! I'm sorry you were lost in Orlando. I've done that a time or two myself and it's no fun. Glad you were able to find it funny though. Congrats on the new blog!

  12. Many thanks to those who commented. I really appreciate it. And, believe me, the sympathy is appreciated even more!