We hope this letter finds you healthy and well, through this most trying year. The Spokane Drummonds have had far too many adventures this past year, but we are most thankful to have survived the trials and look forward to a peaceful future, however distant that might seem. The mail seems to be working now and then, so we hope this gets through.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The new blog. The first post. A little intimidating, I’ll have to say. Kind of like the decision to jump off the dock, not quite knowing how cold the June lake water really is....
Most of the writing I’ve done in the past four years has been written, proofed and uploaded after much consideration. Sometimes, after little consideration. Some, over the past two years, was never posted, and was tossed and re-written. History and current events sometimes drive things in different directions, even in the fictional universe.
In 2005, I began the story entitled ‘Deep Winter’. Many have wondered about its’ origins. It was literally, a single post on a web forum that shall remain nameless, designed to make people think about what they’d do, if they were caught in the same situation as the guy and his family in the story.
Five pages, I think it was.
I was then asked…or, hounded, into ‘more.’ Alan Hagan warned me, ‘don’t start or they’ll never let you alone’ and he was certainly correct. The five pages became the first chapter. The short story turned to a dozen chapters, then thirty, then sixty. It covered a little bit of ground, and six hundred sixty-two pages.
Then a second book, 'Shatter', well over six hundred pages. Then, a third…it’s in editing now, and will be arriving soon. It'll be hefty.
For the several thousand faithful readers, chapters will be uploaded to the blog, first, and when we’re done with the editing and can final PRINT the final version. We should arrive at that date on the blog and in the real world at the same time.
First though, a Christmas letter from the Drummonds, for those of you hungering for an update, just below.
If you're a new reader and want to get a PDF of the stories, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll send them on along. I also sell the hardcopies directly, autographed and mailed anywhere in the lower 48, at the price of $30 each. Again, shoot me an email for the particulars. Waaay less than Amazon, Borders, or the printer of the books, Lulu.com. I think they're charging more than they ought, but don't really have control over that....
Enough of the author. Let's find out how the Drummonds are:
Of course, we began the year with record snowfall and cold, and we enjoyed that relative peace for all of fourteen days before our world was turned upside-down with the Domino earthquake. We survived that largely uninjured, despite all the damage to the house. All of our local troubles were minor compared to what the Seattle area endured—and there really aren’t words adequate for the many thousands lost. We elected to stay in Spokane, and lived in the barn in rather primitive conditions for a couple of months. We were joined in ‘barn living’ by our friends Ron and Libby Martin and their son John and daughter Marie. Within a few days of the quake, Karen’s Mom, her older brother Alan, and his wife Mary and their two little ones also joined us in the Valley, taking up residence in a vacant home for the duration. We worked with scrounged materials and traded for more lumber and things to repair our house, and moved back ‘home’ in April.
We lost many friends in the quake and of course in the flu, many as-yet uncounted as we haven’t had any correspondence or contact with much of the country since early spring. Two of Rick’s brothers have gone home this year, as well as some of our cousins. We have not had word of our remaining family members behind The Line since the spring. We pray that they are safe, and have continued to remember them in our prayers daily. The unrest that went along with the troubles locally was all too close as well, but things have settled down in the past few weeks, and we hope the future will be brighter.
Spokane is now home to around fifty-thousand residents (which is an educated guess), about ten percent of what the region held previously—although there hasn’t really been a true census, so we really don’t know for sure how many live in the county anymore. It is certainly a fraction of a year ago.
We take great pride in our children Kelly and Carl, who have far exceeded our expectations and taken on many new challenges and many, many responsibilities this year. Kelly is now working on Freshman high-school level work, as well as learning about the necessities of ‘farm life’ these days. Carl is sixteen this year, and is working on Senior-level classes, and some college-level material as well. Life has certainly changed for both of them this year. Both kids are helping in our farm-fields, with our livestock, and are both pretty-good farm-tractor wranglers these days! Of course, just like Mom and Dad, they despise mucking out the barn. I think we’d be worried about them if they didn’t…
Karen has ‘worked her tail off’ (literally, she’s lost a number of sizes this year) in keeping the clan fed, watered and housed. Her ‘extracurricular activities’ include working at one of the orphanages set up in the Valley and helping take care of her Mom, Grace. Grace had a bad fall in November, and is recuperating in a new adult-care home that we’ve set up next door to our house. There are many in need, and few to serve. We have been richly blessed with help for Grace and her two roommates, good medical care, and that which Providence has provided.
Rick’s business of course was lost in the Domino, but he’s had a number of enterprises to keep him busy this year, including setting up a store with Alan and Ron for the local residents to trade and buy supplies and produce, to serving as County Administrator. As administrator, he helped get the County government reorganized and working again, along with utility service and peace-keeping and getting trade established. “Trade” means anything that keeps people working and fed these days. Rick was badly injured in an aircraft accident in August, while traveling back to Spokane from Walla Walla. He spent about two months recovering, before briefly resuming his duties for the County. In November though, Rick was commissioned by Governor Hall to serve as Brigade Commander for the Third Washington, and has since deployed to Colorado and ‘points East.’ Third Washington is a support brigade, their first mission was to recover the fallen from Sixth Army. Rick hasn’t spoken about it, and I expect that this was one of the most difficult things he’s ever done.
Please write and let us know how things are in your corner of the country. We look forward to the day when we can see you in peace within a land undivided.
Karen, Rick, Kelly and Carl Drummond