On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Revealing the three-year anniversary book cover of A Long and Winding Road: a Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos.

Anaiah Press

Three years ago, we released our very first book, a memoir entitled, A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos. And now, we’re pleased to release a second edition of this book with a brand new cover and fresh edits!

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a 400-square-foot box on wheels.

WindingRoadFinalBLURB:  Alzheimer’s is a family disease, and A Long and Winding Road is a love story—not a boy meets girls love story, but a family love story:

The story of the love of a daughter for her parents and her willingness to take them into her home when they could no longer care for themselves;

The story of a mother and father who loved their daughter…

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Published in the Rains County Leader on July 25, 2017:

child with dandelionAs children, finding joy is as simple as picking a dandelion or coaxing Daddy into being the Tickle Monster for a few minutes. As the years pass, however, joy sometimes becomes more elusive. More joints hurt, more friends develop debilitating or terminal illnesses, and social calendars have more dates for funerals than for weddings. Joy is still possible, but it takes more work, and it sometimes requires an attitude adjustment.

If you’ve spent any time on Facebook, you know it can be a joyless place if you’re not very selective about what you read. Some users post nothing but political tirades and negative news while others give more information than most of us want to know about their long list of medical complaints, medications, and procedures. I’m all for being well informed and also for keeping up with friends and praying for them in their times of need. However, caution is necessary in order to keep all that negativity from sucking all the joy out of life. Read the rest of this entry »

Campsite up closeWhile we’re waiting for Tatia’s Tattoo, my first novel, to be edited and readied for publication, I have some exciting news about my memoir, A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos. Winding Road was released by Anaiah Press, first as an e-book on July 1, 2014 and then in print in January 6, 2015. In honor of three successful years, Anaiah is releasing an anniversary edition with a new cover and fresh edits.

In case it’s been a while since you read it, or if you missed it the first time around, Winding Road is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a four-hundred-square-foot box on wheels. The publisher put a more detailed description on the back cover:

Sometimes, reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots; vascular dementia has attacked dad, and instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped up the toilet again; Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we imagined for ourselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving.

The release date has not yet been announced, but details will be posted as soon as they are available. In the meantime, if you would be interested in participating in a blog tour sometime between July 22 and August 4, CLICK HERE to sign up.

Thank you for all your support, encouragement, and friendship.

Blessings,

Linda

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 18, 2017:

Good boyAfter reading last week’s column about our exciting first day of dog sitting with Spike, one of my readers commented that she couldn’t wait to read the next chapter. There’s good news and bad news about that. The good news is that Spike and David both behaved themselves while I was away on a weekend retreat. The bad news is that good behavior doesn’t usually make very interesting reading.

Not that he was a complete angel. David didn’t mention any nighttime barking while I was gone, but he has a tendency to sleep more soundly than I do. Spike continued to wake me every night around 3:00 or 3:30 am for no apparent reason other than that he was awake and thought everyone else should be, too. Thankfully, he quieted down pretty quickly. One morning when he waited until 5:00 to make his voice heard, I lay down on the couch – more because I was too tired to walk back to the bedroom than out of compassion for the noisy dog – but most nights I scolded him into silence and went back to bed. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 11, 2017:

SpikeDavid and I are Spike-sitting again. For those readers who have not been introduced to Spike, he’s a Great Pyrenees mix who likes for us to come over and play when he’s home alone. His people went in different directions this time. She’s on a travel-business river cruise in Europe, and he headed north on road trip, so we’ll be with our furry friend for ten days.

There have been some major changes since our last visit. Kent called on Thursday on his way out of town to let me know that Spike has become a house dog. Although he loves to run around in the woods and the hay fields, he doesn’t tolerate the heat well, so when the triple digit temperatures arrived, he was allowed to come inside during the heat of the day. He behaved so nicely that he has now been invited to spend most of his days – and nights – inside. Not only that, but he has also begun to walk on a leash. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 4, 2017:

ButtonsMy work day as part-time secretary at Believers’ Baptist Church is flexible. As long as I get the work done, Pastor Jason doesn’t care too much what time I arrive or what time I leave. I try to be at my desk no later than 9:30 so I can accomplish a little something before David and I leave at 11:00 to go to the Senior Center, but I frequently have trouble sticking to my own timetable. There’s always one more chapter to read, a chore I left undone the night before, or some wardrobe malfunction to deal with. Last Friday morning, it was a button. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on June 27, 2017:

Agility TrialsThe world of training and showing dogs is a subculture that most of us never experience except maybe to watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show once a year. My introduction to the culture came when we moved to Florida in 2005 and I met Sue and Sophie. Sophie is a beautiful, pure-bred Miniature Schnauzer, and Sue was a fellow caregiver who had decided that dog training would be fun and might also relieve some of her stress. Sophie was better suited to racing around an obstacle course then to posing and strutting around a show ring, so Sue decided to pursue Dog Agility.

Sophie will soon be twelve years old, and she recently retired with seven MACH titles. According to the American Kennel Club, a dog becomes a Master Agility Champion when she earns “750 championship points and 20 double qualifying scores obtained from the Master Standard Agility class and the Master Jumpers With Weaves class.” I understood very little of what that meant until this weekend when David and I attended our first dog show in West Monroe Louisiana. Read the rest of this entry »

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