Thursday, August 15, 2019

Our Stories BEFORE The Story ~ Linda Jensen & ?Jay? ~ AN UNPRESENTABLE GLORY

Welcome to my garden tour! I don’t believe we’ve met before. I’m Linda Jensen and am so happy you’ve come to enjoy my flowers! I must tell you up front, though, that much of the beauty you see here grew out of my parents’ sweat and dirt. Yes, they were wealthy and could have hired it done, but they were soil-born gardeners. As a child, I took being rich for granted. Didn’t everyone have two Mercedes, an acre of flowers, and give away scads of money?

Money, though, became a Big Deal for me. Measuring my life and wardrobe against my well-funded school friends, I felt deprived. They could buy anything they wanted. I got a weekly allowance. I could spend it any way I wanted, but when it was gone— “Oh, I’m sorry!” My parents’ voices dripped sympathy. “That’s too bad! Next week’s allowance is…what­…four days away?” I learned, by painful experience, to use money wisely. And, right after mastering 2 + 2 equals 4, the follow-up math was figuring a 10% tithe of my allowance—which, they made clear, needed to factor in human need in our church and around the world. My parents dug care into the soil of my heart, and that has served me well.

My dear friend Bonnie was definitely not one of the moneyed crowd, and when her husband died of cancer... Well, I felt we needed to explore some of the fine gardens in Scotland. Never mind that it was a Scottish person who later did me real damage. In this country, though; not there.

Jorge, my Hispanic gardener, was not in need—at least in his mind. To lure him, I dangled my garden as a potential showcase for his talents. He’s…um…difficult, but we get along. If you see him out there, please give him a good word. He may sniff at you, but that’s his way.

I was not prepared, though, for my big test of caring when Jay landed near my delphiniums. I had tended my dad when he was dying, but this stranger—helpless, insisting I call no one—what could I do for him? Jay was not his real name; I knew that. I knew also that in some way, he was an important person. All I could do was dump him in God’s lap. Lord, you put him here. Now help me care in this new, this dangerously unnerving way!

Jay here. No, that’s not my real name, but it’s the only safe one I could think of during that week with Linda. And what a week it was! We had talked about her garden tour, and I desperately wanted to show up as a surprise. I’d seen her display and knew it well, and just being there would have meant so much—to both of us. It could not be, though. It could not be. Life, unfortunately, often X’s out our deepest desires. I did send a gift, a small token….

Growing up, I learned a lot about life—especially playing hockey with other hot-bloods. Rough and tumble stuff. Money—or lack of it—didn’t matter on the ice. What did matter was keeping score—the internal score of hostility. Who do you rough up in retaliation? What attacks do you ignore? I thumped up one devil quite respectably, but he came back hard with a concussion-producing head shot. I never forgave that.

My dad was big into oil fracking, which, in some people’s eyes, made him filthy rich. We lived well. But he had rules and insisted that I keep them all. “Sure, you can play loose,” he’d say. “Everyone does, and most get away with it. But one slip—that’s all it takes—and your life goes down the tubes. Who wants to wear that necklace?” So we went to church, Rotary Club, supported good causes. Exemplary people—as planned.

And it worked. A good name and the power behind it get you places. It took me high and protected me at my most vulnerable point—that week in Linda’s garden—until a person of power who knew nothing of moral restraint played his “hockey” game with a body blow to my heart.

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Our Story Title:  An Unpresentable Glory

Our Story Genre:  Contemporary Literary Fiction

Our Story Released:   July 2018

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The Author of My Story:   Ellie Gustafson     
  • I grew up in Branchville NJ, 900 pop., in a county that had more cows than people.
  • Loved horses and the annual County Farm and Horse Show.
  • Went to Wheaton College IL as a music major.
  • Married, had 3 kids and 8 grandchildren, with 2 great-grands currently being hatched. Husband a pastor, college professor, tree farmer, organist, writer, etc.
  • Music dwindled away, so I tried on the cloak of writing and found it fit nicely.
  • God first touched me through a story, and he has molded and kneaded me all my life. I love Him passionately.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Ellie Gustafson will be happy to gift a winner an autographed copy of:
An Unpresentable Glory

Be sure to leave a comment to enter drawing ~ either PM Joy through Messenger ~ or ~ leave an email address here so you can be contacted if you win!
DRAWING TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY EVENING ~ August 21, 2019.

6 comments:

Gail Kittleson said...

Oh, Ellie - Linda and Jay SPARKLE here! So good to be enlightened about their backgrounds. Thanks for having this remarkable author visit, Joy.

HeidiDruKortman said...

This looks like a good one. Thanks for giving me a glimpse into the story.

Licha said...

This book sounds like a very good read, an intriguing story and a real page turner! I love the cover , it is Beautiful! I will be adding this book to my TBR list. I enjoyed reading this blurb. Thank you so much ladies. God bless you. Sincerely, Alicia Haney aliciabhaney@sbcglobal.net

Ellie Gustafson said...

Thanks, Heidi, for commenting. I had such fun with this post, and I'm glad when it gets "Liked." : )

Ruth DeMaat said...

Joy, this looks like an interesting read! I checked out the author. Her other books look really good, too! I think her perspective on living matches mine. 😊

journeystojoy.net said...

Welcome to www.journeystojoy.net - ladies

I so appreciate you, Ellie, for bringing your characters this week and for those of you who've commented. KNOW you've each been entered in next Wed evening's drawing for a signed copy of Ellie's book!

BLESSINGS ON YOUR WEEK!