Patti's Porch

WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA KLINGEL
Saturday, April 29, 2017 by Patti Shene

FEATURED BOOK:  Spokes

AUTHOR:  Deanna K. Klingel

PUBLISHER:  Progressive Rising Phoenix Press

GENRE:  YA Fiction  (triathlon, sports, faith, family)

SERIES OR STAND ALONE:  Stand Alone

TARGET AGE:  YA/ Early teen

 

I AM PLEASED TO WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA KLINGEL TO PATTI’S PORCH. DEANNA SHARES WHAT SHE LEARNED FROM HER MOM ABOUT WOMEN WHO LIVE ABOVE THE FRAY.

 

Mother Babble

 

by

 

Deanna Klingel

 

I’m sitting with my 94 year-old mother at the Living Center that is now her world. She’s babbling the language of dementia in a voice I don’t recognize.

 

I remember a soft voice and gentle words of days long gone. Don’t get me wrong, my mom was never a push-over. But, no one ever saw her lose her cool, feminine approach against the world.

 

We lived in a small bungalow. No one had his or her “own space.” When mom had something private to impart to me, we went into the bathroom, shut the door, and sat on the edge of the bathtub. My brothers were probably listening on the other side of the door.

 

 When the vicious playground sent me home in tears, mom told me, “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you. Unless you let them.”  In my grade school this boy hassled the girls. Today he’d be called bully, and the mom infantry would be marching in defense of their victimized daughters. My mom said, “If you didn’t run, could he chase you?” He demanded our candy at the store after school, threatening to beat us up. We girls wanted to beat him up! Mom said, “Then you’ll be no better than him. Girls need to be smarter. Stay above the fray.” We tried to think up vile things to call him. Mom said, “You’re giving him more ammunition. Do you want to be called those names? If you don’t want to hear them, don’t use them.” We wanted to get even. Mom said, “Fighting fire with fire isn’t the way to put it out. The best way is gentle dowsing and firm raking.” One plan was to throw tomatoes at his door and when his mom came out we’d tattle on him. My mom asked, “Have you seen David’s mother?” No, we hadn’t. “She had polio a few years ago and is bedridden.” I can still remember the taste in my mouth from my mother’s words. She never said don’t do it. She convinced us we could put our heads together and come up with something that was worthy of smart girls above the fray. Jewel made taffies and wrapped them in waxed paper and brought them to school sometimes. So we all helped Jewel come up with a new flavor, wrapped them in twists of waxed paper, and put them in our pockets. After school, pretending the victims, we surrendered our Cayenne-Pepper- flavored taffy. It was the last time the bully demanded candy. Mom laughed and said, “I guess he’ll respect you girls for being so smart.”

 

When middle grade gossip broke up friendships and brought out the worst in girlfriends, my mom advised me to stay off the phone. “Talk one-on-one to each girl involved. When you can see each other, it helps to understand,” she told me. “It’s easier to forgive, and move on. Don’t add fuel to the firestorm. Don’t talk to a phone. Talk to a person.”

 

In high school we had “those talks” on the edge of the tub. I rolled my eyes at mom’s old-fashioned babble. She told me, “Somewhere out there is your future husband. When that day comes, on your wedding night, you will want the best for him. The best you; pure, a woman no one has ever met before. If you’re patient, the best is yet to come.” I didn’t want to listen, but her words clung to me like a charm bracelet jangling on the wrist. Her words followed me to ballgames, school, dances, and dates. “Just because others are doing things, doesn’t mean it’s the best for you, or for them. Don’t let others write your endings for you. You are above the fray.”

 

My mom worked hard. She was a war bride of the Greatest Generation, with a high school diploma. I was the oldest of her three children. The youngest was born with arthrogryposis, a serious birth defect affecting all the limbs. Some of her own family thought she should let him die. She never considered it. She was a small woman, but she hauled her boy around in his wheel chair, figured out where to get the best care, how our poor family could pay for all the surgeries, and how without a car we could get him there. She was resourceful, and tough. From her I learned compassion.

 

She never visited another country, never lived in another state, didn’t learn to drive until I was in high school. She didn’t have friends or “do” lunch. She taught me how to pray, but she never attended church. She told me in later years she never felt she had the proper clothing or good enough shoes for church. But she always made sure I did, and I was in church every Sunday. Which church, was my choice. I went to all of them!

 

She took in ironings to help the income. Most of my memories of her are standing over the ironing board where she was when I left for school, and where she was when I came home. My middle brother was embarrassed that people brought their laundry to our house and that she was the ironing lady. But mom believed all kinds of work were important and should be respected, and she taught me that “women’s work” was noble and dignified. She was never embarrassed by work. She hummed. She knew the words of many songs, but mostly she hummed, while she ironed, worked in the garden, cleaned the house, took care of my brother, she hummed. She’s humming now.

 

From this humble woman I learned how to make my own happiness and find joy in my life, whatever I chose to do. She taught me I could color my pictures any color I wanted, and not to worry what others said or thought about it. She taught me if I wanted or needed something, I had to work harder to get it, and be willing to sacrifice for it. And I would never be a victim; my feelings aren’t hurt. I respect, and expect to be respected. Words spoken softly in a feminine voice, spoken with conviction and dignity, taught me what it means to be a woman. “Just try to do what’s right,” she said, “and think of others. Don’t take offense when none is intended. Women need tough skin.”

 

I hope I remembered to say thank you while the words still made sense to her. I wish I’d told her how much I admire her. Because now, she doesn’t know this woman beside her that she’s babbling to, is proud to be her daughter. 

 

About Spokes

While training for triathlon, two teens look for clues in a mysterious hit and run death. In a summer of cycling, swimming and running, they learn the value of friends, the blessings of family, and the need for faith.

 

Deanna K. Klingel resides and writes in western NC in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. She lives with her husband Dave, and golden retriever Buddy. They have seven grown children and eleven grandchildren. Deanna writes for young and young-at-heart readers and travels with her books. Visit Deana at her website.


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WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
Patti Shene
7/24/2015

WHY WE WAIT
Patti Shene
7/11/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MISTY BELLER
Patti Shene
6/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ELIZABETH MADDREY
Patti Shene
6/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA DOUGLAS
Patti Shene
5/22/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
Patti Shene
5/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR LEE CARVER
Patti Shene
4/10/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
Patti Shene
3/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIAN MERRITT
Patti Shene
3/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR AMBER STOCKTON
Patti Shene
2/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE ALMONY
Patti Shene
2/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JAMES CALLAN
Patti Shene
1/24/2015

A MODERN DAY MIRACLE
Patti Shene
1/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE PEASE
Patti Shene
1/10/2015

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SEVEN
Patti Shene
12/27/2014

AUTHOR GINA WELBORN RETURNS
Patti Shene
12/20/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
Patti Shene
12/18/2014

WHAT DOES ADVENT MEAN TO YOU?
Patti Shene
12/14/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
Patti Shene
12/8/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET K. BROWN
Patti Shene
12/6/2014

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY WRAPS UP PURE GENIUS SERIES
Patti Shene
11/29/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SIX
Patti Shene
11/22/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR BILL GARRISON
Patti Shene
11/14/2014

WHAT DO YOU MISS?
Patti Shene
11/8/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
Patti Shene
11/1/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FIVE
Patti Shene
10/25/2014

DINOSAURS AND THE BIBLE
Patti Shene
10/19/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR GINA WELBORN
Patti Shene
10/10/2014

POINT TO POINT TO POINT
Patti Shene
10/5/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FOUR
Patti Shene
9/27/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
Patti Shene
9/19/2014

BY THE NUMBERS
Patti Shene
9/15/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ADA BROWNELL
Patti Shene
9/5/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
Patti Shene
8/30/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART THREE
Patti Shene
8/23/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA DeMARINO
Patti Shene
8/16/2014

SITTING IDLE
Patti Shene
8/10/2014

It's Hot Out Here! by CHERI SWALWELL
Patti Shene
8/3/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART TWO
Patti Shene
7/26/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
Patti Shene
7/20/2014

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
Patti Shene
7/14/2014

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY RETURNS
Patti Shene
7/5/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART ONE
Patti Shene
6/27/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
Patti Shene
6/20/2014

UNEXPECTED ACTS OF KINDNESS
Patti Shene
6/16/2014

REVIEW OF THREE NON-FICTION BOOKS
Patti Shene
6/7/2014

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
Patti Shene
5/30/2014

SEVEN WAYS TO STRETCH SPIRITUALLY BY ADA BROWNELL
Patti Shene
5/17/2014

WHEN FINE IS NOT REALLY FINE
Patti Shene
4/23/2014

MOMMY MEMOIRS BY ANN VAN DE WATER
Patti Shene
4/19/2014

PLAY BALL!
Patti Shene
4/17/2014

JOE THE DREAMER BY AUTHOR A. B. BROWNELL
Patti Shene
4/12/2014

ON THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS BY H. L. WEGLEY
Patti Shene
4/4/2014

THE THIEF BY STEPHANIE LANDSEM
Patti Shene
3/29/2014

HUMOR AT THE HOSPITAL
Patti Shene
3/26/2014

HEAR NO EVIL BY MARY HAMILTON
Patti Shene
3/22/2014

WHEN THE ROAD GETS LONG AND LONELY
Patti Shene
3/19/2014

INTRODUCING RYAN'S FATHER BY JUNE FOSTER
Patti Shene
3/15/2014

WHERE ARE YOU THE MOST VULNERABLE?
Patti Shene
3/13/2014

INTERVIEW WITH WRITER BROOKE COX
Patti Shene
3/8/2014

Patti's Porch Welcomes Author Rebecca Carey Lyles
Patti Shene
3/1/2014

Flying for Jesus by Lee Carver
Patti Shene
2/22/2014

Putting Out the Fleece by Paula Mowery
Patti Shene
2/15/2014

What We Can Learn From the Olympics
Patti Shene
2/12/2014

Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli
Patti Shene
2/8/2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside!
Patti Shene
2/5/2014

A Matter of Perspective
Patti Shene
2/1/2014

Introducing The Pure Genius Series by H. L. Wegley
Patti Shene
1/25/2014

Monopoly!
Patti Shene
1/21/2014

welcome author Cheri Swalwell
Patti Shene
1/17/2014

What Did You Mean By That?
Patti Shene
1/14/2014

Wildlife Video
Patti Shene
1/10/2014

My Best Reads of 2013
Patti Shene
1/8/2014

The Dumbest Kid in School
Patti Shene
1/3/2014

Good-bye to 2013
Patti Shene
1/1/2014

Focusing on What Christmas Really Means
Patti Shene
12/22/2013

One Spectacular Christmas Display
Patti Shene
12/19/2013

Where are You Going This Advent Season?
Patti Shene
11/29/2013

Shared Experience
Patti Shene
11/24/2013

Facing the Monster
Patti Shene
10/25/2013

Review of Reign by Ginger Garrett
Patti Shene
9/27/2013

I'll Be Happy When...
Patti Shene
5/14/2013

Sing Praises - Whether You Can Sing or Not
Patti Shene
5/5/2013

I Can't Do This!
Patti Shene
5/2/2013

BREAKING THE RULES
Patti Shene
4/28/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR TINA PINSON
Patti Shene
4/21/2013

Vulnerability to Fear
Patti Shene
4/17/2013

Faith and Fear
Patti Shene
4/15/2013

Those Temporary Interruptions
Patti Shene
2/21/2013

Grand Prize Winner at Int'l Wildlife Film Festival
Patti Shene
2/7/2013

Starsongs Giveaway Contest
Patti Shene
2/3/2013

Taking Stock
Patti Shene
1/30/2013

Welcome Author Janet K Brown
Patti Shene
1/26/2013

Winter - Bah Humbug!
Patti Shene
1/22/2013

Welcome Author Tanya Eavenson
Patti Shene
1/19/2013

Welcome Author Margaret Brownley
Patti Shene
1/16/2013

Travel Writing = Nearly Shooting Peacocks
Patti Shene
1/12/2013

Water, Water Everywhere - or Maybe Not
Patti Shene
1/9/2013

The last Day of the Christmas Season
Patti Shene
1/5/2013

Accountability in the Extreme
Patti Shene
1/2/2013

The day after Christmas
Patti Shene
12/26/2012

It's Dec 22nd - And We're Still Here!
Patti Shene
12/22/2012

The Next Big Thing - Blog Hopping
Patti Shene
12/19/2012

Vanquishing the Christmas Blues by Linda Rondeau
Patti Shene
12/15/2012

Christmas Rayne by Joi Copeland
Patti Shene
12/12/2012

The Christmas Stalking by Lillian Duncan
Patti Shene
12/8/2012

News From Nashville & Beyond
Patti Shene
12/4/2012

Author Susan Sleeman offers great advice about wor
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Home!
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Confessions of a first book editor
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Going Home
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

GPCWC in Restospect
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Vacation in the Adirondacks of New York
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

I am pleased to welcome author Staci Stallings
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Meet Award-Winning Journalist And Author Ada Brownell
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

An Interview with Author Eddie Jones
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Nano Day 11 - um - day 1?
Patti Shene
11/13/2012