Happy Easter everyone! This is the last world holiday for many months. Easter comes in two forms. One is for the Christians who consider it the end of Lent and a holy day. The other is simply a family holiday where everyone gets together and feast. Although this year it is still difficult due to the pandemic. However you do celebrate it, it should be an enjoyable day. I saw on Matt Fraser on Facebook, his family making lasagna for the family get together. If we can be together without becoming sick, it is a good day. We all need to be reminded that holidays are to share and enjoy. I did my baking today so I will be ready for tomorrow. Easter is great for children. The story of the Easter bunny is fun. Hiding the eggs, little gifts, etc. are a nice treat for children. I always gave my children small presents in an Easter basket with candy hid in obvious places. They would joke about it when they were seven and eight. It is a day to enjoy each other’s company and friendship. If you are alone, watch movies that will cheer you tomorrow. Whatever you do have a wonderful day. In the Good Gus series I never added the Easter holiday. The books are still a great gift online or through the website for tomorrow, the end of the school year or just for fun reading. You can find them at Kindle with a few books on Nook and Waterstones. I tried to return to the video readings with my former radio company, but COVID ended the business. “Misplaced Trust” is also available online for your reading pleasure at 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.
Every once in a while an old friend comes back into your life. You may have lost touch for any number of reasons. Often it is because they were once a couple and then they divorced. Even if you were willing to be friends with both people, there always seems to be the individual that won’t want a relationship with you if you are friends with their ex. It is almost silly particularly if you have known both people for a long time. There is probably a jealousy factor as well. Recently, two old friends did make a stop to see me and my family. It was as if we had spoken the day before. It was a wonderful visit. There are old friends that you prefer remain in your past. They may have been unkind, rude, or even took advantage of you. If they do contact you it means only one thing. They want something. There was an episode of “Frazier” in which Lilith’s brother suddenly called and appeared in Frazier’s life. He claimed to be a new man but was in a wheelchair. In the end, he cheated Frazier. He was the type of person that truly needed to remain in the past. Today I heard from an old friend. I was quite happy as he had lost his son. It had been a few years but he appears to be on the mend. It was a welcome call. In the Good Gus series, old friends and new ones abound in the story lines. The sales were brisk today at Balboa Park, San Diego, CA. Of course, it is always available on Kindle. California has had an inordinate amount of rain. It’s a great time to remain indoors and read “Misplaced Trust.” It is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Playster, Scribd and Tolino.
Between the adverts online, the flyers in the mail, and the ads that are on the TV, we are all bombarded into thinking about the perfect gift for anyone on our list. The companies have it set up so that is all we can think about. Yesterday was cyber Monday. The sales were probably not what certain businesses wanted because many extended their sales into today. As we ponder about this, the annoying things in life seem to dissipate. However, there is another type of gift that is the one of real and true friends. There are no ads, no fancy flyers, no crazy commercials, nothing that involves money. It’s the kind of gift everyone should want at Christmas – real friendship. Not everyone has an easy time during the holiday season. Many families and individuals’ struggle is worsened during the holidays. Yet, the friends that help and stand by them are what really matters. They are the true gift of Christmas. As our children and grandchildren watch all the fascinating ads for extremely expensive items, before you rush out and run up your credit card, stop and think about what is really important at Christmas. There are many holiday movies reflecting on the important values of Christmas none of which involve presents. It is the season to help one another. Many people buy food for the needy, pass out baked goods to friends and neighbors to let them know they are appreciated and a few even volunteer at soup kitchens, community centers, senior homes and shelters. It’s all in how you look at it what the real gift of Christmas is. My book, “The Special Gift” sold out last year at the Marine Base in San Diego, California. It is always available online on Kindle and in hard cover at the website. It is a wonderful story that many children have told me they really loved. I hope you will too. Another easy gift for the adults is “Misplaced Trust” which is available on 24 Symbols, Apple, Nook, Kindle, Kobo, Page Foundry, Scribd, Playster and Tolino.
As far back in history, many old books contained stories with a masquerade ball. The obvious purpose was to disguises oneself. It has been a theme in many Disney movies and several romantic type comedies. They are all happy movies that make the viewer feel good at the end. However, in real life, many of us have to perform a masquerade. It can be at work, with workmates, family, other relatives and even in various incidents in life. There are people that many of us work with that require us to masquerade as their so called friend, pleasant co-worker, or obliging employee. It is never easy but often it is necessary. Just recently a friend of mine was really upset because she works with two people who are real life bullies and make her life difficult. One of them will find her and speak to her when no one else is listening. He particularity likes to telephone her when she is around other people and cannot respond. He isn’t in the office on a daily basis, so if he is reprimanded for something, or is upset over his commission, he rings her. He does the usual raising of the voice, threats, innuendos, etc. She, of course, cannot respond appropriately as there are people around her. So she pretends that she agrees or asks him to call his manager to solve the issue. If the manager likes him, is questionable based on what she has told me. It appears that they both wear the masquerade to keep the peace. The second person does the same thing, except he is the owner of the company. He is rarely around so his actions take place primarily by email. She did tell me that yesterday was the final straw. She isn’t going to masquerade anymore and do a full court press for a new income. Anyone who has to spend that much time pretending, really needs a new career path. If you have a family member that is self-centered, arrogant, demanding, nasty, rude, etc. trying to masquerade for the sake of the rest of the family may be difficult or downright impossible. Anyone who has this type of situation, certainly is unfortunate. There are probably many families when you think about it that do masquerade their true feelings as they dislike their child’s choice in marriage or a partner. There is not a single person in the Good Gus Series that has to masquerade how they feel about their family, friends or neighbors. The stories give the young reader a sense of family, community, and true friendship. If you feel you have to masquerade about your finance’s or the difficulties you are having as an executor for a will or trust, please visit maecharles books.com. The answers may surprise you.
Do you literally cringe when you hear these words? “Can I ask you for a favor?” Most people look the other way, pretend they didn’t hear the question – just about anything to duck out from answering the question. Most people don’t mind doing a favor for another person. It is easy to say yes if the person asking wants a ride to the airport and its less than thirty minutes away, if they want you to collect their mail, or water their plants while they are away. Its the big favor that people find difficult to say no and then regret it. What is worse is that they feel guilty saying no when in reality the person asking the big favor shouldn’t have asked in the first place. It starts off slowly with something simple, but then when the questions turn into; “Can you lend me money?” or “Will you watch my ninety pound German Shepard?’ and then never return for the dog. I actually know someone who took in a dog for a Marine who ended up being deployed to Iraq. Sadly, he was gone so long that when he returned and tried to reclaim the dog, the Shepard wanted nothing to do with him. The dog became attached to the babysitting family and now its their dog for good! The residents in Pecos depended upon each other so there was less of the asking for a favor. Sheriff Gus did ask Fred Band, the husband of Mary from Mary’s Cafe’ and Ray the Blacksmith to take care of Pecos when he had to travel to visit the surrounding families. When you think about it that was really a big favor. However, the towns folks didn’t look at it that way. It was more like people looking out for other people without the favor request. When you think about giving examples to the children in your life about cooperating with each other, please view the Good Gus Series. All the stories show the value of friendship and people helping each other.
When something goes wrong, both adults and children prefer to blame someone or something else. Its a bad habit. Children, when they are young, make up stories shifting the blame to a sibling, an imaginary person or monster, or anything that pops into their head so they won’t be scolded for their wrong doing. I have seen a number of You Tube videos that went viral with children denying they ate the donuts, cookies, etc. that were very cute. Children learn from us to blame others or circumstances. How many times has a teacher heard “the dog ate my homework?” When people are late for work or school many times they blame traffic, weather, their car, or public transportation was late. Sometimes many of their reasons are valid. However, there are always the people who do not leave in time to reach their destination without being late. In the old west, without advanced studies or knowledge of weather conditions, electronics or even the old fashioned phone, they could blame their horse, their neighbors, weather, etc. For example, in Book Three, “Cory Returns” Cory is walking his horse Midnight to a spring for a drink. On the way a snake slithers out from under a rock and frightens Midnight so much that he rears back and took off. In this instance, Cory blamed the snake and rightfully so. The snake was an unexpected occurrence. In my books I present situations and adventures with a variety of outcomes. At no time was blame placed on anyone. Life and the circumstances surrounding it in the old west made everyone realize that if anything went wrong they were to blame or the circumstances surrounding an event such as weather or accidents were simply that and nothing more. When you think about friendship, and people helping people regardless of the circumstances or if anyone is to blame, please take a glance at “Cory Returns.”
Sheriff Gus is always with me wherever I go. Today as I walking through the mall with my daughter and wheeling my five month old granddaughter in her buggy, I noticed a little boy in a double stroller with his brother. One boy was about one and one half years old and the other looked to be about four. The four year old was not happy sitting in his stroller. His brother looked on with interest. The four year old was complaining and wanted out of the stroller. As I approached he looked up at me and started to smile and stopped complaining. He knew I was walking a baby but he couldn’t see it. He straightened up in his seat and tried to see if he could see my granddaughter. I moved in his direction and asked if he could see the baby now. He craned his neck to try and look at her. The mum was on the phone and looked exasperated. The boy continued to smile at me so I told his mum that I wrote children’s stories and asked if I could give him a Sheriff Gus sticker. She said, “Absolutely!” As I handed him a sticker he smiled a beautiful smile that would light anyone’s day including mine. I asked him if he liked cowboys and he answered an enthusiastic yes. His mum smiled gratefully at me and said thank you. My daughter is accustomed to children reacting this way. As we walked along, another woman caught up to us and asked me who I was. I explained that I wrote a series ab0ut Sheriff Gus, in Pecos, Texas. I told her that there weren’t many series in the four to eight year old range that were set in the old west and had new characters as the series progressed. She loved the idea that the stories didn’t contain fairies, monsters, magic, or any type of violence. She went on to say that she thought I was like Santa Claus for children. I asked her if she had any grandchildren and gave her a few Sheriff Gus stickers to take home to them. When my daughter and I finished at the mall, we started walking back to her car. We passed the little boy and the second he saw us he yelled a very loud happy hello. We both smiled and said hello to him. If you are interested in stories that promote friendship, reading and lending a help hand, please check out the Good Gus Series.