“This is a story about Monty Hall, the velvet-voiced, handsome host of Let’s Make a Deal. He passed away recently and it broke my heart because Monty Hall and I had a history.
I was a little depressed after I had my first baby and longing to get back to ‘the real world’ when I saw an ad: be a contestant on Let’s Make a Deal. Contestants were supposed to dress up as something funny but there was nothing funny about a postpartum mommy body so I went for the sympathy angle. I cut up a crib mobile made of fabric hearts, sewed the hearts onto a white hat and made a sign that said: HAVE A HEART, LET’S MAKE A DEAL. The neighbor watched the baby and I drove to Hollywood where two hundred people were lined up against a chain-linked fence outside the studio. They were dressed like alligators, killer clowns and French maids. I joined the fray just as a young producer trolled the line, pointing at people.
“You. You. You. That’s it for today. Come back another time.”
OMG! He didn’t pick me. There I was literally wearing my heart – okay, not on my sleeve – but all over me. I threw myself at him. I grabbed his sleeve. I begged.
“I NEEEEDDDDDD TO GET IN THAT STUDIO! I JUST HAD A BABY.”
He let me in.
Once inside, the producers advised us to make eye contact with Monty Hall. Check. No matter where he went my eyes bored into him. He itched, he freaked, he couldn’t figure out where the laser points of focus were coming from and he kept looking for the source. Then he saw me the crazy, desperate lady in the white hat with dancing hearts on it. I think he chose me just to make me stop glaring at him. I got all the way to the big deal and lost, but that was fine. My consolation prize was a two-week trip to the Bahamas and a thousand dollars. I went home happy. Monty Hall probably went home and had nightmares for weeks.
Fast-forward 32 years. Monty Hall is sitting behind my family and me in the theater. He is a little stooped, silver-haired, but still handsome. When my family goes to stretch their legs, I introduce myself and tell him the story that has become a legend in our family. He is gracious. He chats with me until the house lights dim. Before we take our seats, he asks:
“How old is the baby now?” As if on cue, my thirty-two-year-old son walked down the aisle. They shook hands. The house lights went down. We all watched the end of the play. I gave my son’s hand a squeeze. Life was good.
As if on cue, my thirty-year-old son walks down the aisle. They shake hands. The house lights go down. We watch the end of the play. I give my son’s hand a squeeze. Monty Hall walks out of the theater ahead of us and I never see him again.
The moral of the story is this: choose a door, any door but choose. What is behind that door will be exciting or surprising, charming or even challenging, but you will be better for turning the knob.
Monty Hall was behind two of my life’s doors. He made me feel lucky once and honored the second time. TY Monte Hall. I know that the door that opened for you not so long ago will be the biggest deal of all and you deserve that heavenly prize.
P.S. That is not me in the picture.
I love paths. We have one that goes to the field for our tractor, but the best ones are those I’ve made to my writing/meditation cabin, and the one I use to walk to the field. These two I’ve lined with rocks and as I stroll by I’m always amazed by the large roots that grow above ground. Different and yet so eye catching. It took a long while to clear the brush away, find and place the stones alongside, and then try to keep them clear enough to follow over the years.
Special attention paid to the little things on my land makes a huge difference to me. These are the points of life that mark my growth as I go forward. Time spent in nature with love and opportunity all encompassed into this one small three-acre-place that I call home.
God has given us a world full of hope for everything and everyone. We are all unfinished people, moving forward at the rate of speed we are meant to travel. And as we wander on our different paths, finding and following our own heart’s desires, let us take time to be thankful for what we have right now. It can all change in a moment, and then this opportunity will be behind us….
Sally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.
Teddy bears cuddle.
Who is in more need of a cuddle than a writer staring at the empty page?
So on Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day, grab those wonderful teddies and sit them next to your computer. Then watch the words fly onto the page as they whisper into your ear. Helping you write that love scene with more oomph…or googling research for you.
But if your teddy bears are like mine, they don’t work for peanuts.
Nope. It’s got to be double lattes. Pumpkin spice and a salted caramel mocha.
Who am I to argue? I think I’ll join them…delicious.
PS — I’m working on a new Royals of Monterra Kindle Worlds for Christmas called Royal Noel.
Here’s a video with my current Monterra novels available on Amazon:
Greetings to everyone, especially my fellow history nerds. It’s September 28th, time for another installment of my Quarter Days blog.
I’m a huge fan of feasting holidays, and much to my surprise, Michaelmas, September 29th, is one of those.
It makes sense though. In every culture where there’s an autumn harvest, there’s an autumn harvest festival, like a Polish Dozynki or a German Oktoberfest. Some sources say that Michaelmas is still celebrated in England with roast goose and other goodies, like this fun Michaelmas dragon bread.
Last June I blogged about Midsummer’s Day, one of the Quarter Day holidays, and pretty self-explanatory. The same is true for this holiday—tomorrow is the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, he who battled Satan.
I first encountered a mention of Michaelmas in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and most recently saw a reference in fellow Regency author Caroline Warfield‘s latest release, The Reluctant Wife, where a character must get back to England for the Michaelmas Term at his university. For a historical author, a mention of Michaelmas is a wonderful device for setting the time of the story without citing a specific date.
One blogger claims that St. Michael was popular in Regency England because of the influence of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, a late seventeenth-century epic work. Researching this post inspired me to pull out my copy of the Complete Poems and Major Prose of Milton which, to be honest, I haven’t opened since my university days.
Paradise Lost is something of an early paranormal story of nearly invincible beings and shapeshifters:
…the sword of Michael from the Armory of God was giv’n him temper’d so, that neither keen nor solid might resist that edge: it met the sword of Satan with steep force…deep ent’ring sher’d all his right side; then Satan first knew pain…but th’ Ethereal substance clos’d not long divisible…Yet soon he heal’d; for Spirits that live throughout vital in every part not as frail man….cannot but by annihilating die…All Heart they live, all Head, all Eye, all Ear, All Intellect, all Sense, and as they please, they Limb themselves, and color, shape or size assume as likes them best…
And of course, as I mentioned in my June post, Michaelmas was a day to pay rents (possibly in kind, with a fatted goose) to hire and pay servants, and sign contracts.
Do you celebrate Michaelmas? If so, please share in the comments!
Have a magical Michaelmas, and I shall return in three months to talk about the next Quarter Day, Christmas!