We often talk about an after-life. What happens to us after death? And, of course, people have a thousand answers, depending on their religion. Personally, I believe in a Heaven. There have been too many testimonies from people who came near death or actually did die but were revived, and most of their stories are too much alike to deny there is “something” out there waiting for us. Most speak of a very warm feeling of incredible love, as well as a bright light that seems to be drawing them in. I also believe that the spirit within us, that mysterious life on the inside that forms our personalities and shines through our eyes, is something that never dies. It just gets transferred to a new body. I simply cannot believe that all that energy within us, and all those feelings we have, the knowledge, the talents, the unique personalities, didn’t just happen. We are born with specific personalities that sometimes show up at birth. My older son took forever to be born, and he has a relaxed, laid-back personality. My second son practically fell out before I reached the hospital. He couldn’t wait to be born, and he’s led a fast-moving life ever since.

        This all leads me to wonder – was there a “before” life? Did we all live in an earlier time? I wonder sometimes what creates our idiosyncrasies. For instance, I have a penchant for coats. I almost never go into a clothing store without looking at the coats, summer or winter, but especially winter coats. I have often joked that I must have frozen to death in a previous life, or at least lived someplace where it was always very cold. I have enough coats for ten women. In fact, I just gave some away because we usually go someplace warmer in the winter (I live in Michigan), but the last couple of years we stayed home. I have coats for fall and spring chills, coats for colder weather, coats for much colder weather, and coats for North Pole weather. We get it all here in Michigan.

        Then, of course, I have raincoats and lots of sweat shirts and sweaters. I have flannel pj’s and warm slippers and an electric blanket. I can’t stand to climb into cold sheets, yet I like a cold bedroom for sleeping, as long as I’m bundled into my electric blanket. And the cold weather doesn’t bother me. It’s my husband who wants to get out of Michigan in the winter. Me? I like the cold and love lots of snow.


        And there are people who are just the opposite. They hate the cold and love the heat. They love beaches. I hate them, although I love the view of the Great Lakes here in Michigan and the smaller lakes. I just don’t “do” hot, sandy, sticky beaches where I sweat to death. I’d rather sit on a cool porch to watch the water, but I have no desire to be “in” the water. Some people love swimming. I hate it. I can’t stand being wet all over, my hair plastered to my head, water in my ears, a bathing suit stuck to my skin.


       Why is that? Why is everyone so different in such things? And what draws us to things like buying too many coats? Or hating being wet? 


       Sometimes I have dreams (to me they are nightmares) about flooding. My house is under water. Or rain is pouring through holes in my roof. I have never had such experiences in my entire life, so why do I dream about it? I refuse to live near a river. You couldn’t give me a million-dollar house on a river. I like to live high and dry. I’d live at the top of a mountain if I could. Our current home is on an extremely high hill, and the ground is all sand. No lakes or rivers nearby, no chance of having so much rain that water from a lake or a river could reach our house. And when it pours down rain, I keep watching the ceiling, especially in in the area of the house that has a cathedral ceiling. I literally fear a leaky roof. We have no second story, and we have no basement. To me, basements are moldy and damp and spooky, and if water is going to come into your house, it will start in the basement. I have dreams about opening a basement door and seeing water all the way up the steps.


       Why is that? Was I flooded in a previous life? Did I drown? Or was it something else? Was it cold weather that killed me? 

       Yes. I’m an eccentric. Most writers probably are, or they wouldn’t be crazy enough to spend hours and hours in front of a computer on top of working full time and taking care of a family. I did both for a lot of years, but I’m retired now. However, I will never retire from writing. I love it too much.

         And there again, where do we get our talents? Why do I love to write, while others love to sing or dance or act or paint or work a farm or sail the seas or join the military or be a magician? We don’t all have the same loves or the same talents, so what causes us to have these unique needs and desires and dreams?


        I seldom wonder about the “after” life. It’s the “before” life I wonder about? I am part Native American. And I write about Native Americans and almost always about the American West, where I have always longed to live, especially Colorado. Is there a Native American spirit inside me? Did I once live among the Cheyenne in Colorado? I’ve written many books about them.


        The Bible says that when we die, all these questions will be answered. I don’t really want to have to die to find out, and yet part of me looks forward to finding out. A lot of our talents and inner spirit comes from those whose blood we carry. Sometimes that spiritual connection makes us the way we are, whether we like it or not. No matter how much you try to force people of two different backgrounds to live together, they will always have their own unique spirit and personality, because they can’t help but carry it forward from those who went before them. 


        I have no idea why I wrote this particular blog. It just hit me today as I wondered about all the coats I own. Most women own 2-3 coats and are perfectly happy with that. But I’m not. I need a red coat, a black coat, a navy-blue coat, a brown coat, an animal-fur coat, a suede coat, and I need boots and shoes that go with those coats. I need short coats, long coats, light-weight coats and coats that keep me oblivious to the cold.


        The only other thing I need is my precious readers, who understand that I’m a little crazy but love the books that craziness creates. I just finished book #74, BLAZE OF GLORY, and I just know my readers will love this sixth story about Jake Harkner and his family from my Outlaw Hearts series. It is full of action and romance, and the J&L Ranch in Colorado is growing bigger all the time, as is the Harkner family.


        Hey, they live in Colorado, my favorite state in the entire country. I ache to live there . . . and here we go again. I love, love, love the America West but was born in Indiana and raised in Michigan. Michigan is a beautiful state, but my spirit – I just know – belongs out west. I cry for the want of living there, but the family and all connections are here, and I’m too old to pick up and start all over, so here I am in Michigan, but aching to be in Colorado. I am convinced I lived there in a “before” life. And my characters become so real to me that I believe they truly once lived and are spiritually telling me their story.


        I guess that’s a topic for another blog.





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