Birth of a Blog

Mitchell (6) & Avery (6) in the Outerbanks of North Carolina

Avery…”Are there flowers in Heaven?”

Me…”I like to think so.”

Mitchell…”Are there bugs?”

Me…”I like to think so because they pollinate flowers and butterflies are wonderful.”

Avery…”Can big trees grow in the clouds in Heaven?”

Me…”Hmmmm…I don’t know about trees but I am sure…”


Mountains of North Carolina August 2012

Do you keep the things that make you smile, laugh, think, love or cry?  

I don’t mean cars or jewelry.

I mean the everyday quiet blessings that make you say a little thank you. 

– An old photograph of your family’s first home they owned, on American soil.

– Did you write in your daughter’s scrapbook the day she lost her first tooth?

– Do you have a photograph of a half eaten coconut cream pie because you want to remember what delicious looked like?

– Did you collect shells when you were on your honeymoon and bring them home?

I send myself an email often, of things I want to remember.

That is how this blog came about.  It is how I named it.

All that makes you smile, laugh, think, love, cry or cry laughing.

By talking to myself I am ensuring my external hard drive keeps the memories that my mind sometimes cannot remember.  When I looked back at my photographs I knew I needed to tell the story.  My blog was born.  

Even the little things are out there floating in cyberspace.  

Mitchell (3) & Avery (3) in Michigan chasing Jim at State Park

I even beat myself up when I cannot remember what I didn’t have time to type up on my phone and send to myself while we were shuffling out the door and on our way to school.  That really funny thing I told myself to write about later.  Memory can be a little temperamental.

Then I remind myself that I have recorded one more thing than my parents did for me.  I do not have a baby book from when I was born.  When I was twenty-eight I was given my immunization record, but it was only for my first set of shots.

I do not know when I read a book to my parents for the first time, or what we looked like while it was happening.

Peter Reading me a Bedtime Story, for the First Time

I don’t know if my boys will even care that I have written their stories down since they were born, when they are grown men.  I do it anyway.

I do not have a newborn picture of me in my own mother’s arms.

I know I was loved.  Everyone loves their baby.  Their child.

and there probably

were those things


…over time

and with divorce

and death,

things get lost.

If it weren’t for emailing myself these little gifts, I couldn’t unwrap them years later and share them with you. 

I do it because I love them and I love our life and when memories fade we will have our story, out here, in cyberspace.

What do you do to keep the everyday things of your life from being forgotten?  Should we let the moments we forget just be forgotten as they were intended?

Abbie Gale

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Flowers for Hurricane and Lessons Learned

Seven years ago I found out that I just don’t handle hurricanes well.

I had to Google search the name of the one this week, Isaac.

It isn’t that I don’t read the news or keep abreast of current events.

Seven years ago today Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on our southern coast and I watched, with the rest of the country, its progress on television. I am not watching Isaac descend on the anniversary of Katrina.

Katrina was in the background while I was cooking and cleaning and folding clothes. There were reporters interviewing residents. They asked people if they were staying and riding the storm out or evacuating. Reporters told us that seafood prices would rise and that power could be out for days and that residents were being told to leave New Orleans.

New Orleans. I had not been to New Orleans but I had always been excited to visit the city one day. We had recently relocated to the south and New Orleans was on our list of cities to explore on a long weekend trip.

A few of the news programs I was surfing, as Katrina was approaching, were highlighting the levees and they were interviewing civil engineers. I sat and listened as one engineer spoke with such concern that the levees would never be able to handle a storm this size. He then talked about a study using a model to show what would happen to New Orleans and the surrounding areas if ever a hurricane of Katrina’s size hit land.

It was a devastating scenario.

Just then Jim walked into the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee and say goodbye before heading to the hospital to work.

I began sobbing.

I kept thinking about all the people who said they were going to ride the storm out and the danger they would be placed in if this man was right. I thought about the rescue people who would also be put in harms way while having to save people. I began thinking about the people who really didn’t have any place to go or the means to get there. The old people whom neighbors barely noticed were shuffling around their houses, inside. Who would offer them a place to go and a way to get there. Who will look for them when the storm passes?

Jim gave me a kiss and a hug. He told me that sometimes these storms fizzle out as they make landfall and he mentioned this was one persons opinion of a possible situation. We talked briefly that there is nothing I can do in my kitchen in North Carolina and he went off to work.

I sat at the kitchen table and said a prayer.

A little while later a delivery man rang my doorbell. He handed me the prettiest bouquet of flowers.

The card in the flowers told me I was sweet and that Jim loved me.

I couldn’t do a thing before Katrina devastated so many people and their families.

We pay taxes and we pay insurance and we hope the government and the media outlets inform people when they need to evacuate.

I grew up in the midwest and in fear that a tornado could form quickly and in the middle of the night. A tornado can give no warning and they are hard to track. We moved to North Carolina during hurricane season. We even bought our first house here without a basement.

It seems like such a gift that we know when a hurricane is coming, days in advance.

Katrina made me think.

  • I learned that Mother Nature sometimes likes to show us that she is smarter than us and our fancy engineers.
  • I learned that government isn’t perfect but from mistakes, lessons are learned.
  • People should value their lives more and their property less. After all, our possessions and even our property can be washed away in a day.
  • Keep a close watch and offer help to those that live around me, if everyone did just that then everyone would have someone watching out for them.
  • Know what is coming and if it’s headed your way, MOVE.
  • If your fortunate enough to not be in a disaster then help those who have.
  • I learned that getting flowers does make you feel better.

Happy 15th Anniversary Jim (tomorrow) and thanks for not sending me flowers seven years ago a day later but instead you sent me “hurricane flowers.”

You knew just what would make me feel better.

Abbie Gale

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When Did I Lose Faith in Myself?

I worked in corporate America until I was put on bed rest with my twins, now twelve.

Companies would send their private jets to a little airstrip, by my home, and I would fly up to a factory and be back home in time for dinner.  I was young and feisty and I could keep a project together from idea to market.  I could negotiate a price and delivery date from China to the eventual chain of outdoor stores or military base.

I was on a product development team for a major boot company.  I was a woman in a business of men.  When passed a cigar to enjoy, I did.  I was comfortable there.

In college I worked in a steel mill running a blowtorch and assisting the crane operator.  I don’t remember another woman who worked there, but I know they did in the offices.  I weighed about 100 pounds and I wore three layers of flame retardant clothing, steel toe boots, safety glasses and a hard hat.  I fit in there.

I started blogging February 29th of this year.

I recently started calling myself a blogger.

I AM a blogger.

Bloggers need to go to conferences.  They need to meet others that proudly say they are bloggers.  They need to network and meet with publishers and find out how to monetize and find their people.  I need to find my peeps.

BlogHer ’12 is in New York City August 2-4.

I have looked at plane tickets.  I talked about going to the conference to my husband.  He has told me it would be awesome for me to go and encouraged me to do so.

I have no excuse not to go to BlogHer ’12, but I cannot get myself to do it.


The idea of going to a meeting full of women terrifies me.

Please don’t chastise me.  I know this is a counterproductive statement for women.

Hear me out on this.  I have always had a little secret motto in my head that goes like this…

“If a man can do it, I am sure I can.”

Women, for most of my life, have been harder to gel with.  I have girlfriends, but most of them would probably also get along with guys better than girls.

Where is that Abbie that would stomp around a factory floor asking the foreman questions?  Where is that Abbie that hopped on a plane and negotiated the price of thousands of sides of leather?  Have I gotten soft since having kids and no longer have an edge or a belief in myself?

If a man can walk into a conference full of women, why can’t I?

I feel stuck in limbo.  I am stuck between the person in the workplace full of men and the reality of my life now as a mom raising three little men.

BlogHer announced a contest today.  They are giving goodie bags to people who are NOT going to BlogHer ’12.  I wrote this to enter into the contest.  I was writing this post in my head though before I even knew about the conference.

Here I am on BlogHer

I have been thinking that if by chance I were to be chosen for a goodie bag I would like to request, rather rudely, that I would much rather go to the conference.

But I need a mentor. 

I would much rather see BlogHer run a contest granting one newbie the chance to shadow a BlogHer team member, DURING BLOGHER.

We would be instant chums.  She would tell me she appreciates my brass ba!!s when it comes to what I want to post and yet understands why I spell inappropriate words with symbols.  She would give me the inside scoop on how things really work and tell me plainly what I am doing wrong and how I can improve. She would share my fondness of vodka and love of desserts.  She would tell me there is a place for me and that I am not like everyone else that calls herself a blogger.  She would offer me a cigar.

-Abbie, All that makes you smile, laugh, think, love, cry or cry laughing.

What is a Wordless Wednesday?

I took this photo yesterday at my father in-laws house.

Ok, so I get the wordless Wednesday thing but I have been without any consistent technology and I’m breaking! So until I finish writing, (ON MY PHONE) a post for tomorrow I will leave you with a photo I took yesterday, and a few words.

We are wrapping up a trip to our rural hometown, out of state, and I cannot stop daydreaming about making out with my washer and dryer the moment I walk in the door to our home.

If my washer and dryer had legs and arms we would be running through a field of wildflowers towards one another, arms outstretched. When we get within a few feet of each other my washer would throw its door open and I would toss all of our dirty clothes in and possibly our three boys and definitely our dog.

Thanks for letting me share,
Abbie All that makes you smile, laugh, think, love, cry or cry laughing.

Mad Men and Dirty Dancing in the Mountains


We sneak off to the mountains when summer gets too Warm in North Carolina.

It only takes about fifty minutes and we are suddenly transported into that town from “Dirty Dancing.”

I’m not kidding it is even the same year! It is like “Mad Men,” but in the mountains!

The restaurants bring garlic toast and salads are iceberg and steaks are New York strips.

It is really lovely.

Watching the thermometer dropped 20° is magic. They have to heat the club pool in the summer and no one says a word when you walk in with a bottle of champagne to share with the moms.

Everything is decorated with lattice and the color rose.

Men wear driving shoes and seersucker. The women wear bathing suits with little skirts at the pool while the men are out golfing.

Everyone meets up for a cocktail before dinner and for a nightcap before bed.

To really prove you have entered through a rabbit hole and are now in the past…there is ZERO cell service. We have to talk to one another instead of staring at our screens in our hands.

Thank you mountains for such a bounty of memories and for a flash of the past.

Thanks for letting me share, All that makes you smile, laugh, think, love, cry or cry laughing.




Youth Will Eventually Work It’s Way Out

Naivety of youth.

My God, my husband and I had an extra serving of that when we were young.  

We began dating when we were teenagers.  We knew we wanted to have a different life than what we knew.  No one taught us how to change our future family dynamic.

We wanted to get out of our dreary midwestern town and live in the sunny south where people were friendly and the grass is nearly green year round.  We only knew this much from driving through the south every few years on family vacations.

He wanted to be a doctor and I wanted to have a family and build a home for them.  He was the first one in his family to GO to college, yet alone graduate and no one had stepped foot on a medical school campus.

We were going to move to the town where the medical school was that he wanted to attend and he would take undergraduate classes there.  The first time we visited that college town was when we were moving there.

I quit my job and he moved from his dad’s and we left for out-of-state with a plan.  The plan was about two sentences long and without financial backing.

What fools we were.  My dad told me it would never work and his parents didn’t really comprehend the gravity and years of work that were necessary to do what we wanted to do.

Youth can make you try things, that when you are a seasoned adult, you would never try.

Naivety can be a blessing and youth will eventually work itself out, with age.  

This story is for our three boys so that they realize that they need to see what they want AND be willing to work to make it happen.  We are proof that with a vision of what you want your life to be and the ability to go for it you can have the life of your dreams.

You just have to be willing to be a little naive.

As you age do you find yourself far more cautious?

I think it is because we realize how much more we have to lose.

What do you think?

-Abbie, All that makes you…

Worry and Worry Junior Have a Talk

We worry. That’s what parents do.

You can have a child who has “a worry.”

I do.

I have to pretend to not worry because I tell him everything is ok…all day long.

Then I began to worry that he got the worry from me.

Then I remind him, and myself, that our “worry” really means we are aware of how blessed we are.

It is a blessing to be aware of your gifts. It makes you work harder to be worthy.

We complete our homework because we worry about what it would do to our grades if we don’t. I tell him.

It is the people that worry that get things done.

The same way that chocolate goes with vanilla, worry goes with success.

There are people who are paralyzed by worry and sometimes they never leave their homes. I tell him that fear can be like a disease.

We talk about, talking about worrying and I tell him how healthy that is.

I am thankful for my worry, and for being aware of it, and thankful it does not cripple me.

Teaching your children how to find their blessing sometimes helps us just as much as it helps them.

What do you do to keep your worries in check and have you had a little worrier of your own?  Do you tell your kids to just relax or do you teach them how to listen to their fears? 

Abbie, All that makes you…

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