Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing Memories

Nan In Search of Clarity–Day 29


Two more days of this… experiment… this commitment… whatever this is. Mostly it’s been me rambling, trying to figure out how to make it better. But you know, it’s probably not going to be all better right now–although each day, it’s a little bit easier. Maybe…

Today, I worked and it was good. I can fall into a project and stay there and forget that life is different now, that it will always be different because Kate isn’t here anymore. I love working… even when projects are tough and frustrating, I still love to work. It’s that whole fixing thing–I’m a fixer. I like fixing things.

kathi memorial 2You know, it’s funny. Many years ago, when Kate was going through her divorce and her kids were little and her life was askew, I  remember thinking that if she would only listen to me and did what I told her, her life would be all fixed up. I know now that Kate would always do things her own way, even if it meant the people who loved her believed that that her choices were going to lead to a train wreck. Sometimes they did, but don’t we all make train-wreck choices? When we were younger, I thought I was much smarter than I actually was. Go figure…

It’s funny, isn’t it? How clearly you can see other people’s mistakes, how you think you can show them exactly how to fix their bad choices, how the path for others is so obvious, but even when you look in mirror, you can’t see your own mistakes as plainly as you can see others’?  I wish that I’d been more of a help to Kate back then, less judgmental, more supportive… a better sister.

Five Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. Safe landings–thank you ACC for the prayers and angel wings.
  2. Work that’s interesting and fun
  3. Roasted cauliflower
  4. Sisterhood
  5. Good friends who support me in my writing–thanks for the Likes on my FB Author page, mes amies!

Nan In Search of Clarity–Day 28


IMG_0188Another good day–how lovely that they’re more frequent and I kinda think that writing is helping that happen. Another thing that’s happening is that the people in my head are talking to me again. Ideas are spinning round and I’m plotting and dialoguing and building characters. I’m in Discovery–which, according to my wondrous editor Lani involves not just thinking about my book, but also absorbing narrative with books and movies and TV.

I didn’t do a soundtrack for my last book, but this one, I think, needs a soundtrack, so I’ve started listening to music on my iPod and figuring out which songs will work for this story. And I’m going to do something I’ve never done for a book before–I’m going to find pictures of people who fit the characters in my head. Usually, I have a face in my head and rarely do they look like an actor or a person who’s famous. Sometimes they are people I know or amalgamations of people I know, but mostly they’re just characters from my imagination. This will be different for me.

It’s been good for me to be outside and working in the yard–very satisfying to see the results of our hard work and it made me anxious to go to the nursery and start buying herbs and plants. Yard work is a good time to write in my mind–I can do the work with my hands but be elsewhere in my head… not at all a bad thing…

Five Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. A sweet text from PJ–she read yesterday’s blog and needed to remind me that I’m a good sister. Thanks, PJ! I love you!
  2. Love working on a test for a new client.
  3. The backyard is cleaned up and ready for spring planting!
  4. Got to see Grandboy and Son tonight on Skype!
  5. Watched the new episode of Outlander this afternoon after yard work–what an amazing series!


Nan In Search of Clarity–Day 18


Making MagicI spent the whole day at the IRWA Making Magic Miniconference and frankly, I’m too tired to think, let alone write. It was a great event and seeing Lani and Alastair again was fantastic!  They were inspiring and I think there’s a chance I may be ready to start work on the new book again…

making magic2Thanks to the conference committee who did a wonderful job with planning, decorations, and food–everything went off without a hitch. Jillian Jacobs, Tia Catalina, Mellanie Szereto, and Tippi Hickey put together a fantastic event!

Five Things I’m Grateful for Today,

  1. Spending two days with Liz
  2. Spending time with Lani and Alastair
  3. Making Magic was truly magical
  4. I didn’t overeat at the conference
  5. It’s good to be back home

kathi and ev***Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law, Everett Gasaway–Kate’s husband. I know she’s smiling down on you with love, Ev!

Nan In Search of Clarity–Day 16


gilmore-girls-season-1-09I quoted Lorelei Gilmore on Facebook not long ago:

“I’m fine. I mean, not that I’m over it, but little by little it’s getting easier to pretend it’s easier, which means easier must be right around the corner.”

The words are just exactly how I’m feeling… I pretend a lot… that Kate’s not in my mind, that I’m not still aching, that there isn’t a huge hole in me. I smile, I go about my daily life, and I even laugh and enjoy my friends and family, but it’s still there… that empty place in my heart that was my sister’s place.

PJ and I went to get our nails done today. She’s really the only one I can answer truthfully when asked, “How are you doing?” We can talk about the sadness and how it’s sometimes so overwhelming, we can’t even breathe. How the reality of Kate being gone is almost too much to bear, let alone discuss. How it sometimes feels wrong to be happy, even though we both know that Kate would be the first person to tell us to, “snap out of it!”

I’ve had plenty of moments of happy since December 19. So has PJ. It’s not that we aren’t appreciating our lives and how good things are for us. We do appreciate our families and our kids and our husbands and each other and just how great our lives are. But something’s missing now. Someone’s missing… and my dear friend, Marta, who lost her brother many years ago, reminds me that the healing takes time. We will stop aching, but that hole will always be there. How could it not be?

Five Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. Liz will be here tomorrow! YAY!
  2. Husband helped me clean today–thank you!
  3. Son is doing well in Rome.
  4. The sun finally came out today.
  5. A new friendship is developing with another writer I just met online–she is a kindred spirit.


Nan in Search of Clarity–Day 11


Today was another funeral–well, visitation for us. Kate’s ex-husband died last week of congestive heart failure, so we went by to pay our respects even though we really haven’t had much contact with him in the over thirty years since their divorce. My heart breaks for their son and daughter (my niece and nephew), who’ve lost both their parents in the space of about 4 months. They’re both hanging in, but dear god, how painful must it be? All her little grandkids were there and I wondered how hard it must have been on their parents to tell them they’d lost another grandparent…

kathi jonny Kate loved babies–oh, man, did she ever love babies! And babies loved her. She had five grandchildren and one great-grandchild and nothing filled her with joy faster than a baby to cuddle and kiss on. kathi danceHere’s a couple of pics of her with her great-grandson.

About two and half years ago at Christmas, Son and DIL brought 6-month-old Grandboy back home to meet his extended family, and we just sorta opened the front door and invited anyone who wanted to meet the little darling to stop on by.

kathi and camLots of people dropped by to ooh and ah over our precious new grandchild, but Kate got here first, coming straight from work. The little guy had been the tiniest bit fussy after a long day of airplane travel and not being used to jet lag, but Kate just swooped him up and cooed and sang to him. He gave her the sweetest smile and laughed and cooed right back at her. This picture, from that day, of her with Grandboy is one of my favorites–aren’t they adorable together? And she set the tone for the whole afternoon and evening. Grandboy charmed and delighted everyone that day, but I like to think he has a special place in his little heart for his Great-Aunt Kate. I wish he could’ve gotten to know her…

Five post office magnoliaThings I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. Gorgeous sunshine for my niece and nephew as they laid their dad to rest
  2. My brother-in-law, Everett–he personifies God’s gracious nature to me. He actually preached Kate’s ex-husband’s funeral today, ironically, on what would’ve been Everett and Kate’s 23rd wedding anniversary. That’s being a light, isn’t it?
  3. IRWA meeting this afternoon–I love these lovely writers!
  4. Knitting
  5. Things are greening up–we saw magnolia trees and forsythia in bloom on the way back from the funeral home–that’s a tree in front of the post office.



Nan in Search of Clarity–Day 10


familyIt’s National Siblings Day. All day, I’ve ached with missing Kate, but I have PJ and my brother, Bud, so I’m not feeling at all sibling-less–just less-siblinged, I guess. That’s all of four plus an assortment of kids, spouses, partners, etc.

When we were kids, our dad left us–I actually remember that day clearly even though I was only 6 years old at the time. But I’m not going to think about him, except to say that I think it may have made us closer as kids to only have Mom. She was so busy when he first left, going to school and working full time to keep food on our table, that it fell to PJ, who was about 12 and Kate who was 10 to be surrogate parents to Bud and I. They were the “big kids” and Bud and I were the “little kids.”

PJ cooked and cleaned and Kate was her trusty assistant. One time, a couple of years after Dad left, Mom decided that it was time for Bud and I to stop sharing a room. So she moved me into a twin bed in PJ and Kate’s bedroom in our tiny ranch house. I remember being sad that I had to leave the bunk beds, but still kinda pleased that I got to share a room with the “big kids.” The girls made room in their closet for my rather paltry wardrobe and gave me the bottom drawer of the dresser for clothes that didn’t hang. My Barbie doll and other toys found a home in the corner by my new bed because I learned very quickly that PJ hated tripping on “little girl toys” when she came into the bedroom.

670px-Make-a-Hospital-Corner-Step-6Bed-making was kinda haphazard in our house. Bud’s rarely got made because he went back and forth between the upper and lower bunks after I got evicted and he never saw the point, I guess. PJ and Kate made theirs when the mood struck, but once Mom taught us how to do “hospital corners,” Kate got more vigilant. One day, Kate tried to teach me. Now, I’m 8 years old and my little hands can barely shake out a sheet, and yet, she sat there for the better part of an hour patiently showing me how to fold the triangles and do the tucking. Then she showed me how to bounce a quarter off the super-tight sheets, which I thought was the rockingest thing ever. She even gave me her quarter when I mastered it, so I could show off to Mom when she got home from work that night. Kate let me take all the bed-making  glory that day…

Know what? I still make my bed with hospital corners.

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