#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


Chicken-gate 08

Well, the FIRST challenge was buying chicken to take to the Bleecker Cousins’ Reunion, as Mom had volunteered me to provide lunch. :) (I didn’t mind being volunteered, but I would have liked to know how many people were going to be eating!)

My sister Sally approached the deli clerk in one of our local supermarkets and asked for chicken, plainly visible on trays behind the glass. She requested all of it, since we figured if there was too much, that was better than not enough, and SOMEBODY would eat it. The clerk got huffy and informed Sally that she should have called in an order in advance–because if we bought all the chicken, it was going to wipe out their supply! (There was more in the cooker, of course, but it would take 20 minutes to roast, according to the clerk, and what if there was a chicken rush?) Is it just me, or isn’t something on display in a store and marked with a price FOR SALE?? My brother-in-law, Jim, took matters in hand and asked to speak to the manager. Jim is not bothered by confrontation.

We got the chicken.

In the truck afterward, on our way to the reunion, we dubbed the experience Chicken-gate 08 and laughed ourselves silly.

Finding the reunion turned out to be the next challenge. We drove and drove, back-tracked and discovered to our dismay that there was no cell phone service. Eventually, though, we found our kin and had a good visit.

It was wonderful to reconnect–I hadn’t seen some of these people in YEARS. Brian Bass, a first cousins, was a little, blond obnoxious boy when I saw him last. :) Now he’s a handsome and gracious man. (To the people who work in Brian’s office: YES. He IS my cousin. :) His mother was my mother’s sister.)

Cousin Bob, it turns out, is quite the geneologist, and among other things, he had proof that one of our great-greats (add a few more greats) was part of GEORGE WASHINGTON’S military escort at his first inauguration! Since I’m an avid student of history, and GW is my all-time favorite President, tied with Abraham Lincoln, I was blown away by that! In those days, communities were small; everybody knew everybody else, especially in circles like that one. Surely such an elite assignment would only be given to someone the Great One knew and trusted. Did my ancestor dine at Mount Vernon? Dance with Martha? What OTHER founding fathers did he know????

The old imagination simply ran wild!

Now, it’s time to shift said imagination back to Stillwater Springs, Montana, and get on with TYLER. It’s quite a story–I can hardly wait to get there, and to share it with you.

With Chicken-gate 08 behind me, I’m prepared to move on!

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“Keep your ear to the ground” referred to the practice of plainsmen listening to the ground to hear hoof beats. It became the westerner’s warning to stay alert.

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