Monday, June 23, 2014

Under Construction by Mary Manners

Mary Manners
Under Construction

By Mary Manners

My husband and I recently decided to turn our back yard to an oasis with the addition of an in-ground pool. As the backhoes moved in to break ground, scooping the earth into mounds of sun baked dirt that rival Mount Everest, I realized that the pool-building process has a lot in common with the road I’m walking…life.

My life’s journey has been an adventure. As I approach the close of my fifty-first year I realize how precious each moment has become. My daughter entered college two years ago and we’re in a period of countless transitions. The child I once drove to basketball practice and choir rehearsal now chauffeurs me. I have learned, depending on the day (sometimes even the hour), that I know nothing…and everything.

My husband has retired (well…partially) and that has tremendously altered our daily routine. He’s become the chief cook and bottle washer while I trek off to my day job as an assistant principal at our local intermediate school. I hope to join him in partial retirement (I will always be a writer) within the next few years.

Recently, a college friend of mine sent a photo that was snapped our sophomore year (1982). Looking at the photo, I thought my daughter was staring back at me. Was I ever that young, thin and…unwrinkled? My daughter took one glance at the picture and gasped, “Mama, is that really you?” as if I could have never—possibly—been that smiling young woman in the snapshot. And, after a good laugh, I thought about the passage of time and how happy and truly blessed I am to continue down the path that remains…under construction.

Wyatt Cutler manages to break away from family-owned Cutler Nursery--and Clover Cove—until his father perishes in a tragic accident. With no choice but to abandon his prestigious position at world-renowned Messer Dynamics and return to Clover Cove, Wyatt's only goal is to help his mother and brother, Reese, keep Cutler Nursery in business.

The laughter that surrounds Kami Moretto at her family's pizzeria has faded. Her mom is gone and, for her dad, depression has set in. With Pappy’s Pizzeria hanging on by a thread, Kami longs for days of the past and a time when her faith carried her through every storm. Across the street, she watches Wyatt scowl as he works and wonders how he can take his family—and his business—for granted when hers is in such shambles.

When tragedy strikes, Wyatt realizes he must let go of the past and cling to hope for the future; he’s in danger of losing his family, his business, and the only woman he’s truly loved.
Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus. She writes romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.
Learn more about Mary Manners at her website:


  1. Love it, Mary! And for the're still young and beautiful!

  2. What a lovely post, Mary, that sweet feeling of both gratitude and nostalgia. How I love when you write, I'll always be a writer! Best of luck with a terrific new book and as you journey into semi-retirement.

  3. Thanks for this sweet post, Mary. So relatable as we all journey through seasons. Write on!

  4. Oh Mary, I can relate. Sometimes it is hard to believe so many years have passed. I was young just yesterday.

    Then I remember the selfie I took this weekend with my cell phone. It scared me! I promptly deleted that photo. LOL

    I love that you said you'll always be a writer. I'm looking forward to the day I get to leave my day job behind and write fulltime.

  5. But, as Christians, we don't retire until we expire! Keep on keeping on! I can relate fully. My daughter just completed her first year of college. That was a change since I homeschooled her all 12 years. But, I'm so thankful God has given me this writing ministry in this season of my life. Guess we had to gather all of that history and experiences to be able to do what we do now. God bless you, my friend. And, we are so near one another, one day we just must meet each other face-to-face.


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