Keep reading for some extra info and a few fun facts about the book.
In Chapter 16: Take Care of You for Me, I talk a little about Jordan's fight with small fiber neuropathy. Although millions in the US suffer from SFN, I'd never heard of it until my daughter's diagnosis. It's a horrible and painful condition. I do thank God every day that Jordan does experience some days without pain. I still haven't given up hope on how to help her, so if you have had success or know of someone who has had success with making the pain go away I would love to hear from you. Your prayers would also be greatly appreciated.
Learn more about SFN from two incredible women who are fighting this condition and raising awareness that could help millions.
In the acknowledgment to Gina, you might have noticed what appeared to be a typo. Instead of spelling the word "Impressive" with an "I", it's spelled, "Empressive", with an "E". That was on purpose and a nod to Gina's business, Empressive Candles.
If you haven't seen an Empressive Candle, you really should check them out. They aren't like any candle you've seen before.
Sweet potato pie is a staple in our home for the holidays. It's not a Thanksgiving dinner if this pie is not on the table.
After reading the book, a friend asked me, "How can you write a chapter about sweet potato pie and not include the recipe?" I think he had a point. I can't share the recipe with you the way my mother shared it with me and if you've read Chap. 15: Sweet Potato Pie, you know exactly why that is. Here is one of the closest recipes to my mother's that I could find.
When I tell people I grew up in Atwater; I'm usually met with a blank-faced response. I always have to follow up by saying, "It's an hour away from Fresno."
My father was in the Air Force and received orders to go to Castle Air Force Base in Atwater, CA., in 1982. Castle was a strategic air command base, and since the military has acronyms for everything, it was referred to as a SAC base. Those of us who lived there said SAC stood for Stuck At Castle because it seemed like you never left once you were stationed there. That was definitely true for my dad. He served the remainder of his military career, which ended in retirement in the '90s, at Castle.
If you had asked me when I was a teen what I thought of Atwater, I would have given you a typical teen response; it was boring. But now, I miss it. In base housing, it was as though we had our own community within the community. We all understood the challenges faced by each new kid whose parent had just been stationed at the base, so making someone feel welcomed came naturally because we'd all been there.
Unfortunately, CAFB closed in 1995. The house I grew up in is now behind gates and is a part of a Senior Duplex Community. I can't even drive through my old neighborhood when I do go back to Atwater to visit. That thought makes me sad at times and although I can't go home again, there is comfort in knowing I'm not alone. Most of the A-Town Posse, mentioned in Chap 13: Going to Freson State, knows exactly how I feel.
Castle is now an air museum and if you're ever in Atwater, you should check it out.
The sign which once greeted CAFB visitors at the main gate.