Girls Write Out
Friday, August 10, 2012

My overly busy editor once remarked that she needed a wife to follow along behind her and help her keep up. She's a busy woman. She runs a slick, excellent team of editors and assistants, and yet even with that kind of help, she feels the need for a wife to help her in her daily life.

Sometimes our lives become so hectic that we need help. Some husbands pitch in and help, sometimes even without throwing tantrums, crying or making us pay them back double. Mel doesn't throw tantrums, but he is still busy switching from night to day shifts. We can never keep on top of his schedule, and that was especially difficult when my mother was staying with us last year. I needed help. I needed a clone, another me to get everything done that had to be done and see to it that Mom was well cared for.

Enter Bonnie, who was looking for a job. I found out she was looking for jobs in a small city with no job openings, especially not good enough for her qualifications. I asked her to take on the job of helping me. She could be my assistant, help me care for Mom as I tried to focus on writing. The decision for both of us was a gift from God. We'd known each other for 37 years, so there was already trust established. Bonnie did anything I asked. She spent lots of time with Mom to keep her occupied as Mom's dementia worsened and sundowner's caused everyone trouble.

Mom passed on to heaven this year, and since all her sisters went ahead of her, I'm sure she's still enjoying a family reunion. But after the funeral, after family returned home. Mel and I decided to keep Bonnie. She became my personal assistant in my writing job. She's read nearly all our Hannah Alexander novels and written honest reviews of them--and get this, they didn't all earn five star ratings. She speaks her mind, tells me to stop scratching my head and stop fiddling with this mole on my arm. She shows me how to decorate. It all goes in one ear and out the other, but Bonnie will soon have a wonderful chance to decorate a new clinic for Mel. She'll not only be my assistant, she'll be the decorator of the clinic, and then she'll be office manager at the clinic, because that's what she does with my real estate here at the house, plus our household accounting. She's a treasure. I think Mel and I will be fighting to see who gets her back, but we'll try to share nicely and not overwork her.

Have you ever dreamed of having someone come into your house first thing in the morning and clean your dishes from the night before, do laundry, never invade your private space, and yet talk to you as an equal, not someone of a different class. Someone who shares your faith in Christ, and therefore can remind you when you're down that God has it under control?

Can you imagine the joy of having someone help you as you help them? Many can't afford full-time assistance, but it's good for me to know that Mel and I are helping Bonnie stay in her home, and she deserves it, because she saved my life. What I was going through with Mom knocked my feet out from under me. I'm still reeling from it, getting sick constantly--right now I have a very painful form of strep. But even when Mel's at work, I can hide in my home and heal while Bonnie takes the load off my back shopping for groceries, getting the car taken care of, drawing up plans for the new clinic.

I highly advise it. Don't take on a job that's too big for you without getting someone to help. It can forge lifelong friendships and enlarge your family with good people.

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 1:33 AM  
  Comments (8)
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At 7:38 AM, Blogger Tracy Ruckman said...

I long for someone like Bonnie, but we're not there yet. Tim has taken over much of the household stuff since I went back to school, but not all of it, and he can't help much with the business side, so that leaves a gap. The publishing companies are growing, so I'm going to have to have help before long. Bonnie sounds like a dream come true.

At 4:13 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I hope you can get at least some part time help soon, Tracy. A good match is a miracle, but we know this time it was from God. Bonnie definitely is a dream come true for us.

At 9:11 PM, Blogger jel said...

I thought ya looked a little under the weather, ya little green that picture. ;)

I do hope ya get feeling better soon!

At 11:54 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Me too, jel. I'm still green. And my face is flushed. And my throat hurts. Poor little me!

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Sandie said...

Yeah, when is that billion dollars coming that was talked about the other day? I'd love to hire someone though not in my own home - that would be a treasure but I am home and can do it. It just takes me a while. I would hire someone so my mom could return to HER own home with full time care.

Hope you feel better soon!

At 10:27 AM, Blogger jel said...

a spoonful full of clover honey, might help.

Dakota Clover honey (Pure Harmony) brand name.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thanks, Sandie. No billion dollars yet, but financially, things are falling into place to finance the new clinic. Mom's place is almost sold, and we just put it on the market last month. I'm so glad Mel makes enough that we could pay Bonnie. Actually, since I kept her on as my assistant, her pay now comes out of my writing income, but when she goes to work for Mel at the clinic we can give her another raise. She'll retire in a few years, and I really want her social security to be on the high side.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Clover honey, huh, jel? I used to use local honey for my seasonal allergies. There just may be something to that.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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