Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Holiday Celebrations, The Writing Life

The Blessings We Love to Curse


It’s been a crazy two weeks for me. Joel and I have been on an entertainment binge.    Been to a hockey game,  a Broadway tour of ‘The Book of Mormon,’ the musical ‘Cabaret,’ a Joe Bonamassa concert and a festival of Christmas carols.







 We have another few things lined up to get us up to Christmas. And tickets to these were so easy to purchase – zip into a website online, pull up a seating chart, plug in the credit card and—voila, ticket on my phone. And when I say phone, I don’t mean the old-fashioned kind like the one that hung on my parents’ kitchen wall, but the one that gives me instant access to the world via the internet, keeps track of my grocery list, wakes me up on time, sends me reminders from my dentist and brings me a delightful good-morning message, every morning, from my sister-in-law who lives 1000 miles away. imag0973_1

Did I say internet? The vehicle that let me have a chat with a friend in India the other day, research the most prominent kind of pine tree in Montana for one of my books, and served as the device for a majority of my Christmas shopping this year? The same vehicle through which I bought a new washer three weeks ago and a brand new car two weeks ago? The place where I pay my bills, check the weather and watch movies, British television and Broadways plays?

It wasn’t that long ago that my husband dragged home this clunker of a computer, one with no internal storage and everything went to large floppy disks. “This is the future,” he told me. I didn’t believe him, but since he’d spent a lot of money on the thing and told me it was mine to use, I used it. Then upgraded, upgraded, upgraded. Got a laptop, a phone with way more capabilities than my first computer, and a tablet which my 4-year-old niece uses to watch her movies.imag0967

                My car is computerized. It has all kinds of neat little gadgets I’ve yet to explore. It syncs with my phone, gives me a rear-view back-up and I’m not sure, but I think it makes coffee. My television is hooked up to a speaker system that’s probably better than the speaker system of any movie theater I went to when I was a kid. And my refrigerator—don’t even get me started on what it can do. Yes, I remember the one that simply froze water and meat, and chilled food. But mine will sing me a lullaby if I let it.

 Yet, we are a discontented society as a whole. Nothing is ever fast enough. Nothing ever has quite the right amount of capabilities. In fact, the online response time on my computer had bogged down to a whopping 5 seconds, and I was pretty darned frustrated by how slow it was. I wanted that pine tree information, and I wanted it NOW! So, I called my internet service provider and complained that their service was too slow, it was wasting my time. They pressed a switch on their end, upped my band width and gave me a 2 second response time. I was so happy. Makes me wonder how happy I would have been in the old days when I’d have gone to the library just to research that one little fact. Back then, I thought it was amazing that so much was available to me in any number of books I could check out and take home. The other day, I thought it was downright awesome that I was given back 3 whole seconds.

This is the time of year when everybody is more mindful of their blessings. Friends, family, pets, good fortune in our lives, health. We do have so many things to be grateful for, and I am. But when I got home from a Christmas tree display (which I’d found online) I got a message from a friend I rarely see because she lives so far away, I turned on my computer to write this blog instead of trying to do it on a typewriter imag0925(because I can’t type on a typewriter) and I sent a lovely picture of a Christmas tree made from books to all the people who follow me on Facebook – a picture taken on my phone. And you know what? These are blessing, too. Maybe not the ones that complete us and make us better as individuals, but the ones that make our lives easier, and quicker and more convenient. I’ll admiimag0923t, I’m the first one to get angry when my computer slows up or my phone has to be rebooted. It’s frustrating when I can’t click right into Acorn and get my fix of ‘Doc Martin’ because something isn’t feeding properly at that precise moment. And heaven forbid I should be delayed from my Broadway streaming when I want to see ‘Les Miserables’ or ‘Phantom of the Opera.’ But last night, when I took a picture of MacKenzie, didn’t have to wait for a day to see it developed, and was able to send it to everyone in my family within minutes, I was grateful for that phone. It allowed me something I wouldn’t have had so very long ago—the chance to share the best moments of my life with the people I love. That’s what this season is about—sharing those moments. And sure, they may take you an extra 3 seconds if your computer is bogged down, but when I look at the tin type of my grandmother from 1889, and consider the amount of time her family had to wait for that photo, and the one minute it took for me to snap MacKenzie’s picture and send it to my aunt 2000 miles away, imag0960_2I know that something we love to curse is really a blessing that enhances our lives every day, in little ways, and in big ones. It’s a beautiful thing.

“Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.” (Oscar Wilde)

From my family to yours, I hope you have a lovely  holiday season.

And, wishing you health & happiness

Dianne Drake (www.Dianne-Drake.com)


                                                                     Out February, 2017.






10 thoughts on “The Blessings We Love to Curse”

  1. Love the book tree! All this technology is great until the electricity goes out! It makes life so simple, and we can learn so much now without leaving our homes…and as for social networking, I have met so many new friends from all over the world!
    Happy Holidays!

    1. Yeah, the electricity can be a problem, and I live in an area with frequent power outages. Longest we’ve gone is 3 days, and it wasn’t fun, but we have back-up generators to keep the house powered up. And as long as I can keep my laptop charged, I can keep my phone charged, which means I can get internet…yes, I’m addicted. Happy Holidays to you, too!

  2. Hi Dianne

    What a lovely post and yes I too get a little annoyed when my internet slows down 🙂 You have been busy and it gets that way at this time of the year so much to get done and I seem to be always running out of time and feel rushed then the big day comes and it is family fun and the pool over here in Australia 🙂

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family

    Have Fun

  3. Dianne, you’re so right. We are very impatient, and seem to get more so the more technology improves. Long way back when I was working in a lab in Auckland we got one of the very first computers to come into New Zealand. It was used to process test results – and it took up a whole room. Now we carry way more data around in our pocket.
    Have a wonderful festive season and look forward to next year and many more books.

    1. I’m the worst when it comes to being impatient. And I really did call and complain because my internet was too slow. 3 seconds difference shows what kind of a compulsive I am. I was thrilled with that speed, which is actually embarrassing. I updated and rebooted tonight, and it about drove me crazy having to wait. Have a very nice holiday season!

  4. Interesting post that reminds us of the good and not-so-good in our technological world, Dianne. It wasn’t that long ago that looking something up on the Internet wasn’t possible, and now we’ve become not only used to it, but as you said, impatient about it! My kids, having grown up with the Internet, do seem to sort-of realize how amazing it is, but of course, they can’t really, because in their recent memory, they’ve always had it available. And, yes, sharing and talking with people we care about who are far away is the absolute best thing about our connected world 🙂

    1. All the connectivity has made my family a whole lot closer than it ever was before. You’re right. That’s the best part. But I’ve also made a lot of great friends long distance, people I count among my dearest friends, people I would have never had the chance to meet if not for the internet. As much as I resist technology, I do like the advantages of it. In fact, I’m kind of spoiled by them. Happy holidays!

  5. I’m super-grateful for technology – when I was a student, I wrote letters home and queued up for a phone box (if I could find one working). Now my eldest has just started uni and it’s been lovely to be able to FaceTime him. And I love the fact it helps me if I’m working on a series with other authors, no matter where in the world they are – we can bounce ideas on email, send each other links to pictures or articles or what have you, and send each other snippets so we can check we’ve all got our ducks in a row 🙂 I know social media can be problematic, but I’ve been lucky in that it’s really allowed me to share my love of books and cake and music with friends all over the world (and I really enjoy the music conversations we have on FaceBook!). (Cake – now that would be with our Amy. LOL.) Merry Christmas and I hope you and Joel have a great one xxx

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