Personal Life Tidbits

Where Did Rachael Disappear To?

Once upon a time there was an author, a writer, a blogger, a woman.

She loved her community of readers and writers, but one day she disappeared.

No warning, no word, not even a trace.


I’m back! I’m clawing my way out of the fog of life and all the things that can bog a person down.

Last year at this time I was frantically packing and preparing our house for its new owners and contemplating the biggest move I’ve ever made (and I’ve moved quite a few times). It was no small thing to say goodbye to family, friends, and a life built over more than a decade. It was the place my children had been raised and the only world they really knew.

January’s chilly days and icy roads of the Inland Northwest were the last straw for my trucker husband, and between that and other things, we moved our future plans forward a few years, making the tough decision to sell our house in Washington and trek across the country to lands unknown . . . to us.

That first month of 2022 was weeks of almost frenetic organization, cleaning, packing, donating and selling. We listed our house and accepted an offer within three days, then spent February doing more of the same. We took a trip to OR to visit our oldest at college before we left her behind to drag her siblings along icy roads as a snow storm hemmed us in through every state. March saw us signing the papers and saying that final goodbye to the only home three of my four children really remembered.

A four-day trip by car and moving truck took us a little more than six days. The weather was bitterly cold in Montana and Wyoming, the roads were sheets of ice in South Dakota. We had a brief reprieve until Missouri and were snowed in at West Memphis, desperate to find a hotel room in a city booked up because no one could travel in that weather.

By the time we arrived at our yet-to-be-seen-in-person rental house we were exhausted and yet relieved. The kids and I experienced the bite of humidity at low temperatures for the first week here. My husband just smiled and reminisced of growing up in the Midwest.

By this point I was so wrapped up in just trying to learn the lay of the land that I had no energy for anything else but my family and their care. It took months for me to situate the kids in school, learn the ins and outs of the education system here, and find all the best places to shop for groceries and living needs. Then there was the care of our rental house and property to see to along with switching over our vehicles, licenses, and insurance. Life was crazy, that’s for sure.

We didn’t want to stay renters, but we didn’t have a choice when first moving for various reasons, so once we were better established and my husband had been on the job for a few months, we began a home-buying search. The first six months of life in our new state were devoted to finding our solid footing and sinking our toes into the sandy soil (and hopefully not getting too bit up by nasty little ants!).

I had a few false starts on thinking I was ready to get back into writing and blogging life as I’d known it before, but it’s taken me a year to wrap my head around all this change. I know others have done this faster and better, but I’m trying not to feel like a failure. This life is so strange we live here on Earth. It’s fleeting and temporary, yet some days feel like an eternity. I’m slowly seeing my way back to all the things I treasure in this temporal life, and being here on my blog and with my blogging friends is one of those. I hope you can forgive me for my long absence and help me crawl out of the wasting mist.

So, March

will see me following along behind Gary and A. E. over at BlogBattle to see all the wonderful things you’ve all been doing over there. Help me think of some ways I can tell those special leaders thank you for carrying the torch without a word from me. I am so very grateful for their diligence and commitment to the community of writers over there! And if you haven’t seen what they’ve planned for the year, definitely head over to BlogBattle and enjoy the writing challenges with us.

Another thought

I’m having: to get back into my own writing and books. I’m thinking I’ll read The Treasonous a chapter at a time live on Instagram during the month of April. Is that something you’d tune in to and support me through? I’d be grateful for it, but just knowing you’re here today to read about my life in miniature is a huge deal and I’m already so grateful!

35 thoughts on “Where Did Rachael Disappear To?”

  1. Glad to have you back, Rachael – and as if moving isn’t punishment enough we do to ourselves, moving across the country only makes it harder! At least you didn’t leave the country! 🙂 Looks like you’re getting settled in into a place that can add to your contentment, so the payoff can at least be worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Many thing that have interfered with my own writing! 🙂 There’s lots of little details I won’t bore you with, but we can say my family has kept me busy. 😉 Hope yours has gotten all settled in!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s very hard to pin down what happened to 2022. The big, obvious sign of trouble is that I missed doing four BlogBattle prompts.
        The highlights that stick out…
        1: Planting 130 trees. I know it sounds a lot, but each one is only about 6 inches tall with a plug-pot root-ball about an inch across, so putting them in only took a couple of days. Then the weather warmed up and they needed watering…
        The quad-bike has a load capacity of 80kg on the rear rack and 40kg on the front. In the end we bought some 25l plastic jerry cans and it is amazing how many of those it takes to water all those trees, and how slowly you have to drive with that much load.
        (On the positive, all the trees appear to be still alive.)
        2: A small building project. This was the year the frame and box gutter got finished, the roof went on just before winter hit, and the walls have now gone in. The main thing I remember is day after day of get up, start work, partner makes lunch so stop for half an hour, work again, partner makes supper, work again, put chickens to bed, rinse and repeat…
        Whole weeks became a blur.
        (On the positive, it’s weather-tight, and warm, and usable, and all the rest of the work can be done indoors. 🙂 )
        3: There was lambing in there somewhere and I was so busy I didn’t do my annual blog post with cute lamb photos.
        (On the positive, yay, lambs!!!)
        4: The novel I was going to finish over the summer… still working on that.
        (Struggling to find the positive on that one.)
        5: Just when I thought the year would coast gently to close, my partner decided that the timber patio doors on the lounge needed a fresh coat of paint on the inside, but her shoulders aren’t up to sanding, and I needed to just take a look at a “soft patch” that might need some attention. As I explored the soft patch, I came across a point where my finger went all the way through and out the other side. The seal between the glass and the timber had failed, condensation had run down, and the wood had rotted from the centre outwards over the last few years.
        (On the positive, now that the doors are rebuilt, the paintwork looks quite nice.)

        So, no one thing, but a whole bunch of challenges ganged up on me. 🙂

        On the positive, we did have my sister visiting in March, met up with my partner’s cousin somewhere around June, I got in an extra visit to my Dad (4 hours drive each way!) and managed a decent tomato crop in the greenhouse. 🙂

        (Say hello to 2023. There are now 230 trees to plant, a barn to rebuild, a proper floor to do in the newly clad building, lambing in another month or so, but first of all *that novel will get finished* 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mark, you are AMAZING! That is all HUGE. All of it. And you keep your great sense of humor through it all. I can see you take pride in your hard work and are committed to doing all things to the best of your ability, taking challenges head on. That’s so great. I am hopeful your 2023 is has less stress but just as much beauty come out of it and more. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I wouldn’t want to get bored. 🙂
            (When I left my IT job back in 2017, my boss did tell me that I’d be bored and wanting to come back in 6 months.)
            The next job is rebuilding the barn. The problem, as ever, is that there just isn’t enough time in the day. (And I’m not as young as I used to be…)

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew I could rely fully on Gary and AE. ❤ They're committed to the community of writers and are just all around great people. I think so of you, too, and am so glad you didn't disappear while I was away!

      Do you do YouTube or anything like that? I am thinking of cross posting the live read, but I'm not sure since I've never done anything like this before. I'm not huge into being on camera anyway, as I feel like a plain Jane most days and that the camera just moves me farther into homely land, especially since I've put on a few extra pounds. lol I sound incredibly vain. I think there's a song about me… hahaha Anyway, I'm trying to get over myself and just deal with the fact some people think I'm ugly. Can't much help what people think. I can just be me and do the next thing! 🙂 I appreciate your support just be being here and chatting with me! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand you feeling conscious about your looks, but I feel like it’s not something you should worry about. You seem to have a beautiful family, so who cares?!

        WP is my main social media. I have Twitter, but don’t use it as much. I guess I could do YT. Depending on how long the reasings would be. Here to support if I can!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for that. I do have a beautiful family and feel very grateful for them! 🙂

          No worries on watching the readings, unless you really want to! I know I don’t always have time to participate in things like that, and this last year I would have had to say thanks but no thanks. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. That account is breathing taking, epic and I would say heroic too. How you guys kept it all together, survived and set down new roots had me in awe.
    So glad its turning out ok for you.
    Applause to you all 👏👏
    And best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. It felt that way a bit, too, I think! Off on an adventure into the unknown (even if lots of people already know it. haha). I’m so glad to hear it, Roger! You are some nice folk yourself and deserve to be surrounded by supportive fellow writers!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you’re back! Moving that far and to such a different setting/culture is a gi-normous change. What an adventure! I’m betting the things and feelings you experienced will plant the seeds of plots and characters in your future writing. I will be sending more covers to you very soon, I myself got bogged down in “life,” as we all do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sallianne! You’re right about the seeds of plots and characters. I love all the newness and sameness that I’ve experienced since moving diagonally across the country. I look forward to our covers together! You’re in my email “tasks” bar in red right now. haha It’s reminding me that we haven’t got started yet, but I’m glad it’s just a little bog down and not a full halt!


  4. Rachael, I had no idea you had just gone through such tumultuous times when I asked you to do a cover for me. And what a gorgeous cover it was! Thank you, and I wish you and your family every happiness and success in your new home!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maura. I don’t want to say no if I can help it, so I’m so glad I got to work on your cover. I’m only sorry it was such a hassle getting in contact with me. Silly spam folders! Thank you for the well wishes! ❤


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