Laura Abbot's very arrival on the planet is a romantic plot device. Her parents, married five years, had been unable to have children. Her dad was working two jobs and under a great deal of stress. A wise doctor suggested that they needed a prolonged vacation away from home where they would feel free to - er - do the deed. Often. Day or night.
However, this was during the Depression and romantic getaways were hard to come by. To the rescue came a West Virginia cousin who owned a primitive cabin in the mountain wilds, which he put at their disposal. So they went. And voila! Laura Abbot arrived nine months later.
Laura was blessed with an idyllic childhood. Make-believe was a favourite pastime; Laura was especially good as either a racehorse or a G.I. In those days, kids were free to roam the neighbourhood, and they did - using vacant lots and open spaces as enchanted lands.
Perhaps because her grandmother and another elderly friend lived in their household, expectations for Laura were pretty high. She was supposed to be a lady, a scholar, and an example to her two younger brothers. A born tomboy, the first was hard to achieve, but she did an adequate job in the other two categories.
Then in eighth grade, Laura discovered boys. At the time she felt reasonably certain that her mother was about the most old-fashioned, intrusive female she'd ever encountered. Looking back now from the vantage point of being the mother of daughters, she realises her mother saved her from herself.
Laura found college liberating, and still keeps in touch with several of the women who became her friends in those years. By attending summer schools and loading up on the hours she took each semester, she graduated in three years and went out into the world, a pretty big deal after attending the same grade school and high school all her life!
Laura taught eighth- and ninth-grade English, and from the very first day, knew she'd found the thing she was supposed to be doing. She loved the school environment, the kids, and how the work fulfilled her. From that point on, Laura taught off and on for over 25 years.
After that first year of teaching, Laura married, and she and her husband subsequently had three children. Ten years into the marriage, they were divorced, but Laura is happy to say they ve been able to remain amicable through the years.
Single, with three children under 10! Talk about scary. Fortunately, Laura's prayers were answered, and she fell in love with her current husband, who never once has been anything but accepting of Laura and her three kids. His daughter and orphaned nephew brought their total to five children.
Like most parents, they've had their ups and downs with them, but strong faith, consistent discipline, and a ton of love and forgiveness have made their family bonds very strong. And what joy it is now to have 13 grandchildren! Now Laura and her husband don't have to worry about school conferences, curfews, or questionable friends. All they have to do is love.
Laura's writing career, which began later than most, has been absolute icing on the cake! What fun it is to follow a long-held, somewhat secret desire - to write publishable fiction. Remember the scene in Little Women of Jo scribbling away in the attic? She was Laura's role model. And to think it's all come true. Sounds like a storybook ending, right? It is!