Friday, November 2, 2012

Stuff and Feathers

By Nancy Jill Thames

Boy, the east coast, including many of my family members, took a severe hit this week. Recovery will be long and costly. Still, in spite of the flooding, fires, toppled trees and loss of power, people found ways to keep cozy. What struck me the most was how different people reacted to the disaster.

Someone's Trampoline in Sparta, NJ - Home of my Relatives
One woman in Atlantic City was overwhelmed with the loss of her ocean view restaurant. Another restaurant owner said he was confident his place would be rebuilt, and fond memories of wedding receptions and other celebrations would remain intact for his customers. Yes, business sites suffered and so did people's homes. Many were completely destroyed.

Structures and their furnishings are what I call "stuff and feathers." I tried looking up the origin of this term with no luck. But as my east coast relatives gathered in the one house that did have power, I thought about what really matters in life. Sometimes a disaster helps us to see more clearly that our possessions are simply "stuff and feathers." Of course, my family's main priority was charging their devices - I don't consider those "stuff and feathers" at all! Why? Because we stay connected with those devices. Facebook posts and tweets kept people in touch with shared information and messages of support. At least we had satellites.

By coincidence, there is a power outage in my upcoming book "Waiting for Santa" due out at the end of November. Talk about timing! Believe it or not, some family members, like in my book, made their situation fun! They built campfires in their fireplaces, and by firelight, read to the kids and played games. My niece made hot chocolate in saucepans held over the fire. Her kids loved it! If that isn't cozy, I don't know what is.

So today, many of you will be reeling from the storm's aftermath. My heart goes out to you, wishing you hadn't suffered losses. Hopefully, you'll keep your chin up and bless God for His promise to never forsake us - even in times of disaster. By keeping our eyes on Him, everything else is only "stuff and feathers."

I'd appreciate comments on how you're dealing with your storm situations. Thank you!

~Nancy Jill Thames 

Nancy Jill Thames is the author of the Jillian Bradley Mysteries - stories often set in exclusive hotels and resorts, based on real life travel adventures with her husband of 44 years.  Her mysteries incorporate her love of afternoon tea, which has earned her the title of “Queen of Afternoon Tea.” She holds a music degree from UT Austin and lives in Leander, Texas where she is a member of the Leander Writers Guild. She has won awards for her blogs, a pie contest for her Chocolate Chip Cream Pie, and has been on the Author Watch Bestseller List numerous times. Nancy Jill is busy working on book 6 Waiting for Santa, a murder mystery taking place on Christmas Eve near Jillian Bradley’s home in Clover Hills.

To check out her books, Murder in Half Moon Bay, The Ghost Orchid Murder, From the Clutches of Evil, The Mark of Eden, and Pacific Beach, please visit the Cozy Book Store and her blogs: 



  1. Nancy--So glad you and your family are all right! Having lived through many a hurricane, I can say with confidence, that things do return to normal and life gets better. But I wouldn't trade the special times in the wake of the hurricane--when families and neighbors worked together to clean up and cook and talk. Disaster brings out the very best, and somtimes the very worst in people. But more people seem to do kind deeds in times like this, thank God!

    1. I totally agree Linda. Thanks for sharing.

      ~Nancy Jill


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