Hello and welcome!
Today I have a wonderful lady who I met a while ago and she is my hero. I want to be her when I grow up 😉
Please welcome Grandma Kate!
What is your full name?
I was born Katherine Marie Wesley, in northern Virginia in 1921. When I was twenty-two years old, I became Katherine Wesley Benedict. She leans forward, smiles and pats my hand. But you can call me Grandma Kate, dear.
The sound of movement from behind catches my attention.
This is my daughter-in-law, Bernice. She’s been kind enough to bring us tea as well as some of the wonderful pecan cookies that our Anna makes.
Anna just dropped these off this morning, Bernice says. They’re a particular weakness of mine. She sets everything out and then nods to Kate. Bernice looks at me, laying her hand on my shoulder in a motherly way, and says, Enjoy. Then leaves the room, wheeling the cart out.
I continue with my questions… Oh those cookies are goooood YUM
Do you have a nickname?
Well… Grandma Kate is blushing My Patrick loved to call me ‘angel’. Gerald, mind you, could say ‘baby’ with such passion. She looks off to the distance for a moment before meeting my gaze once more. Now, I suppose, you could say that ‘Grandma’ is my nickname. It’s what most everyone calls me. And I must confess that of all the roles I’ve enjoyed in my life, next to wife, of course, I like being a grandmother—and a great-grandmother—the best.
What is one word best that describes you?
Grandma Kate thinks for a moment. Nurturing. Nothing is more important to me than the members of my family. Of course, not all of them have the last names of Benedict, Kendall, or Jessop. Often in life, the only family we have is the one we either are born into or marry into. Isn’t it so much nicer to decide that some of the dear souls we encounter along the way are family, too?
Describe what you are wearing now to our readers.
Kate grins. I’m wearing a tee-shirt and a pair of yoga pants. I was just finishing up my daily exercises when Henry dropped you off. By the way, I do hope the helicopter ride from the airport in Dallas was a pleasant experience for you.
Oh yes, it was! Thank you! Henry is such a charmer 😀
What makes you laugh out loud?
Oh, any number of things. Laughter is so important. Did you know that it’s physically impossible for your body to grow ulcers and produce laughter at the same time? Trust me on this, I used to be a nurse. She pauses to take a sip of her tea. There is joy all around us, Eniko. Joy is the foundation of happiness and laughter and do you know the best thing of all? We’re each of us capable of creating joy whenever we want to. We simply have to choose to do so.
What is your favourite dessert?
I have to admit I’m awfully partial to my granddaughter, Tracy’s cream puffs. My, but she has a very fine hand with pastries and desserts, and those are her very best. I don’t indulge in a lot of sweets, but those cream puffs? Heavenly. Why, even my dear friend Grace Warner from over in Divine will come to Lusty, from time to time, to get some of those cream puffs for those handsome husbands of hers.
What is your favourite drink?
I like my coffee, and I like my tea—both what you up North call “iced tea”, as well as hot tea. I’ve been known to drink the occasional glass of wine or bottle of beer. But most usually, it’s coffee with breakfast and sometimes after supper—and tea the rest of the day.
What is your greatest fear?
I can’t say I have any real personal fears at this point in my life. Except, perhaps, for this one. I would hate for anyone in the family to doubt, for even one moment, their value, their worth or the fact that they are loved. Oh, there’s so much anger in this world, isn’t there? And not to mention a distinct lack of civility lately. Some people who feel less than mistakenly believe they can make themselves feel more important if they diminish others. But that has never worked, has it? I’m particularly proud of the fact that attitude is completely absent in my family.
What is your favourite colour?
Both of my husbands, my Gerald and my Patrick, had eyes of nearly the same shade—a soft, dreamy brown. Their eyes were, and remain, my favorite color.
What is the perfect romantic date?
Sweet girl, the romance comes, not from the what, but from the who. The perfect romantic date is being with the one—or the ones—you love. You don’t need fancy restaurants, or grand, lavish expensive gestures. You only need heart. You only need the pure desire to spend time together. Those can be moments that take your breath away! And when you recall those romantic dates, as you get older, it’s the who—and the words, the touches, the emotion in those moments that you remember.
What’s your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
Oh, I’ve so many! Aren’t the olfactory senses a marvelous memory bank? Have you ever strolled down a street, or entered a room, and suddenly, you smell something—and a feeling of comfort comes over you? You don’t know why, but that aroma, that scent, seems to stir some distant, half buried memory within you.
I love the smell of bacon frying in the morning, although I rarely eat it anymore. Even though I’ve been in Texas for most of my life, I can still recall the scents from my mother’s garden, when I was a girl. In the part of Virginia where I grew up, lilacs weren’t overly common, but my mother had two great trees that she loved dearly. She also had lily-of-the-valley planted in the shady corners of our yard. And in the spring, the two scents, combined…growing up that was my favorite smell of all.
What are the most important traits in a man?
Honesty, integrity, charity. These three, in my mind, are absolutely the most important traits any man can possess. An honest man will never lie. A man of integrity will always strive to do the right thing. A man with charity in his heart will never belittle another and will, instead, go the extra mile when and where there is need. A man who possesses these three traits will never doubt his own worth, and therefore will never belittle another person to try to make himself feel big at someone else’s expense. A man who possess these three traits will be a blessing to the woman he loves, and the children they share.
What would be the most important advice you would give women?
Know and believe that you are beautiful, just as you are. It’s not the skin that is beauty, nor is it the hair, nor is it bone structure. It’s not the weight or the circumference of your middle. All those things, at their base, are matters of genetics, really. True beauty comes from the heart. Our society puts far too much emphasis on outward appearance and not nearly enough on the light within. The greatest damage this causes is that women especially, and beginning when we’re just young girls, tend to feel as if we don’t quite ‘measure up’.
Every woman is beautiful in her own, unique way. So I say to every single woman reading this: know your own value; embrace your own beauty. Be your own champion and your own best friend.
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Oh, my. That’s a question, isn’t it? Imagine my surprise when I first met Morgan—or Cara, if you prefer—and realized that she knew me so well. It didn’t take me long to understand that her intentions were for the good. She wanted to tell my story, and the stories of so many of those I love, to show women, and yes, men, that they aren’t alone in the challenges they face, or the emotions that can sometimes cripple a good heart.
She wanted to show that obstacles can be overcome, and that achieving your heart’s desire is possible. Her faith in love, in the reality of it, the possibility of it, is astounding. You only need to believe—and then step out on faith.
So yes, she’s done a damn good job so far.
I know you have so many fans in the reader community, can you tell us a little of your story for those who do not know you?
First, let me say, I’m quite astounded to know how many readers love me! That is a blessing I never expected to be mine.
As to my story, I would have said, it wasn’t particularly unique, and yet—and going back to women and their own self-perceptions—I know that in some ways, it is. I was born in 1921, as I said, just after the first Great War. It was a transformative time. The world had not only suffered horrible losses in global battles, but swiftly on the heals of that conflict, was the first great pandemic—The Spanish Flu. That pandemic killed more people than did the war itself—estimates range from 20 to 40 million people died from that horrible disease!
With those two facts as the ‘bedding in my crib’ if you will, is it any wonder I wanted to be a nurse? And of course, after Pearl Harbor, I immediately joined the Army Nurse Corps. My mother wasn’t pleased. She wanted me to marry a socially prominent man and live a socially prominent life. I don’t blame her for that. She was, as we all are, a product of her times.
The big turn my life took happened because of the most seeming inconsequential of decisions. That decision, in this case, was attending a USO sponsored dance one Saturday night. I loved dancing, and there weren’t that many young women attending them, per se. I thought at the time that dancing with a few of our brave young men who would soon have to face the horrors of war, was the very least I could do.
Grandma Kate stares off into the distance for just a moment. Her voice takes on an almost dreamy quality. I can still hear that song. I can close my eyes, and the scene is right there before me, Glen Miller’s Pennsylvania 6-5000 performed by the local orchestra, the music slightly muted by the closed doors of the hall. I’d stepped out for a breath of air. The night was warm, peaceful. And then two men stepped out of the hall to join me—two Majors, and brothers, at that. Apparently, they’d had their eye on me, both of them, for a couple of weeks!
Grandma Kate meets my gaze. That was the moment that changed everything, that began a series of events that have brought me here. Their grandmother, Sarah Carmichael Benedict, unbeknownst to me at the time, pulled a few strings, and I found myself promoted, and installed as the Nurse Administrator of a convalescent home in a small town in Texas with the unlikely name of Lusty. Grandma Kate’s smile grows. Oh, those two flyboys wooed me, and yes, they won me. We had a wonderful marriage, a wonderful life. We shared five children—eight, including their spouses; and so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren that I need a chart to keep track of them all. Her smile is huge. How grateful I am for the life I’ve been given!
What does the future hold for the readers of the series?
Morgan has shared a few tidbits with me, of course, but I have given my word to not divulge too much. I will tell you that she’s promised to keep writing stories of Lusty, Texas for as long as her readers want to read them.
I was actually the one who suggested that her readers might also be interested in learning more about some of the very fascinating men and women who belong to the Lyon’s Den, that club owned by Christopher Lyons. What an interesting man he is. She leans forward. I may be in my nineties, but I know more than a thing or two, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with anything that people who love and care for each other wish to do together in private. Sitting back she continues. It seems that handsome Ramon Estevez and that very charming Clint Parrish aren’t the only law enforcement officers who belong to Christopher Lyon’s club. And, oh, what adventures some of them are going to have!
I’ve been trying to get the map to Lusty from Ms. Morgan for a while now, with no success, would you share it with me? 😉
Now, Eniko, Morgan has given you every hint as to how to find Lusty. She did promise not to divulge our exact location—we are entitled, to our privacy, after all. But if you read her books faithfully, and if the need is great, you’ll find us. Lusty is right here, waiting for those who need her the most. All you really have to have, is faith.
I WISH I WISH I WISH sigh
Thank you Grandma Kate for taking the time to chat with me, I absolutely loved it. Looking forward to seeing you again 😀
Well… what do you think? I hope you enjoyed the chat as much as I did.
If you didn’t read the Lusty, Texas Series by Cara Covington yet, I hope you will. Many of the fans will tell you the same, the stories are amazing. Grandma Kate is an icon in the Lusty stories and loved by all.
Cara Covington is the pen name of Morgan Ashbury, has many published books under both names. I love all the books I read so far and I totally recommend them, the wonderful world she created where life happens, but love always wins. If you missed my chat with her in March, 2015, check it out here.
To get in touch, keep up to date, check out the website • blog , also Cara Covington Facebook • Morgan Ashbury Facebook and say hello from me.
Here are the links where you can check out the books:
• Cara Covington – Bookstrand • Amazon • Goodreads
• Morgan Ashbury – Bookstrand • Amazon • Goodreads
To start you on your reading journey, Ms. Ashbury is giving away two ebook box sets to two lucky readers, The Love Under Collection, Volume 1 and Magic and Love Box Set. Chosen by Sexy Mr. Random, the winners will be announced after 3pm EST, Monday, November 7, 2016. GOOD LUCK!
Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!