Margarita Writers Group

In Christa’s Own Words

I have so many memories from my childhood and from many other parts of my life, but they are just snapshots. I don’t know how to make them into a story.

Our response is always the same, “Christa, tell us about that memory,” and without any help, the words flow easily and she tells a short story. “Now write it down just the way you told it to us. That will make a wonderful memoir.” But somehow that never seems to work for her. Christa’s writings will have to wait for a while longer.

Over the past few years her life has been filled with crises and personal losses. Her husband died suddenly, her mother passed away, she sold her primary home, and she moved to a new house several hundred miles away. Writing, while of great interest to her, is something she can’t attend to right now. But over many years, Christa has drafted and saved a diary and brief written pieces about those special memories she would like to keep alive for future generations in her family. Once things settle down, maybe even next season, we’ll urge her to try again.

So here we are on March 22, 2018 in our favourite Mexican restaurant sharing margaritas together one last time. Where did the past five months go? Over the next ten days, each of us will be leaving our winter retreat to return to our northern home. Once there, we’ll be consumed by the demands of ordinary lives. The presence of children, grandchildren, elderly loved ones, and long-time friends will restrict the leisure time we have to think and to write. But as we sip that first margarita and talk about the joys, challenges, and conflicts we expect will accompany our northern lives, we realize that these experiences are the fodder for future writings. Pat brings it all into focus when she says, “I’m committed to continue writing while we are apart. Will each of you promise to write just one thing to bring back to Texas this fall?” We’ll bring those stories to our first Margarita Writers Group meeting and while sipping those wonderful margaritas, we’ll pick up where we left off—respecting, encouraging, supporting, and gently critiquing each other’s writing.


Barb, Pat and Christa

From left to right: Barbara Tiessen, Pat Born Smith and Christa Brooks

Barbara Tiessen is a retired RN who lives with her husband in southwestern Ontario but winters in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She researched her genealogy, wrote and self published The Schoenfeld Russlaender: A Mennonite Family's History in 2015. More recently her interest have focused on writing short stories. Pat Born Smith is a retired nonprofit administrator who resides in Maine but heads to South Texas when the snow starts to fly. Among other things, she has written curricula for middle and high school teachers on ethical decision making.
2 Responses
  1. author

    Maggie1 year ago

    Love this short story, hope more to come. You go girls!!!!,,,

  2. author

    James Short9 months ago

    Good setup. Then the descent into alcoholism, the racist slur against out neanderthal ancestor and always… writing. You ladies have written an interesting story of ‘how’,’why’ and ‘where’, approached ‘what’ and ‘when’, and always… margaritas. It’s a love story. And I liked it.


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