Something to Hold On To
Something to Hold on To
by Ann Hajdu Hultberg
In life we hold on to our faith, family, friends, our sense of humor, our memories, and our promises. As a child, it might be a make-believe world. Sometimes it’s something physical like a prayer card or a twist tie, a school bag or a rosary bead. Maybe it’s a photo. Everything we hold dear brings us hope and comfort during both good and bad times.
I write what I and others have held on to; I recount my experiences as a late Baby Boomer raised in rural Pennsylvania, and most importantly, by a Hungarian father, an immigrant, who escaped the Soviet Invasion in 1956.
I hope that you the reader will connect to some of the stories and the things we hold on to.
Read an Excerpt:
from “Mom’s Girdle”
Mom was always losing or fighting with her 18-hour Playtex girdle. It seemed as if this contraption had a mind of its own, wanting to be seen, calling attention to itself, almost like a neon light flashing from a bar window. The trampoline like material sucked in all the fat so clothes appeared smooth and seamless without the ripples of excess pounds. From waist to upper knee, this apparatus was popular with my mom in the 60s and 70s. Her belly was flattened and thighs were made to look slimmer, something she said she needed after birthing four kids. These ghost white undergarments were a staple in mom’s underwear drawer.
The first time Mom lost a hold of her girdle was when she was out shopping, and the elastic, which had been shriveling on the waist band, probably from its years of wear, let loose. Like a broken rubber band snapping off a pony tail, the entire garment fell to her knees. Though in public, with many eyes upon her, mom simply shimmied the girdle down to her ankles, like a girl slinking down a fashion show runway; she peeled it off her ankles, and with a kick, tossed the girdle in the air like a spinning pizza crust. She grabbed at it and stuffed the undergarment in her purse as carefree as she would a wad of Kleenex. She continued on with her shopping.
About the Author:
Ann Hajdu Hultberg, born in Buffalo, New York, grew up in rural Bradford, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and St. Bonaventure University, Ann spent 34 years teaching English at Limestone, NY, and Allegany, NY, School Districts; she was also an adjunct college composition instructor and student teacher supervisor at University of Pittsburgh at Bradford for 15 years. She and her husband split their time between Bradford and Naples, Florida, and visiting with their daughter and son-in-law. Something To Hold On To is her debut book.
Q&A With the Author:
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I had so many stories stored in my brain; it was a relief to get them on paper! I have a pretty good memory, and I loved reliving those days, whether in childhood or as an adult. Some stories were hard to write, such as when my mom died and another time when we had to put our dog to sleep. Other times I laughed out loud recalling the story about my mom’s girdle or when I, as a toddler, innocently tortured my younger brother. I always wanted to write my dad’s story about his escape from Hungary in 1956. I have six stories dedicated to his life while in Hungary and then his assimilation to the American way of life.
Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?
Yes. I am working on a memoir in pieces. I am writing about my dad during the Siege on Budapest in WWII and also more details about his actual escape during the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. I am also including other survival stories. Survival can take on different meanings and degrees of seriousness. It can mean survival in war, in the takeover of one’s country. It can mean surviving everyday ordeals, phobias, illness, loss. It can also mean living and appreciating others, nature, and animals.
Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?
I am presently promoting my debut book, SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO STORIES OF COURAGE, PERSEVERANCE, AND LOVE. I speak at various book clubs and organizations and hold book signings with different vendors. At the same time I am working on my second book, which will probably take another year or so to complete. Then it’s time to find an editor, query, and hopefully be selected by a small press for publication.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing and submitting my stories to literary magazines and journals five years ago. A year ago this month I published my first book.
Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?
My goal was to take what was personal to me and make it universal to the readers. For example, I wrote about the day we had to put our dog to sleep in “Ashes to Ashes.” Many people have experienced the same loss and aftermath when a family pet dies. If anyone has raised a teenager, they will appreciate the story “The Fun Sucker,” a name my daughter gave me during those tough early teen years. I wrote about the “joy” of living with a 13-14 year old. You will laugh at “A Case of Mistaken Identity,” when I recalled a story where my daughter’s then boyfriend, now husband, thought our blue PM Tylenol pills were Viagra pills. I celebrated ageing in “Lessons Learned from Octogenarians.” I described three vibrant women as role models for us younger women.
I include over forty stories in this essay collection. I hope my readers both laugh and cry at these poignant moments in our lives.
Ann can be found on Facebook as Ann Hajdu Hultberg. Her Twitter handle is @HajduAnn and Instagram is annelizabeth59. https://www.facebook.com/ann.hultberg
Her book is available on:
Ann Hajdu Hultberg will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway