Saturday, September 19, 2020

Good Things Happen, Too by Merri Maywether

My first library class of the school year begins with wide-eyed five-year-olds. I have them sit on the ABC rug and read a story about being nice to our books. They appropriately gasp in horror at damaged books. 

For years, I will see these children, suggesting books they might like, listening to them read, and developing a rapport. 

On the last day of sixth grade, the rest of the school holds hands London Bridge style, forming a school length human tunnel. The kids chant, “On to Jr. High,” as a celebratory send-off, and I am at the end of the line with a welcome sign. 

They are in a new building, but they are safe. The same person who greeted them on the first day of school will be with them as their middle school reading, writing, study hall teacher.. and librarian. 

This year’s seventh-grade class lost out on the tradition. They also missed out on the end of the year camping trip, and there were no goodbye hugs from the sixth-grade teacher. 

I heard about it on the first day of school. And the litany of 2020 woes began. 

We had been in school for two weeks when I had had enough. People all over the country are facing unimaginable uncertainty. Our class sizes are so small, we were able to return to in-person school. The summer weather afforded our farmers abundant crops.

I had to put a stop to the negativity. My ponytail wagged as I spoke with emphasis. “Sometimes, bad things happen. We can’t blame a year for everything that goes wrong.”  That was code for, I hate to say it, kids, but you’ve been losing your favorite pencil at the craft center for years.  “That and 2020 has brought us good things.” 

Of course, they challenged me. “Name one.” 

Without missing a beat, I declared. “That’s easy. I get to see you for three hours every day, and that makes me happy.” I gestured my I told you so with my hands. “So while 2020 has had its struggles, it has brought me something amazing, too.”

Obviously stunned, eleven of my twelve students straightened.  The twelfth, a wiry, freckle-faced boy whose voice has the starting to change low tones, said, “I don’t think you’ll feel that way once you get to know me.” 

The moment was sealed in our hearts with the laughter that ensued.  

This year is rough. However, the fires of frustration have yielded some gold. My husband learned to wash dishes. We are grateful for our meals, whatever they contain.  We talk to more frequently to our children. The biggest takeaway, we have learned to love life when she isn’t perfect. 

Meet Merri Maywether

Twenty years ago, Merri Maywether went on a date with a very sweet man from Montana. Three weeks later, they were engaged and they have lived happily ever after. 


If you are looking for a feel-good, happily ever after, small-town experience, I have a story for you. When I write my romance novels, the characters are inspired by the people I see on a day to day basis. Up here in what I like to call the far, far north, people work hard, live fiercely, and love knowing that they have a community behind them. When I'm not writing, I'm testing out an adventure that will end up in a book or trying a character's favorite recipe

If you're looking for more titles or quick reads visit my website Small Town Stories 


  1. With a good attitude like yours, your year will definitely be better.

  2. Thank you for sharing your positive outlook, Merri!

  3. Indeed, 2020 is definitely the worse year of our lives however, it helps us to learn a lot of things like spend money on your necessities rather than luxuries and brings families together.