"Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."
~~Bil Keane

Hi all,

Happy anniversary, everyone!!!  Fifteen years ago tonight, JABB started with four TBAA weekly viewers joking around about how the John Dye fans needed a 12 Step Program to help them with their addiction.  Who woulda thunk that fifteen years later, JABB would still be going?  Wow.  We've gone from writing about drool buckets to debating the issues of the day.  Not too shabby!  Yay us!  :-)

Unfortunately, this issue is coming right after my return from a week plus vacation with limited computer time.  So there's not as much here as I woulda liked to have included.  However, what is here is sincerely meant.  Whether you've been with us for well over a decade or just recently joined us or simply visit the site every so often, thank YOU for being a part of the John/Andrew Bucket Brigade!

God bless,

So...  What I'd like to do is spend a lil time looking back but also a lil time looking forward.  Here goes...

My Fifteen Favorite Memories of JABB's Fifteenth Year
(more or less in chronological order)

1.  Starting to redo the TBAA Photo Gallery with Season 5 photos from the DVDs.  Be gone, annoying THC logos!  I've just barely started adding Season 7 snaps and am so looking forward to the day when those awful logos are a thing of the past.

2.  Writing the Ode in JABB 366/CABB 17.  Poems and such used to be a fairly consistent part of JABB... not to mention my young adulthood.  However, I hadn't written much if any poetry in years when I sat down to write that one.  For just a little bit, if felt like the good old days when JABB was light and goofy.  It's not that I want to go back to that.  Personally, I like writing the more substantive stuff.  But every so often it's nice to revisit lighter times.

3.  Getting an email from a tutor whose student was using this page for research.  Apparently the boy thought I might want to include a link on Colonial dentistry that he had found.  I most certainly did want to add it and that email made my day!  I hope that studious fellow is continuing to study hard and well and enjoying what he's learning.

4.  This is how much of a nerd I am but writing the Angel Rules part of JABB 369 was crazy fun for me.  I do so love analyzing stuff that has no super serious real world application.  :-)

5.  Writing "Abide With Me."  I'd pretty well abandoned writing serious "issue" stories since finishing "Safe" shortly before John passed away.  And I wasn't very proud of that as it seemed like a cruddy way to honor John... hiding away from real stuff and just constantly writing cutesy, homey stories.  But this plot line came to me and just wouldn't go away.  It also brought Joshua back and, since then, things have been A LOT easier.  And... I will never think of paper clips the same way.

6.  JABB 375- I think it's safe to say that those of us who were around at the time were just pretty much dazed when we worked on the first John's birthday newsletter after his death... only a couple weeks after the fact.  And by the next year I was still in a funk.  So much so that I couldn't even remember what we did for John's 49th birthday (quizzes apparently).  But I genuinely enjoyed working on John's 50th birthday issue and getting help from Rebecca, Cindy, and Nicole.  John is truly unforgettable and if you ever want to see fifty reasons why, look no further!

7.  Putting together "Roots & Wings."  No, it wasn't my most refined story.  But it was fun!  I had a great time reliving a vacation I actually took.  (I saw Hogwarts!)  Plus, I had a blast while actually on the trip because I spent part of it brainstorming how Andrew and Co. would react to various things.  But I really loved the opportunity to glimpse the future just a lil more.  I'm so psyched for JABB in 2014 that I can barely stand it!

8.  "You Might Be a Dyelander If..." in JABB 378.  It may not, at first glance, seem that impressive.  However, it was a rather big return to "normal" for me.  Andrew and LJA penning stuff together used to figure into JABB (both newsletters and the YG) fairly often.  But as with other things, it largely went away after John's death.  But with that... I could do it again!

9.  Yeah, okay, so it's a lot of story stuff on this list...  But I loved writing "The Keeper's Story" because, while he had appeared in other stories, I felt like this was my first chance to start fleshing out who Joshua is as a person.  Plus... it gives the first hint of one of the things I'm so looking forward to about 2014: Joshua playing Jesus (aka himself) in Andrew's production of Jesus Christ Superstar.  Super fun!

10.  The return of "Jenni and Jenni Write JABB."  Again, it was just a matter of reclaiming some of what was lost.  I had left this feature behind cause I was afraid reading my old journals would just make me really sad about John and some personal stuff.  But ya know what?  I had fun cringing at my younger self.  It was definitely okay!

11.  TBAA's Season 7 coming to DVD and the announcement that Season 8 is on its way.  WOO HOO!  I *loved* sending the emails out when I'd get notification from TVshowsonDVD.  Awesomeness!

12.  Writing "Chava."  Not only was it a story that was very much on my heart but it was also the ultimate "back to normal" sign for me.  I was writing that story the night before I learned of John's death.  When I felt up to it, I would peck at it in the days, weeks, and months that followed.  Sometimes I'd only get five or so words out then stop.  Finally, I abandoned it entirely.  But then this spring I felt pulled to finish it.  Now I have and, yes, I do feel like things are normal... well as normal as things can get around here.  ;-)

13.  ::blushes::  I had a very good time writing "Song of Songs."  And I'll just leave it at that. 

14.  Getting new members!  Having folks join us has always been something I looked forward to but as the years have worn on, that's become even more special.  To those of you new this year: I'm so glad to have you with us!!!

15.  Finally getting some new material for the JABBer's Fiction Page courtesy of Kemara.  I'm honored to have your stories included there, Kemara!  To everyone else, I hope you check the page out.

My Sixteen Hopes for JABB's Sixteenth Year
(in no particular order at all)

1.  TBAA's Season 9 on DVD!

2.  Always just a little more writing time!  And the same for all my fellow writers out there.

3.  More peace, less pain.  More joy, less sorrow.  More laughter, less tears.  But also the wisdom to know that sometimes we can hear God best in the pain, sorrow, and tears.

4.  "My mind is clearer now.  At last all too well I can see where we all soon will be.  If you strip away the myth from the man, you will see where we all soon will be."*  So, well, seeing where they all will be.

5.  I hope for a fulfilling year for all our members in their families, among their friends, with their faith, with their careers and at school, in their homes, and in every aspect of their lives.

6.  Lots more fun, lively, and informative discussions on the JABB YG! 

7.  The discovery of new and exciting ways to imbibe caffeine.  ;-)

8.  Writing in Baby Belle... permanently and not just in flash forwards!!! 

9.  Possibly finding out the significance of Andrew's rose...

10.  Rustling up more time to enjoy TBAA, ToD, and all the rest of John's work... even if for the dozenth, fiftieth, hundredth time!

11.  More soundtracks... whether for JABB stories or just JABB in general.  I miss making those and reading the song lists from others.  Just one of those things there never seems to be enough time for.  But given I still listen to the ones that are nearly ten years old... probly worthwhile.

 12.  Finding more ways to honor John's legacy and thanking him for the difference he's made in so many lives.

Maybe... just maybe... finally finding the courage to attempt to make some sort of red velvet something instead of just writing about all these amazing sweets.

14.  That John Dye and TBAA fans who just need to talk with people who "get it" find their way to us.

15.  Visiting more with our current members and growing closer as a group.

16.  Getting more chances to carry on that all important message: God loves you.  Tons.

So that's it!  Once again, happy anniversary to all of you!  Who knows how many more years JABB will be here but I am certainly glad for the years we've had and look forward to however many more there are to come!  God bless you all!

*From "Heaven On Their Minds" from Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.  It's not that this song is hugely significant in "The Carpenter," only that those are the first spoken words in the show.

This newsletter is dedicated to John simply for being so amazing, intriguing, appealing, and awesome that I've been writing or co-writing these newsletters for fifteen years and it seems like so many fewer years.  Time flies when you're having fun! 


JABB 389

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)