pat's beach picturejpgWhen someone said they were busily writing their obituary,  I thought about that for a moment. Mine would be very short: Born: December 19, 1935. Died…..?  Thank God I’m still waiting to fill in that blank.

I’ve traveled this journey looking for what I want to be when I grow up and I’d better hurry  because there aren’t  many calendar years left according to the statistics.  I have learned to take it one day at a time and ask myself at the end of the day: “Did you earn your salt today?”  This is an old adage from my parents’ day reflecting on the need for salt in our nutritional diets.


A young me at Cannon Beach, Oregon


Married at 19.  My husband was concerned about my education, or lack there of, and signed me up for Chemistry (his field.)  I deferred, politely, of course.  Tried my hand at writing.  Published a few books along the way: Under The Haystack, 1973, (Thomas Nelson) nominated for the Newbery Award.  When my agent  (McIntosh and Otis) called me to tell me, there was dead silence from my end.  “You do know what The Newbery Award is don’t you?”  She must have heard the shaking of my head.  “Well.”  Silence, I could hear her searching for the words, “Put it this way, you just qualified for Wimbledon where men and women compete on the same level.”  THAT I understood, “And, you have been reviewed in The New York Times.”  An option for the movie rites was sold to a Canadian firm.  Jodi Foster was to play the leading role.  Alas, the option was dropped.

Well, you can imagine how puffed up I was about the nomination–I was a  writer.

I  Sat down to write another book: Promise of Moonstone.

Sent it off to my agent expecting great things.  “Sorry.”  One year later she returned the manuscript, “There’s no market for this.”  Well, of course there was a market for it.  It took me a year, sold it to Beaufort Books.

Review:  “…melodramatic, cliche ridden…”  I won’t bore you with the rest.  Devastated.  Then I thought about it, aha, ripe for television.


I decided to take a break from writing.  I’m not a sedentary person and found sitting did not do great things for my posterior.

Profession?    Chef, Procurer of goods, psychiatrist/mother of three, one husband (still adjusting after 60 years,) housekeeper. chauffeur.  Education?   No grand diplomas, a few certificates: Platform Tennis Pro, (a few trophies for winning some paddle/tennis tournaments.)  Managed to keep busy (did I mention the three children born in three years…probably.)

Established  L&L Developers a minority-owned  construction company.   Both sons, just graduating from college,  joined me.  (Ron, a chemist at Kodak, was my “silk” under ware.) What makes me wonder about women supporting women is a comment from my site engineer.  “What did you ever do to that woman?”  (A woman on the planning board.)  Take note, Hillary.

“I don’t even know  her, never met her.”

“Well, she’s trying to stop you on ever issue.”

Building houses was easy compared to land development:  Twenty-five, five–acre sites.  On paper it looked possible.  Trudging up that muddy road that was over a year in the making made me wonder.  Sycamore Run was a unique community for Rochester, a blending of land and house designs, contemporary and traditional.


Scan 6 Scan 2



Scan 5Lake house 2









Twenty years later, and many interesting experiences, I retired from L&L and returned to writing.  LJ’s voice nudged, would not let me rest.  Her journals lay, unread, in her home-made chest for over twenty years now.  The sands in my hourglass were falling faster. She needed me to write her book, thus a self-published book, When Love is Not Enough  Chronicles of LauraJo was born.  It shares  our family journey with our  beautiful, talented daughter who succumbed (suicide) to a then, unrecognized mental illness, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD. At that time, (mid 70’s) most of the medical profession considered it a “wastebasket” diagnosis and those who encountered it, diagnosed the cause as: ” Abusive” parents.

It took me twenty years to bring myself to read LJ’s journals, five years to write the book and now I would like to think I could lie back on my lounge and “Live Happily ever After.”  Don’t I wish.  If I thought writing the book was difficult, I am now trying to learn about the computer, create my marketing strategy…hell, damn and spit, someone has hacked into my blog and…!!!  First act of marketing: creating my own publishing company, Pat’s Publishing, partnering with Amazon/Createspace, and then there’s web pages:  http://www.patengebrecht.com, blogs, meta tags, categories, etc., etc., etc.!  And I can barely speak English.

I’m confused.  But, another chapter in my life is “To Be Continued,” I hope.







  • By Nini, March 6, 2015 @ 5:15 PM

    Dear Pat,

    I had no idea you were so talented, what I just red here has me awestruck. I cannot imagine nobody has commented before. I hope you get to read this. Please keep it coming.


    # 125

  • By Pat Engebrecht, March 13, 2015 @ 2:42 PM

    Thanks, Nini…I enjoy creating. Readers are my teachers. Blog and web page creation have been a challenge…alas, seem to be forgetting almost as fast as I’m learning, but one of these days it will become a true “memory.” Pat

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