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#Why do we Low-Carbers know her as Jungle Jen? and exactly why does she live so far away in S. America?
A Low-Carb Love story ...Based on a true story!
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How many girls dream of what they will wear on their wedding day, what they will look like as they walk down the isle on their dad's arm with the string quartet playing a wedding march while their mom sits in the front row, dabbing her eyes with a tissue, sobbing (not so quietly) and up ahead of her stands the priest, her groom, the bride's maids, the best-man? What happens if, to get all that, you have to marry someone you like (even a lot), someone your mom likes even more, someone fabulously wealthy, connected with royalty and who can give you most everything material you will ever want - but he's not your true-love, not the man you dreamed would be standing there waiting for you? What leads up to this? Well, let's just say that you're 16 and you fall in love, but nobody else takes it seriously - except a mother who thinks that she knows what's best for you and your future. So she works tirelessly to foil any and all attempts at being with your true-love, and insists that you date, love and marry her choice of husband. What if you resist all her pressure? Well, if the mother is obsessive and controlling, always getting her way within her family, that epic battle of wills can get extremely ugly - sometimes even downright deadly! But it's your life, and you have to stand your ground - in this case for 7 years, 7 months and 7 days till marriage #1 ... But she denies you a wedding, a dress and your dad's participation. Then, even when it seems you've won, what if this mother just redoubles her efforts and will stop at nothing to see your marriage and family destroyed, you broken and forced to live back with her again - alone, without even your children, totally under her control ... or failing that, she wants you dead. What then? That battle of wills has raged on for 43 years, and counting. Even with imminent death staring her in the face, the old "queen" is still as angry and aggressive as ever. She's hounded her older daughter across 3 continents, driving her to the brink of suicide several times - then callously redoubled her efforts to push her over that edge, disowned her and gave her dad an ultimatum - "Forget about your daughter and grandchildren - or else I will leave you!" For 2 sisters life couldn't be more different. One stood up for her right to live her own life, and nearly died. The other gave in to her mother's pressure, ending up with no life or family of her own, a totally broken person who, now in her 50's, is her mother's captive. She was forced by the mother, to abort her first son, married secretly, had another little boy and lived far away from her mother. Her mother worked tirelessly to sabotage her marriage, driving her to suicide, is phoned by the RCMP and told her daughter is in hospital, not expected to live. Unmoved, she leaves her to die there alone, far away. The RCMP then notifies her older sister and she immediately flies out to be at her sister's bedside, until she (miraculously) awakes from her coma, days later - then the mother swoops in removing her to the other end of Canada, forcing her to cede custody of her little boy to her husband. Both sisters have had to deal with a very destructive mother, but even though the older sister also had everything thrown at her, she found the way out, escaped and survived. Jungle-Jen has lived in a variety of cottages hidden deep within forests in N. America - but always the queen managed to find her and then all of hell broke loose. So naturally she's moved a lot! She's owned properties hidden deep within the forests of the Niagara escarpment (near Niagara falls) and in W. Montana, Florida, Hawaii, British Columbia, Alberta and now, finally, S. America (in the middle of a dense Jungle). It's been the safest place yet, as it's one of the most inhospitable and pristine Jungles left in the world. The old queen is turning 83 and bubbling over with rage and frustration at having been outwitted by her daughter - but is just not able to search all of S. America for her - time's run out! So Jungle-Jen is finally safe. The flip-side of all of this is that though life's been dangerous, it's also been an adventure. She left BC, Canada on a 23 day 11,000km journey to her new home in the Jungles of S. America and though this epic family voyage was fraught with new dangers, with every couple of days and 1,000km, the relief from the old persistent dangers posed by such a relentless foe, was very tangible and most welcome! So now you know a little more. But how, when and where did it all begin? If you like stories in which the underdog wins in the end - you're going to love these novels!
Dec 21st, 1971 - Sweet 16, an unforgettable summer romance, a private "secret
place" - But then the agony of love-lost, and an honest, passionate
Their "Secret place", Dec
1971, Elizabeth and Nicholas make a wish in the Wilderness
National Park, S. Africa. 7 years ago, their wish came true in a
National Park deep within S. America.
"When you wish upon a star ... it matters not who, or where,
you are! Everything your heart desires
will come to you" ...
Christmas 2013 will mark 43 Christmas eve's since Elizabeth and Nicholas met at 15/16 - only 1 of which was spent apart (because of wars, not by choice) ... and during that first Christmas, which is summer vacation in the S. Hemisphere, while everyone was heading for the golden shores of the warm, fun Indian ocean, Nicholas took Lizzie in the opposite direction - upstream, in a canoe, rowing her deep into the canyons, until all that could be heard was the birds ... and the approaching sound of their "secret place". There, all alone, they got to swim, and laugh and dream together. There they learned everything about each other that they could - well, at least as much as was expedient at their age. As for the rest, they developed a rather novel coping strategy, described in "Summer Love" Vol-1 - which served them well for at least a few years. The waterfalls pictured above are twin waterfalls, cascading down the cliffs, side by side. The river feeding it splits in two around a small hill in the jungles high above. Thus two waterfalls coexist, forever, some 100 yards apart. Both of them have pools ideal for swimming in, then the river flows from those pools and joins up again some 200yards down-stream. The waterfall on the right is called "Romeo" .. and the other one? Why "Juliet", of course. And that is where this 43 year old love-story ends "happily ever after" ... in a land "far, far away". That is where our Jungle Jen ended up, for 7yrs already, this Christmas. But really, it's exactly the way it all began. Life's come full-circle. Love's come full circle. Vol-1 "Summer Love" introduces the characters, and naturally it starts off very gentle (they're only 15 & 16) - but as the series progresses, they mature, as in real life, and the passion between two healthy 17/18/19/20/21 year old sweethearts intensifies, testing their combined wills and self-control. So they develop a rather novel coping strategy - but as we all know those only last "so long", so what then? Well, there's one sensible last, permanent solution ... a wedding, but the problem is Nicholas is definitely NOT the approved choice of "the Queen" (in this story, that's Elizabeth's extremely controlling mother) and so, after so many passionate summer romances, she forces Lizzie to leave Africa, for good, to far-away Canada, separating the two lovers forever. Nicholas sells all he has and travels to Canada to rescue Lizzie - but is defeated by yet another of the queen's terribly cruel plots. Lizzie pleads the case for their love - to no avail! So, in utter desperation, as he is forced to leave Elizabeth behind in Canada, Nicholas says to her: "Lizzie, You know I love you - I always have, and I always will! So I will wait, faithfully, for you in far-away Africa, for 7 years, 7 months and 7 days from the 21st of Dec 1971 - the day we first met. That's Saturday 28th July 1979. On that day I will return to our secret place - together with you, or alone without you, one last time. You will either break my heart irreparably, or make me the happiest man alive. Now Lizzie, it's all up to you. You have to set the date for our wedding - anytime from now till then, sooner rather than later. Find a way to return to me in Africa, please ... come with me to our secret place again - we still have one of our 7 wishes left to make! Please return there, with me, and let's make that one last remaining wish together ... and if you do, I solemnly promise that I will love you, and only you, passionately! Devotedly! Forever!" Well, remember now, in Vol-5, "The queen's proposal", Lizzie ends up engaged to her mother's choice, Charles (in the book) in real-life a spoiled school-chum of Prince Andrew, a Londoner with a very rich dad. At the back of Book-5, is a copy of a page in Lizzie's passport showing her leaving Africa in Oct 1978, entering as an immigrant into Canada 2 days later, then travelling to London, England in December 1979. So the big question is: Can a teenage summer-love last the ravages of time and distance - and the determined opposition of a mother and her chosen son-in-law? Can it mature and grow into an adult love? Can it ever blossom into marriage? Did it ever really stand a chance? Well, life's been an adventure ... and were it not for a very determined old matriarch who has never flinched in her determination to control her daughter's life, this would be a 2-page short-story - and not stretch to 7 novels. But, as in all fairy-tales, it's unflinching evil that drives these stories, and in real-life that's exactly what happened too! It's tough to rise above all of life's challenges, at the best of times, but if a parent is determined to control, or failing that to destroy the life of a child - and if that child feels bound by the "Honor your parents - or else!" command, it becomes an almost impossible task! Well, there is one small glimmer of hope - and it's a perfectly acceptable out ... what happens when a parent (in their zealousness for total-control) formally (and I mean formally!) disowns a child, saying: "You are no longer my daughter, I will forget I ever had you - and get myself another daughter!" Those are terribly cruel words (and they were her exact words) designed to break the last remnants of resistance of a daughter, and dutifully delivered to Elizabeth by the Royal Canadian Mounted police, no less (and how exactly this queen cons them into being her henchman, is unbelievably canny). Those words broke the real-life Elizabeth's heart. But God's really expert at picking up the pieces of a shattered life and providing a much better option - what if then, instead of pleading with her mother, finally, that daughter simply accepts her fate? Is she still bound to do as her mother demands? What of her mother's demands that she steer well clear of God, Jesus, Christianity etc? Is she still honor bound to respect her mother's wishes? Was she ever - even before being formally disowned? Well, Lizzie is, by the very words and demands of her birth-mother, no longer her daughter - officially! Thus by all that's fair and decent, she is free to finally pick up the broken pieces and go on to live her own life ... AND for once in her life, she had no impediment to joining God's family! Elizabeth is one of the first characters in these novels to ask to be adopted into God's family - and it was a life changer! In fact, it was a story changer! Without her doing so, this story was set to end abruptly - and to do so very sadly! Some parents just plain old work for the "other guy", as the queen in this story did (and still does at 83!) Sometimes we really do need a new loving, functional family to replace a totally dysfunctional birth-family. Well clearly Lizzie's life went from nice, to lovely, to challenged, to sad, to horrible, to bad, to better, to good, to wonderful, to awesome ... and finally, to happily ever after in a land far, far away! A real-life fairy-tale ending! But what happens to the loose ends? Does Lizzie make it back to Africa from Canada in time to marry her true-love, Nicholas - or does he end up alone at their waterfall on Saturday 28th of July, 1979. Does Lizzie end up breaking his heart? Well, book-7 is called "Reunited", and it does contain many opportunities for reunification - but thanks to the villains, it also contains many real-life obstacles designed to foil true-love from ever winning. There was no slam-dunk in the offing, not by any means, as in real-life, evil villains do not just give up and go away - they always find ways to get their way and sabotage any happily ever-after. Every victory comes at a very steep price, and defeats abound. Evil people see that as their "Job #1", and it seems they take it very seriously. Everything Lizzie and Nicholas try, is ultimately thwarted! So their own "best-efforts", fail - but not for a lack of trying. But let's not forget that miracles can and do happen. So with only hours to spare and with all human hope dwindling fast, exactly 7 years, 7 months and 7 days after they first met and fell in love, there's only one last-ditch, long-shot, slim chance remaining - to pull victory out of the jaws of so many years of cruel defeats ... and so it was that, on Sat 28th, July 1979, just a few hours before the clock struck midnight to end that final day ... well now, why should I tell you what actually happens next - Read the books ... but do be prepared to be exasperated - and above all, be really thankful that for you it wont last quite as long as the 7 years, 7 months and 7 days it actually lasted for Elizabeth! PS. Ultimately, the RCMP, realizing that they've been used for evil purposes, make amends to Lizzie for their monumental gaff - and they end up playing a pivotal role in Lizzie's escape to freedom ... but you'll have to wait until book-7 and book-8 to find out just how that happens. It's a sad fact that evil drives the human story. It forces us to constantly react, adapt and strive to just just survive - let alone to thrive. But without it, there's also no story. It's worth noting that in real-life, to date, 6 of the 7 wishes from the 1970's that Elizabeth and Nicholas made in their "Secret place", have come true, some rather mysteriously - nevertheless, they can now be legitimately disclosed (and they are, starting in Vol-2) ... BUT the final (the 7th) wish, has not come true yet, so it will remain a secret for many, many years to come (at least I pray that remains the case) - but destiny demands that one day that it too will come true.
(1) Click on any cover (below) to go
KINDLE editions ...
Elizabeth in these novels (Jennifer in real-life) ends up getting married 3 times on 3 Continents - not a simple renewing of vows, real bona fide marriages using her maiden name again - once in Africa as a young woman, then later in Helena, MT USA and then later in South America. The problem is, NOT ONE of those marriages was approved of by her very controlling Victorian mother. Why? When Elizabeth was 17, she had set her daughter up to meet, then later to marry Charles (not his real name) - a school friend of Prince Andrew, the son of a fabulously rich British textile tycoon. With Charles, Elizabeth got to enjoy the life-styles of the rich and famous, chauffeur driven in Mercedes Limos. But Elizabeth remembered fondly meeting Nicholas, on the 21st of Dec 1971 (Summer, Christmastime in the S. Hemisphere) at 16y. Nicholas is a Dr's son that she spent all of the summers of her youth with, at the seaside each year, in the pristine Wilderness National park, along the sandy white shores of the warm Indian ocean at the southern tip of Africa. Nicholas adored Lizzie! He loved Elizabeth with a steadfast passion - and she loved and trusted him, more than anyone else in the world. But that was not good enough for her mother. She wanted Elizabeth to marry Charles ... "Marry him first, fall in love with him later!" She told Elizabeth, then set about making sure that Charles was Elizabeth's only practical choice. For 7 years, 7 months and 7 days that battle of wills between mother and daughter, raged on, unabated. Elizabeth got engaged to Charles - and it seemed that all was now lost. Constance had won ... Then Serendipity intervened - actually it was more like a Miracle. But then Constance took her daughter to Canada - far, far away from Nicholas, and closer to Charles! It was a helpless feeling. That's about as far away from Cape Town as one can get on this earth! Back in the 70's there was no email, Internet, cheap phone calls, cheap airfares, instant messaging - only the mail, with a 3-5 weeks turnaround between letters - which were intercepted and destroyed, and all phone calls were screened. But before Lizzie was forced to leave, Nicholas (then engaged to her) was asked, by Lizzie, when they were ever to be married? Nicholas replies (abridged version) ... "Lizzie, everything I've tried has failed. We need a miracle now. Now it's up to you. I will wait 7y, 7m and 7d from the day we first met, for you to return to me of your own free will. It's you now who must decide on the date of our wedding. Just you tell me when and where, and I will be there!" Despite the concerted efforts and dirty tricks of her mother to make sure Lizzie did not make it back to Africa, and to Nicholas, in time - even despite being disowned for daring to return to Africa against her mother's wishes - without any help, not even with a wedding dress, Lizzie worked and saved and returned to Africa, alone. Nicholas, not knowing all that Lizzie is trying to do, starts to lose hope. Despondent, he travels alone to be in their "Secret place" on last time. Days later, on Sat 28th of July, 1979, with only hours left to spare, Elizabeth forced, to fly standby, manages to return to Africa, to Cape Town, only to find Nicholas already gone - but she has a good idea where he will be! Lizzie hurriedly leaves for the Wilderness, to search for him ... to their "Secret place" - their Waterfall, hoping to meet him there and be together again. Will she make it in time? Will he be there waiting for her, as he promised? Well now, you're just going to have to read these books to discover what happened next - and everything else in-between. But be prepared for a real-life, wild roller-coaster ride! If you like stories of love-found, lost, found again, lost seemingly forever, miraculously found again, then forcibly lost, then purposely found again, then almost lost forever ... and you can return in your mind to your high-school years, to summer vacations ... AND you can appreciate genuine mutual attraction and passion at that age, then you're going to enjoy these romance novels - and of course, they're based on a true story!
Lizzie, a river's tranquil pool, a sandy beach, canoe, jungle,
waterfall ... Their "Secret Place" far away from summer vacation
crowds at the seaside.
The "Secret Place" revealed (43 Christmases later) ...
In 1971 and the rest of the 1970's the Wilderness was primarily a commercial seaside resort. Nobody ventured upstream into the canyons towards the waterfall, rather they all flocked to the magnificent beaches and warm Indian ocean with it's lovely waves, or water-skied on the lower reaches of the Touws river as it formed a giant lagoon, being artificially dammed up just before it entered the sea. This forced the water to back up way into the canyons, and one had to venture very far into the mountains to find the river to be still flowing - that had the happy side effect of making the upper reaches of the river more accessible by canoe, almost like a giant dam. Mostly it was just a placid winding glass-like sheet of water, among the surrounding steep jungle-covered hills. That's where Elizabeth and Nicholas ventured - often in a small blue and white canoe called "Cheers", most days - all alone. In a way, Elizabeth and Nicholas were pioneers ... appreciating nature more, venturing far away from the crowds to experience the natural beauty of the river valley, flowers, birds and canyons. Today the opposite is true. The river is no longer artificially dammed up - meaning that one cannot canoe nearly as far up it anymore, and people can only get half of the way up the river before needing to beach their canoe and walk the rest of the way on wooden boardwalks and manicured paths (which did not exist in those days) all along the banks of the upper-reaches of this river, to see the beauty Lizzie and Nicholas once saw from their canoe. Now a lot of people get to see what Lizzie and Nicholas saw and loved. Waterskiing is not only no longer practical - it's outlawed. People go to the Wilderness National park for it's natural beauty, not for water sports. "Siesta" is now "Ebb and Flow" - and most of those that go and camp there, still do enjoy the spectacular seaside, with it's miles of sandy beaches and the warm Indian ocean, but many follow the new manicured trials along the river, or canoe part-way up it, then walk the rest of the way. There was no video back then, but now there is! So here is a special treat - a YOUTUBE video by a birdwatcher, showing some of the highlights of what Lizzie and Nicholas experienced and grew to love so much - video of the special place where their love was nurtured and grew, each summer of their youth, starting at age 15/16 and continuing throughout their High-school years. Venture with me deep into the mountains and canyons, visit their secret place:
Imagine Jen's surprise and joy when scanning YOUTUBE (Aug-2013), I found and showed her this video (ABOVE) made by a birdwatcher of the "secret place" - where it all began, back when it was only accessible via a long canoe trip, well hidden, virtually unknown. At long last we were al least virtually back in our "secret place" which now, thanks to newly constructed boardwalks along the river's banks, is not so secret anymore. Imagine the feelings that overwhelmed us! After so many childhood romances there, we haven't been back to visit it in 34 years, since July1979. We've been living at the other ends of this world, N. America and S. America. It was our own very special place every summer of our youth, and now we finally get to see it again. But don't forget Lizzie and Nicholas' first wishes in their "Secret Place" ... just maybe they did true - and in a most unexpected way?
So, you may ask ... "Will they ever get married?" ... "What about Elizabeth's 3 weddings?" ... "Will Nicholas be at any of them?" ... "At her side?"
Elizabeth was chauffeur-driven on dates with Charles (in S. Africa) in a Black Mercedes Limo. Later she was chauffeur-driven on dates in a white one in Canada and in the USA. Now that happens in S. America too, in a fleet of 3 fully restored Mercedes Benz classics, one black (1st), one blue (3rd) and one gold (2nd) - but before you draw hasty conclusions, do you notice the German "WÜ - Würzburg, Bavaria 7777" License plate on the blue one? There's a reason for the 7's! 3 Weddings on 3 Continents + 3 Mercedes Benz limos ... the blue one being 3rd.
|For the curious, one of these cars is a "clickable link" to a mini fairy-tale ...|