Out of the Wreckage

 The Pop Stories

by Barbara Blanks

aka St Flossie


Only $12 plus $3 postage if ordered directly from me. (A $2 savings)


Age happens--then everything else hits the fan. My father-in-law's life changes overnight; mine does, too. These mostly light-hearted stories offer encouragement to others who are, have been, or will be in a similar situation. See Pop romance the Little Debbie brownies, battle against bathing, and enjoy being the "only rooster in the henhouse." Meet the Old Lady Gang at Mayberry, and Bossy Barb, the elf Santa doesn't talk about. Pop’s stories also candidly describe how he adjusts to communal living, handles his increasing infirmity and his approaching death from pancreatic cancer. We’re all riding the same train, so join us on our simple adventures as we haul ourselves out of the wreckage. Just expect to get lost a lot--the Barb way.


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Customer Reviews

This is a family love story. Barbara Blanks brings her delightfully spunky presence into living color as she tells the story of Pop, her father-in-law. His health is declining, he needs assistance and she is ready to help him, laugh with him, cry with him. Each entry is dated so the reader can follow along, feel the days slipping past so quickly, too quickly. This is not sugarcoated fluff. This is real-life storytelling. Barbara is honest with her emotions, stress and worry. The greatest gift I received as a reader was the value and importance of humor during difficult times. Barbara and Pop grow closer, become more bonded in their love for each other. Their bridge is their shared taste in humor, laughing together when the going gets tough. Pop was an extraordinary man - (“...the best Pop in the whole world”.) So too I s Barbara extraordinary, a daughter-in-law and writer with a rare gift for humorous, enlightening, poetically REAL writing.

~~ Ann Marie Newman, 11-17-2020


I just wanted to take a moment and tell you how much I am enjoying your Pop's book. It's so honest and open and heartfelt -- and such a loving tribute.

Thank you so much for writing this, I know it must be a great comfort to so many people around the world, and reminds me of taking care of my own mother-in-law!

Your humor and love abounds.

Karla K. Morton
2010 Texas Poet Laureate
From beginning to end this book's journey is one of love, humor, sadness and surprises. If you've experienced the aging and loss of a loved one, you'll identify with the feelings evoked by Barbara Blanks in her story. If you haven't had this experience yet, you'll find a road map for patience and love. Ms. Blanks words are prose, but they have a wonderful, poetic feel to them.
Read it...You'll love it.

Marilyn Stacy, writer, poet, Dallas psychotherapist
I finished reading Out Of The Wreckage this morning. At the last, I had tears in my eyes. It is a wonderful, poignant book you have written and I enjoyed reading it very much. You have a wonderful talent for writing. And you are a very caring person. The book brought back memories for me because my husband died from cancer. Also, I was born not far from Longview, TX and not far from Tyler TX. I was born in Gilmer, but lived my first ten years in the country around there. I also worked at Texas Instruments at one time when I lived in Plano and later, Dallas.
I did get some smiles from it and several laughs. It is a great book.
LaVern McCarthy, Oklahoma
My husband and I have been reading "Out of the Wreckage" (aloud) to each other. Last night we read the last page...........wow. Barb is a woman who knows how to touch the heart, tell the truth, and make us laugh. We both appreciate her words and for telling Pop's story.
Those few words don't come close to expressing the impact her book had on us. She has that rare ability to weave humor, tears, and frankness into a story we all need to know because [sometime] we will all be in similar positions. However, not everyone has someone in their life to give the love, care, and tenderness she gave to Pop. Thus, she offered a benchmark for us all.
Linda Johnson in France
I finished the book. It’s not a happy ending, I knew that. You brought life to your Pop by writing the book, it is really good. Not sure I like the feelings of losing my mother in law being brought up again, tho, I have that empty feeling now. The experience with Hospice was relived for me, almost exactly how it was with her, having to tell her it is ok to go, the final steps etc.
The book is a good tool all children with parents in nursing homes or care facilities to read. You did a remarkable job!!

Maridel Hick
Readers Choice Award!

OUT OF THE WRECKAGE: The Pop Stores is the First Place Winner of the February Readers Choice Award at AmazonClicks! http://amazonclicks.com/index.html

That's a lot of votes--makes me feel good. It is also gratifying to me as the author when people tell me they're buying more copies of my book to give to friends and family --that's how much they enjoyed and/or identified with the characters or situations. I know one man who has already bought ten copies to pass along! High praise indeed.

I completely related to this story

The Pop Stories took me back to 1953. After my Dad died, my Mom thought she would die any time, and since she had really awful "back sessions" that made her an invalid every other month, I was in exactly the same position Barbara was. She lived only a mile from me, so I was there every day. The book made me laugh (ruefully at times), and I do think men are more likely to be difficult to care for. My husband's last few years were hard on me because he didn't have any hobbies. Anyway, I'm rambling. Just really wanted to say this is a Neat book, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Joan Rodgers
Read some of your book at lunch. ​ You write very conversationally and with humor while dealing with a difficult situation.. ​ Can't wait to get alone with this book!
Vickie Belt
Sales & Leasing Consultant
Subaru of Plano
Barb--- last nite I started your book and didn't put it down until I was done! Only had 1 bathroom break! It was wonderful-- I enjoyed it so much and I feel that I knew your Father-in-Law just through your writing. And... you are a SAINT in my opinion. Lots of emotions were set up reading your book...laughter, smiles, tears.
Mary L in WI
Well, just as I knew would happen, once I started the book I couldn't put it down. Like everyone else, I was laughing one minute and crying the next. I read the book while I flew across country and people sitting around me on the plane kept giving me surreptitious looks. I would just wiggle the book at them and go back to reading.

She's an entertaining story teller and we all felt so involved in their lives when Barb would talk about Pop! I just know it's going to be a six star-rated book. We're going to hear more from Barb Blanks!  Barb has a real talent for story telling. I can't wait to read her next book.

Out of the wreckage comes a wonderful memoir of a budding relationship between Barb & Pops. Taking over the care of an elderly parent is time consuming and Barb made the experience fun for her and fun for her father-in-law even though the outcome wasn't as she expected. We all have a "Pop" in our lives. Barbara, your writing style kept me wanting to read more and you brought me to tears many times and I laughed out loud over the little things that Pop did as I could relate them to my Grandfather. You have a gift for writing--you bring the characters back to life and that's the way it should be. I feel as though I always knew John and I will always cherish the memories of Pop. Congratulations on a WONDERFUL Seller.

Libby Krueger

I'm going to share this book with all my friends who have elderly parents and are caretakers or will be caretakers in the future. It's going to make a great Christmas gift for many.
Reading the book was just as riveting as those emails over those long months and even though I knew how it ended I sobbed as I read those last few pages. I hope you're still finding nickels Barb.
Ms. Fitz

The Pop Stories are a must read--

I was giggling one minute, and sniffling with teary eyes the next. Barb has a way of making you feel like you're right there, and it seemed she had good insight into Pop's feelings.

I didn't want it to end and I find myself thinking about Pop, Barb, John, and the residents of Mayberry often. It's quite a lesson in compassion and patience.

Gail Ramirez
I am almost done, and don't want it to end. Barbara has such a way of telling a story, brings you into the moment, makes you laugh out loud, and cry. This book is a must read. It is about life.


I am done. I called Barb yesterday to tell her how much I loved the book and didn't want to finish it. I SOBBED through the last pages. I now have watermarks on my book without using a Versamark pad! I even went to Google and looked for Mayberry Gardens and now have a visual to put with the book. For those of you who have not purchased the book yet, I recommend that you do. It is a book that shares the true spirit of our fellow friend and stamper, St. Flossie. I certainly think Barb has found her calling. I am looking forward to the next book!!! Barb.....thanks for sharing your life with us, for sharing Pop, and John, Charlie, your Mom, and the rest of the family. Pop was a good Pop, and I know he is smiling down on you. You have made him proud.
Joan  Binkyman

This is a wonderful compilation of notes posted to a list...a condensed form of something many of us read as it unfolded. first book. I hope that you'll write another Best Seller.

Libby Krueger


This is a wonderful compilation of notes posted to a list...a condensed form of something many of us read as it unfolded.

Well worth reading and very timely for those of us with elderly parents.
Vyx Deloy

Looking for a book that will entertain you as well as teach you life lessons? This one will do that and more. I laughed out loud and sobbed into crumpled tissues, while I stayed up too late to finish the book in one reading. Barb has written a story that comes from the heart; it will stay in your heart long after you've read it.
Jhone Messinger-Dickson

I laughed, I cried, I peed.

As one who has cared for aging and dying parents myself, I found this book to be a refreshingly honest look at the love and, yes, humor, that is to be found at the end of life...as well as the pain, heartbreak and indignity.

I recommend this book to anyone who is going through, or who has gone through the end of life with a parent or loved one. It makes a great gift for people who have already been through it...I've purchased several copies for just that purpose.
Janet Jasper

Barbara Blanks has an amazing ability to tell true stories of "Pop" with unique humor, at times frustration, yet always compassion.
I often read books too fast. For this book I slowed, read every word.
Hope to read more from Barbara.
Jan Salter

A must read for every adult child who is, has or will care for their elderly parent. While I enjoyed all of Barb's emails as the events originally occurred and like others learned to love "Pop" and admire her humorous writing style, it wasn't until now, when I find myself in the same situation, that I truly appreciate that humor, her honesty,and their struggle. By the sharing of her true feelings and experiences in this book, it has allowed me to laugh and cry as I relate to her and "POP" and know that it is okay and I am not the only one who has, had or will have the same feelings. Excellent book written from the heart with love.
Thank you Barb!


Additional comment from Kay:

You don't know how many times I have read your book about Pops these past five months.  So much comfort in it.

Yes, almost lost my Dad three times last year and then in February  after an ambulance ride to hospital.  He was given a 5% chance to make it through the process of having 2 stints placed.  They were unable to do the third.  After that, there were 5 more ambulance rides from Feb - April.   Finally, the last of April, they determined that some of his medications were wrong.  Since that time, he has continued to improve.  He will celebrate his 89th birthday in a few weeks and he is able to work in his workshop again and is doing the best he has in the past two years.

All that to say, as I have told you before, your book is an inspiration to all of us parent care takers and tells us it is okay to have guilt feelings, be angry and happy , sometimes, all at the same time.


A Real Charmer

This book is such a wonderful mix of humor and the hard facts of a life near it's end. I found myself unable to put it down and smiling through my tears. Like Pop would charm everyone around him, this book will charm it's readers.
Holly Young