... the weekend we invited people to lift a glass of champagne and hear a reading from The Exact Place. It was beautiful but surreal. Around 50 people came to Toad Hall. Anita did all the planning. There were candles inside and out, flowers, sparkling glasses in a row and my grandmother’s lemon angel pie (one of the recipes from the book) ready to share. Me: useless, standing in front of closet wondering what to wear, or does it really matter? It doesn't, silly woman.
...I sensed people walk in, take a deep breath, exhale and settle into a chair for the evening. Then I relaxed, too. That people would actually come. That friends, and Anita, and Denis would take charge and make folks feel welcomed. That there was a real book to hold after so many years of claiming “I’m writing a memoir.” All I had to do was remember how to spell my name. It actually happened.
|The dining room table made a good spot to sign.|
|Night falling by arrival time.|
|Looking from the kitchen out to the front door.|
|John Eddy & Denis arranged chairs to seat around 24.|
|Leslie Van Orsdel and Anita with last minute details.|
|Sunday afternoon reading. Randy & Barb Kinnick in foreground.|
|Big hug from my littlest sister, Roxanne.|
|Signing. Karen Vinson, Shelly Bergen, Melissa Hake. (Front to back.)|
|Thanks, Anita, for making beautiful details!|
Two special surprises: John and Leslie Eddy came from New York for the weekend. The other: my youngest sister, Roxanne, arrived for the Sunday afternoon reading. She is nine and a half years younger than I am so by the time I left home for college, she was only seven years old. For most of the story – the part of my life I write most about – she was the little girl sleeping in the crib or my shadow following me around the farm and my best-est sleeping buddy. She still has enough sassiness to keep my writing honest. We don’t often see each other often enough.