One of my favorite authors is Adriana Trigiani, who wrote, among other things, the Big Stone Gap trilogy.
In the 1980's I spent a lot of time in BSG, VA.
BSG is a warm family town.
It's a small town, a coal mining town, a good place to be from.
I still have friends that live there.
I have friends from nearby.
People who I can call and the conversation will pick up just like we left it the last time.
We laugh, we giggle, we get serious.
But most of all, we are friends.
Memory fails me as to exactly WHY I went out to Adriana's website -- perhaps something about the latest book. I just can't remember.
On a whim, I clicked on the button marked Appearances.
Good God ya'll -- she had an appearance scheduled for North Jersey!
I have too much vacation time to use before June 30 and made a split second decision to make the trip up.
(It also gives Himself the chance to see His kids).
The luncheon/tea/appearance/book signing was going to be at Blessed Sacrament Church.
I called and made the arrangements -- sent in my check to Vita, etc. Vita was specific in directions:
"Wear a hat and bring your teacup".
The trip up was uneventful. Just the basic 2.5 hour trip up the Garden State Parkway.
We were a half an hour early.
He decided to go off and spend His own time doing "His" thing while I had my time.
Sometimes it is a bit intimidating to do something alone.... but hey, that's part of the adventure!
There we were in the gym -- Vita took excellent care of me -- I was at Table 6 -- almost dead center and up very close.
It was a bit intimidating to sit at that table alone and not have anyone to chat with. Luckily a lady next to me was in almost the same boat. We began to chat and discovered we had similar views about books, libraries and reading. I enjoyed her tremendously.
I hardly remember the lunch part -- a little turkey sandwaich and some olives. I had my teacup and had a nice cuppa.
Desert was cookies, I think. But not being a huge desert fan (unless we are talking Juniors cheesecake...), again my memory fades.
Before speaking, Adriana set up shop at a little table to sign books, etc.
I went over and stood in line (alone, remember). While in line I met two wonderful ladies: Janet and Joan.
Janet was holding a place in line for Joan (who was running late). We chatted and visited and it was quite pleasant. Joan arrived -- how can I describe Joan? She's older, high spirited and wearing a great straw hat.
We laughed and visited and bantered. Did I mention that I love to good-naturedly banter with someone?
At one point I told her that she just had to trust me --- "I'm a fun girl, you'll see".
They both lamented that they had not brought camera's. I had my little Luminix (the $35 bargain on eBay) and volunteered to take their pictures with Adriana.
Adriana -- a beautiful, funny, caring, amazing woman. When I first got to the table, just like everyone else, I told her that her books were fascinating. Then I told her that one of my dearest friends was Karen Kilgore -- she squealed and I squealed and then we began talking about BSG -- she knew from the things I said, that I KNOW Big Stone Gap. We both talked about the character that IS Karen in the last BSG book. The conversation was great. She signed the book I brought with me (the first in the BSG series) and the cookbook that I bought for Colleen.
A picture of us was taken -- with the promise that I would email it to Karen. Before I left, she made me write down my name and address and email. Who knows????
I hung around to take the pictures of Janet and Joan -- because I promised to email them.
Joan was such a sweetie -- her husband had just died three weeks ago. Janet told me that they had been married almost 60 years. That made me smile. Joan made me smile.
As we were walking back to our respective tables, I promised to send the pictures. Joan turned to me, in a serious voice and told me that I was "... one fine bitch."
That made me laugh out loud -- a deep laugh -- definitely a feel good laugh.
And I hugged her and told her that THAT was one of the best things anyone could ever say to me.
Adri's presentation was hilarious ! I laughed and felt like I had known her family forever !
On the way out, I stopped and said goodbye to Joan and Janet.
I told Joan that she made my day and was someone that I would think about with a smile because she certainly made my day. As I left, I can still see that wonderful beautiful smile.
What a great day I had.