Friday, July 17, 2009

The Call of the North

My bags are packed. I'm ready to go. The call of my homeland beckons me just as surely as the swallows fly back to Capistrano. Only I'm taking Delta and going a little farther north-Canada.
This year, my suitcase is light on clothes and HEAVY on books! One of my supporters in my hometown of Loring, Ontario, is putting a book signing together for me at her tourist lodge. Excited, amazed, thankful, and awesome are words that come to mind when I think about how my books, "Helena:Unwavering Courage" and "Summer Guest" have been received.
So, as of July 20-August 5, I'll be with friends and family. Faithful blog followers, I'll be putting pen to paper-or is it keyboard to computer with all the Canadian news. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 10, 2009

To Market to Market

As many of you know, I’ve been spending several hours at the local farmer’s market every Saturday convincing passers-by that along with their home-grown tomatoes, peppers and peas, they need to buy a copy of either “Summer Guest” or “Helen:Unwavering Courage”. After all, on these hot summer afternoons, what’s a better way to relax than put your feet up, take a swig of a favorite beverage and get lost in a world of words.
So far, the response has been encouraging. Last Saturday, was a challenge. Since it was the nation’s birthday, and downtown Milton was abuzz with activity, the public’s focus was not on buying vegetables for the evening meal. No, directly across the street from my shaded area under the palm tree, a motorcycle club took great pleasure in setting up their two-wheeled, chrome-plated, multi-styled road runners.
It wasn’t enough that every new participant revved their engines to an ear-piercing decibel level but the rock band in the background was clearly in competition with the leather- clad, bandana wearing drivers. Lip reading on my side of the street became a necessity.
The crowd that walked through our parking lot was on a mission: no time to stop and look, no time to talk. The lure of the ‘vroom, vroom’ was too mesmerizing. Of course, in their defense, I assume it’s hard to read a book on the back of a Harley.
Oh, well, tomorrow is another day, another crowd.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Day After

The thirty-nine guests, ranging in age from one month to eighty-five years young, have gone, the pool water lies calm, the left-over salads, dips and veggies are stacked in rectangular containers in the fridge, and the patio furniture is back in its familiar setting. My ears are still ringing from a cacophony of snap, crackle and pop sporadically produced by someone in the neighborhood with the affinity for loud fireworks explosions. As for my husband, he is fast asleep; pressure washing the food and drink stains from the pool deck did him in.
The Melvin’s tried their best to honor Uncle Sam in traditional red, white and blue fashion. This Fourth of July celebration has become a ritual at our house. Some years we haven’t even been there but the party went on anyway. More than once, while visiting family up north, we received a call from trusted friends expressing a heartfelt “wish you were here; the whole gang is enjoying the pool. By the way, where did you put the barbeque?”
This year we called their bluff and stayed home-invited ourselves to the festivities. Now, before I go on, let me say that ‘party planning’ is my husband’s forte. Since the weather has been one-hundred degrees all week, he decided a temporary shaded shelter was in order.
“Sure, hon, go ahead,” I agreed, picturing a beach umbrella stuck here and there around the yard.
The hammering and frequent trips back and forth into the garage aroused my curiosity. When he dragged out the twelve foot ladder it was more than I could stand. What was going on? One look at the skeletal structure made up of two by fours, rope and plastic covering that reached toward the sky, elicited my response, “You didn’t tell me the Ringling Brothers Circus was setting up in our backyard! Of course, I do know a couple of clowns who’ll be here!”
All I got was a look that said, “Back in the kitchen, woman.”
In the end, it served its purpose well. Sheltered from the blazing sun, it was a perfect place to fry the mullet, trout, halibut, flounder and hushpuppies. No southern gathering is authentic without some form of fried food!
Who knows—maybe we’ll get invited back next year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Celebration Day!

My homeland of Canada is celebrating its 142 birthday today!The maple leaf will be displayed and flying all over the land. Although I'm not there to join in on the festivities, my spirit finds its way across the border today. A sweet friend from Florida who is vacationing in Wisconsin called me early this morning to wish me a Happy CanadaDay. They are at an international camping rally and she tells me Canadians are spotted everywhere proudly wearing the signature red and white tee-shirt. Although I can't be there, I'll do my best to be a good alien and wear the red,white and blue on the 4th.
My husband and I do have another reason to celebrate today--it's our 37th wedding anniversary.Hence the reason I'm not in Canada. I can assure you, our celebration will not compete with what's going on up north and we probably won't reach the same milestone in years but each day has been worth it.