It’s 5:30 am, and Jackie is trying to find a grinder for the delicious-smelling beans she bought yesterday. No, she didn’t intentionally opt for beans, but she’s trying now to trouble-shoot and I could get out of bed and help her but I’m on a writing roll and as I move around the images above, I am realizing just how rich yesterday really was.
We now have five women sharing our house. Dorothy arrived late/early this morning after a very long plane ride with lots of starts and stops and reroutes but she made it! I’m sure there were some NWP teachers who will never get here with weather problems in Chicago. Can’t wait to make her feel welcome.
So yesterday was almost perfect! Of course, you know why there’s that almost in there, but let’s leave that for now. I’m with a group of early risers and even though there’s time to sleep beyond the alarm clock, early is ingrained in them the way it is with me so from the start of our day together I had company for conversation with coffee in our pjs and all of us at our computers. Slowly, one-by-one we all took showers in my bathroom with enough hot water for everyone.
By 9:30 we were out of the house bathing in sunshine that disappeared by 1:00 and never returned. And off we were in an Uber taxi for the MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Art) MIA. Yes, Mia, as in Mia Rosenberg and yes, pictures were taken and sent to Israel instantly/seamlessly.
Jackie and I opted for the permanent collection and by the time we reached the modern section we felt very much at home. Probably a bit too modern for you, but there were wonderful Impressionists you could have lingered with. The museum was filled with visitors- hordes of young kids and their teachers and Jackie was ready to find her way back to her early childhood classroom. No, not me, but I loved watching them in this gorgeous space.
As we finished up and met Mary and Diane in the gift shop (great place for Chanukah gifts) we were ready for lunch and a new plan. Jackie and Diane were leaving for the Swedish Museum and Mary and I, wanted a turn at Birchbark Books, owned by one of my favorite authors, Louise Erdrich ( no chance she’d be there, right? Right!) but we were off in yet another Uber. Mary’s into them now, too and it’s official- pouring rain from now until the end of our day.
At the bookstore Christine, Jackie S. and Rebecca were there already lingering around books. I started filling my Kindle with samples to download and enjoyed conversations with the young women engaging with us in their space. As Christine lugged her pile to the counter she discovered a 5 year, One-Sentence-a-Day journal and had to have one and had to have another for me. I know an amazingly generous friend. You would have been fighting her to buy both of them. Mary got herself one and by the end of our lunch next door, Jackie and Rebecca had their own as well-all of us now in a new writing community where the challenge is just to keep up. That’s obviously noot a problem this year for me- just one more sentence of the many I write.
A long, leisurely lunch complete with a mimosa. Yes, I’ve been drinking every day on this trip- twice a day. Actually that’s only two days, but today, I will cut back. I’m not interested in making alcohol my go-to support.
Our split up and returned to B&B spaces, just for a few hours to regroup and then head to the NWP meet-and-greet for my book signing- what??? and here’s where it hit me that I couldn’t share this first-time, maybe last time experience with you. No calls to Tuvia- not to your home phone or cell. No calls from you! So hard to accept this reality even now as we move closer and closer to the 3 month exit mark.
But I couldn’t stay with that sadness, not with so many NWP friends stopping by to offer a hug- many read my letters to you and a few bought our book and had me sign it. It was a warm experience- another reminder that my networks are rich and caring.
The last event of the day was our annual dinner hosted by Tom. As usual he took his time to find us just the right place and it was just perfect to be a table with our full team. Once again, I can say, I’m grateful, so grateful l to be with this whole group and I have you to thank for all of this. Remember, my first HVWP experience, when I was just beginning? You made me stick with it no matter how loudly I complained that most of the facilitators just didn’t get it. It did get better and better after that first summer, yes, it got so much better.
I want to keep writing but our group is all showered and dressed and charged up to get out of here for a full day of NWP!
More to share…
Miss you T,