Sunday, 10 October 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

sunny, unseasonably warm, temps 24

It's Canadian Thanksgiving! Michael and I are finally together. Met at the airport in Regina (Saskatchewan) Friday night. with my older brother, Rob. What an amazing feeling. Two men I love standing there, waiting. And to get huge bearhugs from both. Made being away worth it!

What wasn't waiting was my luggage! It got lost. No big surprise, really. I'd booked it through from Houston, to nashville, to Denver to Regina. I've been extremely lucky with my luggage. Can't remember ever losing a bag. What made this a little stressful was that I'd lost the baggage tag!

Fortunately there wasn't anything irreplaceable in it. Jewelry, and this really nice embroidered evening coat I was hoping to wear to a formal dinner in Calgary on Tuesday and the bouchercon opening ceremonies and all the cocktail parties (and dinner with my US agent) Thursday. Bit of a shame, but not a disaster.

Fortunately it showed up the next day...yay. I can't begin to tell you how it feels to be with my family. Rob and Audi and their children, Kim, Adam and Sarah. Doug and Mary and two of their kids...Roslyn and Charlie. And Michael.

One of the photos above shows the cousins together, most in their Saskatchewan rough Rider green jerseys...on their way to the big football game...Saskatchewan vs Toronto. (toronto won). A friend of Adam's - Andy - is visiting from the UK, and he's spending the holiay with us. the other photo shows the kids, minius Kim - wearing the 'freebee' from Rob - little yellow rubber 'hardhats'. Very proud. Not many could carry off this look.... (no, don't say it).

I'm sitting right now at the dining room table, writing. all around me people are laughing, joking, talking, making bagels and serving fruit salad, pouring coffee...rob and audi have just moved to Regina (he's the deputy minister of transportation with the government here). this is the first time we've seen their home. Great, open-concept kitchen, living room, DR. So we're all together. Rob is basting the turkey...that's him up there too. The place smells of turkey. (and with six guys in the house, that's a blessing)

When our mother died ten years ago we realized unless we made an effort we ran the risk of drifting apart. All with busy lives. And that would be terrible. So once a year, around Thanksgiving, we get together.

The event at Murder By the Book was such fun!!! Saw old friend Catherine and Ron after decades! Saw Cay and Billie and the 'two J's'. FAbulous Dean (whose latest book stayed THREE weeks on the NYTimes list!!!) and handsome, generous, brilliant John, who works at the store and interviewed me. It was standing room only - and everyone was so welcoming.

But, of course, as wonderful as it was to see everyone there, the most glorious was McKenna. The owner of the store. Who recently lost her husband, David. Such a beautiful young woman. We talked about David. Not about his death, but about his life and his plans. McKenna's mother, Brenda, was there - so supportive. Making sure her daughter knows she's not alone.

McKenna and her friend and co-worker Anne will be at Bouchercon. when McKenna and I embraced and kissed we both leaned in the same direction - and almost lip-kissed. then spent the night kidding each other that 'people will talk'.

Early flight Friday morning to Nashville. Beth met me at the airport and we zipped into the most people I only think of country/western music and the Grand ol Opry. which is tribute enough. But it became clear immediately that Nashville is that, and much more. A very, very beautiful city.

I was there for the Southern Festival of Books. One of the photos above shows the amazing state building, where the festival is held. Wonderful group of people. Very warm reception.

thank you to everyone who took time to come out! I just loved seeing you all.

then back to the airport...flight to Denver....then to Regina. Arriving about 10pm.

Phew. And now home. With Michael.

Happy thanksgiving!!!


Shelagh, from Michigan said...

Dear Louise, So happy you are with Michael and your family for Thanksgiving. I was going to wish you "Happy Thanksgiving" on your Facebook page, but looked at your schedule and wondered when you would be able to celebrate! Very glad you have at least one day off! Love the photographs. Thank you for taking the time to blog, and Good Luck at Bouchercon!

Ilonka said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Louise. So pleased that Sask could provide such lovely weather for your visit. After the dreadful non-summer we've had this year, these warm days are truly something to be thankful for. (Even if the Riders did lose on Saturday!)

Vincent H. O'Neil said...

Sounds like a wonderful reunion! Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you and yours -- and enjoy Bouchercon!

lil Gluckstern said...

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your respite with your family, with Michael.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Yes, Regina was welcoming, in every way. Lovely city! And Rob is so happy there.

Thanks for all your well wishes.