Friday, December 28, 2007

Prairie crafts at the library

My talk and pioneer craft night at the Maud Preston Palenske Memorial (i.e. the St. Joe) Library last night was a big hit. I'd say about 30 gals of all ages showed up and after I chatted about my childhood growing up in Sodus, Michigan, reading and scraping up my knees chasing after my brothers, and my writing career, we got down to the crafts. Pat Peterson from the library staff did a wonderful job, preparing instructions and supplies so gals could try their hand at quilting, rug hooking, braiding rag rugs, embroidering, sewing a small purse, making rock candy, mixing up a rosewater spritzer, and playing jacks. Robin from Forever Books sold copies of The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life and Backcountry Betty and I was happy to sign copies and chat with the girls and the grownups.

It was delightful. Even more delightful were the people who showed up. I went to a Christmas dance in high school with Eric Ford (he was so smart and dreamy) and his mom Judy showed up to have me sign a copy for him, now a cancer researcher at Johns Hopkins. My dad's smooth friend Russell swung by. Mom's friend Mary came and presented me with the shirt I gave her to hem at the Christmas Eve Open House. Virginia Handy pulled out all sorts of photos and information about her family, who lived across the street from me growing up (in fact, it was her half-brother Paul who introduced my parents).

And then, toward the end of the event, something miraculous happened. I received a phone call through the library: it was my wonderful English teacher Jane Lindenmuth, calling from Holland, Michigan, where she recently retired. She only knew about the signing because her husband saw an article about the event on the Herald-Palladium website. I had tried to call her earlier in the week but without luck, since I didn't know she had moved. So it was a marvelous gift to hear from her (I immediately recognized her voice on the phone) and I can't wait to catch up with her properly.

Thanks again to the wonderful library staff and Forever Books for being so supportive and enthusiastic about The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life. It all started here in Michigan and it's nice to know it continues here as well.

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A sampling of my books