Thursday, June 30, 2011


One thing I've learned about myself since I turned 50 is that I don't seem to care what other people think of the way I dress. Today for instance, I went to the splashpark with two of my daughters and three grandchildren. We had a blast. I played in the water in my mismatched bathing suit and I was not in least bit worried about anyone else looking at me. I dressed in a modest two piece, the bottom has a skirt and the top was long. The two pieces were purchased on sale at two different stores, so the colors were a bit off-but as long as they covered me, and there is plenty to cover, I was happy.  

We splashed and sprayed each other with the chlorinated water and watched the five year old slide down the water slide over and over. The two wee ones had fun trying to catch the water, a few times in their mouth, yuck. The freedom to enjoy the simple things in life comes with age. I no longer think about what would so-and-so say or worry about how I look. Enjoying time with the people I love is much more important and I'm thankful God gives me the opportunity to do just that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

People Joy

Ahhh...back home. I must have missed my bed because I slept about 10 hours last night. 

With a few days of vacation before I return to work next week, I plan to enjoy some quiet time (doing laundry) and spend time with family and friends. The older I get, the more I realize that people are the most important part of my life. I enjoyed gathering books and doodads at the conference and I love the artwork and items that fill my home, but without people to share all of this with what would be the point. 

As I walked through the CVG airport yesterday I heard voices calling, "Mom, mom!". I looked up and at the railing stood two of my daughters, Maggie and Sara, and my sweet little grandson, Eli. He grinned from ear to ear. Then when Maggie took me home, my dog tater was beside himself, seriously, he jumped back and forth and barked and barked. Olive tried to keep up, but she is a small dog and she had to wait her turn. And what a joy to see my husband Tim, my encourager and best friend. 

Yes, after 50 I've learned that people (and my dogs) make all the difference in my life. God has blessed me and I thank him for that.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heading Home

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...home. New Orleans has treated me well. I've enjoyed the hospitality, the history and the beauty of this part of  America. I loved experiencing the seafood and the spicy soups. The beignets pleased my tastebuds, but now I am ready to bite into a juicy Wendy's cheeseburger or a slice of LaRosa's pizza.

I've learned that new experiences stretch me and keep me from being stagnant and I appreciate them so much. But I am looking forward to hugging my hubby, hearing my dogs bark as they jump on me and hanging with my kids and grandkids. When Maggie picks me up at CVG, she will find a tired but happy mama. I've lived in bookland for five days and now I must go home and incorporate all I've absorbed and learned into my world. One of the things I loved about this event was meeting so many kind authors, all so friendly and giving of advice. I worked on my own novel some and have ideas for a picture book story I've been trying to write for a few years. I am blessed!

With my trip coming to an end, I will continue blogging about life after 50.

So much could happen...

Monday, June 27, 2011


Today I stood along the mighty Mississippi River. A few paddle boats cruised by as the sun beat down and hurried me back into the air conditioning. I walked through the Riverwalk Mall and met a delightful woman who designed all the clothes in her store, as well as dyed the fabric. She told me she could tell I was an artsy girl. I took that as a compliment (especially the "girl" part). 

In the afternoon I attended what I consider the highlight of the conference, the Gale Authors Tea. Nevada Barr, Susan Wiggs and her daughter,  Eleanor Brown, Dorthea Frank, and Amanda Williams entertained us with stories about their experience as authors. Amanda Williams shared her struggles with dyslexia and how she eventually learned to read and pursue a career as a writer. What an inspiration. Three of the authors are New York Times best selling authors, the others first time authors. I enjoyed hearing from them all.

I have been blessed to attend the conference and I am thankful for the experience. And now...I am ready to go home. 

Flying out tomorrow at 11:10.

Maggie-please remember to pick me up :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Encouragement and Discovery

Sunday in the Big Easy turned out to be another amazing day. Despite a wave of homesickness, I trekked around the convention center one more time and discovered that two of my favorite children's authors were signing their books. I found Lois Elhert, an incredible artist who writes and illustrates her own books and Will Hillenbrand who lives in Terrace Park (Cincinnati) and draws some adorable characters. Later I hit the Swap and Shop to find fun ideas for our library's publications.Then, this afternoon I heard from six writers whose first book is currently being published. I found encouragement and hope for my writing. 

I have to say that the folks in Louisiana are some of the kindest people I have ever met. Every waiter, waitress, shuttle driver, door attendant, concierge, etc. have been so helpful. I am thankful to be surrounded by courteous folks. 

Now if I can just get my back and legs rested up for tomorrow, I'll be all set! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oh My Goodness

Yesterday evening the security people opened the doors to the ALA Exhibit Hall. All I can say is wow. Vendors ranging from publishers to those who supply library furnishings filled a football field size room from wall-to-wall. And glory be, many of them were giving away books-yes free books! Most of you know that for twelve years I worked as a children's librarian. The joy I find in children's literature still dwells in my heart. I love kid's books, and before I knew it I was sucked right into the booths carrying reads that my grandchildren would love. I was in trouble. I only have so much room in my suitcase for books and I had a few that others are depending on me to get, so sad to say, I had to pass some of them up. But I did get a beautiful picture book autographed by both the author and illustrator.

This morning I sat on the floor outside the exhibit hall for a little over an hour, so that I could stand in line inside the hall for twenty more minutes in order to get an autograph from Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. (Yes, Sara your momma loves you!) It was great fun! I met a librarian who sat and stood with me the whole time so we could get pictures of each other with author. She was a delightful lady who reminded me of Dharma from the TV show, Dharma and Greg. After that I enjoyed Jeff Kinney's comical rendition of how he came about publishing his delightful books. What a great morning!

This afternoon I gathered good ideas for marketing the reference services in our library from five experienced ladies. Later, I listened to stories from five women who wrote very different memoirs, some sad and others filled with humor.

Bonus of the day, I found a Starbucks!

Good night from New Orleans...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tired Feet

Woke up at 6am and made my way to Jackson Square by 8am. There I met some lovely library folks from Mississippi. We were all prepared to visit the French Quarter. A stop at the Cafe Du Monde covered us with powdered sugar. The beignets melt in your mouth. They reminded me of the county fair and the funnel cakes that you drip all over yourself as you eat them. On to many historic places where some of America's finest literature and art were created; including the residence of Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and John James Audubon. 

The antique buildings in the French Quarter reflect the celebration spirit of the city with their colorful faces and trims. The numerous balconies wore draping, vining plants. We walked by a mask factory, and we heard street music. We also walked by Bourbon street and to be honest the odor was rather unpleasant. Oh well, it is a city. I love the palm trees, so many different kinds, squatty, towering, clumped together. They offer some much needed shade. The temps are high but a nice breeze kept us from overheating. 

I enjoyed the tour and I loved finding the odd little details, and here there are many. Now off to register officially for the conference and scope out the conference center. Hope all is well in Ohio.

A la prochaine / See you later...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Up in the Air

My feet hit the New Orleans pavement about 4:25 today. I can say that landing in that plane made my day. From the time we left the ground until we landed we kept our seat belts on as the windy skies bumped us from time to time. Even with the turbulence, I enjoyed the clouds kissed with sunshine. As the airplane's decent introduced us to the Mississippi River and the outlying wet land, I wondered if the abundance of water usually covered so much land or if the recent rain left them flooded. 

I am hoping to see some of the city tomorrow as I tour the French Quarter with one of the library groups. Now, off to bed. Good night all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Stories They Tell

I am packed. Except for the last minute items, my bags are sitting waiting for pick up tomorrow. These same bags just traveled to Wyoming and back with my daughter and her family. Sometimes I think about objects from a human point of view and wonder what stories they could tell. Like a house that welcomed many different families over the years, or a shopping cart used by so many different people; would they speak kindly of their occupant or tell some wild and crazy story. 

Tomorrow I might wonder about my airplane seat and who sat in it before me. Were they traveling to meet a loved one or were they running away to a new life. Perhaps a relaxing vacation or a reunion with old schoolmates awaited them. At any rate, I hope that seat keeps me safe and makes my travels easy. 

Lunch with Sara, Maggie and Eli, supper with Tim and a few hours to relax... then off to the conference. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Driving through the Storm

As I left work today, a thunderstorm swirled around the college. I stopped to use the restroom and the electric went out (that is one dark place without the lights-thank goodness for emergency back-up). By the time I reached my car, the wind blew the rain sideways and pounded my Jeep. I tried to drive out of the parking lot, but only made it as far as the front of the building. I watched the rain pour, the trees bend and leafy debris sail to the ground. This was the beginning of my journey to New Orleans. Before I could pack my bags and fly to the Big Easy, I had to get home. 

About twenty minutes later than usual, I rolled into my driveway and walked into my house to find my dog Tater terribly upset. He hates storms. So he and I commiserated over the torrential rain and loud wind and settled in for an evening comfort with Tim and Olive. A nice respite before I pack my bags tomorrow.