Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Full Day

Most of my days are blessedly slow and not too full. Today was an exception. First, I met with a book club on the farther side of Asheville at 10 this morning (and, incidently, got to see just how very bad Asheville traffic can be at 9 am; met a friend for lunch; dropped off an ARC (advance reading copy) of IN A DARK SEASON at a nearby bookstore for their resident reviewer; spoke with a second bookclub at two; had coffee with another friend; made a quick grocery run; then met my husband for a early dinner before going on to the "visitation" (aka "viewing' or wake) for our dear Grace Henderson.

The moon was rising high when I finally parked my little gas-efficient car by one of the barns at the lower place and schlepped the groceries into the jeep for the trip up the hill. A very full day -- full of joy and sorrow, new friends and old.

Book clubs are almost always a delight -- and both of these were full of interesting people with good questions, useful comments, and some pretty fine stories of their own. I had a wonderful time at each meeting. It's odd but after years of being shy and having little to say, I find that, when encouraged, I can talk at length (and possibly ad nauseum) about Elizabeth and her world.

And then the wake -- lots of old friends from the county: 'new people' and natives together, all united in their love for Grace. A continuous loop of pictures flashed on a screen - Grace as a young woman in the early forties, pert and fresh-faced, with the twinkle that stayed in her eyes all her life; Grace and Paul on horseback; Paul with movie-star good looks; Grace adding to the woodpile that was her pride and joy; Grace blowing out the candles on her ninetieth birthday cake -- picture after picture to remind us that there was more to Grace than what lay before us in the open casket.

A full day -- and a good one.
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