It was so gratifying to have many of you click onto my blog last week when I resumed posting after a six-month pause. My last post had been in August. I had no idea it would be so long before I did another.
My life just got busier than usual this past fall. I put my blog on hold as well as my latest book. The reason was my mom’s health and eventual passing. During August and early September were lots of phone calls to my sister to keep me in the loop, provide her support, and to help in making decisions. Then I flew down mid-September for a few days for a last visit with Mom. Then back to do two bridge tours up and down the coast and the final almost daily stuff involved with the Florence Festival of Books, which was held on September 30. On October 1, my mom died. And on October 3, I had a presentation on bridges at Salishan.
On October 7, I drove to California and was gone nearly a month. My brother, sister, and I were able to go through nearly everything in the house and to have the house appraised and put on the market. And we arranged for an estate sale after we were through sorting and removing everything each of us wanted. What took the longest was going through the dozen or so photo albums. We also got everything else taken care of involving lawyers and financial folks.
I came home with my car totally filled with stuff. My dad passed away in 2010 and most of his stuff was still in the house. So I took everything that had to do with his time in the service in Hawaii and aboard the USS Oklahoma just prior to World War II. It was a couple of boxes, including a scrapbook and album. Most of it, I donated to the new Military Museum here in Florence. They have the book I put together of my parents’ remembrances of their most interesting years. For my mom, it was her time in Honolulu before, during, and after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Those were exciting times, and I was born right in the middle of it.
I was only home about a month before heading back to California for the holidays. It was our first Christmas without Mom. I was glad that I went, despite the frustrating drive down 101. It was good that we were together. We continued looking through albums.
So now I’m back home and plan to do the blog weekly. Some posts will be about my adventures with books, others about life in general, and occasionally about my health. Speaking of my health, one leg continues to be a problem as well as occasional aches and pains elsewhere. I’m definitely not a fan of growing old—but I like the alternative even less.
As to my books . . .
I fit in two bridge tours through the college the last week of September. Those were great with no rain to worry about. The buses were full of folks anxious to know about the bridges. I had a good time; I got to blather on and on about the bridges to a captive audience and was paid for it. What’s not to like!
I did well at the Florence Festival of Books the last weekend in September, and the event was a big success once again. As the co-founder, co-chair, and secretary, I’m thrilled at the success of this event. This year was the 7th Annual, and the event will continue on and on. So mark your calendar for September 29, 2018.
Those of us who have participated in the Victorian Belles Holiday Show previously with our books were invited back for the 7th year. Connie Bradley, Karen Nichols, and I were together there once again and joined by Russ Dixon, a wood turner whose work is at Backstreet Gallery and has written his first book. The Holiday Show is a bit of a marathon, since it lasts three days. But we all sold several books. And I always find wonderful Christmas gifts.
I’ve also done a few presentations. The latest one was last week in Eugene at a very nice assisted living facility—Waterford Grand. The small theater could hold about 30 and there were about 15 in attendance. Since they had a great projection system, I just needed to hook up my laptop. I could keep it at the podium and click when I was ready—not have to signal someone. I have 70 photos with this particular program—so lots of clicking. The clicker for my projector has never worked, so I usually rely on a volunteer from the audience. This group was wonderful with great questions, and I sold a few books. All in all a good experience.
All but one of my previous presentations at assisted living facilities were not as planned. (Check out blog post #136–Budgets & old folks require flexibility . . .) And at the last one I did in Junction City, a gentleman coming in just as I was starting tripped over the rug over the cords and everything went black. And I couldn’t get it going again. So I simply passed out my smaller bridge book, The Crossings Guide, and was glad of my first grade teacher’s training. “Will everyone turn to page 9.” And so on. They loved having their very own book with which to follow along.
I continue to be involved in Backstreet Gallery with my books. In March, I’ll be one of two featured artists. So if you get a chance, try to pop in Saturday, March 10, 3 to 5 p.m. at a reception where I’ll be honored.
That brings me to my new book. I did the research last spring for The Oregon Coast Guide to the Unexpected: that which is strange, unusual, or quirky. And I have completed the writing for 13 of the 27 locales that I’ll be covering. Tomorrow, I start on number 14. I hope to get all the writing done before I head to California in April. When I return, I’ll need to fact check and get photos lined up before it goes to the publisher
Even though my mom is gone, the rest of my family is still in California and so are the friends that I enjoy visiting. So I’ll continue to drive there in April and during the holidays, but not in October any more. From now on, it’ll be two trips a year instead of three.
Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful 2018!