Tuesday, February 3, 2009

6 More Weeks

I was away in Florida last week seeing my in-laws with my husband and sons after the incredibly fun and wonderful BookMania festival in Stuart, Florida. I had such a great time. So much fun that it even made up for the fact that it was my first night ever away from my two boys. I had to fly separately from them, even though we all flew into West Palm Beach, and as I was connecting planes in Atlanta, I realized that I felt unmoored, as if my bearings were off. I missed them. And I realized that I have become so used to every second of my day being either involved completely with them, or immediately jumping into getting some work done (or falling into bed), that it felt as if my brain didn't know what to do with all this time that didn't have demands upon it. Especially once I checked into the hotel and was getting dressed for the cocktail party (I didn't wear any of those clothes I had bought, in fact, had returned them before I even got down to Fla, knowing they'd be wrong, and they would have been). I am so used to knowing the exact minimal number of minutes I need to get dressed or prepare myself for something, that having all that time made my mind feel like it was trying to feel cozy in the Grand Canyon. I couldn't believe how vast it was. And I am only talking about an hour and half, but I haven't had an hour and a half to get dressed when no one asked me - or needed me - to do anything else in five years. It was lovely, but I'm not heartbroken I don't always have it. There is a lot to be said for not having much time to care about what I wear. Though I did call my friend, Jené, in NY to get her advice about wearing the pants I had worn on the plane with a dressier top to the party because once I got down there, I realized that the dress I had brought for the party was completely wrong. And thank God, she's great visually, an interior designer after all, and told me to ditch the dress and I'm so glad I did.
Anyway. I had a great time at the party with Karin Slaughter, what a hoot she is. I've always loved her books, and now love her. And Hallie Ephron, whose sister Amy read at Spoken Interludes in LA, and whose ex-brother-in-law I am friends with but haven't seen in years, so got caught up on them. Then I had dinner with my cousin Alafair, who I hadn't seen in too long, and David Ebershoff, whose book, Pasadena, I loved and he's going to read at Spoken Interludes with his newest, The 19th Wife, and I'm thrilled about that. The loveliest people - Jim and Cher Foth, and Maggi and Roger - took us out to dinner at a beautiful harbor club and regaled us with great stories about Scientology and run-ins with Coast Guard and transporting Baby Doc. Then the panel the next morning was great fun. Garth Stein was hysterical and very touching about his book, and Lily Koppel was fascinating about hers, and the two Dianes, Diane Hammond and Diane McKinney-Whetstone, were both wonderful. And the crowd was great. I was so impressed with what a perfect festival that community puts on. It was an amazing treat.
Then I was driven back to the airport where Dan and the boys picked me up, and it felt great to be a momma again, and we lived in bathing suits for a week and didn't have a schedule and only cared about sunscreen and ate French fries every day and remembered what the sun is and were bolstered enough to make it through the next 6 weeks of winter that that damn groundhog has decided we are going to have.


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