Sometime, for a breathless, brief moment in time, the stars are aligned, nothing aches, and life is beyond splendid. A recent reading and book signing event at Rediscovered Bookstore in Boise validated the fact that life gets better with age and I’m damn fortunate to be this old and this happy. And, I’m sober!
The evening started with a “business meeting” with my writing buddy Amanda Turner. As usual, I was late so I dashed into Fork Restaurant balancing my bloated bags of books. As usual, she was early and had ordered red wine, fried asparagus, and onion rings. (This is a true friend.) We gobbled our goodies, planned a writer’s retreat, and dashed to the bookstore. I didn’t have time to worry about my appearance or fret if my chubby cheeks would jiggle as I read.
After sixty years, I’m finally feeling comfortable in my skin; all of it.
I read from my new book Midlife Cabernet and proudly showed the book’s recent Silver Medal for Humor from the Independent Publisher Book Awards program. The attendees included writers, friends, and a few teachers and their students, and they listened politely and laughed and clapped at the appropriate places. After a few questions, I signed books and then the group dispersed to enjoy the downtown festivities. I sold all the books I brought, and my burden was noticeably lighter.
I drove back to Eagle and decided to celebrate the fun evening with a glass of wine at Crush Wine Bar. A group of lively women sat on the patio and offered me a piece of birthday cake. How could I refuse? But this wasn’t any ordinary cake; this masterpiece was a decadent concoction of chocolate, salted caramel, and butter cream frosting. It paired nicely with a bold Cabernet.
I asked to meet the cake chef and was introduced to Lori Renn, owner of My Wicked Whisk Gourmet Cakes and Cupcakes in Eagle. I gave my name and she squealed, “OMG, I’m reading your book!” So, I squealed back, “And I’m eating your cake!” Another friendship solidified through the power of books, dessert, and wine.
I wrote this blog on the patio while the birthday party women laughed in the background and perky music blared from the outdoor speakers. Then I waved farewell and drove home to hug Studley and tell him all about my delightful day. It seemed as if the universe arbitrarily dumped a bucket of bliss over me and I was floating downstream on good vibrations.
Everyone should be as happy, or at least less mad. Society needs an attitude adjustment right now. There is too much angst and anger in the world, especially on the Internet. I refuse to read rabid comments and packaged political pontifications from those on the far left or the far right. The vitriol solves nothing. I don’t know how we got to this level of animosity among total strangers, but I’ll do my best to add a few laughs when and where I can.
On a warm summer night in the conflicted State of Idaho, there was laughter and wine and birthday cake. On the patio, finishing my blog, I imagined blowing out the candles and wished the positive feeling could permeate the airwaves and soften the hearts and minds of all the jerks who spew their online hatred. And, if I could, I’d tell them to turn off the computer, find a peaceful patio, and eat cake.