Gratitude

A sign that my computer is getting old. I can no longer trust the battery indicator.

But I’m here to talk about the good things from my trip to Seattle/Portland. Too often people have expectations that aren’t met on trips like that, and they feel sadness over the should have beens and should have dones. But if we just live our life, day by day, without those expectations, we’ll find more to be grateful for.

Like this laptop, lasting as long and working as well as it still does. Okay, I have to always take the cord with me. At least when it shut down, what I was working on automatically saved. I’ll get another Microsoft Laptop. When I need to.

Daughter-in-law Amanda told me she likes my hair. That meant a lot to me, as I’ve struggled trying to figure out how to live with this aging and thinning mop.

Rose and Eleanor seemed comfortable around me, or as much as they could since we don’t see each other much. Amanda said Rose liked playing ping pong the most. And she has vastly improved. So nice that Eleanor takes the time and is patient with her. Those girls are different in so many ways. Eleanor took well to the Cat Crimes game I brought and it really is fascinating, how you figure out which cat committed each crime. Rose loved watching Eleanor work out the clues and then checked to see if she was right. Eleanor figured the game out without me. I told her I don’t read instructions very well. I also told her I’m also 70 and the look of amazement on her face I’ll never forget.

I’m not much of a dog person, but Adam’s dog is a sweetie and well trained. Malavika showed off her campus and wow – what a place to work! I would be in love there, as she is. And Adam finally shared some of his work, and I just shake my head. Of course he’s worked on newspapers but I could never do what he does, and does so well.

I really enjoyed taking Ben to a greenhouse to buy him and Adam some plants, courtesy of their father. He shops for plants just like his dad. And we did some Shakespeare together, and said the girls wouldn’t be interested. I was hoping to show them how to read it. Rose is such a performer, I thought she’d get a kick out of it. But since the three girls were at a play, he and I watched Macbeth together, the one with Denzel Washington. Highly recommend that one.

When Malavika was at a board meeting via Zoom, Adam and I decided to watch Homeward Bound – actually, he had Disney+ and was scrolling through it, and I insisted. I think I only saw it once. We had just gotten started when Malavika came in and said that’s her favorite movie. Once again, it made me cry.

As for the conference, I can say now that I’ve had more contacts to bring home than from Philadelphia in January. I was hoping to find someone to be interested in the rest of my copper because I know I won’t get all the books done. Well, Dylan wasn’t at the conference but I might be able to sell him on the Canada book. And another contact was there and bought two of my books. I also donated one to the Native American Scholarship fund silent auction, and it got sold the first day. I volunteered for it, twice, and have to say it was the most fun I had there. The fourth book I had to actually use a great deal of guts to get rid of — first to get up and introduce myself to someone who’d once helped me and then, before I had to leave to meet Deb for early dinner, to give him the one I was giving away free anyway, with a note and my card inside.

It was great visiting with Deb, though I’m afraid I talked too much. My phone stopped working, so I had to find my way back to my hotel without it. Proud to say I managed.

The sessions at the conference were all only 15 minutes and didn’t allow for questions after. All I could do until mine Sunday morning was try to figure out how to sell a couple books afterward when there was no time to even ask questions. Turned out that three people dropped out of our symposium, two who were to present after me, which allowed me time for questions, and to talk up my books.

I also talked to people at exhibits, bought a book to be shipped, found an editor to send a Virginia City proposal to — and that was a fun process because I finally buckled down and looked for ways to find peer reviewers, as requested.

I think the best thing to be grateful for is the one day of beautiful weather in Seattle happened when Adam and I went to an island for the day. What are the odds of that? And I bought the dinner for a big family gathering for my last night there, so we could get family photos. It was hard, splitting myself between the two families, but I loved every minute of it. I learned to accept their lives, and not try to butt in and make suggestions. If they want them, they’ll ask.

We’re always learning, and that’s the way it should be.


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