Abingdon, Tadpoles, and Boats, O, My!


Here's the thing, I went to Nashville last week to visit my publishing house, sign books, hang with my dear friend Nancy Rue and my editor Barb Scott but no one expected the tadpoles. I'll explain in a minute. The plane ride to Nashville was pretty bumpy--seatbelts and turbulence all the way. So I when I got off the plane I pretty much kissed the ground and thank the Good Lord for not dropping us! Then I met Nancy Rue. She is such an awesome author and friend. We had lunch at Panera (love their broccoli soup) and then went to her home. What a great place. It's one of the houses in the woods near the river or was it a lake? with lots and lots of windows. No need for curtains or drapes. That evening we were hanging out yakking and I casually checked my email. Nothing too out of the ordinary but as I scrolled further down I saw an unexpected email from E-Bay telling me that my twenty-five live bullfrog tadpoles was ready to be shipped! Nancy's husband Jim about split a gut he was laughing so hard as I sat there trying to remember if and when I ordered tadpoles from Ebay. It was my son,Adam. He ordered the pubescent frogs for $19.99 and $29.99 for shipping!!! That's right, 25 tadpoles were on their way to my house! Let's just say I put an end to that. I wrote to the seller, Heather Boger, and cancelled the tadpoles immediately.
Friday my editor took us to lunch and then back to Abingdon where I was met with a surprise reception and had the honor of meeting all the people who have had a hand in producing Agnes Sparrow. What a joyful time. They are lovely folks who went all out and baked Full Moon pie and lemon squares and had M&Ms on hand. I signed books for them and talked about Agnes and my next book. And they gave me an Abingdon shirt and an Abingdon scarf! What a treat. I love you all.
Then Nancy and I drove to a place called the Puffy Muffin to meet Marge and Carolyn, two darling wonderful, smart, women and talked about war and peace, not the book--actual war and peace. We decided peace was the way to go. Then it was back to Nashville to meet Barb and her husband Mike for dinner at Panera again. I ordered more soup but it came in a yellow bowl and I didn't like the way it looked. So Mike asked them to put it in a green bowl for me, the famous, tempermental author. They did and my soup was much more appetizing in a green bowl. After that we walked over to Books A million where we had more lemon squares and folks from Abingdon came and I signed more books. We had a blast.
Saturday, we finally had some down time and sat around laughing and yakking until Barbara and Mike came over. They brought Riley, a three-pound chihauhua dressed in a shirt and Harley Davidson hat. We celebrated Barb's birthday with a cruise on the river/lake on the Rue's Boat, The Banana Split. Riley wore his little life jacket. I got to drive the boat. What a hoot! And what a lovely ride. I saw so many herons and egrets, and hawks and dogs. Well the dogs weren't on the river. We stopped at a friend of the Rue's who has dogs and we got a dog fix. It was crazy and lovely and wonderful to play with pups and Titus and Gary, oh, they're dogs also. Of course the Scotts brought Riley. It was such fun and Riley was a good boy. Then it was back to the Rue's for steak and birthday cake and laughter. I now understand what Emily Dickinson meant when she said, My Friends are my Estate.
Sunday came and it was time to go home. The flight back to Philly was much better. Leave it to me to share a flight with seven senior ciizen Beauty Queens wearing sashes and Tiaras. It's true. They were lovely and did the beauty queen walk up and down the aisle. It made me smile and laugh and was the perfect curlicue on the end of a great trip.

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