My very dear friend, M.G. Buehrlen, organized a blog tour that appreciates authors, and I am the inaugural scribe!*
My phone started chirping tweet alert noises early this morning. I clicked on the first link, then the second, and as I went from post to post, reading kind and encouraging things intended for ME, to build me up, and to make me smile, and laugh (a lot), and cry (a lot), I magically turned into my Granny Doris.
In her white-carpeted house - where she washed and ironed her curtains weekly, had refrigerator shelves so clean docs could perform surgery on them, and only let her grand kids play downstairs on the shag carpet that was twenty-five years old but looked newly installed - my Granny Doris had a display shelf dedicated to Dale Earnhardt. The first one.**
It was just weird, y'all. She possibly loved Dale more than I love Robward. And Jason Momoa. Or a Robward Momoa SANDWICH (and I'd totally put that on a display shelf). But I digress.
One year for Christmas, the whole family got together and gave Granny race tickets for Bristol. FANCY race tickets. Race tickets that any true race fan would go the bad kind of Deliverance on your ass to possess. Relatives made sacrifices (financial, not like, small animals). Phone calls planned endless details. Money was exchanged. It was going to be the Best. Christmas. Present. EVER.
Christmas Eve. The family gathered at Granny's. We were so excited we could barely get through the turkey and the cornbread dressing and that weird relish tray my mom always brought with black olives and gherkin sweet pickles.
And then it was TIME. We led her to her rocking chair, and one of my little cousins ceremoniously gave her the perfectly wrapped box. We all leaned forward, oh so anxious, ready to watch her cheer or cry or possibly clog.***
She opened the box, looked at the tickets, put back them carefully, said thank you, and then folded her hands in her lap.
Sometimes, something so marvelous and serendipitous happens that you just don't know how to respond in the moment. You read the book that changes your life. You decide that you will write that book, damn it, and no one will stop you. You do that. It sells. You see it on a shelf. IN A STORE. Someone is excited to meet you (YOU!) at a signing or a book festival, so you talk about your pantsless children, or that time you walked into a flag pole, just to cover up your awkwardness, which only makes you more awkward, but you roll with it because they're laughing. Not the awkward kind of laughing.
Then one day, you wake up, and people you care about, admire, love and adore, have taken time to show YOU love. And they've asked others to do the same.
After all these years, I get where my Granny was coming from on that long ago Christmas Eve.
I'm sitting with my hands in my lap, completely overwhelmed, staring down at an outpouring of goodness that brings me so much laughter and love I don't expect I'll stop smiling for weeks.
Like Granny, I don't know how to respond, other than to say ... thank you.
Race day has proven to be truly spectacular.
*The word scribe sounds so pretentious. Actually, so does the word pretentious, but I just turned in page proofs and they broke me and also made me a little twitchy about things like repeating words and split infinitives. I still don't know what those are, btw.)
**I'm from East Tennessee, yet somehow managed to elude the Nascar gene. Amen.
***Here's a scene from Deliverance that I love. Not because of the music, but because it shows how the city slickers think "they so fancy" and the backwoods kid just needs a couple of dollars when he's given them an outstanding display of talent, and around them are examples of a way of life that becomes more extinct every day.
****My Granny Doris is the one who used to take me to Carter's Fold to clog on Saturday nights when I was little. My tap shoes were green.
P and S: If you aren't interested in following the blog posts for info about me, please just surf through to enjoy the MIRACULOUS things people can do with Photoshop. Although I don't see a Robward Momoa Sandwich.