Though my memories of the last three days of the Nightowls & Newborns Western Tour are dim and probably dimwitted (twitter chimes in from the sidebar that it's been 45 days, after all...), I thought I'd try.
As I recall, we left Regina mid-morning, after having hung out with Tracy and her lunch meeting-companion, Annette Bower.
Annette and I had met in the summer at the ceremony celebrating the winners of The Writers' Collective's literary contests. She'd won the postcard contest and had traveled to town to accept her award while I was in attendance as co-judge of the youth fiction category.
At the time, we'd both had the inkling that we knew each other, if only because of friends in common, like Tracy and Brenda. And so it was nice to have the chance to talk to her, in Tracy's kitchen, with a cup of tea at my elbow.
Since Kerry and I had so enjoyed the 13th Ave Coffee Company, we picked up lunch to eat in the car on the way to Prince Albert, both of us opting for their hippy-bowls-of-plenty (i.e. their rice bowls with various veg + tofu).
We drove through an afternoon storm on the way to PA which included those sun-stroked gaps in the clouds, the fields out the window alternatively stark and incandescent.
I composed a poem in my head during one of my driving stints but it was mostly gone by the time I was ensconced in Kerry's sister's guest bedroom in Prince Albert, the greetings, the unpacking, the quick glance at the article on Kerry and I in the PA Herald.
I managed to catch part of the Bomber game on television that evening but was less successful getting onto Kerry's sister's encrypted network.
The next day, after a homemade breakfast was consumed and a batch of gingersnap cookies put in the oven, we hit the last PA farmer's market of the season, which consisted of card tables set up next to cars, filled with root vegetables or honey or home baking or sometimes all three.
And it was very cold but the elk sausages and blueberry jam I bought mostly made up for it. We then Value Villaged, with better than average results, but I left behind my new handmade mittens. Bah.
We showed up the Prince Albert library a little early for our afternoon reading, homemade gingersnap cookies in hand, and spent some time unpacking and arranging ourselves and our tour implements.
In hindsight, it was probably ill-advised to plan a reading for Thanksgiving Saturday in a small town. But we were on the library ticker tape, you know, the receipt you get that lists all your loans, which I thought was sort of nifty...and it gave Kerry a chance to visit with her sister and her family.
Anyways, of the eight people at the reading, two were not members of Kerry's sister's family. Which is still eight people that had never heard my poetry before...
Since this was what poets call an 'intimate crowd,' we chucked out our original reading plan, which was more appropriate for a larger, less partisan crowd.
So Kerry and I sat next to each other in chairs and alternated reading a handful of poems each.
And then we packed up our books and t-shirts and took our literary selves to the Bison cafe, where I whiled away a good hour with the best company a girl can have in a strange town on a cold day: the Saturday paper and a London Fog.
Wasn't a particularly good paper or foamy tea, but it was VERY satisfying to be all alone and to simultaneously know that my homecoming was imminent.
The next morning was frosty, the road in either direction partially obscured, the river across the street and its typically beautiful fall foliage wreathed in fog.
Of course, as Kerry scraped the car, I strode across the street to take pictures.
And then it was only eight hours of driving - that included a strange small-town gas station with a whole retro candy bar, a packed lunch of Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, and thawing elk sausage in the trunk - before I walked into my empty and only very slightly clean house.
(I HATE Hate hate coming home to a squalid house and so have put pressure on M, lo these past few years, to attempt to dig himself out before I get home.
This time round it wasn't bad but neither was it...especially good. As I dumped my bags in the front porch, I resolved not to stomp around and almost managed to be gracious about the whole thing...until I told M later that evening that I was trying very hard not to say anything. He said he'd noticed me trying very hard.)
I had another half hour of driving, to my in-law's, before I was reunited with M and Aa and my second Thanksgiving of the weekend.
And it only took me two weeks to catch up on everything before I could sort of kind of settle back into a routine.
Thanks to Kerry for the tour-mating, to MAC for partially funding the tour, to Jeope for the t-shirt and poster design, and to Dawn at Palimpsest for most everything else.
* * *
I brought ten copies of The navel gaze home with me but have since sold them to friends and acquaintances, colleagues and co-conspirators.
And, according to Dawn at Palimpsest, the chappie is now officially sold out. Which is sort of fun.
Books sold: 60 (Well, 54 minus my contributor copies...)
Books left: 0