The Things They Gave Me

Posted: September 4, 2013 in World On The Edge

partyLife is wonderful when we celebrate it with our families. What would we do without their support?

On Friday of Labor Day weekend, I left for the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Decatur Book Festival, taking my novel and Tuscany’s short Story Collection to present at the Emerging Writer’s Pavilion. I’d never have gotten there without my husband. Driving around Atlanta for someone who doesn’t live there is ominous. Who could do it without a GPS? But George, the driver, the leader, always the strong one, got us there easily. We found our motel and we found the festival as if we were Atlanta natives.

The festival itself was amazing. Downtown Decatur is the perfect venue for the thousands—-yes thousands—-who were there. What was most impressive were the droves of families, with strollers and dogs in tow, who came on that very hot, humid weekend. My family was among them.

Two of my daughters, their husbands and children, live in Atlanta; my middle daughter, Sheila, her husband Matt and their three boys, Daniel, Anthony and Matthew; and my youngest daughter, Anne Marie, her husband, Pat, and my namesake, Caroline Kaye. All of them came to support me, and I can’t say how much it meant.

And there were others who came: Mia, a friend and photographer who showed up unexpectedly and snapped picture after picture of me during my talk and at my book-signing. And my cousins, Jim and Janet who came from Jonesboro with smiles and good wishes. I appreciate all of them so much.

On Sunday when the festival was over, we went to Sheila’s house for a cookout. (Yes, it was raining again, but that did not spoil it in the least) We were met at the door with a Welcome Poster drawn by Daniel and Anthony—first and second graders at Atlanta’s Christ the King School. I have to brag a bit and say that Daniel is a second grade Student Council Representative. The boys had also decorated the table with yellow cut-out stars and purple tissue-paper roses, and Anthony had made paper flowers for a vase in the center.

Anne Marie made wonderful Kentucky Bourbon squares and Pat made a Cream Cheese and Chili dip that lasted only about fifteen minutes. Matt cooked hot dogs and hamburgers and Sheila’s baked beans were mouth-watering.

So we celebrated. We celebrated family. We celebrated each other with laughter, with lots of hugs and sloppy, kid-kisses, and with love.

When we left, Matt dug from his herb garden and sent us home with lemon thyme, mint, and oregano to plant. Anthony sent us home with a flower from the vase he’d made. And Matthew sent us home with–a cold. God love him.

God love them all.  What a celebration!

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