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Homecoming (Part 1)

April 26, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Until last weekend, it had been almost 2 1/2 years since I'd been back home to the Twin Cities.   But thanks to my dear friend Zoë, who arranged a pair of Bitter Seeds signings for me, I had the opportunity to go back, see the city, visit with terrific friends, and spent some quality time with my fabulous agent.  Oh, and I signed a few books, too. 

As homecomings go, I'd be hard pressed to think of a better one.

There are times when I miss Minnesota.  I miss the water, the lakes, the greenery.  By now, that wistfulness is usually just a persistent background thrum in my day-to-day life.  But sometimes something can push it to the fore, such as when my plane was on the final approach to MSP airport (the Lindbergh terminal, I've since learned, is now "Terminal 1") and I had my first good look at the place in over two years.  So green!  And so many trees!  Sure, we have trees in New Mexico, too, but it's just not the same.  And all that water!  Just sitting around in great big puddles.  Er, lakes.  And rivers with actual water in them!  As opposed to the dry ravine that passes for a river near where I currently live.

It's flatter there than it is here.  The mountain views are a fair trade.  I did notice, though, that my perception of the city had changed a lot owing to my time driving around in New Mexico.   I've become accustomed to being able to see for many miles (not in town itself, but it's a relatively small town).  On my daily bus commute to work, for instance, I routinely gaze out at sunrise on the Jemez mountains, 30 miles away.  But when driving around in my old neighborhoods near the University of Minnesota, I found the streets eerily cramped.  At first I thought something in the neighborhood had changed, and spent a good few minutes trying to identify the new buildings.  But I eventually realized that wasn't it.  The tall trees lining the streets and obstructing my peripheral vision felt out of place to me, after living in New Mexico for a while.  Also, I suppose the western mindset where buildings don't get very tall (except in downtown areas) has made its mark on me.

On the evening of my arrival, dinner plans got pushed back a few hours later than intended, so I went straight to Richard and Ceridwen's house.  Which of course meant I arrived just as they were doing the floors.  Go, me!  But I got to say hello to their son (Gali)Leo, with whom I've been on camping trips (along with R & C), and who is growing fast enough to freak me out.  That kid is a serious reader.  Very impressive.  And I finally met their daughter Astrid, who was born the day after the last time I visited R & C.  I think Astrid and I hit it off pretty well.  Althought she couldn't decide if I were a ninja, a princess, or a ninja princess who turns into a mummy.  (Astrid has a delightfully strange imagination.)  Man, I love those kids.

That night, I had a late dinner with Zoë, to whom Bitter Seeds is dedicated.   Two years is a long time away, and we had a lot of catching up to do.  But we had to cut it short on Thursday, because I had to be back at the airport early the next morning to pick up my wonderful and fantabulous agent. 

Friday was a day of leisure punctuated with a few hours of rambunctious fun.   But it's late and I'm exhausted.  So I'll say more about that, and post photos of the weekend's signings, in following installments.  (Suffice it to say for now that the signings were amazing!  Far, far better than I'd hoped or feared.  In many ways.)


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