Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wide Open Spaces

The past two weekends I've headed out of Seattle and crossed the Cascade range to Eastern Washington. Last weekend I was in Ellensburg, this weekend in Spokane.

My four sisters and I were once all country girls, raised on an Issaquah Valley farm. Now only one of us  lives the farm life with sheep, chickens and a donkey, with wide open spaces, a night sky bright with stars and silence so deep your own breathing can awaken you in the night. It's a life I could not now live, but one I love to dip into every now and again to remember my roots.

We gathered to celebrate a birthday. This is something we've begun doing every few months: five middle-aged women coming together, still learning the changing meaning of life, love and sisterhood.

Friend and writing partner, Pamela Hobart Carter, and I drove to the far side of Washington state to present at the Spokane Regional ESL Conference. Another sun-filled, snow-free, gorgeous drive reminded me to get out of the city more often. 
We arrived early enough Friday evening for some exploring around Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane. Saturday morning we went to Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute where I once visited one of my sisters while she completing her degree.
We spoke to a room full of ESL faculty interested in what we have to offer: short books in easy English for adults.

In the late afternoon, I did a signing at the fabulous Auntie's Bookstore. I look forward to returning on May 23rd to do a reading of Walking Home, scheduled for release next month.
The fun thing about signings is the folks you meet. Among others, Pam and I met Nathaniel Banks. When he mentioned he runs a non-profit to fight obesity, Pam pointed out my book titles (Running Secrets, Biking Uphill and Walking Home) and the activities of each of the protagonists. In doing so, she established a link between emotional and physical health in my work I held only on a subconscious level. Wonderful!
Our return to Seattle was as glorious as the drive over: the perfect end to two weekends on the road.

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