So a couple weeks before Christmas, I’m doing a book signing at the Kittery Trading Post (always nice to head south during the winter). Across from me was Santa and Mrs. Claus. She looked harmless enough, but frankly, I think Santa might have been in witness protection.
Those kids waiting to get their photo taken were some cute, all dressed up and a few in their pajamas. My favorites were those children that were fine until you put them in Mrs. Claus’ lap, then they’d start to cry. Then the parents would try to calm them down, all the while getting more and more stressed out because they’re so invested in getting the perfect picture. And the kid’s fine until he’s turned over to that stranger in red. And I’m thinking, Just take the photo anyways. So the kid’s screaming. It’s where the he’s at right now, and it’ll be a great picture to torment him with later. But hey, that’s just me.
There were a whole group of brothers and sisters all dressed in crazy Christmas sweaters with Santa hats on. They were middle-aged, which is the perfect age for this sort of thing, in my opinion. Oh my God, they were almost peeing their pants they were laughing so hard, crowded around the Claus’. They got other folks laughing, too, including me. Priceless!
I had a great time giving folks directions to different departments, meeting new people and sharing my books. Then I heard someone say, “Hi, Ida.” And I turned and saw this tiny older woman. I mean to say, I’m 5’2” and I towered over her. She was short, like old Catholic nun short. And she had bright blue hair! It was sky blue with a hint of teal. So I said the first thing that popped into my mind, “Wow, I like your hair.”
“Thanks. I thought it was going to be brighter.” Geesh, it’s pretty bright, I’m thinking. “It was purple before this and that was real snappy.”
She told me her name was Barbara and she’d seen me do one of my shows ages ago. So we get to talking, and Barbara was a hoot. A real Cracker Jack, my grandmother would have called her, so full of energy. Turns out Barbara was eighty-two and a half. I would have pegged her as being in her early seventies.
She goes, “I celebrated my eighty-second birthday by going skydiving.”
“Get out of town, Barbara. Was that a tandem type deal?”
“Yup, I was strapped to a nice looking young fella, so it was a win/win, as far as I was concerned.”
“I hear you.”
“My kids didn’t want me to do it. Didn’t even come watch. But hey, it was on my bucket list and the clock’s ticking.”
“Was it fun as fun as you thought it’d be?”
“More fun that zip lining, which I did in Costa Rica. I was in my seventies then.”
“Oh, I’ve always wanted to go zip lining.”
“Ida, if you want to do something, do it. Don’t let anyone stand in your way. Including yourself.”
And that, folks, is going to be my motto for 2017. What’s yours?
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Upcoming Book Events and Performances
February 10: Book Reading: The Sweet Life, Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library Literary Luncheon, https://bbhlibrary.org/ 11:30, Boothbay Harbor, ME
Invite Ida to Your Book Group
In need of a little pick me up? Sick of reading serious, even depressing books? It's okay for your book group to read something fun every now and then. Something that will make you laugh with some good advice thrown in for good measure. And while you're at it, how about an author visit to spice things up?
I'd love to come to your book group and give you the inside scoop on "Finding Your Inner Moose" and/or "The Sweet Life," especially if food is involved! You can order my books from Islandport Press, your local book store, or the usual suspects (Amazon, Barnes & Noble). Also available for download in your favorite ebook format.
Send me an email or call 207.384.4526 to make a date. We'll have a wicked good time! And remember: what happens in book group, stays in book group, right?