We left around 7:30 this morning and headed to Reno, taking the route through the Lassen national forest. Wow. It was absolutely breathtaking, lots of big pinion pine trees, beautiful vistas and fun little highway towns. I got my first postcard sent off to my kids (I said I'd send one every day, oops) and Julie took several pictures that actually worked despite the fact that I refused to stop. Poor Julie--I am a scrooge to her free spiritedness.
Despite a little snow and ice on the roads, we made it to Reno with enough to time to make a quick stop to laminate a poster for Julie and hit the Easter Seals Thrift Store. Julie got a very cute jacket (black, surprise, surprise) and I got a red button up shirt (equally surprising). They were $3 each--we call that a deal.
We thought that since the hotel was only life five miles from the store, we had time to quickly check in, take our bags to our rooms, maybe put on a little more deodorant and make it to the signing in time.
What we forgot was that we were in CALIFORNIA where five miles is kinda like fifteen thanks to traffic and lights that I swear are twice as long as they are in Utah. We ended up spending half an hour getting to the hotel, five minutes checking in and twenty minutes cursing the fact that we tried to go to the hotel at all. We were almost fifteen minutes late to the signings, which makes me feel horrible; and yet in the end it turned out just fine (like Julie said it would)
My sister was waiting there with her darling baby girl, and getting a hug from my sis, and a smile from my sweet little niece was priceless. My sister took the train from San Jose with a four month old baby to see me tonight--gosh it makes me misty to even think about. She also brought her sisters-in-law and mother in law to the signing who hung out the whole evening. I haven't seen Cindy in over a year, so it was really great to spend the evening with her.
After the signing Julie and I went to dinner with Audrey, my sister Cindy and her in-laws. I can't even remember the name of the place, but it was very yummy--especially the Pina Coladas. It was the first real meal Julie and I have had and it was so great to share it with these women. I don't know all of Cindy's family well but it was amazing to look around the table, knowing some of the trials each of us have faced, and yet seeing how we've overcome, who we have become because of those things, and where we're all headed. I don't know why it was so deep and reflective to me, but it really was. Life is just ... hard and we don't know how hard it is for most of the people around us and yet it is also so great. Tonight was a kind of realization, I guess, of that fact that while none of us get off 'scott free' we can go forward and find great joy.
Hmm. The waxing philosophical stuff is kinda weird. My apologies.
Anyway, it was a great day with a great ending and I am now very, very tired. Tomorrow we go to Oakland for a lunch signing and then to Bakersfield before heading to LA for the night. Phew. I'm still having to borrow Julie's mascara because we haven't had time to stop and get me some (but we did have time to buy shirts, hmmmm)
Topics discussed today: Family, mystery shoppers, thift-shoppin, California traffic, the abundance of cops on the road, late people, insanity and salvaged title vehicles.