Posted by: jeannineatkins | October 22, 2007

Book Parties and Weddings

What a weekend. The Red Sox will go into the World Series (not that I follow, but glad for my friends), the grandest foliage weekend around Massachusetts, and the most fun since E. left for college. On Friday Peg Davol and I drove up to the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock, Vermont, ducked out of the rain, and there was Jo Knowles jbknowles sitting behind a huge bunch of red roses and small stacks of Lessons from a Dead Girl. We got hugs, we got pictures (one day I’ll learn to post those) taken by Debbi d_michiko_f and Cindy cfaughnan who were having the time of their lives celebrating their dear and talented friend.

After more greetings and book browsing we went on to Jo’s home where many many lovely and true things were said about Jo from family and friends from all walks of her life. I think my favorite toast went something like, “We all are so happy that someone we love published her first novel, but we’re also happy that a book so important is going out into the world.”

Yes, we are. I just finished reading Lessons from a Dead Girl and am so impressed with Jo’s powerful prose, her bravery and wisdom. It made me see my own life in a new way. Who can ask more from a book?

Saturday was quiet: cutting about twenty lines from various poems, changing words around, cutting more words, and some vacuuming (why do dogs shed in fall?) The highlights were a few reports from my daughter visiting her friend Z at George Washington U, and I got online reports and pictures of them ogling the Hope Diamond in the Museum of Natural History, E grinning in plastic Imax Theater glasses and waving tickets for monsters of the deep, E’s hands in peace signs in front of the White House gate, and getting twisted ice cream treats from vendors and then Indian food, long missed in Louisiana.

I used to wonder why weddings were so packed with old people. Now I’m one of them and must say a perk of age is that sometimes you get to see circles, like attending the wedding of someone who attended yours when young enough so that he enjoyed wearing a big black pocketbook over his head as he attempted to be Darth Vadar. Jesse, son of one of my best friends from high school, and now, was three when he flailed a light stick at the only slightly lopsided three-tiered carrot cake I’d baked, while P’s brother Don gave the blessing, “Live long and prosper,” something like that.

Yesterday there were the loveliest mushiest toasts from Jesse’s younger brothers, who Jesse, now 28 and ten years older than Jarad and even older than Taran, sort of mentored, nurturing that probably led to his career as a history teacher when you throw in his fascination for epic battles. Jarad said Jesse’s love for beautiful, kind Megan made him a better man, which was saying a lot, and lauded Megan for scoring tickets and taking him to hear his favorite band. Taran cried again as he retold of sitting in Friendly’s hearing his brother tell the family he was engaged to this young woman, another teacher, who the family had already come to love. A friend of Megan’s told of having Megan call and say she thought she’d been asked on a date, but it was snow boarding, so she wasn’t sure. When she said the guy brought flowers, her friend said, yes, that was a date. “Which goes to show, you can find love anywhere, even in the history department.”

My friend Sue looked gorgeous in slightly sparkly sapphire blue, though she also looked great in the first dress she bought (this was mother-of-the-groom dress number 4, but as my husband pointed out, now she’s set for the younger guys’ weddings, with a spare). All this wonder took place on a hill
overlooking Fruitlands, where kind-of-nutty transcendentalists but always wise Louisa May Alcott once lived, and which will always hold a place in my presently overloaded heart. (just wishing E safe travels as I write)



  1. xoxo
    What an amazing weekend. I love the descriptions of E and the wedding. And other things too, of course.
    Thanks again!!!!!

  2. You had an incredibly full weekend, and it sounds as if all those activities filled your heart. Very nice.

  3. It was a pleasure meeting you!

  4. Thanks! Great to meet you, too!

  5. entry about the wedding…
    Don’t know if I’m sending this correctly — really enjoyed reading this, as believe it or not I haven’t heard many reactions from the wedding! Love the concept of cycles — had forgotten about Jesse at your wedding, but can still see him in my mind with the handbag on his head! Makes me cry to think of the speed at which time passes, and how increa-singly inept I am as I age at fully “seizing the moment…” This site is really cool by the way — you have a lot of sctiving stuff to write about!

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