90 candles


The restaurant where my Uncle Ray’s 90th birthday celebration was scheduled to be held, was one of the many places out there that I had never heard of, nor had any idea how to find.  I used my old address in Parma to search for it on Mapquest, since I would be going there from the Parma-Snow library.  Computer searches always take the traveler to the nearest highway even though I do my best to stick to smaller roads that may be more familiar to me.

At the library I was attending a writer’s conference which included three presentations by local authors.  The second speaker was Deanna Adams, whom I had just seen and heard at the Word Lovers Retreat up in Lakeside the weekend before, so I was amused that at least one speaker was not a total stranger to me.  Her talk was good and I took notes as I always do when I have an opportunity to learn something new.

The program went right through the lunch hour, but the host advised us about vending machines on the main floor.  In my handbag I had a little package that had three tiny cookies left in it and I ate those since I did not feel like going downstairs and back up in the short break, nor did I care to spend the money if it wasn’t necessary.

Carrying my coat, furry hat, a bag with notebooks and pens, my handbag, and leaning on the cane I joined the rest of the group in the downstairs auditorium to have a look at the rows of tables with books on them for sale.  Many of the people selling their work had been in the audience upstairs.

Having dressed for the party in the evening I felt slightly overdressed for the conference and weighed down with all my stuff, but I did not plan to go back home before driving to North Royalton.  I did not spend as much time as I might have liked looking at the tempting array of fiction, paranormal romance fiction – a category I had never heard of before, and many other books partly because I didn’t want to start chatting with the hopeful looking folks when I really had no intentions of buying anything.  It has been difficult, but I have done a pretty good job of sticking to my resolution of not buying all the books that appeal to me, and trying instead to borrow books from the library and to make a dent in the huge collection I’ve stockpiled over the years.  I did come away with a handful of bookmarks and a few pieces of chocolate.

Wandering over to the computers I settled in and checked e-mail and Face Book before spending a little time reading.  The sun was setting so I was glad to have a coat and the furry hat to wear once I left the library.

At the restaurant my youngest Aunt grabbed the furry hat on my head and announced, “I’ll get it off of you!!”  I’m not sure she’d have been so brave if some real creature had actually landed on me.

Hat and coat set aside, a seat secured in the booth with my cousin Tom, his wife, Mary, and Tom’s sister, my cousin Theresa, and her mother-in-law, it was not long before, camera in hand, I was moving around the room visiting cousins, sharing hugs, family news and eventually a nice filling dinner topped off with a piece of cake and a speech by Uncle Ray, evidently pleased at his gathering and all the attendees, mostly his gun club friends.


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