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Tempe, Arizona

November 1st, 2007

This post was supposed to be titled Santa Fe, New Mexico. My intent was to post an entry day before yesterday on the trip home from Colorado, but the business computer at the hotel in Santa Fe ate my draft, so my well-laid plans went completely awry. After my experiences with hotel guest computers, I understand why people travel with their laptops.

I’m writing this from home. My Colorado trip went very well, all things considered. After the windy start, the weather in Colorado Springs was sunny and cool, except for Sunday, October 21, the last day of the Women Writing the West Conference, when we got up to find four or five inches of snow on the ground! It was cloudy and cold and snowed all day long, and was exceptionally beautiful on the mountains and pines. Fortunately, we didn’t have to get out in it, and the temperature shot up to fifty by the next morning and it melted away just in time for the end of the conference.

On Monday Don and I took a side trip west of Colorado Springs to Limon, CO, just to look over the country and call on whatever libraries and bookstores we might find, and on Tuesday, we did the same with a trip from Colorado Springs to Canon City, in the opposite direction. I haven’t been to Canon City for 40 years, since I went there on a family vacation when my youngest sibling was a year old and we drove to Royal Gorge from there. I remember being mightily impressed, and my mother being terrified about taking the baby out onto the bridge lest he squirt from her arms and plunge over the rail into the gorge.

On Tuesday evening, we drove just a few miles north of Colorado Springs to spend three days with Don’s sister and brother-in-law in their beautiful house in Monument, CO. It was great to see them, and as usual they took wonderful care of us, feeding us and entertaining us and driving us around the area and generally trying to convince us to move up there. I got to see niece Shannon, who had flown in from the Washington DC area – I like to say just to see us, though I suspect that a visit with her parents was a big draw for her.

The in-laws took us up into the mountains to visit Manitou Springs on a lovely, sunny day, and we wandered around and shopped and imagined what it would be like to live in a $600K condo overlooking the mountain stream that sparkled through the middle of town. That was a wonderful day, and would have been even more wonderful had I not come down with a case of 24-hour flu/a virus/food poisoning and spent most of the night sitting on the bathroom floor inspecting the porcelain facilities.

If I had to be sick on the trip, I picked a good place to do it, because I was able to spend most of the next day in bed without having to worry about check-out time. Also, I couldn’t have asked for better nurses than my sister-in-law Lorraine and my niece Karla, who fed me Sprite and ice chips and tomato soup. And I must give huge credit to my beloved husband. The man held my hair and mopped my face and cleaned and disinfected after me, and never once acted like he’d rather be doing something else. And this is not the first time he’s done this for me in our long marital career, either, Dear Reader. Remind me sometime to tell you about the Dread Week of Food Poisoning in Nice, France, in 1977.

But I digress.

I managed to drag myself out of bed at about 4:00 in the afternoon the next day, still feeling pretty shaky, and get myself more or less ready for a signing at a Barnes and Noble in Colorado Springs. When I set this gig up two months ago, I asked if I could do a talk, but it turned out to be a regular sit-and-sign, which considering the way I was feeling may not have been such a bad thing. The events manager did set me up for a night when the local writing group was meeting at the store, and she arranged for me to go over to their table and talk to them for fifteen minutes or so. The bookstore was pretty dead that evening, otherwise. It was the second night of the World Series, and everyone in town was glued to his TV watching the Rockies go down. Robyn, the B&N events manager, was a lovely and welcoming person. I sold a book or two and managed to get through the evening, and that’s the best I can say about that.

There was speculation that I was affected by the altitude, but I spent the next week above 5000 feet and never had a recurrence, so I doubt it. Whatever it was, Dear Reader, you’ll be relieved to know that my mysterious illness, which affected me and me alone, was completely gone the next day. It’s a good thing, too, since that was the night that I did a program in Denver at the famous Tattered Cover Bookstore on Colfax Avenue. This event warrants its own entry, so I’ll close for now and fill you in on the Tattered Cover and the rest of the trip in a day or two.

Until then, Happy Halloween. I’m going to bed.

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