Also, I did not live in the occasional silence of hotel rooms, but with my friends, people I love, all but one of whom had dogs I also love. So I not only talked with my friends; I played with their dogs or took pictures of my friends with their dogs. Bloggers need solitude, I now understand, but I was eager to be with friends and dogs and sunshine, which was also plentiful.
So I enjoyed a Saturday morning market in Santa Cruz with Julie Olsen Edwards, who stopped to say hello to a guy who always dresses up for the occasion. On another afternoon, Julie, husband Rob Edwards, and their sheep-herding, ball-catching Sadie went for a walk in the park. A few days later, on another morning in Santa Barbara, I had breakfast on a beach with Shirley Geok-lin Lim and a seagull. And in Seattle, Enzo and Carol Dahl posed for me one morning in the living room sunlight. And yes, because Saturday was so beautiful in Seattle we walked in Visitors Park before going off to my reading at the prestigious, huge Elliott Bay Bookstore in its new quarters.
I knew that there would be few people at a reading scheduled on a rare sunny Saturday in Seattle, only a dozen came. But two of them were especially worth all I had to give, for they told me before I began that they had been in my classes in 1974 when I was visiting professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. Thirty-seven years later, here they were!! Though they did not know each other as Seattle residents and graduates of the university, they had remembered my name and recognized my photo. I’ve got their names—Iris Rose and Jeanette Norris—and I expect to see them again when I go to Seattle for the meetings of the Modern Language Association next January.