Note from Laura: She’s back — ok technically, she’s away — and you’ll hear from Nora for most of the rest of August. But first a recap in her words:
It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to take a nice chunk of time to write a blog. The summer’s been crammed. Actually starting in the spring with my post-Derby cold from hell, then the stupid tooth deal. And travel (fun stuff) from Kat’s birthday spree, Kayla’s NYC trip, two signings, the reader brunch, then onto The Greenbrier.
Oh, and I squeezed our big annual summer party in there—with lots of help from BW and Jason doing the manly set up, to Kat and Laura and Kayla working with me in the kitchen.
All that life and travel and so on equals a lot of fractured writing time. My goal—to finish next year’s summer hardcover before our summer vacation meant focusing in at every available opportunity, and that left no time for blogging.
The Greenbrier worked its magic, and in addition to a full day’s shoot for St. Martin’s, I carved out writing time, and finished that sucker.
So up until now, summer has been a series of interruptions, work, fun with family—oh yeah, we had our family week at the spa in there, too. Gardening.
Let me add one thing about gardening. The deer are now my sworn enemy. No matter how often BW sprayed, the monsoon rains of July countered the repellent. I’ve never had so much eaten away in all my pretties.
They won this year’s battle, but we will retrench and fight the good fight again next year.
And now I can report on our first day of vacation where I’ll only write when the spirit moves, where I intend to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, the time to simply vacate, and appreciate watching Jason and Kat slide through this couple weeks of her third trimester.
We left early yesterday morning, had a long but uneventful flight. The 40 minutes or so from the airport breezed by with Papa John (not the pizza guy) at the wheel. Clear skies as opposed to the haze from wildfires we experienced last time. Those stunning mountains, the wide fields, the curl of the river.
Since we arrived early, we had a drink, a snack, breathed out. Kat and I walked down to the new, bigger shop. We will surely go back, but even on this brief foray, I found a gorgeous bag (I’m so weak! But it was on sale!) And Kat this amazing sort of Hamilton-esque waist coat that she can wear open now with her beautiful bump, and closed post beautiful baby.
The weather’s hot—really hot and really dry, which is just fine by me.
Time to head to our cabin, unpack, settle in, have a nice drink while sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, just looking at sky and trees and mountains. Birds singing, squirrels chittering.
I hope to do some hiking while we’re here, and a lot more porch sitting, maybe get a massage, do some outdoor yoga. And it’s nice, really nice, to be able to just take each day as it comes. No I Have To Dos on this break.
Before we know it it’s dinner time, so we clean ourselves up, head over to the restaurant. It’s lovely to eat outside, and the evening’s cooled off to very, very pleasant. Since it’s my first day in Montana I order a steak—and mmm-boy, yum. I also order what the waitress and I decide to call a Huckleberry Sparkle. A glass of champagne with pretty huckleberries. There’s never a lack of huckleberries around here.
It’s all just lovely, and a very nice end to a long travel day. We get home just about the time the sun’s going down and setting those peaks to the west on fire.
This morning, I’m up early, check in on what’s happening in the world, then head up to the loft for my workout. Later, my focus might be a book somebody else sweated over, or doing a jigsaw puzzle with Kat, maybe taking that walk.
We’ll just see how it goes.
More from Laura: if you’re new to the travelogues, here’s the key to the initials in the photo credits:
NR — Nora (obvs)
BW — Nora’s husband Bruce Wilder
JAB — Nora’s son Jason
KP — The blooming Kat
For those who sent good wishes, my left eye is done — surgeon is pleased and I can see! Will spend the rest of the week as the Dread Pirate Laura because I have to wear a patch over the right eye until it’s fixed next week. Aaaaargh.