According to all things calendarish, it's been five days since last I wrote to you. Been a little busy, I guess. Let's see - on Wednesday the 23rd, Megan and I headed across Iowa to Greenfield (again!). Our launch on that leg of our trek was hampered by an early-morning thunderstorm, the likes of which only the Great Plains can produce. Loading up cardboard boxes of books and our various pieces of luggage and other "cack" with the rain pouring down our necks just did NOT seem like an intelligent thing to do. We had no specific time to be anywhere that day, so leaving Clinton around 10 AM didn't do anything except push our entire Jello-ish plans back a bit.
On our way here, we stopped for lunch in Mt. Vernon and took time to explore this lovely, old college town a bit. Cornell College, which opened its doors to students in 1857, is the only college in the U.S. to have its entire campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That fact becomes important when you're going after some grants. It also tends to dictate what you can and cannot do to the facades of those buildings and grounds so designated. That, of course, can be good and not so wonderful in terms of maintenance.
We ate lunch at a tiny cafe in the back section of an old brick home now used as various commercial shops and offices. Then we crossed the street and let ourselves into the absolutely gorgeous old Methodist Church. From the curved balcony above we could see the two unbelievably beautiful and huge stained glass windows on the sides of the church. I pasted a photo of the Rose Window over the altar (from the church's website) at the top of this post for a bit of inspiration.
So on we went, headed for Des Moines. Knowing we were going to be late getting to West Des Moines where I already knew the location of a Bank of America where I could deposit the VAST sums of cash collected at our Quad Cities and Iowa City events (yes, I am being sarcastic), I asked Garmin to navigate me to a closer bank. He sent us careening into downtown Des Moines and sure enough, right on the corner of some street and another avenue there was a large building with the Bank of America sign at the top corner. However! when we parked and headed for what looked like a front door we discovered there was no longer a bank there - only a parking structure over where it used to be. And we were now too late to find another branch.
I ignored Garmin's NAG-ivating advice and got myself pretty disoriented (which is another word for LOST). Finally, to Megan's GREAT annoyance, I did find my way back to I-80 West and headed toward the lowering sun. I called my sister-in-law to let her know I'd be later than originally discussed getting to their home in Waukee on the west side of Des Moines, then called Charlie in Greenfield and told him the same. No problem at either location, so I hauled Megan and me off to Waukee, where Megan promptly - well, as soon as she could after introductions - headed off for a marathon walk while Rick's brother, Derwood, and wife, Kathy, and I enjoyed a good family chat.
Megan and I had a bit of a blow-out driving away from Des Moines. She was tired and so was I and she really does not like car trips, so all the driving, stopping, driving, detouring, driving really had driven her past her point of tolerance. She snapped at me, I snapped back and, fortunately, rather than being "off & running" with a full-blown argument, we both stepped back and went quiet. After a period of slightly tense silence, she asked me a simple question and I gave a simple answer and we were fine with each other once again. Would that all potential arguments could resolve themselves so quickly and easily...and with no lingering bad feelings between the parties.
We had a GREAT art show / book signing last night at the E. E. Warren Opera House on the square in downtown Greenfield. I think about half my brother's church congregation showed up and most bought books and several bought Norm's artwork. I, myself, bought two absolutely wonderful paintings. Megan and I were just talking about the dichotomy that shows how a relatively unknown author, doing a "big" booksigning in a large town may net a few book sales while a smaller event in a smaller town can net many books sold. So, we've learned NOT to judge a booksigning by its potential group size. In fact, this morning in church, several people said they were sorry they had other things planned for last night and couldn't make it to our soiree, could they still get books? Charlie quickly announced that we'd have a casual reception Tuesday afternoon in the church fellowship room for any that had wanted to meet Megan and me but had not yet. Boy, oh, boy! You really just never know, do you!
Tomorrow, I'm heading back into Des Moines where I once again intend to make my way to a B of A and deposit the now even greater sum of cash and check's we've garnered. Again, that's my intention! I am also having a casual luncheon meeting with the Patient Services Manger for the Iowa/Nebraska Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Wendy sounds like a delightful person from her emails and I'm happy we're able to arrange this get-together.
For now, from beautiful close-to-downtown Greenfield (Iowa), I bid adieu!