Search This Blog

Saturday, July 13, 2019

“How Doth the Busy Little Bee…”?

Can you believe it’s practically the middle of July already? Is summer half-over? Vacation just starting or still a few weeks in the future? Anyway, the marsh marigolds have given way to daisies, yarrow, and sweet peas along the roadsides, and while coreopsis and St. Johnswort were a little late this year they're now making quite a showing, as are garden roses, making up for the iris performance that's over for the season. Cherries are ripening. Hay is being cut and baled and transported from the fields.

It was another very busy week in your Up North bookseller’s life (making hay while the sun shines) -- so busy I’ve already forgotten what happened on Monday. Tuesday, I know, brought Barbara Stark-Nemon to the library with her new novel, Hard Cider; Wednesday our little reading circle escaped vicariously to Vienna for a couple of hours (with the help of a couple book and three special guests); and Thursday, of course, Kathleen Stocking was my Thursday Evening Author at Dog Ears Books, where we had, as I had anticipated, standing room only in the Artist’s gallery, with audience spilling over into studio and bookstore. I have to thank the versatile Artist, David Grath, not only for letting us use the space but also for setting up chairs and for his beautiful painting on the cover of the guest author’s book! Sorry I don't have better photos -- I mean, really, sorry I don't have good, illustrative photos at all of the evening. There was just no room to maneuver.

As it was, I had to elbow my way past the overflow crowd to get the above.

Kathleen Stocking is, to resort to a word I generally consider overused but one very appropriate in this case, iconic Leelanau. On this particular occasion (she seems to have a different twist for every appearance) she brought along children of a friend to perform a skit illustrating the history of the universe! Who would have expected that? And after her talk, copies From the Place of the Gathering Light: Leelanau Pieces flew off the sales counter. 

Whenever I’m tempted to say the weather is or was “hot,” as it was on Wednesday, I am always reminded of a friend (you are gone but not forgotten, Chris) who forbade the use of that word in northern Michigan. He would allow his friends to say “warm,” when summer finally came after a long northern winter, but no complaining, ever! Whatever you call temperatures in the 90s, I was relieved when a cold front moved in Wednesday evening, so that the Artist’s gallery space on Thursday, even filled to overflowing, remained comfortable. 

If you missed the event, a few signed copies are still available, along with signed copies of Stocking's previous book (her third of four), The Long Arc of the Universe—Travels Beyond the Pale, which I highly recommend you read, also. In short, it was a glorious evening!

[Note on refreshments (skip if not interested): The event series is still called TEA, but I’ve switched to punch this summer. We had “library punch” for Jennifer Clark (Vernor’s and white grape juice — always good), and for Kathleen I modified a punch recipe that is so good that it needs a name of its own. Nancy Giles makes her punch with frozen orange juice, frozen lemonade, pineapple juice, 7-Up, water, vanilla extract, and almond extract. My modification was the substitution of Vernor’s for 7-Up, and because of that change I omitted the almond extract. Sorry not to include measurements here, but I kind of winged it on those, reducing the amount of Vernor’s and water and trusting on melting ice to make up for it. Tip on Note: Don’t add all the carbonated liquid at once, but add a more gradually as the ice melts to keep the kick in the punch.]

Friday morning was beautiful, too, and, with Bruce opening the bookstore for me, I treated myself to a leisurely late rising and unrushed garden-watering session. Forget Shakespeare’s sonnet about June — it’s July that is bringing perfect days to northern Michigan this year. Perfect morning for farmers market on Friday. Perfect evening for Music in the Park. Perfect all day long for strolling around the village to admire garden blooms.

Perfect days for relaxing with good books, too, so steal the time, one way or another. I look forward to these future TEA guests at my bookstore in Northport.

Authors and books still to come this summer

P.S. Today's title was taken from this poem

No comments: