Vignettes,  War Serenade

Next Time I’ll Be Super Cool!

Last Sunday my wonderful friend and Face Whisperer, Ivette Griffith, held a book signing for War Serenade in her tranquil salon: Beauty Forever Skincare.

Shortly after 2 pm we happily rendered this beautiful space, tranquil no more!

The African-esque scene was set a week before in Ivette’s gorgeous picture window. With Darlene’s help and Ivette’s eye, I muddled through my first window-dressing experience. Thank goodness for the incredibly thoughtful MOVIE POSTER of War Serenade my SeaGal Jen-Jenns made for me. It dominated center stage and set the intention of things to come. (Always putting my movie-or-limited-series-dream for “my baby” out into the universe :o))

What fun! My South African friends rallied, Michelle made us delicious Melk Terts –  traditional Afrikaans tea-time delights (perhaps the biggest hit on the day!). My exotic friend, Lorena, from Zimbabwe, created the fruit & savory trays with an Italian flair, because Pietro HAD to be represented, after all. Lorena also labored over the making of lace baggies filled with War Serenade-related goodies and tied with zebra-stripes and musical ribbons. Ivette transformed the room with South African flag bunting and even South African flag toothpicks, adding to the flavor. I made biltong – our traditional snack of lightly pickled beef slathered in spices and hung up to dry days before.  

Sunday morning my girls all pitched in: Mimi did my eyes – she is a make up artiste after all; Ivette directed and created and changed and moved and transformed her place just for me; Barb worked like a Trojan (a member of the ancient civilization…YOUR MINDS!), Lorena rallied and then became our in-house Barnes and Noble with books to sell.

I wore all my things that meant the world: Judy Gems; exquisite bracelets with hand-crafted War Serenade-related charms; my wedding ring of course because I always need my fellow close in thought; my new, sparkly birthday earrings from my VA girls/Sea Gals; and proudly I wore love in my heart from my sister and my Wolfsisters – Lanie and Kitty. Though physically on different continents, they were right there, right next to me, because I felt loved and lucky and sublimely humble.

Doors opened at 2. Beloved friends and past clients streamed in. Some l hadn’t seen for a decade or more. I was touched and delighted. People making an effort for ME? How did I get so lucky?  

Ivette is the most popular girl I know. Her great faith in me had encouraged her friends, some of whom already had copies of “my baby,” to stop by. I was thrilled beyond measure to meet many new, interesting, gracious folks who filled my heart with joy, amongst them, Dr. Lisa Rubenstein and family. True to her supreme grace, Ivette gave me the center stage and allowed me to monopolize her clients and friends for the afternoon, and I enjoyed every single second!

My power-couple – ALWAYS kind and interested in everyone they meet, both ridiculously good looking – Debbie and Ronnie, lent support as always; Christine surprised me with her chic presence AND a bouquet of roses;  STAR past-president and my friend, Priscilla came from afar with lovely husband Tye; Joe and Carolyn Powers from long ago brought back joyful memories; I was delighted to see Colleen and Retired General Ray; My mom-and-daughter-funniest-people-I-know-team, Charlene & Tracy, didn’t disappoint; Misty Morrison the most divine, successful Realtor around stopped by as did her beautiful Mom and faithful friends: Tammi and Andy Jones with the lovely Aunt Lynne; Funny (ha-ha) friend Alice and my talented photographer/stager Angie hung out happily; Even Shagg – our first Realtor-friend was there; Attorney Joel Wilson and Dr. Tara Forcier – famous pediatrician –  somehow even found the time to stop by. What a treat!

I realized – too late – that in my state of excitement the morning of, I’d cut the biltong pieces too thick. I saw many-a-stuffed-cheek trying in vain to chew the inelegant helpings and I felt desperately bad. When I saw front teeth clamping meat while fingers pulled mightily to nip off a less hefty nibblet, my heart raced. Please, God, don’t let these wonderful guests pop a tooth or lose a crown! They were certainly too elegant and too kind to shriek if there was such a catastrophe.

Being a menopausal woman, I am always hot. This was the second book gig I glowed my way through (‘glowed’ because the nuns told us only horses sweat). But the real glow came from the inside – deep within my heart.

In truth, not even the biltong chunks or the dampness of this author could ruin the day. It was fun and fabulous, and my world was on fire in so many ways. It was a day I will always remember. I was overcome by the love in the room. Whether these wonderful folks came because they’d read War Serenade or wanted a signed copy; whether they were there because I’d nagged them, one way or another; whether they were graciously helping to make the day a success; WHY they came is really not important –  THAT they came is! To both Ivette and me.

We gathered. We shared. We laughed. And it was divine.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

P.S.  When I shared the travesty of my “hot” self during my second ultra-special War Serenade occasion too, my friend Darlene said, “Well, next time have a book signing, do it in a Meat Packing Plant!” What sage advice. Anyone know a book-worm-butcher?

P.P.S. It’s now Sunday. No dental bills have been presented as a result of my inelegant biltong chunks. Whew.

Note to The Entire Griffith/Chardon/McCarry Family:

Thank you for lending me your Mom/Abuela/Wife for so many days in advance of the event and for a full day and into the night during my wonderful occasion.

Note to The Highly Successful Owner of Beauty Forever Skincare:

Words are so inadequate. You have faith in me. What greater gift can I ever receive? What a privilege it is for me to call you “friend”! Thank you, my Ivette. xx

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