Yesterday, Wesley and I spent the entire day in downtown Little Rock at the Arkansas Literary Festival. We got up early, drove to the River Market in the Jeep with the top off, and let me say it was the most gorgeous day. As we drove down the streets in Hillcrest I looked up out of the top of the Jeep and was in awe at how beautiful the blue sky was accented with the green of the trees. The wind blowing our hair, holding hands, and simply smiling and laughing with each other. It was one of those moments that lets you know that whatever the day holds, it is going to be wonderful.
The River Market was already a bustle at 8:30 in the morning. The line to get breakfast (and much needed coffee) was long and winding. Great weather, great festival all equal great attendance. We ate and talked and planned our day with my highlighted copy of the festival program. I had been pouring over it for at least a month. Our first stop was at 10:00 a.m. for the Your First Time panel. I was going to get to finally meet Kyran Pittman, a local blogger and first-time author. I was beyond ecstatic. Wesley just quietly grinned at me, and let me say what a trooper he is and was. He went along with me to what can only be described as primarily a "chic session" or sessions, he also went with me to hear Ree Drummond later that afternoon, and he was not only present but engaged. I love him.
The sessions were great and informative. I got to meet the authors, ask questions, and get autographs. I took pages and pages of notes. It was heaven. In between sessions, Wesley and I went to booths and shops buying books all along the way (see picture below). I am not sure which of us is worse honestly. What I do know is that I love being with someone who is as book obsessed as I am. Hello, my name is Heather Nelson, and I am a bookaholic. Wesley and I joked about that back and forth all day. I guess if you are going to have a vice, this is the one to have...and aren't we all an addict with something or a little OCD? Yes, yes I believe we are. :)
|Yes, those are SOME of our purchases. Yes, those bags are also full. Yes, we know we have a problem. :)|
After we had been to all of the (highlighted) sessions, shopped for books until we dropped, and even got to eat lunch and visit with family...we finally headed out of downtown Little Rock. Where did we go? Barnes and Noble. Seriously. We had a small side stop at Home Depot (don't get me started on my new carpet nightmare), but afterwards we stopped at the Barnes and Noble in North Little Rock so that I could see if they had the new book by Ashley Judd (her memoir). We had been at the Barnes and Noble in West Little Rock the night before and they were sold out. After hearing, reading and seeing stuff all week on this book, this Judd obsessed girl HAD to get her hands on a copy of this book. I know this may sound extremely, well silly, after reading about the literary festival (and certainly if you knew all of the great books I had purchased there), but let me explain it....I am Judd obsessed. When I moved to Nashville back in 2000, I had people concerned I might become a Judd stalker. I relate to them so much and on the strangest of levels. It is a little sick. I always wanted to be Wynonna as a child...ALWAYS. So, I simply had to read this book. They had it, and I was reading it in the store while Wesley shopped. Yes, yes I know. Stop shaking your head and judging me. :)
The truth is that I actually just finished the book after waking up this morning. I now realize, what an epiphany, I should have been relating to Ashley all along. Wow! If you come from any kind of dysfunction in your family, you will LOVE this book. I am thinking of admitting myself to the treatment center she went to in Texas. :)
All of this has me thinking about the glorious world of books, the places books can take you, and the realization that everyone has a story inside of them. I do not know if I will ever write a book. What I do know is that writing this blog has saved me in some ways. It has given me a voice about the serious, the silly, and the completely mundane. What A.J.'s book reminded me, as well as listening to Kyran Pittman and other authors speak yesterday, is that I do in fact have my own voice. We all come at our memories, our past and present, with our own perspectives. I have no idea what your reality was or is, but I absolutely know what my reality was and is. That in itself is the gentlest of reminders to judge lest not ye be judged, because whatever you think of someone else...you absolutely have NO idea. I am blown away by the amount of judging we do every day...that I do every day. If the Devil lies anywhere in this world, he certainly lives wherever judgement of others begins.
That leads me to another thought about books and how often they remind us that we are not alone in a world that while becoming more global (i.e., smaller) is also becoming one that is more isolating and lonely. Yesterday I experienced my life while this morning typing on a computer, watching the morning news...even reading a book, I am simply an observer of life once again. Sometimes I let myself get out of balance in this area. I have been working on that. I need to keep working on that. I tend to have some of my parent's (both biological parents are afflicted) isolationist tendencies. I used to be all hoity-toity and describe myself as Jeffersonian. What a crock. I have hermit tendencies. The truth is, there is no romance in that.
Clearly, I have digressed. :)
The point is...I am blessed and humbled. Yesterday was the most glorious day....sunshine, books, friends, family, new friends, new knowledge (lots of note taking), and the love of my life right there savoring it with me. It was one of those days that when you sit down later and think back upon it, you get a little teary eyed and then say a quiet prayer to God for giving you such a day as that to look back on (for the rest of my life).
I wish for you a Best. Day. Ever. today. I am headed back downtown this afternoon for another day of activities at the literary festival. It will be hard to top yesterday (impossible really) since Wesley went back home last night. I am open to the possibility though that I will have another great day that I can then tell him all about tonight on the phone. The one thing I have learned about finding your true other half is that in everything you do (good, bad and ugly), you always want them with you. As my friend Elizabeth says, "He's your lobster."
I hope you are inspired (in some way) to find, create and have your own "Day in the Life of Pollyanna" today. It doesn't matter what that looks like for you...only that you figure it out, have it, and then savor every minute of it. That is the Glad Game lesson for the day...I am glad I savored every second of it. :)
Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)