I stood on the shore of the pond, watching the geese sail across.
The wind caught stray hairs on the back of my neck and also seemed to lift the damp blanket of Alabama air. It was not too hot or humid. In the shade the air felt lovely, in the sun I began to understand why I associate light colored, flowy clothing with southern fashion. At least I was wearing sandals. Standing on the shore of Big Spring Park in Huntsville Alabama was the first truly restful moment I’ve had in weeks. I wandered in a little patch of time that had no requirements attached. All the shipping was done on Monday. Tuesday was the day when my brain responded to the lack of shipping project by deciding that I really needed to re-arrange my shipping / storage room. Wednesday was made of sleeping off insomnia and driving kids to my brother’s house. Thursday was full of airplanes, airports, meeting new people, and eating out at a couple of restaurants with delicious food. Friday needed me to help set up Howard’s panels in the art show, but then there were a couple of hours before the convention really gets under way. So I walked to the park.
I sat for awhile on a bench, looking for cardinals. I didn’t see any, but I was greatly amused that the geese kept sidling closer to me and watching just in case I might pull a sandwich out of my bag and feed them some. They did not venture too close, but by the time I’d been sitting for ten minutes. I was surrounded by a ring of geese pretending to take naps.
They were quite polite about it, so I did not mind their company. Instead I breathed in the smell of pond, watched the koi who occasionally leaped out of the water, and tried to get a feel for the place that is Huntsville. It feels like a good place. I love seeing the evidence of rockets and space engineering. A store in the airport sells astronaut jumpsuits in sizes from toddler to adult. Huntsville is the home of space camp and rocket design. It is a science-y place while also being very southern. I’m picking up a bit of drawl just by being here. It comes to me naturally, my father’s parents both had southern accents. I grew up hearing them.
I’m not sure what else this convention weekend will bring to me. I’m quite happy with whatever comes, since I’ve already gotten to hang out with Howard. I was greeted warmly by Toni Weiskopf of Baen, who is responsible for us getting this invitation. Then last night as we departed for a late dinner, our group was joined by Lois Bujold. Both Howard and I managed to dial back the squee. Instead we got to just talk. More talking with Lois would be lovely, because she has a head full of amazing thoughts.
But for now, I’ve been pinged by Howard to deliver something. The convention begins