Sunday, April 19, 2009

Books & Music in the Garden

Today was Books & Music in the Garden, an event I inaugurated last year but began to view with some trepdition this year. Last year we had 225 people; this year we're lucky if we had a hundred, and I suspect 75 is closer to the number we'll arrive at. But those who came had a thoroughly wonderful experience. The garden, an old, long-established but well maintained one, belongs to a prominent family in town (which probably brought out some curiosity seekrs) and it was absolutely gorgeous though the owner said she wished we had done the event two weeks earlier when the azaleas and iris were at their best. I still thought it was wonderful today--full of statuary, still with a bright bank of azaleas, and a wonderful weeping willow that I kept staring up at. There were many areas to the garden--a pool, a gazebo, various nooks and crannies, places for people to sit. We scattered author tables and refreshment tables throughout, so that people could wander.
I had viewed this event with some trepidation because the only two times I visited the garden, my footing was so uncertain that I clung to whoever I was with, and so I was spooked about today But I got much better and did well, except for some steps. Jeannie was as ever good about walking me around until I told her there would be rumors about us holding hands. But because I was one of the signing authors, I pretty much sat in one place--and I really did sign books--both the two small books I've done--Extraordinary Texas Women and Great Texas Chefs--and the new cookbook/memoir. I was tickled that several people I did not know at all bought the cookbook. And the bookseller, from our TCU Barnes & Noble, told me at the end of the event she was about halfway through it and intended to start cooking for her children from my recipes.
The hostess, home owner, Therese Moncrief, was graciousness personnified, so happy to have us there and to open her gardens to us, even though she and her family obviously had other events going on. She praised us for reaching out with new ideas--combining gardens, books and music--and she commented that we all worked so well together and seemed to like each other so much. Well, that's because Jeannie and Jean, two of my closest friends, were the party coordinators, and Melinda and Susan were the go-fers, doing whatever needed to be done and chatting with guests. Therese kept thanking us, and we kept thanking her, and I think everybody felt good about the day.
I did come home and breathe a sigh of relief that it was over, as I'm sure all of us did. But we can rest on our laurels tonight.
I tried again to post the cover of the cookbook but it just won't do it. Sorry about that. And it's not on amazon yet either. So trust me, if you want it in a hurry, call 1-800-826-8911.

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