I belong to two book clubs: one nearby attended by the older female patrons of the library that hosts it, and one across town full of raucous, loud, opinionated folks in the prime of their lives who love science fiction–always have and always will.
Today was the longest day of the year, the best time for driving across town and back. The dining out afterward is problematic, as I am a full generation older than the oldest of the group and food must be ingested earlier in the day.
Today’s program was about two books authored by Lois McMaster Bujold, the first and second in a series re-published together as “Cordelia’s Honor”. The Miles Vorkosiegan saga is well known in Science Fiction Fandom, This same book had been the subject of a panel at a recent Deep South Conference, the 50th of that line. Yours truly was drafted to serve on the panel. The author sat quietly on the back row muttering to herself, “that’s not what I meant at all”.
Since then the SF book club (the one whose meeting I went to, remember) had been discussing online the pros and cons on the two books, especially as the first one was her first effort, and the second one was written years later and showed it in more polished prose and story line. In spite of all that we had a lively discussion in the Barnes & Noble bookstore where we meet.
After the meeting, the young folks (the 30s, 40s, & 50s) go out to eat. Josh, who hates Chinese food, was not in attendance so everyone said, this is our chance: let’s go to the Mandarin House on Highway 31. I declined the pleasure because I am blind as a bat after dark and can drive only to those places hard-wired in my brain, like home, for instance.
Imagine my surprise to see it was still daylight… “I’ll surprise them,” I thought, and hopped in the car. Maryanne had said, “If you get to Vestavia, you’ve gone too far, turn around and go back.” I asked directions and was told to go past all the car dealerships and when you see a McDonald’s, look for a strip mall on the left. It’s in a corner of the mall.
This sounds easy enough and savoring the surprise in store for my friends I zoomed down Hwy.31 past all the car dealerships. Looking for a McDonald’s, it came to me that when leaving home I had grabbed my purse and keys. It also came to me that I had changed out of my jeans for dressier pants. Doing errands earlier that day I had put a little fold-up-and-snap wallet containing driver’s license, debit card, credit card and a folded up twenty dollar bill in my jeans pocket. Unfortunately, I had not transferred it back to my purse. The larger wallet, upon inspection, contained Medicare Card, Blue Cross card, and Unrestricted Pistol Permit. Wasn’t sure how much Chinese food I could get for that so I came on home.
Tomorrow I’m taking Jerry out to lunch at this great Chinese place I know close to home, just across from Lowe’s parking lot. I’ll get some General Tso’s chicken yet.