Dear Kay,

I’ve got to tell you, that after I made arrangements with your allegiant friend Ann to meet up in Nashville. I got a little spooked. I mean sure, she likes you and you like her and that whole thing seems to be working out, what with the blog and the book and the er…creative baby blankets you seem to be turning out all team-style, but you’re a remarkable woman. I’ve had several conversations with you and even though I babble and gasp and never quite get over the whole “omigosh I’m talking to Kay” thing, you’ve never once looked me dead in the eye and said “I have no idea what you’re going on about. Please stop.”

That ability, the one to stand there and pretend to engage a rampaging multiloquent freak in conversation is rare. Maybe Ann didn’t have it? Maybe she wouldn’t like me. I mean, I’ve never log-cabined anything in my life, not even in bad colours and well. I was nervous. I compensated by ironing my shirt, which should be some real indication of how far gone I was. At the appointed hour I took the sock to the lobby and sat there turning the heel.

Right on time, at the exact minute that she said she walked Ann, and I have to tell you Kay, that despite seeing pictures of her and understanding on an intellectual level that she was not going to be Ann Patchett…it really does come as a blow. She was however, despite the lack of Patchettness, gracious and charming, and taller than I thought and I took a deep breath and got in her car.

(The deep breath had the added benefit of Shutting Me Up for 3.4 seconds.) We drove off then, to show a wee Canadian sock a little Nashville, and I was pretty much instantly overcome. Like an idiot I sat in Ann’s car unable to have a proper conversation, because whatever Ann was saying, whatever I was saying, I was impelled by forces related to the long, dark Canadian winter to goggle out the window every two seconds and say something to the effect of “It’s so GREEN” or “There are leaves on the trees!” or “That man has no shirt on!” I’m sure that you have some idea of how this feels Kay, living in New York as you do, but my little brain simply cannot accept that there could be roses and peonies and leaves in full, luscious leaf in April. I’m sure Ann thought me quite stunned. Try to explain to her, will you?

Ann had been charged with the solemn duty of finding local flavour to appease the sock, so we drove through Nashville, me agape, Ann poised and thoughtful, every inch a gracious tour guide. We saw many things Ann and I, and were even beset upon by grey squirrels in the park.


It was funny at first. At first it was like Ann was Snow White, you know that perfect Disney moment in that movie when the fetching Snow White is in the forest and the birds and small woodland animals are drawn to her because of her goodness? At first it was like that. Then they got closer. Then they started rushing at us. It was when they got into a tree overhead (MUM! Rhododendrons are a freaking tree here! Not a wee bush that you coddle through the winter with a burlap blanket and heaps of snow in the faint hope of having 30cm of bush in the spring, but a TREE.) that Ann and I decided that our work in the park was done.

Ann showed me stuff. Good stuff. Prime blogging stuff. (You are lucky, dear Kay, to be blogging with a woman with an innate grasp of the stuff that blog dreams are made of.) She took the sock to the Parthenon,


Not that crappy falling down one in Greece that has no air conditioning, but an honest to gosh magnificent full-scale reproduction of same, complete with (Brace yourself)


A gilded Athena of goddesslike proportions in the centre.

The sock has never seen it so good. (There will be no living with it now.) There was Tammy Wynette’s house (she doesn’t live there. I don’t know if this will be as sad for you as me Kay, but she apparently passed some time ago.)


(Both Ann and I agree that if we were so lucky as to buy Tammy Wynette’s house – and we may have considered it, we wouldn’t ever have taken the big gold T W off of the gate. Ever.)

When all of the hijinks with squirrels and socks and Athena (I’ll never get over the wonder of that) we were reminded of our obligations


and we set out for Threaded Bliss, where I quaked at the thought of walking in the steps of your joint knitting greatness. More about that tomorrow, for I’m plumb tuckered out by the trip from Nashville to Lexington KY, and a terrifying reception at the University of Kentucky. (I didn’t get “bless your heart”ed once, which must mean that I’m getting the hang, though I’m still overcome by an urge to lie on the floor with a cool cloth on my entire face.)

Thanks for the loan of your blog buddy. She’s swell. If you hadn’t of snapped her up, I’d be all over it. I miss her already.


PS. (And Kay can stop reading now) Because I don’t have it in me to answer the emails, here’s where I’ll be tomorrow.

Lexington, KY – Bluegrass Book Festival. The Lexington Center, 430 West vine Street, Lexington KY.

10-12 signing at booth #98

3-4 signing at booth # 98

Speaking in the “Thoroughbred 6” room at 4pm.