I’m dedicating the next week’s worth of posts to my new favorite state in the union: Indiana.
That’s right, Indiana. Home of the Hoosers, the Butler Bulldogs and the best book club I know.
Have you ever been? If so, you know Indianapolis is a surprising delight. Clean, with huge monuments, lots of trees and flowers, locally owned shops and great restaurants. And the people? Well. They are the nicest I’ve ever encountered.
How did I find myself in Indianapolis for three days this week? Well. Brit, a girlfriend from Phoenix, read Under the Same Moon and gave it to her best friend Lisa in Indy. Lisa, in turn, bought the book for the entire club and made it her selection for the month of April. Brit and Lisa sent an email — would I be willing to fly out for the meeting? Brit would come from Arizona too, of course.
This happened in November and I was beyond flattered. A book club was reading my work and wanted me to come to their group. How could I say no? I immediately bought a ticket, threw it on my calendar and tried not to think about it. I mentioned it to a few friends here and there but it wasn’t until Brit sent an email saying she couldn’t attend that I started to get nervous.
This left me flying across the country to stay with folks I’ve never met for, oh, just three days. Lisa, of course, played it cool by email. She explained she’d be there at the airport to pick me up and she and her lovely boyfriend Dan were so happy to host me. Their gorgeous home and four cats awaited my arrival.
I’m not going to say it was love at first sight with Lisa because I was just too nervous walking out of an airport TO GO HOME WITH SOMEONE I’D NEVER MET. (This trip violated every stranger danger rule I’ve ever learned.) But it was darn close to love at first sight. She was so friendly and made me immediately feel at home. And I did. By the end of the three days I was truly sad to be leaving.
Lisa and Dan are unbelievably kind, warm and generous. They didn’t just welcome me into their home, host a party in my honor and let me take a tour of their wine cellar (Hello, Cellar. We are going to be great friends…), but they also arranged a Segway tour of Indianapolis, took me to Butler University and a walk through the natural history museum, and bent over backward every moment of my visit.
They’ve redefined hospitality. And I can’t wait for them to come stay in Colorado so I can return some of the love.
What did it feel like to have 16 people over for dinner to talk about my book? SHEER TERROR AND COMPLETE EGOTISTICAL DELIGHT. But I’ll leave that to the next post.
*the title of this post is a shout out to Joe, one of the attendees of the book club. He regularly starts stories with this colloquialism, “What had happened was…” By the end of the trip, I was saying it too.