Yesterday around noon in Vancouver my phone dinged. I had an email from my friend Bruno. Bruno had sent me a photo. The only words in his accompanying e-mail were The Charleswood Thanksgiving Display.
Charleswood Mennonite is the church my friend Bruno and his wife Carolyn attend so I knew the table in the photo must be located there. The photo showed my novel Lost on the Prairie displayed on a lovely green patchwork cloth on a table with fresh garden produce, fall leaves, orange flowers, and other items. What was my book doing in that Thanksgiving display and who had put it there? Bruno didn’t say. It was a mystery.
It wasn’t too much later that my phone dinged again. This time it was a message from Lisa who is one of the pastors at Charleswood Mennonite Church. Lisa had sent photos of the Thanksgiving display along with a message.
Hi MaryLou. Happy Thanksgiving! I just wanted to tell you that I read your book this week and THOROUGHLY enjoyed it! What a great story, and so well-done. And then, I wanted to tell you that at Charleswood this morning, we had our Thanksgiving table up at the front, and people were to bring things they are thankful for and put them up on the display, and someone brought your book and put it up there! I took a picture to show you…
So now I knew that my book was on the table because someone was thankful it had been published. But who was that? I have quite a number of family members and friends who attend Charleswood Church. Which one of them had chosen to use my book as a symbol of gratitude? It remained a mystery.
Just then my phone dinged again and it was an e-mail from my Aunt Nettie, my father’s youngest sister. She too had sent photos of the Thanksgiving table featuring my novel along with a message.
I brought your book for our Thanksgiving church display. Someone set some tomatoes in front of it!
We were asked to bring something for our display for which we were grateful!
Your book came to mind immediately- grateful for your ability as a writer, for getting a publisher and for making the bestseller list for so many weeks at McNally’s and not least for the pleasure of reading your first novel! Happy Thanksgiving!
Mystery solved. My thoughtful and supportive aunt had placed the book on the table.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I am especially thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given to share a story inspired by my grandfather’s life. I am thankful for my family who supported me in all kinds of ways as I wrote the book. I am thankful for my writers’ group the Anitas who gave me such great encouragement and advice. I am thankful for the good folks at Heritage House who bought my manuscript and published it. I am thankful for the wonderful staff at McNally Robinson Booksellers who helped me promote my book and sell it and……. most of all I am thankful to ALL the people who have bought my book and read it.