As Liz reported in her blog on Monday, we had a great time on Martha's Vineyard. Christine and several of her clients went to the Vineyard for an event at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. It was the first panel for many of us and there were a good bit of jittery nerves, but reports from the audience said we handled it like old pros. We also had taped interviews for the local TV station, another first for many of us, except Sheila Redling, who's truly a pro at being on air, radio anyway.
Cynthia Riggs, another of Christine's clients, the author of the wonderful Victoria Trumbull mystery series, was so gracious to open up The Cleaveland House to our bunch. The circa 1750 house is filled with history, from ship planks on the wall, books her mother and father wrote, stories of births and deaths, and a whittled down chair her great grandmother used. You could find our group sprawled all over the place, chatting in the parlor, roaring with laughter in the kitchen, or sitting beside the goldfish pond talking about the wildlife and the crows. I told them about the pet crows my brother and I had when we were young. My father had rescued them as babies. (This comes in to play later in this blog). You could even find Liz's husband Dan and my husband Austin working in Cynthia's vegetable garden, which we ate from several nights. It was a delightfully hilarious trip, and I'm certain that several of Christine's clients (and her aunt Peachy) are really comedians. I've laughed until my ribs hurt. The banter was magnificent.
The last day, everyone else left early, but Austin and I weren't supposed to leave until later that day, so we borrowed Cynthia's car and headed for the Dumptique, a little place by the local dump where you can get someone else's trash and turn it into your treasure. I found several books and a great pair of reading glasses.
But my adventures didn't end after we left The Cleaveland House. Cynthia dropped Austin and I off at the airport and I started feeling really dizzy, not something you want when you're getting ready to go up in a tiny little Cessna that already makes you feel claustrophobic. I think it was all the pollen and sinus drainage (sorry, too much info, but these last few days were filled with too much sharing. Dare I mention Liz's panties...and Dan's open window...) Anyway, Austin suggested that I go outside and see if it helped with the dizziness. It really did, but as I was sitting there, I heard something in the trash can behind me. I turned, thinking it was the wind rustling the plastic lining, but it wasn't. So I crept over and peered in. It was one of those trash cans with the heavy metal top and two side openings. I saw something black. Big and black. I peered closer and saw it was a crow. An employee walked out, and I told her. She said birds sometimes fly in there to get food, it would be fine. But I can't leave stuff alone, so I lifted the lid off. The crow tried to fly, but couldn't.
By this time, two more passengers had walked out and were sitting on the bench. They were ooohing and ahhhing, and commenting on my bravery. Well, really, it was just a crow. So I pulled out the entire trash bag lining, crow and all, and carried it to a grassy area. I could see that the crow had gotten plastic wound around his claw so tight it was like rope. Who knows how long he'd been there. By that time, he was on his side, gasping, and I knew I had to hurry. I went inside and approached the first ticket agent. When I explained that the crow was going to die, she said that was fine with her, they were over populated, she was behind schedule, and it wasn't her problem. So I went to the next one. She gave me her scissors and her bottle of water. I went back outside, gave the crow some water, and cut the plastic bag from his (or her - who knows with crows) leg and then threw it into the air. It flew straight up and landed on a tree branch, as the women on the bench yelled, "You saved its life!" while Austin and the ticket agent who gave me the scissors cheered from inside.
The two ladies outside were on our flight, and they kept calling me the lifesaver, swearing that I was meant to save that crow since I had had pet crows as a child. One thing led to another, they found out I was a writer, lamented that they hadn't known about the Bunch of Grapes event, and said they were both going to buy my book. So I sold two books by saving that crow.
As the plane rolled down the runway, we looked across and saw a lone crow drinking from a small pool of water. Maybe my crow, maybe not. Our flight from the island was wonderful. The weather so clear it was a breathtaking view, with no dizziness. So my trip to Martha's Vineyard was everything I expected and a whole lot more.