Fare Thee Well 2021 | A Reflection, Part 2

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Fare Thee Well 2021 | A Reflection, Part 2 – Julie Jo Larson – Author

Fare Thee Well 2021  |  A Reflection, Part 2

The ceremony took place the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Bittersweet is the only way I can wrap up the events of that special day. Two young hearts, so in love. Knowing that life was a gift, both given and taken away at the blink of an eye. A lace dress, entwined hands, and a canopy of leaves fills the snapshot engraved in my mind. A heartfelt conversation with Yvonne was our last MsStorian memory together. A thousand “I wish I had” fill my regrets. If only I had spent more time with her…Ten days later, she closed her eyes and forever left a hole in our hearts. MsStorian Adventures will keep her spirit near me.

Summer passed quickly with over 40 book events, interviews, presentations, and signings. I traveled to a different community every weekend. Stephen was on pet and chicken duty, so I mostly drove myself. I fell into a routine of setting up my display table and creating my “brand” for all to see. Readers shared their favorite “things” and asked deep questions about my research process. Several asked when I would write my next book, and what it would entail. I laughed at the thought of a second book when my first was barely four months old.

In September, my friend Cindy and I made a trip to Saint Louis to visit my publisher and purchase more books to sell over winter. I faced my fear of heights and rode the tram to the top of the ARCH. The view was spectacular! Cindy also convinced me to venture beneath ground and tour the Marinac Caverns just a few miles. Looking back, I see how that trip reflected the great growth I experienced as a writer and professional in 2021. Upon our return, I reconnected with MsStorian Leigh and we shared a few tears in remembrance of our friend Yvonne. Covid 19 was still with us, but we were learning how to live with it. Or so I thought.

In late October, just as my book events were winding down, Stephen became ill with COVID 19. For weeks, he struggled to overcome the virus’s firm grip. When he finally felt a bit better, it was time to gather for Thanksgiving. We held a small gathering with our daughters, son Josh, and Stephen’s mom. We had much to be thankful for.

And now, that leads us to December. Just before we departed on a family vacation to visit Stephen’s brothers in Florida, Reedy Press asked if I would consider writing a second book. A book that would cover all of Minnesota. It took just a second before I responded with a definite “YES!” I have no hesitation in accepting this challenge. The contract was signed New Year ’s Eve Day. My first draft is due August 1st and I have delved into the research for 100 Things to Do in Minnesota Before You Die.

After a year of touching mountain tops and dog paddling in a few valleys, I can honestly say “Fare Thee Well 2021” and “Welcome 2022.” I wish you great happiness in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for my new blog “Adventures of a Chicken Momma, Lessons Learned.”  And send me your favorite “Things” from your Minnesota adventures.