Monday, May 6, 2013

I Feel Like a Rockstar!

Check out what was sitting on my bed when I checked in at the Fairfield Inn in Burlington, Iowa this evening:

Someone from the library hosting me made a special trip to my hotel to leave a welcome gift! But that wasn't even the best part. Here's a close-up of the tag:

Iowa, in my books, is part of the Red Zone that the government basically abandons. And there were more ASHFALL-related goodies in the bag!

This is a cloth packet of what look to be kale seeds in envelopes made from the pages (photocopied, it looks like) of a Dan Brown novel. Exactly what I described in ASHEN WINTER! Here's a pic of the packets:

Then I pulled out the Guaranteed Human-Free Jerky. (Not packaged by the Peckerwoods.)

And Sterzings Potato Chips, a Burlington delicacy (they are really good!)

The obligatory mug:

But inside there was a box of matches. (If the Fairfield burns down, it wasn't me.)

And a plastic bottle of water, handy if I need to refill it from the toilet tank:

And cookies!

And here's the last thing I found--the best gift of all:

They gave me a library card! I kid you not! Why am I giggling like a little girl in all the other pictures, and in this one my eyes are closed and I'm not smiling? Because I'm struggling not to cry--that's how much that gift means to me. I've had a library card for the Indianapolis Public Library for 38 years now. My library card means nothing less than freedom to me. The freedom to enter thousands of imaginary worlds, to live other lives, to know how the world around me works. To be given one? I don't even know to adequately express the magnanimity of that gesture. I may never use it, but nonetheless, I'll forever feel I'm one of the proud patrons of the Burlington Public Library.

How am I ever going to live up to this welcome? I'll do my very best at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow night (5/7) at the Burlington, Iowa Public Library. Don't miss it if you're in the area!