My sister is here in Indy for a week, on Lilly business. We have plans for vast quantities of sister fun this weekend, but I was hoping for some mid-week fun together, too. "Wouldn't it be pleasant to have dinner with Cheryl on Tuesday night?"I told my friend Keith the other evening as we sat together by the Prindle Institute fireplace after a stimulating session of the reading group on Elaine Scarry's book On Beauty and Being Just. Then I gave a sigh and said,"But it's such a long ride there and back, an hour each way, and I do hate driving in the dark."
"Why don't you spend the night with her at her hotel?" Keith asked.
I thought about that possibility. "Well, that would be tons of fun," I replied, "but then I'd have to drive back to Greencastle the next morning in time to get ready to head off to work." I tried to remember what I had to get done on Wednesday morning. "On Wednesday I need to . . . on Wednesday I'm planning to . . ."
Suddenly I remembered: On Wednesday I was going to do an author visit at a school right in Indy! At a school over an hour away from Greencastle, but just minutes away from my sister's downtown hotel!
Thus was launched my delicious plan. I drove to Indianapolis last night after a lovely late-afternoon walk with my friend Nicki and her little dog, Henry, in search of any last lingering crocuses (and we did find a few). I collected Cheryl at her hotel and whisked her off to Mass Ave for dinner at Bru Burger. I wasn't able to make the parking meter work, apparently, because I got a parking ticket, but luckily it blew away and so all I got was the empty ticket envelope, and they can hardly expect me to pay not a ticket, but an empty ticket envelope, right?
After dinner, we had a cozy evening in her room at the Westin, with sister giggles galore. The bed was extremely comfortable. The shower this morning had a lovely standing-outside-in-a-summer-rainfall effect. We breakfasted together at the hotel buffet. Then I drove Cheryl to Lilly and headed north to the school, Immaculate Heart of Mary, just off posh North Meridian Street with its gorgeous, stately old homes. The students I spoke to, in grades K-3, were delightful: so bright and sweet and eager to participate. I sold a heap of books provided by the Kids Ink independent children's bookstore nearby. On my way home, I stopped in the bookstore, then stopped in the cupcake store next door (yum!), and even found a branch of Chase Bank to deposit my check for the day (there is no Chase branch in Greencastle, so I save up my checks until I go to Bloomington, an hour away, or to the airport, which has Chase ATMs everywhere).
I got back to Greencastle in time to attend a Prindle advisory committee meeting, followed by a bioethics bowl team practice, followed by the next-to-last class of the quarter-credit course on climate change that I'm co-teaching in conjunction with the symposium that is taking place on campus next week.
So the moon was in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligned with Mars, and my day could hardly have turned out to be more lovely.