Forty-five years ago, these two merry wanderers decided to set off on the journey of life together:
We used the image of the Conestoga Wagon to dream together, having been influenced by the story that a Mennonite invented the wagon, and having read lots of Little House on the Prairie books, we somehow associated freedom, love, and joy with travel and with the West.
Now that we have resettled in the East, and now that we have traveled together for 45 years, we decided to celebrate this anniversary by doing a huge summer tour, using Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World as an excuse to set up book talks along the way. Before our special date of August 2 arrives, we will have visited seven churches, a retirement community, three historical societies, several colleges and universities, and many bookstores.
We’ll also do a lot of sightseeing in the cities below, visit many friends, and spend two days in Glacier National Park.
You can find the full itinerary of speaking engagements on this page on my website. But here is a list of places we will be starting this weekend:
1. May 17, noon, Harleysville, Pennsylvania, The Mennonite Heritage Center
2. May 18, morning, Blooming Glen, Pennsylvania, Mennonite Church
3. May 27, 7 p.m., The Cell Theatre, 23rd St., New York, NY
4. June 1, 5-7 p.m., The Friends Meetinghouse (Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship), 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY
5. June 4, noon, Samaritan Center fundraiser, Elkhart, IN
6. June 5, 10 a.m., Greencroft Retirement Community, Goshen, IN
7. June 5, 7 p.m., Kazoo Books, Kalamazoo, MI
8. June 30, 1 p.m. Harrisonburg, VA Public Library
9. July 6, morning, Portland Mennonite Church, Portland, OR
10. July 6, Pacific Northwest Mennonite Historical Society, near Zion Mennonite Church
11. July 9, 7 p.m., Third Place Books, Seattle.
12. July 11 7 p.m. House of James Book Store and Café, Abbottsford, BC, Canada.
13. July 13, morning, Vancouver, BC, Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship
14. July 20, morning, Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis
15. July 26 Workshop From Perplexed to Published, Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh
15. July 27 morning, Pittsburgh Mennonite Church Sunday School
Instead of a Conestoga Wagon, we’ll be traveling by Amtrak. We got a 30-day pass and will be on two scenic routes. The Coast Starlight along the Pacific Ocean. We won’t be waiting to be selected into the Amtrak Writers Residency program. We’ve made our own!
And the Empire Builder from west coast to east coast. We will be using Superliner Roomettes, like the one in this video:
Will we be coming to a city near you? I’d love to see you! Ask us, and Stuart and I might even try that whirling thing again.
Have you taken a long train ride? Have any advice for us? I will probably blog about the trip, so send me your questions, too!