September 13, 14 – Our 23rd wedding anniversary and the perfect weekend to set up my first attempt at displaying my book at a public event. We decide to celebrate our anniversary by staying at a Bed & Breakfast in Pepin, Wisconsin. At the same time, we will set up a booth at the good old-fashioned Laura Ingalls Wilder Days being held in Pepin that weekend. I will promote my book and my husband will display pictures for sale that he has taken. A beautiful weather weekend, though chilly on Saturday morning – just above freezing.
Our introduction to the Bed & Breakfast by the host on Friday evening includes an orientation. “I will bring coffee and sweet rolls at 8am,” she says. “If you want breakfast, there is a diner down the street.” I am confused. What part of Bed & Breakfast do I not understand? Am I expecting something unreasonable? We arise at 6:30am on Saturday morning and set up our booth in the chilly morning air. The fog hangs over Lake Pepin making a beautiful scene. I return to the Bed & Breakfast at 8am, hoping that what is provided will be enough for a morning start. It is for me but my dear husband needs a visit to the BP station for a sausage sandwich.
Two days of sitting in our booth and watching people meander by yields the sale of 5 books and 1 picture. I give away a slew of promotional cards as well. We are not sure if our venture can be considered a success. One can never tell especially after our daughter’s phone call.
5 pm on Sunday, my cell phone rings. Our daughter, who, along with her boyfriend has been house sitting the dog and 2 cats during the weekend, calls. “Mom, why did you lock the cat in your bedroom? She has been in there all weekend.” “You didn’t miss her until now?” I respond. This is “great.” I can imagine the mess. “I cleaned the poop off your bed,” continues my daughter, “but I don’t see any pee.” A flip back of the covers when we arrive home reveals rivers of reeking pee all the way down to the mattress. How many loads of wash does it take to wash 1 bed pad, 2 sheets, 2 blankets, and 1 quilt? And can this all be accomplished in the 2 hours before we want to sleep?