Archive | 7:06 am

The Journey Home

24 Jan

” Approaching Shelter H. Arriving at Shelter H,” the electronic voice of the parking lot shuttle called.

I sat upright. Wait a second! We just left G. How could we already be at H?

I leapt up and off the airport economy parking lot shuttle and headed towards my car, one row away. I shrugged my back pack on. As I navigated between the cars, I suddenly realized I’d left my suitcase on the shuttle.

The shuttle wasn’t far ahead and I tried to chase it down. but a tired middle-aged woman with knee issues is no match for a bus engine.

I was so tired, I could have gotten weepy, but I didn’t. I just wanted to get home so I summoned my best problem-solving skills.

I figure the shelter had some sort of emergency system so I headed back to it. No phone but two buttons on a call box. A red one for emergencies and a black on for other issues. Although this felt like a personal emergency, I pushed the black one.

A kind voice listened to my problem and gave me a cell phone number to call. Picture me fumbling for my phone, realizing it was still in Airplane mode and trying to punch in the numbers. I called the number but it went to voice mail.

A few moments later, another shuttle bus came along. Thank goodness they run every eight minutes, I thought. I jumped on and explained my situation to the driver. She was excellent and called it in. While she was solving my problem, I apologized to the two passengers sitting on the bus. My bus had been packed, which was part of the reason I had forgotten my bag. I’d put it on the rack and sat right across from it. Because the bus was so full the last passengers had to stand and a young woman stood right in front of mine. Out of sight, lout of mind, right!

Rescue plan in place the driver pulled away.

Another shuttle came along and I jumped on and explained who I was. Everyone on the shuttle had heard the story over the radio. They didn’t have my bag, but I remained hopeful.

The next bus did!!! I thanked the driver profusely and finally, walked to my car for the last leg home.



ALA Midwinter-Day 4

24 Jan

Another early morning, but SO worth it.


I wanted to check out of the hotel and get breakfast before lining up for the Youth Media Awards. I guess I was  excited, because I got to the auditorium in which they were announced earlier than I’d planned, early enough to be one of those people sitting on the floor near the front.

The excitement on the floor was palpable as the event got underway. If you haven’t seen the list, you can see all the titles HERE.  People were whooping, clapping, live tweeting and generally having a great time elaborating literature for children and teens. I can’t wait and get to school tomorrow to talk to one particular girl on whom I pushed the Newbery winner earlier this year.


Because John Lewis’ March, Book 3 won so many awards, the venue for the YALSA Morris/Nonfiction Awards presentation was moved to a rom other than that written on my ticket. I set off right after the YMA awards to find it.

Although I love the celebratory raucous nature of the YMAs, the YALSA Morris/Nonfiction Awards Presentation is my sentimental favorite. It is like a mini Caldecott/Newbery banquet where recipients tell their story and there are few dry eyes in the audience. The big difference is that all the finalists for each award speak, but they only get five minutes apiece. A lot can be said in five minutes to make a room full of adults get weepy!

So, yes, I got to hear John Lewis talk! Through the whole morning, I took many blurry and off kilter photos. Here is a sample of my terrible photography.


After the speeches, the authors sit at tables to hand out and personalize books. Attendees have to choose which three authors they’d like to meet and whose book they want. It is a bit of a negotiation. The John Lewis line was incredibly long. I opted to get these three books:


Canadian author, from Toronto. Most ALA awards require the author to be a US resident or citizen. The Morris is one that doesn’t.

I loved this book and was hoping it would win.



I don’t very often get to see a book with a main Character named Adrienne, but I did in Calla Devlin’s book.

Finally, I chose the book I had book talked to my classes on the day before I left.


That done, I left for the airport.


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