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Ann and Sadie’s Big Adventure

September 2007

Hi, readers!  Welcome back to a new school year.  I hope that your summer has been fun and relaxing, and that you’re happily diving back into the busy routine of classes, sports, and extracurricular activities.  Although I don’t go to school any more, the beginning of September is the time when I return from my own summer vacation and settle back into my regular writing schedule.  I’m happy to say that I’ve enjoyed several carefree weeks of long, lazy days without anything more important on my to-do list than walking my dog, Sadie.
Long-time readers of this webpage might remember that I’ve spent the past few summers vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. Sadie sometimes comes with me, and we love to walk and frolic (I walk, Sadie frolics!) on the beaches. (Sadie likes sand.) But this year, my good friend and her six-year old daughter invited me, another close friend, and her two children, to her family’s summer house on Lake Michigan.  Now I had a big decision to make.  I could either go by myself by plane (estimated travel time:  three to four hours each way with a plane change in Chicago) or I could drive with Sadie (estimated travel time: fourteen hours over two days with an overnight stay at a dog-friendly motel!).  Hmm…a few short hours on a plane without Sadie, or two long days in a car with Sadie?  It ended up being an easy decision to make, because all I had to do was look at the photos of Sadie playing on the beach on the Vineyard and I knew I could never leave her behind!
It turns out that Sadie is a terrific traveling companion.  While I listened to Agatha Christie mysteries on tape, Sadie either slept in the back seat or looked happily out the window at the scenery. And I’m proud to say that she was a very good dog at the motel where we stayed.  The next day, my friends and their children were waiting for us when we finally arrived.  After two long days in the car, both Sadie and I were eager to get out, stretch, and start exploring.
My friend’s house sits right on the beach, and every time I looked at Sadie, she was running around like a puppy, full of high-energy excitement as she played with the kids. The lake was absolutely beautiful, although I was surprised that the waves that hit the shore seemed more like ocean waves than those of a lake.  I saw loons, a raccoon, and some of the biggest sand dunes imaginable. The time flew by too quickly, but it was wonderful to spend a few days relaxing in such a pretty part of the country, and the perfect way to say goodbye to summer.
Now I’m back at home and looking forward to one of the best times of the year — autumn in the Hudson Valley.  It should be spectacular, and the view outside of my office window makes me very happy as I settle back into writing. For the next few months, I’ll be busy working on the Main Street series and the final editing on the next Doll People book, The Runaway Dolls.  In the meantime, the latest Main Street book, ‘Tis the Season, should be in bookstores and libraries in October.  Until next time, happy reading!
Wishing you a wonderful school year,