Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I met my favorite author, Wade, Rouse, this past week. What a thrill. Last December I picked up a copy of At Least In the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream at the library because it was written by a Michigander. One of the blurbs on the book jacket said something about the author surviving the snows of Michigan winter in Saugatuck. Saugatuck?! My thoughts were, “What a Wimp.” I’ve survived two winters of snow in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsular on Lake Superior where the snow starts in August and, maybe, ends in May. On a whim I took the book home. It was December, cold and dark outside, I needed books to read.

After reading just a few pages I was laughing so hard tears were running down my face. I was laughing so hard, the laugher was causing me to have coughing fits. It was December, coughing is part of life. As I read the rest of the book, I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants. I rolled on the floor with laughter. I read with one hand holding the book and my other arm holding onto my stomach as I laughed. As our Mississippi cousin would say, “I laughed so hard my jaw teeth almost fell out.”

However by the end of the book I realized I had stopped chasing my dream. I have written three unpublished cookbooks fill with great recipes and family stories. In the early 1990’s I had tried to get the first one published. I received good comments, but that was the start of the era of the chef cookbooks.

Wade’s hilarious book is about making dreams reality. In the autumn before I read his book I spent a week thinking I had a terminal disease and eating all the doughnuts I wanted. I wasn’t leaving this life as I had lived it---dieting.

I regretted that I hadn’t done more with my 50 years of collecting recipes, knowing full well the kids would shovel them into a dumpster. I also regretted I hadn’t put names on all the family pictures in the basement.

My tests came back negative and I was left with a twenty pound weight gain that I referred to as my terminal doughnut weight and a tiny nagging voice deep in my mind saying, “It’s later than you think, get off your bottom and do something, anything, don’t just sit there and think about it.”

After reading Wade’s book, the little voice gained in volume and became impossible to ignore as it had developed a shrill shrieking tone. Three months later Michigan Cottage Cook hit the internet. Thank you Wade and Gary.

You notice there is not a picture of Wade, Gary and I, just a picture of the cover of his book. I thought it would be too gauche to take a camera to the meet the author event. At the end of the gathering, Wade signed books and Gary greeted people. When everyone else was snapping pictures, I waited in line to have my book signed. Me, extremely shy person, standing in line, felt the stress adrenalin flowing. By the time is was my turn to greet Wade, I grabbed him in a big bear hug, told him I loved him and that he was responsible for making me a blogger. Then I did the same thing to Gary. Me without stress adrenalin-too gauche to take a camera. Me on adrenalin—bear hugs for all. I hope they have recovered from the shock of me.


  1. Too funny!! I found your blog because someone suggested Gary try your blueberry pie recipe on Wade's facebook page!! That's how I have been addicted ever since.

    Wade and Gary are wonderful, met them last year at Loutit Library when he spoke there. I laughed so hard when I read his book last summer that my cousins made me move away from them on the beach because I was annoying them and no book could possibly be THAT funny. Then, they read it and realized I was right.

    Can't wait for the next book! I will send Wade a link to your blog.

  2. Thanks for the lovely review and event summary ... as I always say, the only thing I love more than a good stalker is a bear hug (as long as there's no weapons involved)! Truly lovely to meet you, and I was thrilled with the turnout and response.

  3. Hi Laurie, Wade read from his new book at the Grand Rapids library last week. It is even funnier than At Least In The City.......

    I am a Wade-ette big time. Love them both.

    After you read the book you feel like you know them and that they are your best friends. I sat next to a mother/daughter last week and they said they feel the same way.

  4. We all felt that way when we read it too! I so wanted to go last week but I had family at our cottage and it was their last night so I didn't get to go.

    I can't wait for the new book and the next time I get to see the boys. Would love to meet up with you sometime too....we have much in common with our love for GH cottages.

  5. Hi, Laurie It would be great to meet. We could go down to the feed store and hang out hoping Wade and Gary will show up. Wade likes friendly stalkers. Happy Coast Guard Weekend!! I will be glad when the crowds are gone.

  6. Just put my hold in on the Kent District Library website for this book. If we have this much in common, I can only bet that a book review by you would be spot on....... Long Distance Bear Hugs from your fave nurse at Saints........

  7. You, too, will become a Wade-ette! His new book is coming out in February and is about holidays with their two different families. Wade read a little of it at the GR Library and it might be even funnier than At Least In The City.......