An unanticipated good time. That was what I had last night.
Well, a good time by my rather low standards.
The first thing that needs to be understood was that I felt lousy. It’s become my custom to get a very bad cold in the spring, and then again in the fall. These colds invariably plunge into my lungs and there, in the darkness, foment sedition and unrest. In the end I generally have to go to the doctor for antibiotics. Which, of course, mess up my digestion.
I was in the midst of that cycle, having started sniffing and coughing several days ago. Yesterday I took the day off work and went to my doctor for my bread mold prescription.
But I was worried about the Lecture. Months ago I’d agreed to lecture, on May 1, to Fjell Syn Lodge of the Sons of Norway, in Mounds View, Minnesota. My subject would be the Viking Sagas. I’d lectured to them before, a year ago, and they treated me well. I wanted to do right by those good people.
My fear was that I’d cough through the presentation, spread contagion to immune-suppressed attendees, and be so hoarse I’d be unintelligible.
The weather was miserable. It was one of those chill spring evenings when winter is still holding on, and having run out of snowballs to throw at you, just spits. I wore a heavy parka over my Viking costume going to and from the car. All nature seemed to portend failure and miserable death.
Instead, it went quite well. The audience was appreciative, and seemed to understand when I needed to pause now and then for a sip of water. There are times when you just resonate with a crowd – they laugh in all the right places, and longer than you expected. They nod and smile and you know they’re following with interest and pleasure. This was one of those nights. I enjoyed it a lot, and hope they ask me back yet again.
Plus, several of them bought books, which is impressive when you’re dealing with a group you’ve sold books to before.
Thank you, Fjell Syn Lodge!
I even felt better today (went back to work, sort of on a flyer), and I give them the credit.