I saw off my German family last night at the airport....Nadine, age fourteen, goes back school early in August, I hope with some very happy memories of Montana. She was practically glued to the saddle; on our last day there, she rode 17 miles on a trail in West Yellowstone.  Now she says she prefers Western style to English, which she has ridden since she was six, but it would be tough to find Western type riding in Germany.

Today I drove back to Maine with Alfie....one of the worst drives I've ever had up here: torrential rain all the way.  Usually a 3 hour trip, it took close to four and a half. But here we are, and happy to be here, although it is still pouring and Alfie does not want to go outside.

Tomorrow I will start back to work for real. I have five unscheduled, no-company days until next week when I  drive down to Cambridge in order to do a reading at a summer literary conference at Lesley University. I can do a lot in five days if I don't have to cook, do laundry, smile, be sociable. I have two projects in the works and have neglected them both for many days now. Sometimes, actually, time away from a manuscript is good. Your brain works on it while your fingers rest. At least you HOPE your brain does.

Here, from Montana, two sweet photos of my grandsons delivering a surprise gift of wildflowers to me: