“Never think you’ve seen the last of anything.”

It’s that time of year. Fall, yes, my favorite. I also enjoy the beginning of the end of another year when I stop to think about the last months’ accomplishments and shortcomings and the goals for the next year. I even get a kick out of repeatedly figuring out where the heck my Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations are.

But I’m happiest because it’s time again for the Welty Symposium at the Mississippi University for Women. And, this year, I’m going!!!

The first time I attended, in 2001, I cried. I can’t explain why I cried – yes, I can – I was overwhelmed by the sensations of Southern academia, literature, authors and the ghost of Ms. Welty in an intimate and appropriately dimly-lit auditorium. I remember my seat; I remember the faces around me waiting for a story or two. I remember the huge, proud and protective trees outside the beautiful ceiling-to-floor window next to me. I breathed too deeply and quietly cried. It felt like home, like Love.

But that was my first and only visit because we moved to Indy the next year, and I haven’t been able to go back for this or that reason.

This year’s line-up is too good to pass up. Plus, I’ll get to drive through Kentucky to see the Fall leaves (something I’ve sworn to do since living in Indiana) and stop for a dinner with Sheila and an afternoon with Miss Hazel.

Home. Love. Mississippi? :-o

“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole."