An author’s chance encounters during travel bring back good memories

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The joy of traveling for book events gives me the pleasure of meeting great people who share the love of books! Travel often brings unexpected surprises too. In Alpharetta and Milton, on the northeast side of Atlanta, Georgia, one of the members of the bookclub where I spoke mentioned we should visit an historic village nearby, called Crabapple. Immediately my husband and I knew we had to visit a place called Crabapple! My novel, Waking Up in Medellin, has a minor character – a Japanese woman named Keiko who raises diminutive crabapple trees in Colombia. Keiko grows her mini-crabapple trees for their flowers which resemble cherry blossoms. The climate in Medellin is friendlier to crabapples than to cherry trees, so Keiko miniaturizes crabapples and uses their blossoms in her Ikebana arrangements – another Japanese tradition. (Pictured above is a lovely old home converted to a business on Crabtree Road in Milton, GA.)

A surprise encounter related to crabapples also occurred when we attended the June Book Fest in Wimberley, Texas. A bonsai shop, Jade Gardens, exhibited a variety of bonsai trees and shrubs from traditional Japanese Maples to unusual ones, such as sago palms, bougainvillea, crepe myrtles, and yes, crabapple trees. Again, we took time to visit this incredible place – a delightful bonsai garden with hundreds of specimens, including regional samples miniaturized into bonsai. It was a fascinating little excursion. Even more fascinating is the way life weaves totally unrelated events into a tapestry where memories come alive again!

(Crabapple Bonsai with berries)




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