Many thanks to author Rona Simmons for featuring me on her Women and Word blog! Read the full post––and learn about Rona––by clicking on the link below.
I chose a seat beside the window overlooking the parking lot outside Mittie’s Cafe & Tea Room. From my vantage point I hoped to spot Mari Ann Stefanelli as she arrived. We’d met a couple of weeks earlier, briefly and in low light at a local book event. She had been surrounded by friends—some old, some new—and was all eyes and smiles as she drifted toward me and then effortlessly away through the crowd.
I wondered whether I’d recognize her in broad daylight. Distracted for a moment by the waitress, I turned back to the window in time to see a woman approach but too late to glimpse her face. Head down, the woman hurried up the steps and through the door, hurrying because she was late, or because she was anxious, or because as I soon learned Mari Ann is always in a hurry. She extends her arm and offers a warm hug, and her auburn locks flow behind her head and around her face as if she she’d come from sitting for Botticelli.
It was Mari Ann. Definitely Mari Ann. I could not have mistaken her.
Mari Ann takes her seat and offers an instant apology for keeping me waiting, though I’d only just arrived, a genuine thanks for agreeing to meet on short notice, and a warning that she might have to take a call, and gosh it’s so nice to get to know each other, and…
In minutes, it is as if I’ve known Mari Ann all my life.
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Mari Ann Stefanelli