Saturday, December 14, 2013

Family by Lesa Holstine

After twenty-seven years in warm climates, Lesa Holstine has returned home to the snow and ice of the Midwest, which she hates. But, she absolutely loves her new job as Public Services Officer at the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library in Evansville, Indiana. Lesa blogs daily at Lesa's Book Critiques (, where she shares her passion for reading (particularly mysteries).

Please welcome a woman I truly adore, admire and respect, my friend Lesa - - -
Lesa Holstine


                It’s the time of year to get a little sentimental, so if you’re not in the mood, you might want to come back some other time.

                Anyone who stops in at Kaye’s site knows how important family is to her – her Donald, her mother, and, of course, the enchanting Harley Barley. This year, I learned how wonderful it is to be close to family. I moved from Arizona to Indiana last January. All of my family is in Ohio. My mother flew out to help me drive to Evansville, and then my sisters came down to help me move in. It’s been a year of re-discovery for me. I hadn’t been to a high school graduation party since my youngest sister, Christie, graduated a few more years ago than I’ll talk about. Now, her second youngest was the one celebrating his graduation. While home that weekend, I was also able to go to “Wicked” with my sister, Linda. I went to Ohio in August, and attended a family reunion. The last time for a family reunion had to have been over 30 years ago. And, then I went to Thanksgiving at Linda’s. Once I moved to Florida, and then Arizona, Thanksgiving with family was a thing of the past. The last one must have been over 27 years earlier.
                It’s been good to be close to family again. But, I have to say, I miss part of the family I’ve grown to love over the years. I miss the mystery family I discovered in Arizona.

                The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Arizona was my “third place”, the place I went other than home and work. It was through my connection to the Poisoned Pen and the library that I met the members of The Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime. And, one of those members, Chantelle Aimee Osman, did become another sister. Chantelle owns Sirens of Suspense website. I miss discussing books with her, meeting her at the Poisoned Pen, or going to dinner and the theater.

     I miss hanging out at the Poisoned Pen. Thanks to the Pen, I hosted all kinds of authors at the library, or went to see them multiple times at the bookstore. I miss hugs and visits with Jenn McKinlay, Betty Webb, Donis Casey, Rebecca Cantrell, Kris Neri, Kelly Stanley, Rhys Bowen, Jeffrey Siger, Avery Aames, Roni Olson. Authors not only appeared at the Pen, they came to the library. I still miss Juliet Blackwell, Sophie Littlefield, Zoe Sharp, Vicki Delany, Deborah Ledford, Carolyn Hart, Jane Cleland, and Paige Shelton. Barbara Peters, owner of the Pen, made evenings or lunches special with Alan Bradley and Jacqueline Winspear. And, I can’t tell you how much I missed Louise Penny’s appearance this year at the Pen. She and I always managed to sneak in dinner or munchies before she spoke there. The Poisoned Pen Bookstore with Barbara Peters, Rob Rosenwald, Will, and Patrick truly felt like a second home.


                It’s almost Christmas. I took my presents to my family instead of mailing them this year. I laughed with family, cheered our favorite college football team on to a victory, shopped and ate with them. There’s nothing better than being with family at the holidays, or, really, any time of the year. But, I can’t wait to see that second family again in March when Left Coast Crime is in Monterey. They may not be blood relatives, but it will be like old times again, visiting with family. I can’t wait for that mystery family reunion.

Note to those wishing to leave comments! "Moderate Comments" is enabled here which means your comment won't show up until it's been published by the narrator (that would be me).  I won't be by my laptop for a while this evening, so please bear with me - I'll check in when I can later this evening.  Thank you!!!


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Lesa - Welcome back, my friend. I loved this piece. I always enjoy your stories about your family. What a very special group of women you, your mom and your sisters are. Wishing you all the brightest and best of holidays and sending you a smooch!!


Lesa said...

Thank you, Kaye! And, even if no one else shows up here, it's always wonderful to visit with you. Thank you for inviting me. Hugs to you, Donald, and Harley!

Chantelle Aimée Osman said...

Oh, Lesa! When you went to Evansville, Arizona lost a part of its happiness. You always make everyone around you feel special. I count myself lucky every day to have you as a friend, and a sister, and have you in my life.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Chantelle. I do have to say, though, as much as I miss you and Arizona, I did bring some happiness with me. I wish you could have seen me as Rudolph with Santa the other day, with the antlers and red nose. I would have even posted the picture, but I can't get the one posted that a friend sent. It won't let me work with it.

But, I miss you, and I'm looking forward to seeing you in California.

Nancy said...

Happy holidays to you, Lesa and your family there with you and your illustrious mystery clan.

Pat Browning said...

Oh, Lesa, I know what you mean, but you are always just a click away from your friends and fans, no matter where you are.

On You Tube I just stumbled across a Johnny Cash song called "I've Been Everywhere" and it's a hoot. You'll love it if you've never heard it and even if you have.

Take a listen at:

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the best of New Years --

(You too, Kaye!)

Vicki Delany said...

Nice catching up with you, Lesa. You are now closer to me than you were before, so perhaps I can pay a visit. BTW, do you know about Bloody Words in Toronto next June 6 - 8? You'd love it!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Nancy! And, Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Pat, I love sharing that Johnny Cash love with you. I do know the song, and it is fun, isn't it

Love to have you visit, Vicki, but I have to admit, I never know what to expect with Evansville when an author visits. I would love Bloody Words, but not this next year. I should just be returning from BEA then. I'll keep it in mind, though. I am going to Left Coast Crime!

Carol N Wong said...

So glad to see you again! Most of my family is in Indians while I am now in Texas. So glad that your move means that you will be seeing them more often. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I know it’s not the same as being there, but the Poisoned Pen events are livestreamed so you can watch them as they happen (and comment or question by email) or watch the archived events. It’s as close as I can get to author appearances, and I really appreciate the opportunity to listen to the conversations.

Beth Hoffman said...

What a wonderful post! I always love the family stories (and photos) that you share. Happy holidays and big hugs to you, my friend. Can't wait to see you in June!

Lesa said...

Carol, Is your symbol a penguin because of how cold it is here in Indiana in the winter? It is good to be closer to family, though.

Liz, You're right. It's not like being there. I do know they're livestreamed, but I like the contact with the authors, not just listening to them.

Happy Holidays, Beth, and big hugs back! I can't wait to have you here! It's family (smile).