Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Deer Abbey

This past Saturday I spent the day at an SCA event – that’s Society for Creative Anachronism.  I used to be very active in that organization, and in fact my first published novel, Murder at the War, was set at their biggest annual event, The Great Pennsic War.  This Saturday event, Twelfth Night, was very well attended.  The King and Queen were there, and our local Barony installed a new Baron in an elaborate ceremony.  In the SCA, I am an Abbess, Margaret of Shaftesbury (Shaftesbury was the largest nunnery in England in the Middle Ages; its abbess held the rank of Baron and was entitled to sit in the King’s Council).  My modest little abbey is named Abatia Cervi Albi, Abbey of the White Stag, after the vision of St. Eustace.  Deer Abbey, for short.  Here I am in my winter garb, crozier in hand – Abbots and Abbesses carried crosiers (like a bishop’s crook).  Mine was hand carved by Master Einar Lutemaker and is one of my most precious possessions.

Last night I went to a library in south Minneapolis to meet with a book club that had read The Drowning Pool.  I wasn’t told ahead of time which of the Betsy Devonshire titles they’d read, so came prepared to talk about “cozy” mysteries in general.  The talk went very well, though I feel now I rambled a lot.  The weather was bitter cold and there was a very fine snow drifting down.  My Garmin led me onto a freeway going home.  It was a little after eight, and  the traffic was light.  I sped up the entrance ramp but very quickly realized the road was extremely slippery.  The surface appeared clear, but the snow combined with the below-zero temperature made it slick as a waxed floor.  I dropped my speed to forty, though I was anxious not to have someone going the limit come up and rear-end me.  No worry, at forty, I found myself coming up on a car ahead of me!  I slowed further but still there was a greasy feel to the road under my tires, and going over a bridge I thought I detected a hint of fishtailing.  I finally got to an exit familiar to me, and came home on side streets at a cautious twenty miles an hour.  I’m staying home today.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Yikes! Glad you made it home unscathed after all that.

Betty Hechtman said...

How scary! The closest I've been to driving on ice was when the water from the sprinklers froze on our driveway and I had to back up over a small patch. I didn't like it at all.