A friend of mine, who’s also a long-time reader of my column, asked me a while ago if there were any send-off events in the works as I prepare to move out-of-state. If there weren’t, she said she’d love to help organize one.

I hadn’t thought about anything like that, but I was trying to plan a book launch party to celebrate the book I recently published, which includes a number of the columns I’ve written over the years. I’ve been to several book launches, and have always enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the authors’ accomplishments, learn more about their books, and purchase one if I hadn’t already.

We decided to combine the two occasions, which turned into “The Buried Treasure Book Launch and Bon Voyage Open House.” It will take place next Thursday, February 23, from 4 to 8pm at the Chanhassen Recreation Center. There’s no cost to attend, but registration is required to make sure we have enough refreshments for everyone who comes. There’ll be some buried treasure to discover – think chocolate gold coins and nuggets – and some wonderful gifts, which have been generously donated by local businesses and will be given out as door prizes throughout the evening. There’ll also be a treasure hunt, of course.

I’m finding that preparing for the open house – as with many things in life, including my upcoming move – is both scary and exciting. Scary in that I’ve never organized an event like this before, and I find myself worrying about things like, “What if no one shows up? Or what if a hundred people show up all at once? What if we run out of food or books, or if I realize too late that I forgot about something crucial?”

When that happens, I remind myself that some amazing, talented, and experienced people are helping to put this together. I am in awe of – and grateful for – their knowledge, their generosity, and their help.

One of the things I’m most excited about is the thought of meeting in person some of the people I’ve been talking to for 16 years, but only through my column and the emails I occasionally receive from people who have been especially touched or inspired by something I’ve written.

I’m also excited – comforted is probably a more accurate word – that I’ll have the opportunity to say goodbye in person to some of the people I’ve met over the 18 years I’ve lived in Minnesota. Some have become dear friends, others are more casual acquaintances. But all have enlightened and enriched my life in many ways. I do plan to stay in touch as much as I can. Yet I know there are some people I won’t cross paths with again, and I’ll enjoy having a chance to see them once more before I go.

If you’d like to attend the Open House, please register online at https://buriedtreasurebooklaunch.eventbrite.com

I hope to see you there. But if you’re not able to make it, I still want you – and everyone who’s read any of my columns over the years – to know what a treasure you are to me.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on February 16, 2017.
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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