One summer when the children were young I discovered Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Maybe it was Shiloh or maybe it was the Alice books, but whatever it was, she had me hooked.
Then I discovered she lived in Bethesda. I began to daydream that I’d casually bump into her in the grocery store and we’d start up a conversation and become fast friends.
When Clare was in kindergarten I volunteered to help out at an assembly because Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was going to talk about Shiloh. I thought I would be there to corral active children, but instead I was asked to help the author sign books. I got to be Shiloh and stamp books with a special paw stamp made from his paw-print (Shiloh was a real dog) after she signed them.
We never bumped into each other at the store and never became friends, but I did get some quality time with her and she seemed pleased that my favorite of her books was one that she didn’t even realize was at the local library.
Years later, after I figured out where she lived, I toured her home when she was selling it.