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.