A Blog by Gail Cushman My blogs are usually listed as “two-minute reads” by the Facebook people who enjoy counting 120 seconds, but today, my blog deals with my gratitude and might be a hair longer. We are halfway through 2021 and about to celebrate America’s 245th birthday and Idaho’s 131st birthday (July 3), and I’d like to thank our founding fathers for their foresight and optimism. This week has been one for the books. Nearly a hundred people visited my book launch, surprising the heck out of me and making it a fun evening. Thank you for bearing the heat and traffic on a Friday night to help me celebrate. I reconnected with several people: Bill and Cindy from Emmett, Eileen from Boise, fellow Girl Scout who has traveled more than I, Barbara Jo and her husband Richard, and three different Nancys. I met some new people, Judy and Hazel and Andrea, among others. Neil informed me that he had he skipped a basketball conference to show his face (thank you, Linda) and my brother David and wife Debbie, a few cousins, and of course, several of my friendly neighbors joined us. I had a wonderful time and hope you did, too. If I listed everyone who attended, you would be on your third or fourth cup of coffee by the time I finished and I don’t want to cause caffeine overload, but thanks to all who attended and have supported me through this journey! And to those of you who bought my books…thank you, thank you, thank you! I am humbled and appreciate your confidence in me. A couple days later I was pondering my next trip to have some book talks. I plan to visit eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls and Pocatello, which are both a long way from Boise, but worth the trip because I know a few people who live there, not to mention a few good restaurants. Mr. Covid seems to still be blocking the way, but I’m plodding forward and will get there sometime this summer. What happened next made me laugh. I was checking some of my Facebook pages, and a post popped up, authored by one of my former students, Aaron, whom I have kept track of, but haven’t seen in a long time. He now lives in Oregon, and I see his name now and again on various sites. He starred in several of our plays (I was the drama mama in Gooding for a few years), and I watched him gain confidence in his roles on the stage. Aaron asked me why I wasn’t going to Portland. Portland? Are you kidding? That’s a long way, Aaron, I can’t even get to Idaho Falls, barely to Twin Falls. Aaron had ideas of his own and decided to do something about it, and this is what he did. He started his own Wrinkly Bits Facebook page called Wrinkly Bits+ for “people who want to follow the exploits of Gail Cushman, (Author, Teacher, Drama coach)”. I don’t have many exploits these days because that would take energy and forethought and I promised my kids that I would try to not end up in jail. I can see the headlines “Dame Wrinkly, Slammed in the Slammer” or something similar. Check out his FB page, it will probably make you laugh, too. Fans? Really? I am grateful to all those who read my Wrinkly Bits, sometimes brainless, sometimes nostalgic, and other times thoughtful. They are fun to write, and I enjoy seeing the many responses, which vary from week to week and post to post. For example, one month I had multiple people tell they loved the name Wrinkly Bits, just the name made them laugh. But during the same time period, I had a person tell me how much he hated the title and went into detail about how it offended him. Different strokes, as they say. I feel truly fortunate to be where I am in life and have gratitude galore. I am privileged to live where and how I do and blessed with the ability to do something I love. And most of all, I feel gratitude for you, my readers! Thank you…Happy Fourth of July and Happy Birthday, Idaho. If you enjoy Wrinkly Bits, please share!