Giving Thanks for a Great Thanksgiving

So, this happened: I was at a restaurant, about to head into the buffet room where a fantastic spread was set up, when I walk past a woman, nodding and smiling a silent greeting. Then I hear her say, “Are you Libby Malin?”

She recognized me! Libby Malin, the author!

It turned out she was the manager at the seaside restaurant we’d chosen for our Thanksgiving buffet dinner–my husband, daughter, and I. It’s on the boardwalk of Bethany Beach, Delaware, one of our favorite getaways.

This year my husband and I decided to try Thanksgiving dinner out, and what better place to do it than at the shore, where we could swim in a resort’s pool, relax in the hot tub, enjoy lake views where serene geese and graceful herons glided, and catch up on reading, resting and rejuvenating. Our daughter was able to join us, so it meant we weren’t entirely forgoing the family experience that goes along with this feast.

This was the first time we’d not done Thanksgiving with a big family celebration, in fact, and here’s my verdict: It was wonderful, but I won’t be doing it every year.

On the plus side, I loved not having to cook or even help out during preparations. I loved the tasty array of foods at the restaurant, some of which we wouldn’t ordinarily include in our home Thanksgiving menus (my husband particularly liked having lamb as a meat choice). I loved being waited on by a friendly waiter who took our drink orders. And loved that spectacular view of the ocean beyond the grassy sand dunes outside the many windows of the restaurant.

And, of course, I loved being recognized as an author, something that never happened to me before.

This wasn’t an entirely random encounter, I will admit. I have written a series of three romances set at Bethany Beach, and over the past months, I’d sent copies of them to various places mentioned in the books, thinking staff would enjoy reading of their establishments in these romantic tales.

The restaurant manager was a recipient of one of these books–and she must have figured out who I was from the author photo on the cover. We hadn’t made the dinner reservations in my author name, and she’d not seen where we were sitting.

So that moment of recognition was a real high point for me, an author who’s not made it anywhere near a best-seller list, even if I have a few big accomplishments in my writing career. I will treasure the memory.

Next year, though, we’ll do the family Thanksgiving celebration and not go out. One thing we missed this year was the smell of the turkey roasting all morning (hmm, surely Yankee Candle has a scent for that!), and, of course, the leftovers to nibble on in the evening and next day.

But this year’s Thanksgiving was one I’ll always be grateful for — when someone recognized me as an author.

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