The Easter weekend weather was wonderful, sunny, warm and breezy. The family was all here–Boomerang Boy in the truck that won’t back up, Katie and Mark, and even Tybee, the pound puppy. I say they were all here, but that’s not quite accurate. Wyatt and Weezie, our English setters, had to stay home because Wyatt and Tybee refuse to play nice together. Boys! Mr. Mary Kay and I came down Thursday evening to finish up some projects. The first thing I did was paint the shell-back motel chairs I’d picked up earlier in the day at Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta. They were a dirty ivory when I bought ’em, but they’re pink now, just like the pair on the hardback cover of SAVANNAH BLUES. Earlier that day, much of the landscaping had gone in. I finally got my birthday present palm trees. And they’re magnificent, I think, adding so much beachy feel to the house. Being a Florida girl, I think there’s nothing like the rustle of palm fronds to soothe the soul. To add to that Florida feeling, I asked for and got two pink standard hibiscus trees for the front garden, in addition to some lorapetalum shrubs and some white plumbago, along with some hot-pink knockout roses, and a small perennial border. In the backyard, Kelly, our wonderful organic landscape designer, planted a large loquat tree near the storage shed. My grandmother had a loquat tree in her yard when I was a child in St. Petersburg, and we used to climb it and all the cousins would pelt each other with the fruit. We’ve also got a Meyer lemon tree and a Persian lime tree for gin and tonic emergencies, and star jasmine planted on the picket fence. Can’t wait to sit on the back porch and smell that jasmine in bloom. Inside, it was the first time we gave the kitchen a full work-out. Friday night, the kids requested and got my husband’s famous crabcakes, as well as boiled shrimp. Our friends Diane and Susan from Mermaid Cottage joined us for drinks, so we insisted they stay for supper. Saturday night we grilled out, and were joined by Seaside Sisters Susan Kelleher and her cousin Linda. While I was at my book-signing Saturday at Seaside Sisters, Tom and Andy went fishing, and Katie and Mark hung out. (Thanks, everybody, who dropped by the signing.) I even got to meet Michael Keating, who happens to be the brother of Isabel Keating, the Broadway actress (and Savannah native) who does all the audiobook recordings of my books. Isabel and I are going to try to cook up a meeting sometime soon. I finally got to the beach Saturday afternoon. Would you believe in all these months I’ve been coming down to Tybee Island I hadn’t once had any time for the beach? I even got a little sunburn Saturday afternoon. We all got up and walked to early mass Sunday morning at St. Michael’s, which is the sweetest little church, built, or so I’ve been told, by fishermen and boat-builders. The inside of the church, with all that varnished wood, looks like the inside of an old wooden boat. Then it was home to cook dinner. Our friends Ron and Leuveda and Tacky Jacky and her family joined us. On the menu was baked ham, devilled eggs, Leuveda’s potato salad, Jacky’s pork loin and mustard ring, green, green spring vegetables from a Barefoot Contessa recipe, Tom’s baby lamb chops and grilled butterflied leg of lamb, and my lemon poundcake and strawberries for dessert. After the kids headed for home, Tom and I relaxed, until it was time for the next meal—late supper at Seaside Susan’s house. Lawd, I may never eat again. Until it’s time to tackle those leftovers!