I’m typing this post from my cousin’s kitchen table in Oakland, California, where June and I are visiting for a family baby shower and have stayed long enough to eat four slices of red velvet cake, get stuck twice in rush hour traffic on I-80, and sniff every single rose in Rockridge while out walking the neighborhood at 6:49 in the morning, killing time before the rest of the family wakes up. We fly home tomorrow, and then, on Tuesday, I leap into that heady, unnerving thing called Publication Day, otherwise known The Day Your Copy of Delancey Will Finally Ship, If You Pre-Ordered It, or, The Day You Can Find It In Your Local Bookstore, If You Didn’t. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!

Maybe it’s all the sugar in that red velvet cake, but I can’t stop thinking about the spring of 2009, five years ago, about where I was and what was going on and how I felt when my first book came out. I didn’t know yet that we would open a restaurant – or I didn’t believe that we would, anyway. I didn’t know yet that we would have a child. I didn’t know anyone in these photographs.  Not! A! One!

And in that relatively small expanse of time, they’ve become some of our closest friends, our colleagues, our vacation collaborators, our co-conspirators in pancake breakfasts on Tuesday mornings, our people.

I was telling someone the other day that writing Delancey was something that I needed to do, that it helped me to understand the decisions that Brandon and I had made, and that the effort of trying to tell our story to someone else – to you – had helped me to understand the story for myself. But I think the best part of writing it was actually this: that I got a chance to recognize the friends, family members, and neighbors who helped us build the restaurant, and the cooks, servers, hosts, dishwashers, and bartenders, everyone who works alongside us in it. It’s their restaurant as much as ours.

I should stop now, before I get too sappy.

I hope to pop back in here before I hit the road, but in case I don’t make it: see you out there!  I can’t wait.

P.S. Oh and hey, if you can’t come to a reading/signing, you can still get a signed copy of Delancey (or, for that matter, A Homemade Life). University Book Store in Seattle will send you a signed, personalized copy of the book, AND they’ll ship for free in the US for all orders over $20 (and they’ll ship internationally, too). Hop over here for more information.

P.P.S. Brian Eno on the power of singing. Just because I love it. (Thanks, Lecia!)