Sasha wasn't able to leave work early so we didn't arrive in Norman until around 6:15 p.m. We found a parking place very quickly across the street from the event. We crossed the 4 lanes of traffic and the first thing we saw was a few protesters with their signs and posters. The crowd was large. Due to many spectators, it was not apparent just where the line began so I asked a security guard for assistance. We got to the back of the l-o-n-g l-i-n-e and patiently waited. We were standing in the parking lot and it was s-o-o-o cold (in the mid to lower 20's).
After a few short minutes, Palin's beautiful bus arrived. Because there were so many people, we were unable to see her, Trigg and her parents exit the bus. It had been reported that she would be giving a short speech outside the store, but just before she arrived they removed the platform.
We continued to wait . . . . and wait. . . and watched the first lucky 500 march in to have their books signed. The comments of those leaving with signed books in hand was very interesting. One guy (mid 20's) commented how beautiful she was and also said "I'll never wash my eyes again" :)
Finally, our line began to move, but in spite of the movement, the hope for a signature was growing dim, however, we continued to wait . . . and wait. . . all the while our toes were growing numb, and our legs, fingers (even with gloves) were steadily growing colder.
After standing in line for almost 2 hours, beginning to feel pain in our feet from the numbing cold, we decided to leave and go to Olive Garden for dinner . . . and warm up. We decided to be grateful to have been able to see the bus and experience the excitement of the crowd, and we still had a book to enjoy reading. Also, it gave us an opportunity to spend some time together, which is very rare because of busy schedules and she's the mother of three darling little girls, ages 4, 3 & 1.
We had a nice dinner and talked. Around 9:30 we decided that we have better head home. I suggested that we not go back via I-35 because of the construction, but instead go another route. Also, this route would take us back by the Hastings store and we could check and see if the signing was over . . . or not. We felt pretty sure Sarah would be gone. But . . . to our surprise, the protesters were still there and there was a short line just outside the store. We whipped into the parking lot and were able to park very near the store. Just as we got to the second entrance where they were filing in, the guards said they were having to lock up. I told Sasha, "Come, on. Let's go in the other door." She followed me and the automatic doors swung open wide and we walked in.
Now we are in! We stood around for a short moment assessing the situation. I saw the end of the line and quickly joined the ranks of those who were still seeking a signature. An official looking gentleman asked us if we had just purchased our books. Sasha told him that we had purchased them a few days ago and that she had the receipt in her book. He looked at us for a brief moment, then said "You two will be the last."
! ! ! ! ! ! ! We made it ! ! ! ! ! About that time a lady walked up to me a put a wristband on my arm and told me that it was good for a signature in two books. One of the employees asked her where she got the wristband and she replied that she had just found it and there was only one!
So now, we are in THE line inside where it was warm. They had Sarah positioned in the back of the store. Before we were allowed to approach her table, we had to take off our coats, check in our purses, relinquish our ! ! cameras! ! ! open our books to a certain page and then . . . wait. . . again.
The line continued to slowly move then . . . finally, there she was - - dressed in black with her hair down and styled straight. She IS beautiful -- flawless skin. She must have been exhausted from signing, smiling, greeting and shaking hands for 3 hours. Her lipstick had worn away but she was still stunning. She is much smaller than I expected -- very petite. She has a small bone structure that I especially noticed when she shook my hand. As far as her height, I would say that she is about 5'6".
After the signing, greeting and receiving my book, I walked a few steps away to wait for Sasha. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder. When I turned around, there was an elderly gentleman smiling at me who said "You can't greet Sarah without meeting her father, too." It was Mr. Heath, Sarah's Dad. He was greeting everyone as they left. We shook hands and I told him how nice it was to meet him. He thanked us for supporting Sarah.
We stopped in the in-store coffee shop to see if the Palin group would exit the building through the coffee shop. (While we were waiting, we noticed Mrs. Heath getting a baby bottle warmed. ) Instead of through the front, Sarah, her family and assistants were ushered out the back to the bus. Sarah was taken to the airport to fly to Dallas and the bus caught up with her the next day.
We were so amazed and yet felt kind of bad for all the others who had to continue to stand in the cold for a signature. And us . . we waited in a warm Olive Garden restaurant, eating and chatting and enjoying ourselves. To be perfectly honest, we both feel that we had been shown favor from our God. After all, he knows the desires of our hearts, -- carnal and spiritual. I was excited to get a signature, but this adventure was really for Sasha to get a signature and I was there to be a companion.
Here are a few pics.
This is my book.
The coveted wristband.
Due to schedule conflicts (keeping little people over the weekend) I was unable to go to "Deeper Still" in OKC. Several of my friends are at DS as I type this so I will get try to experience it through them -- not the same, I know. However, the book signing did fit into my schedule and made my week special!
Thanks for reading my babblings of this unlikely adventure. :)