Last Saturday, I had a “road trip” with my friends, Ann and Judi, to beautiful downtown Turlock, a valley town nestled in the heart of California. Ann is part of a wonderful Assyrian family with deep “Turlockian” roots. Her cousin, Esther, set up a book event for me at the Family Bible Center–a Christian bookstore that stands out among bookstores.

It was a perfect day! I met many of Ann and Esther’s bookminded friends who asked thoughtful questions about writing. And I enjoyed meeting Ken Freeby, the owner of Family Bible Center, and his staff, all of whom couldn’t have been more helpful.

On the way out of Turlock, Ann gave us a brief tour of her hometown. She drove us by her old high school–now a registered historical building. All brick, very stately…we felt smarter just driving by.

Turlock is growing rapidly, stretching out into the farmland that surrounds it. One street was filled with new, slick buildings; turn the corner and you face a farmer’s roadside fruit stand in front of a recently plowed field. Old and new, practically colliding.

And then we passed this yard art. We did a double take and just had to stop for a picture. Aren’t you curious about the people who live in that house? I sure am. Talk about quirky!

So the next time you’re passing through Turlock, stop at Ken’s Family Bible Center bookstore. He’s carrying a bunch of copies of Copper Star and Copper Fire, too.

And keep an eye out for the giraffes, too!

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