It’s chaos on the half-shelf at the bookstore right now, and I have to admit it’s got fun parts and it’s got … parts.
Yesterday morning I swam up from sleep at 7:30 and wandered upstairs, my bare feet attacked by hungry foster kittens at every step – and found three people at my front door, waiting to get in and organize the upstairs kitchen.
We’d told Kelley, the head chef at SECOND STORY CAFE, that she and her helpers Sam and Thom would be able to get into the bookstore “first thing Thursday morning” to have the kitchen ready for an 11 a.m. health inspection.
“First thing” in the morning is a non-specific measure of time, applied differently by different people. I let the team in, apologized for my long white cotton nightgown (which kind of makes me look like a rumpled Victorian ghost with bed hair) and aimed them toward the stairs. Then I moved to the kitchen to flick the switch on our coffeemaker and grab the cat spoon for doling out their breakfast. The cats, meanwhile, unhappy at the disruption to their routine, chorused protests.
That’s why I missed the soft knocking at the window of the bookstore, next to the kitchen and below the outside staircase. Really, given the state of my hair and nightie, it was Rick who should have screamed, not me. But he was “tryin’ not to startle ya, ma’am,” as he explained once I cleaned up the puddle, opened the upstairs door–kittens and nightgown trailing–and let him in to “get started a little early” on the heat and air installation. We hadn’t expected him until 9, but he figured “one big push today’ll do ‘er.”
Back down the stairs I went, kittens riding my bedtails, to find a man on the porch, waving through the glass door. We’d borrowed the keys to the theatre down the street after the Celtic festival ended, so we could get some equipment out when we had volunteers to help. They needed their keys back. I handed them over and invited the poor soul in for a cup of coffee, since the rich brew’s smell now permeated the house and people were trailing one at a time–circus clowns from the Volkswagen–up and down staircases, headed for the source of life.
Theatre dude cast his eyes over my hair–I think at this point a kitten was sitting in it, too weak from hunger to walk any farther–and nightgown, then declined.
I fed the cats, checked the porch just in case someone else had showed up, got dressed, checked the porch, and went for coffee. Pot was empty.
I love my life.