Today’s blog post comes from our newest shop-sitters, Lisa and Bob Vincent:
“Let’s drive seven hours to run a bookstore for a week,” she said. “A once in a lifetime experience,” she said. “It’ll be fun,” she said. I can’t be certain, but I’m sure those closely approximate the thoughts that were running through my husband, Bob’s mind as he tumbled down the top flight of stairs last Sunday night, damaging both the Kitty gate and his big toe in the process. By Monday morning we discovered we’d confused the identity of several of the bookstore foster cats, and their respective living areas. I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say hell hath no smell like a kitty confused. After the messes had been dealt with and I’d had time to gather my own thoughts, I couldn’t help wonder what the sentences might actually be for destruction of property (the gate leading to the Second Story Cafe), accomplice to murder (the tomato plants) and contributing to the delinquency of a feline (Charlaine, the runaway). Though I felt confident a judge would let our guilty conscience be punishment enough, I prayed Wendy and Jack would agree.
Of course, being the patient and ever-so-gracious folks they are, Wendy and her support network talked and texted us through the crisis, and some semblance of okay-ness was restored by mid-morning. We took advantage of having Monday free by visiting Mountain Rose Vineyard, and getting acquainted with the layout of the store. We accepted Elizabeth’s invitation to visit her house and farm. I milked my first nanny-goat while Bob fed an adorable kid. Very cool. This Tuesday morning, while Bob finished up some last minute repairs to the gate; we had a Charlaine sighting! The bookstore will open in nine minutes. The real adventure soon begins, and I can’t wait.
I confess that I didn’t ask Bob before responding to Wendy’s shop-sitting feeler. I hit the message button and began this adventure knowing (hoping) he’d be on board. Because when it comes to books, and writing, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, I jump. I jumped when signed up for my first fiction class after years of writing research papers and contracts. I jumped with my two business partners when we launched our literary magazine, The Quotable. I jumped with Bob when I accepted his proposal after two months of dating. And I’ve never regretted any of it.
I didn’t send that message with dreams of sipping on coffee and reading in an overstuffed chair all day, though I wouldn’t mind a *few* such luxurious moments. But jumping is risky, and it rarely occurs without bumps and bruises. That’s all part of the experience. We are thankful to Wendy and Jack for allowing us to spend a week in their wonderful little bookstore in the charming country town of Big Stone Gap. Now if we could just revive the tomatoes…