Tag Archives: BSR Used Books

The Short but Sweet Bucket List

us singingDriving out here to Colorado so Jack could attend the Prison Visiting Service Conference, he and I had a lot of fun talking with people in Illinois and Kansas bookstores on the way.

We met up with some dear old friends like Stacie and Bruce (BSR Used Books) and LuAnn (Afterwords) and Hilda (Book Medley) plus met new ones (Anita at Al’s Old Books) and people who came to the events and chatted afterward at the hosting shops. At both talks the conversations turned to dreams, unfulfilled and sometimes unrecognized. We talked about what people want from life, and how they get it, and what they trade for it.

After the second talk,  Jack and I were careening across Kansas at its very interesting speed limit of 75 mph (you kind of have to drive that fast to stay awake on those long, long flat roads) and I asked him, “Do you have any dreams you haven’t fulfilled yet?”

He considered the question, then said, “I would really like to match all my black socks correctly before I die.”

And this just proves what I’ve known for so long: my husband is a good, honest, sweetheart of a man. When Jack works, he works hard; when he plays, he plays well (mostly in D, but also G, C and F) and when he sits, he falls asleep. Like Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame, when my husband looks into the Mirror of Desire, he sees socks: matching black socks.

He turned the tables. “How about you?”

I didn’t have to think about it. “Just once, I would like to use a tube of chap stick all the way to the bottom. I don’t know anyone who’s done that.”

Sure, we all have big dreams, grand schemes, great hopes and aspirations. But we also have the little heartbeat stuff that keeps us getting out of bed every day. And makes the little moments sweet and fun while we’re working on the big stuff.


Filed under book reviews, bookstore management, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, writing

Angelic Bookstore Owners

Bookstore owners are the sweetest, smartest people in the world. Trust me on this. ;]

Jack and I had a really busy month in July, with a sick foster cat (TEAM HAZEL FOR THE WIN) and a final push on finishing our basement so we could get moved in and turn upstairs into the SECOND STORY EATERY.  Jack was just back from leading his annual Scottish tour (next year now booking) and he was the wee bit under the weather. Yuppie stress in the grand scheme of the world, but it induced an aversion to doing anything besides sitting quietly on a Friday evening, staring at the wallpaper.

But Angelic Towe, owner of MariaJoseph Books in Wallach House, downtown Eureka, Missouri, had asked us ages ago to come do a book event in her bookstore. The store she started after reading my book. (Does this make me legally culpable?)

And poor Angelic, the week before we were to sojourn at her lakeside house for the event plus an extra day of swimming and sunning, was descended upon by family members under some surprise stress. En masse. Her bedrooms filled, her fridge emptied, and her Mom heart expanded.

We said, “Let’s just reschedule.” She took it bravely, but it slipped out that she’d “done some publicity.” So we said “OK, let’s get ‘er done.”

And when we arrived last night to the hotel she’d booked for us–gorgeous and with a SWIMMING POOL–in the midst of her own stress, she’d left us a chocolate bar and a gift card to a local restaurant. When we went to the first gig she’d arranged, we saw the “publicity”: elegant postcards in lovely color tones with antique script, touting the event at Angelic’s store.

Plus, her kids helped make cookies for today.

On the way home from Angelic’s, we will make a swift detour through Granite City, IL to BSR Used Books. Owner Bruce Campbell coined the phrase TEAM HAZEL FOR THE WIN while keeping up with the saga of our elderly, sick foster cat. He’s been one of her staunchest supporters in her new life in North Carolina (complete with her own Facebook page, as befits a celebricat). We look forward to meeting him.

And we will be stopping off in Indiana as well, but that’s a surprise we’ll keep for a later blog. Suffice it to say we’re meeting some (more) very cool people for a very fun reason.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it behooves us all to make friends with independent bookstore owners: sweet, cool, smart people. They care about cats, and they make cookies.

In fact, I’m pretty sure it is independent bookstore owners and school teachers who form the safety net enclosing the world, keeping it from flying apart.


Filed under book reviews, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, publishing, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, writing