Tag Archives: happy marriages

The New Bookshelf

DSCN0255I came home from a trip to Richmond with a new bookshelf. It’s one of the hazards of having a happy, quiet(ish) life. When I head back from a Power Trip, I usually cut over on the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of those glorious yet underused scenic highways that dots America. It diagonals the two worst sections of the Interstate-cum-parking lots I would otherwise have to take, and it’s just good for the soul to slow down and watch layer on layer of blue mountains unfold in front of you. Restores balance and perspective, y’know? Plus, when you get back off the Parkway at Buena Vista, there’s a really cool Habitat for Humanity Resale Store right there by the gas station.

Hey, peace comes in many forms. Don’t judge me.

At the store they had a few bookshelves. There are never very many, and most are flat pack pressed sawdust made into wood, but they had kind of a cool one, cheap stuff, yet made in squares rather than shelves, three cubbies high and four cubbies long.

My mind flew to our under-organized children’s area, and how adorable this 3×4 stack of connected boxes would look filled with board books and Little Golden Books….

Spatial orientation has never been my strong point. I liberated the shelf, then discovered it would have to be taken back to its flat pack state to travel on with me. No problem; those nice guys doing community service took it apart, but broke it in the process.

Instant discount, and I have wood glue: no problem.

Unloading it on the bookstore front porch in 12 pieces: no problem.

Explaining to husband that it was too good a deal to pass up and the fact that we truly no longer have a place in the bookstore to put it was negated by how cheap it was: slight problem. He kinda seemed stuck on that spacing issue. Guys.

All morning from the mystery room I’ve heard hammering and things falling and an electric drill whirring, plus the occasional curse word. Once our staff cats Nike and Hadley raced from that door with looks of pure terror on their faces. The children’s room is off the mystery room, plus there’s a closet in there where I store yarn sometimes. I look forward to seeing where my genius husband puts my brilliant bargain purchase, but I’m not going in there until he comes out without the drill.

Ain’t life grand? :]

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, crafting, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, reading, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

Hame, Sweet Hame…

Jack’s back! And so is his weekly Wednesday blog post.

East, West, hame’s best! (That’s “home” fer those amang ye wha’ cannae speak Scots.)

Ah, but which hame?

Avid readers will know that I take a group of Scotophiles over to the old country every June. This year was the sixth such trip and it was as enjoyable as ever – a lovely group of seven folk (should have been eight but one had to call off at the last minute for health reasons). We were carried all round Scotland and the North East corner of Ireland in the trusty seventeen seat bus driven by our equally trusty driver and co-guide Colin Stuart, meeting such talented and interesting people as Liz Weir, Pete Clark, Jock Duncan, Doli McLennan, Robin Morton and Alison Kinnaird. (Look ’em up; you’ll be glad you did!)

I always go a few days early to stay with Colin just outside my hometown, Dunfermline, but every year when I drive through the place I find they’ve added another roundabout and another couple of traffic lights – it’s a complete nightmare. Buildings that were much loved landmarks have disappeared. In other words, it’s not my home any more.

Meanwhile, back in Big Stone Gap, Wendy waits quietly until I depart before organizing all our friends into a work-crew and completely re-organizing the bookstore. I get hints via email and blog posts, but it never really prepares me. I may not come back to new roundabouts and traffic lights, but shelves have danced ’round about to new positions, she does a lot of traffic with yard sales, chairs have descended the stairs, and half our furniture is waiting patiently in the basement until I complete the work down there.

In other words, it’s not my home any more….

But you see what I said there? I mentioned friends – on both sides of the Atlantic. Ah – now friends are a lot more important than roundabouts, traffic lights, buildings and furniture. So I still have two hames, in the East and the West, and will have as long as I have friends there.

Then there’s that special friend who waits ’til I’ve gone before re-organizing the bookstore. Wherever she is, is truly hame!

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, Life reflections, Scotland