Tag Archives: old houses

A Guy Walks into a Bookstore….

18921773_1618662488144809_1870777436861749913_nJack and I have often said that the best stories found at a bookstore are in the customers. This is Brandon. He came in looking for old books to decorate with. He’s renovating an old house and looking for book nook filler. Fair enough. We negotiated a cheap price for “filler books.”

But as we did, since his right hand was wrapped in bandages and looked about twice the size of the other, I commented that renovations must have taken a bad turn.

Brandon looked briefly sheepish.

“I have this motorbike,” he said.

“Biking accidents are the worst,” Jack offered in commiseration, and Brandon practically blushed.

“Here’s how it went down. I got caught in some pig gravel, and I had to lay the bike down, and I did it, textbook. So gentle, so easy, I didn’t even have road rash on my arms.”

(Translation, for those not in the biker world. Brandon unexpectedly hit loose gravel, swerved, and knew his bike was going to capsize. So he deliberately leaned over enough that the bike would fall in a semi-controlled way. Usually a falling bike will still drive forward a bit, scratching up the skin of the biker.)

“But I messed up my bike, really did a number on the body work, little dents and all, and I limped it back home and went back into the house to work on it some more. And I was so mad, I punched the wall in the basement.”

Where he’d been working to re-expose the solid oak beams that held up the old house.

“If I’d punched that stupid plaster board and paneling, everything would’ve been okay. But I went straight into a beam. Broke two of them little tarsel thingees.”

Surviving a bike accident to take it out on a wall has to be one of my new favorite customer stories. There’s just something so human about this.

 

 

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

TA-DA!

Jack created our new downstairs bedroom pretty much from scratch. This is what it looked like before he started.

IMG_3508 With two rooms downstairs, he finished the big one for me as an office and yarn storage space. (There’s a blog called “His Square, White Heart” that describes that room, back a few months ago.) But then he began casting his eye on the second space….

How it was at the beginning.

How it was at the beginning.

Well, okay, so maybe I said something like, “What will we do with that smaller room at the back?” Anyway, the point is, he decided it would make a good bedroom. And it does. You can see how smart Jack was about finding all the crevices and getting the most storage space possible. For a hanging closet, we bought an old cedar wardrobe from our friends at Vintage on Main (a secondhand store a couple blocks up). The nice lady who worked there surprised me by putting in a couple of dresses she thought I’d like as a bonus!

So… behold Jack’s handiwork! (He and Bert decided to model for us.)

We used the high shelf behind the bed for shoes and winter blanket storage.

We used the high shelf behind the bed for shoes and winter blanket storage.

In a fit of what we modestly think of as genius, I realized all my wicker baskets that had stored yarn would be useful downstairs in the various crevices. We didn't have to spend money on new ways to store things!

In a fit of what we modestly think of as genius, I realized all my wicker baskets that had stored yarn would be useful downstairs in the various crevices. We didn’t have to spend money on new ways to store things! (You can see the original brick at the back of that chest storage area.)

bedroom 4

We bought those burlap-esque white containers, but we had all the wicker laundry baskets. Those hold our clothes and the white bits serve as the “I don’t have to justify why it’s here” junk pockets. I think this set of shelves was Jack’s greatest stroke of brilliance. The basement walls sloped heavily, with a kind of cement wattle at the bottom and brick at the top. The white wall shows how far in the wattle sloped, but Jack reclaimed the space at the top by installing this shelf.

So the Bookstore goes on above us, and Jack and I have a little hideaway where we can read and relax. Jack still has his office and studio for recording his radio programs on the second floor, and I have my writing retreat downstairs. Soon the SECOND STORY CAFE will open in our former living room, and our second story storage space will turn into a proper functioning kitchen. Life is good!

The little standing lamp next to the bed is one of the finds from Vintage on Main. It really works with the limited space because it overhands my one-foot-square bedside table and leaves me room to pile on BOOKS. (And the occasional kitten)

The little standing lamp next to the bed is one of the finds from Vintage on Main. It works well with the limited space because it overhangs my one-foot-square bedside table and leaves me room to pile on BOOKS (and the occasional kitten).

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Filed under animal rescue, crafting, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, writing