A Tonic for Perspective Restoration

Jack and I drove from Nashville to our home sweet bookstore on Sunday, dumped our disorganized clutch of luggage, and began sorting laundry, book purchases (from the Southern Festival of the Book and just the one bookstore we stopped at on the way home, heh) and other trip detritus.

My purse wasn’t there.

I’d barely had time to launch a full-blown panic attack when the phone rang. A woman named Sabrina Hensley said she found my purse in the rest room where I’d left it, and would mail it Tuesday when the post office opened after Columbus Day. I told her to take money out of the purse to mail it and to buy herself lunch, but she declined.

Thank you, Ms. Hensley. You are a true mensch.

That was our first return to reality post-festival, but the best was yet to come. A whole lot of people had read the blog, friended us on Facebook, liked the bookstore and cafe, and we enjoyed reading through your comments and stories. We meant it, what I said on C-span about a connected community of bibliophiles and bookstore supporters, here, there and everywhere, and we admit it made us feel good that so many people responded positively on Twitter and FB et al. We went to bed basking in the glow of small-time celebrity.

Monday morning, I woke up five minutes late for a ride-share to an important meeting. As I raced up the stairs our foster cat Ernest Hemingway tripped me, and I grabbed him around the middle–perhaps the wee bit roughly, because he pee-bombed my foot.

It was fun being driven around Nashville and invited to the authors’ reception in the penthouse suite, with that incredible view of the city. It was tres cool not to get embarrassed by the autograph lines. (Book festivals usually line several authors up side-by-side so odds are good you’ll be next to Bill Bryson and his line will extend three times ’round the courtyard while the rest of us sit there twiddling our thumbs, avoiding eye contact. I brought crocheting to cover this contingency, but never got a chance to work on it–whew!) It was great to get to chat with so many people who’d read and loved Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap.

Still, nothing restores perspective quite so quickly as getting pee-bombed on your bare foot by a foster kitten.

Back to what we love doing, then: shelving books, serving customers, killing spiders and all, we love our bookstore and our life in it. Y’all come see us. I promise to have Ernest Hemingway fully potty trained before he sits in your lap.