Tag Archives: surprises

One for all, and all for – – –

Jack guest posts (late – and briefly)

Poor Kelley, our master chef and proprietor of ‘The Second Story Cafe’, which resides upstairs in our bookstore, went down with the galloping cruds today. She managed to struggle through lunchtime, then we sent her home to bed with a stern warning to not show face until we open on Tuesday.
So we will be the resident cooks tomorrow – – –
– – – But, wait, tomorrow we inaugurate our series of musicals dinners, with Christian Dimick and Witold Wolny providing classical guitar music and the cafe serving Italian food starting at 6.00 pm. Yikes!! But then there’s breakfast from 8.30 am and lunch from 11.00 am – Heavens, jings and help ma boab!!! We’ve been dining on Kelley’s delectable offerings every morning and lunchtime since she started, without a care in the world as to how the food was produced, so now we need to remember how to do this stuff – pronto!
Tonight (after we raided the grocery store) Wendy prepared quiches and lasagna, while I set up the coffee and primed myself to produce a risotto tomorrow afternoon (not to mention bacon and eggs in the morning). Wendy’s also working on something called a “blueberry french toast casserole.”

Ho boy.
We’ve had a fair bit of unexpected emergencies this week involving a bleeding dog and a sick goat. These meant Kelley and her acolytes minded the bookstore as well as the cafe, so this is all just a fair exchange of labor IMHO.
Now – where is the rice? and the olive oil? and the – – – – –
Y’all come – if you dare.

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

Just Put the Books Away, Wendy….

Ever feel like life suddenly kicked you in the stomach? Yes, of course you have. We all have.

A friend of mine who, ironically enough, isĀ  the director of a cancer center securing services for patients in rural Virginia, has cancer. She and I just finished doing a project together, one that made us both proud. We took six cancer patients into three different regional communities to let them tell the personal stories of their cancer journeys.

Leigh Ann will be making that all-too-personal journey herself, now.

So I walk through my bookstore, picking up boxes that have been sitting around waiting for someone to put them away. Shelving books is a calming activity, like playing intellectual solitaire with your whole body. Your feet walk, your brain processes, your hands move, tuck, tidy.

This in my hand is a mystery. It goes in the mystery room. A western. It goes to the mancave, under Guys with Big Guns. Ah, a history book; these are subcategorized by time period.

Keep walking, and put the books away, Wendy. The world is a random place and everything doesn’t happen for a reason. But when unreasonable things happen, God can make reason out of them. That’s what you know. That’s what being a Christian involves.

Leigh Ann is in God’s hands; these books are in yours. Put the books away, and say your prayers. Order is restored to a tilting universe by the simple daily acts of faith: the many, many people who are praying for Leigh Ann, her husband and her six-year-old daughter; and the hands of all the people who love her, moving through the day, making bread, pulling weeds, shelving books.

Work is prayer. Put the books away, Wendy. Keep order in your tiny corner of the world, and let God create Order in the big, wide, scary one.

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Filed under Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, folklore and ethnography, Life reflections, Uncategorized, writing

Why I’m not Blogging this Weekend

Driving back from Mt. Heritage Literary Festival, where I had taught a laughter-filled and successful workshop, the sun was shining, the buffalo were out (no really, there are some on that back road) and bees were humming among the blooming hillside clover. A perfect ending to a good day.

I had decided, since I would get back to the bookshop just before closing, to blow off the evening as a responsible adult, forget the laundry and the overdue writing, and kick back with a glass of red and a few episodes of my secret vice, Say Yes to the Dress. Then I’d write a nice cheery blog about my time at Mt. Heritage, take a cool bath with some scented talc, and pile into bed (while it was still daylight, maybe!) with a novel.

Pulling up in front of the bookstore, I watched a man exit and walk to a large pick-up, parked backwards so the bed faced the shop stairs. He scooped a he-man-sized stack into his arms and headed back up the stairs–just as my shopsitter exited the shop and went to the truck, where he performed the same actions.

A small sinking sensation gathered in my chest and worked its way down to my liver.

You guessed it: some 600 books, mostly hardbacks, had to be triaged, and quickly, as the shop’s front room floor had disappeared under the deluge. I began sorting and stacking, while faithful shopsitters Wes and Rachael trotted back and forth to the romance shed, the free book bin, and the bargain basement. I am proud to say that we got through this first round of sort-n-sift in about ten minutes, clearing some 200 books from the floor, but by then it was closing time, when Wes and Rach resume their normal lives.

No no, don’t worry about me, go on, I’ll be fine. Nothing planned this evening anyway.

book stacksGood thing. Fortunately, I’ll still have help.

Owen helps with books large book stacks It’s gonna be a long night…..

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Filed under animal rescue, book repair, bookstore management, humor, publishing, shopsitting, Uncategorized