Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday...A Day Off

We close the bookstore on Mondays. There’s something wonderful about having Monday off when the rest of the world goes to work. It doesn’t even matter that we are “working” on the weekends, because this gig sure doesn’t feel like work.

Saturday was another busy day with lots of interesting folks coming into the store. I am still frustrated when we don’t have the books they are looking for, even when it’s a romance novel. One woman who was in a couple of weeks ago returned with some books for us to take in on trade and brought me a book that she had heard another customer requesting – it doesn’t get much better than that! And I haven’t been able to hunt down the book she had asked me to find yet either, but she was pleased as punch to have found the book that other customer had been asking about! It’s wonderful to be building those kinds of relationships with customers. And I’ve finally found some time to read a few books, too, including some these customers have suggested.

Our book hunting Sunday morning did not net us as much as I’d have liked. And Sunday proved to be a slower day, with the Poetry Workshop Sunday afternoon the highlight of my day. So we were looking forward to Monday.

And what a glorious Monday it was!

We went “off the island”, an hour’s drive away, to Salisbury, Maryland, to pick up my wedding band. I’d lost a diamond somehow on the move down here and this was the nearest Kay Jeweler repair shop. After that jaunt, we stopped at a Hospice Thrift shop (they are marvelous little stores!) and got some children’s books, plus I picked up some long-sleeved t-shirts for these cooler days when I don’t really need a sweater but my other shirts aren’t quite warm enough. Then home to pack a lunch which we ate at the beach, sharing some of it with the seagulls. Hubby had them eating bits of his apple out of his hand. We took a long walk along the Woodland Trail after our beach walk and were lucky enough to see a pony and a deer at the Wild Pony Overlook in addition to several egrets. We drove the Wildlife Loop and then stopped at Gary Howard’s for oysters and shrimp.

While hubby was preparing his oysters, he cut into his hand. That’s the first time we had to face the reality of living 50 miles from the nearest hospital. However, we live across the street from the fire department and there is an EMT on duty there. She wrapped his hand and suggested he go the clinic two doors down from us when it opened up today. He did. All is well. And it cost us a whopping $30, a huge reminder of the skyrocketing, out-of-control health costs in New York. Oh, we don’t have health insurance here either.
Other than periodic bouts of loneliness, missing loved ones and craving quality live music, life is good.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Here I Go Again....

I should change the name of this blog to “The Wonders of Running a Used Book Store on the magical island of Chincoteague, Virginia Where it Seems Like Home and Every Day Brings a New Wonder” but that’s way too many words.

But that’s my life now.

We’ve had a couple of very hectic months relocating, rearranging, readjusting. After having only about a day and a half of looking around these five rooms loaded with books (approximately 7,000) and absolutely NO experience running a cash register or credit card machine, we opened our doors the same day they closed the beach here because Hurricane Earl was expected to make an appearance. He didn’t but we saw almost everyone who had planned on spending Labor Day weekend at the beach. Those folks all bought books (THANKS!) and helped us learn our new profession very quickly.

After that first day, after scrambling around for eleven hours straight with no coffee/lunch/dinner breaks, hubby and I went upstairs and sat out on our back deck overlooking Chincoteague Channel and couldn’t stop smiling at each other. It was one of the best “work” days we’d ever had! We were exhausted, frustrated, wondering if we were going to get blown away by the storm before we even got unpacked, but we did what we always do: put our heads down and plowed on.

And it’s paid off. We still aren’t unpacked. We still have frustrations, but are slowly catching up on our sleep. Our days off now are actually spent at the beach and we were there this week when the snow geese landed here, at least two thousand. We were about the only humans on the beach, and it felt as though we were in our very own National Geographic special. It was mystical and magical and something I will never forget.

We don’t seem to leave the store often, but have ventured out to hear live music, although we realize how spoiled we were by the variety and talent we left behind us in Syracuse. At the last concert we attended here on the island, we made a call to a musician friend we knew was playing in a café we once traveled to often – if you scroll back you’ll read me raving about both Mark Zane and the Red and White Café in previous posts – and we called the Red and White and requested a song from Mark because we needed to hear “good” music that night. Of course, Mr. Zane obliged, and we were able to hear a couple verses of “Ruby” that gave us our live music fix for the weekend.

Monday night we went to the movies here in a nice, old-fashioned theatre less than a block down the street from us. Tickets are $5.50 on Monday! We saw “Secretariat” and next week they’ll be showing “Social Network.”

Misty’s hoof prints are in the cement in front of the theatre. If you don’t know who Misty is, well…..there’s this book. You can’t spend five minutes here in Chincoteague without learning about Misty. I hang my head while admitting I have not read “Misty of Chincoteague” but we did borrow the movie from the library and watched it last evening. I enjoyed seeing how the island I now call home looked back in the 1960’s.

In a selfish effort to get a writing group started here, I’m offering a poetry workshop here at the store tonight. I hope someone shows up.

If you’re interested in seeing some of the rooms at the bookstore or learning more about us, check out the website hubby put together. http://www.bookhoundsplus.com/