I have no inspiration today. Zero. Zilch. Nothin’.
I am in the process of clearing out my bookstore inventory at a smashing 75% discount and I won’t go into detail about how people behave with that kind of a sale. But tomorrow is the last day and then I’m done. There will be great rejoicing in the land. Or at least in my house.
Perhaps today isn’t the best day to be seeking inspiration. Interruptions come in abundance and my thought process is sputtering, to say the least.
Okay, maybe I will go into a bit of detail about some of my – um – customers after all. I hesitate to use that word because most of them belong in a pinball machine. They bounce around from one place to another, bumping into things and knocking stuff over in the process. Then they laugh, as if it’s funny.
I am getting all kinds of advice from well-meaning people as to what to do with my leftover inventory. Put it on Craiglist. Okay. Sell it on eBay. Maybe. Open up a store in my house. Seriously? How would you like to have people knocking at your door at all times of the night and day wanting to browse? Not to mention the city bi-laws, zoning and licensing requirements for something like that. No, no, and no. I am done with the bookstore business.
There are kids standing at the counter with their noses in the free candy cane bowl. After their mothers have already said no to their pleas. The kids look at me in the hope that I will defy their mom’s decree and there is no way I’m going there. The kids who did get the candy canes can’t keep them in their mouths and I am forever wiping sticky fingerprints off books and toys and windows.
The day drags on.
And the locals keep coming in.
The woman who hasn’t yet learned to use her indoor voice. The girls who can’t speak a word of English and always flock around the novelties. The transit driver who parks his bus and delays his schedule on purpose just so he can browse in the store. The man who asks for an additional discount every single time. The little girl who likes to straighten the books. The mother who feels the need to bring her five unruly children with her.
I do love the regulars who have come just to give me a hug and say goodbye. They are precious people with whom I have crossed paths for a season and I will treasure that brief connection.
Next week, after all the books have been packed up and stored away, I will look for inspiration.
It’s Christmas Eve.
I just want to finish wrapping gifts. Clean my house. Go to the candlelight service at church. Prepare food for tomorrow’s family feasting. Maybe watch “White Christmas” for the 32nd time.
And when the Big Day arrives, I am going to enjoy my husband and children and grandchildren, purposing to connect with each one on more than a “hi, how are you” level. Store up some great memories.
I could go all spiritual, but the bottom line is this:
Have a blessed and happy Christmas!
The passage of time marks milestones and I’ve been thinking of a few of mine. This month it’s been:
– 37 years and 11 months since our first date. We got married the next year.
– 102 years since my grandmother was born. She went home to heaven in April 2012.
– 35 years since I wore my first maternity clothes.
– 23 years since we drove from Regina, SK to Kitimat, BC for a job interview and didn’t get the job.
– 11 years since our first grandchild was born.
– 25 years since my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding. I remember that day so clearly.
– 44 years since I changed schools to attend Simon Fraser Junior High in Calgary, Alberta.
– 30 years since we helped my parents move into the house with the green living room.
– 7 months since I became the manager of our corner coffee shop.
– 52 years since I learned to read. Approximately.
– 28 years since I threw up in the bushes between classes at university. Morning sickness.
– 4 years and 4 months since I “retired” from my banking career. No regrets. Not even one.
This little list has made it clear how important it is to live every minute – to make my passage of time count.
I’ve had this picture up in my office for years.
I like it. Just because.
Okay, it’s been a while since I posted a bit of Tash’s story, so if you missed Part Eight, click here.
I lay on my mattress that night, thinking about my conversation with Ginger. I hadn’t told her everything, but I’d said enough. I swore her to secrecy and I knew I could trust her. She was the only one. But I couldn’t bring myself to tell her everything because I wanted to protect her from people who might start asking questions about me. People like Mrs. Sinclair and maybe even the welfare department. No way did I want to get Ginger involved. And no way was I going into foster care. I’d been there before and anything was better than that.
I rolled over, eyes still wide open. I took a deep breath and coughed. The stench of the place was overwhelming sometimes and I knew I’d have to do a lot more cleaning if I was going to stay here any longer.
It won’t always be like this. Someday I’ll have a good job and nice place to live. Someday I’ll have a real life.
I thought about my mother then, wondering where she was and if she was happy now that she didn’t have me to worry about. Had she even given me a second thought? Probably not. Barbie wasn’t like that. I knew she loved me in a weird sort of way, but it wasn’t like other mothers loved their daughters. Not like Ginger’s mom loved her.
I used to imagine what it would be like if Barbie and I lived in a cute little house with a yard and a kitchen that always smelled like chocolate chip cookies or banana bread. I tried to picture Barbie dressed in normal clothes and not the ones that were always too tight, too low and too young for her. And what if she cleaned up and wore pretty perfume instead of smelling like sweat and liquor and cigarettes all the time? I couldn’t conjure up the image.
Barbie told me something about her family once when she was still partly drunk and didn’t really know it was me she was talking to. I knew it had to be that because whenever I asked her if we had any relatives she told me to shut up and stop being so snoopy about things that didn’t concerned me. But that night I found out I had an aunt somewhere; my mother’s older sister, Bridget. Barbie went on and on about how they used to be closer than two peas in a pod and people always thought they were twins. I could tell by the way she talked that Bridget was someone she loved once upon a time. I wanted to ask her where Bridget was now, but I didn’t dare.
It gave me comfort to know that I wasn’t completely alone in the world, even though my aunt Bridget probably didn’t even know I existed. I’d think of a way to find her someday. Maybe she even lived in a little house like the one I imagined. And maybe she’d have room in her heart for me.
It was a long time before I fell asleep.
It’s Wednesday. I am supposed to have Wednesdays off, but I usually end up going in to work anyway. The why of that escapes me because Wednesdays are designated writing days. I balk at this. And there isn’t an excuse under the sun I haven’t already thought of to get out of writing on Wednesdays. Shame on me.
But I will leave you this tidbit from The Bond of Seven.
“This Book holds the key to your survival in Ravenbray,” he spoke quietly, as if he were trying to keep the walls from hearing his words. “Its instructions are clear and must be followed exactly. Do you understand?”
“But we can’t read it. We don’t know the language,” I pointed out.
Breckan’s face registered the smallest of smiles as he pulled the Book toward him. “Come,” he said. “Let’s read together.” He turned the page.
Now to get to work on Chapter Twelve.
I would continue writing blog posts regardless, but it’s nice to receive awards like this every now and then. I am honoured that Healing for the Nation likes my writing enough to consider me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Thank you so much!
And thanks to all of you for taking time out of your busy days to read, like, and comment. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it.