1. These two cuties wanted a Seahawks shirt and Daddy was happy to find them one. The Super Bowl is such an event. After closing up the shop a bit early, I met Telfer and the girls at the party – the game had been on for about thirty minutes and the streets were completely deserted. Like Christmas morning deserted. The game was disappointing of course but the party we went to was so fun – good friends, good food and all the kids played football outside for much of the game.
2. We are doing mystery date (or blind date) with a book at the shop this month. The two employees at the shop and I each picked five books, I wrapped them, and then we wrote brief descriptions for each book. We have sold quite a few this week and the customers all think it’s pretty fun.
3. George came with me to the shop two days in a row this week. By the end of the second day, Mom needed a little break. He managed to chew through his harness, jump on a little boy and make about 200 new friends. He sat by the door and brought people in the shop more than free candy (or books for that matter) could ever do. I need to get him a dog bed and maybe a tranquilizer for next week.
4. We have been doing inventory at the shop for about a month now – a completely mind-numbing exercise in futility that will not be repeated in its current form but! I have become much more familiar with the stock which is not mind-numbing in the least and look what I found! Anna is one of my absolute dearest friends and her granddad owned Dawson’s Books (link to its current iteration) in Los Angeles for many years. In our California years, Anna introduced me to her granddad who is now 101 and lives in Pasadena. I have several of his miniature books that he gave me – the girls now play with them (very carefully). In our collectible case at the shop this week, I found one of the early (1933) Dawson’s book catalogs sent out to collectors. How cool is that? It is now headed to its rightful home in Idaho.
5. And speaking of connections, I had the coolest reading connection this week. I read Empathy Exams (essays) by Leslie Jamison first – sometime in January – and just loved – it’s challenging and beautiful and the author’s intellect and humanity just come through in startling and amazing ways.
Here’s a quote: “Empathy isn’t just remembering to say that must be really hard – it’s figuring out how to bring difficulty into the light so it can seen at all. Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiring as much as imagination. Empathy requires you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see.”
And then this week, I was reading An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison (a gift from Eleanor and a book on my shelf project). Jamison tells the story of her life – as a clinical psychologist and a diagnosed manic-depressive. Obviously, there is tension between the two. At the end of the book, the author talks about not having children but having a meaningful relationship with her nephews and niece – the niece being eleven and a hopeful young writer. I always read the acknowledgments at the very end or beginnings of books and Jamison thanks her brother and then her nephews and her niece – Leslie Jamison. The same Leslie Jamison who at eleven, wanted to be a writer and has now written The Empathy Exams. Full circle, right? I had no idea the authors were related but now that I know, their two books play off each other in interesting ways. I love these connections between people and books…
I took this picture last weekend of me and George first thing on Saturday morning. Telfer let me sleep in and I stumbled downstairs to talk to the girls and snuggle with my little Georgie. I am hoping for a similar scene tomorrow morning. Telfer is working tonight and part of tomorrow. I am hoping he gets done tonight in time for a late Thai takeout dinner after the girls go to bed. Beyond that, my hopes are pretty simple – maybe a yoga class, a walk for Georgie and the girls and I will start work on their Valentine’s. I might even “finish” the laundry… We got a seed catalog in the mail this week which motivated both of us to maybe do some yard work – mostly leaf maintenance. Spring is ever closer…