…again. It was back in 2014. Little did I know. I had gotten my first iPhone. Dave bought it for me. A month later I was in touch with Colleen. It wasn’t the iPhone. But it facilitated the meeting in New York City to come later that summer. It was a long time ago since third grade… Fate? Serendipity? Dumb luck? Who knows? Time has flown… again. I chanced on these images in the catalog this morning.
Biking – I still think I have this shirt. Ha ha. Colleen knew to bring biking clothes when she traveled? Book store – did I know? Every bookstore has a “stop in here” sign on it! We were in a courtship dance and did not know it at the time.
It makes you wistful that time had played out differently and that somehow this meeting took place a long time before this one actually did.
I kept passing this charming cottage and failed to take a picture… till this time. I missed a picture of the “pot” T shirt we got the kids. Pop up books? Frank Lloyd Wright? Yup, I found it in the library’s second-hand book section. Really?! They bought this for the library? And, it remained intact? Poor Frank must be rolling in his… I will admit to taking photos of carved signs. Sometimes they stack up.
Traveling is tricky. You need to strike a balance between running around and sitting around. Humor is where you find it. How about a deer hunting orange cap? Blow drying your restaurant after the rain? Lobster roll? Party colored rake? Colleen adores sitting in a used bookstore amid all the possibilities. But, the sun was newly shining after all the rain. Go! There is a need to visit all the photo ops! (I like old windows.) Or, to sit and spin. Yes, we got a new wheel. New? No, used. Gently used, this was Colleen’s drool wheel. Ok! Cherry wood! It’s gorgeous. It spins like a dream. Only if you were another spinner, could you appreciate the pleasure. It’s like driving a Porsche. Nope, I have not done that either.
We were playing hooky. Instead of quarantine we were… We found a new bookstore dedicated to local authors. The owner herself had written of her experiences as a funeral home owner. Geez, I can’t wait to see how that ended. The Enchanted Tea Room – ah, bad timing. She offers high tea – English style – tiered trays of tea sandwiches. Alas, she was ill with low back pain – my specialty! But I could not advise or console her. She only had an answering machine which she turned off. She was dreadfully afraid to catch covid. A former favorite restaurant re-opened as a bar. We tried it. Beer!? What’s not to like! The place was empty – not an auspicious start, ordinarily indicating a quick demise. Oh, I circled back to the funeral home?
…as in under a rock. Or, how about, the moon is made of green cheese? Or, there are no aliens? Or, it is an alien in the great White house? You pick. I will admit I stage some of my images. It’s up to you to figure it out. I will readily admit it’s not easy to get a shot of the moon.
…perhaps Sisyphus. The bookstore (unnamed) has a full-time gal whose job it is is to replace the magazines in the rack. Perhaps, it might be wrack? Or, perhaps rack – torture instrument? Her job (never-ending) is to replace outdated mags. Out with the old and in with the new. Weeklies and monthlies come in every week. There are tons! No sooner is one batch out, another comes in.
What is so shameful is that the old are discarded. Trash! There is no recycling. None! No deep discount sale – say 75%. None! Trash! It’s a crying waste. Schools, hospitals, businesses could use… but no! There’s an opportunity lost here. I’m all out of volunteering effort. But….
guilty! We hang out in the bookstore and read current mags. I don’t feel so bad any longer. Consider it, pawing through someone’s trash.
Colleen has a penchant for biographies. Wherever we have been she haunts the bookstore for local women and their struggles and achievements. I hardly paid attention.
…Well, I do. It’s like when the kids were little and I half listened as the “wife” would prattle along at breakfast. I got practiced at listening and being able to repeat the last ten words so as to look engaged as I avidly read the sports page. (I can still do it, though I don’t need to… no current wife.) To paraphrase, she one day related, “You know (NYC) cabs like to come up beside you and honk while you are driving.” Distractedly, “Oh, what do you do?” (avidly reading said NY Times) She replied excitedly, “When they beep I look over and they jump ahead and cut me off. So instead, I step on the gas and don’t allow them past.” She sat with a satisfied smug grin while I cringed knowing that her next car accident was right around the corner. “No! Don’t do that!” as I realized that, indeed, I did have the ability to follow a conversation without listening.
We leased a Volvo wagon in 1991. It was a running joke among my friends that we had no original parts on that car when we turned that vehicle in. (She was a new driver.) We actually achieved the ignominious distinction of being uninsurable. Imagine paying $26,000 a year for auto insurance. Yep! A month later I shopped for another vendor and we were immediately invited to enroll in a major carrier at about $1500/year. Go figure. I did not ask why and we were still insured with them decades later.
…okay, back to my story. Grand Canyon. I’m there for the pictures and the scenery. We’re in the bookstore. Sunset is in an hour. Look! Surprise! Books! Mary was an architect at a time when there were no women in architecture. She (actually) had to have men draw her plans. And she designed some pretty strange stuff. So it’s good the men were there to help (watch over) her….KIDDING! Her designs at the Grand Canyon were to incorporate her buildings to fit in with the environment. She also was the designer/architect for the “Harvey houses.” (Remember: Judy Garland – “The Harvey Girls.) Yes, Mary was pretty special and a woman of achievement at a time long before “equality.” I learned something new. Wasn’t that special?
Everyone knows a certain someone who loves books and who loves to hangout in bookstores. And if you look closely: mystery, true crime, love and sex, thriller. I mean really! And between true crime and love and sex – well this is too delicious to pass up. I chose love and sex but what do I know? The image itself lacks a little clarity and focus. But does it?