Sunday, November 9, 2014

beeswax, drought, a flood, a sunset, fatty whiskers

The smell lingers in my nostrils. Whether it is dust or mold or asbestos or mildew or what or all of the above, it is there, has physicality, feels like dust or spores or something growing inside my nostrils. I can smell it and I have a slight headache and I was only in the store for about 10, maybe 15 minutes, and that was 15 or 20 minutes ago.

This is the store where I chose to sell my beeswax candles this holiday season landing here as I did in this new port on the Pacific.

Of course I continue to sell online and have a few wholesale outlets but this place, The December Store & More, was to be my first slightly more interactive outlet in my new, temporary locale. And now it’s a mess—there was a guy in a hazmat suit—and the smell of dust and mold and asbestos and mildew and whatever it is lingers up in my nose and psyche.

Here’s what happened: An inch of rain fell a couple of Friday nights ago—the first rain in months in these here parts—and the store’s roof caved in. I stopped in last Sunday and there was the ceiling hanging down over one big corner of the store and all the stuff—all the things people had made and sewed and crafted and stitched and hewn and painted and decorated and … oh, you know these artsy-craftsy types—was pushed together all a-jumble in the middle of the store and the far away side, far away from the crumbling ceiling tiles and dangling strips of metal.

Some folks lost everything.

Other folks, like me, lost nothing. Potential sales, maybe. Since I had not yet signed my contract with the store nor paid my November rent (it’s a rent-your-own-space-type thing), and since at that moment I was suffering emotional weakness due to other matters, I just stood there and gaped. I may have sat down. A small group of robust others bustled about dealing with it. I walked away questioning whether I should really join in this venture. It seemed, in a strictly business sense, right then, like an iffy prospect. I mean, the roof had just caved in. Because of one inch of rain.

A couple of days later the irony took hold, got the better of me. A store in a drought-stricken area suffering from flood damage due to—dare I say it?—one inch of rain? Seriously, would I pass up that story?

So I officially joined The December Store and a few days later the store closed. (Remember that guy in the hazmat suit?) In a couple of weeks the store may reopen. But, who knows.

These gals were there, in the store window. They saw the whole thing.
The rain pouring down. The roof caving in. The flood.
But they don’t know nothin’, either.

So this holiday season I will focus on the Etsy shop, list a few new items, hope for the best. As always, hope for the best.

Beeswax in beads and baskets.

The Other Day
The other day I sat with my mom. She was sleeping. She was asleep when I walked into her room. She was asleep on her bed under a maroon blanket. The sun was beginning to shine through her window. It was warm. The window has two layers of curtains. I drew the sheer curtains across the window and partially closed the opaque curtains. My mom was on her back, her head slightly turned to one side, and I was moving the chair over to that side when she awoke. Her eyes opened. She said, “Leslie.”

“Hi, Mom.”

Josie growled. A young woman was walking down the hall toward the room with a pile of mail. As she approached she smiled and held out one envelope. I took the envelope, thanked her. The envelope was addressed by hand, a “Get Well” card, I assumed, to my mom, so I sat down, opened it, and read out loud the card’s greeting as well as the accompanying note. My mom said, “That’s nice.”

Josie got on my lap, stretched over to sniff my mom. I told my mom that the name she had given Josie the last time we were there had stuck, was a big hit, and I asked if she remembered the name. She said no, so I told her: Fatty Whiskers. Her face broke into a smile and she chuckled.

Soon she was asleep. Josie and I sat in the chair, he growling softly now and then, whenever the person with the squeaky shoes walked by, but then Old Squeaky Shoes disappeared. It became very quiet and peaceful.