Friday, July 11, 2003

It's a grey, rainy day here in Brooksville. I'm in my shop, perched behind the makeshift counter, munching on my peanut butter sandwich and listening to Hawaiian slack-key guitar music. There's a mirror to my left, which reveals a tired Clara with large circles under both of her red, puffy eyes.
We begin my update with a shot of the much-anticipated sign, as seen through my front window. (Humor me, I was going for an atmosphere shot.) at last, a sign
But more important, I didn't miss the peonies! Here's a close-up of one...a Parkes Peony
I must say, what I miss the most about being at the shop every day is this little fellow, pictured at right gazing out of our new screen door. People understand a work-forced absence (at least their rational half does, even if they resent it), but I'm not so sure Casey understands anything other than I was there and now I'm not.Casey's view of the world
Things at the shop continue to be an adventure in human relations. I haven't really been exposed to the truly dark underbelly of retail, but I have had a pretty good introduction.

One day, however, I was treated to a lovely surprise. A car pulled up, I heard a door slam, footsteps coming up the steps, and in walked a woman carrying a much-used KR tote she'd bought online several months ago! Her husband's family had a summer place on Deer Isle, and she'd insisted they stop at my shop before making the two-hour drive home.

Another time, a woman walked in and stared at me disbelievingly. "Are you really Clara, of Knitter's Review?" she asked. "I've been reading Knitter's Review for about a year now, and when I heard that you lived here I didn't believe it." Sure enough, we've been passing eachother in the grocery store and on the roads for months now with no idea of our online connection.

And then last Monday I kept the shop open for the Monday-night street dance, where they close off the so-called main street of town and everyone dances to the music of... get this... a steel drum band. In the course of two hours, dozens upon dozens of people passed through the shop. A few people made purchases, but mostly they were grateful to have a place to browse. I was a nervous wreck, but it went well.

Meanwhile, I missed a week of KR, which is tantamount to a lifelong vegetarian suddenly feasting on a slab of steak. It's a sign that I'm temporarily overextended - or, at a minimum, really lousy at managing my time. We'll see.

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