July 30
I'm a lawyer in my past life, who got the kids through college and decided to try something different and a little more fun. A used book store sounded like a good idea, so that's where I am for now. I just hadn't counted on a recession or E-readers and am a little afraid there's going to be a third act. In the meantime, I have plenty to read and a little time to write. Not a bad way to spend a day.


Jlsathre's Links

OCTOBER 3, 2013 2:53PM

We Are What We Remember

I was reading a book about memory the other day when a line made me pause. The author referenced Eric Kandel, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, for having written something to the effect that we are what we remember.

I looked him up and, sure enough, he even gave a speech… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 10:51AM

Losing Years and Days

I lost Wednesday this week--spent the whole day thinking it was Tuesday only to wake up the next morning to the sounds of the weekly trash pick up and discover it was already Thursday. 
It's something I've been noticing farily often now that I have no real schedule other… Read full post »
AUGUST 30, 2013 10:47AM

The Spider's Web

On the deck, drinking my morning coffee, I catch a glimpse of a spider web as it moves almost imperceptively in the still morning air. It appears unattached to anything--three feet from the edge of the open porch umbrella, five feet above the deck floor, ten or twelve feet from the… Read full post »

AUGUST 22, 2013 11:48AM

Where Seven Elevens Abound

I'm learning the streets of suburban DC one street at a time. Or, more accurately, one Home Depot, Target, and playground at a time. With no GPS and no E-ZPass, it's been slow going, but my circle of comfort is getting bigger.

On my first outing, which involved only one turn… Read full post »

AUGUST 7, 2013 11:14AM

Driving Across Mountains

Twelve years ago, just a few weeks after I bought a slightly used Honda CRV, my daughters took off alone on an East Coast road trip to check out colleges for the younger sister. They were 19 and 16 at the time and left with no GPS, no motel reservations, and… Read full post »

JULY 26, 2013 9:58AM

One Fork, One Knife, One Spoon

It's been an experience to live the last month and a half in an apartment with one fork, one spoon, one plate, one chair and an apartment so bare that my landlord, after entering to show it to a prospective tenant, emailed me to ask when I had moved out.

To… Read full post »

JULY 19, 2013 9:43AM

The "Open" Sign Is Gone

The "Open" sign that stood outside is gone. The one hanging on the door is turned around.

Yet people continue to show up. The word of the "free day" still making its rounds apparently.

But that was last week. When books were still on shelves in mostly alphabetical order… Read full post »

JULY 12, 2013 9:32AM

Two Sisters in a Bookstore

They come together whenever the oldest is in town, which is often. At least every several weeks for each of the seven years that I've had the store. She drives the six hours from southern Missouri in between trips to the east coast, where she has a daughter, and the southwest,… Read full post »

JULY 7, 2013 10:31AM

Two Old Friends In a Bookstore

She drove three hours each way to shop at my bookstore in its last days. Even though she drove three hours each way just seven days earlier to attend my daughter's wedding.

We met when I was pregnant with my first daughter and looking for a live in nanny. For… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 4, 2013 10:14AM

Losing My Signature

 A friend of my sister had what she called her signature piece of jewelry--something she wore every day and was known for. Being an affordable  initial necklace (at least by Tiffany's prices), she probably wasn't the only one wearing it. But she liked the way that it defined her.

Yesterday… Read full post »

JUNE 27, 2013 3:23PM

In Fake Praise of Spanx

I bought my first Spanx last week. Or, to be honest, the Maidenform knock-off that I found at Target at a much lower price. A mere $15.99 to make me "Suddenly Skinny!" as the tag promised. It seemed okay to add some Nutter Butters to the conveyor belt since I'd be… Read full post »

JUNE 26, 2013 10:22AM

I Think I Ate the Bones

I wanted to write something serious and meaningful today. My youngest daughter, Bess, is getting married on Saturday and she deserves a heartfelt post for her momentous day.

But, every time I sit down to type, all I can think about is the latest KFC commercial where… Read full post »

JUNE 15, 2013 12:30PM

Dad, You Got It.

When my dad turned 65 and retired from the factory job that he probably hated for thirty some years, my sister and I sent him 65 birthday cards, writing personal messages in each one.

It was easy to come up with things to say because he was such a big… Read full post »

JUNE 12, 2013 1:31PM

Hugs in a Bookstore

I'm beginning to see people for the last time.

Staz came in on Friday. He's 6 and comes in with his dad. We've celebrated five birthdays with free books from what he calls "Jeanne's Store." He's a little shy, but very smart. We talk about school, and t-ball, and silly… Read full post »

JUNE 3, 2013 11:14AM

Mom's Moving In

In a little less than two months, I'll be moving into a small bedroom, or possibly the basement, of a small house with one bathroom that my daughter's family bought in the DC area, sight unseen by her. 

Most all of my furniture has already been sent out East and will… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 31, 2013 11:43AM

25 Things I'm Learning From Closing a Bookstore.

A while back I wrote "25 Things I Learned From Opening a Bookstore." This is the other bookend.

1. When people ask why you're closing, you can tell them that the economy's poor and people are buying Nooks. But it's more fun to tell them that it's time… Read full post »

MAY 28, 2013 3:50PM

The Year Dad Planted Marigolds

A thick row of hostas grew across the entire front and side of the house,  although we never called them that. We called them border plants.

They were there in the background of the first pictures of me, swaddled in a blanket, coming home from the hospital. There as the backdrop in…

Read full post »

MAY 14, 2013 12:07PM

Coins In a Bookstore

You can't sit in a used bookstore every day without noticing some truths.

And I don't mean the overarching one that says that bookstores are closing because people are moving away from printed books. That's true, but too obvious. I mean more subtle ones.


For every monthly poker game, there… Read full post »

MAY 10, 2013 4:11PM

The Color of My Avatar

Back in the '90's, when the world wide web was still kind of little and we were all figuring out the rules, my daughter commented on a piece of writing by someone in a young teen chat site. She was a young teen herself and the author had asked for comments.… Read full post »

MAY 7, 2013 10:17AM

Forgetting Cancer

Sometimes I forget that I ever had cancer.

The parade of survivors do their walk. And I read about it. But I don't join in.

It's been more than twenty years. I've almost forgotten.

It's only a rare glimpse of a scar in the mirror, or a slight twinge… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 30, 2013 12:02PM

Looking Back On Africa

When I was in Africa I wrote a post about how the Beninese people were reulctant to have their pictures taken and how it made me miss a lot of the pictures I wanted to take.  I wanted people and expressions and reactions---what I considered the real face and the true… Read full post »

APRIL 24, 2013 10:09AM

"Do You Know Who I Am?"

It seems that our Reese has gotten herself into a bit of trouble.

I really wish I could have warned her. 

Because years ago, I got in a little trouble myself when I asked a police officer if he knew who I was. And then told him I was… Read full post »

APRIL 18, 2013 12:35PM

a child's fear


It was an old brick building. The tallest in town probably. At least if you didn't count the steeples on the churches or the clock tower on the courthouse.

Only two  stories. Although much taller than that really… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 12, 2013 10:41AM

Mom Always Liked Me Best

It seems I missed another Siblings Day. No cards. No gifts. No real surprise since I didn't know there was a Siblings Day.

It makes sense though. If we have Secretary's Day, it only seems fair that we should have Siblings Day. Athough I guess we don't have Secretary's Day… Read full post »

APRIL 8, 2013 4:52PM

Show Me Where the Nanny Lives

"Can you drive me by Marie's house?" I asked my daughter.

I had asked before out of curiosity. Now it seemed like I needed to know.

I didn't want to leave without being able to picture Marie in a house that met my minimum standards for shelter. And safety. And a… Read full post »