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

FEBRUARY 6, 2014 3:39PM

Riding the Metro at 5:00 A.M.

As a fairly recent transplant to the D.C. metropolitan area, I'm one of those nervous Metro riders who hold on tight to both their Metro card and a foldup Metro map. My other hand in my pocket, counting off on my fingers how many stops before my transfer and exit. Having… Read full post »

JANUARY 24, 2014 12:00PM

School Closings

Snow and freezing temperatures mean school closings. Which is something I haven't concerned myself with for years. I don't have kids in school. 

A year ago, it might have meant a few more kids coming into the bookstore to warm up and get free gum. But I d… Read full post »

JANUARY 20, 2014 9:24AM

I Have a Dream

Photo: Preschool history lesson as remembered by my two year old:


A preschool history lesson as remembered by my two year old grandson:

"This is old man king. He was a nice king. He said all colors are important. So I gave him purple and blue and orange."

May we all view life through the eyes of two year olds. … Read full post »

JANUARY 12, 2014 1:49PM

Happy Birthday, Dad

"Your dad was the nicest man I ever met."

"..the smartest man..."

"He always had a friendly word..."

It's been 12 years.  What I remember most is him sitting in his chair.

It was replaced a few times over the years. And it was moved from corner to corner on occasion. But there was… Read full post »

DECEMBER 30, 2013 2:03PM

Happy New Year OSers

In past Christmases, I've made sets of greeting cards out of old photos for friends and family. This year, while working on a set for my sister, I got waylaid by all the avatars on OS. My sister won't appreciate these, but I hope you do. 
     … Read full post »
DECEMBER 24, 2013 10:20AM

A Single Mom's Christmas Lament

Back when I had kids at home who provided me with funny material, I wrote annual Christmas letters. Those days have passed--now I just reread the old ones. This is the start of one from 1990, when I was a single mom, striving to have it all. 


'Twas the night… Read full post »

It was a house built for Chirstmas, with two parlors, stained glass windows, fireplaces with marble mantles, and ceilings so high that you could pick the biggest tree on the lot without ever worrying about whether there would be room for the star on top.  

Built in the 1800's

Read full post »
DECEMBER 8, 2013 10:29AM

Open Call--OSers Better Watch Out


                                              You better write great

                               … Read full post »

DECEMBER 7, 2013 11:22AM

Strange Characters At the Table

I've yet to find the Christmas spirit. I'm still digesting Thanksgiving. 

We went to St. Louis this year. One baby, one toddler, two car seats, six carry-ons, two adults, one airplane ride, not a single covered dish among us. 

My friend, who I'll call "E" to protect her identity, picked us… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 24, 2013 11:05AM

Thanksgivings and Sunday Dinners


Thanksgivings were spent with Mom's family who all lived in our same rural county, a two minute drive across town or fifteen minutes on a two-lane highway and country roads. Close enough that we had family dinners not just on holidays but every single Sunday--almost always at our grandmotRead full post »

NOVEMBER 21, 2013 9:08AM

The Kennedy Drawer

It started out as a 10 year old's collection. Nail files and pencils, given out for free at the County Fair, with "Vote for Kennedy" printed in red and blue ink. A piece of loose leaf notebook paper with the Kennedy cheer that I chanted during recess. A bumper sticker and… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2013 12:31PM

My Only Problem With Evolution



I get it. I really do. Apes can stand up, have opposable thumbs and share our same basic arrangement of internal organs and bones. I can even see the resemblance. If not in me, certainly in some of the men I've dated.

My problem isn't with… Read full post »

When my parents died, my sister and I got out the letters that Dad had written to Mom while he was in Burma during World War II. They had never met at the time they started writing, but wrote back and forth for the last two years of the war.  When… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 8, 2013 11:01AM

House Hunters and Granite Countertops



My daughter doesn't like to watch House Hunters anymore. As a new homeowner of a small house, she finds it depressing to see how much more house she could have had in different areas o… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 1, 2013 10:20AM

Not In My Mirror

My daughter has a habit of taking lots of pictures. With two young kids and a camera always at her fingertips, it's to be expected. First facial expression almost resembling a smile. Click. First bath. Click. Thirty-second picture of a boy in his wagon. Click. First Halloween. Click, click, click, cl… Read full post »

OCTOBER 25, 2013 11:32AM

Of Son-In-Laws and Fair Trade

A man was watching an amazing trick at a magic show when someone yelled out, "Wow, can you tell us how you did that?" "I would," said the magician, "but then I'd have to kill you." A few seconds later, the same voice yelled out, "Could you tell my mother-in-law?" 

 Three… Read full post »

OCTOBER 19, 2013 10:44AM

Aunt Alene Up Ahead

I had a Great Aunt Alene who never married, never lived farther than a mile from her birthplace, went to the same country church for 70 plus years, and drove the same little blue Rambler for all the years that I knew her. 

Although "drove" probably isn't the best word,… Read full post »

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 »