More About Me: Summary of 2011
After a year of life that closely resembled a roller coaster ride (I’m too old for stuff like this) I have – for the third time in my 64 years – dropped down a rabbit hole. What I mean to say is that almost overnight my life has become something so different that you might say I’ve changed identities. Is there such a thing as self-identity theft?
Since February 2011: I got better and better after surgery. Then came radiation. A piece of cake until the burn hit and I could not tolerate pain medication. Luckily that was only a few days of imagining what a burn victim has to handle. Came through that while I was being run over by medical bills. (No insurance.) Helped by the benevolence of several cancer organizations and the gov. Still not enough money… so I decided to get a reverse mortgage and will just have to leave the farm in less than five years before I have no equity left.
Based on my renewed insight that life is short, I made the rash and foolishly wise choice to do what I’ve dreamed of doing since I closed my bookstore in 1989…move back into a “brick and mortar” bookstore. I quit my work as a pet sitter, and a part time job. Not long after I leaped over the precipice I discovered that some New York escapee had decided to move here and open a used book store. Now we are seven. In one city.
Moving The Eclectic Reader bookstore out of my house and garage happened in early September and I opened here a month later. About 12,000 books. Over 350 boxes. Bookcases. I did most of the organizing and setting up by myself. I have hit the ground running as that money is sliding through my fingers like water. Everything is so much more expensive and it is so different a world than 1983 when I did this the first time.
Now my days are full of books to process and put on the shelves, the nitnat of office work, events to plan and host, schmoozing to do. It’s a lot different than cleaning litter boxes and cuddling kitties. I no longer spend my time on a farm, connected with the natural world, but inside a building. 90% of my time is here. Don’t get me wrong. I love books and I love my store and I will die happy that I did this, even if I am impoverished (as it seems to be going).
Bookdealer is one of my favourite roles in life and some truly amazing things happen here. A bookstore draws more characters than a fantasy novel. There have been some unbelievable synchronicities. These have all been written down in the pages of my life story, known as my journal, which y’all can read in 40 years.
Since January of 2011 I have lost one of my cats to old age. I have bought a new used car (I believe it is called a “lemon”), come through surgery and radiation and I am now cancer-free. I have mourned the poisoning and destruction of a women’s group I started eleven years ago, experienced the most devastating winter storm we have ever had in Fort Collins – resulting in thousands of dollars damage to our trees and the loss of the heart of my farm – a giant grandfather elm tree over 14 feet in circumference. On the positive side, I have welcomed a new granddaughter and have witnessed the birth of language and awareness of the world in my 2 -1/2 year old granddaughter. What a humorous and joyful experience!
The crowning achievement of this year has been the creation of a lovely old-fashioned used book store in a retail space I have always wanted, and close to home. I stood here in September in an empty space. The awards other people hang on the wall behind their desks have hung only in the air here, in the words of my customers.