Monday, April 30, 2012

Poetry in the Post Office

I don't have a lot of time to write these days. Quite frankly, I don't have a whole lot of time for anything. The past three weeks I've been working 6 days a week. With the hour long commute in each direction that means I get home in the evening ready to do nothing in particular. With the introduction of TV and internet back into our house as of Friday, that means I'm one again thankful to erase any thoughts in design heaven, or smother them with images of fanciful food. Perhaps the fact that my house looks more like we're about to move out than in, and the kitchen has yet to be cooked in (except when my parents visited and did the cooking for us a bit ago) makes this guilty pleasure even more pathetic, but also necessary.

So I can't say that I feel like much of a writer at the moment. My novel is still in the hands of reviewers, and I haven't even had the energy to check in with any of them. I'm still getting regular e-mails from self pub outfits, and I'm just stockpiling them in my inbox along with all the ads for high priced gadgets, fabulous home decor (which would no doubt clash with the brown flowered couches that are older than me but still look essentially new), sweet scented soaps, and photo developing services. I keep saying that once I get into a flow I'll have time to start up Czech lessons, get more writing done, start journaling again, and connect with human beings outside of my work environment. But figuring out when normalcy is going to hit, or when I'm going to resign myself to the fact that work and TV are about all I have time for anymore if I want to maintain my sanity, I don't know. Every now and again I ponder those new year's revolutionary ideas, and then I start thinking about finances again and everything else disappears. I certainly did not see this future as we stood in the snow in Marianske Lazne watching Karel's fireworks sparkle dazzlingly in the sky.

In the end, all I can really say is, we have twentieth century poet stamps for sale in the post office, and that makes my little English major heart swell with joy. Sylvia Plath on a stamp. Is there any other word for that than "magical?" I think not.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Who Saw This Coming?

I'm still at work, and therefore not on a machine I can upload pictures to, so this will sadly be another blank piece. We have ordered internet for home, and should rejoin the connected world on Friday. Hopefully, when we get the internet revamped here at work, I'll be able to use my iPad here during those summer down months everyone keeps telling us we're going to have...

Anyhow, as odd as it all appears, owning a card shop and post office was meant to be. When I was 9 I started my card selling career in order to raise money for Christmas gifts. Every Autumn my Dad and I would brave the blustery drives along the Klamath and Scott River roads, sending the little fog ghosties scurrying away as we offered the local residents the ability to shop from home. Dad saw it as a great opportunity to visit with people he wouldn't necessarily have an excuse to see, while I spent the evenings wishing he wasn't quite so chatty so I could make more sales.

This tradition continued all the way through High School, and went hand in hand with my insatiable letter writing phase. I began my pen pal lettter writing career around the same time, with friends from camp and school exchanges, as well as college aged siblings. After moving from Horse Creek, CA to Blodgett, OR, my letter writing skyrocketed as I would send in excess of ten letters a week back to my friends on the river. Postage was a wee bit cheaper back then, and the internet had scarcely been invented, so my parents thought it was a pretty good deal.

Due to my writing and mailing fixations, when I took a business class in high school (the only way I could learn more about computers and keep my typing skills functioning) we did a city simulation in which I ran the post office. Eerie, isn't it?

Perhaps the funniest part of all is that I didn't even think about any of these things when Mark first brought up the advertisement for a card/gift shop, and post office business for sale. It wasn't until we had made it through the harrowing negotiating process, and managed to land the lease, the business and the postal contract that I realized just how much I had been training for this opportunity. God really does work in mysterious ways :)

I still can't say I've become business minded, or that the prospect of figuring out how to do taxes next fills me with glee, but the actual job is far more interesting than I ever thought it would be. We're working in a great neighborhood in Southwest Portland, meeting lots of lovely people, and falling in love with cards all over again.

I haven't forgotten about my writing. When I think about the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year I cringe a bit in the face of all the new responsibilities I have taken on, but the desire to still have a personal life remains. Guess I'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out, but at least I'm writing again, bit by bit...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

March Madness and April Angst...

Fallen off the face of the earth? Well, not exactly. More like, fallen into business. Of all the most random things. It's really quite a story. And one of these days I'll have a few minutes to spare and an internet connection in my own home, and I'll fill in those missing details. For now, I'll keep it brief in order to keep up appearances.
We got back to the US and jumped straight into the frightening world of negotiating to buy a store. About the craziest thing you've ever heard? I could say the same. Perhaps I should always have known it was meant to be. I sit here in the Holliday Card Shoppe, a business owner, selling cards like I started doing when I was nine in order to buy my family Christmas presents. Now I'm doing it full time in order to, well, live.
So the writing has fallen behind. After fifteen years of writing EVERY day in my journal, I haven't opened my most recent one in more than a month and a half. I've a feeling I won't be able to fill in every moment of every day that I've missed over the past couple months, but I'll try to slowly recreate the turmoil and the terrifying thrills that have led us to this moment.
Forgive the hiatus, but there should be something of note coming in the future.
Thanks for peeking back in, and I do hope to be back to my old ways again shortly.