Several years ago, this book was being read on NPR's "Chapter A Day" program. I heard part of one episode before my radio began to crackle and pop, but I knew I wanted to read the book. Of course, that day was the last chapter and the Internet lacked content in those olden days, so there seemed to be little chance of figuring out the title. When I spotted it recently at Goodwill, I just knew - this is it. I grabbed it and ran - apologies to my more visual readers.
Lots of people trace their bloodlines and make fascinating, shocking, and heartwarming discovers along the way -but the genealogy of a house? What a crazy idea. The folks who owned James Morgan's house included a soft-drink bottler, VA loan officer, a secretary of a U.S. congressman, a civil engineer, a housewife, a theatre director, medical technologist, Medicare system analyst, teacher, entrepreneur gone bust, and two writers. Morgan spends painstaking hours uncovering each story and recounts it with energetic detail and dignity.
Of course this got me thinking about my own house. Three owners, a pair of sisters (I'm counting them as one), a hospital administrator and me. That's about all I know. Sure, there are things I want to know like why did the administrator dig up all the scrubs and cart them away when he moved, and who planned the beyond illogical kitchen layout?
Even more unexpectedly, my thoughts turned to my store, my funny looking, cobbled together building where so much has happened. People often ask me how much longer I plan to stay in business. Who knows? The thought of not coming here every day saddens me. Heck, how can I even think of closing when I have customers who worry about me when I am gone for more than two days in a row? And what about my blogsters -Lauran who gets concerned when a post doesn't appear until Tuesday, or Pat, who advises that even when I have nothing to say, I should at least write one paragraph?
On days when bookish things are not happening, I sometimes think of this space as a giant office where I "twiddle and resolve" (to quote a line from one of my favorite musicals). Heart-A-Rama work gets done here, as well as other theatre and writing projects. Other times LaDeDa a warm, funky drawing room where I greet guests.
This is the place where old friendships have been renewed and strengthened, and new friendships have evolved. It is here where Colleen's five children would make their annual Christmas stop, lining up in age order to give me a holiday hug. It is here where former students find me and we catch up; and yes, some have even apologized for creative challenges offered in my classes. LaDeDa was Mimi's first stop on her way home from the hospital days after being born, and where her her cousin Walter sang a rousing version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" in the middle of July.
Lovely Fran. Puny James. Exuberant Amelia. Steve the wordsmith. World's best pasta sauce maker - Lisa...I've met them and so many more because of this quirky building. They entered as customers. They became friends. So many faces, so many families.
I can't forget my dog pals who drop by and know exactly where the treats are stored.
Jose (accent over the e, please) , Trixie. Bella. Charlie. Sydney. Ella.
Employees. There's not enough time or space to honor each by sharing what they have brought to my life. Some stay for a short time and move on. Others stay forever - connecting when and how we can - always moving forward but not forgetting the times we shared here.
This store, the job earned me the first nickname I ever had...
LaDeDa Bev is thankful for this life.
Eat turkey (except for Becky who will eat something foolish like tofu.)
Thanks for stopping by.