Sunday, October 17, 2010
Yesterday we celebrated the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest in Dillon. We had been planning this since January (along with May Day, Summer Sizzler and the upcoming Winter Festival). We had worked hard, had fun and even drank a little moonshine in the process. It rained, it rained hard, it rained most of the day. I cried, I cried hard, however, I did not cry most of the day. With the help of my husband, my friends, the vendors, the volunteers and the rest of my crazy party planners I realized a little rain was not about to ruin this party.
One of the most popular games that we host at these events is the cake walk. It is so fun to see the kids excitement as they walk away with their prizes. I obsess over these events. I relax by cooking. I made little cakes and had fun frosting them and decorating them. One of my fellow merchants was complimenting me and asked how I had time to get them all done along with everything else. I laughed and said "Have I ever mentioned to you that if I weren't a bookseller I would probably be a party planner/caterer or a psychologist?" She laughed and said "isn't that what you do now?"
Huh, I'll be darned, she's right. Through my life as a bookseller I am always planning events and making the food for the party. We host booksignings, storytime, childrens Tea Parties, magic shows, Harry Potter parties, after hours events, Christmas strolls and poetry readings. I love the decorations, planning and preparing the refreshments, setting up the displays and hosting the parties. While doing all of this I get to be surrounded by books and enjoy of the company of people that also appreciate books and a good party.
As for psychology.................................
Every apptitude test I have ever taken has indicated that Psychology is the field for me. As a bookseller I encouter people everyday, looking for answers, seeking advice or just needing to talk. I like to think that once in awhile I have the right answer and that I listen well. As for the advice I may have an opinion or two. (but just once in awhile........................;o)
So if I weren't a bookseller would I be a caterer? Probably not. I enjoy it. My parents and 2 of my sisters are involved in the bar/restaurant business. I love helping them when I get the chance. It is fun and I get to spend time with my crazy family. But when the day is done I like what I do.
If I weren't a bookseller would I be a psychologist? That isn't as easy to dismiss. At 50 (I won't be 51 until tomorrow) would I want to return to school and obtain this degree? I am so proud of my friend Katie who did just that. My sister Lisa is 40, she is a wife, a mother of 2 young sons and teaches full time and in December she will graduate with her masters degree. They both have proven to me that it is possible. But the big question is do I want to?
For now I am content planning parties that also involve books. I get to interact with people on many different levels each and every day. I am entertained and intellectually stimulated, I am healthy and happy looking forward to celebrating another birthday and just 5 days after that celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary. Being a bookseller allows me to live many dreams.
So, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
One of the services that we provide is called "The Bookstore in a Basket." This is a fun, lively presentation that I do for groups or in classrooms. I enjoy this, it gets me out of the store, I get to share my love of books with others and it connects me to people in the community. (Of course if I sell a book or two that is an added bonus)
I recently had the privilege of speaking to a 3rd grade class. There was a story in their language book about a girl and her friendship with the woman that owned the neighborhood bookstore. The store was facing closure due to an increase in rent. I was asked to speak to the class about the importance of supporting local businesses and what happens in a community when stores close. It was amazing. These young students really understood the story. I wanted to believe that I was inspiring the dialog that we shared. But I soon discovered that these young students were saddened by the recent closing of our local bowling alley. They felt this closure personally, to quote one young man "Where will I have my birthday parties now? I have had every party there." Another girl was sad because she was on a bowling league and these kids really wanted to share how they felt.
I was impressed and humbled by their response. I read them the story from their language book, we talked about what happened and their questions were thoughtful and insightful. The conversation turned to books. They told me their favorites and I shared some of mine. We looked at the class frog and talked about the upcoming Oktoberfest. It was an amazing hour (although I think originally they had planned on me being there for 15-20 minutes)
This past week I was also a presenter at the MACE (Montana Association of Chamber Executives) conference that was held in Dillon. It was fun -- I wore many costumes (I had them layered and would remove one as I talked about the festival that it represented.....I think they became fearful of how many layers I was planning to remove ;o) I wore a couple of my crowns, my Christmas tree hat and a few pairs of funky sunglasses. I told them about our shop local programs and what we are doing to make Dillon a destination. They gave me 9 minutes. Those of you that know me well know that I am incapable of saying hello in 9 minutes let alone doing an entire presentation in that limited time. But you also know that I am capable of talking very fast so I managed to get it all out in about 11 minutes. I was able to convey to them what we are doing, what has worked, what hasn't and why we are having so much fun in Dillon.
I am passionate about what I do and to be able to do this for a living makes it even better. I had a great time but I have to admit being in the classroom was the best. I was impressed by the thoughts, manners and level of observation these kids shared with me. I learned much more from them than they did from me. They renewed my faith that there just might be promise for our future and that for them the possibilities will be endless. Thank you 3rd graders for a great day.