Friday, July 7, 2006


Has the past week been jam-packed full of things pulling me in a million different directions?

Saturday was my first full day as proprietor of the Hot Flash Café. It was also my husband’s 50th birthday. And so, after putting in a full day at my new (to me) café, I had to rush home and speed-clean the house for guests. Which meant running around the house and vacuuming up enough animal hair to knit a ninth pet; dealing with other more unmentionable "consequences" of shedding animals; making two extra bedrooms habitable by humans (one set of which neglected to apprise me of their intention to visit until approximately one day before said visit was to commence…aarrgh!) And then I had to shower, shave, and pick out an outfit appropriate for a fine dining establishment. All in the space of about an hour and a half. The guest of honor, meanwhile, spent the morning and half the afternoon selling food at the Farmers’ Market in Tillamook. He rumbled back into town about the same time I got home from work; for his exciting half-century milestone birthday present, he got an hour-long nap, while I ran around and did the white tornado thing.

Sunday morning, I went to work, and all my houseguests (my two sisters and their husbands) assembled at the café for a celebratory breakfast…a sort of "congratulations on the new venture" affair. I was able to join the festivities intermittently, between customers…

Monday was my oldest sister’s 25th wedding anniversary. And so this over-extended, hyped-out, sleep-deprived fledgling entrepreneur found herself shutting the doors at the café and loading herself into her car for an hour drive to a restaurant up the road on the way to Seaside, where sister and husband were celebrating said anniversary. And husband was setting up to sell food at the Fourth of July celebration in Seaside.

Between trying to apply myself to the new business venture, and pay adequate homage to Great Moments in Family History, I am just about toast.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Queen of the World

For the last four days, I’ve worked harder than I have in a very long time. And yet, it hasn’t seemed like hard work at all. What a trip, what a high (for all I know about getting high…)! I can’t remember, in my whole life, being this unreservedly thrilled about anything.

Nothing I’ve known or done compares to this. To having my own place. To being "the Proprietor." The owner. El hefe. The buck-stopper.

For years now, long and painful years, I’ve felt as if the best part of my life was behind me. Like I’d had my decade of prosperity, but that was then, and this is now. That it was all going to be downhill...from that place about a dozen years ago, when the slide began. When so many of the things I knew and loved started to be stripped from me, one after another after another.

I feel like Job. Like the guy who had everything, and then lost it. Suffered the tortures of the damned, was millimeters from cursing God and dying, but held on. Held on, because maybe he didn’t know what else to do.

Because once you’ve had goodness, once you’ve had fulfillment, once you’ve had "success," there’s a kind of accidental faith that keeps you going through the dark spots. You can’t stop nursing that tiny spark of hope in the deepest reaches of your mind. You had "it" once; so you know it exists. And if you had it once, you can have it again. That’s what has kept you putting one foot in front of the other, through the dry and the dull and the desperate; even when it seemed like there was nowhere to go.

It’s frightening, to love an experience this much. But I am nothing if not an inveterate cynic; I have no illusions that this could not all evaporate in an instant. I’ve lived through the rise and the fall. There’s no reason to believe I cannot fall again.

But feeling like this for even these few days will have made it worth the risk.

I’m Queen of the World!