Part of my master plan for building a new life in my post-Don world involves volunteering at a small museum that is having its grand opening this weekend in the small town where my husband grew up. It’s a tourist town, now, with a lots of neat things going on and I’ve come to love the place as much as he did. This weekend is also the town’s Fall Festival and one of the fun things to do is watch crafters make life-sized scarecrows that are sold for charity. It’s a popular active and you can see people all over town dragging scarecrows to their cars or leaning them up against buildings as they eat and shop at the outdoor venues. Also in town is a jazz band that walks the streets leading people Pied Piper style past various places of interest in much the same way walking jazz bands have been known to lead mourners to burial sites in the Deep South. This year, one of the places the band will lead the tourists is to the museum where I’ll be helping with the opening and the fundraiser auction.
Yesterday I took part in a work session with other museum volunteers. Our mission was to make baskets up of assorted small items and gift certificates that have been donated to our auction committee. It was right up my alley, being an x-floral designer with a degree in art. I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging but it became apparent early on that I had the best eye for arranging stuff so the baskets looked appealing and everything that needed to show was showing. So that became my job. Another woman fell into the best bow maker role, another lady became the best at filling out the documentation needed and so on. Our little assembly line worked well together and we had fun doing it. In three hours’ time we got all the cellophane-clad baskets made and parked in our host’s extra bedrooms. Friday we’ll transport them to the building where our silent, basket auction will run in conjunction with our live auction outside. I can hardly wait. I already know I’m going to bid on some cooking lessons with a five star chef and some spa treatments. Can you believe the chef lessons have a value of a $100 per class and they’re not even private lessons!
The woman who hosted our “basket party” lives directly across the street from the cemetery where Don’s headstone resides so I stopped in for a visit before going home. It’s been twenty months since he died so it took me by surprised at how quickly I got teary-eyed standing there looking at his name carved in marble. I’m moving on---or I should say I’m doing my best to move on and yet I still miss having him in my life. Should leaving one chapter in my life and moving on to the next bring sadness this far out? I don't know. But I do know it would be sad if I kept reading the same page over and over again, never moving on to see what happens next.
This week I also made a run up to my antique booth/locked showcase to reorganize the space. I’m running some “bottom shelf” sales, reducing prices 50% with the goal of maybe moving out at the end of October. This is such a hard decision to make! I rented the space about four months after Don died and between the booth and eBay I’ve sold off most of my husband’s extensive collection of gas station memorabilia---gas pumps, globes, porcelain signs and cans going back to the early 1900s. Now I’m left with his smaller, less valuable collectables---gas station give-aways, maps, etc.---and I’m burned out on researching, pricing and selling. What’s left doesn’t take up much space, still at my age it’s wise to keep downsizing. But sometimes, when I go to the Land of Pricing Hell, it feels like I’m living my life in reverse or metaphorically reading that same page over and over again that I’ve been trying so hard to avoid doing. Oh, well, as my friend Scarlett O’Hara would say, “I’ll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.” With that said, I’m going back to researching and writing my own spoof obituary. Apparently, I really enjoyed my life as a CIA black bag operative. ©