drifting slowly downward were as soft as a bunny's fur. The warmth of the
ground where they chose to rest quickly melted them and puddles of water
remained. No wind, a gray day making everything seem to be closely related
in color and little traffic made this a wonderful trip up to my book
signing at Arkansas City, Kansas. The thirty-five miles or so was measured
in short distances from one familiar landmark to the next. The prairie
grass was a soft caramel color and an artist would have mixed little pools
of yellow ochre, white, burnt sienna, small bits of red and green for a
Brownstore where I was invited to sign my books from ten to two was in
itself a feast for the eyes. Everywhere were things saved from the past.
The furniture looked to be some treasure filched from Gramma's attic. It
was not freshly painted and had rough peeling places of some person of
another time's attempt at covering the surface with a color that was now
vague in its presentation. Maybe the piece had been blue? These, old,
well-worn and loved furnishings were the props for the displays of what
the store had for sale, which was everything from soup to nuts, literally.
Gourmet coffees were the main attraction and wafting through the very
large spaces were the nostalgic smell of strong cowboy coffee even though
it was made ahead and placed in push button vacuum bottles so the customer
could easily reach for the early morning treat going from Irish coffee,
hazelnut, and on and on the list went from rare to recognizable blends.
Old worn wood floors were hand painted with little sayings to delight
the heart. “The greatest of these is love,” was lettered in a quick way on
the floor beside where I was placing my books on a wrought iron ice cream
table saved from a time past and maybe from days when folks still enjoyed
the corner drug store. In fact, the top of it had been painted with coffee
cups and the name of the store, “Brownstore.” My position was exactly
beside the front door where I could see the comings and goings of the
Christmas shoppers as they hurried from one place to another. Soft country
music catering to the shoppers of the season rendered my heart nostalgic
with remembered ways of another time and place like this, close to my
family's ranch home, out of Foraker and Grainola, Oklahoma.
These short days at the ending of the year rendered these folks
countenances to be filled with lovely expressions. They were focused and
looking forward to something joyful it seemed. The lines on their faces
were now softened with their happiness as they must have been thinking of
a loved one for whom they shopped. If only the season could be extended to
forever, what a beautiful world it would be.
Only a couple books were sold but the benefits received were so much
greater than monetary sometimes, it is unbelievable these lovely moments
in my short life have been given me. Who would have ever guessed a
lonely, mostly, grief-ridden, housewife would have a brief moment in the
sun as a published author?