On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Somehow I’ve gotten behind and haven’t posted in almost two weeks. Time to play catch up! This article was published in the Rains County Leader October 28, 2021:

Last week I wrote about the amazing success of the Friends of the Library Book Sale and how smoothly it went. That was true, but the sale wasn’t without problems. Most of the problems landed in the lap of Cheryl Watson, our facilities coordinator – and me. Her responsibilities included picking up keys to the City Centre, opening and locking up, and coordinating the delivery and pick of books and equipment.

The plan was simple: Cheryl would pick up keys at the EDC office on Monday, Oct. 11. On Tuesday Jane Dillon would meet the Road and Bridge crew at the book shed by the Library to pick up books and equipment and Cheryl would open the Centre for volunteers to begin setting up. On Monday the 18th, Road and Bridge would pick up the equipment, unsold religious books which would be donated to Love Packages, and books reserved for Little Free Libraries, and Peter Adams of Gladewater Books would pick up remaining unsold books. Cheryl would return the keys to the EDC office, reserve the Centre for April, and the sale would be over. But there were problems.

#1 – Because of family illness, Cheryl wasn’t available until Saturday the week of the sale, but I stepped in. Problem solved.

#2 – Because of employee illnesses, Pete couldn’t get a crew for the 18th and needed to pick up the books on the 25th. On Friday the 8th I stopped by the EDC office to see if we could leave the leftover books in the Centre for a week. Robert Worley, Director of the EDC, said we could leave them in an empty room at the back. Problem solved.

#3 – Before I left his office, Robert realized their office would be closed on Monday and wouldn’t be open until an hour after I was supposed to open the Centre on Tuesday. Leah Drown, the administrative assistant, wasn’t in, and Robert wasn’t sure where the keys were. He found the key box but couldn’t find the master key set. Then he realized the Centre was being used on Saturday and they had the keys. He scrounged around and found a key to the front door. Problem solved.

#4 – Pete had more crew problems and needed to come on 24th. I couldn’t meet him on Sunday, so I sent a distress text to the Board, and Cheryl said she could do it. Problem solved.

#5 – Tuesday began well – the initial set up went so quickly we stopped work at 1:00 PM. Since I had Ladies Bible Study the next morning, Linda Pietila volunteered to open up. While we were closing the doors, our neighbor David Perkins drove up to see how we were doing. The doors were locked, so we stood and visited until Rocky arrived and Linda left. As they drove out of sight, I realized my purse was still inside. I texted and called her but didn’t get a response. Perkins offered to drive me home, but I knew my David wouldn’t want to leave the KIA at the Centre overnight. Finally, I asked Perkins to drive me to the EDC office to see if there was another key. Leah wasn’t back from lunch, so Robert began to scrounge again – but she returned before we made too big a mess, and she gave me a key. Problem solved.

#6 – The rest of setup went smoothly, and the first morning of the sale was a huge success. I had the door key again, but I didn’t have a key to the janitor’s closet where the paper and cleaning supplies are stored. Marsha Rakestraw had taken her brother Richard Nash to lunch to thank him for entertaining us with his stories and his native American flute. I texted her and asked if she could stop by the EDC office on her way back. She didn’t see my text until she got back to the Centre, but she turned right around to go get the key. There was no one in the office, so after trying the City Hall with no luck, she left a voice mail letting them know about our dilemma. I expected a return call, but Robert personally delivered the key into my waiting hand. Problem solved.

#7 – The end of sale process went great, and then Monday afternoon I received a text from Cheryl – We have a problem with the 94 boxes of books in the middle room. It seems there was a wedding scheduled in the Centre, and since that room is the bridal dressing room, the books needed to be out no later than Friday morning. Cheryl sent Ronnie at Road and Bridge a text, and his crew picked up the books Wednesday morning and moved them back to the book shed. She notified Pete to come to the shed instead of the Centre, and I thought all our problems were over. Not quite.

#8 – Sunday morning I silenced my phone and dropped it in my purse where it stayed until after lunch. When I finally looked at it, I had several texts from Cheryl. The road crew mixed these books all up. I’m not sure which are the free library ones or the religious ones…Pete says he’ll take all the books. It was almost for hours later when I texted her to say that I hoped she had let Pete have them all. I saw the LFL boxes at the end and kept them but he did take the religious books. Hope that’s ok. We won’t have books for Love Packages this time around, but there is space in the book shed for new donations. It was definitely okay with me. Problem solved and book sale complete – until April!



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