the patisserie. (by the lovely kimi kolba)
This summer I turned 30.
It's a good number.
It feels right to me. Comfortable. An important sounding number that hints at the year, or even the decade, that came before.
I have wanted very much to tell you about this year. But I got bogged down in the details. Over and over and over again, I came here, and left without hitting the publish button. The details refused to cooporate. It was a year unlike any other. Here I am anyway. Details be damned.
This year I fell in love with genre fiction again.
This year I wore pennyloafers.
This year I adopted Fergus, who is part cat, part dog, and part cloud.
This year I reserved the hours between 1 and 3 am for watching nearly every Andrew Davies BBC miniseries on netflix.
This year I decided to stop fretting about my less-than-perfect legs, and took 3 inches of the matronly hemlines on all my summer skirts. It felt awesome.
This year I stopped blogging.
Because this year, I opened a restaurant.
You read that right.
My husband and I opened a restaurant.
And nothing in the world can prepare you for what it feels like, when you have, in a seriously weird way, given birth to something like a restaurant. At the swell of pride and awe at suddenly standing in the middle of a thing, that after 15 years in the restaurant business, seemed impossible. Also, the exhaustion. When the blood, sweat (though there is still sweat), and occasional weeping of the opening months were over and done, I saw my husband standing in the kitchen of his own restaurant, and I only felt astonishment. Gratitude.
Then this happened.
And so on.
It's almost September now, and I have gotten better at trying to stand still while this tornado of a life wheels and crashes it's way into every little thing. I am remembering what it was like to sleep, and to see Aaron's face in the daytime. To go to the movies. To pick up more shifts at the bookstore (from which I had to take an extended hiatus). It still looks like mayhem to most people, but to us, it's just life. This year, more than any other, I am grateful to friends and family who helped us keep it together. Who took care of our animals, who listened to our worries, who understood when we could not make it to parties and dinners and gatherings, and invited us anyway. I could ply them with baked goods for the rest of their lives and it still wouldn't be sufficient.
I know it's weird, to return to this space only to announce its retirement. But looking back, I realize that this space contains a story, told in real time. A story that still needed an ending. We set out for the Pacific Northwest from Southern California just 4 years ago with nothing but a few possessions, an unwise amount of optimism, and friends to help us along the way. And here we are. I can hardly believe it.
I've decided to continue blogging over at Book-Scout. (I will be leaving Scout up indefinitely for links and such.) For all my involvement in the early days of the restaurant, bookselling is still my true love. I hope, after all this time, you'll join me over there. But if you ever find yourself in our neck of the woods, tired and looking for a good meal, I hope you'll come and say hello. We can share a madeleine or two.