Black Friday or Blue?

I finished the bulk of my holiday shopping on election night in a small quiet store near my home.

I desperately needed a diversion.

Then on Black Friday I rose early and mailed those gifts to friends and family from an empty post office.

The peace was almost deafening.

On Small Business Saturday, my chi pup Rex and I walked the sunny beach at the lake and climbed the short ladder to the life guard station.

Luckily no one needed our help as we had a little business of our own to take care of.

I’d brought a small stack of holiday cards up there to pen as we kept an eye on a couple of fishing boats off in the distance.

After a while, we climbed back down and followed our noses over to a blazing bonfire by the trolley tracks.

Santa was already there, greeting all in line for their rides on an old wreath adorned golden trolley.

Rex and I opted instead for one hot chocolate, laced with small marshmallows and a s’more cooked to order by a smiling Boy Scout nearby. Both were being sold as part of his troops’s fundraiser.

Rex appeared to love his first sweet graham cracker.

And I loved my avoidance of stores this weekend even more I thought while licking every bite of chocolate off my fingers.

It seems a break in tradition can be quite delicious.

My quick journey

I generally hate to shop, unless it’s a bookstore.

But as I was overdue in replacing my leaky shoes, I thought I’d visit my local second hand store that funds our area food shelf.

With sun finally arriving after a week of storms, I thought it’d be good to get out of the house and also get out of my funk.

It’s been a pretty tough week without much sleep.

And I’ve been wishing I’d traveled to an Open House in upstate New York at the home of author Jon Katz of Bedlam Farm fame and his wife, fiber artist Maria Wulf. (

But it just wasn’t a trip I could manage right now, so instead I traveled a few miles down the road for my attempt at retail therapy.

I love supporting this special thrift shop and others do as well.

In fact, someone was kind enough to donate a new pair of $425.00 Italian shoes that I picked up for $7.50.

Almost as thrilling as entering a great bookstore!

But it got even better.

Walking back outside a book sale had just begun.

I quickly picked up a few children’s titles for my little grandkids.

Then I noticed the adult titles and CDs over towards the back.

The first CD case was for my beloved Van Morrision, but the CD was missing.

I was disappointed, but kept digging.

Next, I discovered a copy of a newer book title that I love, “The House at the End of Hope Street.” Jon Katz recommended it last December when I’d called Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY with an order.

Jon and his wife happened to be in the store at the time, signing copies of his own books.

But beneath that great read was an even better find.

I’ll even call it a gift.

A lone copy of Jon’s book, “Soul of a Dog.”

It’s the only one of his books that I haven’t read.

So maybe in a way I did travel to upstate NY today.

Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to call Battenkill Books to pre-order Jon’s new book that’s coming out this fall titled, “Saving Simon”.

The book’s expected to be published at the same time as the next Open House at Jon’s farm in October.

Maybe I can even pick it up in person.

A girl’s just got to dream.