False Start

The bookshop has been semi-closed for the last week plus; our employee has been on vacation, and I've been busy taking care of a new baby and a recovering wife. Today was set to be our re-opening day. I had spent much of Monday puttering around in the store, making sure everything was ready to go. Little did I know that a great beast was lurking behind the shelves, waiting to strike when the lights were down and I was safely tucked into bed.

The last few days have been cold, bitter cold. Sunday morning greeted me with a -11 F reading. It was cold enough to freeze the water pipes at the store. This was no great surprise, the pipes have frozen at least 50 times since we've been here. So as I was leaving the shop last night, I made sure to close up all the open faucets and turn-off valves in the bathroom, in case the pipes warmed overnight. It was a routine I've done many times.

I wanted to get an early start this morning, as with yesterday's holiday, we would have twice the orders to wrap up and get out. I was in by 7:30 or so, and the first thing I noticed when I walked in the door was that there was a big puddle. At first I thought some snow might have drifted under the door and melted, as the winds were high last night. Then I heard the sound. The great hissing of the beast.

It took me a second to realize what had happened and what I had to do. I sloshed though the water and over to the main shut-off. The hissing quieted, then stopped. I got up off the floor and took a good look; it was still mostly dark outside, and the only light was from the EXIT sign above the door. I noticed the reflection on the floor, rippling. This wasn't just a little water. It's a good thing I wore my boots.

Thank you for indulging me a bit. I'm a little overwhelmed. And sad. And angry... but I wanted to let you know where I've been this morning. For a moment, I wondered what I was doing here on Blogger in the middle of this emergency, but I realized that you all are my friends, and I'm here to share news with you, good or bad. Today is not good, but we're all alive and it appears that we have only lost about $10,000 in books or so. It could  have been a lot worse...

The pipe burst right behind my desk, where we keep a lot of the expensive books, and where I keep all the forgotten bookmarks. I lost most of them:

So, we'll see what this week brings. I can't promise you anything, but you can be sure I'll do my best. Here are a few more pictures for you:

-Click to enlarge photos-