I barely saw the eastern glow that wakens our island each morning. For once, my alarm remained silent. But I still opened my eyes as the fullest rays broke through the small piece of fabric covering the window in the sleeping loft of my tiny house. I thought about coffee, and new beginnings, and steps forward. I sifted through everything that might happen as the day progressed. Then I contemplated whether I should make a cup of coffee. Before I quite realized what had happened, I stood in front of the two-burner propane stove top thinking about the grounds to water ratio and whether I could get a load of laundry done.
In just six days, the shop that I’ve dreamed of starting opens. My to-do list still has about ten items. Sunday loomed but not large. Just ten hours from sunrise to sunset and a corresponding ration of energy. I watched the gauge in the kettle move towards a boil and considered whether I should scramble eggs.
By noon I had done that load of clothes and started another, watered my porch plants, gotten a list of supplies from my cohort, and slung a full bag onto a backseat cluttered with the debris of my busy existence. It’s true that I have no social life. But the job, the shop, the market, collecting for charity, and my addiction to reading old police procedurals fills every conscious moment. As I drove toward Rio Vista, I pulled open the mental browser on which I have saved my task list and reviewed it, praying that the bridge would stay level with the street. I retain my tourist penchant for photographing big ships from the car window, but I had no spare time this day.
Hours later, the new store all readied for tomorrow’s fire inspection except the battery-operated emergency exit signs, I locked its door and headed for home. First I connected with my friend Michelle to hand off the custom-mixed paint for the temporary sign. We stood on sixth street chatting about her sheep, goats, and geese as the sun slowly descended in the west. I pulled into my lot a few minutes before five o’clock, in time to turn and watch the amber glow spread across the horizon through the trees flanking the levee road. Then I went inside to find something nourishing to make for dinner, wondering, for the umpteenth time, how my own road ever turned to land me in this place.
It’s the twelfth day of the one-hundred and nineteenth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.
The new shop’s name comes from Arabic to honor my Syrian grandfather.
“Mubdie” means “creative” or “an innovator or inventor”, someone who finds things and makes other things out of them.
It is a membership-based space for creative persons in the Delta to sell their art.