The people I work with, the thought of them makes my eyes fill with water

I’m grateful for Julie, who never goes anywhere without a cloud of flurry, zeal and good tidings following her, who is energy and optimism epitomized, who makes us all feel like we’ve come home;  and Frank, who is the ever-present rock upon which the machinations of this little store depend. And Danielle and Frank, Jr., who keep us famous. And Danielle’s beautiful daughters, Martha and Irene, who remind us that this is not only a small business, but a small family business, the rarest of things these days.

I’m grateful for Lilly, who is beautiful and smart and funny as hell. Who can make me laugh with a mere wrinkle of the nose, who picks up lovely leaves and writes my name on them, who draws me funny pictures that I find at only the right times, when they are of most use. Lilly, who drives me crazy, without whom there would be a gaping hole in my day.

I’m grateful for Kevin, who is a genius. Kevin, with whom having a conversation is a wonder. Kevin, who can alphabetize properly and show up, without fail, in moments of dire need. Kevin and his curly, at-capacity head.

I’m grateful for Jane, who is magic. She is magic and that is all that I can say because you can’t talk very much about real magic.

I’m grateful for Lucia, who catches all of my mistakes and makes none herself. Lucia, upon whom I depend for a cooler head, a more level temperament, and, well, competence. Competence when mine is sorely lacking. And there’s just, you know, something about her;  this nobody can deny.

I’m grateful for Donna, who I am in constant, 24-hour-long, awe of. Donna, who is an elegant, well-dressed ball of light and joy for me, no matter the occasion. Donna, who makes me feel old and makes me want to try and be young again.

I’m grateful for BJ, my very own personal dude, who makes my heart fill with goodness. BJ, who calls me with a question, but makes sure to tell me she loves me before she asks it. She makes me want to permanently hug her and never let go.

I’m grateful that I am able to be filled with love for these people.

I’m grateful for you, reader. I know at least one thing about you and I am very grateful for that.

I’m grateful for the loons, sages, curious and kind people who pass through our lives and our store each day and make sure to note that they’d rather order their book from us or purchase a present for someone, from us, than anyone else.

I’m grateful for that which brought us all together: the written word. I’m grateful I have a book to finish reading when I close my computer and grateful that I have countless others to open after that one.

I’m grateful books exist and require bookstores to house them and booksellers to be their guardians. I’m grateful for this bookstore in particular. This bookstore, which has thrived for almost 25 years and, if there is any justice left at all, will thrive for hundreds more.

This is such a selfish holiday, isn’t it? If there is only one thing that you’re thankful for, it’s enough to nourish you. And gratefulness nourishes you first, before anyone else.




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2 responses to “The people I work with, the thought of them makes my eyes fill with water

  1. Lilly

    An elegantly poetic post from our practically perfect leader, Aida, makes me ever more grateful for being here and working with the Portrait extended family.
    Thank you every customer for keeping us here.


  2. Julie von Zerneck

    And we are grateful to you Aida, for without you we might not exist. We could be just the memory of an amazing little independent little bookstore. You keep our doors open in these times when bookstores are closing up right and left. You keep your staff and your customers spellbound when you come though the French doors daily with a stack of books so towering that they reach higher than your eyes so you have to look around them to see where you are going. You made the store exquisite with your inspired book displays. Every day it looks different. Everyday it changes. We never get bored. We live on the edge; always eager to see what new wonders you will present us with. You make us all feeling safe because we can just turn to you and you always know the answer or how to get it. I want to take a picture of you, dear Aida, surrounded by great piles of books, heaps and masses of them, so many of them, that they are stacked from floor to ceiling all around you. I want this picture and one of these days I going to get it.

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