About ten years ago (maybe longer, memory fails), Tam’s family purchased a small-ish “cabin” in a place called
It was a wonderful getaway for families as there is plenty of room for lots of
bodies to sleep. The cabin itself is about five miles from downtown Long Beach, Washington Long Beach, and a quarter
mile from the ocean. Looking on a map, it’s almost smack-dab in the middle of
Every summer the festivals begin and Tam’s family would head over for some fun watching kites being flown, sand castles being built, or any number of fun things that tend to happen there. On one of her first trips over, Tam stopped in at a tiny shop to look at the hats. She found one and was hooked. A lovely forest green fedora went home with her that day.
From that point on, every time she went to the beach, she stopped in at the shop and looked at the hats. Chances were good she would find one she couldn’t live without and it would come home with her. That was where she bought the black fedora, the one that has become a favorite; the one that helped form a character in my book. Cole’s love for her hat stems directly from Tam. Don’t touch my lady’s hat or you’ll end up wearing your shoes inside out.
I do not look good in hats. There are a few that will sit well upon my noggin, but for the most part, I leave the hat wearing to Tam.
Fast forward to stuff happening that ends up with Tam and I living together. After several trips to the beach and long conversations with the owner of the shop, we began to make plans. We worked on ways to drum up money without putting the house at risk, but nothing worked. It was nearly a deal breaker: I grew up in that house, it is truly my home and I liked being able to say I own my home free and clear.
But I also realized something else: my job was hurting me and Tam’s job was making a mess of her as well. Quality of life was deteriorating fast and we still have several years to go before we can retire. Neither one of us was going to make it that far where we were. I was getting beat up on a daily basis by my students (it’s not much better now, just less frequent and a lot harder); Tam’s back and hips were starting to wear down with arthritis.
We looked again at the hat shop and drew up some plans. We talked to the owner and made more plans. Then we crossed our fingers, applied for a home equity loan… and got it. Yes, after all that mulling, fussing, figuring, hashing out details, crumpling up the paper and starting all over again, it is finally happening. We’re buying the hat shop.
I’ve purchased the domain name (which is one reason I’ve been kind of closed mouthed about the whole thing… I didn’t want it pirated away before I could get my hands on it) and a friend has offered her assistance in building a web presence. Neither Tam nor I have the first clue how to run a website, but we’re going to learn. It’s the same with the hat shop: we’ll be doing a lot of learning.
In the off season, I might look into working as a sub in the schools over there, or maybe I’ll just work on my manuscripts… In the tiny apartment we’ve rented… right over the hat shop.
Romance, I do believe I’ve found you.
You’re the one wearing a black fedora and a sly smile.