We made the drive out to Shelbyville, Tennessee on a crisp November morning to pick out stain, doors and knobs for our soon-to-be-built bookshelves.
My fourteen-year-old son sat in the back of my Ford Explorer, long legs stretched out in front of him from his chosen spot in the third row with the second rows seats folded. I complained that I felt like a chauffeur with him sitting all the way back there, but he didn’t bend. “I like it back here so I can do this,” and he somehow stretched those growing legs even longer.
As we crossed through Murfreesboro and emerged onto South Church street, I settled in for the long, straight shot to Shelbyville with a podcast accompanying my thoughts while my son read a book. I sighed, exhaling the tension of the morning traffic, as Sally Clarkson’s sweet voice reminded me to slow down, look around, and choose wonder.
Just in time.
I whispered thanks that we were allowed to make this drive while the last of the Autumn leaves still glowed in the morning sunlight. After almost an hour we arrived in Shelbyville, the Tennessee Walking Horse capital. It’s a small town with big views. Surrounded by low hills and sprawling farms, it is a hidden jewel. Old Oak trees stood proudly ablaze as they marched toward Winter along winding country roads. The sun illuminated the golden leaves from behind, causing them to glow. I only wished I had time to pull off to the side and take a few photos, but our appointment was at 9:30 and I was already on track to be five minutes late.
So we drove and I purposed to take it all in, file it away like colorful photographs in my memory to be pulled out again and studied like a fine painting. After all, God is the most incredible artist. He is the Creator of creators. Every year I am sure He is showing off. Every season I am awestruck at the newness of the turning seasons. No painting, no camera can every fully capture the depth and wonder of what God spreads before us. Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer emerge anew with fresh beauty and it never gets old.
At last, we arrived at the cabinet shop and waited until a young man emerged through double doors that muffled the din of saws and sanders. The sounds grew suddenly loud as he sauntered through the doors, then muffled again as they swung shut behind him. He talked my ear off in a typical Shelbyville drawl and I relished his stories. He had endured quite a week, to say the least. Finally, we got down to business and worked out the details of the shelves he will build here in our home.
Oh, what fun!
Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with dark-stained wood and crown molding…
…and a ladder like this:
We also selected just the right knobs to match the chandelier and compliment the formal doors we chose for the bottom cabinets without looking too fussy.
Louvered doors beneath the coffee bar will disguise the unsightly HVAC return that simply has to be dealt with. Oh yes, did I mention the coffee bar? It will have an upper cabinet and plenty of space to prepare my beloved coffee and tea before settling into the big, leather chair with a great book.
I could finally envision the final product as we sat down to discuss the last details.
“When do you think you can get started?” I asked.
“We are about 6-10 weeks out so I’m lookin’ at mid-January,” he said.
“Perfect,” I replied. Actually that was a lie. If I had it my way they would start tomorrow because the stacks of books on the floor have gotten old. But it is when he can start, so it must be perfect.
“Perfect,” I said again. This time, meaning it.
Because when it is finished, it will be exactly what we wanted. A few weeks, give or take, will not matter in the grand scheme of life. Those piles of books? They have sat on the floor for four months, so waiting two more months will not be a big deal. My middle daughter (who loves to organize) and I (who NEEDS to organize) have a plan to sort the stacks of books and move them across the room, near the windows, so when the time comes to install the shelves the space along those walls will be clear and ready. In the meantime, with the books in some semblance of order, I might actually be able to find that novel I have been looking for since late October.
I’ll stop in here to share the fun when the construction process begins. Be sure to check back often! Once everything is in order I will be keeping you abreast of our latest must-reads and musical accompaniment to our days. You can also share what you are reading and listening to with me! Shoot, maybe one day you can stop in for a cuppa and we can enjoy a good book together. I would certainly love that.