For 24 hours now, I have restricted access to my blog to my eyes only, in hopes that the automatic systems crawling about the web will cease to visit if they are repeatedly stymied. Allegedly, I had 3000 visits in the last month, a pitiful amount for a truly popular website, but an impossibly astronomical one for a personal blog written by an obscure person without any famous contacts.
If I did have strings to pull in influential places, I wouldn't still be waiting on my paperwork to return from DC. But I don't, and I am.
I'm reading Edith Wharton's short stories for the first time. The plot of Ethan Frome always put me off, and though I was able to make it a good portion of the way through The House of Mirth, it could hardly be considered cheerful, easy reading. I have long liked Wharton's style, but the remoteness of cold New England misery and even colder New England aristocracy meant that I failed to engage with characters in her novels. Her short stories are much more entertaining, passionate and personal, even if her linguistic skill and subject matter tacitly reminds me that I shall never attain the intellectual acuity or elevated class standing which would qualify me to appear in Wharton's presence comfortably, were she still alive. I have shared the experiences of several of her characters, though, particularly that of the art expert called upon to assess a painting the owner thinks is a masterpiece. Well I know the conundrum of being caught between politeness and honesty when it comes to letting people know that their cherished treasures are commercially worthless.
The estate sale this past weekend went well. We didn't have a single stinker, and traffic was high the whole two days. Surprisingly, both furniture and clothing sold well, and we ended up making a third again as much as we thought the event would bring. I had really bad arm pain on Friday, but Saturday I was comfortable, which was a blessing given I was in front of my laptop with few breaks from 8 AM open until twenty minutes before closing time at 4 PM. I was surprised at how much jewelry was left over; my uncle and I had thought that it would be the backbone of the weekend. It just goes to show that there is absolutely no way to tell how a given sale will perform.
I may have a house sitter if I do go to Korea in January – a friend of mine has told me that she's theoretically willing to take up residence in my guest bedroom and take care of my cat, which would be wonderful on several counts: Trixie wouldn't have to move to Virginia, I would get regular updates on her, and I would know that somebody obsessively tidy was enjoying the stuff I have accumulated. I hate having things effectively stored that someone could be using meantime. My mother likes the idea too.