Another new day <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
I'm excited because a friend of mine from HI is here in town and he's taking me to lunch today! I almost never close the store during the day, and I rarely eat lunch unless it's on the fly... this gentleman is somewhat of a celebrity in my industry circles - he's a coral researcher and author. I'd been reading his work for some 20-ish years, in books and magazines and we met about 4 years ago when he came to town to give a talk to our local hobby club, and we hit it off like old friends. He's actually from this area originally but he lives in Hawaii now. Anytime he comes to the mainland he makes a trip home to see his parents and he always drops in on me, usually unannounced. It was kind of intimidating the first couple of times... such a "celebrity" landing on my humble little shop that could always use more cleaning and tidying - but nowadays it's like he's stopping to visit family - come as you are, take me as I am. I love it.
About 6 weeks ago a club member (I'm not a member of said club anymore - although I founded it!) called me to give me a heads up that Dana would be in town the week following a North American conference being held in PA, so I could expect to hear from him. The conference was last weekend, so I've sort of "expected" that Dana would come through the door anytime this week. He called me yesterday and we've got a lunch date today! I believe his lady friend Sara is with him today too - she doesn't come on every trip, but someone who was at the conference said she was there, so I'm guessing she'll come too. She's a sweet lady, we've only met a couple of times, but we hit it off well too.
Dana and I are like old friends who have known each other forever, but we only met a few years ago, and we only get together once or twice a year - we rarely communicate in between visits, but when he comes, we catch up on whatever has been going on since the last time we met...it's an interesting friendship.
For a 'celebrity' he's very down to earth, and I'm very proud to call him my friend. That and I have a standing invitation to stay with him and Sara if I ever make it out to Hawaii.... *sigh* - wish I could go! One day...
So I have that to look forward to today, and can you tell I'm excited about it?!
B really helped me out yesterday too. He finished work early and came by the shop. I'd told him that I was 'expecting' Dana sometime this week and my date was set when B came by. He knew I was in a bit of 'panic mode' to get the shop cleaned up - so he asked how he could help <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I gave him a task to do, and began it with him and I got busy with customers so while I did that, he tidied away and got things looking good. Whew - what a lift! I thanked him very much and his smile told me that he meant it when he said he was happy to help.
During this time, XH came in for his nightly drive-by - he actually had to run out and do a service call at a client's home, when he arrived I was gathering the things he'd need to take to the client's. When he saw B with his hands in a tank, he laughed - smiled, nodded - hard to explain but as he greeted B his expression acknowledged appreciation and sort of a, "you've been sucked into the vortex" of this business/hobby <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> It was good. B laughed back in acknowledgment and the men exchanged relaxed greetings. Nice that everybody's getting along - and I'm sure that's a dynamic that many people won't be able to understand - but hey, it works for us.
During all this busy chaos, another customer came in who'd ordered 1200+ pounds of aquarium salt (big tank!). He used to have a truck but does not anymore, and he wanted to arrange for us to deliver the salt. XH was on his way out, so he couldn't do it then, tonight DD has a football game (marching band) and this weekend XH is gone camping with the kids... so delivery arrangements might not have been able to be made til next week. B stepped up and said, "Yep, we can take that over tonight!" WOW! So after the customer left, and XH went to do his work, B and I loaded up the 1200 or so lbs of salt (in buckets) on the truck. B went home for a while, but came back at closing time and we went to deliver the salt. We went inside at the client's and looked at his system - he's been a client of mine for several years and I've wanted to check out his setup, but had never had an opportunity before. I was a bit afraid that B might find this boring - but no... he was asking questions and oohing and ahing just as I was <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Yep, B is definitely being drawn to the hobby... in fact he was digging his old tank out of the attic last night.. he used to keep freshwater fish, now he's going to take the plunge into saltwater... with my help <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
We finished up pretty late as the customer is more chatty than B and I combined (!!!!) so we stopped and got take-out on the way back to my place. Least I could do was feed the man after he did so much for me! *g*
DS is still at XH's and DD was out with her BF and family, we got to the house at the same time as DD was being dropped off. Her BF is such a nice young man.. he walked her to the door and I teased them as I came inside first and told them I'd let them be but I'd be flicking the porch light in a minute LOL! Hey - my kids do the same thing to me! Turnaround is fair play! M gave DD a nice hug as he said good night - they're so cute. Ah young love....
DD had eaten - in fact she brought home leftover Chinese food and we'd picked up Chinese food so there's enough left for lunches today!
The sweetest thing was as DD was saying good night - she was off to bed almost as soon as she got home, she gave me her usual hug good night and she turned to B and said, "Good night, dude!" and she gave him a "Howie Mandel" style hand punch... not sure how to call it but everybody's doing that nowadays. I thought that was nice - she's showing B affection in an appropriate way. He responded in kind. I knew DS liked B from the beginning because DS was the one who encouraged me to contact B in the first place (regarding geocaching/gold panning)... and DS was eager to meet him the first time at the group social we went to, but I wasn't sure how DD was feeling and she's not always very open. This was a big sign to me that she likes B. She's an affectionate person - and that she's showing B some affection is a great thing <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Well I guess it's time I got moving - I've got a busy day today! DD has a game tonight too, and B will be coming with us to help work the concession stand.