Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Dearest Bess,
There are many things to celebrate from your post:
* the marriage of your sis to a good man
* the Auction coming together
* the "debriefing" re what has worked well so far & what could be working better
* your buoyant spirit for the Library.
Way to go, hon.
Sending you & your folks lots of good tho'ts.

By Blogger Martha, at 8:31 PM  

happy birthday :D

By Anonymous dee, at 5:27 AM  

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006  


I’ve rounded the corner on AuctionAngst. It’s always a strain to do a NewThing, and the more people involved, the more hopes pinned to the outcome, the further out of your comfort zone you get, the greater the strain. My Friends group was slipping a little as an enthusiastic group with a successful purpose. We had to work so hard to actually build a real library most of us were exhausted once it opened. Even I walked around with tears streaking my cheeks for months as I adjusted to the down after such an incredible high. Adjusting to a bigger building with more staff, more books and 3 times the activity took up enough of my time that I let things slide in other areas. One of those areas was as an idea person and cheerleader for the Friends.

For a few years now, our group has been treading the same ground and the energy and enthusiasm for its very existence has waned. Of course I want an energized and excited friends group and I also want something special for the library to help us celebrate 2007, the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown - which, my dear readers outside of Virginia - was the very first permanent English speaking colony in the new world - the cornerstone of the whole structure we call America today. 400 years of Virginia history. 400 years of American history. Pretty durn exciting for this history minded gal. I want to purchase the back issues of our local paper on microfilm and get the reader/printer to boot. In this preserve of ancestor hunting and genealogy, we’re pretty well stocked for colonial info, but our 19th and 20th century stuff is pitiful. The Friends have rallied around the project and committed to helping us purchase the films and equipment in time for the 2007 celebrations. Spring of 2007, in fact.

So, we cast about for an idea to get the group organized, excited and proud of themselves, and copied this auction idea from a neighboring library. Truly copied it, in fact, with so few changes from Caroline County’s version the auctioneer had to tease me about it. He joined us yesterday for our committee’s last meeting and was full of assurances. We did lots of things right.

We copied a successful project
We met frequently - so nobody could procrastinate for more than 2 weeks
And at lunchtime - the library provided tea, fruit and sandwiches
We had almost enough division of labor - solicitations, publicity, site, caterer, labor - but we forgot to have a ticket selling person. We won’t do that again.
We have enough items to sell. We have more than enough items to sell. Soliciting donations is the easy part.
After twisting my gut into a knot about having all this stuff to sell and nobody to buy it, I personally walked down Prince Street (main street in my little town) and sold tickets - talk about being out of my comfort zone....sheesh!

My biggest fear was that we wouldn’t get enough people to come buy all this stuff we’d collected and then what was I going to do with it all!!??!! Of course, anxiety over that was becoming this looming black cloud trying to send lightening bolts into my stomach while consuming precious hours of sleep. I meditated. I contemplated. I concentrated on how happy I’d be when I was in the big room full of excited buyers. But it wasn’t till I took that first sip of champagne at my sister’s wedding luncheon that I began to put things into perspective. Happy sisters getting married to really nice men are the important things in life. Needful parents who don’t take their medicines are way more important than fundraising auctions for the library. Yesterday’s final meeting with the committee put an end to any other worries or anxieties, though knowing that we'd sold 50 tickets also helped. 50 is enough people to buy this stuff. Especially since 2 of them are in the antique business and can move the less desirable items to other venues and maybe even make a little profit from it.

The main thing for me is that I’ve reached the point where I know every step that has to be taken to get this thing to completion - come Saturday night at about 10:00. And once you know what needs to be done, well, there you have it. It’s just a matter of doing it.

I also have a little list of ThingsWeWillDoDifferently - Next Time. Who would have thought there would be 3 weddings on the 4th Saturday in September and it would be so hard to find a caterer!? Who, with a September birthday, would be so foolish as to schedule anything with responsibilities attached to it that month? Ha! We’ll hold our next one in March - before any interesting springtime activities have started up - when people are bored and looking for something to do.

The next 3 days will be extraordinarily busy. I believe it’s time for another of my Oh So Useful TTD Lists:

1. Meet auctioneer at storage unit to separate silent auction items from rest. Also ask him about a raffle and about displaying items
2. Call C and get 2 teenage girls to carry items to successful bidders
3. Collect ticket money from two banks, Helen, BH, Joanne
4. Call caterer with final headcount
5. Call D about flowers
6. Get final list of items Friday a.m.
7. Call J about cake
8. Call TG, AA, SB and son about moving things from storage to site
9. Give maintenance man final table count - and move tables from library
10. Call K and see if we can borrow more tables from St. John’s if needed
11. Get 2 husky fellows to move television from J’s house to storage unit
12. Finish up auction program
13. Write down instructions for auction clerks
14. Write up tip-sheet for radio interviewer - do radio interview at 8 a.m. on Friday!!

Ahhh. That feels so good. It’s so nice to know what I’m supposed to do next.

Happy knitting to you all. I’ll be knitting happily next week.

posted by Bess | 6:40 AM