There is a scent of caramel in the air, deliciously entwined with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. My daughter and I are sampling coffee grinds in an effort to winnow down the premier offerings when the stainless steel machine has its inaugural service at the newly reopened location of the bookstore.
Admittedly, I’m not a regular coffee drinker and certainly no aficionado. That’s why I’m depending on the advice of others to help select some delicious blends. I am surprised, though. My recollection of coffee in the morning has no memory of caramel. Maybe if these sorts of coffee grinds had been around when I was younger, I’d be a cup o’Joe guy instead of a Mountain Dew-er.
I actually took a second cup of this Amazonian Caramel. It is that good, straight from the pot.
The electrical outlets are ready to accommodate the coffeemaker in the new bookstore kitchen, receptacles lined along the wall, each glowing in the dark with a tiny green light. Flip on the switch and the brand-new stainless steel sink reflects the bright overhead lighting. Beautiful tile flooring is underfoot. It’s not a big area, but perfectly suited for its intent.
To my eyes, the space is nearing readiness.
There are glowing red exit signs over the doorways, just-installed. The air is dusted with newness and wood stain oils, fresh paint and grout. Bathrooms now feature basin sinks and wall mirrors over the vanities. For those interested, the mop basin is plumbed and ready to handle the janitorial cleanups.
Outside, glass is now thermal pane. The address is clearly marked in the sash over the front door: 122. Overhead, the frame for the canopy awning has been restored and is ready to accept the canvas. The bricks have been painted to match the facades of the adjoining buildings.
Waiting to be installed are just-acquired fixtures from Book Alley in Tulsa, whose owner is moving to Houston. She shut the store for good on Tuesday. Wednesday, shelving was hauled out in preparation for installation in the new McHuston Booksellers location. I’m tickled to be able to preserve a bit of the area’s literary history: six large wooden units once handled the inventory at Novel Idea, one of the last large independent bookstores in Tulsa that featured strictly new books. They faced stiff competition when Barnes and Noble opened just a couple of miles away across from Woodland Hills Mall. Ironically, those shelves will sit next to retired Barnes and Noble shelving also acquired from Book Alley.
There is a lot of work ahead, to get everything in readiness, and we’re all anxious to get started.