My family is the first thing I think of whenever a holiday approaches. It doesn't matter if it's the 4th of July, Christmas or the upcoming Memorial Day, I habitually give thought to the people I love during these fun seasons of the year. I have immediate and extended family members in states all across America. I have family members located in every region of the USA. From aunts and uncles in Georgia, Colorado, Vermont and North Carolina to first cousins in California, Minnesota, Florida and Texas, my relatives never cease to keep my options open for new places to visit. In fact, since I have so many relatives living in different locations, I virtually never am able to see each relative in the same place at the same time. My grandparents, however, are really good about scheduling events every two years or so and pressuring each family member into making the trek down to their home in North Carolina. I like to attend these reunions, as I enjoy catching up with everyone and learning about the new things that are happening in each person's life.
Family reunions with my relatives are a lot of fun. My grandmother always cooks her best meal, my Uncle Bill plays the bartender and serves everyone drinks and my grandfather, once he's done eating, tells stories about my father and his brothers and sisters. This storytelling session usually lasts for hours, as everyone likes to chime in with his or her own explanation of what is being told. This is always my favorite part of the reunion because I always get to hear a new story about something embarassing that my dad did when he was a teenager. The best story that my Uncle Jimmy tells is about the time my dad was supposed to wear a tuxedo to pick up his Aunt Sally from the church on her wedding day. The way my uncle tells the story is that Aunt Sally and her new husband John were exiting the church to get in the limousine having been married for all of ten minutes, and instead of their driver (my father) wearing the nice white tuxedo that Aunt Sally had picked out, he was instead wearing a full body gator costume complete with teeth and a scaled tail. Needless to say, my Aunt Sally was not amused. However, according to my uncle, the rest of the people at the wedding, though somewhat baffled, thought it was hilarious. My dad is now a doctor and all of his years practicing medicine have humbled him, so I always let out a little chuckle everytime I think of him being such a trickster.
My grandmother is the sweetest little lady on the planet. She is an amazing cook and loves it when she gets to take care of everyone. She also always brings up a story about the day that I was born. I have heard this story over one hundred times now. She always begins by describing every detail about the weather that day. It was a steamer of a Tuesday and the sky looked like it was going to open up at any second throughout the day, though it never rained. My grandmother always tells the story because I share a birthday with my cousin Martha, who is older than me. My mother and father were at Martha's eleventh birthday party when my mother said it was time to go to the hospital. Martha was really excited to get a new cousin for her birthday that year. In fact, Martha still lights up every time she hears my grandmother tell the story about our birthday.
I've been my own boss for the better part of a decade. I own a bookstore in Manhatten and I love hanging out with and talking to my customers about books. When I got the idea to open a bookstore, I had no idea how I should spread the word in order to build a customer base with whom I could share my passion, as this was my first solo business endeavor. I talked to my friend Jim and he recommended that I create my own metal sign. He told me that when he was in business for himself he always advertised with custom metal signs because they afforded him the freedom to say what he wanted. I took his advice and designed a sandwich board style metal business sign to display on the sidewalk in front of my shop. This metal sign was my first attempt at advertising my store, and I still use thetoday, ten years later.
I guess the reason I told you about my family reunions is because I compare my grandmother's ability to recount the day I was born with my ability to recount the day I first started using business signage. I could keep going with my description of the day, but I'll spare you the details that probably only I find interesting. My custom metal sign has been with me through all of the trials and tribulations of owning my own business, and I'm happy to say that the sign is still with me today.All of our custom metal business signs are shipped out FAST and FREE! to promote my bookshop. It was the first beautiful day in an April that had been unusually rainy and cold. I had a Thai dish for dinner that night because there was a Thai eating house located next door to where I bought my