Part 1: Picking up Sophie
Our books had made a nerve-wracking 4-day journey from the printing press in Brainerd, Minnesota to a warehouse in Lake Forest, California, narrowly escaping the wrath of brutal mid-west winter weather countless times along the way. When we got a call from the warehouse terminal early that Wednesday morning, we let out nothing short of a sigh of relief - the books had been delivered, dry and unscathed, and were waiting peacefully in their boxes for us to pick them up and take them home. So far, so good.
After renting a U-Haul truck, realizing it had no rearview mirror, coming to terms with that, making a quick stop at Del Taco, trying not to spill said Del Taco over the inside of the U-Haul truck, and a surprisingly smooth 20-minute drive on the 405 freeway in a vehicle that seemed to be void of proper shocks, we arrived at the warehouse terminal. With the help of some foreman and a forklift, the books were loaded into the back of the U-Haul truck within minutes after we arrived. Except for one box, which I was holding - more like guarding - under my arm. That box was loaded into the driver and passenger cab of the U-Haul, where Laura and I couldn't help but open it like we were kids sneaking a Christmas present on Christmas Eve.
Carefully, we each took a book out of the box and held it in our hands. We were both silent, running our hands over the cover and flipping through the pages. We had seen the words and pictures so many times over the past year that we expected to be so used to them, immune to their creativity and uniqueness. But no. We each read the book cover to cover, our eyes pouring over each page, laughing and giggling out loud, like 6 year old kids reading it for the first time. Closing the book, Laura smiled. "Perfect", she said.
Once we checked, double checked, and triple checked the lock on the back of the U-Haul lift-gate - the last thing we wanted was a sea of our beloved books to jump out of the back of the U-Haul like a scene from Toy Story - we were on our way, both of us feeling exhilarated. The pick-up had gone smoothly, the books looked great, and to top it all off, it had even stopped raining.
After a quick drive we pulled into our self-publishing headquarters and threw open the lift-gate of the U-Haul. That's when we realized something, and reality set in. There was no foreman here, no forklift. There was no one in the parking lot but the two of us. Looking back and forth at each other and the boxes, we both were thinking the same thing. How the heck are we going to get 30 boxes, at 35 lbs each, out of the truck, up a flight of stairs, and into the office? And once we've done that, how exactly are we going to go about sorting, packing, and shipping them all by tomorrow? Well that's Part 2 of our adventure, and for another post...