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Early January 2021

We’re So Sorry . . .

It has already been quite a year for me here in the new homestead. I get all kinds of love-notes and apologies in my retail e-mail, but none from people I actually know!

Sometimes, that’s the way the ball bounces. And in these times, we all need to have balls, especially ones that bounce! The bouncy ball of life comes to call at the oddest moments.

This morning the rains came, down, again. I am warm and dry and cozy, however, with lights and heat and fireplaces that click FLAME with the flick of a button. No more hauling in logs to dry on the hearth before I build the fire, and then go look for paper products, pine needles and those last few pine cones for . . . tinder?

You know, the stuff you use to spark a flame for a fire, or get the flame going.

I just Duck-Ducked the word, tinder, and, yes, there it is — Tinder Dating. Make Friends and Meet New People.

Oh, the newest form of E-Harm. Reminds me of the time I had to tell a friend that Craig’s List is not a dating service.

Also this morning, I received the first of my twice-daily emails from Lehman’s Non-Electric.


Obviously, the Lehman folks have found their California mass-market contingent. Someone needs to explain to the lovely Lehmans that during the Wet Season, we have adequate power here in California.

They are very prompt and efficient people at this family business with whom I have done business for about twenty years. My 2nd email let me know, without a doubt:

They REALLY want me to understand the hell they have been through during this past year. And, after reading this written form of self-flagellation, a literary stationary Whack-a-Mole, I felt compelled to answer their supplication for customer mercy. I did so, and then received an automated response. I am sure they will get to my message sometime today, or tomorrow, or whenever it is that Non-Electric People deal with e-mails.

If they are at all like me, it’s gonna be a while!

Here is the request for mercy, a composition of rare sincerity, that, in all fairness, now belongs to me, or my In-box!

Dear Friend,

Thanks for your previous order! I’m incredibly sorry for the delays you’ve experienced. You have my word that we tried our best and pulled out every stop to fill your order promptly despite the pandemic crisis.

I am writing now to give you an update on your back ordered items.

But first, I wanted to give you a quick update on the progress we’ve made.

Here are the challenges we faced:

  • Some of our suppliers closed their doors during the quarantine.
  • We had more calls and orders than usual.
  • To get to safe social distancing, we had to cut the number of staff allowed into the building by about half.
  • We hired an answering service to help us, and the people they put on the phone weren’t always polite.

Here’s what we are doing to make things right:

  • We reconfigured our warehouse and offices to allow more workers safely.
  • We are hiring, and have added a second shift.
  • We’ve given manufacturers orders that are large enough to help ensure that we can supply you.

We just confirmed the delivery time on your order, and it’s unfortunately not expected for more than a month. Since the delay is so long, we plan to cancel it if we don’t hear from you by 1/8/21.



We’ll keep it on back order until we can ship it. If you want to cancel immediately, that is also no problem. We just want you to be happy!

But no matter what happens, please forgive me and my staff if we let you down during this crisis. We were breaking our backs to do it right, but I know that along the way we broke some hearts by not shipping fast enough or by not answering your calls or emails well enough.

I’m sorry!



Dear Lehmans:

I really cannot remember what the order was, but whatever it was, I understand.

Here I am in California — pity me!!

Best wishes, Debra



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Have a wonderful day,

Lehman's Customer Service Team

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Yes, indeedy — all of this communication simplifies life to its barest of essentials!