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Najat Clayton is enjoying life in the small Indiana town of Evansville, where she lives.
Najat Clayton has been working in the rug business in Evansville ever since she moved there in 2007. Evansville, it should be mentioned in passing, is the third largest city in the southern part of the state and is the center of medicine, commerce and culture not only for Southwestern Indiana, but also for the tri-state area that includes Illinois and Kentucky. Najat Clayton has a good knowledge of accounting, having studied the field at the University of Delaware prior to moving to Indiana, and she has put that knowledge to good use in the rug store where she works, Rugs & More. She also has complete charge of the store, which covers 1,600 square feet, while her partner, a nationally-known rug expert by the name of Pete Sherman, is in Atlanta teaching classes in certification and repairing rugs. She has made trips to New York City and Chicago to buy new material for the business.
The store in which Ms. Clayton works features rugs of different sizes and styles from many parts of the world, including Persia, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan and other countries that have a long history of making rugs and carpets.
Najat Clayton has quite a history behind her. In addition to her present work in the rug business, she lived in Dover, Delaware, prior to her move to Evansville. While still in the state, she attended the University of Delaware and studied accounting, a discipline which would prove useful to her years later when she served as accountant for Rugs & More.
Najat Clayton has also been an avid reader ever since she was a young girl, when it was not too uncommon to find her reading the newest book from her library with a flashlight in the middle of the night, a habit in which she has continued to engage. Fiction of almost every kind under the sun (she cares nothing for nonfiction or “memoir-esque” literature) attracted her — science fiction dystopia, serial romance, horror, and generally any type of book that she can afford. Romance is one of her preferred categories. Fantasy appeals to her, as well — these kinds of stories almost always involve magic of one sort or another. Science fiction, on the other hand, deals with those things which are possible — or at least plausible — given the state of what we now have, in terms of both knowledge and technological capacity. Some of the books in this category, such as 1984, deal with future dystopian societies.
And then there are mystery novels. Almost everyone who loves to exercise his or her mind will find it most rewarding to participate in the challenge of trying to figure out who committed the crime, not to mention the how of it, as well.
Clayton enjoys reading humor books, which are really among the most difficult to write, as they are not meant to be taken seriously but are written with the essential aim of entertaining the reader. She considers David Sedaris to be one of the best in this genre.
Another activity that Najat Clayton enjoys engaging in is playing with her Labrador dog Gus, whom she obtained from a kennel called Dogs for Hire, a humane society in her community that “rents out” their animals for several weeks to people who often end up deciding that they want to keep their pets, as was indeed the case with Najat Clayton. What a wonderful way of finding a home for animals that otherwise might never get a chance to be cared for by a loving owner!
Hoosier National Forest covers about 183,000 acres in south central Indiana, three counties to the east of where Najat Clayton lives. Trees that grow here include the black walnut, dogwood and redbud. Visitors can go hunting, fishing, riding down the scenic drives, hiking down the bison trail or swimming in the Lost, Ohio and White Rivers. Najat Clayton loves to take Gus on hunting trips here, and brings with them a tent and a 0° sleeping bag. At other times she takes him for walks on the bike path that follows the Ohio River.
Camping may be the kind of thing that makes many people cringe, inspiring thoughts of such unpleasant things as insects, dew and all the work that has to be done pitching and striking camp. But it can be a truly enjoyable activity if proper planning is done, which involves making sure that you have everything that you need — a tent, a sleeping bag, food, a cooler and a flashlight. Nothing else is really necessary, and only adds a great deal of extra weight which you will not want to carry with you when hiking. It is also important to choose the right time to go camping, as you will not want to be out in the wilderness at a time when you will be uncomfortably hot or moist or both. Picking the right place is also crucial — as Najat Clayton points out, why pay to camp in a certain place when you can pitch your tent elsewhere for free?
Safety rules need to be followed. Fuel should not be used to start a fire because it is too flammable and too uncontrollable. The right clothing should be worn so you do not get scratched or tangled in plant growth. Know what poisonous plants look like so you can avoid touching them, and stay on marked trails so you will be safe from snake bites and other dangers.
The biggest part of camping out is avoiding boredom, which you can do by choosing a place where there are attractions such as hiking trails, or lakes or rivers for fishing or swimming. On the other hand, sitting in a chair watching a campfire burn can be extremely relaxing and a great way to de-stress.
Her dog Gus also makes Najat Clayton’s passions more enjoyable, lying by her side while she reads or plays the guitar. He also eats whatever she does not eat — which is fortunate for him, because she is a real foodie, as well.
One of the main reasons why Najat Clayton came to live in Evansville is because it is home to so many art galleries, which is another of her biggest passions. She does regret having left her family back in Delaware, but she takes the time to visit them when she gets the chance.
She likes to play the guitar, too, and follows certain guidelines to make sure that her instrument remains in playable condition. Ms. Clayton is very strict about the regime that she follows in order to keep hers in top shape: She always stores it at room temperature on a mount, to save the trouble of taking it in and out of its case each time she wants to play it. Storing a guitar in this way helps to prevent it from cracking and gathering moisture. Her guitar is worth $500, and much more when the pleasure it brings her is considered.
Naturally, Clayton also devotes a large portion of her time to learning how to perfect her playing — learning new chords, new songs, and new playing styles. For her, there’s no point having such a precious instrument if one is not going to learn how to use it well.
Najat Clayton is undeniably a woman of many passions.
Najat Clayton has a pleasant and enjoyable future in store for her. She has a rewarding job as well as a whole set of hobbies to keep her occupied, not to mention a dog whom she rescued and has grown to love, who makes her hobbies even more enjoyable. What could she do in the future?
The rug business is a thriving one. Since people from all walks of life love to buy rugs with which to decorate their houses, a company like Rugs & More will never have a shortage of customers. She also plans to continue honing her skill with the guitar, and fully exploring the artists and art galleries that Evansville has to offer.
08/2000 to 05/2004
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