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Monday, June 6, 2016

More Months Have Passed, Moment by Moment

It's hard to admit how long I have let this blog lie unattended, but the truth is in the dated posts. One might think my life had slowed down considerably, with little to write of here on this page. Truth be told, much has been happening.

The quilt shop has grown in size and now has an established following of quilters and friends who come in sometimes to shop, and sometimes to share ... they share stories, accomplishments, wishes and thoughts. Each one brings a new element to my life as a shop owner and sometimes writer, and each one is dear to me. Rick is my steadfast better half, and his contributions to the shop's existence is evident not only in the shelves that he's built but in the more organized space that improved traffic flow and display-staging; without his participation it would be no more than a hodgepodge of unsorted paper files, bolts of fabric piled one on top of another hiding their individual beauty, and lost thoughts meant to be shared.

MS - if that is what it is - and most say it is - MS continues to wrest little chinks out of my cognitive abilities. What became evident five years ago as a loss of short term memory and proper nouns (read that: people's name) has blossomed into a true cognitive impairment causing loss of sense of direction, sense of scent, sense of sound direction, awareness of time parameters, and ability to make thoughtful decisions.

Yet I continue to believe that I will be able to continue to write Helen and Henry's mystery series of the quilt shop and toy shop's future ... and I continue to believe that customers will take advantage of the local accessibility of beautiful fabrics and threads and notions we can stock. I know in my heart that Rick is seen and recognized now as the creative wood artist that he is, and the dependable community member that he has always been.

We have the summer long Row by Row™ shop hop approaching in a few weeks, and at the end of the summer, we  have two major events ahead; our own Humble Beginnings Adventure at the end of September, and more importantly, our son Rob and Heather's wedding mid-October.

That our local quilt guild moved their annual show from spring to the end of September and our local melanoma fundraising 5k run/walk moved its schedule to the same weekend, both causing a conflict with the inaugural Humble Beginnings plans, has somehow not phased me. 'If we have it, they will come,' to paraphrase a movie title. Rick is confident. The other small-shop owners are confident, and so I will remain positive and be prepared despite the obstacles placed in our path. But I will hold back a bit on the optimism ... our daughter Trish would tell me that's a defense mechanism, but perhaps less taxing on my emotions than outright anxiety over failure would be.

My quilt shop is meant to be my happy place ... if it makes enough money to pay for its existence, I am content. I no longer see it as a source for increased income to replace that portion of my retirement lost through my early departure from the classrooms ... Once we thought we would have had enough to pay the bills and do some traveling,.. but when MS cut that planned 'extra money' out of my pension, and the quilt shop expenses began to outreach its income, it had to become our 'instead of traveling we can be happy here at home' plan ... and it has.

It is always delightful when a new customer finds us online and comes to visit the shop ... most all enter and immediately smell the scent of Rick's woodworking, and see his beautiful plaques and the strong shelves that display an abundance of colorful fabrics. When they move through the rooms and find the little treasures here and there, tucked between the shelves or in the cubbies that once were dressing rooms in this former dress shop (where yes, I did buy the going away dress for my wedding forty-six years ago) their exclamations of surprise and appreciation warm our souls and cheer our spirits.

And when our 'regulars' arrive to share a photo of their projects, or look for 'just the right color' to finish one, their smiles are met by our own, and the thank yous and your welcomes overlap comfortably.

Helen and Henry are still perched on their bench watching over the shop and us, holding out to us the promise that we will still be here enjoying this happy place when we, too, reach the sixtieth anniversary of our wedding as we turn eighty, proud and self-sufficient shop owners that we are becoming.

As for reviewing books (the original goal of this  particular blog )... I am challenged by the lesions in my brain which now are contributing to atrophy and some existent black holes, but have recently realized that although I cannot retain enough content in reading adult books, I can again enjoy reading and sharing children's books. While my reviewing vocabulary may be shrinking with those brain cells, it can only become easier for children to understand my take on the books that they can enjoy reading. And I will then set a new course for reading and reviewing, and may then find a new audience. Helen and Henry will be satisfied with that.

Meanwhile, I am back to publishing earlier writings of mine; here is a new collection of essays related to health:
Click here to find this book at Amazon,
or come into the shop
to buy a copy and save the shipping!

Thanks for stopping by!