Friday, August 31, 2012

Last Day of August

How did it come upon us so quickly. Seems like summer began a moment ago, and now it's moving along. I'm just hoping the lovely weather will stick around a wee bit longer.

I still have these great plans to write posts at home where I can add photos, but after being out of the house for 11 or so hours everyday, I tend to be pretty vegetative in the evenings, and weekends have this way of disappearing just about the time I get settled in enough to want to be productive. So there were several photo worthy summer events, as well as a few remaining Czech pictures that I want to post, but they'll have to remain delayed gratification issues for now.

I guess all I really have to say is that life remains in the works. There are so many plans and ideas swimming around that it's hard to catch my breath long enough to get any of them done. Suffice it to say, we seem to have survived the slow summer, and are hoping to see things pick up as vacationers return, and people suffering from the doldrums of the return to Oregon's prolonged rainy season seek us out for some retail therapy ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Touch of Tiny Fingers

A woman came in the shoppe today with her three year old granddaughter. They wandered around here and there looking at a variety of things. It was near closing time, so I sat at the front desk, listening to their interactions. It wasn't long before the inevitable conversation took place: you can look, but don't touch.

I purposely have very clear memories of being a small child. At an early age, I determined not to forget the feelings that burned inside of my young spirit. Being talked down to drove me bonkers. Discovering bits of onion in my food set my teeth on edge. Drinking powdered milk kicked in my overly developed gag reflex. (The list of food issues could go on for ages...) and every trip to the fabric store filled me with a burning desire to touch EVERYTHING.

I can't help but wonder what it is about small children that makes every experience so intense. I've been told scientifically that taste buds change with age. Yes, I do willingly eat things I once termed to be barfola. Our emotional skin hardens to the insults that once rocked our worlds. We learn the borders in society that frown upon inappropriate behaviors that start as innocent fascination in the young.

I guess my question is, what do we lose as we move away from early discovery, and become the people society expects us to be? I'm not suggesting shuffling off all the shackles of social norms, but perhaps we could all benefit from taking a moment to run our fingers over the rough and sparkly surface of a handmade card, or let our hands caress the bolts of fabric in the aisles, at least as long as we make sure to wash them first ;)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Cool Can 80* Be???

Portland is going through a touch of a heat wave these days. Fine by me, but the natives are grumbly. You'd think 300+ days of gray, drippy, depressing weather would be enough for them, but apparently that is not the case. After two days of weather over the 80* mark they start to let me know how unfavorable they find the temperature.

Having a shop that sells chocolate, and also caters to an older set, running the air conditioner on these toasty days is essential. Now, I will admit that temps over 100 can be a bit much, but it's still a far cry from the intense heat in Redding, CA, or the extreme humidity in Hong Kong. All the same, I've enjoyed telling the people who have commented on how nice and cool it is in the shoppe today, that I have the thermostat set at 80. Guess it just shows how relative things are...

We're hoping to do some deep cleaning here at the shoppe this weekend, which will no doubt make us even more thankful for the cool breeze. We want to get things looking all nice and fresh before we load the place up for the holidays. Guess I'll be pushing for the blessings of commercialism this time I said, it's all relative.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Days of Uncertainty...

I've been trying to answer the question of who I am lately, and coming up befuddled. I've always been... I hesitate to use the word "cheap," so let's say "economical." There really has never been any other option in my life. Now, however, I own this store, which is driven by people buying things. I NEED people to buy things. Not just things that are on sale, but preferably the full priced merchandise. The thing is, it goes against what I would do personally, so I feel conflicted in the process.

When a person looks around a while, then leaves without a purchase, I find myself questioning what went wrong. "We have so many lovely cards and fun gifts, why didn't they get anything?" I ask myself. But how many times have I done the very same thing, never once thinking about how the person behind the counter might be feeling.

On quiet Saturdays, like today, I find myself willing people in off the streets, hoping they'll be overtaken by a need for fudge or a truffle, envisioning their delight in pop up cards, colorful scarves, or the beautiful photos in the cookbooks we have on display. But if I was in their position, I'd likely look around a while, then convince myself not to spend.

In this era of crisis, I keep finding information on how to save more and go without new things. That's all fine and good, and I do it all the time, but how can I justify that attitude next door to the need to keep our store running? Baffling, no?

Then I think of writing, I see my sad, neglected blog, my dusty journals, and my still unpublished manuscripts. Can I claim to be a writer? Am I still justified in longing for someone to buy a card, while denying myself to even enter a shopping mall? So many things to ponder as I sit and watch a fly buzzing along the shop window without a care in the world...