Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

The day began quite early.  I arrived and opened the shop by 7:30 yesterday morning.  You see, there was to be a parade on Main Street beginning around 9 am but rumors had it that the streets would be lined by eager residents much earlier.  I translated that to what we know from the Solanco Parade.  I figured I would have a hard time getting a parking spot and driving through the crowds to the shop.
Well, it wasn't quite like that.  At 7:30 there were a few people around but it definitely wasn't crowded.  They didn't end up closing Main Street until sometime after 9am.  However, I was there and it was so much fun to see neighbors gather on foot, coming from neighborhoods all around.

The parade moved me to tears.  I'm definitely a softie for all things patriotic but there was the added component that we were remembering those who willingly went into danger for us.  I'm simply not that brave.  But completely appreciate the sacrifices made by those men and women as well as the ongoing grief of families left behind.

Here are some photos from the morning.

This represented the Strasburg Railroad.
I saw the young man who had hosted us on our train ride
just the other day.
He was walking and handing out train brochures ahead of 
the antique Ford.

I didn't know there was a community band.
They were quite good.

The antique fire truck coming  before.....today's version.

One of seven John Deere Tractors.

And then the most embarrassing story of the day!

I didn't realize that the parade comes back!
It comes back to the memorial in front of our shop.

In the morning when I put my sign out I purposely put it behind the memorial
so that it wouldn't be in the way of the parade watchers.
However, in doing so I put it directly beside the flagpole.
Now, the flag was already up and I never thought about them
doing something to it.

My mistake!

Everyone returned to this spot and the flag, which was up came down.
It kept getting caught and the gentleman also had to deal with my 
sign at his elbow.
I was inside the shop watching with flaming cheeks.
How awful!!
And there was nothing I could do about it.

Finally the flag was replaced with a new one and the band burst out in song.
I sighed with relief that this happening was about to be over.

I have no idea why they wouldn't have simply moved the sign
or come to me so I could move it.
But I'll know better next year!!
No sign until AFTER the parade and ceremony.

The ceremony was pretty awesome!!

We had a bit of a rush after the parade and I enjoyed showing the 
shop to some acquaintances who hadn't been there yet.

Then we were off on another adventure.

We recently joined the Lancaster County Visitor's Bureau.
It is known as Discover Lancaster.
As it would happen there was an opening for us to have a retail
display at the Visitor Center.
Not an everyday happening....normally all of that space is filled.
We were offered an entire wall.
I was going to be conservative and take half of the wall
but I think they have convinced me to go for it
and I'll be looking for another display piece or two
and keep it all stocked.
Kind of like a baby shop that someone else staffs for us.
Hard to resist!

So, with Warren's help we picked up a new display piece from a 
consignment furniture store and went over to the Visitor Center.
I had packed an assortment of items not knowing how they would
all fit together on the new display piece.

Chelsea set it up and I think it looks pretty good 
for a quick turnaround.
We will continue to add, change and fluff.
It's what we do.

This gift shop is open to the public and has hours daily.
You are more than welcome to pop in here to make a purchase
if you can't make it to Strasburg on any given day!!
Of course, we won't carry many of our artisan items here
simply because of liability but in a pinch you would 
still be able to find cool stuff!!
Neat jewelry, etc.

Looking at this I already have ideas to make it even better. 
Can't wait to get on that!!
But for less than a week turnaround I'm very pleased.
My daughter is pretty stinkin good at display and we get 
daily comments on it.
Proud Mama moment.

I finished out the day at the shop...until 5.
When I went out to close I decided to take some 
photos of the flags in the ferns...placed there by someone from the borough.

And the Memorial.
Seeing the flowers on it 
really touched my heart.

I came home and found
Warren on his mom's porch with her so I 
headed there where we decided to see what restaurants
were open and pick one for dinner.

Mom was at a picnic with a ministry from her church.

The three of us ended up at Texas Roadhouse and enjoyed a 
very nice dinner together before I came home and made
a candle order which had to ship out today.

Finally, my head hit the pillow and I'm sure the snores
commenced within minutes.

What a wonderful and fulfilling day!

God Bless America!
Land that I truly LOVE!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pebbles & Lace - Beyond My Hopes and Dreams

I've been away from the blog for a while now because I figure you don't want to hear day by day recounting of shop stuff.  But since that is pretty much what my days are taken up with I wouldn't have any idea what else to write about.  So....here we go again....my thoughts and some photos from the shop.


It has been so amazing and rewarding.  From the people we have met, the items we find to sell and working with Mom and Chelsea.  All of it.  Is surpassing my hopes.

There have been times when I've been so exhausted that silly things happen.  On Saturday I asked a man if he was "looking for a woman" when I meant to ask if he was looking for his wife.  Thankfully my dear Warren was sitting with me at the table outside our shop so I wasn't accused of propositioning the gentleman and we all got a huge laugh out of it.

There have been times when I could minister to customers who are lonely or hurting.  

I have made many, many new friends.  It brings joy when they come in to chat and explore the new things added to the shop.

Being with my daughter almost daily as she progresses through her pregnancy is a joy.  I love that she can work as much or as little as her body can handle.  It will be great once the baby boy arrives to share shop and baby care duties.

A satisfaction I didn't anticipate as much as the reality is writing out checks to our artisans.  Man, that is fun! I love the fact that we can generate income for those who are creative.  This should just get better and better as we get into the tourist season of Lancaster County.

From our rushed opening to this day just about three months later I can tell you that my hopes didn't come close to the reality.  I under anticipated how very much I would enjoy being a shop owner.

There was the woman from Turkey who purchased a painted jar to take back as her souvenir of her visit.  Tina Knox, the artist, is so happy that her work is now "international".  

The neighbors of the shop have been so sweet to us.  I can't begin to tell you.....it is such a blessing!

Our landlord is super supportive.  We couldn't ask for anyone better.

It is so great that our location is so close to Warren's workplace.  We are right on his way home so he often pops in at the end of the day so we can make our plans for the evening.  Honestly, by then, my brain and body are quite tired and so we go out to dinner.  But it is precious time together that with all of the busyness wouldn't likely happen if our logistics weren't so perfect.

It is a blessing to have created a space that is hard to leave even after a long, exhausting day.  It is peaceful, pretty and "home".  Chelsea's display talents have led to a space that doesn't look like every other shop.  We aren't super elegant.  We aren't clever.  We are comfortable.  We are cozy.  We are unique.

It is so hard to close one day a week.  Or to take my day off.  However, those days are usually spent in finding beautiful things to bring back to the shop.  And more recently to get back to spending time with friends that I have missed as we have been so busy just getting the shop up and running.  I know this time is necessary for our long term survival.  Even great things get old if you don't give yourself time to breathe.

There is pressure to be open some hours on Sundays.  Tempting....due to the nature of the town and those who stroll it on the weekends.  However our minds, souls and bodies need time to recharge.  I believe our time is better spent being with our church families and then resting when we can.

The photos through this post are just random shots that I have taken in recent days.  Thanks for bearing with my jumbled thoughts about this new thing in our lives.

Reminding myself to hold MY plans lightly.
HIS plans are better.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Happy Anniversary Chelsea and Chadd

One year ago today it was pouring rain and it was running in rivers across the floor of the wedding tent.  But we were so grateful to HAVE a tent!  Our venue was simply the best and a definite gift from the Lord.  We had two tents.  One for the ceremony and reception.  The other was our appetizer tent.  It was so fun!

Choosing photos quickly this morning because I need to go open the shop....
but here are a few fav's.  
Wish I had time to find more family pictures....

This past year has not been uneventful but it has been one of meaning and growth for all of us.  We are so close as a family and our pride and joy in this couple is stronger than ever.

Happy Anniversary, Chelsea and Chadd.  Looking forward to what God has in store for you in this second year of your marriage.