Yes, I will eventually get around to completing the sad and crazy story of “Once Upon a Time I Had a Store.” Just not anytime soon. I’d started the next blog, when two things happened.
First, I realized that there are people out there, people I still keep in touch with as well as those I do not, who would not take the blog the right way. Already, every time I mention those days, the people I’m not talking about get hurt thinking I’m complaining about them, and the people I am complaining about just don’t get it.
So instead of setting off another hornets’ nest, I figure let’s leave well enough alone. For now.
Also, I got what I consider a HUGE HINT FROM THE GODS. Some might think it’s just a matter of my own clutsiness, but I know better. I’m well-practiced with all the implements, devices, tools, and weapons in my kitchen. Very well practiced. I haven’t cut my finger in years…so many years, in fact, that I can’t remember when it happened.
Last week, after beginning a rough draft of the last part of “Once Upon a Time…” I had a vicious maiming incident with a mandolin slicer. Seriously? Why, yes. Indeed. A nice big chunk of skin from the top of my right pinky finger was simply hanging…and I bled profusely.
I have now learned how important the pinky finger is. The worst part of the cut is close to the side of the nail bed, on the outside of the finger. There is no lifting gallons of milk, no opening doors with my right hand, no proper typing techniques. That was the bad part…the good part was that there was also no washing dishes or heavy cleaning… 😀 It has been quite the learning experience. The pinky finger is far more important than I ever really gave it credit for.
So instead of blathering on about the last few years of the store, I’ll just fill in the most important details, as in why it was closed.
The non-profit-group owned the theater, the intention all along was to restore it to it’s formal glory. Unfortunately, in the mean time some sort of income was necessary to pay the pills; gas, electrical, mortgage, etc. The fundraisers they had and donations they received helped a little, but it never was quite enough. Eventually, the inside of the theater was rented out to a church. The rent the church paid was just enough to pay the mortgage, and little else.
Eventually, the church grew too big. They decided they absolutely had to have Sunday School classrooms, five to be exact. If they didn’t get enough rooms for their Sunday school, they would be pulling out to find a more suitable location. The landlord was faced with a decision; the Church that was paying the mortgage or me.
I hold no grudge against the way things panned out. I knew I’d be asked to leave sooner or later, but had hoped it would be after one last holiday season. I was wrong. Since I was on a month-to-month lease, he asked me to pack my bags, and I did. For a little while, it looked like we were going to reach some sort of compromise. The preacher from the Church had actually given us permission to use the room during the week. They would only be using it on Sundays, after all. We wouldn’t be able to have permanent displays, but we’d be able to bring in a few items for sale and continue with Tarot readings in the meantime. It might have gotten us through until we could have found a better location.
I even suggested to the landlord that I go back inside the theater; I had a great deal of fun running his tours, and wouldn’t bother the kids’ stuff that way.
It took an entire week before they actually told us anything; we kept showing up thinking we’d be let back into the store after they were done painting. Every day, they managed to keep at it until there would be no point in us staying. Every day, they told us they’d be done with it the next day. So silly us, we came back. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Unfortunately, the Church’s preacher was outvoted. The (very rude) people who had come in to redecorate the storefront got wind of what we were doing, what we “stood for.” Apparently they objected, in the strongest way possible, to the preacher who was forced to rescind his offer. He might have been the preacher, but this was a protestant church. It was the congregation’s money, and preachers are easily replaced after all.
Burned and bruised, we left for good.
It’s now been nearly three years since the store closed. At first I was bitter, I admit it. But again, bad things happen for good reasons. I have several. I’ve been repeatedly asked if I’m going to reopen the store. I honestly don’t know. I can’t right now…between health issues and not having the investment capitol, it’s just not an option. Would I? I guess we’ll just have to see what happens…