This is the full text of my newsletter essay...an edited version appeared in Tuesday's newsletter.
It is May. I am sitting here, in my home, writing to you. The big difference from today to last May is that I won't head down to the big green building after I send this email. I'll load up in my car and drive my grandmother back to Ohio. She's been visiting us for a week and we've shown her some powerful thunderstorms, all the best farmer's markets and a thrift store or eleven. It's nothing but the best for my Grammie.
But really, she likes those things. She likes the time travel of a trip to the South in the Spring. She likes picking up a nice big tomato plant to tuck in her greenhouse for a week before adding it to her garden. She likes seeing what treasures are found here at our flea markets (hint I learned this time: Depression glass is WAY cheaper in the Midwest!) I like her visits and I like that I'm driving her back to Ohio, just the two of us. We will talk the entire time. She'll tell me stories that I've never heard before about family members long gone. We'll play Highway Botany guessing the names of trees and grasses as we wind up the Appalachian mountains, cross the river and find our way to her hillside. That day-long drive will speed by in a flash of years and memories. By the time we arrive I will have traveled back and forth over her stories and the season, hearing tales of old folks grown young and watching the leaves on the trees we pass shrink back to buds.
I've lived in the South now for over 20 years, and I hate to admit it but I've returned home more rarely than I like. The call to be with my family is one of the reasons I needed to move away from having a 'real' store in Raleigh. I was an obsessively happy, 'chained-to-the-shop' store owner for years, until the ring of other places became too loud to ignore. I hope this year I can heed that chime.
Here in Raleigh, in the week since we've closed the shop doors, we've been busy sorting and moving all our shop furniture to get ready for the Big Garage Sale we are having next week. Get the info about that here, if you are interested. Our site is also being updated as the stock is getting settled into the new warehouse space and the 'new' version of the site is being put together. While we hoped that the site would reopen this Friday (May 6th) the overwhelming task of adding all the new items (all at ONCE!) means that we won't reopen until next Tuesday, a week from today. I'm prepping four new projects for you, so I can promise the wait will be worth it!