Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Struggling with September

I've spent all day trying to come to terms with saying goodbye. September and October are some of my favorite months and over the last few days I'd been feeling a nagging sense that this is all slipping away far too fast.

Shortly after the summer season officially ends with Labor day, things begin to change. Stores hours that were 10am until 10 pm gave way to more civilized closing times of 8pm and for the first time in many weeks some of us shop owners took a day off midweek. We slept a little more; reconnected with our families; enjoyed a dinner out with the spouse for the first time since June. And then somewhere in the middle of the month we began planning again.

The fall and the times leading up to the Christmas holidays required attention. Those are valuable weeks for business still, admittedly less than summer but without requiring extra staff and the long hours. It was a time when many of our regular customers would make their appearance after a summer of renting out their beach places and so it was a fun time to catch up with so many familiar faces. I would always hold off on putting up a Christmas tree until after labor day weekend but since the holidays were coming it became commonplace to start changing and decorating the store. All these activities combined with the cooler weather and more relaxed schedule seemed to make up one of the best seasons of the year.

This time it's all so very different. Instead of placing pumpkins and strawbales outside I have signs listing the many items available for sale at deep discounts. Rather than draping fall leaf garlands across the doors and windows I'm adorning them with signs that scream "CLOSING FOREVER". I'm not greeting the shoulder season with enthusiasm and excitement but rather preparing to bury an old friend.

No matter what I could have done today it wouldn't have mattered. The clocks marched onwards towards the ending of one more month that I will never be able to experience in the way that I loved. In a few hours my final September will be done. This place; these years; those memories are fading from my life and I'm unwilling to let go. I have stupidly loved and cared so much about this shop and my customers, the interactions and being a small part of so many lives that it's taking my breath away.

#september #ending #storeclosing #goodbye #after35years #ihaveloved #sayinggoodbye #movingon #familyowned #finally  #smallretailer #independent #business #thefinal90 #endofanera #closingforever

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