Monday, November 9, 2009

It's all Bittersweet

Well, the season is over and after some reviewing and looking back, I can see the shifts and changes Door County has been experiencing over the past few years. It used to be that we could count on Memorial Day as a turning point for getting the season going and seeing it build up and go full throttle with October being the exclamation point, all of us business owners happy and content to see the winter coming as it gave us time to rejuvenate and plan for the next season.

Not so much anymore. October has seen a slow decline over the past few years (it's a fact no matter what someone else might put into print) and truly, I really miss the excitement October used to bring.

That being said, it make us really try to introduce new events and ideas. What this has meant for me is the coming together as a community of businesses and friends to try and put something fresh on the table. We are in the throws of some new ideas that we know you are going to love...... more to come about that.

I was thrilled with the turnout at the Vintage Market last July and know that next year will be even better. The Friends of Viva Trunk Show was an adventure in weather as well as friendship. Honestly, putting six competitive businesses all under one roof might not work considering egos and the fact that we are all trying to make a buck, but the reality was a dream with lots of laughing and plenty of love to go around. We all did well and thank you.

This year also brought more wildlife into the shop than usual creating a frenzy that after the fact is always laughable. The birds and chipmunks, the little snake who, God bless him, was covered in cobwebs (no comment), the hummingbird.... the part that is most laughable is that it was our lovely customers, family and neighbors that took care of the critters. Thankful. I am reminded of Carol planting a trail of cheese to get one chipmunk out and her seeing one come in the front door and she said to him "I dont think so" and he turned around and scurried out.

So the season is done and there is the usual sadness that goes along with it. Our regular customers have returned to their homes, we've lost some loved ones and wonder who we might not see next season. We worry about the inventory we have left as well as knowing that there are a handful of people who will return throughout the winter and will there be anything new for them to see. We go to markets trying to predict what will sell in six months.... we buy for Halloween and Christmas in January!

I can't tell you how many times someone asks me if I live here year round or what do I do all winter as if we live on the moon! You know, during the summer and early fall months, I almost feel as if this is not my home. I try so hard to balance work and play knowing that the summer is short lived. My thoughts are 90% about work. I watch summer whirling by.... we get the boat out, work in the yard, hit the great places to eat, get to the outdoor, have bonfires and share our county with a zillion other people.

Here is my reality: Last Friday I was closing the shop for the day. It was 5:15 and had been dark for 45 minutes. I had spent the day doing special little displays I had been wanting to do all summer. As I closed the door behind me, I was taken with the last of the sunset leaving a little purple on the horizon, with the stars beaming straight above. There is particular change in the cool air that feels clean and fresh. I get in my car, drive past the bakery with it's lights still on and I can see straight into the kitchen where I used to help Jean decorate cookies.... there they are. I drive a little further up the road and see familiar cars pulling into Theresa's yoga studio, knowing full well the restorative and luxurious work that goes on in there. As always, I stop by the Pig... only a handful of cars in the lot. I go in and chit chat with this person and that and yak it up with Dolly as she checks me out. I leave the parking lot, take a left down the hill noticing a small smattering of cars, take another left at the Bowl heading towards home.... it's this time of year when I say to myself, "It's good to be home".


Blogger Jeanine Burkhardt said...

Sounds like you've begun to "Nest"... The time change & looking back really start that process... NO ONE in a warm climate understands how long our winters really are here in Wisconsin... Sign me up for the 2010 "Brainstorming" committee!!! I Love Door County & your Shop!!! Keep inspiring & doing a FaBuLouS Job!*!*! Thanks for sharing... Jeanine, ChiPPy!-SHaBBy!

November 9, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger vivalacabin said...

You are in the plans for sure! Possibly another market, but some things that would be a group of us, not under the Viva tent..... I'll be in touch soon!
Thanks for the kind words.

November 9, 2009 at 2:08 PM  

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