The View from Behind the Shop: The End of an Era
Things currently making my day: a baby that naps a new Kazuo Ishiguro book sleeping with the window cracked open warm comments from real humans on the blog, mixed in with the hundreds and hundreds of spam comments a box of mangoes looking back on three full and bursting years Do three years constitute an era?
Spring has finally arrived, and with it the feeling of being released from the prison of shut up windows and coats and scarves and the trauma of dressing a baby for the great outdoors. Super has been enjoying the dog park, although he lost his ball the last time he was there and while I'm sure we have a tennis ball or two floating around somewhere in the warehouse, he's wagging his tail and looking at me like it's my fault his ball is missing. Our last day is this Saturday, and we've got lots planned. Treats, sales, sweet deals, loot bags, giveaways. Possibly even balloons, if we can get our act together (don't hold your breath). Our new shop in Little Italy is coming along - our contractor sent some photos of the paint job, and it looks great so far. Here, we're packing up for the big move. The real packing has finally begun, and inks are being sorted into various boxes, shelves disassembled, things strewn about the warehouse. My hands seem perpetually dusty and I'm constantly pausing and looking around on high alert, thinking about all wondering what will go in which box and what I'm going to do with all the things we've accumulated. The days are busy and there never seem like enough hours to run all the errands, change all the addresses, sort all the boxes. It's hard to believe there's less than a week before we move - it certainly has come upon us quickly. I'm going to miss so many things about this place - the hallways, the familiar maze of our warehouse shelves, Chicken and Super waiting on either side of the apartment door, waiting to get in or out. For a while it seemed like the universe was conspiring to tire me of this place with its leaky pipes along the ceiling turning into a full out flood, ants in the bathroom, constant viewings from aggressive real estate agents who don't take off their shoes and wake up napping babies. But spring has come and all the memories of those afternoons with the door open into the courtyard and eating mangoes on the steps or summer picnics and I know it's going to be hard to say good bye to this place. Caleb has grown up here, and he's excited for every part of the move. Packing! Taping! Moving boxes from here to there! Recycling! He's been using the dolly to wheel around boxes from one end of the warehouse to the other. And I wonder how much of this place he's going to remember - already even I am forgetting so much. In many ways, I feel like the physical nature of this place has shaped so much of his childhood thus far - the unique nature of living behind a shop and having staff and customers circulating all the time, hiding under the packing tables, all the doors leading in and out of our shop and warehouse and apartment. To be honest, and this might be an unusual confession, I will really miss our roll-up warehouse door. It made it so easy to get large items in and out, we would have been lost without it. I was speaking about this to a friend of mine who lives in Maryland the other day. She has recently decided to consult with a Roll-Up Door professional to get a roll-up garage door installed at her warehouse. I am sure she will love it as much as we have loved ours! And this place has also been such an important part of our adventure as Wonder Pens. Big leaping steps, like hiring our first employee, along with so many tiny and huge celebrations, numbers on social media, birthdays, first steps, pen launches, collaborations, new friends and new babies. I remember finally upgrading to a weighted masking tape holder for packing - previously we had had to use two hands to tear masking tape off a loose roll - and how delighted I was with the one handed taping: these tiny, enormous things. And now we're going to be packing up my masking tape holder and finding its spot in our new home. We are hoping that this next big move will afford us some stability, and we're keeping our fingers crossed that the next five or ten years will be prosperous and peaceful and full of adventure without quite so much stress, and yet I think that these first years of our baby business, and these last three years here on Carlaw, will be some of my favourite years of my life.