Friday, August 24, 2007

On To The Next Chapter

The very last customer came into the shop at 4:25 on Wednesday afternoon...Kathy had been the president of the local guild a few years ago and has always supported the shop. It was wonderful that she was the last customer...rather than a random person that I'd never seen just coming for that last bargain.
I got the most wonderful surprise on Wednesday late morning...the phone rang and a voice on the other end of the phone started talking...she asked how everything was going, was I excited, what was I going to do first after the shop closed and several other fun questions...I just couldn't figure out who it was...well she said "You don't know who this is, do you" I said "No, I really don't"...she said it's "Darlene, from Arizona" OMG! I squealed and screamed, poor Darlene probably doesn't have her hearing back in that ear yet. What a sweetheart...she said she just had to call on my last day to wish me all the best. I can't even begin to tell you how that made me feel. I think I smiled all the rest of the day.
When Andy and I were having breakfast on Wednesday, I said "I know that we made the right decision to close the shop, because I don't have a single regret." Well that was confirmed later in the day. A lady I hadn't seen for a long time came in early afternoon. She said she had to come in before I closed to tell me that she was so happy for me, that I had decided to retire. Then she started to cry, she began to tell me the story of her husband who had retired about 9 months ago and had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's recently. With medication he has about 3 years that he'll be "OK" say the doctor's then after that they will be pretty much staying home. She said they are cramming all their years of retirement into the next several years. He's only 63. So she said she was so happy that we decided to do what we are doing and retire early so we can enjoy each other and do what we want to do. WOW! By then we were both crying, she apologized for dumping on me and I thanked her over and over for sharing her story with me...One more confirmation that we are doing the right thing.
Then at the very end of the day, 2 of my very favorite gals called, one at about 4:50 telling me she had a bus load of ladies that wanted to come by...we laughed and laughed...she wanted to wish me well one more time...she's not going to be rid of me because I'm going to her house to sew when the dust settles. And then the final call was from the president of the other large guild in the area, and always a supporter of the shop, to say that she was on her way and would I wait for her...then she laughed and said she was just teasing, she was really home and wanted to say "ENJOY" one more time.
I am such a lucky girl...I have such wonderful people in my life. Now on to the next wonderful chapter of my life.

18 comments:

Karen said...

Congratulations on your retirement! Your story made me a bit misty...my step-dad kept putting retirement off- but still helped plan all those trips he and mom were going to take. Within 6 months of finally retiring (well into his 70's) he too was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. An added "bonus"-Parkinson's Disease. He and mom never did take those trips and he needed to be placed in a nursing home about a year later. Enjoy this next phase of your life- you earned it! Happy days ahead...

Dawn said...

Congrats! Glad you have a lovely last day - now you can enjoy the rest of your life!

Darlene said...

It was my pleasure! It was so much to chat with you, even for a brief few minutes. I'm glad you're final day was a good one and that you're excited about the next chapter.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I hope you are enjoying yourself this morning and relaxing by your sewing machine with a new project. You are sewing aren't you? Congrats Carol!!!!

Angie said...

Enjoy, enjoy, Carol!! You've gotten to experience several of your life's dreams...now, as you say, on to the next phase! :D Wildly cheering, blowing party horns, flinging fabrics (but NOT that Nell's Flower Shop bundle that I got from you--unh hun--not yet ROFL). Best wishes for a very long, fun-filled adventure!!

Gail said...

Hooray! Your time is all yours now- enjoy!!

Jeanne said...

Congratulations on your retirement. I hope you enjoy each and every new day to its fullest.

Cheryl said...

I loved the story of your last day. How much you mean to all the people that have come through the shop. A very happy retirement to you!

Yvonne said...

Congratulations on your retirement! What a great last day at the shop. Enjoy your new adventures.

Renee said...

Oh my goodness . . . CONGRATULATIONS! I had no idea. It sounds like the grand finale day was perfect - I am only sorry that I never got to visit. One of those "maybe someday" that came and went . . . I applaud your plan to start the next chapter - looking forward to seeing you in June and hearing about all your retirement adventures. All the best, Renée

Nan said...

You are making the right decision - you just never know what life has up it's happy little sleeve!! I am counting down the days til my husband retires (we have 5 years), and then we're going places!! I can't wait!!!!
I am so happy for you, I can't find the words to describe it. Good for you, Carol!! Enjoy every minute of every day - you deserve it!!!

Susan said...

Welcome to the world of retirement! You still won't have enough time. =)

Judy said...

Oh what fun!! I could add another story to the bunch but you are doing the best thing and getting ready for the next fabulous chapter of spending time together and enjoying life!

I'm so happy for you!

Libby said...

How fantastic to close the shop on such a happy note . . . certainly just the right tune to start the next verse in your life. Congratulations and ENJOY!!!

Linda_J said...

Sounds like a poignant day--happy calls and having friends stop by. The right decision at the right time in your life.

Hope your dogger is doing okay after that surgery. My cat had to have it done about two years ago now---really surprised the vet who said that small dogs do have this happen but he never knew a cat to have that problem. Other than clicking a bit when she walks, she's fine now though I have a cow when she decides to take a header down from the pressing/cutting table---go down the same way you got up there, please and thank you!

CONNIE W said...

Well it sounds like all is well. Life really is a gift, and that's why they call it the present. I'm sure you plan to savor each and every day. Congrats.

JudyL said...

I think any time you make a decision and have no regret, it was the perfect decision. I know my own days are passing too quickly. Seems like no sooner am I up for the day and it's bed time. One day it's Monday, then it's Sunday again.

Enjoy every minute of your retirement!

Wendy said...

Congrats on the retirement, I love the story of your last day, you'll remember that day always. I look forward to reading your blog for the next chapter in your life.
Have fun, relax and let's see those quilts.