Easily Amused

Monday, September 11, 2006

"While I Was Out" Makeover

Have you ever started something small, just to be there for someone who needed it, and then have it just (in a really good way) get so fun, and feel so right, that it just fills up your entire self?

My mom and I just returned from Vermont. My sister had a relapse and was checked back into the hospital for some surgery. Mom and I wanted her home to be ready for her, and with her youngest just off to college, my sister decided that when she got her release, she would take over her daughter's room. More light, she claims, but we think she just likes the closet organizer she installed for her daughter.

So we cleaned, and packed, and organized, and shopped, and shopped, and my mom really shopped. So my sister has a really comfy mattress in her new bedroom. With new bedding. And a new bureau. And new rug. And curtains. And a lamp. And pillows.

My brother came over with his crew and bought her a very plush rocker-recliner for the living room. He'll be back to move the washer/dryer to the main floor (so she doesn't have to make the trip to the basement) and he will also remodel her main bath. (He is a plumber so don't be scared for her.) More cleaning commenced, including inside and outside windows.

I organized all her scrapbook supplies so she has an awesome crop space, and we moved her office area to the scrap area so that we had room to set up her sewing nook right in the sunny (former) office space. All her teaching supplies are ready for her in the spare room. (Oops, that was her old room, now her daughter's room from when she's visiting from college, so please don't call it the spare room in front of her!) Are you all with me now? See how everything got a fresh, clean new home? Just because we started to get things ready in case she needed to spend a lot of time at home.

Then we dropped in on her daughter (my niece, Mom's granddaughter, again, just in case you're keeping score) on her first day of school and took her and her dormmate shopping for whatevers. (Whatever you want, fill up the cart, we don't know when we'll be back to do this again shopping.) We figured it's something my sister would have done if her doctors weren't keeping her chained to her bed via an IV. (What do you mean, she has to be able to eat and keep it down before you release her? What kind of a rule is that?)

And why do you want to know all this? Well, a really tremendous thing happened while I was out. Four people decided that it was time for a store makeover. The way I hear it, it all began with moving a rack here and adding a new display there. By the time it ended ( and I was not here to witness it, so I can only rely on the information that I have scrounged up), nearly everything had a new home and had been moved, straightened, or otherwise adjusted. Now, the store looks fresh, updated, clean, and inspiring to everyone who steps inside. It is without doubt, simply incredible.

How do you thank people for taking the time to do something so special? How do you let people know how much they are appreciated just for being? How can you possibly respond in the right way to something that is so deeply meaningful that words just do not seem to be enough? Every time I try to write something down, it comes out goofy, or sappy, or saccharine, or just not good enough. So I finally realized, well, that's because that's how I sound, so just deal.

Overall, it's all just enchanting: the work on the outside and the way the passion feels on the inside. I feel like I have lived through my own "pay it forward" and I can only hope that the loveliness that was built in a little house in Vermont and crossed the country to a little store in Ahwatukee is reflected around the world on a day that otherwise carries a burden of sadness.

Thank you Tammy.
Thank you Natalie.
Thank you Gail.
Thank you Elsa.

It's really something.


  • At 8:39 AM , Blogger Maija said...

    I saw the store and it looks magnificent! What a great way to create renewed interest!

  • At 1:31 PM , Blogger Sherri said...

    aw that is so sweet...on both ends!!
    I visited your store last October. (I live in Nashville, TN) I thought it was a wonderful store! I would love it if you would post pictures here. If I say please?


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