Closing Up Shop at Sidetracked Vintage

Well, my shop will continue in other forms, but I have decided for sure to not renew my lease on the little red caboose that housed my vintage shop. Can you believe I have been a shop owner for almost two years!? It will be two years in September when my lease is up. I figured it would be very wise to go ahead and begin now to wrap my mind around shutting the doors for good. This gives me three months.

I have a private studio/workshop that has been offered to me to turn into a magical recreation of the shop. I am so excited about this! It will just take some time, hard work, and paint, to make the transition! <3

Phase I: remove the items from that shop that I know I want to keep for myself or for my private studio

Phase II: plan and advertise one or two large sales at the shop to cut down on what has to be moved and to say goodbye to my customers (for now)

Phase III: Empty out what is left, clean up, turn the keys in

HA HA — it is that simple!

Meanwhile, here are some recent pictures of my very pretty HAPPY PLACE. I have developed a following of customers. I am currently compiling a list of local folks (emails, phone numbers) who want to be on my mailing list for inventory updates and private sales and workshops.

There is always something new in the shop.
Looking into the shop from the front door. You can see back to the gypsy-esque curtain that closes to make a dressing room.
Twinkly lights. A handmade sign that says VINTAGE
Looking towards the front door from the back of the shop.

There are always plenty of vintage hats and purses.

Scarves galore — old and new.

Original artwork.
Mirror in the dressing room area.
I will miss sitting in my little “mouse hole” — a tiny office space with my coffee pot, my Pandora, and my antique cash drawer. My personal photos of me and Jason and my children. Snacks. My iPad. I have loved every minute of it.
This little wall unit kept the caboose unbelievably comfortable! It heats and cools. My HAPPY PLACE was always cozy. And it always smelled like lavender and lemon essential oil from where I regularly cleaned and wiped things down. And then I brewed coffee while working. Customers often said they loved the way it smelled.
Clothes fit for a night out, stage, theater, or just a casual outfit.

Books! Mostly vintage readers, primers, French this-and-that, a bit of the macabre, unusual garden books.

Old suitcases full of vintage linens.

Enjoy this day!
Lynn

Walk With Me

Remember when we used to walk together through the garden? That was fun. Now let’s walk outside the shop and look at something sweet.

We are back in the dressing room in the caboose. We can see out towards the door.

Look! I have been collecting letters randomly, intending to say VINTAGE. My collection is complete and hanging over the doorway in the center of the caboose. It is for safety as much as anything. Tall people need to watch their heads in the caboose.

I love this new hat. I have recently acquired a lot of hats from an estate. This is like a bonnet, and it reminds me of Little House on the Prairie.

That is a heavy, heavy door latch! I keep a sign outside letting people know that they have to turn the doorknob really hard to come inside.

My little “sink” and garden area. I have an old Watts pottery bowl that I use to wash my hands. And I have garden supplies. And a few of the items are for sale!

Now, look at this!

Look out over the railing from the platform. It’s the trolley next door.

The caboose used to be a vital part of the train, allowing crew a place to look out in front of and behind the train. My caboose is a standard cupola. There would have been high seating for the crew to see out the windows in the cupola. Anyway, there is an old trolley next to my caboose. Uh, it looks like someone had tea in there and left their teacup behind.

Come on and let’s go down the steps. I want to show you something. On the way down, we pass by my flower box attached to the railing. And be careful on the steps.

Look what I found.

When I peered down over the railing this morning I saw a yellow bloom. It’s a sunflower in my garden. And I did not plant it. Life is like that. There are sometimes really sweet things in places we don’t expect.

Enjoy this day!

Lynn

A Huge Chapter Closes

The weight on my shoulders feels like the weight of the world. And it is not the weight of victory. It feels like the weight of a sea of tears. Today the old house goes on the market. The Carpenter and I truly built what we had from scratch. We worked hard, both of us.

I hate divorce. I hate broken homes. I mourn the very frail person I had become after all those years of trying to live like a soldier. I craved kindness and gentleness. And that frailty led me into the huge mistake of a second marriage, probably the darkest chapter in my life, but I still look back and know that everything I did, I did with what I believed were good intentions.

I spent 14 years of my marriage to the Carpenter with no clothes dryer. Was it hard? Yes. But he helped wash clothes and there were many sweet days hanging clothes out on the line while my boys played in the yard. I can see the sunshine on their golden hair. I can hear them laughing and running around. Then I had my little dark-headed boy. We had so many meals together around that old enamel top table. I finally got my little princess. I dressed her up like a princess and we raised bunnies. The years rolled on. All in all, the carpenter and I occupied that home together for 23 years. There were many, many sweet memories for me, mostly centered around putting my heart into raising my children and caring for my garden and my home. But one day I broke, beyond repair, after one too many harsh words.

People, treat those you love the way you would treat them if they were not yours and you wanted to have them. That is all.

If you are crying at all, so am I. It is probably all that I will do today as I work through these feelings.

Now, for the positive side of things. I am learning to be happy. I have healthy boundaries now. I am finally feeling like Lynn again. Even my mom and my sister say I seem more like myself than I have in decades. I believe all of my children are finally healing. I have two beautiful grandchildren and five beautiful step-grandchildren. I went out and purchased the Element, something that I wanted! Me!

I have developed a deep and abiding friendship with my Jason, whom I love very much. I am treated with such respect and kindness, and anything creative that I want to do, it is with great support and blessing on his part. And let me add, my finding happiness has happened within myself and not by trying to find a man in my life. I went to Jason for guitar lessons and found such a dear friend! He did a huge part of the work to get me in this current shop that I have, and he teaches me tirelessly as far as my guitar is concerned.

I think I just needed to get that off of my chest. It hurts likes the dickens to see that house go up for sale, to realize that it is a chapter that will be forever closed. I love that little phrase, long days and short years. That is truly what I lived in that house. Remember the Mulberry tree? Remember the homeschooling adventures with Michaela? Remember when I thought Joseph would never learn to read? Remember the year of the dollhouse? Now it will be a process of throwing away items from the house and selling what can be sold and knowing that I will never walk those wooden floors again, or dance on wet soapy rags to clean the kitchen floor, or sit on the front steps and drink tea. I cry long and hard for my babies because they ended up with exactly what I never wanted them to have, a broken home. But they all have grit, they are all loved by both of their parents, and they all love their parents and each other. I think we are all going to be OK.

On that note, I will share my most recent painting, and
attempt at something more abstract. I’m trying to work more with colors and shapes. Also, here is my little work desk in my sweet happy place, my shop. And with that, my lunch break is over and I better get busy with my real work.

Enjoy this day.