I am sitting in my own honest to goodness store. Not a store that I work in for someone else. Not something someone gave me, or I own only a percentage. My very own store. I should add that it is open for business. I should also add that it is not finished yet. For those of you that know me you are not surprised that I went ahead and opened the store before it was completely finished. And for those of you that do not know me, I hope this is encouraging to you. The older I get the more I realize that 100 percent just is not important. The act of doing is what is important even when all the i's haven't been dotted and all the t's haven't been crossed.
I am sitting at a beautiful ten foot long black walnut table that I designed. Surrounded by Christmas Music and recently exposed brick walls that are close to their original look dating back to the late 1860's when this space was a General Feed Store, I take it all in and realize that the store is as much part of my journey as I am part of this building's journey. As many have passed this way. Some have left their mark while others have not. The plaster and dry-wall have all been removed and are just a memory in a photograph now. I walk across warm refinished oak floors that have been secretly hiding under layers after layers of sub-floors. Above me is the very rustic tin that covers the ceiling. The partially painted tin tiles still wear the yellow paint that is holding onto the tin with all its might. There are still spots waiting for the fallen tiles to be patched and healed. The back wall waits patiently for me to finish covering the wood frame with the reclaimed poplar barn siding that is prepared just for this space. Lumber that was reclaimed from a barn in Central Indiana. Saved lumber from a barn built in the late 1800's waiting for its new forever home. A sliding barn door rests waiting to be hung so that it can hide the back room that is still very much in disarray. All of this is lit by four lonely light bulbs illuminating the space the best they can until their replacements arrive. The new pennant lights will create a finishing touch while bringing that old fashioned flare along with them.
Each phase of this transformation was so worth it. The splinters I received, the back ache from the drum sander, and the hours spent removing thick plaster walls were all worth it. I feel like I am stepping back in time every time I step inside. I can only imagine what this space used to look and feel like. Who else sat under this tin ceiling? Were they as excited about having a store front, meeting new people, and providing a service for the community as I am?
As for completion, I will get there in time. For today, nothing is standing in the way of sharing this space with anyone that would like to stop in and see the progress, step back in time and see some of my designs. What a great way to share Reclaimed Mantles, Breadboards, Tables, and more! The conversations have been wonderful and the encouragement has been so appreciated. Taking on a huge project like this can be a roller coaster ride. The highs and lows each hour are challenging. Reclaiming dreams is not done over night. It is truly the journey that is important. This old building has endured the years. The reclaimed lumber that I work with has withstood time. So it is only right that the two work together under one roof. I know I am only part of the story. A spec in time in this building's journey. I hope to do it justices.