When you last heard from me, I was basically bringing our story to a close. The last chapter of a year-long journey that I hoped would be the end of a year from hell. As it turns out the saga continues; or maybe my need to get my feelings out on paper continues. What I learned from my year of chronicling our journey was that writing was a very effective way of clearing my head and I as I find myself in the midst of several sleepless nights, more specifically early mornings; I’m hoping a little data dump will help me move on as I deal with the latest turn of events.
The Dawg House started as something to keep me busy along side my full-time job as a loan officer has turned into more work than any two jobs I had held in the past. The after-math of COVID leaving the jobs situation in a shambles and the growth potential of the business more than I can handle on my own. Especially when I have a husband waiting at home. Some days ready to travel and see the world and other days seeming to need someone to keep him safe.
Cancer brought about an abrupt end to Scott’s dream career as a farmer and ultimately mine too. The stem cell transplant might have saved his life but life as we knew it was over. While we are grateful that he is alive, life is drastically different. It includes bursts of energy followed by long naps and watching the cattle graze behind our house is as close to farming as he will ever be able to get. The germs and hazards of the farm are no longer risks he can take. Technically, even lawn mowing and gardening are not even on the approved activity list but I haven’t had much luck keeping him from doing it.
His first opportunity to attend a Tigers Game this week was foiled by a trip and fall resulting in multiple abrasions and a knee that swelled to the size of a large grapefruit. Now we watch vigilantly for infection; just another complication in the long and arduous healing process after transplant. We’ve ordered him some UV sleeves in hopes of limiting the number of gashes and bruises that appear; his paper-thin skin a side-effect of the drugs he’s on.
After much deliberation, or maybe it was actually just a really bad meltdown, I made the decision to sell the store, The Dawg House, and it was listed with a local realtor on May 1st. Truly the baby born not long after my second life began; when I moved to a new town and began a new life with my new husband. A labor of love that came with much pain and sacrifice in a span of six short years.
Imagine my surprise when a couple days after listing, I hear that news of my decision to sell had actually made THE NEWS and was not only being circulated in the local news and Facebook but also was being discussed on the radio. Mention of it on the local Village Facebook page drew hundreds of responses and lots of comments. Most of them supportive of my decision to retire but some of them were disturbing as they clearly thought they had a say in the future of my life. I wasn’t prepared for the endless questions from customers and added stress it put on my staff. Nor was I mentally prepared for the questions and need to provide financial information to prospective buyers. Putting my life under the microscope and listening to prospective buyers tell what I was doing wrong. Finding myself having to try and sum up the last six years in a few paragraphs. Not only is the realtor considering the sale of my “child” as a routine business transaction, it seems as though everyone was taking that same approach. Failing to understand that I wasn’t going to just hand this over to the first person to write an offer.
The estimated time needed to process a business loan and be approved for a transfer of the beer and wine license is likely to exceed four months. Hard to get excited about my future freedom when the near future looks to be more demanding and over-whelming than it already was. Working through the transition, training and dealing with the regular day to day activities, all while hoping and praying that the loan and license transfer will ultimately be approved and it will all be for not. I’m pretty certain that I’ll be handling all this on my own as the hundreds of locals seeming to think they have a say in what I do will not be showing up to help out in my time of need.
Ultimately, the store will end up being a rather short chapter in my life story. All those that saw the pain and agony it as brought me are all glad to hear that it’s for sale. Excited for my ability to retire and enjoy life. Unfortunately, I have not done a good job of projecting the pride of accomplishment and joy that it has brought me. Much like life in general we tend to hear more about and remember all the bad things when there is actually so much good. I haven’t made record profits on paper throughout my ownership of his gem, but I have made a difference. Providing a dependable source of comfort food at a fair price. Continuing a tradition that spans decades.
A regular customer I lovingly refer to as Dennis the Menace; made a comment to me last week about one of my new employees. He thought she just might make it; noting her improved abilities since being hired. He and I tend to banter back and forth, all in fun, but he made a comment that resonated with me. Something to the effect… “you’re not just running a business here; you’re running a mission; helping people in ways you don’t even realize. It’s not all about making money.” Little does he know how true that is; and I know that because in between all the stress and ugliness of day-to-day business is the occasional quiet happenings that make me know that it’s all been worth it. Things I will miss. Those one-on-one interactions that are priceless and that will always be a part of me.