I keep waking up with a song lyric in my head – “where do we go from here, now that all of the —” but I don’t remember what THE is. Now that all of the somethings are something else? Now that all of the children are….? Now that all of the yarn balls have said goodbye? Now that all of the needles are in your bag? Gah. Stupid earworms.
Today is the last day of the current incarnation of Hanks Yarn and Fiber. You can still find us online, where we’ll be relaunching the website with a big bang sale on July 4th. People keep asking me how I feel, if I’m OK, with that same sad concern in their eyes from when people asked me how my dad was doing. And this may surprise you, but… I’m OK. This is what I can’t seem to get people to understand (maybe because I’ve had more time to think about it? More time to work through the stages of grief?) but really, it was worse for me before we told people. It was worse when there were days we spent more being open that we took in with sales. It was worse when we couldn’t order any yarn and the shelves looked depleted and sad. It was worse when I couldn’t be honest with my friends about my worries of the future. It was worse when I couldn’t get to sleep at night, or would wake up at 4 AM with thoughts spinning in my mind about what could we do to get more people spending money in the shop, or how could we cheaply advertise, or why people weren’t coming in or were coming in for hours and hours of free assistance with yarn and tools and patterns that they didn’t buy at our shop. That was worse. This is not worse than the months I spent doing that. This is change. We have a direction, and we are changing to suit it.
I mean… I get that people are sad we are closing. I get they are going to miss the couches and the coffee and the conversation. I’m going to miss that, too. I get that they are going to be lost for a while, changed, different with no place to go and be with like-minded people in the middle of the afternoon if they want to. That’s one of my favorite aspects of our little shop. A place they can just drop into, where everybody knows their name. I really do grok their loss, and I’m sorry for them. But in spite of the lamenting we’ve been hearing – and I apologize if anyone reading this feels I’m devaluing their feelings by saying this, but… it’s just simply not worse for you than it is for us. Was this yarn store your dream? Did you come here six days a week to volunteer your time to carve out a safe space full of yarny goodness, easily shared knowledge, and relaxed atmosphere? Did you sacrifice your weekends with family, watching your god-daughter grow up from a toddler to a little girl, friends birthday parties? Did you skip family dinners or work when you were sick or turn doing fun things down just because you couldn’t fit them into your already packed schedule? And even though these are all sacrifices, did you do it willingly and with an open heart because you and your friends had a dream and by Flying Spaghetti Monster you were going to beggar yourself to see it happen? We did. And we did it with love in our hearts because we wanted to make this work. So don’t behave as if closing the yarn shop is worse for you than it is for us. Because it’s not.
OK, ending the bitchery part of this – wow, didn’t even know I was going to spew all that out! Is anyone even still reading this far, or did I piss everyone off?! But hey, look on the bright side; apparently I’ve been holding this in for a few days, so maybe I’ll be nicer to people at work today! Hurray!
So. Moving on.
Where do we go from here?
Obviously we’re going to be selling online. Sharon will be doing all of the website work, processing of orders, and mailing yarn. I will by dying all of our line of yarn, and what was just sock and lace will be branching out into worsted and sport. I’ve been a veritable dyeing machine the last three weeks. I can’t wait for the relaunch of the website so I can show you everything I’ve done (although you can see some sneak peeks here and here). Tim has been renovating our house like a renovating mo-fo, turning our dining room into a dye bar so that I can do this at home. This has also affected the kitchen, and I’m sure I’ll do a blog post about that in the future (this is already getting long enough).
And although I have had exactly zero time to do anything for it yet, I’ll be selling stuff on Etsy as HaldeCraft (what, back so soon? I told you I didn’t have anything there yet). I will be selling ceramics, soaps (soap club, y’all! Soap mailed directly to you and you don’t even have to think about it! Not like I’m looking at you, Denise and TW!), and probably some framed photographs.
I don’t feel like I’m at a crossroads. I feel like I have one road in back of me and that there are three branching off in front of me. The road to the far left is paved, straight, no hills, and easily walked. However, it involves getting a JOB at a COMPANY where I wear nice clothes and answer phones all day and cry in the shower before going to work because I never have enough time for crafting. The middle road is gravel, slightly bumpy, there are a few hills and some twists. It involves getting a part-time JOB at a COMPANY and pretending that I care about what I’m doing while I devote every other spare second to crafting, still giving up parts of my life like social activities. The road to the right is barely even a cowpath; it is covered in branches and I can’t see through the trees for more than a few feet. It involves trying to make crafting my job and I have no idea how that’s going to work out. But guess which path I’m moving towards?
I had a dream about my dad last night. Nothing major; he was taking a bath and kept moving from tub to tub in this weird house that apparently had, like, seventeen bathrooms. And I kept following, cleaning up after him, picking up candles and books he left behind and trying to figure out what to do with them (oddly, NOT AT ALL UNLIKE UNPACKING ALL THESE BOXES, which I’ve been doing after work this week, to clean and make room for things). Now, I love my dad more than anything. I am who I am because of his influence. But when he died, he had about 750 hours of vacation time that he’d never taken, because he believed in putting the JOB first. He had books he hadn’t written, unfinished stories, and regrets for things he never took the time to do. And I don’t want to be like that. I want to regret things not working out, rather than regret never trying them. The Magic Eight Ball seems to be telling me that now would be a good time to try something new. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Seize the future.