Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hopefully this week.

I really hope we get these negotiations all finalized this week.  My angst is taking the form of rage towards others and it's just not good and I have a feeling until all this guessing is over with, it's only going to get worse.

I'm talking myself in and out of driving to Michigan on Thursday to pay my respects to an old friend who lost his wife yesterday.  I'm waiting for the schedule of the visitation and/or funeral arraingements.  It's not out of character for me to do it, but I wonder if it's the smartest thing to do, spend 4 hours on the road on my day off to spend 15 minutes talking to an old friend who will more than likely be swarmed with visitors. But I've done it before.  Guess I'll wait and see when things are going to be happening up there before I decide what I'm going to do.  I may opt to visit him next month when I can plan a better trip up there, but we'll see.

I'm so out of sorts this week, my mind is such a mess, I can't make the most simple decisions and planning things is nearly impossible right now.  I hope this all gets sorted out when I start making definite plans after we get these questions answered and get the contract signed.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

It should be illegal

He's smart, he's funny, he's a hard worker and he looks slamming in those pants.  I only get to work with him every other week for one day and today I put him right in front of me to make the wings.

When you make the wings you have to put the lid on them and shake them for 15 seconds to coat the wings.  Watching him do this was the highlight of my day.  They shouldn't make guys like him, but I'm glad they do, it makes work go so much better.  :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

selling update

For those who can't follow crypted messages on facebook.......

The appraisal came back for the real estate and it's not all that great, I'm not happy with it at all.  I still have no idea what that means as of yet.  The next step is to have a different appraiser come in and appraise the business assets.  Fortunately the guy doing that tomorrow is a very good friend of the family and wants to help me as much as he can and wants to see the appraisers report and see what advice he can give as well as see just how much value he can pack into the business assets to get the number as close to my price as he can.  The report is flawed enough already I have some cards I can play, but I'm going to see what gets said tomorrow when I meet Denver.

We're still pushing hard and fast to close on the first week of June, we just need to do some final negotiations on the price and then we'll get the contract finished, meet to sign it and then turn it over to the bank who said they would be ready in less than two weeks after they get the contract to close on his loan and get me settled up and on my way. :)  So I'm still looking at moving at the end of June as of now.

If there are problems with the appraisal and no one is willing to budge there may be a 30 day delay as I pay for a new appraisal to be done, but that's a last resort, I don't think anyone wants to bother with, so we'll see.

That's the update as of now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I'll be honest that over the last 4 months I've kept myself fairly busy not really thinking about leaving this place.  I bury myself in packing, and cleaning, and organizing and leaving message after message with the bank to see what the latest hold up is.

Yesterday my brother and father came over and brought a trailer to start packing up the items they have had in this store for the last several years.  As we got everything loaded up and made piles of my stuff to be packed up it really hit me, it's nearly over.  I was flooded by memories everywhere I stepped and it really hit me hard, this place, my very first big purchase, my first business, my dream (well sort of), was coming to an end.

I remember the old garage, how dilapidated it was, nearly falling down, one wall held up by a chain and a rotten 2x4, the old rotted out wooden cooler that was still intact in there, the piles of years of junk back there, Eldor's giant old boat of a car that was parked in there for years and years and years.

I remember hearing from the neighbors how sad the place looked and how ashamed they were to be in the same neighborhood as it.  Eldor was 91, he couldn't keep up with it, and the kids were all so busy they couldn't keep up with it either.

I remember my father and I the very first weekend in November spraying all the poison ivy that had grown up around the building because most of the family is so highly allergic they couldn't stand to be around it.  I remember removing the debris from the picture to the left and all the soda bottles, store packaging, car parts etc... that they had buried in the ground back there.  I remember cutting down the light post back there with my brother and the fun we had pulling the stump out of the ground with his old blue truck. That sucker was buried back in there 6 feet!  I remember when the wind blew part of the roof off and into the parking lot behind the building and the fun we had rebuilding the garage.  We took it apart piece by piece, my brother, my father, my brother's now ex-brother in law, Free, and a host of other people that were there.  How we rebuilt it smaller but better and completely transformed the back of the building.

I remember spending many nights talking with Robin, Gary and Julio sitting in the garage. I remember parking in my very first garage for the first time, putting in the work bench, setting up food for parties in there. Oh the parties I hosted in there.  Our annual parade day party, mother's day, appreciation bar-b-que, family bar-b-que's, Free's diaper party, oh they were all so great.  Such great laughs, great conversation, so much happiness.

I remember the old kitchen, what a horror it was when I bought the place.  I remember sorting and tossing so much of what was in there.  Scott, A.J., Nancy, Gloria all pitching in to build the dividing wall, plumbing the new sink, running the new gas line. Julio and I rewiring all the lights, recovering all the new walls and the old as well. My uncle painting the floor and the ceiling.

I remember my sister and I working hard back there creating new sandwiches and new ideas for the deli.  I remember coming back from work one day at the pizza shop to find my brother and sister started making the 150# of potato salad I had going out that weekend, every bowl and dish filled with either potatoes, dressing or vegetables waiting for me to mix all together.

I remember Free coming over 3 or 4 days a week and me having him peel potatoes while we talked, or the fruit tray we created together, or the hours of conversation we shared back there while I was cooking.  This is the space I came out to him, the first time I said it out loud to someone I knew and what a relief it was.  The conversations we shared in that kitchen always have and always will mean so much to me.

I remember the intercom conversations I had with my sister at the front counter, how I nearly burned the building down when I put a pot of prettles on the stove and didn't know I had the spoon rest under it and how it smoked and melted and caught fire.  The thousands of pounds of prettles we made in there.  My sister-in-law and my mother competing while packaging to see who could get the most packages right on the first try.

My brother and I ran new gas line when we found a free commercial stove, assembling the new stainless steel tables I purchased.  This is where we carved the turkeys for our first annual Christmas party, all the conversations I had with my uncle, my family, the neighbors, the previous owners, their family members.  All the great ideas that were born out of that kitchen that still are near to my heart....and my stomach lol.

Oh the back room, if those walls could talk I'd burn the building down myself. lol.  I think about all the things the space was supposed to be.  It took 2 whole years to sort out the stuff in that space.  It was going to be the hardware store, the paint store my uncle and I were going to open up, the chainsaw shop the neighbor always dreamed of, the diner I wanted to open, the butcher shop, rentable space.  It did spend time as my consignment shop, the work room, the party room, and eventually became a rentable space for the neighbor's insurance business and now my uncle's private office.  I did drawings and plans to move my friend's barber shop into the rest of the space, but due to money issues for both of us, it never went through.

It was the location of our first Christmas party, the space we did our 57 Christmas trays and 25 gift baskets, the space we watched Saturday football games, we set up corn hole sets and had a tournament in the winter, we set up chairs many days and had friends come over and we drank the night away.  I walked through this space millions of times over the years, it's where I lost it during clean up and reconstruction and kicked the box of outlet boxes and scattered them across the room when my father followed me and we had a real heart to heart.

This has been rather draining, but I'm enjoying it.  In an effort to break it up and get some sleep I think I'll continue this another day. I hope it doesn't bore you too much, if it does, just skip these posts. lol.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I left a part of my heart in Cleveland.

So this past weekend I ventured to Cleveland and had an amazing time.  It was the first time visiting that side of Cleveland, I have always stayed on the west side and only ventured down town once or twice at night for different reasons.  This trip I spent my time on the east side with Jake and Cody.

The drive there was uneventful, although I did get to enjoy some awesome Starbucks on the turnpike, that's always such a treat!  The barista was a bit caddy but he was cute at least.  There aren't all that many turns between my house and their house so it was actually very easy to find.

Cody took me to Lakeview Cemetery.  It seems odd to some people to spend the day at a cemetery but this place is beautiful!  We started at Garfield monument, the place built for president Garfield and where he and his wife are entombed in the lower level.  It is a beautiful building filled with details that just can't be redone anymore.  The craftsmanship of the days gone past just can't seem to be matched.  Quality craftsmanship, quality design, it was a really awesome building.

We wandered around several sections of the cemetery viewing all the beautiful monuments.  I am still in awe of the time, talent and money that went into these monuments.  We checked out a chapel on the grounds and many of the mausoleums.  Jake joined us and we checked out several more sections as well as the dam, that at the time didn't seem to be damming much of anything. lol.  It was a great afternoon of great conversation, great art, and time with some great friends.

That night they surprised me by taking me to their church, Franklin Circle Community Church for a new member dinner.  I think the surprise was more of the tour of their church that they were giving after the dinner, but really the dinner was something just as special. I have heard so much about their church through them, but reading about it and hearing about it really doesn't do it justice.

I have had a really hard time over the last week to come up with words to share the experience but I have had a terrible time with it....until I had lunch with my parents.  I had lunch with them and mom wanted to hear all about it so I told her.  I told her it was an amazing experience to really see God's love in action.  It's hard to talk about it because it sounds like I'm belittling the other church's I love, but I'm really not.  I have seen church's reach out to the poor, reach out to people in need, to reach out to all sorts of people, but rarely do you see a church reach out to the gay community.  This community of people that seem to have to search further and harder for a church to accept them, to find people to accept them with open arms.  To see different types of people all gathered together worshiping God was just so amazing.

My mom was very excited about it all.  She began talking about how wonderful it is that church's are finally opening their eyes and loving people and showing them that we are all broken in our own ways, and no matter who you are, what you do, or who you love, that God's grace is open to all.  I was actually slightly surprised at how easily it flowed out of her mouth, I knew she had been changing over the last 5-10 years but I never expected to hear it so plainly and with such excitement.

My mom wanted to know more about the service and we talked about synods and where Franklin Circle originated from and what they believe etc... She's always fascinated by this and likes to hear about other church's and of course was very excited that I saved her a bulletin, she has a collection in her office.  I told her what an experience it was to have lunch with the eclectic group of people with such eclectic conversation and what a joy it was to dine with these people.  She was surprised to hear the pastor had a partner also, but then proceeded to tell me about how the ELCA has opened their policies and approved pastors with partners and allowed church's to bless same sex unions.  I asked her if she thought our church would ever consider doing that in our own church.  She said it's been discussed because we do have 2 gay couples in our church (shocking, I only knew of one) and said our council is probably a ways away from agreeing on that issue but said that pastor has already said he would be happy to do it and if asked would jump at the opportunity.

I was not really shocked by the news, our pastor is a really great guy and much more open mined than most of our congregation, but he's been working on them.  He council's so many people, including nearly every member of my family and several of my friends.  He sits with my mother once a week, he spent the first two years meeting with my sister, he's now emailing several times a week with my brother, etc...  He's done amazing work with everyone I just wish I would have had the time to meet with him and speak more often to him while I have been around.

We then moved the conversation to Jake and Cody because she likes to know about the people I call my friends and the people I spend my time with, and since this includes people that have never ventured to Napoleon, Ohio they can only ask questions. lol
The part was deleted from the original post, I'm not sure how, but I had to make sure it was back in here otherwise the rest of the post doesn't make sense.

I hope it's alright, but we talked about a shattered relationship between a son and parents after he came out to them.  I told her I just didn't understand how it could fall apart so quickly.  At this point she looked into my eyes and said "you have to understand that we are a different generation, we were raised differently than we raised our kids.  In our day everything was black and white and it was set that way by preachers ruling with iron fist.  It takes time for our generation to process these things.  Not everyone has our pastor who opens their eyes to the true meaning of Christianity.  No more than 5 years ago I would have found it disgusting and repulsive and I didn't like to talk about it, but then Pastor ******** came and showed me that it didn't matter, and how could love be disgusting?" 

She continued with telling me that we kids didn't give her enough credit, that she was not the same person she was in those years we were growing up, that she too has grown as a person and can handle more than we think.

I proceeded to tell her about the big steps that were happening in the relationship with your mother and she got a smile on her face.  "That's great, I told you with time people see, people see it's not worth losing a kid over, family is family and who your family loves become family, it's how things are supposed to work."

My heart was in my throat.  Was she really laying the ground work for this?  Was this her "all clear" sign?  Was this her reaching out to me?  In my family we live in subtlety, sometimes we speak in code to let the other person know what we're thinking, we're not really a come out and say it type of family.  That moment opened my heart and lightened my spirit and I felt like a million dollars.  I felt like maybe this secret I've been keeping may first, not really be all that much of a secret, and second that when the secret is revealed that it will be an open dialogue and will be o.k.

It was at this point I recalled something that triggered in my mind earlier but didn't give too much thought too.  When we first sat down to lunch we had a discussion, I can't remember what brought it on, but essentially it was about me still being single at the age of 33 and my mother commented about it was probably for the best at this point while I sorted out everything that happened in Michigan and the business being sold and this way I wasn't tied down preventing me from moving back to the city life that I've missed.  She stated there were plenty of eligible people in Cinci and when the right person came around I would know it and it would all be worth it. Through the entire conversation I realized she had changed her use of pronouns as I have been doing for a couple of years now.  She no longer used the pronouns "she" and such, everything was a very general term.  I noticed it during the conversation but didn't put much thought into it, not until after we had the other conversation.

So not only was my weekend in Cleveland amazing, it was a catalyst for a conversation that meant so much to me.  I still can't believe it.  I spent the rest of the day on Friday trying to think of who to call, but no one was available, but I did get to share the story with Free and Charro that night and I just felt so great about it.  It will still not be easy, but when the time comes it will come with a little more comfort than originally thought.  The one thing Free asked was "what did your dad say?"  To be honest, he's always quiet during these conversations, I'm starting to think it might be harder for him, but I have a feeling he'll be o.k. with it.  I guess we'll see.

So anyway, there it is.  I got to spend a great weekend with amazing experiences, not to mention I got to be a witness to Cody's baptism which was an experience all in itself, that I was so happy to be a part of!  Great friends, great time, and great experiences is all a very good reason that a part of my heart will always be left in Cleveland. I sure hope I get to visit more in the future!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

It only took 16 years

I know, I'm still working on my Cleveland post.  I'm finding it hard to put my feelings into words, but it's in the works. :)

Tonight I received a pleasant surprise.  I was contacted by the area director at work today and was asked to stay.  He said my boss has made several statements about how lost she is going to be without me and how hard it's going to be to replace me and he wanted to offer me more money and a higher position landing me as the second in charge of the store.  The money is o.k., but I would be able to achieve monthly bonus's which could equal as much as an extra pay check.

I was very surprised and actually shocked.  For the first time in the 16 years I've worked on and off for that company, someone above my boss has spoken appreciation and even offered compensation for all my hard work. 

It's enough to live on around here, I could easily get a place to live on my own again and not struggle from month to month and constantly worry about how to pay my bills.  It's even enough that I could afford to buy a house with the down payment money this sale could provide.

After some serious consideration, I talked at great length with him about how much it meant to me for him to call me and offer me the position, and how much I appreciated that the company finally noticed my hard work, but that I couldn't accept the position, that I was still going to be moving out of the area.

I say serious consideration, but really it was only about 3 seconds that I thought about it.  This isn't about money, this is about life.  I know what it's like to work those hours, I know what it's like to be in charge of that place because I've already been doing it.  I know what that place has done to me, and I know what this town has done to me, and what it would continue to do to me.  I know accepting that position would only limit me in my life, it would tie me down in my head and I would never again reach for anything more.  I would fall prey to my comfort zone, I would fall prey to the detrimental decisions I'm prone too here, and it would just end very badly and would be misery to the end. 

But it was nice to finally feel appreciated.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Need Suggestions

So I had a fantastic weekend this past weekend in Cleveland and will be writing a couple of different posts or maybe one good post about it, but this one isn't it.

So I've been reviewing both of my public blogs out there and have decided with the selling of business the other blog should come down because there is so much on there about the store, but I don't want to take it down.  What I plan on doing is creating one blog out of the two current blogs.  I want to merge them together on a new blog and continue in one voice.

My question is this.....what on earth should I be calling it?  I really have no idea what to call the new blog, or even what to think about naming it about, or after or anything really.

I thought I would post the question to my few readers and see what they had to say.  I'm not sure when I'll get around to this, but I think it will be much easier to just have one blog, I don't really write much on the other one, and my readers are pretty much the same for both, so I'd rather just have one connected to the proper google account so I don't have to keep signing on and off for different things.

Well just let me know what you guys think.