Monday, July 20, 2015

Memories When Unexpected

          Slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community is a pleasure every week.  Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Beth and Anna! 
          I am not a good shopper, mostly do what needs to be done, then go home. Sometimes it is a slice of my life, however. And there are a few places I love to go, usually interesting streets of small independent shops. Much of the time I shop there to look, enjoy, and to discover gifts for friends and family.  Serendipity reigns! I started writing about a shopping trip I made last week, but it's also turned out to be a memory too. Funny how that happens when writing!
           The following photos show a shopping district in the Cherry Creek area of Denver, a wonderful shopping area next to a large enclosed mall, too. I go to the mall occasionally; it has an Apple store and Nordstrom's, after all. This small shopping area is "up" the street from where our store was for thirty years. My husband owned and operated an auto sound store, selling, installing and repairing car stereos and alarms, etc. We were fortunate that we ended up finding a great location, and my husband was a wonderful businessman. After we closed the store, the property was sold and there is a three story bank there now. So many memories linger. Many hours were spent there by my husband and by our children growing up, learning how to clean a shop as well as wait on customers. Owning a small business becomes everyone's job! I did the accounting all those years.
            This introduction shows my link to this area. I spent time on this street many times, took my grandson to Noodles around the corner when he was a little boy, have taken friends and out-of-town visitors shopping and out to breakfast, lunch and dinner on the street. Some stores are still there; many have changed. I admire every person who takes the leap and puts their heart and soul, and a lot of sweat, into a dream, a little business all their own.   

            I don't get to the area often although I'm lots closer than I used to be, but once in a while. . . Last week was the annual sidewalk sale, and I went. Here are some pictures of just a few places. There are many others. I love the art, the flowers, the benches and the attention to making visitors enjoy the outside as well as inside. I love the store names. What would you name a store if you had one? Do you have that dream?











a lovely indie store-here a long time
        This final picture is my favorite shop, filled with beautiful things, all kinds of things, and all made by artisans from many places. I found some lovely things this day here at this shop, on the sidewalk and inside. 

34 comments:

  1. Oh I would love that Artisan shop too! This was a happy slice to read. It sounds like you have a lot of fond memories of your small business days!

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    1. Yes, I do, Kathleen, Thanks. The Artisan Center is one that has been there for a long, long time.

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  2. Your favorite kind of shopping is my favorite kind of shopping, too! It's so rewarding to leisurely stroll through independent shops--especially bookstores--and suddenly find a perfect little gift for someone. What a lovely neighborhood!

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    1. This perhaps is one of the largest areas, but there are several similar ones throughout the city. It's such a pleasure shopping in the neighborhoods. Thanks, Melanie.

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  3. Your post shows how owning your own small business has made you appreciate all these other small business owners. There is a lot of creative business names in that area that you were shopping. Looking at all those names made me wonder what your business was named.

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    1. Well, our business wasn't terribly creative. The name was Western Radio, and often in the early years people would tell my husband they thought it was some kind of radio station. Gradually, it became known for what it was. Thanks, Bernadette.

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  4. I am not much of a shopper either, but if the stores would look as interesting, even I might go a bit more often! A store of my own? I don't think so. I have worked in small stores, and it is just too much work!

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    1. I still don't go very often, but this area does make it fun, Jaana!

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  5. These pictures are lovely! They remind me of shopping in Albuquerque, NM when I used to go and visit my Dad. I agree, knowing when you step into an independent shop, you are part of someone's dream...it's a powerful experience. I would love to open a store that has books and journals and notebooks and pens and is all about readers and writers. What would I name it?!?! Hmmm, now you have me thinking!! Maybe this will be a blog post for me... LOVE this slice!!!

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    1. And I would, as probably many here on Tuesdays, love to shop in your store, Michelle. Wouldn't it be fun to do the purchasing? I hope you do write about this!

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  6. Malls are great when you are in a hurry and need to run in and out. However, there is nothing like browsing independent stores to find those special and unique items. I know because we have a few in our house.

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    1. As you can see, I agree wholeheartedly, and I do love to support the independent stores, too.

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  7. Maine has lots of independent shops, and I don't always think to go in them. But when I do, man! I love to just browse and browse. That is when I like to do my Christmas shopping. There are always wonderful discoveries in these places. And you are right - the names are also wonderful. The sidewalks are often an extension of the inside. Love your pictures! (BTW, I added chickadee and phoebe YouTube clips)

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    1. Well, as you can tell, I love going too. I'll be over to listen! Thanks, Donna.

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  8. That does look like a lovely place to shop! Next time I'm in Colorado....
    The only shop I would want to own would be a bookshop. Not sure I would want to own one. Just read all the kids books :)

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    1. Yes, I understand. I've often thought I would have liked to own a bookshop, but the work would take me away from reading! Thanks, Michele, hope you can visit this part of town sometime.

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  9. What a great post, Linda. I, too, love how writing takes me to places I least expect. A memory, an insight, a lesson. Words lead us. (And you and I are similar shoppers when it comes to "have to" shopping--actually when it comes to "get to" shopping too.) I actually have become a fan of internet shopping...but even with that only when I need to. The place that you shopped looks delightful. I love the names of the stores and I think that your favorite store might be mine too. If I ever get to Boulder, I will certainly look.

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    1. Thanks, Deb, yes, I do believe we think a lot alike. But this is not Boulder, but Denver. Boulder has its own lovely shopping, the Pearl Street Mall. And that is another story!

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  10. Linda,
    This line caught my eye"
    "I started writing about a shopping trip I made last week, but it's also turned out to be a memory too. Funny how that happens when writing!'

    So true. One of the many beautiful things writing can give. I didn't know much about this time in your life and it hit such a chord for me. My husband has always operated at his best independently. He had that dream of owning his own business and finally did it 15 years ago. It takes a certain personality and a certain support system to make that happen. I admire and have a very soft spot for small business people. Asking writer/reader/teacher to create a store, what would we name it? And what would we sell? Love the idea. Could it be something you need in this shopping space?

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    1. Oh, this is wonderful to hear that you all too have an owner-operated store. I try very hard to find them and give them my business. My husband too loved being his own boss, and did it wonderfully. He was well known for his inclusiveness, something we all were so proud of. I'm not sure what names I would choose. My brother (retired teacher, always a musician) just opened a little antique shop a few years ago, calls it "Buy-Gones", so clever. Thanks for sharing, Julieanne.

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  11. I too admire people who take that leap of faith to open a small independenr business. This area has so many memories for you- I'm glad you can revisit them. Must be strange to see a three story bank where your family's business once stood.
    A business of my own? I always dreamed I'd open a small restaurant - breakfast and lunch food and just a few tables inside and out, and the walls would be lined with books and I would call the place Food For Thought. Thanks for sharing your memory/ slice Linda.

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    1. You're welcome, Lisa, and I love that you shared your dream business. What a terrific name, "Food for Thought". I would certainly be your customer!

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  12. I don't shop much either now that my kids are grown-ups. I love these kinds of streets. My husband and I found one in Chicago on our trip there. What would I name my own business? Hm, I have to give that one some thought. Might make a good blog post.

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    1. Love that you found one in Chicago too, Margaret. It must have been wonderful! I'll look for your post!

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  13. Loved joining you on your day of shopping -- something not really in my life right now as a working mom with two boys… some day. For now I lived through you! Thank you for taking me with you!
    Clare

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    1. You're welcome, Clare. Some day you'll get back to it, a little bit at least! I don't go very often.

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  14. Loved each of these names - Heaven: what does that sell?! So much family history in this shopping area, Linda - the word pentimento comes to mind.

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    1. Heaven is a day spa/nail salon, Tara. I've never been there but it looks nice. Thanks for "pentimento"-love it! You're are so right, layers and layers!

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  15. The stores look like fun little places to shop and take time to chat with friends. There's an outdoor venue not far from us called First and Main. It has great little shops (a mixture of independent and very commercial) along with great restaurants. If I owned a shop, it would be a joint coffee/scrapbooking/book store.

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    1. And if you had that shop, I would certainly be there browsing and drinking chai lattes, Amy. Let me know! Those kinds of places are special.

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  16. I love that store that is named "Heaven." (Must be a book store???) Shops like these are true treasures. I enjoyed visiting them with you here today.

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    1. Sorry, Jennifer, for all of us it "should" be a bookstore, shouldn't it? But it is a day spa/nail salon. Wonderful I imagine. Glad you enjoyed looking!

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  17. I wondered about Heaven too! I thought it might be a bakery or a bookstore, but the spa idea works too. It is so nice to be pampered. These are my favorite kind of stores to browse. We just learned that our independent bookstore has a new owner. And the former owners are staying on as employees, it makes the transition easier for us. We're glad as a community to have a local bookstore.
    I might call my store - Delight - and fill it with books and baked goods.

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    1. Delight is lovely, books, baked goods, a good easy chair, sounds terrific! Glad you'll have a smooth transition at your indie!

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