Today, September 30th marks the one year anniversary of the sale of the Shadfly Antiques building, and as it happens the 11th anniversary of our purchasing the building in 2005. We had a great run of it, and loved having what we considered to be a great little antique shop, but the upkeep of the building and dealing with tenants had taken it’s tole on our enthusiasm, not to mention the downturn in the antique business.
As planned, we did a review of operations at the end of 9 years of operation, as well as hiring a professional building inspector to look over what needed to be done to the building, and when we looked at the figures we decided we it was time. We bought the building reasonably and did not have to invest much money to set up two upstairs apartments and the main floor shop. Not much money, but a lot of time and effort, and the building had been “good to us” for nine years, not requiring any major repairs, but it was getting harder to find good, reliable tenants, and when a blocked sewer pipe cost us $1,200 to repair with a warning from the plumber that it might soon need to be totally replaced at an estimated cost of $12,000, we started to get nervous. Then the building inspection presented many more problems like an impending roof replacement, etc., so we took the practical step to get out before a large investment would be necessary. We priced it reasonably and it sold within two weeks.
We were able to establish a four-month period before the deal closing, which allowed us time to clear the larger stock, and move the smalls and folk art which we would continue with on-line into the basement of our house next door. It was a very busy four months I can tell you. My side-kick Albert and I had a lot of cleaning up and painting to get the basement presentable, and there was all that furniture to move. We held a big clearing sale for the month of August with a last day celebration and sale the weekend of September 6/7 which was a great successful in terms of sales and saying goodbye to our many local friends and customers. I can attest that nothing improves sales like closing shop. We were motivated sellers, and many realized that it would be their last, best chance to score a few items that they had been eyeing over the years. It was a great last day. A mixture of joy, celebration, and a little sadness; and when it was over we closed the door for the last time and started to take apart the shop in earnest the very next day.
We chose Tuesday September, 22 as the day to move the remaining stock from Shadfly to our basement, planning to take the remaining stock the following day to a storage unit which we decided we would need for a couple of months to deal with the surplus. We were surprised and delighted when hearing of our plan, some friends offered to help. People can be so wonderful, can’t they? It’s one thing to have a couple of buddies help you move to your college digs. It’s quite another at our age to be slogging heavy boxes. Many hands do indeed make for light work. Jeanine and I spent many days packing so that on that fateful morning when 6 friends, as it turns out, arrived all we had to do was get everything from point a to b. We thought this might take until about 1p.m. and then it would be pizza and beer, and thank you folks, but we were so efficient that when 11 o’clock rolled around everything was moved over, and instead of quitting, our friends decided that they would continue and would help move the three truck-loads of items to the storage unit. What a team.
There was a natural and relaxed order to things. A person received the boxes in each of the basement storage rooms, Albert got everything down the stairs, Jeanine and I loaded people from the Shadfly end and the rest of just carried things over. We had considered a “human chain” passing the boxes from hand to hand but it was rejected as a concept being too hard to keep the timing right, and with too much passing of things from hand to hand. The difference between theory, and practice. It was a beautiful morning. The crew remained cheerful; and by 2 p.m we were sitting down to pizza and beer with a warm glow of gratitude and relief filling the room.
If that wasn’t enough, another friend who coudn’t make it on the moving day, came a couple of days later to help Albert and I move the final things to our garage and clean up the place.
Mission accomplished. Many thanks and deep gratitude to those involved. You know who you are. It is a wonderful fact that in our hour of need, our friends came forward and made what seemed an unsurmountable task, a piece of cake. We’ll get by with a little help from our friends, with a little help from our friends.