Back In Business

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If you read my blog with any regularity you may recall a story I posted in August entitled Going Out of Business. The title in the previous sentence is a link to that story, but in case you’re not inclined to click it, here is a very brief synopsis: A local woman named Ginger (whose store’s name I totally ripped off for my blog) announced she was going out of business. I purchased the store’s sign after some negotiation. I then lamented that Mom-and-Pop stores were disappearing from the American landscape.

If you like happy endings and/or happy new beginnings, I am pleased to tell you that Ginger’s is back! After quite a few phone calls and text messages from friends saying the store had reopened, that Ginger herself was still there, still working, I decided to drop by and investigate.

“Mornin'” Ginger said when I entered the store.

“Well hey! I heard you reopened.” I said.

“I did,” she said. “You can keep the sign, though.”

“What happened?” I asked.

Back in August when I bought the sign, when I nearly killed myself helping Todd take that 200 pound wasp box off the exterior wall of the store, Ginger’s plan had been to close up as soon as the shelves or the register were empty. Done deal. It was in the newspaper and everything.

Ginger explained that quite a few customers had been distraught when she announced she was closing up shop. A businessman, a Muslim, she said, offered to partner up with her. He agreed to handle all the icky, businessy aspects of the store if she would man the register and keep up the friendly customer service that had earned her customers’ loyalty.

Ginger really lit up talking about the plans she and her new business partner were making. They were getting new inventory. They were selling gas again and making plans for a small restaurant.

Ginger told me a bit about her new partner’s views on God. You could tell they had talked about it. (She is a volunteer hospital chaplain, you may recall.) Anyway, it seems they had found a little more common ground than she had expected. He was against selling alcohol, and she obviously respected that.

“Do you know what a blog is?” I asked Ginger, confessing.

“Kind of,” she answered with a shrug.

“Well, it is like a story on the internet that anyone can read. Anyway, I wrote one back in the Summer about your store going out of business.”

“Well, you’ll have to write another one,” she said, “because I’m back. I never left, really.”

There you are. A happy ending. A happy new beginning. Christians and Muslims. Peace, love and biscuits.

Ginger couldn’t have seen this coming back in August when she flipped the breaker for that sign. When she let us load it up in our truck and carry it home. I’ve got to remember that the next time I feel like I’ve run out of options. Sometimes there are unforeseen possibilities soon to materialize.

I’m happy for Ginger. I’m happy for Fall; for the cold snap that will soon come and kill off what remains of what I’m sorry to say has been a miserable Summer. I’m happy for the bulb of optimism that God has planted in my soul and for the Spring that will bring it out of dormancy when the time is right.

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