The window in my bedroom at the cottage is cracked just enough to hear the waves crashing. It's shockingly cold for the end of May, even by Ohio standards, and it's driving rain. I'm piled up with blankets, enveloped in a familiar, comforting smell. Today's fresh lake air has blown away the mustiness leaving a subtle, sweet, old aroma.
There are boxes in the living room towering like children's blocks. T-shirts and sweatshirts are everywhere. A riot of color is covering the flat surfaces from the dining room table to the piano bench to the guest room bed. Even the ironing board is part of the Kite Shop staging process. Opening boxes and seeing goods for the first time feels a little like Christmas each year. This is all familiar, especially the frenzy of the final countdown to opening day this weekend.
Somewhere between panic and party, we find ourselves folding into the wee hours. We have what we need--coffee, good music and extra clipboards for whoever shows up to help. (Did you ever wonder how we got those stacks so uniform?) Last night I was pretty nostalgic going to bed as I left our oldest son and a friend downstairs folding. Drifting off to sleep, listening to the muffled sounds of conversation, I thought of the dozen of sweet souls who have helped us fold shirts over the past 30ish years. It is good to know that some things are constant and that we are not alone.
For those of you who somehow just stumbled across this blog post, I've been running this seasonal kite and t-shirt shop in the summers since 1984. The shop is in the beloved enclave of Lakeside, Ohio and each year we make the trek from Chattanooga in May to open. It's been a long running rhythm, except this year we brought our masks and have been checking out DIY sneeze guards on Pinterest. These are crazy, uncertain times, but we're all going to figure it out the best we can.
With so many unknowns, it seems like a good strategy to aim to be faithful everyday to do the tasks at hand and to try to care for each other well. We're excited about our new logo and our new online store. We're excited to see you, Lakesiders, peering over the tops of masks, waving through the shop window and air hugging from a distance. We're excited to watch and hear about the ways we're all figuring out this unique season. We're excited to see the creativity, resilience, generosity and grace in the little community.
I think the rain has stopped. Even the post-rain drip from the gutter is familiar to me. I will fall asleep to the sound of the waves with my cold nose peeking out of my blankets, grateful for the perspective of the vastness of the lake and comforted by all the anchoring constants at Lakeside and in life.
We look forward to seeing you!