Monday, September 29, 2008

It's been a long, long time

Here we are at the end of the month - and it seems as if it were just beginning. Actually, it was just beginning and then Gustav and Ike blew through town and turned us every which way. This has been a really short month for the retail scene - store closing for the week-end on August 29th and not opening again until September 15th! That kind of schedule will ruin the bottom line, you can be sure. And to top it off, it has taken us the rest of the month just to find all the things we put up to save them from the storms! I stood at the front of the store and tried to remember all the things that had been ruined during Katrina and exactly why. Broken windows brought the wind, rain, and then the intolerable heat and humidity. So, I went about frantically putting everything in drawers, up high and at the back of shelves, and as far away from the windows as possible. It made sense then, but now as I try to remember what went where, I can't fathom what I must have been imagining! We had no damages, no broken windows, and only a few days without power and telephones and computers.
Today and last Friday I spent my time trying to re-invent the practice of display design. I moved everything from one side of the store to the other, then from front to back, and then everything made a few more moves. Am I pleased with the result? It looks just about right, but you are never done with this fun part of the job. And if you do it just right, some one will purchase the integral parts of your "work" and then you get to start all over again. To call this work is just not honest!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to Work

It seems weeks since we were here at the store - and it has been! We closed the door on Friday, August 29th and this morning hung out the Open sign again. It has been an up and down ride for sure - first Gustav roared through suspending all power, phones, and cable internet. After 8 days of no services we were ready to head back. That is when Ike decided to pay a visit. So here we are - finally - back up and running again. The city is still in a state of distress as piles and piles of trees stand at attention down all boulevards and lanes. Some of the areas still have no power and won't have until a few more weeks. This is such a difference from Katrina though that I am really considering myself lucky and happy to be able to be open in just two weeks. Our streets are not filled with water, there are no high water marks on all the houses and buildings, and almost everyone has a house in working order. True, there are holes in the roof and porches knocked sideways for some of us, but it is nothing on the order of a Katrina recovery.
So, for now, it is putting back all the things that we safely stored and trying to remember what it is that we were doing. Nothing like a few days away to give you a new perspective on everything!