I wrote back in May about Lemons continuing to be launched at me then. They seem to slow down but not go away. Which is to be expected starting a new business. You would think that at this point I would be used to handling them. I’ll admit, some lemons I can handle pretty good, but others like the last 48 hours I just lost it. I broke down. I had some panic attacks and stress pains. But with the help of some very good people, I am getting through them.
Thanksgiving Day I spent in my store making stuff for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. However, there was another plan for me that day. While I got some things made, I did not get as much done as I had hoped because I had sewage issues. I did not know the extent of the issues. At first, I just thought they were due to a clogged toilet. I allow customers to use the restroom in my shop, my thought was someone flushed the hand towels or something else. Needless to say, I spent time cleaning up the bathroom.
Friday morning, I came down to the shop and the toilet worked for maybe 2-3 flushes then it backed up again. My friend who helps me at the shop had her husband take a look at it for me and we determined a plumber needed to be called. I contacted another friend for a recommendation. I will say, the plumbers were at my place within about 10 minutes of calling them. Then for the next five hours they tried to fix things and determine the issue. They had some theories, but nothing definite without a camera and sensor which they brought Saturday.
When one of my friends stopped by on Friday to bring me some dinner (a plate of his family’s Thanksgiving food they celebrated on Friday – yum by the way), I just lost it. I started crying. There were so many things going through my mind and they all just came out at once. I was concerned about paying the plumbers (premium holiday on-call rate) and then what would I do without being able to run water or use the facilities at my store or apartment. Then my mind went to my store, I cannot make stuff when I am not able to clean my equipment, bowls, pots, trays, and my hands. I would lose money. What if I had to shut down. All of this just erupted at once and I just broke down. He handled it very well (I’m sure his wife, sisters and mother have prepared him for handling these types of situations).
My friend who helps me at the store and her mother (who was visiting) were praying constantly for me and for things to work out. The power of prayer does work. They were also diffusing oils and they helped at keeping me as calm as one could.
The good news for me Friday night was that the issue was my landlady’s not mine. I feel bad that she is going to have this expense, no one deserves this type of unexpected expenses during the holidays. However, I was relieved that I do not have to pay. The bad news for me Friday night was that I was unable to use the bathrooms or run water (that would drain) in my store or my apartment.
Saturday, the plumbers returned with their camera and sensor. My landlady was here with a friend to make sure everything was being done properly. They determined that the blockage is under my shop (near the front of the store). They are coming back on Monday morning to try and power blast the blockage. If that doesn’t work, then they will go to plan B.
The good news that came from the plumbers on Saturday was that of my two bathrooms upstairs in the apartment, I am able to use the one because it is not on the same line as the retail store or bathroom off my master bedroom. I’m not much of a camper so I was not looking forward to being without a bathroom for a few days.
The bad news right now is I have no idea yet how long I’ll be where I cannot run water in the retail shop or my apartment. Without being able to run water in the store I cannot make stuff for the shop which is one of the main reasons people come to the shop. We make things every day, especially the gourmet apples, popcorn, tiger butter, and caramel treats just to name a few. Without water I cannot make them which will affect sales.
I am praying for a quick resolution to the issue. I’m ok with working on other things for a couple days, but I have preorders for Christmas gifts, birthdays, and events that I need to be able to start making stuff before the 1st.
While some may not believe in the power of prayer, I do and I will be praying as I know my friends are too that things work out quick. We are praying one step at a time. They are being answered. While lemons are thrown at me, with the help of others, I am getting through them.
As with all lemons I’ve encountered in my life I learn something. What did I learn? I learned a couple things.
I learned that you cannot do everything alone. That sometimes you need friends who have racquets to knock some of the lemons out of the way or to help juice them. I don’t know what I would do without the Palmer and Clark family’s these last 48 hours. I could have been much worse had it not been for these families.
I also learned that even when you have plans, God decides what he wants you to do. What do I mean with that? You all know I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. Well, my friend had asked me how one of my projects was going that I need to get done (non-candy making related). I told her earlier this week that I have not had a chance to get back on it because I was spending all my time in the shop doing things and making things. I fully believe this is God’s way of telling me to get this project completed. I need it to move forward on a plan I have in place for my overall business. Unfortunately, I cannot have anyone else do it, I have to do it. So, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I will be working diligently on the project when I’m not at a couple appointments.
Lastly, I know that it is said that God only gives us what he thinks we can handle. There are times when I wonder what the heck He is thinking. Then there are times I’m thinking this is a test, will I pass or fail. I almost failed, but again, my friends kept me from totally failing. At times I still have confidence issues with myself. While giving up never crossed my mind in the past 48 hours, confidence in myself and the way I was handling things did waver. Again, that is when you have the right support system around you to reassure you that you can handle this and it will be ok.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the community for coming out and shopping local on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. The support you all mentioned to me as we were going through these Lemons with the plumbers was overwhelmingly humbling. I will continue to fight to keep this candy store going and growing the downtown historical York, SC area as long as you all continue to support me and the other businesses down here. I’m a good listener as some of you have indicated. If you have suggestions or issues with the downtown area, please let me know and I’ll be happy to convey them to the those in charge. You all have no idea how determined I am to build this downtown area. I love this town and the people. I really want to see York, SC grow while maintaining the hometown historical feel. It can be done with the right planning in place and you all can be part of it.
Be safe and know that I appreciate each and every one of you.