Yesterday afternoon before my husband left for work an older gentleman pulled into her old parking lot and wandered over to knock on the front door of our little house. Hubby went out to greet him before he made it to our front porch.
As he got to this part of the story I was wondering- What now? You see, when you own an old building, namely an old store, you have constant traffic in the old lot. If I had a nickel for every car that turned around out there or parked out there...well, I'd have a lot of nickels.
It turns out the old man was interested in renting our little piece of the past. Well, I don't think so. She's mine...all MINE- insert evil laugh. A lot of folks fall in love with the store. Of course I understand. It was love at first sight for me, after all. I am sure like myself he had visions of soda machines filled with old Coke bottles, Yoo-Hoo's, Nehi's and shelves filled with Moonpies and vintage wares. I bet he wanted to replace the old cash register and fill the freezer with frozen treats again. Maybe he peeked into the window and pictured the old wood stove burning again. Maybe he wanted to sell fishing tackle for the locals that head up to the lake across the road. I can understand a man that sees potential like that.
But apparently he was a blind man. He wanted to rent the store to sell (and I quote) high-end antiques. Um, I don't think so. Okay, so there is nothing wrong with high-end pieces but this girl squirms in a place like that. Give me junk, let me thrift, take me back to good old times, but don't put me in a high-end sort of place.
The old man tried to persuade my husband. Are you sure, are you sure?- he asked over and over. He told him it was ours and we had our own plans and dreams for it one day. Poor girl, I bet she shuddered at the thought. My poor little store.
As the man was about to leave he discovered that he had locked himself out of the car. My husband grew increasingly impatient and needed to get to work. He helped him for a bit and then the man called his daughter to bring the extra key. He told the man he was welcomed to wait under the old eaves of the store, so he took a seat, sheltered from the rain showers yesterday. On the way out hubby stopped by with a A&W Root Beer and the old man was happy to oblige.
As he drove away the old man sat outside the old store sipping the soda, as I imagine many of the local old men around here used to do. I wish I had that picture and all the ones that came before it. All remains just as it should be- once an old general store and always our old general store.