February 27, 2011

Memory Lane Monday - Stitches...

Welcome to Memory Lane Monday!

When I wrote my last Memory Lane Monday post, I hinted at what I planned to write about this month. All that changed last week, when I received an email that really touched my heart. I wrote back to the author and asked if I could share her message with you and she agreed. So, today most of my post will be written by Barb.
"Donna,
I don't have a blog & this is the first contact I've made of ANY kind in blogland. I thought maybe an e-mail would be ok. I have a story for Memory Lane Monday, should you choose to use it.

The memory is of a lovely shop we had for too short a time in a nearby town. Right from the sign over the door you were taken to a gentle whisper of time. The music in the shop was soft & restful and encouraged you to linger, and escape your day for awhile.
The proprietress was friendly and welcoming even when you could see that maybe it wasn't her best day. She never showed it outright. She never looked down on a customer who couldn't maybe afford the very best of her wares, (need I say myself?) but, gave the same beautiful service to all. With your purchase she included a printed card punched with two tiny heart shapes - and a gold needle threaded through them. It made you feel appreciated no matter the size of your purchase. I still have several of them, unable to use them and to toss the cards.
This gracious lady went so far as to invite customers to what she called a "stitch in" (if I remember the name correctly), to her own home! She introduced us to her "handsome" husband and four-legged "children", and gave us a tour of her exquisite home. She then served us refreshments and conversation on top of it all! It was just a lovely time.
Yes Donna, the lady I speak of is you, as if you hadn't guessed. You and Stitches have crossed my mind so often. You are still both sorely missed. I knew you were selling your home and wondered where you ended up. It was a happy accident that I found your blog through another. I believe it was The Raspberry Rabbits.

I went back over your entire archives and see that, if anything you have only become more gracious over time. Anyone who has only met you through your writings and thinks you are very special, has no idea. Sorry if this is too long, but, I did want to thank you for lovely memories of a lovely shop and an even lovelier lady.

God Bless. Barb D.
"
Barb sent this current photo of herself for me to use today.
When I realized that Barb was referring to me, I started to cry. Her use of the word "proprietress" was my first clue, as that was the designation I used in all of my business references. It appeared on my storefront window, along with my business cards and advertising materials - including my needle cards, to which I affixed a single gold needle given as a thank you each time a customer made a purchase. Barb's reference to those needle cards was my second clue.

I opened Stitches in 1989, and spent a joyful eight years of my life meeting needleworkers who became good friends. Customers were greeted by red geraniums growing in my planters outside, and in the winter, we tried to keep the geranium theme alive inside. Classical music filled the shop, and there was always a cup of coffee, tea or hot cider and comfortable leather wing-back chairs to settle into. Customers were welcome to come and stitch anytime they felt the urge.

My memories are full of beautiful pieces completed by both novice and accomplished needleworkers. I loved teaching a new customer how to do counted cross stitch, and then see her glowing smile as she brought in the completed piece for me to see.
I also carried needlepoint, crewel embroidery and rug hooking (I still love those Claire Murray rugs and kits!) in my shop. There really is nothing quite like spending time in the company of women who share a passion for the needle arts.

The women who worked for - and with - me were friends I came to love. Beverly, Jan, Lori, Emily, Allison, Lisa and Grace to name a few. Laura (a grade school friend) became my shop manager and I love her more than a sister. We still keep in touch, for which I am very grateful. Grace was like a mother to me, and Lisa became my daughter-in-law. They loved our customers, and cared for the shop as though it were their own. No owner could ask for more.

To think that I had touched one customer's heart this way affects me deeply, and I can never adequately express all of my feelings. I am so grateful that Barb took the time to write to me and share her memories - memories that we both share.

Thank you, my friend. I look forward to reconnecting with you now that we've found each other again. God surely works in mysterious ways...and for that I'm forever grateful.

Thanks for joining me this Memory Lane Monday. I'll always put the date of the next Memory Lane Monday under the button in my sidebar. You're welcome to use the button on your blog, too.

Now it's your turn to share a tale or two. Please link back here (below) so that others can visit your blog, too.



19 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Sarah said...

Donna, this is a beautiful story. Shops such as yours are a respite for many. I can say we have a wonderful shop here in Austin where one feels a connection with the owner and her employees. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt note. I only know you through your blog, but I've come to consider my visits to be ones with a good friend. ~ Sarah

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Your story touched my heart Donna! I can imagine you in that shop!!! I LOVE your post, and of course as always, you inspire us all to "Stitch Pretty Things"!!!
Thank you for hosting this sweet party... Hugs, Donna

Stitching Noni said...

Donna and Barb, what a lovely story to read, even bought a tear to my eye so I can imagine how you felt Donna when you read the story.

Your blog is a delight to read so I can well imagine how your customers must have felt going into your store.

Ladies, thank you both for the lovely Memory Lane story. I wish you many more happy memories.

http://firefliescatsinthegarden.blogspot.com/

Carol at Serendipity said...

Donna,

What a lovely story. I enjoyed reading about your shop. I will get your button and I am redesigning mine. Hope to see you this week!

Carol

Tracy Suzanne said...

Hey Donna. Oh' my gosh, I know how that must have touched your heart. What a lovely email to get. Her sweet words however are no surprise to me or anyone else who knows you. Everything you do has a special touch. It can be a kind word(which overflows from you generous heart) or that special little something you add to an email or an item.

Can you believe I haven't been to bed yet so I'm heading that way now. Ridiculous, I know. So I'll pop back in later this afternoon.

OOXX's...T :)

Carol said...

DEAR Donna:
What a heart warming and magical post. I have met a shop owner or two that I have felt the same way about, but they are gone now, run out by the big guys.

This post is proof of what I say almost every day. . You never know who is watching you, or who your words or actions will touch and how they will affect them.

Barb's words only confirm what your cyber friends already know about you.
xx, Carol

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

I am so happy I stopped by this morning...those are beautiful memories and shows how we can touch the lives of people and never know it ... what a blessing to be able to hear you were a blessing from someone you knew long ago.
(())

Lululiz said...

What a beautiful, heartwarming story! Such wonderful memories for both of you.

The French Bear said...

How absolutely lovely, what a sweet story and what a terrific lady. I feel the same way about meeting you in blogland Dee, you are a treasure and I am so glad that we have met, I only wish I could have shopped in your store!!!
Hugs,
Mags
xx

Andi's English Attic said...

I was smiling at this story until I reached 'Yes Donna, the lady I speak of is you'. My face almost cracked as the biggest smile rose in my face. How wonderful to have made these memories for your customers - and I bet there are many who share them. xx

hungryhippie said...

That's a tear jerker! You are so amazing....I'm lucky to know you.
xoxoxo
natalie

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Donna honey what a precious friend to have found you and then wrote such a lovely story for your Memory Lane Mondays. I knew when I saw your beautiful picture it was you.
So hard to believe that someone can find us through our blogs like this wonderful lady did.
Love the story it brought tears to my eyes and I am working on mine now hopefully I can get it up soon
Love
Maggie

Lucys Baby said...

Your Monday's Memories gave me goosebumps
XO
Jan

Patty said...

How beautiful!

Kathy said...

This post brought back memories for me, too! I think of your shop every time I drive by that site. I still wish there was a nice cross-stitch shop around, but they are few and far between these days.

I still have a few of those needle cards around, too. And a really nice Gazelle stand that never gets used anymore. I'll bet I can find a couple UFOs from your shop if I dig around a little bit! I should get all that stuff out and finish one!

Kathy

Michelle May said...

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

Beautiful girlfriend. :)
xx, shell

Sharon said...

What a wonderful story! I loved it!

Createology said...

Donna this is such a heartwarming tale on memory lane. Your friend Barb really said it all and it is easy to understand how special you and your shoppe were to so many. How wonderful to reconnect with someone who shares the love of stitching with you. March promises...
P.S. I apologize for not participating however our snow storm and power outage really set me back.

Jan M said...

Thank you for sharing such a special story. It comes as no surprise that a shop owned by you would be a special and magical place. As a shopowner, I can only hope that someone felt as special when they visited my store.

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