I got back from my Grandfather's funeral last night. On a whim, not being able to decide whether I should go or not, I rented a van, packed up my 4 little ones, and braved the long drive from Pocatello to Duluth, Minnesota for a sad and strange trip. I finished working with clients on Thursday and left after work. We drove about 6 hours to Billings, Montana and spent the night in a too-expensive room that was gross and smelled like cigarette smoke. From West Yellowstone to Billings was snowy, and my mood was heavy.
I wanted a chance to explore the city of Duluth. Its old architecture, dirty shipping industry, sandy shores, history, Finnish heritage, memories (I moved away to California with my mother when I was very small but have very strong feelings of familiarity when I go there). The chill in the air, steep hills, liberal politics (at least compared to here) the unique style of homes give the city its own flavor that I can't get enough of. The weight of the impending drive home with my little ones took priority and I didn't get the chance to explore like I wanted to. Maybe next summer.
On the way home, my mood lifted. Northern Minnesota is so beautiful in the fall. All the leaves were gone, but there wasn't snow yet. I felt happy, contented. I took pictures of things that spoke to my soul.
So, now that I'm back, I'll get back to business. The store will be open regular hours this weekend. Customers can come in and meet my fabulous new employee, Jessica. We have been working to price new items over the past few weeks. We have made a severe dent in the overstock in my back room. There are new items all over the shop. I will also begin bringing out the vintage Christmas decorations I've been collecting all year. I hope to see you soon!