Working to keep the hope and faith

In a sad sign of the times, the wonderful little store down the street from us is going out of business.

The North Lake Country Store is about 1/2 mile from my house – it’s a place where you get snacks, fishing/hunting licenses, beer, gasoline, propane, a sandwich for the drive to work or the “2 in 1” oil you need for a leafblower… a friendly, family owned store. It’s the kind of place where, when I walked in, they’d say “Hey Tony! We got more of those Starbucks energy drink things in for ya!”, and they’d ask how business was at the theatre. The kind of place where, if you ran over there late at night to grab some milk so the kids could have cereal in the morning, but you forgot your wallet, they’d say “Oh, just take it – just stop in and pay us later in the week.” Those kind of places aren’t around much anymore, folks.

Well, they’re joining the many folks who are now wondering what to do to pay their bills. I stopped in tonight to fill my gas tank, and chatted with one of the soon to be ex-clerks. We talked for a minute or two, he said he’s not sure yet what he’s going to do: “Not sure yet…onward and upward, though. Onward and upward!”. Then I paid and was about to go, he stuck his hand out and said “Thanks, though – it’s been a privilege.” I shook his hand, wished him luck, and walked to the car, slowly.

Most, if not all, of the theatres in the state are feeling the economic crunch.
Ours is no exception.
I’ve had family members and friends laid off from their jobs.
It’s difficult to not worry, to not despair… but that wouldn’t really solve anything.
Instead, we can just work to keep the faith. Work to move forward.
It won’t be easy. But we can do it.
We just have to choose.
Choose to be positive.
Choose to make a difference in the world – whether it’s in finance, education, country stores, or theatre.
Some of our ventures will succeed, some will not.
But we must continue choosing “forward” as the direction.
As the man said…
Onward and upward.

14 Replies to “Working to keep the hope and faith”

  1. Oh wow. I used to go to the North Lake Country Store all of the time in high school. My boyfriend lived somewhere out near there.
    How sad for the people who own it, work there and shop there.

    1. Yeah, very disappointing and discouraging.
      Oh, and… your ex-boyfriend? He still lives out here. We hang out sometimes, he’ll drink a 6-pack and talk about how much he misses you. He still blames himself.

  2. Holy hell, noooooo! I used to live out there! My brother and I would go to that store all the time! It was walking distance from my house. God, that’s heartbreaking. Such a great place.
    In the year and a half I’ve been living in Milan, about half of main street has closed. Must…maintain…hope…

    1. What the – where did you live?! You must’ve lived right by where we are! It will be sad to not have them there anymore. If it gets bought by a big gas station company and turned all corporate, I’ll be really disappointed – I like the family atmosphere it had!!

      1. We spent the whole Summer in a cottage on North Lake when we first moved to Chelsea. My brother and I would walk down there and rent videos all the time. Which means we rented Tremors a bunch, ’cause they had like 5 videos.

  3. oh that is sad. I remember when we used to go there for grilled cheese. Thanks for the post. Eric got laid off two weeks ago and I needed a reminder about “onward and upward-ness”.

      1. thanks-yeah we are hanging in there. Unfortunately this is not his first layoff since Benjamin was born. The timing really sucks. But like you said-keep positive and keep moving forward! Thanks for asking about it- #11 on the Top 10 Reasons you are awesome! 🙂

        1. Why?
          Beth,
          I am sorry to hear of anyone’s loss of employment.
          Do you have any insight to why the store failed? Lack of business? Health of the owners…etc.

          1. Re: Why?
            The reason I heard was just that they were not getting enough business. They’re in that out-of-the-way location that is really convenient for those of us that live around there, but there’s not enough people in that group to make it sustainable, I guess.

  4. NLCS
    Thank you for the breaking news, Tony. It’s sad about North Lake Country Store, for sure. But after they added the (too many) extra gas pumps and spaceship landing pad a few years ago–complete with totally obnoxious light pollution–I felt so betrayed. Our local leaders betrayed us too, by allowing it in the first place. Lyndon Township is a pristine part of the county. The “remodel” was inappropriate, unsustainable, and ultimately, a disaster.
    I believe in supporting local businesses, but local businesses need to do the right thing to keep my support.

    1. Re: NLCS
      Hi there anonymous!
      I hadn’t thought of it in terms of obnoxious light pollution (I couldn’t really see the light from my house, too many trees), but I can certainly see your point. It was a LOT of gas pumps for a small store – seems like 2 or 3 might’ve been plenty!
      Still, that doesn’t change for me the family atmosphere and friendly attitude of the owners and staff that I enjoyed when going there. And if they expanded more than they should’ve, well, we all make mistakes and I certainly don’t think theirs was a mistake born from maliciousness. I understand your disappointment in their remodel, but I’d have a hard time thinking that a family losing their business and livelihood was something that was deserved because they tried to grow, you know what I mean?
      On the flip side of that, I really really hope that it isn’t bought up by some giant corporation – the difference between a friendly, family establishment and a sterile corporatized place is huge, and I don’t want that!
      Either way, I just hope the trend stops there, and Chelsea doesn’t lose any MORE businesses!

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