Once again, another year has woven its path through our lives and has come to an end. We’re at the point where we can turn around and look back and take stock of how it measured up against what we had planned and what we didn’t. It’s always interesting to look at notes jotted down in January with a fresh new year looming ahead of us and compare them to the actual facts as to how the year played out.
2017 was a year of “distractions” for us, especially the fall. Between Hurricane Irma, the demise of Sears and the heartbreaking removal of our big, beautiful spruce trees by Hydro, it was often difficult to concentrate on business.
Irma affected some very dear members of our immediate family and we were following every moment of her catastrophic war path, wanting so badly to help out and not knowing what to do except offer to provide refuge… that was a no-go. Our Floridian family members, as always, chose to ride out the storm. After days of being pounded by the massive hurricane, many, many prayers were answered and the damage done was only to property – and even that was fairly manageable in comparison to places like Key West where the destruction was unbelievable.
As for Sears, being a former Sears employee (now retired), my husband, Peter, is affected personally, and we have been paying rapt attention to the closing of that particular chapter in retail history. Aside from being grossly inequitable in all aspects, it’s one of those reminders that life doesn’t come with any guarantees. Not shopping at Sears for Christmas felt a little odd, but once they dispensed with the employee discount in early November, it was easier (and less expensive in many cases) to shop closer to home. The world, in our case, is going to be a little weird without good old Sears in it, and our hearts go out to all of the employees who are affected by the closures.
And the trees? About 17 enormous spruce trees lining our property along the road our house faces were removed by Hydro because of the power lines that the trees had grown up into. We inherited these beautiful trees when we moved here over 23 years ago and, at that time, they were only about ten years old and maybe 15 feet tall. They delineated our property, provided privacy and a wind screen from the north and were also well populated with a variety of wildlife. We are left with a stark, cold landscape and are now well aware of how close we actually are to the road – and how busy it has become since we moved here all those years ago. It has been more distressing than I’d realized it would be. I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed those beautiful spruce, but I didn’t realize just how much until they were taken down.
Those are just a few things – never mind the soggiest spring I can recall, although that had a sliver lining. We didn’t have to worry about lack of water in our old dug well for months on end, which was quite refreshing.
Back in January of 2017 we had no idea any of these things were going to happen … so what lies ahead for us in 2018?
We’ve been in the antique business for a very long time now and the retail aspect of it is constantly changing – as it does in all retail. Celebrating our nation’s 150th birthday put a spotlight on our history and gave many people a fresh insight about the artifacts from our past. It’s our hope that our younger citizens picked up a bit of the antique fever that comes along with an appreciation of how previous generations lived and laid the foundations for the country we enjoy today. There is a wonderful pastime taking place that we like to think of as new, but it’s something that has always been done, particularly in the generations of pioneers. That is “re-purposing,” and the only thing new about it is the name. What is impressive is the desire to return to the classic idea of re-using objects instead of throwing them away and buying something new. Also impressive are the incredibly imaginative ideas that people have come up with when it comes to “re-purposing.” Perhaps this is true because the re-using of an object has not sprung from need, as in the past, but more for the sake of artistry and a sincere yearning to include the past in our present. It’s a pleasure to see these items and note that they are often created by younger collectors.
As everyone probably knows by now, this January/February/March paper is our first quarterly issue ever. It has been a bi-monthly publication since it was founded in 1995. After hearing some (erroneous) theories as to why it was decided to go the quarterly route, I feel it’s necessary to mention that it was based on a desire to free up more personal time. The ripple-effect of this will mean fewer deliveries and less driving for our drivers. The delivery of each issue requires over 5,000 kilometres of driving and it can be a long and arduous task particularly in the winter months.
I do have some questions for our readers, however… since there will be fewer issues published over the span of year, there will be a few less articles printed. With this in mind, we would like to publish material that you will really enjoying reading. Although we can’t “please all of the people all of the time” we would certainly like to please as many as possible with the contents of the WT, based on your communication. The field of antiques and collectibles is as diverse as all of the people who collect them. What we would like to find out is where your interests lie. What kind of articles would you like to see? Do you enjoy show coverage? Is history important to you? What are your favourite collectibles, your favourite eras? Is nostalgia more your thing or do you cherish genuine antiquities? Are you a traveller who enjoys museums and galleries or do you prefer to attend local shows? We would love to know!
Your guidance would be invaluable and not only help us pick and choose wisely what we publish, but also provide key information to our hard-working advertisers. I ‘m looking forward to hearing from many of you – please take a moment to let us know if the WT is on the right track or if you have any suggestions, constructive criticism or questions that we can publish both in print and digitally, and share with other readers. We would like to start a conversation about this in print… and it can, of course be carried over to the online environment as well, although I am constantly reminded that many readers choose hard copy over digital and they would like to be included in the discussion. (Contact info page 2.)
Have a wonderful, safe and happy winter. Here’s hoping it’s full of sunshine and the beauty the season brings in its own way. It’s a great time for snuggling, for hot chocolate, for hearty soups and stews and home-made baking… and for that perfect cup of tea while you’re reading a paper – maybe the WT! Do try to get out and visit our advertisers; there are so many shops, shows and markets to choose from and the folks who operate these events and places are a diligent group worthy of your business.
Safe travels and God bless as you embark on the new adventure called “2018.”
Thanks, as always, for reading the Wayback Times. We’ll see you in the spring.
(Don’t forget to write! Or email… or text… or message on FB… we want to hear from you!)