Friday, January 11, 2008

Where Have You Been?

My grandmother used to tell me that bad luck comes in threes. Her philosophy was that if you made it through three trying incidents, you could move on and things would be good again. I've thought a lot about Grandma these past few weeks because we have indeed had three different difficulties to overcome.

Because we produce many of our own books and patterns here at Grandma's Attic, we have a state-of-the-art copy machine that looks like it belongs in a copy or print shop. We use it every day and keep a schedule of when various items need to be copied. In mid-December, this machine was down for a week and a half. Bev and I kept telling each other that it'd soon be repaired and we'd be able to move on and catch up. To make a long story short about the problems we had getting it fixed, let's just say that we wound up receiving a replacement that is faster and capable of more complicated tasks than the old one. By the time we had the new one up and running, we were over two weeks behind and unsure how we were ever going to catch up.

Right about the time the copy machine problems were resolved, my computer crashed. That's also when I discovered that the back up system wasn't working correctly. Unless you've had your computer crash, it may be difficult to imagine the sense of loss you go through when you realize that everything you've put on that system over the past several years is now inaccessible. In describing the feelings that I went through, I can honestly say it was almost like having a stroke. The information may have been in the machine but there was no way of accessing any of it. I really did go through most of the stages of grief, although I never did get to acceptance. And since this occurred right at the Christmas holidays, no one was available to help me out. After a couple of weeks without access to the items on my computer, PC America in Monmouth, Oregon, was able to correct the initial problems, recover ALL 11 gigabytes of information (28,800 files!), and provide us with a great back up system, a great maintenance program, and all the support we need from this point forward. What a nightmare to go through and what a relief to have behind us!

By New Year's Day, Stephen and I were ready for a break from all the stress of December. He was going to go play golf, and I was going to work at the shop to straighten up after inventory. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to the back door and discovered that our shop had been plowed into by a car! There was a huge hole in the brick and mortar, and I could see clear into the back of the shop. On top of that, the back door was bent and jammed and could no longer be used. Needless to say, Stephen never did get to play golf and lunch was clearly cancelled. The police could find no evidence to go on about who might have done this, but we all believe that the culprit was someone who had had entirely too much to drink at one of the local "establishments," then climbed into their car, backed up, and rammed right into the building. It will take a few weeks to rebuild the wall and replace the door; however, we are very fortunate in that no merchandise was damaged and the vintage quilt hanging on the inside of the wall was still in perfect condition.

Now that our "three things" are behind us, we're looking forward to projects and activities that we have planned for the rest of this New Year. If our luck holds, you'll be hearing from us in the very near future!

Left: This is what our back wall looked like on New Year's Day when I came to work. What a mess! Below: This is what the inside of the shop wall looked like after the accident. We moved the fabric rack that was in front of the hole; then Stephen stuffed some insulation into the opening. After we took the picture, he covered the wall with boards until it can be repaired.