Why did I close my shop? The main factor was an unlikely occurrence on May 5, 1997. On that Sunday my mother decided to get overly busy and she broke her right ankle running down her downstairs staircase. As a matter of fact she broke both of her ankles in two separate incidences on that same day. My part was in taking her to Kaiser with the first one and getting her back home through the Cinco de Mayo traffic- which was horrendous in that decade in Denver!
After the shock of the second break and two ambulances later it became imperative for me to be close at hand in order to be of any help at all to her. She wound up in a nursing home for a short period of time but the house had to be made wheelchair accessible and it forced me to take time away from my shop. The only other instance in which I took that much time away from my shop happened when I was called in for Jury Duty during a Christmas season. It clearly was a hardship in both instances but in one I had no choice. When it came to my mother I wouldn't have chosen any different.
As a result, I closed my shop permanently, moved my business into hers ( home Beauty Salon) and stayed on because I felt it was necessary- even after she got back on her feet and went back to working in her salon. The down side to this was that I watched my business dwindle down slowly over the years. I had never found anyone who could take over my salon in my absence. This was the only negative factor of salon ownership during those seven years. Finding good, steady employees was always elusive and very frustrating. I don't feel I ever found a co-worker or employee that came even close to my standards. Most of the technicians I hired didn't have enough knowledge (a rather common occurrence because of the high burnout rate for this profession.) My goal was always to service a client according to their needs and objectives.
Apparently the different (and geriatric) atmosphere at my mother's salon was not conducive to my business which thrived at a storefront. Quite possibly, I had made an error in closing the prime location shop but I wouldn't have chosen any different given the circumstances. My family was first and there was no discussion. I hope I receive the same consideration someday when my time comes. Time will tell.
In 1999 I had two more life changes. One was positive and other was a learning experience that I'll not soon forget. That summer I sat down and wrote an inspirational book which practically wrote itself. If I have ever had an automatic writing experience I believe this was it, however, I was fully conscious of what I was writing. The result is a book about praise and worship titled, "In Spirit and In Truth". Once it was written I immediately started to try to find a publisher or agent. I met up with almost total silence and even in some cases hostility toward the ideas I presented even though every word of this book is scriptural and I supported it only with scripture. The response from publisher and agents was surprising and disappointing to say the least. Many did not bother to read it. Good reactions to the book came from ordinary church people. My only aim was to reach church-going Christians and so I view this book as a success. I still desire to get it published.
That same year, shortly after my birthday, I saw that my dwindling clientele was creating a financial hardship for myself and I decided to take a job in a bank as a teller. What started out as pleasant, menial work turned into a nightmare when I saw that the workload was being shunted my way too much. Within a year I quit because I started to develop stomach ulcers. I learned something about working in a corporate environment that I'll never forget and I don't believe I want to repeat the mistake because I believe that many of my clientele were put off by my irregular hours. I worked only evenings and Saturdays in my mother's salon at that time. This episode was debilitating to my spirit and created another hardship that I've never known. Taking in only half the pay I normally made in the past along with incredible amounts of stress was demoralizing.
When an opportunity to take a trip to see castles came along in 2001 I realized I was being given a chance to to make a long time dream come true. I have been interested in castles since I was a teenager- even before I took any trips overseas- my first in 1977 when I went to London for the first time. The Tower of London was my very first castle, which was a good place to start.
I seized the ring and set out for Paris- our starting point for the 2 week tour- on August 31st. To see castles in photos, diagrams and lithos in a book are great but it can't compare to being present to view them personally, walk their floors and study the individual architecture. I wouldn't trade the experience for any other trip I've ever taken. We took in seventeen castles in five countries in that span of time! In addition, it sparked a passion for architecture of which I had not been fully aware until I was there to see the castles for myself. I want to share this passion and I can truly say that my books will be those which I would want to use myself.
I hope you have enjoyed getting some details of my life which heretofore have been unknown to the internet reading public. If you still believe me to be a bit of a mystery all I can say is that each person must keep a certain amount of their lives in a strictly personal state. I share my feelings and hopes and dreams with those who don't mind getting close and sharing those details. This is why we have friends.
A friendly kiss and hug from
The Castle Lady !