Summer Events

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Jeanne died from cancer on May fourth at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack.  She was my wife of 33 years, my partner, and co-owner of this store.  She was 58.  She had been sick for 21 months, and very sick for four.  I won’t bore you here with details.  There is a short obituary on page 3.

This wonderful staff that you interact with here did a just unbelievable job this year.  I have the best team of any store in the country.  Look at the experience:  Tod with 31 years, Ann A. 27, Joe with 23, Patrick 18, Anne-Marie 14, Jim 14, Mia 10, Stephanie 7, Rose 5.

In January, February, and March, I spent a lot of time at home or at the hospital with Jeanne.  For most of April, I lived at the Hospice House in her room.  For all of May, I was in a fog of depression.  Throughout, I continued to write orders and pay bills, but Patrick, Mia, Stephanie, and the other managers ran the store; including keeping up with the highest volume month in the history of our company:  May 2015. Patrick took on the job of processing winter damage claims for me.  It was a tough winter, and there were a lot of them.

Mia took on scheduling Pool School set-up and notifications.  Anne-Marie took on even more responsibility than she already had in chasing orders to get them here and on timeRose had to become a mind-reader; going from a brief, garbled request from me, to what she and I would have done together if I were here.  She worked with me by email, and shuttled work to me when I stopped coming in.  Since I no longer proofed work, everyone had to get everything done right the first time.  Everyone mentioned in here took on many more jobs, large and small that I used to do.

Ann A., who used to be Jeanne’s Assistant Buyer, has replaced Jeanne as Furniture Buyer; and Mia will attend the shows and buying meetings with her for a second opinion. 

Everyone in the store had to work harder, as I spent very little time waiting on customers.  Though Mia did point out that I also wasn’t giving out jobs to do because I was not noticing things.  I guess it averaged out.

We never ran out of anything important, and we paid every bill on time.  It was our goal that you not notice any drop in quality because of our pain.  I believe that we succeeded.

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