A recent early morning walk around the village revealed some interesting things to me. First I was surprised at the number of stores that have moved from one side of the street to the other, or from one storefront to another, making me wonder if this is a matter of rental prices or an indication of preference. The empty storefronts have been obvious all winter, but this shifting around is harder to spot from the car. There are small signs in the windows announcing the new tenants, and I recognize them from their former spots. I wonder about what's behind it all.
The other thing I noticed is the way some store windows are no longer covered with paper, but rather show empty shelves and open storage rooms. That in and of itself isn't bad, but the fact that they leave on the lights is disturbing. Why would we want to see what's there when there's nothing? And why would they want to waste all that electricity when they're not there? It's a curious thing and I wonder what the point it.
Speaking of the commercial district, one of the most disturbing things to see in the heart of the summer is the shops with their air conditioners blasting full force and their front doors wide open. I can't imagine a worse waste of energy and it would be unheard of to leave doors opened when the heat is on, so what gives? Yet another mystery to me.
I've been involved in business in this village my entire life. My father owned a business here, as did my grandfather and great grandfather before him. I worked in local stores when I was in high school and spent my summers stocking shelves and selling ladies clothing. My husband's family was also in business here and we still own our business - right here in the village. So I may be ignorant of what some people think are the correct strategies for running their businesses, but I certainly disagree with them. There's more to owning a business here than the bottom line. It has to do with loving the place you live and wanting it to be beautiful and friendly. Somehow I think that has been lost along the way...