It’s true that when one travels, one expects to come home to find everything as it was. But life marches on, and nothing ever stays the same. For example, in my little corner of Massachusetts, several destination or iconic, cherished local businesses have shuttered, or are about to:
Johnnie’s, Arlington – An old school supermarket, not chic, not trendy, and with a limited selection. BUT they did have the only store-made corned beef in the area, and still had in-store butchers who knew how to cut meat, without the fancy gourmet counter prices. Johnnie’s shuttered over the winter months. We’ll eventually be getting a small Whole Foods in the same location, but it won’t be the same.
Nicola’s Pizza, Arlington – Yes, you can’t swing a pepperoni in town without hitting a pizzeria, but Nicola’s was special – hand made as opposed to institutional dough; rich family-recipe sauces; real cheese; excellent quality toppings, all cooked to bready/crispy perfection. Word is murky, that the site, store, and recipes have been sold, and a new owner will continue the Nicola’s tradition; or that the site will continue to be a take-out and sit-down eatery, but with a new menu. In any case, the old family’s ownership and touch will be sorely missed.
Higgins Museum, Worcester – A private museum of arms and armor, endowed by a steel magnate about a hundred years ago, and housed in unique building, set up to feel like a castle. The Higgins will be open until the end of the year, but after that the collection will (in part) be housed by the Worcester Art Museum. Go now, because you’ll never see all of those artifacts in one place in such an atmosphere again.
Wild & Woolly, Lexington – This is the hardest and most personal blow of all. W&W is a specialty yarn shop. It had the biggest selection of yarn in Eastern, Massachusetts, along with the personal touch that only experienced help can give. I counted W&W as more than just a store. It was a “home away from home” – the first place I visited when we moved up from Maryland, and the first folk who befriended me here. Over the years I’ve taught classes there, and helped out during inventories and big sales, or when I was between jobs. I’ve put in a little bit of time helping them prepare for their final clearance sale, which is going on now. Eventually I’ll find other places to buy interesting knitting supplies (especially the non-commodity yarns that need to be assessed in hand for drape, texture and color); but I’ll never replace the “store family” who will now scatter to the winds.
So in summary, you blink and things change. Nothing is forever, so appreciate even the small things, places, friends and services that surround you, because everything is impermanent.