20 Jan

I did retire on December 22 of last year. My dear friend (that's me with Al) dreamt many dreams since that September day when I decided that is was time to travel a new road.

We set up a count down calendar.  As summer melted into fall, we did flee markets, he helped me with my crusade against Alden Estates of Naperville, ( yes that lawsuit has entered into the 4th year) and we dreamed about opening our own little shop and we did!

 We rented a space inside The Painted Tree in Naperville. It was here that Al would sell the beautiful furniture and clocks that he built along with his antique clock collection. My art work was to fluff out the space and extend customer appeal.

 It was a proud day when he hung the sign that his daughter made for him. Copper Prairie was born and a dream of ours became a reality. That was the beginning of November, just in time for the Christmas shopping season to begin. 

Al never seen my retirement day come. He passed very unexpectedly on December 6th.

I don't know how hard it is to die, but I do know how hard it is to be left behind. His family was devastated and as for me, I still do not have the words to describe the brokenness.

As his family grappled with the many task of closing up a life, I had to decide what to do with our little shop. Being newly retired and taking on the financial responsibility of keeping such a dream alive is daunting, but I have to at least try.

The last thing that Al built was a stable bed for baby Jesus. I wanted something simple for out doors that would convey the true meaning of Christmas. It is so sweet, as sweet as the man who built it.

Every time I went to the shop I knew its name needed to be changed. Al was Copper Prairie, but I just can't leave him behind.

Al loved the open expanse of prairies. Just the sky keeping company with the seasons. The grasses in the fall, the scrub in the winter and the explosion of colors dancing in the spring and summer breezes.

I love trees, and trees love me. The spirit that is the tree knows that I can see it and ask that I take its picture and hear its story. I do both. So it dawned on my one day that the only name fitting for our dream is A Tree and a Prairie. For now, until the new sign comes, our shop is only known as F10.

So, there it is until the next time we chat. 

Blessings to you as you travel your life path.

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