As I sit down to share our big news with you today, I am reminded of how long it’s been since I’ve written. I am also taken back to the event that brought about the last post, which was Jada’s move to Florida.
I went through boxes of Kleenex that week and a garden of cucumbers for my puffy eyes, but God’s Grace is sufficient. It took me 2 weeks before I could go upstairs to her room, but God’s Grace is sufficient. I would go the long way around out of our neighborhood just to avoid having to wave to the school traffic guard and catch the puzzled look on her face when I blew by and didn’t turn into the carpool lane, BUT God’s Grace is sufficient. After day two of sobbing on the couch (and bless Brandon for letting me), I asked the Lord to mend my broken heart – to heal it – to make it whole. And He did because, yes, God’s Grace is sufficient.
In some ways, Jada and I have grown closer. She calls, texts, messages, emails, Instagrams...am I leaving anything out? She sends pictures of her and “THE best friend in the whole world’ and videos of her new fish, Cooper (named after UA’s player, of course.) Yes, lots of footage of that little fish swimming back and forth. Floating. Wait for it….and then swimming again. I’ve enjoyed sending fun packages of goofy things I find along the way – things that I know will make her smile, i.e. Gummy Boogers for Halloween. She leaves singing voicemails on my phone and when I call her back we laugh at the song she made up. We laugh a lot.
And she likes to bring up memories, which have now become inside jokes, of when she lived here. Maybe it does her heart as good as it does mine.
I’m so incredibly grateful that the bond between us is rooted and not easily broken, not even by 715.12 miles. Through the Lord’s comfort, He showed me that this was the beginning of a new season in our lives. To not fear what is around the corner, but to hold His hand and stay in step. Well, Friends, evidently He has A LOT of things around that corner!! Shortly after Jada left, Brandon and I made the decision not to renew our lease (May 2015) at the current location for RP. It was a difficult decision to make because we have been immensely blessed by the kind building owners and such an incredible space to share with you all. However, the stairs were becoming an issue for a few of our customers and we longed for the Loft to be accessible to everyone, walking or rolling!
When we let the owners know of our decision not to renew, we also stated that if they were able to fill our spot earlier than May that would be fine, too. Since moving a business is no small endeavor, we began working with a realtor, who has been incredible, I must add. The next few sentences are going to be a fast ride, so buckle up.
October 15th: Our realtor mentioned a box property (interior undeveloped) located in downtown Tuscaloosa and owned by the City that we could build to suit our needs. October 20th: We had our initial meeting with the City, who graciously listened to our ideas, walked the property with us and allowed us to review the blueprints. October 22nd: The Mayor approved us to be placed on the docket for the next Planning Committee meeting. October 27th: (ONE week after meeting with the City) We are informed by the owners of our current space that the building SOLD earlier that day!! Say what?!? The new owners take possession in 45 days, on December 12th . Ok, Jesus. You must really trust my trust in You! Total Peace, even with the understanding that we are going to have to move into a temporary place while we build out our permanent place. Did someone cut the brakes?? November 4th: We attended the Planning Committee meeting and our proposal was passed(!!). Typically, there is a waiting period, but since there wouldn’t be a City Council meeting in December, they agreed to move us through to the CCM that was happening that same night. We passed again, which shaved 8 weeks off of our timeline! We then went out to celebrate my birthday and I binged on white chocolate bread pudding. Emotional eater on the loose, y’all. November 3rd-7th : Researched many options for a temporary location and no endeavor ended with Peace. And then. On the 7th, last Friday, we received an intriguing phone call from our current building’s realtor. He was actually the one who walked us through signing our original lease, so we have appreciated his help on more than once occasion. He suggested leasing the old Fifth and Main Restaurant location in downtown Northport, which as you may know is FULL of history and character.
Within minutes he called back, stating that the owner agreed to a short term lease, which would carry us right up to our potential move-in date in downtown Tuscaloosa. Hot diggity, God. You are on Time! So, today we pursued a lease at Fifth and Main and since we are thrilled about participating in Dickens Downtown on December 2nd, we are planning a move to downtown Northport the week of Thanksgiving. Yes, you are correct, in 2 weeks. Oh, uh-huh, I agree that we will be very busy and that we may even have to grow more cucumbers for our puffy eyes, BUT Friends…God’s Grace is sufficient. As it stands now, our last day at the Loft on Charlie Shirley Road will be Wednesday, November 26th. We will be closed through Thanksgiving weekend (11/27-12/1) and we will reopen in our new temporary location on Tuesday, December 2nd!! This is the same day as Dickens Downtown, so our hours will be extended that evening until 8:00 p.m. We will be planning something very special during the event, so be on the lookout for details soon.
More will be announced in the coming days, including details of an amazing warehouse sale. Woo-hoo! But for now, let’s be real. You just read 3 encyclopedias here today. Carry on…
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