Saturday, May 16, 2015

Goodbye, Bully Blends

I'm sitting in a dark and empty Bully Blends, long after closing time, as I have countless times throughout the years. I've always liked being here - and in our old building - alone after hours. Something about the quiet that contrasts, yet echoes, with the bustling camaraderie of the day that I always found appealing. 

It's the last time. 

Mostly I don't want to write anything at all. What to say about eight years? There's nothing that can commemorate. I remember that cold November night I walked into Bully's with my application in hand. I remember what I was wearing, and that Pete and Aida and I talked in the tea room, and they hired me on the spot.

"You know," Pete said last week to me, "other than Aida, I've spent more time with you these past eight years than anyone."

Yes. I know. Me too.

They were never just employers.

On the last day, we all laughed, and if it was a little louder than usual, no one seemed to notice.

I walked slowly beside the shelves of teas, trying to decide which of my favorites I'd like to take. I know them all by heart, like old friends. Funny to feel the need to say goodbye to jars of tea.

I've met some of my dearest friends because of working at Bully Blends, which has lead to some of my most amazing experiences. Customers, coworkers. Friends I'll have for life. Our Bully Blends motto is "Meet your friends at Bully Blends!", and it's been that for me - a place to meet new friends.

It was never just a job.

Bully's has been such a haven for me - friendship, color, laughter, family, coffee, belonging. It's hard to say goodbye. It's time, it's not that it's wrong or bad in any way. But it's hard. There will always be a little Bully Blends spot in my heart.

I wish I knew how to write to capture all the memories, all the faces through the years. The shared pots of teas, the inside jokes, the quiet mornings chatting over cups of coffee. We always had things to talk about every morning, even though - how much could possibly have happened since yesterday? But there's too much. And I'll just have to be content to know it happened, and to savor the memories.

Memories, now. Remember that one time I worked at a coffee and tea shop? Remember how we laughed? How we knew all the customers by name, knew their stories?

The end of an era. This bright little world becomes another chapter ended.

(As Pete leaves at the end of the day he often calls out Let's do this again real soon!
Tomorrow? I respond. Same time, same place?)

Goodbye, Bully Blends.
Thanks for everything.

1 comment:

Donna said...

And now I'm in tears. Again. I didn't even work there! But the stories I've heard, the pots of tea we've shared and they years have made it a special time and place for me as well. I'm so thankful for your Bully Blends family and the years you had with them the bonds you made. Yep, good memories.