The Best and Worst of 2014

Today we close the book on 2014, which was Bucknucks fifth calendar year. Before I get into my memories of the year I want to thank everyone who has supported our business. I am happy to say that it has been our best year yet, both financially and also personally. The community of Cowichan has been very good to us.
I thought it would be fun to list some of the best and worst events in the past year. The things that stick out for me one way or another. I will try and stick to business related events, so I won't mention birthday parties or chicken massacres.
The BEST of 2014

  • My first “vacation” in five years. We haven't been in a financial (or organizational) position to both take time away from the store for longer than a few days (usually spent on funerals). Thanks to an initiative by our friend Selinde (who volunteered her time in the store), we managed five days away TOGETHER, and even managed to camp in the Pacific Rim for a couple days.
  • The return of Kathleen for a second summer. It is always a happy occasion when someone who you enjoy working with comes back for another round.
  • The installation of some blinds. With the sun low in the sky it is impossible to work when there is a big tyrranical orb in the sky overheating and bilnding you. Now I can work in comfort even when the sun is shining. In fact, I can now feel happy about it like the rest of you.
  • The completion of Cam's book rack (v 1.4), which is now installed at the front of the store. It added some much needed space, and actually looks pretty good.
  • We had the highest one-day sales total in store history. Christmas Eve was super busy, and as the day wore on my stress over what I spent on presents evaporated. It's going to be a hard total to beat in 2015.

The WORST of 2014

  • On November 29, my home (in North Cowichan) had a huge dump of snow. I live at the bottom of a valley and trying to get up my road was a problem even with winter tires. When I finally went to put chains on I had given myself a flat tire and that ended my adventures for the day. It was the first unscheduled full-day store closure in Bucknucks history. What made it worse was that South Cowichan had way less snow than we did in the North, so many people didn't understand the closure.
  • Some jerk rammed his minivan into the front of Liquor Plus (our next door neighbour), so they could steal booze. The damage was huge, and it's still not completely fixed months later.
  • Walking into the drugstore two doors down, and grabbing a coke fromt he cooler and coming back here to drink it. I took a couple of satisfying swigs before I realized that I hadn't paid for it. After calling myself various names I ran back over there to pay for it. There were many disapproving glares, but most people found it hilarious. I was mortified.
  • The dismantling of the Aquarium. It was a good decision because it made more room for storage and also will save me a lot of time cleaning the aquarium and some money on food etc. Having said that, I felt pretty sad to see my little swimmers go. Thank you to Shawnigan School who gave them a good home.
  • We saw the end of our long association with the Garden House Foundation, who informed us that they won't be taking our overstock books anymore. They simply had too many, which I can understand. We had to scramble to find another charity, and we now give to Discover books. I do miss seeing Jim every week, though.

As with any list like this, it will be incomplete. There are many great things that aren't events, like working with my wife and Patricia. They make this bookstore better every time they come through the door. I also didn't mention the many customers who have made an effort to make me feel welcome and important. It's why I enjoy doing this for a living. Conversely I didn't mention many things that have made me sad. People I care about have become ill or even died, and others have moved away and I miss their presence.
Thanks for reading. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. All the best in 2015, I hope you have many great reads.

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