Last week, our Diocesan Newspaper announced that our local Catholic Book and Gift Store, "The Open Window" would be closing at the end of July. Like so many other independent bookstores, they were the victim of hard economic times, but I feel like I'm losing an old friend. When I was a little girl, my mother used to take me every month when I would have a half day at school so that I could pick out a religious book or item. I absolutely loved our trips and looked forward to them so much. When I got older and my mother couldn't drive anymore, I would take her on field trips to go visit and pick out items that she wanted. I purchased a cross for my husband and my bedroom there when I was getting married. When I was pregnant with David, I went and picked up a couple very simple children's books that I could read to him while he was still in the womb! I admit in recent years, I have been a less-than faithful shopper, often turning to the convenience of the internet to purchase my religious books, but I tried to get there at least a couple times a year with the kids so that they could have the same joy that I had as a child.
David and Isaac were sad to hear that the store was closing as well, and so today we took one last trip to say good-bye and purchase a few books and holy cards. Honestly, if I had enough money, I probably would have purchased one of everything! As I looked around, I realized with sadness that it was just nice to know that the store was there if I needed a religious object. While books are easy enough to purchase sight unseen from the internet, the same is not necessarily true for religious gifts. There is now no Catholic store nearby for me to go to purchase a gift for David's 1st communion next year. I guess I'll have to buy something on-line, but it just won't be the same.
Good-bye "Open Window" - we will miss you!