The Second Time Around...by Loft Proprietress on 03/23/15
Whew. So much has happened over the last few months, really, almost the past year. By early 2014, we were head over heels enjoying our loft in our hometown-on-the-prairie, which we had created in a building very sentimental to us - it had belonged to my parents and was the home of their long-time mom and pop jewelry and gift store. Mother and Daddy owned and ran HUGHES JEWELRY from 1952 until they closed, at the ages of 87 and 83, in 2007. So proud of them and their service to their community! We built the loft in order to have a place that would not only preserve a building that was once theirs, but to give us a home in Frederick in order to look after them, find caregivers, and be there for them as they aged.
After years of planning and months of work, we moved into the loft in July of 2012, after my HERO of a husband - Paul - and some wonderful people we hired to help us - built this Oklahoma 'nest' for us in this precious old building. I like to believe that we were able to give comfort and time spent to my parents during their last two years in Frederick, to ease their journey. We renewed old friendships and made new ones. We hosted our own personal guests, Arts Council events, even United States Senator Jim Inhofe in our hometown hideaway.
As Mother and Daddy declined, it became clear it was time to move them to assisted living, so in April of 2014, they did just that, with their family's help - we got them moved to a lovely place on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco, TX, not far from our Texas home -- and in the hometown of BAYLOR UNIVERSITY no less! (My Daddy's long-loved team, THE BAYLOR BEARS).
Shortly after we moved them, the loft suffered a plumbing 'tragedy' -- a plumbing fixture failed and flooded part of the loft, causing extensive damage to one end, AND flooding our as-yet-unfinished downstairs. This mishap and resulting damage has required many months of cleanup and repair -- and it all had to be done slowly, since I needed to be in Texas near Mother and Daddy's new assisted living home. What started in Frederick - the goal of helping my parents - now moved to Texas - and easing them into their new lives in assisted living and memory care, and being there for them.
They did well for several months, then much to our dismay, at separate times, each fell and suffered broken hips and began to decline. We lost Daddy to heart disease and other complications on November 4, 2014, and then Mother, even though she wasn't told outright that Daddy had left this earth...somehow seemed to know. She followed him to Heaven just four days later, on November 8, 2014. My grief has been pretty overwhelming.
So "LITTLE LOFT'' served it's original purpose - that of preserving an historic landmark (the original BANK OF COMMERCE with TOM WAGGONER of TEXAS' WAGGONER RANCH as it's very first president) in Frederick AND giving us a home here - and is now almost done being repaired, and we will be back - good as new - (or we should say, good as renovated!) very soon. **The SECOND Time Around!
Our love for our hometown remains the same as always, and we are excited to see what the future of Frederick holds!
One thing we DO know for sure...to save and preserve and re-imagine small-town downtowns all across America, and not just in Oklahoma...it first takes people who share a COMMITMENT. Then...it takes VISION. It takes COURAGE, it takes MONEY, and it takes TIME. It takes HARD WORK! It takes a WILLINGNESS TO SEE WHAT CAN BE...and to make those CHANGEs.
One of my favorite, and very appropriate quotes is: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
Here's to NEW EYES to our fellow Frederick, America hometown friends and neighbors!
And to those of you who follow Frederick on Facebook or who honor us by following our website and blog - we see you saying you miss us. You miss your hometown. So....come on home! Join us in the efforts to revitalize and restore a charming MAYBERRY of a city we all love - Frederick.
We'd love to have you!