Years ago, when my daughter was in kindergarten, and her ballet class only 40 minutes long, I very often had 40 minutes to enjoy on twice a week.
I'd stop in at , where my son would play with the tracks and engines at the train table. I'd amble into , looking for shoes or tights or a raincoat — whatever was on my shopping list that week.
And then I'd walk on down to , the gift store, where I would say hi to owner Chelsea O'Hara, browse and shop a bit. Those were the years of many, many baby showers, so I often bought a pack of Trumpette socks (adorable!) for the newest baby.
I bought necklaces and cards, my first purse, a wallet. I bought birthday presents for 4-year-olds and birthday presents for 6-year-olds, puzzles, fancy pens, more cards and fancy lotions.
And I'd often chat with Chelsea, who was always amiable and gracious. She bought 3 Wishes from the previous owner after working in the shop for a year.
"Owning a gift shop was always my dream, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to live out my dream," said O'Hara. "But now I feel that I've lived it and I'm ready to start something new, another dream."
Later this week — Chelsea thinks Saturday, though she might stay open a day or two more if any merchandise remains — 3 Wishes will close its doors for good.
"I'm ready to move on," said the Nebraska native, who has regularly logged five days a week behind the counter, often accompanied her Chihuahua-terrier mix, Boogie. "I'm on to a new adventure, and I'd also like a little time off."
First stop: a visit to her nieces and nephews in Omaha, and then she'll be looking for a new job. "This is a good decision," she said. "My gut feels good."
Dozens of customers funneled through the boutique Wednesday, saying goodbye and thank you. "You should have seen how crowded it was this weekend," said O'Hara, who has marked all her wares down by at least 40 percent.
"We'll miss you," said a customer as she purchased a stack of notebooks with floral-print covers.
"Where will I buy cards?" queried another.
Chelsea says business has been fine, but the time has come to close up shop.
"I'm going to miss all my wonderful customers who have become good friends," she said. "And I hope to keep in touch."