Spring Has Sprung!

It’s mid April here at The Storage Inn, and the weather in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, is finally starting to live up to its Spring billing! The temps are creeping into the mid 70’s – The windows in the Storage Rental Office/ Packing Store are open, and I even noticed one of our storage space customers, Mr. Pemberton, wearing shorts and flip-flops! “ Enjoying the weather?” I shouted. Mr. Pemberton replied by yelling back “Spring has sprung!” Yep – Everyone loves Spring!

I’ve heard the expression “Spring has sprung” many times , but it made me wonder if there are other sayings, or famous quotes about the Spring season? I did some investigating and found quite a few that I had never seen or heard before.

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest..”
–Ernest Hemingway

“It is spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want–oh, you don’t know quite what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
–Mark Twain

“Always it’s spring and everyone’s in love and flowers pick themselves.”
–E.E. Cummings

“Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that hope traversed them at night and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.”
–Charlotte Brontë

“Spring’s greatest joy beyond a doubt is when it brings the children out.”
– Edgar Guest

“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter.”
– Jen Selinsky

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
– Leo Tolstoy

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”
– Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.”
– Lilly Pulitzer

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”
– Lewis Grizzard

“A kind word is like a spring day.”
– Russian Proverb

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
– Margaret Atwood

“No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”
– Sheryl Crow

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party.”
– Robin Williams

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.”
– Susan J. Bissonette

So, there you go – some great thoughts on Spring from some famous and even historical figures, courtesy of The Storage Inn. – Happy Spring!

Celebrating Mom & Pop Small Business

Well, Spring has finally sprung here at The Storage in Self Storage located in Egg Harbor Township and in Ocean City, New Jersey!

Spring tends to bring a flurry of activity. Our storage customers shuttle in and out from their storage rental spaces, adjusting and preparing for the new season. We are blessed with a great reputation as the local, family-owned self storage solution for the Southern New Jersey area. 

Being the manager of a second-generation family-owned business, I thought it was cool to find out that March 29th is designated as Mom and Pop small business day. I wanted to find out more, so I did a little digging… 

National “Mom and Pop” Business Owner Day is recognized each year on March 29, celebrating the value that small, locally owned businesses add to their communities. As much as the day is about finding inspiration from the past, it’s also about creating excitement about the future.

Chances are, you already know of a few mom-and-pop businesses in your community. From the family-owned ice cream shop not too far away or the father-and-son hardware store downtown, these are the businesses that National Mom and Pop Business Owner Day honors. They’re not just great places to shop, they’re the backbone of the community.

Mom & Pop Drive the Economy

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than 28 million small businesses exist in the U.S. today, employing more than 56 million people. Together, these locally, independently owned retailers, restaurants, hotels and service providers create stronger and more resilient local economies. In fact, locally owned retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to their local economy than national chains. Similarly, locally owned restaurants return more than twice as much money per dollar of sales than their chain counterparts.

Mom & Pop Create and Preserve History

Beyond the economic benefits, locally owned businesses add value that can’t easily be measured in dollars and cents. They create a community that’s completely unique. No two cities, counties or states have the same network of independent businesses – and that makes all of our neighborhoods a little more interesting.

Particularly when it comes to generations-old family businesses, they also chronicle the community’s history in a way that modern big-box superstores can’t. They carry on local traditions and give back to local causes keeping the community vibrant.

Even if a small business hasn’t been around for generations, it’s still a valuable part of the local economy. Looking toward the future, start-up companies and entrepreneurs have the ideas and ambition to create important solutions to our communities’ challenges. Not to mention, they create the potential for even more local jobs and reinvestment.

To celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Day, visit a locally owned business – old or new – in your community. While you’re there, get to know the person working the front desk, learn about the business owners’ passion and build a new connection to your community. Then, spread the word among your friends, family and colleagues. That’s how the buy local movement spreads and mom-and-pop businesses grow stronger.

Well, now you know a little bit more about Mom and Pop businesses then you did before, courtesy of The Storage Inn. I really enjoy working for a family-owned business, and to this day I still receive the occasional call from our first generation owner, Rudy (now retired), just to see how things are going and how I am doing in general.  It’s great to be a part of The Storage Inn family.

 

                                                               

Marching Towards Spring!

Let’s say good-bye to winter and welcome warmer days!

Marching Toward Spring

Ah, March has finally arrived, and the joint is jumpin’ here at The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township, NJ! The beginning of March inspires thoughts of spring and warmer weather days. With the spring equinox just a few weeks away, we’re getting a ton of folks stopping by the storage facility preparing to get organized for the spring and summer season. We’re seeing plenty of familiar faces for the first time since winter’s hibernation! And we’re renting new storage space like crazy to a whole new crew of Storage Inn customers. To celebrate the impending return of spring, here are some fun facts about the third month of the year…

  1. The word March dates back to the Roman calendar. March was named for Mars, the Roman god of war.
  1. March was the first month of the year until we started using the Gregorian calendar in 1752.
  1. March was called Hlyda or Lide in Old English, which is a reference to the loud winds.
  1. An old proverb says, “March comes in a like a lion, and goes out like a lamb,” which is reference to winter ending and spring beginning. Another popular saying is “March is mad as a hare,” which is a reference to rabbits fighting each other.
  1. Not only is March Women’s History Month, but it’s also American Red Cross Month and Fire Prevention Month. It’s also National Nutrition Month. Other popular holidays are Read Across America (March 2, which is Dr. Seuss’ birthday), St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), Pi Day (March 14), Daylights Saving Day, Purim, and sometimes Easter even falls during the month.
  1. People born in the beginning and middle of March are Pisces. Those born from March 21 on are Aries. Pisces are ruled by Neptune, which makes them dreamy, creative and intuitive. Aries are ruled by Mars, which makes them energetic, daring and spontaneous.
  1. Aquamarine and the bloodstone are the birthstones for March. Both stones stand for courage.
  1. There are different reports about the true “birth flower” of March. Some say it’s the Daffodil, and others say it’s the Violet.
  1. A few famous people born in March are “James Bond” actor Daniel Craig, celebrated children’s author Dr. Seuss, actress Jessica Biel, teenage heart throb Justin Bieber, actress Eva Mendes, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, “Orange is the New Black” actress Lauren Prepon, tattoo artist Kat Von D, theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, reality star Rob Kardashian, “Maroon 5” front man Adam Levine, “Die Hard” star Bruce Willis, Oscar-nominee Reese Witherspoon, Lady Gaga and Grammy winner Elton John.

Hopefully this dose of March trivia help to brighten your day! I know that the warmer weather is certainly adjusting my attitude in a positive direction. I’m starting to feel the urge to go buy shorts and flip-flops!

Some Lesser-known Facts About Black History

Brrrr….It’s mid-February here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and the weather is chilly. This, however, has not stopped our faithful storage customers from visiting their storage rental spaces – some retrieving winter items, and some optimists beginning to move warm weather items to the front of their self storage units. We’ve already celebrated Groundhog Day, and Valentine’s Day, but I was reminded by one of our storage customers that the whole month of February is dedicated to black history.

As I thought about what she said, it occurred to me that many folks’ knowledge of black history is limited to high-profile historic figures like Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama. Being the curious type, I did a little digging and came up with some lesser-known facts about black history…

Before there was Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin

It was March 2, 1955, when the fifteen-year-old schoolgirl refused to move to the back of the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks’ stand that launched the Montgomery bus boycott. When the bus driver ordered Claudette to get up, she refused. Why has Claudette’s story been largely forgotten? At the time, the NAACP and other Black organizations felt Rosa Parks made a better icon for the movement than a teenager. As an adult with the right look, Rosa Parks was also the secretary of the NAACP, and was both well-known and respected – people would associate her with the middle class and that would attract support for the cause. But the struggle to end segregation was often fought by young people, more than half of which were women. 

Martin Luther King Jr. improvised his “I Have a Dream” Speech

On Wednesday, August 28, 1963, over 250,000 Americans united at the Lincoln Memorial for the final speech of the March on Washington. As Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the podium, he eventually pushed his notes aside.

The original speech was more political and less historic, and it did not include any reference to dreams. After delivering the now famous line, “we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream,” Dr. King transformed his speech into a sermon. Onstage near Dr. King, singer Mahalia Jackson reportedly kept saying, “Tell ‘em about the dream, Martin,” and while no one will know if he heard her, it could likely have been the inspiration for one of the greatest speeches in American history.

Inoculation was introduced to America by a slave

Onesimus was one of over a thousand slaves brought from Africa to the Boston area in the late 17th century. He was provided to a Puritan preacher by the name of Cotton Mather – a gift from his congregation. 

Onesimus told Mather about the centuries old tradition of inoculation practiced in Africa. By extracting the material from an infected person and scratching it into the skin of an uninfected person, making them immune. Cotton Mather convinced Dr. Zabdiel Boylston to experiment with the procedure when a smallpox epidemic hit Boston in 1721 and over 240 people were inoculated. 

Onesimus’ traditional African practice was eventually used to inoculate American soldiers during the Revolutionary War and introduced the concept of inoculation to the United States. 

The earliest recorded protest against slavery was in 1688 

Quakers, also known as “The Society of Friends,” have a long history of abolition. But it was four Pennsylvania Friends from Germantown who wrote the initial protest in the 17th century. It stated that regardless of skin color, “We should do unto others as we would have done onto ourselves.” In their protest they asked, “Pray, what thing in the world can be done worse towards us, then if men should rob or steal us away, and sell us for slaves to strange countries, separating husband from their wife and children….”

Over the centuries, this rare document has been considered lost twice. Most recently it was rediscovered in 2005 and is now at Haverford College Special Collections.

Of the 12.5 million Africans shipped to the New World, fewer than 388,000 arrived in the United States

The Transatlantic Slave Trade was underway from 1500-1866, shipping more than 12 million African slaves across the world. Of those slaves, only 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage. Over 400 years, the majority of slaves (4.9 million) found their way to Brazil where they suffered incredibly high mortality rates due to terrible working conditions. Brazil was also the last country to ban slavery in 1888.

By the time the United States became involved in the slave trade, it had been underway for two hundred years. The majority of its 388,000 slaves arrived between 1700 and 1866, representing a much smaller percentage than most Americans realize.

One in four cowboys was Black

In fact, it’s believed that the real “Lone Ranger” was inspired by an African American man named Bass Reeves. Reeves had been born a slave but escaped West during the Civil War where he lived in what was then known as Indian Territory. He eventually became a Deputy U.S. Marshal, was a master of disguise, an expert marksman, had a Native American companion, and rode a silver horse. His story was not unique however.

In the 19th century, the Wild West drew enslaved Blacks with the hope of freedom and wages. When the Civil War ended, freedmen came West with the hope of a better life where the demand for skilled labor was high. These African Americans made up at least a quarter of the legendary cowboys who lived dangerous lives facing weather, rattlesnakes, and outlaws while they slept under the stars driving cattle herds to market.

Esther Jones was the Inspiration for Betty Boop

Betty Boop was introduced by cartoonist Max Fleischer in 1930. The caricature of the jazz age flapper was the first and most famous sex symbol in animation. Betty Boop is best known for her revealing dress, curvaceous figure, and signature vocals “Boop Oop A Doop!” While there has been controversy over the years, the inspiration has been traced back to jazz singer Esther Jones who was known as “Baby Esther” and performed regularly in the Cotton Club during the 1920s. Baby Esther’s “baby style” did little to bring her mainstream fame and she died in relative obscurity but a piece of her lives on in the iconic character Betty Boop. 

So, now you have some interesting facts that you can share with your family and friends regarding Black History Month, courtesy of The Storage Inn.  Stay safe and hang in there – Spring is right around the corner!

Shedding Some Light on Groundhog Day

Well, we made it to February, and here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township NJ, the place is buzzing with our storage customers shuttling in and out after visiting their rental spaces. Luckily, we have successfully dodged all major snow storms to this point – Whew!  It seems early to be thinking about Spring, but Groundhog Day is here, so…. Why Groundhog Day? Why not something more spring inspired, like Robin, Daffodil, or Bunny Rabbit day? I wondered where this tradition came from, so I decided to check it out.

It turns out that Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal, the hedgehog, as a means of predicting weather. According to tradition, if the hedgehog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather – no shadow means an early spring.

Germans who came to America and settled in in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Dutch Country) continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.

On February 2nd 1887, Groundhog Day was celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A newspaper editor belonging to a group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney, called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, declared that Phil, the Punxsutawney groundhog, was America’s only true weather-forecasting groundhog.  The line of groundhogs that have since been known as Phil might be America’s most famous groundhogs, but other towns across North America now have their own weather-predicting rodents, from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada. Today, tens of thousands of people converge on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney each February 2nd to witness Phil’s prediction. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts a three-day celebration featuring entertainment and activities.

Well, there you have it – the history of Groundhog Day. Soon Punxsutawney Phil will make his prediction – Will we enjoy an early early Spring, or are we are in for six more weeks of winter? The staff here at The Storage Inn is definitely on “Team Spring”! Happy Groundhog Day!

 

JANUARY IS BRAILLE LITERACY MONTH!

JANUARY IS BRAILLE LITERACY MONTH!

It’s a cold January day here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, but that hasn’t stopped our storage rental customers from shuttling in and out, to and from their storage units of all sizes.

Today I spotted one of our tenants, Eva, who happens to be a teacher, pulling items from her storage space. “School project?” I asked, rolling past in my golf cart. “Yeah” she chirped excitedly – “National Braille Month!”.

I knew that Eva was a teacher, but it was just today that I found out that she teaches sign language and braille to deaf and blind students. 

I’ve always known about braille, but really I hadn’t thought much about it until today, so I decided to do a little research.

Here are a few things that you may not know about braille… 

Braille was invented by Louis Braille. He was born in France in 1809. When he was three years old, he was playing with some tools in his father’s workshop. While playing, one of the tools struck him in the eye and the wound became infected. Eventually the infection spread to his other eye and he became completely blind by age five.

The idea for braille as a method of reading for the blind came with Louis’ own frustration as a student. Louis learned of a system used by the French army called night writing –  words were formed using letters that contained a series of raised dashes and dots. this system was developed to avoid having to make sound or turn on a light, which could alert the enemy to a soldier’s location.

Louis took this idea and simplified it. He made his own alphabet out of a series of six dots. He discovered 63 different ways to use a six-dot cell in a smaller area. His first book was published in 1829 and he later added symbols for mathematics and music.

Braille takes up more space than the traditional alphabet, so braille books are larger than their printed counterparts. A Braille Bible spans about 6 cubic feet of space and weighs around 70 pounds. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is 10 volumes in braille, and Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary is 72 volumes!

Braille is not a language. It is an alphabet that can be used to write almost any language. There are braille versions of Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and many other languages. 

Most people who are blind don’t know braille – only 10 percent of Americans with blindness can read braille. This low number is attributed to the introduction of smart technology, audiobooks, voice-recognition software, and other technology to help the blind read and write. Studies show however, that those who did know braille were more likely to attain higher education and be employed. 

“Braille” is only capitalized when referring to Louis Braille, the inventor of the system. In all other cases, when referring to the system itself, braille should be lowercase. 

Hope you enjoyed this look at some of the history of braille courtesy of The Storage Inn

Happy 2021 – Stay Safe!

Chicken Soup

Favorite Winter Comfort Foods

It’s Mmmmm Mmmmm good in the Winter!

It is the end of January here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and there have been some very cold days lately, but that doesn’t stop our customers from shuttling in and out of their storage spaces. Lately I’ve noticed people storing holiday decorations, as well as removing exercise equipment, presumably in an effort to renew their commitment to better health in the new year.
Earlier this week, on a particularly cold day, one of our customers, Jodi, stopped Into the office to purchase some moving boxes for the items that she was putting into her eht storage unit. “Cold enough for you?” I asked. “I’m freezing” she answered  “I can’t wait to get home and have a nice bowl of hot soup!” she said as she took her boxes and headed to her car. Her soup sounded really good to me, so I decided to do a thoroughly unscientific polling of our customers as to their favorite winter comfort foods. Here some of our Storage Inn customer’s favorites!

bowl-of-soup1

Soup – Of course! Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of soup on a cold Winter’s day?  The two favorites seem to be chicken noodle, and tomato.

Hot ChocolateMmmmmm.. The real chocolaty kind with the tiny little marshmallows floating on top!  Not surprisingly, this one was offered up by one of our customer’s children.

Fried Chicken and Mashed PotatoesYes please – Make my chicken extra crispy!

Grilled Cheese – Cooked just right, so that the gooey cheese stretches between the two halves when you pull the sandwich apart!  These people should get together with the soup people.

winter-comfort-foods

Sloppy JoesWell, a burger is just a burger, but a sloppy joe, with a slice of American cheese – Now that’s comfort food!

Macaroni and Cheese – The cheesier the better – BTW goes well with sloppy joes!

Chicken Pot Pie – One of my favorites! I like mine with salt and pepper and a little bit of butter melted on the crust. Mmmmmm!

Spaghetti and Meatballs – A good choice any time of year, but really goes well at the end of a cold day spent outside.

Chili – There’s nothing like a simmering pot of chili. Whether you like it hot or mild, with meat or without, the combination of beans, onions, peppers, mushrooms and spices are impossible to resist when you’re cozy at home and it’s chilly outside.

Homemade Beef Stew  – You know, the type that simmers in the giant stew pot all day long, until the flavors of the beef, vegetables, and spices are mixed just right. Don’t forget the buttered rolls!

Well, there you have it – The official Storage Inn customer’s list of their favorite Winter Comfort Foods. Well, my shift is almost over, and I can’t wait to head home, but first I will be stopping off at the grocery store for Sloppy Joe mix, rolls, and hot chocolate – so much for my New Year’s diet!

Pop the Cork for 2021!!!

Storage Inn Blog Post Happy New Year 2021

The New Year is a upon us here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and our storage rental customers seem to be happy moving on to a new year!

Yesterday, one of our self-storage tenants who happens to be a wine aficionado, was at his rental storage unit, returning his holiday decorations to his storage space. “Hey Bob!” I called out – “What are we drinking for New Year’s Eve this year?”. ”Why champagne, of course!” came his reply. We wished each other good luck in the new year, and went on our way, but this made me think –  what is it about champagne that people love?

Champagne is synonymous with celebration, and nothing says New Year’s quite like popping a bottle of bubbly. Throughout the year it might be seen as slightly snobbish, but on December 31 Champagne becomes a holiday revelers’ drink of choice in countries all over the world. It seems that simply letting those bubbles fly sets the tone for a festive celebration.

Here are some fun facts about Champagne you likely never knew…

There are about 49 million bubbles in a 7500ml bottle of Champagne – A standard-sized glass emits 30 bubbles every second.

The French consume 162.5 million bottles of Champagne every year, or about 52 percent of the entire world’s production of Champagne.

Champagne has 3 times more carbonation than beer – The pressure in a Champagne bottle is about 3 times the amount of pressure of a car tire.

When popped, a Champagne cork can reach a velocity of 24.8 miles per hour – The longest recorded cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches.

Marilyn Monroe famously took a bath in Champagne. More than 350 bottles were needed to fill up the tub.

About 28,000 bottles of champagne are served at Wimbledon every year.

James Bond has been spotted drinking Champagne more than 35 times in his films. It’s the drink he reaches for more than any other… (and we thought he was a Martini man)

CPJGDF Goldfinger

If you’re drinking good Champagne, you’ll be able to see the “collerette” or the bubble trains traveling up the sides of the glass.

The first glass of Champagne has the most bubbles, meaning the first glass will also get you feeling drunk the fastest. Every glass thereafter poured from that bottle will be less potent than the one preceding it.

Winston Churchill was one of the biggest Champagne drinkers on record.  Between 1908 and 1965 he drank an estimated 42,000 bottles. A special one pint bottle was served to him every day at precisely 11 a.m.

In the 19th century, Champagne makers wore metal masks to protect their faces when handling Champagne bottles, which had a tendency to explode. Eventually, stronger glass bottles and metal clasp closures made the stuff more stable.

The most expensive bottle of Champagne was $2.07 million. It was designed by Alexander Amosu and Swarovski, handcrafted from 18-carat solid gold, with a deep-cut 19-carat white diamond at its center. It was mostly the bottle that caused the hefty price tag. Only a few were ever made, making it a rare and valuable collectors edition.

So, there you have it – some Champagne knowledge that you can take with you into the new year, courtesy of The Storage Inn. As for me, I’m considering enjoying some Champagne this New Year’s Eve, but first I need to find out – does Champagne pair well with hot wings?

Happy New Year!

 

 

A Christmas Carol… Bah Humbug!

Well, December is here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and the temperatures are dropping. Just yesterday I saw one of our tenants at his 10×12 storage unit gathering his Christmas decorations.

” Hey Bob – Happy Holidays!”, I yelled.

“Bah Humbug!” Bob yelled back with half a laugh.

Bob spends the winter in Florida and is not a fan of cold weather. His response, though, made me think of Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”. I wondered  what “bah humbug” meant, So I did a little research, and… 

Charles Dickens loved to celebrate Christmas.  His favorite time during the holidays was Twelfth Night, the feast of the Epiphany.

Early in 1843, as a response to a government report on the abuse of child laborers in mines and factories, Dickens vowed he would strike a “sledge-hammer blow . . . on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.” That sledge-hammer was the book, A Christmas Carol. Below are a few interesting tid-bits about this great work of fiction.

A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843.

Initially, six thousand copies of the book were printed.  More copies were ordered after the first printing was sold in only five days.

Technically speaking,  A Christmas Carol was published by Chapman & Hall.  However, in an interesting turn of events, Dickens paid the publishing costs himself.

Dickens would fund the publication of A Christmas Carol and would receive the profits. Chapman & Hall would be paid for the printing costs and receive a fixed commission on the number of copies sold.

It only took Dickens about six weeks to write A Christmas Carol.  

As Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol he said that the Cratchits were “ever tugging at his coat sleeve, as if impatient for him to get back to his desk and continue the story of their lives”.

Marry for Love – Not Money

“If you were free today, tomorrow, yesterday, can I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl?”

Belle, Scrooge’s long-lost girlfriend, says the above to Scrooge in Dream Two of A Christmas Carol.  A dowry is a gift given by the bride’s parents to the newly married couple. To marry a dowerless girl means that no money, property or goods would be given by the bride’s parents to the groom or couple.  It means that the groom would be marrying for love – not money.

Marley is very Dead!

“Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.” This line appears toward the beginning of the novel. Dickens included this because of a dream. He had dreamt that one of his good friends was pronounced to be “as dead Sir . . . as a door-nail”.

Christmas…Bah Humbug!

The words are well-known as the catchphrase of miserly old Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character in Dickens’ 1843 novel, “A Christmas Carol.” Scrooge, who thinks Christmas is an enormous deception, retorts, “Bah! Humbug!” to anyone who dares to wish him a merry Christmas. There are many possibilities on where the phrase came from, but each points back to a meaning of deception. Which makes sense in the way that Scrooge used it in A Christmas Carol, as he thought that Christmas itself was a hoax or deception. In fact, this is not the only literary use of the phrase, as the venerable Wizard of Oz declares himself to be “just a humbug.”

The Cratchit family is based on Dickens’s Childhood

Dickens lived in poor circumstances in a “two up two down” four-roomed house which he shared with his parents and five siblings.

Like Peter Cratchit, young Charles, the eldest boy, was often sent to pawn the family’s goods when money was tight. Also, like many poor families, the Cratchit’s had nothing in which to roast meat. They relied on the ovens of their local baker which were available on Sundays and Christmas when the bakery was closed.

Dickens Revives the Christmas Spirit

At the time Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, Christmas wasn’t commonly celebrated as a festive holiday. In The Pickwick Papers and A Christmas Carol, Dickens’s descriptions of feasting, games and family unity combined with his message that Christmas was a time “when want is keenly felt and abundance rejoices” helped to revive popular interest in many Christmas traditions that are still practiced today.

So, there you have it –  a little Charles Dickens / A Christmas Carol knowledge, courtesy of The Storage Inn. We wish all of our Customers and Friends a Happy Holiday Season, filled with Good Cheer, Eggnog, and Christmas Cookies!

 

Mr. Nick in his moving truck

Mr. Nick is one busy storage unit renter

So, it’s the day before Christmas here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey – Almost time for my annual visit from one of our biggest customers, Mr. Nick. Mr. Nick’s been a storage unit tenant with us for as long as anyone can remember. He’s an unusual guy – older – the outdoorsy type – from up North somewhere. You know, big bushy beard, wears a lot of red flannel shirts with suspenders. That sort of thing.

Mr. Nick has seven of our extra large storage spaces with the extra high ceilings. He stops in every year around this time to let us know that even though he’ll be emptying out the storage units, he’s not moving out.

 

feature_christmas-elf-featMr. Nick is certainly a bit on the eccentric side and I’m assuming pretty wealthy since he’s mentioned renting storage units like ours all over the world. Each year right around Christmas time, his crew pulls in with a couple of giant, red S.C. Moving and Storage vans, and empties out out all seven of his storage spaces. The funny thing is, beginning in January, I’ll see his helpers back again and on a monthly basis, refilling the storage units with electronics, toys, sporting goods, and all sorts of goodies.

This year I decided to have a little chat with his crew. Nice guys – unusually short, but very well mannered and hard workers too. They all refer to Mr. Nick as “The big guy” which is quite true in height and around the waist line.

While his helpers were in the yard the other day,  I decided to be a little nosey.

“Excuse me guys. Just curious. What type of business is Mr. Nick in if you don’t mind me asking?” I questioned.

“Import/export” replied one of his of helpers.

“Oh, so he buys and then resells things” I asked.

“No, no – He gives it all away!” answered a particularly short man, who appeared to be the leader of the crew.

“Wow, really? That’s great – a wealthy philanthropist!” I gushed.

“I guess you could say that, but the big guy really doesn’t care about money – He just likes to make people happy!” came a high pitched voice from behind a pile of toys.

If that don’t beat all I thought to myself. I tipped my Storage Inn hat and wished Mr. Nick’s crew a good day and Happy Holidays. I walked back to the rental office thinking about my conversation with Mr. Nick’s helpers. Hmmmm, I thought – Puzzling. A guy from up North, with a bushy white beard, dressed in all red, with an import/ export charitable organization?… who collects toys and other goodies throughout the year, only to give them away at Christmas time? If I didn’t know any better I would guess he’s… omg…. I think I know what the “S. C.” in  S. C. Moving and Storage stands for!  Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn!