The Airport, the Weather, and a Grocery Store

IMG_3486 I know what this is and I know how to use it…..

The girls and I arrived safely last night.   We like flying into St. Louis for a couple of different reasons –

1.  It’s not Chicago.

Flying into Chicago is notorious for delays, cancellations, and just general blech (at least from my opinion).

2.  It’s fairly close to my brother’s family so we get an opportunity to visit with him and his family before heading towards Galesburg and Woodhull.  SO. MUCH. FUN. to visit my brother.  His family and I are like 24 clowns in a circus car.  (Peas in a Pod is too….  Well, not us. )

So, Last night there was an ice storm though (Welcome Home!!) and today we made good choices about staying put before attempting to drive the 3+ hours home.

<insert my Keeping It Real in this blog moment> Just in case I forgot I was a grown up (an almost 40yr grown up with an almost 11yr child) and attempted to do something crazy like drive in an ice storm with my 2 young children, my parents called at 6 am this morning to inquire about my plans and to strongly encourage me to not drive.

I KNOW.  I KNOW.  I KNOW…..  I know they love me AND there is always some mindful breath when I step off the plane back into Illinois.   My dad likes to quote the saying about how One can Never go Home Again… And I secretly think “Whew.  Because if I could, I would perhaps permanently be 12.  And I really enjoy being almost 40.”

So we’re visiting my brother and like I always do (even before the idea of The Butter Churn) I go check out his local down-the-street grocery store.  I eyeball the stores different now then even just a couple of months ago.  Now I’m looking at equipment and pricing and lay-outs.

I realize that their local store is about the same size as the building in Woodhull.  It’s pretty big.  And I think to myself that at least 85% of the store sells shelf-stable “food” and a couple of aisles of not-food items (hair ties, paper goods, etc….)  I wonder from a money point of view how well this store does on their paper products – WalMart is just down the road… I can’t imagine people are shopping a lot here for those items.   And then I think about how much space there will be at The Butter Churn for the real food, and start calculating just how many coolers and what-not we’ll need.  And the fancy produce sprayers… How important are they if the food isn’t traveling 100’s of miles?  Some of these things we’ll find out as we go.

A lot of what I wonder about is money.  When calculating how much it costs one of those regular stores to run, I wonder about the variables…  Does it really cost that much?  Or does it cost more when you add in all the things that a store “thinks” they need to offer?

Anyway when I think about The Butter Churn, I don’t feel caught up in the idea that we “have” to do something a certain way.  I am very caught up in the idea that we need to look at the long term goal of being a sustainable place that gets food to a community.   And looking at other grocery stores and seeing 1000’s of square feet being dedicated to non-food items and shelf-stable “food” items, that have hidden costs of storage, minimums, etc…  I feel okay about everything else.

Wish us luck on the roads tomorrow.

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