Roxi said “That’s not right. Let’s at least see what’s going on”
I said “you are too nice” (and then I took a drink of wine. I don’t really like people as most of you already know even if you never believe me)
And we opened the door to find a couple of littles, an old baby, and my-barely-friend Hilary.
- I was in Illinois last week. I don’t even talk about it anymore because the store is exactly what it was supposed to be – a store for a community – not a store about me.
- When I’m in the store, I’m so dreadfully tucked in the corner. ( most folks don’t see/know the anxiety and/or depression I face. I disclose that because it’s my reality and dang. I want to sugar coat it and pretend it never happens, and of course worry about what talking about it may bring upon. But I would rather you all know all the time AND know that with it I still show up. And sometimes I hide in the store when I’m there.)
Needless to say, Roxi had closed the store and we were chatting it up the things we need to chat up in person.
And we heard the noise outside. Scuffling of feet. Tiny high voices.
We open the door and this little person walks inside. He’s like 3 feet high. Peers inside. And from behind him comes a tiny little girl voice that booms with authority “GO IN”
And there they are. 2 Littles. An Otto and An Ada.
I don’t like people, but dang I love Littles. There will always be a play area and carts in my store for the bebes and the Littles. Lots of play food and I will sit on the floor and talk about their hopes and dreams for their lives for as long as their attention allows.
So here comes Ada – gripping her baby. I ask what is the baby’s name? She throws away the answer “Old Baby” like I should know already. And she continues looking around.
Otto caretakes and politely reminds Ada and everyone around him that while he loves her he is annoyed by her. And will do anything for her. And sort of doesn’t like her. But not really. And she’s his best friend. You know how it goes.
And there is Hilary. The Mama. We are not friends – but sort of friends. Should be friends if we ever had a chance to be friends. Instead of knowing her better at this moment, I know that her parents put in most of the plumbing in The Butter Churn and I love love love her jewelry. I found out about Hilary because when we were building The Butter Churn we didn’t just talk about local – we hired local.
Hilary also recently started her own business Rivet in Galesburg. Go shop there. She is a true artist and a brave wonderful person.
Did you know that small businesses do more for the economy than box stores?
Do you have any idea how scary and terrible it is to have a small business? You worry about looking like you are failing. You worry about looking too successful. You worry about folks wanting more from you because you are a real person rather than a faceless entity.
Ada and Otto each choose some soap and a strawberry plant.
(we have these new soaps. They are so beautiful you almost don’t want to use them. Which would be a mistake. Because they are even BETTER when you use them!)
On the way out Ada drops her hat. In picking up her hat she drops her baby. In picking up the baby she drops another important thing. Eventually she gets it all together.
Otto helps by providing commentary.
Later this one day Hilary posts a pic about Old Baby getting a bath. On the side is some soap. The Butter Churn soap.
You know what community is? It’s loving each other for each other’s talents and supporting them and raising some kids or loving some kids and eating some good food and getting through each day.
I had the great pleasure of spending some good times with some littles who shopped the butter churn, smelled the good smell of fresh plants – and smiled with joy at smelling those plants. Littles who let Old Baby shop at The Butter Churn.
And I had the pleasure of watching a Mama who smiled with love at watching her kiddos be kiddos. Those kids picked up everything – like they should be able to!!! And she was able to shop without being worried about being reprimanded for letting her kids be kids.
And of course the pleasure of knowing that Roxi, who is better than I am most of the time, always has room to let people in even when I think maybe, just maybe we should all go home. <3.