Why do we do this?

If you know any of the back story of The Butter Churn, you may know that while I was trying to get the store started, my least, most loathed question, that I would get asked ALL THE FREAKING TIME, was this:

Why?  Why are we doing this?

And it made me crazy.  Because in every fiber of my being the answer was so clear.  Why not?  Woodhull is a great town.  It’s where I grew up, it’s where my family is.  My daughters have some of their best memories there.  I really didn’t think it would be that hard.  Or that the idea was that strange.

It didn’t bother me (too much.  What can I say – I’m human.  It was a little difficult sometimes) that people talked about my finances or my personal life.  Or that suddenly I was under some weird intense scrutiny.  All because I didn’t understand why it was difficult to have and get some decent food in Woodhull.  It honestly didn’t make any sense to me.

Last month I learned that I’m a part of a group of people who have seen a need in their communities in terms of having a market.  And this small group of people are rarely grocers by trade.  They are random community people who want to do better in the towns that they love.  Grocers don’t start markets in small towns.  Because statistically they are not profitable, and grocers are usually in the business of making some money.   People who love their towns start (or save) markets in their towns.  (That is a whole ‘nother blog post.  Because… DANG.  Love doesn’t pay the bills.  I digress)

And tonight I’m sitting at my kitchen table.  I’m paying bills.  Like we all do.  Except that I’m paying bills that will go to Woodhull.  And while I was writing them out I thought “Why am I doing this?”  For the first time.  It really hit me.  Because it’s a lot.  And it’s hard.


I don’t get to shop at The Butter Churn.  I don’t get to do the events that look so wonderful (That’s all Roxi!)  Yesterday I shopped at a local store here in California and thought “ugh.  What a terrible layout.  So much waste that happens here.” And spent  money on things that sort of didn’t make a meal.  Lame.

And then my daughter walked in.  And said “Mom.  How many days till we are in Woodhull?  Can we go to The Butter Churn the first day or do we have to wait?  When do we get to see G’ma Dort?  Is Charlie going to see us right away?  When do we get to go to his farm?  Can we see Madison and Piper immediately or will they be in camps?”

And I happily signed my name on another check.

We don’t have to do this.  We never did.  But in 1 week we will finally be home and then we will get to celebrate the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of The Butter Churn.  A store that should have never been.  That shouldn’t have made it 6 months (by some folks’ opinions).  That only happened because along the way I met some people who also didn’t mind what anyone else thought and they decided to help me.

I thought that the grand opening was a big deal… And it was.  But that fact that we survived a year.  That’s true grace right there.



3 thoughts on “Why do we do this?

  1. And we are eternally grateful you chose your ‘old’ hometown to plant a successful store but I wish you were living here too *G*. It’s a great addition to our little town and we all appreciate it, you and Roxi and the others. A big thanks to you.


  2. Happy Anniversary Butter Churn! Enjoy your trip home Stephanie to celebrate the hard work and life you have brought to your community.


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