Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shopping Local

There is a darling shop here. I almost missed knowing about it. I had driven by many times but didn't stop. I assumed it would be stuffy and pricey. I was pleasantly surprised and completely delighted. I stopped in yesterday looking for dresses for an event I have this weekend. I found two contenders and could have bought more. I had looked at all of the big stores in town, Macy's, TJ Maxx, Old Navy. I found a few things but they were more than I wanted to spend or not very original.

So I stopped into this darling little place called Patina in the historic downtown area. They have unique clothing, shoes, jewelry, housewares and best of all original art from local artists. A very brief bit of history; we used to have a shopping district downtown. There are reasons people believe it failed. I have my own theories. Stores went away. The mall closed and moved south into a small town bordering our town. It's not the same. It's not a great place to shop. There is nothing interesting,unique or fun about it. It's more of a chore to go there. So I'm thankful for shops like Patina that are off the beaten path and committed to quality, good prices and style. It makes me want to open up my own little shop to sell something, anything.

There are other local shops that I will be visiting this summer. I look forward to new discoveries.

Here are some photos of Patina. Can't you just see the coolness?

Monday, April 4, 2011

City to Country to City Again

Nearly two years ago, when we moved from Seattle to two acres in my former hometown we had some adjustments to make. Like not having any neighbors. Walking the garbage can what felt like a quarter mile down the driveway. Being able to hear a pin drop at night. Entertaining ourselves by talking to the cows and feeding the horses. Having to explain to the pizza driver for the umpteenth time how to get to our house since it wasn't right off the road.

We recently moved into a townhouse/duplex community. And there are new adjustments. Reminders of our Seattle days although this is no Seattle. New noises to get used to, like the apple packing plant right behind our unit that is sure to get busier and nosier as apple packing season picks up. Reminders that there will be parking space issues. Mail delivery issues. Note to self: next time we move do not choose a place right in front of the community mailbox. You just might get a nasty note from the mail carrier about your mother-in-law's car being parked too close to the mailbox no matter how far forward she pulls. Note to mail carrier: that thing you drive, it has reverse.

But the best adjustment. The one that makes my heart sing. Friends. Neighborhood friends. At this very moment the girls are playing with children they go to school with. Growing up my memories of playing with neighborhood friends, many that occured in this very same neighborhood, are my fondest memories. I'm so glad they have that again. But that's not good news for Stella the dog. She was their sole playmate, well other than the horse and the cow, since we brought her home last summer. She's heartbroken that they have left her in the house to play with their human friends. She'll adjust just as we all have.