24 DAYS ON BARTLETT STREET

I love corny Hallmark movies.  Please don’t judge me.  With so much tension in the daily news and the usual stress of home and family, there’s a sense of contentment when we settle in with the predictable and slurpy sweet.  Where the hunky good guy gets the girl and they live happily ever after in a town with a name like Pansy Valley or Miracle Creek.  These towns are always cozy picture perfect little hamlets with quirky characters who all come together to solve a crisis.  It is this corny premise that led to my addiction to the Gilmore Girls series.  I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time fantasizing about living in Stars Hollow and drinking coffee out of giant cups with Lorelai and Rory at Luke’s Diner.  Criticize me if you will but there’s comfort in knowing that I am not alone in this.  Seriously why are we drawn to the predictability of these stories that always center around the home-spun simplicity of small town living?  Gilmore Girls didn’t run for seven seasons and Hallmark doesn’t make new movies year after year because nobody is watching.  I’ve decided that this fantasy phenomenon is about community.  Community and perspective.

Before I had a shop in Medford I used to wish Medford had some of that Hallmark sparkle.  A little bit of …MAGIC.  Too bad it’s not smaller where everybody knows everybody.  I wished there was a cute town square where everybody came together to light the Christmas tree.  A place where people knew you and called you by name and the sidewalks were littered with tables and chairs outside that cute coffee shop and the storefronts had pretty red awnings.

Now I have a shop in Medford.  Not exactly downtown.  We are more like those shows in the big city that are just “off-Broadway”.  We aren’t Central or Riverside or either end of Main.  We are North Bartlett.  You don’t accidentally stumble on to us.   You have to be intentional about visiting us, and so very many have been beautifully intentional.  Today marks our fourth week of business.  March ninth, our one-month anniversary.  We owe a massive debt of gratitude to so many who have stopped in to shop and wish us well and to those who have been instrumental in making us shop-keepers.  Thank you doesn’t even come close.  But I have to say it because my heart if full.  “THANK YOU from the bottom of all of our hearts.”  It’s been twenty-four days of business and each one has been better than the day before.  Delayed shipments haven’t even put a damper on our joy meter.  Okay so I did have that one tiny little melt-down. But aside from that it’s been UH-MAZING.

After a month we are settling in to our routines and rituals (coffee related rituals) and a couple days ago I went to my new fave coffee place.  It’s over on Main St which I realized is just a short jaunt from the shop if I go across Fourth Street and through Pear Blossom Park, where they light the city Christmas Tree, and on through the parking garage.   As I walked by the cute bistro table and chairs out on the sidewalk I opened the door to go inside and my favorite barista looked up and said, “Hi Cindy!” She then made a point to introduce me to her boss and tell him I was the new owner of Pretty of Paint.  When I got back to my little shop around the corner, I sensed a weather change.  The wind was kicking up the edge of our pretty red awnings that hang over our sidewalk.  It was a sparkly Hallmark moment.  It was…Magic.

Xox

Cindy

{header photo credit: Danny Hall}

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