skinks and mops

There’s a lovely spot to sunbake out the back of the shop and it’s used by skinks.  When they’re not in the sun, Michaela had wondered where they hid.  I’ve often seen them in our outdoor loo but really hadn’t given it any thought at all until today.

Michaela filled the bucket and went to grab the mop that rests out the back and as she moved it, a skink jumped out of the mop head, so she carefully parted the cotton lengths to see if there were any more that may not appreciate a hot soapy bath.

All clear, she began to mop the shop floor. That’s when Michaela found out where they live…inside the hollow handle at the top of the mop…when one ran down the mop!


This piece has been inside me waiting to be written for several weeks now.

No, not the time demon!  That’s a future topic.

One of my customers died and it affected me.

She wasn’t the first and won’t be the last.

Some customers you get to know really well, some are simply familiar faces.  I get close to those of you who are prepared to share something of yourselves with me.  In some cases this happens gradually, bit by bit as we trade tidbits of information.  Sometimes we get close fast, usually over something life changing.  In a moment in time, I just happened to be the first person you felt you could talk about your mother’s death or your phone rang whilst you were here  and got the news your daughter was pregnant.  Sometimes it starts the other way.  You catch me with a tear and ask if I’m ok…

Kim was ‘just’ a familiar face.  A significant one though in that she had been shopping with me from when I first opened which is now 12 and half years ago.  I’d been a mostly silent observer as she married and then had kids.  In the beginning she usually bought things for herself later more for others. I noticed how vibrant she had become and came across her blog and new health business.  I was looking forward to getting into some more in-depth conversations and then she started a new blog.  One she started to document to share her journey with cancer.  Everyone I knew who knew her was so shocked, you don’t have to know the person when you hear a young healthy mum gets such a diagnosis, we are all connected and we all feel the pain and unfairness of it.  She wrote in a style that earned her much respect and admiration both for her words and her strength of character that shone through.  I commented on her first or second posting; telling her to pop in for a hug next time she was in Foster and she said she would.  Sadly I didn’t get to see Kim again.

I’ve been to at least three funerals and missed many I’d like to have been present for of people I’d met through the shop.  One a number of years ago I unexpectedly found myself speaking to the gathering after the invitation had been offered and no one had moved. It was such an ugly awkward silence. Up to that point the eulogy had been about this elderly gent’s early life as if the second half of his life hadn’t been.  I knew as good as nothing about this man’s family and personal life but we’d spoken at least weekly over many years so I felt I knew something of him and in that instant it seemed a good idea to stand up.  I moved to the front of the church and I recall looking out and seeing very few faces I knew and feeling a bit silly, surely someone else should be speaking and not me.  But there I was, so I took a deep breath, introduced myself and spoke of how we’d first met and what he’d brought to my life.  I recollect people nodding and smiling as I described some of his actions and character and after I sat down, numerous people then chose to speak too.  It was really lovely.  Afterwards several people came up and introduced themselves to me and told me about their connection and what it had meant to them to hear what I’d said.  One of his son’s was especially delighted in a perplexed kind of way as the man I described wasn’t the man he’d known.  He and his wife who were from interstate came into the shop twice before they went home to talk some more.

So for the past few weeks I’ve been ruminating and remembering people and feeling exceptionally grateful for all the people I connect with past and present.

tears and trials

A mum and her young daughter came in yesterday.  The mum explained she’d bought a special necklace but it needed a shorter and more special chain than the one it came with.  The young 3? year old refused to allow us to remove the necklace from her neck, or perhaps I should say, tried to refuse as the mother succeeded, despite the howls and much protestation.  The wee little girl cried the whole time we swapped the chain and attempted to put it back on her.  The mother was clearly frustrated and I sure was able to identify with this as she tried numerous strategies to get what she wanted done.  Despite her annoyance, her strategies also included logic and she asked her daughter great questions to find out what she was so distressed about.  Her eyes were open so wide and her expression said so much yet her mouth gaped and no words came out.

In a new instant, I decided to see from a different perspective than I might have been able if I was either of them in th midst of the turmoil.  Like hindsight, doesn’t distance aid clear thinking and wisdom?!!

Sometimes we don’t have the words to explain ourselves.

Sometimes, in that moment, we don’t know why either.

We agreed this was true and that we were both adults with skills and experience and then we compared ourselves with this distressed mite, less than half our size but with more frustration than both of us combined.

The Mum then made a decision to purchase the chain and leave the shop.  I could hear the little one crying still minutes later in the street.

Both the mum and I had made really intelligent and thoughtful guesses and thought we were clever in what we said to help and we failed.  I wonder what it was really all about?  I wonder if they were able to talk about it calmly later?

I wonder what you would have done?

I wonder what this brings up for you now?

Why it took 17 days to write the second blog

How often do you laugh at yourself?

I laugh at myself rather a lot!!!

Today one of my customers mentioned as a ‘by the by’ that they had read my last newsletter and loved it.  Instantly I was more alert, if I were a dog my ears would have been pricked and my response would have been heard as sharp, quick bursts of yapping.  A rapid series of questions to establish that yes, she had meant my blog…so I laughed and asked if I could admit that I had heaps to write about and expected to be writing often BUT nobody had commented and so I hadn’t written anything more.  A new blog with no responses, it looked sad and somewhat shameful to me.  How could I write another?  No one I knew had even signed up (forgive me to the two bloggers who did!)  What was the point?

So she laughed with me and made it her fault a bit, she’d been going to comment…She kindly told me that I should keep writing because I was good at it.

Some of the writing I do helps me.  Journaling kind of stuff that gets it out of your head and enables you to see a situation with more clarity.

A blog isn’t about talking to yourself though but now that I know I have an audience, I’m happy!

Hello world!

I’ve recently learnt that a lot of what I have been including in the Main Street Revelations’ Newsletter would better suit a blog format.  I love the idea that you can choose to communicate with me and other lovers of Main Street Revelations in this medium.

Today it is rather cold, wet and windy here in Foster.  So far, I have had exactly 9 people through the door and every single person has made a purchase.  This is not common.  Our tagline after all is, ‘Browsers Always Welcome’.  Half of my customers today have been tourists who just pull on the appropriate gear and get on with it! They were delighted to find less touristy gifts to take home with them.  I’ve had a couple of locals who raced in, grabbed what they needed and left again!  What’s been obvious though is that everyone today has been focused.  They’ve come in for a purpose intent on achieving success.  This makes my day rather easy!

One lady I chatted with had come across from Yarram to visit the dentist, she’d not visited my shop before.  She’d been attracted to the scarves on sale she’d spotted from outside and once inside discovered there was lots to love.  Her comment is one I hear a lot, “You have so many beautiful things in here”.  I’m pretty boring I realise as I tend to say pretty much the same thing in response…

I love beautiful things.

Beautiful things attract beautiful people.

Does that sound trite?  I hope not, because I see it all the time.  It’s a universal law too isn’t it?  Like attracts Like.

A gift for me I can share with you...

A gift for me I can share with you

I’ve added a picture of a Peony Rose that was brought in to me on Saturday by one of our regular customers.  She handed it to me saying, “I just thought you’d like this.”  She thought so very, very right!  Such a stunning bloom.  She hastened to apologise for it though, telling me peonies don’t smell very nice.  Naturally I brought it straight to my nose expecting something offensive, thankfully perhaps all she meant was it didn’t smell as beautiful as it looks?

There was so much thought and care in this gesture.  With the bloom were a couple of extra stems of leaves and they were all wrapped up in a wad of wet newspaper surrounded with a piece of reused plastic.  Three days later and the joy I continue to feel each time I notice it seems to expand rather than lessen as you might expect.

Just like the way the positive interactions I have with the many people I meet here, linger and hang around me, no doubt providing me with the extra energy to offer back to the next person who comes through the doors.

This morning something rather special came into my news feed on Facebook and I’d like to share it here too as I suspect you’ll also like it.  Especially if you can feel overwhlemed by the negatives in our world.

If you’ve come to the blog from the newsletter and you want to get notified when I publish a new blog entry, you’ll find the button that will allow you to enter your details.  If you’re not a newsletter subscriber and you’d like to be, you can follow the link to our webpage and click on the sign up button there.

Looking forward to hearing from you,