Saturday, June 7, 2008

Well, we have survived the record setting snow here in Vermont 2007/2008, just in time to see record setting gas prices coming our way, a true test if ever there was one. We've been blessed with a king who kept the driveway plowed out. Another blessing was the pellet stove and the Sam Daniels furnace which made a big difference at a time when fuel oil was already too high...and now this. I guess we'll all have to conserve a wee bit more and plan our trips wisely. I can't think of a more beautiful place to visit than the Green Mountains so if you have one trip to take I hope you consider a visit to the mountains!

We've had neighborly visits from folks in Rochester and nearby towns who've been coming by to greet us and wish us well. Each week brings more and more visitors to our country antique, music, and art store. Many are just passing through. No matter, we welcome their kind words of support and even their hello in a place where we are the new folks in town. Thank you if you are reading this and have been one of the friendly visitors. If not please come on in. Its difficult to leave the shop during open hours and join in the community at this point. We've tried to take turns getting out and Bob now has his very first half gallon of maple syrup thanks to the local farmers market. Hopefully this will keep him happy for a little while as it seems he's found a way to use it on everything. The funny gentleman at the market shared how he got caught drinking the liquid gold from a shot glass in the middle of the night! I haven't "caught" that one yet, but it doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I have to sleep sometime.

Bob and I have been traveling back and forth, over 200 miles each week bringing up new merchandise, tools from home, and working on the building as best we can to make it ready for much more to come. We've collected for a very long time now and much of what was in our personal collection is going into the shop, some to be sold and some to be shared with everyone. We try to balance this with quick trips to waterfalls or porch sitting. Sometimes Jake will play the banjo or his guitar and treat us to some of his new songs. Balance seems to be the key and we stand firm regarding the work and play rule of the house. I have a feeling that Vermonter's learn this early.

It's no small task to work together, 4 of us, at times disagreeing and exhausted but somehow we've managed to work it out and come round right. Sometimes crankiness is simply hunger and that's easy to take care of...we eat. More often than not we work quite well together whether it's painting clouds or preparing the walls for fresh paint.
Our plan is to add more from the local community and surrounding towns but we are moving slowly. That maple syrup would be grand! We've approached a few people but we are still waiting to hear from them. So would some of the other crafts when the space is ready and we can work out a rent or consignment fee. We may have a few spaces available for rent as well if you think you've got something compatible with our shop. We've rented space for many years so we have a healthy respect for what is needed. Our shop seems huge but it will shrink fast if we over load it. This isn't to say we won't try to have some junk and projects available but for now we are focusing on providing good fun stuff whether it be artists work, banjo's, or kitchen cupboards from years ago. We have chosen to mix the old with the new, the true advantage of being our own bosses.

We've been doing this long enough to know that our merchandise also serves as a museum of sorts and is worth the visit if you'd just like to see a piece of the past or come share your stories with us.
thank you for all the support and you too Bonnie and Jake!

With warmest regards, Mary Atwood

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