Sunday, March 2, 2008

Kick off your rainboots, leave your umbrella behind, and take a stroll down Main Street with me.

The weather this week has been ludicrous. Wednesday, instead of my 45 minute commute to work, it took me an hour and a half thanks to the snow and roads that had frozen into solid sheets of ice. I tuckered down and with a few "my life just flashed before my eyes" near accidents I made it to work and enjoyed a pretend "Day at the beach" with the kids! We filled our sand buckets with seashells and proceeded to paint them, and then enjoyed watching The Little Mermaid to continue our "I’m so sick of snow" Day.

Earlier in the week I had passed some potentially fabulous thrift stores and I was hoping to stop in for a looksy after work on Friday. Fridays are my short day at work, I get off right around lunchtime leaving me to do as I like with my Friday afternoons! This Friday was particularly dreary and drenched in rain, but that did not hinder my mission to discover new and exciting "hot spots" of my liking. I drove to Springfield, a little city, nearby my work. I began driving down Main St. to one of the thrift stores I had passed a few days before as a little worn down sign that said Antiques caught my eye. I grabbed the nearest parallel parking spot and headed towards the direction of the sign, only to realize that the shop used to be an antiques shop but was now something boring like an office. I was still quite a ways up the street from the thrift store I was headed to but decided instead of getting back in the car and driving 2 blocks to find another parking spot I would walk and check out this quaint little town. As the rain fell my sandals began to stain my feet and my ripped jeans, that are several inches too long, began to soak up water past my ankles. Luckily I had a rain jacket on, but no hood, so I had to attempt to shield my glasses from the rain so I could still see where I was going. As dreadful as most of this may sound it was actually one of the most enjoyable walks I have taken in a long time! I passed a beauty parlor filled with chatty, elder women with their hair in curlers and their heads under dryers. It looked like a scene from a movie, but it was real. Those women have probably been sitting under those same dryers, gossiping about the same people for 50 years! And I love it! Down one of the side streets I passed the barber shop! Full of men, reading their newspapers, waiting on the one barber in the shop, a man who looked as if he had been there since a time when Main Street was the happening place to be! I passed the old courthouse, which is probably still the only used courthouse there to this day, one church, a diner, a bakery, a tea house, and movie theater. I wanted so badly to walk through this movie theater, because it too looked like it should have been something out of a movie. There was one movie poster outside, advertising the movie Spiderwick, and a sign on the door said adult tickets: $4!!! Oh how I wish we could go back to a time where eating ice cream on the sidewalk and riding bikes down Main Street was the ultimate entertainment on summer nights! I hope to live in a small town with a very main Main Street where I know my neighbors and I bike with my children down the sidewalk for a burger, fries, and a shake.

Saturday was amazing! The weather forecast predicted temperatures in the 50s! Me and my roommate/best friend, Christina, headed out around 10:00am, stopping by Starbucks for my morning fix and then onto the Doughnut Den (which just so happens to look like a place that should be on a Main Street somewhere filled with locals) for a dozen doughnut holes each! What a fabulous day Saturday was turning out to be! We came across this amazing little store that is a fair trade store. No child labor was used to make any of the items, and many were made from women themselves. There was an unbelievable number of countries that were represented in this store, each price tag telling you exactly where your item came from. Part of the deal with this fair trade store is that the people who made the merchandise are paid half of their salary up front and then the other half as soon as they are finished. They aren’t paid depending on if the item they makes sells or not, which is amazing. The sell of that item then becomes the responsibility of the store and they will be the only ones out of money if the items are not purchased. The store only has 2 paid employees and everyone else works on a volunteer status. We spent the day rummaging through thrift stores and consignment shops and we even came across an estate sale or two! Saturday turned out to be a spectacular day!