Love where you live!
When I was a girl in elementary school, my teacher gave us a class project: make our downtown out of shoeboxes. I was so excited! I got to make the Tibbetts Store, a small clothing store, as I recall. Each of us kids loved that project, and when we were done we had a little shoe box replica of our downtown, different sizes of shoe boxes representing the Whittier Bank, Woolworths, the movie theater, the drug store, the paint store, the pet store, the book store and the toy store and all the other businesses that comprised our dear little town of Whittier, California in the 50s.
As I recall that project, what I remember most is how none of us, being third graders at the time, would ever have thought that those buildings our shoe boxes represented would ever be home to other businesses. Of course there would always be the bank and the Woolworths! What downtown didn't have a pet store with puppies in the window?
Interestingly, I still carried the same sense of things not really changing long into my adulthood, despite evidence to the contrary. When my kids were little, it just didn't dawn on me that the Foster Freeze or the Big Bear super market or Handiman or Unimart would ever not be here.
Today I am as aware as anyone of the change that comes to us all through our lives. And here in our little Village of La Mesa we see it everyday. One business closes. Another opens.
It's the nature of business and of course, change is also the nature of life.
Tomorrow I will be celebrating my 65th journey around the sun. I will be eligible for Medicare. My hair isn't the same color as it was when I was building my town out of shoe boxes. I'm taller too. And I can vote and drive a car. So many changes since I was a girl.
But what doesn't ever change is how wonderful it is to have friends to love, to have a family who loves me, to be able to drive a car and work at a business that sings to my soul. What hasn't changed since the shoebox uptown project is that it is good to be part of a community and it is good to be able to walk downtown and buy something or eat something or read something because someone had the courage to turn the OPEN sign around on the front door of their individual life size "shoebox."
Thank you to everyone in our Village who either has or had a business. Your contribution to my life, to the lives of all of us privileged to be La Mesans, is incalculable. Really.