One year ago on October 30, 2012, I moved into my new store at 8219 La Mesa Boulevard. La Mesa Van and Storage brought the entire contents of my previous location and unloaded it all into this cherished space on the day before Halloween. One year has passed! It’s impossible to believe.

A little while ago, I watched as two young women each picked up copies of the books I give away from their red wheelbarrow home outside the front door. One woman picked up The Adventures of Davey Prickle . This is not unusual, and over the year I have watched lots and lots of people stop and pick up a free book. But today for some wonderful reason, the woman decided to read my Davey Prickle book out loud.

I began listening when she reached the part where Davey, a boy made of cactus, wants to go to a dance:

“You’ll need a partner who’s prickly like you, “ Sissy pointed out. But Davey had no stickery friends. All his friends were smooth. Or fuzzy. Or soft and slimy. They would all say “OUCH!” “I wish that I were soft, “said Davey Prickle sadly. “Then someone would dance with me…”

Hearing the woman read the words to my little book was like music to my ears. She read it with a smile on her face and music in her voice. It was bliss. I actually wished she would just come in and read the whole book out loud.

As I think about Davey Prickle and how he wants to find someone to dance with him,  I think about all the people in the world who just want people to notice them, to talk to them, to treat them kindly and with respect. It would be impossible to sit here in my store watching people go by without seeing the many people who really aren’t so unlike Davey Prickle. People who want to be a part of the dance of life but somehow aren’t able to be.

Davey Prickle shows his true character when he is pretty convinced he won’t be able to dance with anyone because the plans he makes with his pals fall through.  He’s a good natured little cactus fellow, and he has a pretty great attitude. He realizes there is more to life than dancing: there’s food for sharing and eating,  people for watching, plates to recycle and a raincoat to fold neatly. He is a grateful and humble little cactus.

I think Davey's outlook is worthy of taking to heart, and so if it's slow at my store and there don’t seem to be customers lining up, and the phones have been quiet, I like to give silent thanks for life and friends, for cars driving by and dogs drinking from my water bowl outside. I'm thankful for customers who've come into my store and come back again.

I make a point of saying hello to people who I am pretty sure aren’t often spoken to. I know Davey Prickle would look people in the eye and smile and mean it;  bestowing such a good gift to people passing by would be the kindly cactus thing to do.  I could do worse than being an imitator of my Davey P.

So on the eve of my first anniversary here in the Village of La Mesa, I’d like to say thank you to all of you who have come into my little store. Thank you to all of you who just walk by and smile. And while I think I might have used this expression in a recent post or two, and because I don't think we can afford to take one single blessing for granted, I mean it when I say my life is immeasurably enriched because you are part of my day.

I am looking forward to year number two on the boulevard.  And as Davey Prickle said while looking in the mirror at the Davey looking back,

“I imagine we’ll have lots of fun!”

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Tags: Chris Shea, Davey Prickle, La Mesa, La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa Today, La Mesa news, La Mesa newspaper

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Comment by chris shea on October 30, 2013 at 4:39pm
That would be splendid ! I'll give you an autographed copy of The Adventures of Davey Prickle!
Comment by Michael Cargill on October 30, 2013 at 4:34pm

Very nice Chris. I promise I will come to your store as soon as I can.

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