A few weeks ago, my neighbor, Queen Snip and Stitch, and I decided to make a full commitment to building connections in our community. First, we started hosting a coffee club at her fabric store every morning. She gets up early and makes sure the coffee, tea and baked goods are ready to go each morning by 7. Our hope is that the neighbors will swing in on their way to work and grab a cup of coffee and a muffin -- but also will say Hi. Check in. Get to know other neighbors. So far, we have had a handful of people stop in and some are starting to come on a regular basis.
The damndest thing has happened! People are having real conversations. You know, like talking to each other in person. And here's the best part: even though we come from varied backgrounds and different political beliefs we have things in common. It's crazy. It's like we stepped back in time to 1980 or something.
Let me point out, for those of you who don't know, Queen S-n-S and I live out in the country, so it requires some amount of effort to come over for coffee club! She lives a mile from me and I'm practically next door! Others are driving in from all over the county, not just our neighborhood. This tells me the coffee club is needed!
Anyway, the conversation has been refreshing! We've met new people and formed friendships with neighbors who have lived within a mile or two from us, but we've never met. It get's better! Now, our handful of regulars are starting to bring more friends. Our circle is expanding.
Another part of our connection mission is shopping locally. Since we have a book club based out of her shop., we found the closest locally owned bookstore, Iconoclast Books in Hailey, Idaho. A few weeks ago, six of us piled in cars and made the 50-minute trip to meet Iconoclast's owner, Sarah. Iconoclast is wonderful! Real life books and gifts plus Sarah is passionate and devoted to her customers and the authors and publishers with whom she works. After touring her store, we went to a wine bar next door and had an amazing conversation about the books we love and why. It was one of the most fun evenings I've shared in a while.
As I've said over and over on this page, real connections are essential and sometimes they feel like a lost art. But the more we make connections, the easier it is to feel like you're a part of something special,...that you matter.
Last Wednesday, instead of our usual Craft Beer night (drink beer/do crafts) Queen S-n-S and I hosted a gathering of informed citizens and opinion leaders to talk about some community issues and the local elections. For two hours people complained, brainstormed and then came up with real, actionable solutions to the issues we care about here.
Seriously, I walked out of that meeting feeling like we might have a voice in what happens in our community again. I haven't felt like that in a while. I have just felt like we're always fighting an uphill battle. Something was different last week. And it was good, oh, so good.
You know that ol' bumper sticker that says, "Think globally, act locally"? I love that and it's been our mission statement these past few weeks. If you really don't like what's happening in your world, change it! These past few weeks have been fueled by old school things like coffee, cinnamon rolls, good books and wine.... and, of course, plenty of cheese!. It's doable.
And so, my Queendom, I'm challenging you to do make connections. Have a tasty beverage with a friend or a neighbor. Find ways to get involved in your community. If you need ideas, just ask!
What I am listening to: Random playlists on Spotify. I'm in a country music mood today