I Love This Time of Year!

As you know, here at Country Roads we have a bit of everything. Which it makes it really nice for Christmas shopping. . .

I just thought I would share some of our sweet vintage stuff today with you which includes our holiday decor as well! I love coming to work at Country Roads this time of year. It is filled with such great stuff, and a wonderful place to Christmas shop. Also. . . with Thankgiving just a week away, I thought I would include a little story I wrote a few years back. In a time of rushing around, and always being in hurry, and trying to buy the perfect Christmas gifts, I hope we can all take some time to help those that life isn't treating to well.  I think of Mary often. Although her illness evenually prevented her from shopping at Country Roads, she was always a cheerleader for me, sending me encouraging poems and thoughts!  She also was an animal lover and big on animal rescues.  I believe she is the one that sent me two pictures of these cute little dogs that were in the Orange County Shelter. And because of Mary, Bill and Cyndy Finch have two special members of their family! They made a trip to the shelter and adopted the two little dogs that needed home. I will always be grateful for Mary's positivity! She was a wonderful, caring person!

“What a Wonderful World”

I know, many of you are thinking that our world today just isn’t that “wonderful” but it can be if you look for it!  The first time I really fell in love with Louis Armstrong’s song was, ironically at a funeral with my son Bryce. It was one of Bryce’s friend’s dad that had just passed away. The boys were in junior high school. The mom spoke so elegantly and so beautifully, and then they played, “What a Wonderful World”. I have moments, things, and events that always stay with me in life and the above was one of them. The past couple of years the change in our economy has been really hard for so many people. We’ve seen things that we never imagined we would see and heard all the horrific stories that accompany these sad situations people are forced to face in life. It’s not easy. And I always say if you are one of those that have sailed through these past couple of years and done well, I at least hope you have been willing to reach out to others that have really been through hard times.

Owning Country Roads has always been one of the things that I the proudest of! I get to work with my family and so many of our customers over these past eighteen years or so have become a part of our Country Roads family. I’m surrounded by history daily with all the great antiques that sit in our store just wishing they could tell their story!  Sadly, I also hear some stories that break my heart. A little over a year ago, I had a customer named Mary that use to shop in my store with her son Jake, who was about two years old. Mary had MS and has she got worse she was unable to shop but always emailed me, and always let me know when some event was coming up for our “furry friends”. In fact, one of my dealers, Cindy Finch, ended up adopting a dog from the shelter because of an event Mary had told us about. Mary was like me, always loving animals and wanting to help them. Little did I know though that Mary was not only struggling with her own MS, but her son Jake’s, as well. And her boyfriend had just lost his job. They were about to be evicted, but you know, when I would read Mary’s emails, I had no idea. Then, one morning not long after the last email I received from Mary, I read about a murder/suicide in Orange. And when I saw that it was Mary and her son that were the victims, along with her boyfriend taking his own life after killing them I was stunned and greatly saddened. This small family was gone, just like that, because they had no place to turn. Things like this shouldn’t be happening in our world, it really shouldn’t. We all need to help when we can.

But the point of my little story here is that Mary stayed positive, she stayed happy and so in love with her little boy right up until the end. Not only business, but life too is how we choose to live it. I have customers that come up to me daily and are filled with nothing but gloom and doom.  They share the horrible stories that we all know, but don’t really want to hear.  When you work with the public, it truly, truly is an adventure! It’s fascinating. But along with every “BSC” customer you deal with, there are many more Mary’s in my life that choose the positive and choose hope over everything else.  I see so much good in the world today, those out there helping others daily when they themselves have so little. And I too try to do my part when I can, and view the world the way Louis Armstrong did when he wrote “What a Wonderful World”. Life is about choice, and even in the darkest of days if you “choose” to be positive and look for the good in our days, you will be a better person for it.

I’m grateful for having known Mary for the short time I did. And here I am today, a year after her death being reminded of the importance of reaching out to people and our “furry friends”. People come into our lives for a reason. We may not know the reason at the time, but I’m sure it’s there. At the end of each of Mary’s email she included this quote:
"Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over. . .SHE became a butterfly"!!
As I mentioned above, life is about choice. I hope that when you are able to make a difference in someone’s life, you choose to do that. And when I think of Mary now, I think of the words Louis Armstrong wrote so many years ago, “I think to myself what a wonderful world it is”.



Mammabellarte Rita Reade said...

Beautiful Sue! Thank you

rebecca said...

Oh, what a sad story with such a poignant reminder....

I love this time of year, too. The photos of your shop certainly make me wish I lived closer :)

trash talk said...

Sue, I don't always succeed, but I try to stay positive and I'm positive what you say is true.

CURIOUS said...

Hi Sue,
We are Absolutely on track with You . . .
See Our newest post.
Just a reminder for folks to
Share the Love, Give it Away !
Thank You for Your Story . . .


Recycled Rita said...

I love this Sue!
It is sometimes so hard to stay positive when the life around you is not easy but finding the good in a day or in someone who is hard to like can change your outlook and help you move thru the hard stuff!
Big hugs from me! karen....

Bohemian said...

Oh my, your Story about Mary and her Family touched my Soul. And yet, yes, it IS a Beautiful World. The darkness always threatens to consume us, but even a small glimmer of light illuminates the darkness. I am quite certain that Mary and her Son are now the proverbial Butterflies she spoke of.

Holiday Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Genie said...

Oh Sue,

It is so true. My doctors always ask how I stay so positive and it's because I am thankful in all things. It's true I have had periods of darkness, but even in those times I felt the hand of God at work. Stretching me, pruning my growth for the better.
I can understand the hopelessness that touched Mary's life but try to have a spirit of this too shall pass and it does.
In Anne of Green Gables, Anne Shirley: Can't you even imagine you're in the depths of despair?
Marilla Cuthbert: No I cannot. To despair is to turn your back on God.

Now, I know not everyone believes in God, but for me, I have to believe there is another place where there is no suffering. I have to believe people are generally good, I have to support, with my vote and money, a safety net to help those less fortunate.
I want everyone who encounters me
to see a light of joyfulness.

Country Roads has always been a refuge for my creative spirit. I visit to the store and garden is just the right medicine. Thank you,Sue and your lovely family for sharing so much with us.

Merry Christmas. e