Unlike most authors, talk show participants, and politicians, I had a really nice childhood. Sure, everyone has their bumps and scrapes, but that’s to be expected. No one is bulletproof, after all. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my family – both mother’s and father’s sides. As like all adults, there are certain places / events / smells / sights that remind me of special connections with my grandparents as a child.
The other Saturday, Michael and I were just spending the day relaxing around the apartment. I had already surprised him the previous day with cleaning the entire apartment, and doing all of our normal “weekend chores”. Without the lovely task of washing dishes at hand, we found ourselves stumped with what to do with our free time. After some idea tossing, we decided to take a drive down to the Mansfield Old Country Store. [http://www.oldcountrystoreonline.com]
As soon as we opened the old, wooden barn door, the smell of the country shop overtook me. It was as if I had just opened the door to memory lane. My Nana, my fathers’ mother, worked at an old country store in Rochester, MA when she was alive. She loved her job, and I loved going to her job.
I love walking through the rooms of an old country store. Mansfield’s store, like most, is an old house. A house filled with uneven doorways and creaking wooden floors. I feel at peace in homes like this; my Nana’s store creaked and cracked in that olden way.
After walking through all of the downstairs rooms, my boyfriend suggested we venture upstairs. The upstairs is a small area filled with quilts and rocking chairs. There’s rarely anyone up there, and it’s a nice place to sit and take five minutes to just be. There was a room like this one, at my Nana’s store in the back. I remember there being piles of braided country rugs, wind chimes, and odds and ends. As a child I would always sneak to this room where no one spent much time. I would sit on top of one of the piles of braided rugs and imagine my own private world.
After enjoying a few minutes of quiet in the rocking chairs, we went back downstairs with a quarter in hand. Any time I go to the Old Country Store, I have to bring a minimum of one quarter. Tucked away at the back in the country lotions and soaps area, is my favorite part of the entire store.
For just a mere twenty five cents, you can fire up this old antique piano. The nickelodeon plays 1920s-1940s era music. Clearly never having lived in those days, the nickelodeon gives its listeners a one to two minute journey through the musical era. No matter how old I become, I will always walk into the Old Country store, eager with quarter in hand.
Between the nickelodeon, the walk down memory lane, and the amazing company (although I may be biased), Old Country Store is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.