Goal setting and strategic planning aren't my strengths. What this means for me is that things often progress a bit slowly, but I take full responsibility for that and instead call it "appreciating each moment." It works. Slowly.
So, I don't actually make new year's resolutions (see? it's March), but in my own sloth-like manner go about making incremental changes that eventually add up to something impactful, and that become an integral part of my daily life. Lifestyle modifications are important factors for us humans in many ways, as we continually strive to be healthier, happier, more connected to our communities. The healthier and happier pieces are why I like to talk with you when you come in for a massage about what you are doing with your body every day.
Today, it's the latter piece I want to highlight – the community connection. In a vital, healthy community, the strength of the local economy is a critical factor, and we, the people, are the drivers of that economy. Where we shop-dine-consume and otherwise spend our money has an immediate effect on our community by directly supporting the people who live and work there. The money stays at home. There are no middleman, no franchise fees to pay, no shareholders to please, just individuals and families making a living working at things they enjoy (don't we all want to be doing that?) and making them available to us. How awesome is that? It's one of the reasons I decided to become an independent massage therapist, rather than working for a national franchise. Even though there might have been some benefits to beginning that way, I get to do this my way, right from the start.
I hope you can see where I’m going with this. It's about the bigger picture around us, and our part in it. Each time you pay a visit to a local business and spend your money there, you enhance the vitality of your own community. It's all about the little things, these small changes we make in how and where we choose to open our wallets, and they do add up.
With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some of the local businesses that I enjoy visiting. Check them out, and if you live in Brunswick or Harpswell, or find yourself rolling through the neighborhood for some reason, stop in and say hello. I think you will be pleased with what you find - on the shelves, in the seats, on the helpful smiling faces – and in the satisfaction you experience shaking the hand of the proprietor and looking them in the eye.
(You may have to cut and paste links. Sorry.)
Fishmoon Yoga – https://fishmoonyoga.com/ Wonderful variety of yoga classes for all abilities, with a kind, patient, knowledgeable teacher, on the upper floor of a warm, sunlit renovated barn.
Two Coves Farm – https://www.twocovesfarm.com/ Eggs, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, veggies – yum yum – all grown up right there around the farm stand. Yarn, even. Lots of other goodies too, but you'll have to go in to see what I mean. :)
Black Sheep Wine Shop – http://www.blacksheepwine.com/Harpswell_Maine_Wine_Store.html Wine, beer, chocolates, cheeses – all the things you need to pick up on your way home, in one tidy and charming spot.
Vegetable Corner – 509 Harpswell Neck Road at Mountain Road, (207) 729-2715. Veggies, meats, fish, and a variety of staple items, plus wonderful baked goods made on site. Chicken pot pie (on certain days). Need I say more?
Maine PD News - http://mainepdnews.org/ If you or someone you love has Parkinson disease, check out this electronic newsletter full of information about the disease, research, treatments, and support systems. (Written and produced by someone near and dear to my own heart.)
Vet at Your Door – http://www.vetatyourdoor.com/ House calls! For your pet! Seriously! Okay, they're not based in my town but they promptly trek out to Harpswell whenever I call to take care of my kitty. He's alive and full of his catty self today thanks to their kind, compassionate, timely, excellent care, both when he was ill and now that he's healthy. The cost is reasonable, no more than I ever paid an onsite vet when I had to hassle the poor cat into a carrier and put him through a car ride which he NEVER enjoyed. SO much better now that neither of us has to go through that stress. I cannot recommend these folks highly enough. If you have a pet, call them. Okay, I'll shut up now. (But I Just. Love. Them. Can you tell?)
Deep Groove Records – https://deepgroovemaine.com/ All vinyl, all the time. Jazz, blues, boogie, classic and obscure, stuff you didn't even know you were looking for until you stepped in here. And if you still don't know what that is, David will tell you. Listen to him.
Gulf of Maine Books - http://gulfofmainebooks.blogspot.com/ If you like to read, love the smell of paper and ink, and maybe you're looking for something about the natural world, or Maine's people, history, or land, stop in here. Make sure you have some time to hang out because it's also worth it just to listen in on the conversations that take place at the checkout counter.
Evening Star Cinema – http://eveningstarcinema.com/ Do yourself a favor and go see a movie here. This is what it's supposed to be like. The films will leave you thinking. And they have couches. And real butter on the popcorn. Oh, and wine, and beer! Oh my gosh, just go.
Fine Mess Pottery – Augusta - http://www.finemesspottery.com/ Lori Watts. Alright, I confess, she's not in my neighborhood, but it is so worth a visit to either her online shop, pottery studio, or Portland Pottery where she teaches classes. She makes lovely, imaginative things out of clay and beautiful soda-fired glazes that you can and should use everyday, to hold your food and lighten your mood. (Thank you, Lori, for helping me learn to not let things get too precious.)
Are there some local businesses where you live that you enjoy? Please share with me and other readers in the comment section below. I'm always seeking out the goodness, and the happy people, when I'm on the road. Where might I find them when I'm in your area?