As much time as we spend in our little town, do we actually pay attention to our surroundings? As I spent many hours sitting in Art’s as it nears closing, I concentrate on taking every detail in I can.
As the door opens and the bell dings, my mom greets him with a smile and asks how he is doing. The tall man with a soft, crooked smile says he needs new shoelaces for the dancing shoes he wears often on Friday nights.
As she proceeds to lace up his dull shoes that look like they haven’t been polished in years he says, “I’m going to miss this little store. You served me well all these years.”
As they were talking, she grabs the black shoe polish and drags it over the shoes, making them look as if they were new.
When the man has had his purpose at the store filled, he turned away to head towards the door. Something made him stop and then he says, “Catch you soon. Enjoy your day,” and the door shuts. That will be the last time he sees the store as it is.
I sit there in the chair that has seated hundreds of my mom’s customers. I try to take it all in. The way my mom has always smelled of a new leather boot, and the faded musk of boot oil is fresh in my mind. If I look to the south door and choose to remember how the store was ten years ago, I can see myself as a little child jumping on that plush, green couch and getting scolded because I was a loud little girl.
Fast forward to three years later, and I stand behind the register and ring up a lady’s order. She was my first customer selling shoes to without my mom’s help. Each of her wrinkles had their own story, and I was still creating all of mine. She told me to enjoy my teenage years. Our little talk made that interaction even more memorable and to think she had only came for shoes and a shirt but left more of an impact on me than she’ll ever know.
Now here I am still sitting here and reminiscing. We go throughout all of our days with these sights, sounds, and smells that fill our senses, but how often do we lock in on them? I challenge you to make an impact on someone else's life in our small little town that we are lucky enough to call home.