#2,538 Opening Day.
About one year ago, we started our little online shop (which I’m sure you’ve noticed is quite barebones and a little neglected of late while we get the brick and mortar store off the ground), and today we opened the Laurel Mercantile Co. But first:
My whole family was there:
Our sweet friends Doug, Carly and Kent had a great time at their first Pancake Day:
Twice this week, we’ve run into this super nice guy who looks just like Ben’s big brother, Sam!
The annual Ben and Trent at Pancake Day photo. Twins, right?
A George Blackledge sighting—in his famous ETA BETA PANCAKE t-shirt from, like, 1999. Comes with his Dan Quayle mug and a joke about potatoes:
Then we got to be grand marshals in the parade!
And it was wonderful, even in the rain, to see everyone we’ve ever known smiling and waving and shouting “Merry Christmas!” as we passed:
And then finally we got to make our way to the Mercantile for our opening day!
Daddy will see this picture and say, “I was smiling.”
My friend Kristen, a silver collecting machine! She has over 250 pieces of silver serving ware in her collection already so naturally loved digging through our mixed vintage silverware bins:
The guys spent the day in our tree lot around the fire pit, telling stories:
While we were inside managing the crowds that for a while hovered close to 100 people in our little store all at once.
And I had one of those moments I won’t ever forget. I was standing behind our 100 year old oak desk that was saved from an old cotton exchange, and I had just wrapped a nice lady’s order and given it to her when she told me how much it meant to her to see Laurel coming back to life. Louis Armstrong was singing White Christmas in the background. And she told me, with tears in her eyes, “Laurel is home. It’s where my mother brought me to get my Brownie uniform when I became a Girl Scout. All my happiest memories are tied to this place.” I got goosebumps and felt a lump in my throat. I had my Kathleen Kelly moment. I was living, in that instant, in my dream. I was twirling, it was enchanting. Standing behind the counter in my own Shop Around the Corner, that means something to the people in my community just as much as it does to me. It’s part of their story now, and kind of always was. I’ve never had such a feeling in my life.
We closed the register at 7 pm and the 6 of us crowded around the register together to look at our first day of sales. We stopped, said a prayer of thanksgiving to our loving Father in heaven, then we watched as Emily hit the button to run the day’s report. And then we celebrated.
And went to Jim and Mal’s to continue the celebration with Pasquale’s pizza as we watched Laurel High School playing in the state championship game on TV with our friends who came home for Pancake Day.
Then Austin, the friend who also happens to be our attorney, presented the 6 of us with something so beautiful. A copy of the original charter of incorporation of the Laurel Mercantile Co. from March 1901.
I could cry. I’ll always remember today as one of those huge milestone moments of our life. I don’t have any clue what the future will hold for us or the Mercantile, I only know I’m following where the Lord leads with a grateful heart.