Blog Archives

Trunk or Treat and the demise of neighborhoods

Trunk or Treat is really catching on.  This is where folks line their cars up, decorate the trunks and the little people walk around on Halloween getting their candy in one place. One street. One part of one street.17544

Now I’m not against the concept. I see it’s merits is places like San Francisco, New York City and the like, where many folks may live in high rises or such. I can also see how it makes parents feel safer if they live in a ‘bad part of town’. Or the ease of just stopping in the parking lot at your kids school. And very micro towns- this nay be a good way for everyone to get together in the evening.

But mostly I see it as the nail on the coffin, so to speak, for neighborhoods.

I just caught a local interview on the news and the young mother said she is glad it is in the school parking lot because she “recognizes other parents and children”. To me that implies that while she recognizes them, she doesn’t know  them.  It also implies that there is no value to her in knowing the neighbors on any level.

james halloween 001I am old enough to remember when everyone went door to door. Parents visited with each other on sidewalks as we ran up to “trick or treat”- Parents also made it a point to introduce themselves any new or unknown neighbors, as well as inviting them to upcoming neighborhood events and shindigs.

My own kids went house to house.  We went back and forth between country and city living- so some years we drove the kids into ‘town’ (we were 3 miles from the nearest neighbor and 16 to town) so they could go with their school chums… all of a hundred folks lived ‘in town’.

Last year I was giving a talk on community involvement in a local small town, right before Halloween. The City Auditor stated she was taking her children the next town over for trunk or treat. Why? Because there were new neighbors on the corner she didn’t know and was afraid to let her kids go up by themselves. So- my first question back was WHY haven’t you already introduced yourself? followed by Why not go up with them???  She chose to take her children 12 miles away to the town with under a hundred people from her own with nearly 500- It kinda baffles me.

Way to go- making your new community member feel unwelcome right out of the gate.  

In a rural or small town setting Trunk or Treat also takes away from the joy of the home bound who have prepared for days for little ghosts and goblins and princesses and unicorns to come to their door. Many of the older folks know every family around, whose kids have allergies, whose like nut rolls and whose love candy corn and make individual bags for them. I know Mildred (in her 90s)  would have been desolate if the kids hadn’t made an appearance- She’d been known for decades in the neighborhood.

Imagine how you would feel if you went all out, quite possibly hoarding bits of your fixed income so you could have treats for the kiddies, to have no one show up. That would probably be disheartening. And what of the new family? Don’t you think that attitude by your new town would keep  person or family  from participating in  other ‘community’ things during the year?

Trick or Treating is almost a rite of passage. It is tradition. It is neighbors being neighborly. – (And trying to out do each other!)

It is community.

It’s OK to do both- To Trunk or Treat at a location, but try  to be neighborly too. You don’t have to cover blocks… but it would be nice to knock on your neighbors door and say “Trick or Treat” or “Welcome to the neighborhood”

-Katy-

Advertisements

Sensible shoes and memories

We went to a good Eye-Tali-an-o wedding last week down in Denver.

All the players were there… “The Don” ,”Cha-Cha”  the wise guys and all the rest. Polyester in abundance right along with chest hair and chains, big hair and high heels.

But what stood out the most, was The Don’s mother-in-law…. In her sensible shoes.sensibleshoes

I was immediately reminded of all the old ladies that used to sit on their stoops and watch kids play in the street. She reminded me of MY grandmother. Never without her sensible shoes.  And all the times she chatted with ‘The Ladies” – Comparing olive oils and pedigrees, transgressions and recipes, children and husbands and so on. All dressed alike- all in sensible shoes.

She reminded me of all the ladies riding the bus to the market in San Francisco- shopping bags tucked neatly into handbags or under their arms, housedresses and sensible shoes for walking.  She reminded me of  garlic and gravy (that’s-a what we call spago sauce) and crusty bread and cannoli.

it ladiesShe reminded me of when we lived in North Carolina and went to a Columbus Day Celebration in downtown Fayetteville.

There standing all her glory on street corner was an elderly Italian lady in her green (the EXACT same shade as the flag!) housedress, matching handbag and jaunty little hat  proudly holding a full size Italian Flag waving gently in the wind. In her sensible shoes….

A toast to The Don’s mother-in-law!

Salute!

I miss my Grammy and was happy for the memories

~Katy~

 

 

Big Rigs are Big Boy (& Girl) Toys

This fall my husbands business  was a sponsor of  the Hammer Down Big Rig Truckimg_7883 Show in Mandan, North Dakota.

What started as a get together of friends to  tell tall tales and do ‘burn outs’ in the shop parking lot, morphed into this brand new annual event. A neat fact- All grass roots! There were no major sponsors- just all the ‘guys’ pitching in.

It was beautiful fall day for ND- 90 degrees! And far img_7871more trucks than expected showed up! By the end of the week it was announced they had 75 committed and ended up with just under 100.

~ I personally think they came for the Truck Races~   that’s right.. These folks took their Big Rigs on the dirt circle track and went for it…

Can you hear the song in your head???

It was a dark of the moon… on the sixth of June …and a Kenworth pulling logs… cab over Pete… 14322306_1078795705535236_8587227473011778332_nwith a refer on…and a Jimmy haulin’ hogs… we was headed for bear on I-1-0…about a mile outta Shakey Town…I says Pig Pen, this here’s the Rubber Duck… and I’m about to put the hammer down.       ~Convoy~ by CW McCall             

This turned out to be a great event! Young and old alike had a 14370382_1082207555194051_5035067683291304675_ngreat time reminiscing about “way back when I was hauling…” and telling tall tales about close calls and impossible feats.

 

Lessons?  Of course there lessons… Never underestimate your audience and Always be prepared for anything.

See ya there next year!

~Katy~

 

 

 

 

What does your entryway say about you?

An entryway says so much about a building. It is space that is often overlooked, but sets the tone for what is ahead.

mercat_window_2015

Urban Indigo    Oakland, CA

What does yours say about you? It can tell us what type of business is in there. If it  is open or closed.

Is yours welcoming?  Does it tell a story? Spark the imagination? Tempt you?

An entryway can also be art. It can be so many things!

In Berthoud, Colorado a joint effort between the city, 11261827_1529547420689260_6503898361766391575_obusinesses and homeowners produced Entryways of Berthoud to showcase art and their community. They invited folks to submit photos of entryways and these were then turned into notecards and posters.

An entryway for a business has many functions and is an important part of the establishment itself.  It may act as the local bulletin board in a rural community, or set the tone of the business.

An entryway can provide a striking entrance with uses of color and architectural details. Or lead into a more formal atmosphere with more subdued touches.

dscn2265

Chop & Wok Scottsdale, AZ

 

Similar to the beginning a chapter in a book, an entryway establishes a story that has yet to unfold.

An entryway is also a very affordable way to change a businesses dynamic.  It is a spot where risks can be taken, and even on a limited budget, have a remarkable effect.

img_8317Think about the places you frequent. How do they make you feel? Welcome? Not so much?

We like our homes to be welcoming and inviting. Our businesses should be too.

How can you use your entryway to enhance your business or community?

~Katy~

Katy is a rural and small town /small business speaker, consultant, advocate & writer.  She believes many small communities can grow from within using resources already at hand and creative strategies and leverage those to attract new families, businesses and customers.  Do you want Tait & Kate to come speak to your community or group? Email us at info@taitandkate.com

 

 

 

 

 

The last Pattern Maker~This is the story of US

A story of US. Of America. Of Small Business. Of Dreams. Of Passion. Of love of craft.

People who love their craft, live it every day.

I just saw this video today, and I was simply moved. Not by the memories of my Grammy who was a noted seamstress  in San Francisco, nor because I am also a creative type.

But because this grand lady, Chris Ellsberg, lives and loves her craft of pattern making. By ‘craft’ I do NOT mean ‘crafting’… It’s more like craftsmanship, or trade.

You see, Chris is a pattern maker. One of the last the United States.  It is an old trade. One that is difficult to master.

In her 80’s now, Chris strutted into Raleigh Denim Workshop   and volun-told  the owners, Victor & Sara, that she was going to work there. (Love her Moxie!!) For  FREE, until they could afford to pay her.

She has been passing on her knowledge and love of craft to a new generation.   It is thrilling to watch their story unfold.

I would love to meet them all! It sounds like they are a ‘family’ working at Raleigh Denim Workshop.

Helping each other to hold fast the dreams.

I am inspired. This story has so many lessons we can all learn from. Lessons about community, giving, teaching and inspiring. Of holding on and letting go.

It is much, much more than just a story of an old woman and a young couple.

~Katy~

 

 

Granola Shotgun

Stories About Urbanism, Adaptation, and Resilience

SaveYour.Town

~life, love and humor on the farm

Paula.Jensen

Creating passion for community leadership and development

Grotto on the Go

Big Adventure ~ Tiny Space

daisiesandbluebellsblog

we are an online Children's Boutique selling funky, vintage style and retro kids clothes

A Girl & Her Chickens

A dive into all things feathered and farming...

Daily Hike

Just the daily things...

knotty is nice

Loving the knotty pine in our vintage homes

Kate's Country Living

~life, love and humor on the farm

The Misters Mrs

A Southern Fried Housewife