· By Tarleton Walmsley
Maybe it's a book, perhaps it's a tv show or a favorite song. It could be an activity, a special product we carry at the shop, or even a state of mind. Whatever it is, we're digging it in the garden this month:)
I'll admit that I'm a little behind when it comes to this book, first published in the summer of 2020. But wow, am I so glad I'm here for it now. I'll be honest with you--friendship is something I've generally found challenging in my life. I remember the first time I asked someone to be my friend. It was the first day of kindergarten, tiny TT was experiencing anxiety for the first time, and my mom encouraged me to find another person in the room to introduce myself to. The response I got when I asked "Will you be my friend?" wasn't what I had hoped for. "Maybe." Lol, no wonder I'm a little reluctant at first.
Since then I've had a lot of meaningful friendships, some that have weathered years and years and several that haven't. What I love most about this book is its intimate telling of a decades-long friendship that has had its own share of ups and downs and what kind of work it takes to maintain a friendship that's worth the maintenance. Simply put, this is a book that prioritizes friendship as something just as important as your relationship with a romantic partner, just as important as familial relationships too. It upholds our friendships as one of the most meaningful relationships we can experience.
I'm also learning new concepts like what it means to "stretch" for a friend and how Shine Theory is a mutual investment in another person's wellbeing. It feels within reach to include these principles as new habit to add to my toolkit of healthier tactics to employ when engaging in relationships of any kind, not just with my friendships. I also appreciate the vulnerable way in which Aminatou and Ann share how race has played a part in their relationship; Ann is white and Aminatou is Black. The honest way in which they share how that difference has created hurt feelings and misunderstandings over the years is honest and impactful. I have a feeling I'll be returning to this book over and over again because like Big Friendships in my life, reading this book has been such a gift.
Since opening in 2018 we've been longing for a local glass artist to carry at the shop. And now that day has come! Last fall I went to a pop up market and Gnarla Carla was there vending. Among the gorgeous glass pieces were the cutest glass one hitters. I was immediately smitten with the colors--the pastel pinks, periwinkle, and green reminded me of Italian glass candies. I also loved the functionality of the hitters and the smoothness of the inhale is a delight. I knew they'd be a big hit at the shop and sure enough, they've become a personal favorite:)
I am not a foodie by nature, but like every good millennial what I do love is good design and packaging. And like every millennial out there using Instagram, I've been fed lots of ads for Graza's Drizzle & Sizzle oils. A few weeks back Seth and I found ourselves on an impromptu, accidental road trip to Johnson City when a planned hike got rained out. We decided to check out a new shop called Generalist. Lo and behold, all the well-designed, direct-to-consumer pantry items one could ask for. So of course we had to try the Graza! And I'm glad we did because while I am food-adverse I can still appreciate what makes this brand so great. The squeeze bottle! The quality! The differentiation between cooking oil and oil for drizzling! The affordability! Consider me converted to the Graza way.