We stumbled upon it.
Twice. This health food store on the highway in some town in Oregon.
We were hungry, but he can’t eat unhealthy any more. And I shouldn’t. So we have to eat slow.
The health food store is big. Two people run it. A man and a woman. They are not young.
They don’t look like gen-xer’s or even hippies. They are – gulp – older than us.
And we are almost 60.
Lets talk about that first time. He had just had his heart attack. The first time we went in we had smoothies. Mine was the color of purple darkness. We vowed to remember the place – a huge store with old-fashioned furniture, and a shelf of things labeled JUNKS over it. Big red letters. A homemade sign.
And then we promptly forgot it.
Until we found it again. Again by accident.
“This is the place of the purple smoothie darkness,” I said to him.
“You know — I think you’re right,’ he said.
We ate sandwiches this time. The shelf that said JUNKS still looming at the back filled with trophies, and vases and fondue pots. And something that looked like the scales of justice.
And this time we noticed the great coffee posters. Ravens Brew.
“I love those posters,” said the man I was with, who was and is my husband. “And I usually hate sort of thing.”
The sandwiches were great – havarti and humus, and avocado and lettuce.
On real china.
“How long have you owned this place?” I asked the man at the counter – the man I had seen the last time. Someone you’d remember. Because he had this something. This energy.
“Just a few years,” he answered. “The owners went under,” said the tall thin man who is older than me but who seems to have his special aliveness. “And no one wanted the store and it was just going to be a hole and –“
He leaned over and his eyes got big, “and in a town this small a hole on Main Street is just — well it’s bad.”
“So we took it over and we are learning so much and we’re just trying to keep it going till somebody wants to buy it, but it’s amazing how much your old brain can still learn, if you don’t press that easy button, don’t let your kids press it, and don’t turn on the TV.”
I smiled at him, and the woman came out and thanked us for coming and when we drove away that trophy on the left hand corner of the shelf of the Junks seemed like it was for them. Getting first place for amazingness, for making our day, for telling us something, for giving us something, and for suggesting there’s always a surprising way to move forward.
Oh — now I remember this other moment. “See this painting,” the owner pointed at a picture on the wall with lighthouse. “That lady started painting when she was 85. Painted for 15 more years. Sold a ton of paintings. There’s always something new to do, but you have to reach for it.”
For more about this health food store, visit, http://www.reedsportnaturalfood.com/ourstore.html aka the Crow’s Nest.
Categories: Art and Literature