A Wall of Gratitude

On January 05th of this year, I woke at 4:00 a.m. with a crazy idea of how I could appeal to customers in the little shop that I founded in historic Isleton, California.  I forced myself to sleep for another hour, and texted my cohort Michelle at 6am, babbling about this wall that we could build.  She calmly replied, “Get to the hardware store, here’s what we need, I’ll meet you at the store as soon as I’ve fed the goats.”

I stood at the door to Ace in Rio Vista waiting for it to open at 8:00 a.m.  A young clerk admitted that she had no idea what “cork board” might be.  We used her device to search the store’s inventory and found two bulletin boards in stock.  I bought both, some pushpins, the hardware Michelle had instructed me to buy, and a bag of cashews to replace the breakfast that I’d skipped.  Then I dashed back across the bridge and headed to Isleton.

Michelle and I rendezvoused at 8:45 a.m. at the first location of the shop.  Michelle has mad skills and can figure out how to fabricate anything.  By the time we opened at 10:00 a.m., we had a Gratitude Wall.  Our first customers wrote their notes, and we never looked back.

In April we found out that the shop had to move.  I texted Michelle and she drove over to my house.  We ate soup, bemoaned our fate, and then started plotting decampment.  It took a few weeks to find a location, but find one we did.  As soon as I signed the lease, I called Michelle again:  Can we move the Gratitude Wall?

We could.  Between Michelle and our cohort Ruthie, the Wall got moved and reinstalled in our new space.

At the end of each shift, I stand and study the new notes which sprout over the hours.  My heart sings.  We have notes from people in English, French, Italian, and Mandarin.  People express thanks for their family, their faith, their health, and the beauty of the California Delta.  Once in a while, two people express gratitude for each other — spouses, partners, siblings, friends.  They express thanks for surviving cancer, finding a job, and their very existence.  They even express thanks for the chance to leave a note on our Gratitude Wall.  

We have kept all of the notes beginning with that very first day.  Our collection of gratitude notes continues to grow.  From time to time, I leave another note of my own.  My thank-you’s nestle among those of the many visitors to Mubdie’s: A creative collective.  They are in good company.

It’s the twenty-first day of the one-hundred and twenty-fifth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *