I was exploring the area trying to find a spark of inspiration, driving with the windows down and singing Katy Perry loudly. Suddenly, a craving for a vanilla cupcake came over me, and I google searched “cupcake nearby.”
The first store that came up was called Country Cousin’s Bake Shop. Entering the store, I was greeted by no doorbell and no owners. I looked around for any bell to get someone’s attention, but it seemed like the place was abandoned, so I shrugged and left. Some quaint local shops caught my eye.
The first shop I entered, Down on Main Street, had a great collection of odds and ends. The clerk showed me some 1800’s photographs, and I was completely mesmerized by the collection. There was a happy photograph of a couple on a beach, the woman sitting on the man’s shoulders. A man with a cane, top hat, and mustache. The one that drew me in was a photo of an African American family from the 1920s–a woman in luxurious furs and pearls with a flapper hat was sitting on a chair, surrounded by a girl in a dress and a smaller boy (who I assume to be related to her) who were wearing more simplistic styles. I asked the clerk about the picture, and although she couldn’t give me a specific story, the image is now forever burned into my memory.
The 1920s (?) family photo
Around the corner is another antique shop, Serendipity. It didn’t have any of the historic items I was looking for, it is jam packed with beautiful painted photos and snapshots of the past. The husband of the owner explained how everything was half off as they were trying to sell everything in the store to use it toward travels, something I am interested in doing. I asked him how one person comes to own a quaint store, and because the world likes to throw the answer to questions bothering me, he answered factually how over 10 years ago, his wife (another English major) wanted an antique shop. She got some training on Business but had not accrued any degree. He was a law school student who found that the everyday monotony was completely unnecessary.
This knowledge was an eye opener, mostly because I have so many interests that I often get sad I can’t go to school forever and obtain as many degrees as I can. It reassured me that while I don’t have endless money to stay in school, I can still be successful with hard work and a true passion for learning. In conclusion, it was serendipity that I found my way to this store and a lesson the world wanted to teach me.
Oh, and as a side note, I did get a satisfying cupcake at Miss Shirley’s Bakery up the road.