Ack! I’m falling behind! The daily posting has bested me…drat. No matter, here is day seven:

December 7 – Community Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Community is not something that I tend to lack; with the sheer bulk of people living in this house I’m surrounded at all times. I’m not sure that with five kids, two exhausted parents and our stupid (but adorable) felines “community” is the best word for us, however. I’m thinking “gaggle” or “herd” or on a particularly trying Monday, “unruly mob.”

Newer to me, is the community I share around my cookie shop. We are situated on a corner full of small boutiques, mainly owned and almost exclusively run by women. We wave to each other, plan events, lean out windows and talk during slow times. All of us understand the nail-biting anxiety of being a small business owner. We comment on each other’s shoes, drool over new inventory and offer words of support. I’ve been surprised, on more than one occasion, by a kind gesture or thoughtful gift. On a daily basis I am grateful to be part of our striving little business clan.

Then there are our landlords, who one doesn’t normally tend to emotionally bond with. Ours are truly exceptional people, however and I look forward to every visit from them… and I’m not just saying that because we were late on our rent check. Honest.

In addition, we’re lucky enough to have a large number of regular customers, most of whom we know by name, or if not, favorite cookie. In a few instances our relationships have grown beyond the “need a cookie/have the cookies” dynamic to develop into genuine friendships. I don’t flatter myself, here, I know the deck is stacked in my favor… I give people cookies, for gosh sakes! You kind of have to love me.

You know me, and my tendency is to crack wise in these posts, but I just can’t help but be terribly, embarrassingly sincere when it comes to this. I am so lucky, grateful and blessed to have met the people I have through this endeavor. It would be just about the most fun I’ve ever had, if it weren’t for the pesky reality of needing to make a living doing it…. Which is what got me here in the first place, so I guess it falls under the category of “necessary evils.”

As for new communities for next year, I guess I’m not sure. Every minute of my day is so full I can’t imagine trying to shoehorn anything or anyone new into them. The danger in being so busy is that things tend to get pushed to one side, which is fine if it’s laundry or organizing the closets or, blech, cleaning the cat box, but not so fine when it’s actual people. So, to the best of my ability, I’m going to strive to honor the communities I already have. Honor them with attention, time and — oh, you lucky, lucky communities — cookies.

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