Stories from the corner of 37th and Nicollet

Day Ten at 37 and 1/32.

Our corner has moved a bit to the south.

With the removal of the curbs and boulevard the road has shifted a bit.  Nearly all of the top surface has been removed in the work area and the smooth, sand base gives a sense of completion - like, ok, just roll out some asphalt and we're good to go!  But the racks of pipes that arrived today, remind me that next week work begins under all of that sand as sewers and the water main and utilities are upgraded for the next 50 years.

Caution tape went up around our little trio of ramps/bridges (think Japanese Peace Garden without the Koi ponds) over the temporary water pipes.  I smiled at the yellow tape remembering how 7 years ago I introduced Butter Bakery Cafe's new management (me) to the neighborhood with a series of "Advisories" from silly organizations worried about the awesome yumminess of the bakery and what it might do to someone who frequented it far too often...  Ah, yes, caution.

I also was reminded of the conversations with so many people who dropped by in February after the Star Trib's story, and tried in their own way to say thank you for not being cautious - by being the risk taker - by just stepping out in faith to make this move even with the looming road construction just ahead. 

A couple of lovely interactions today:

I pick up a phone call at the counter (8 times out of 10 it's a sales pitch, the rest requests and food orders) and the woman introduces herself and I reply, "My high school English teacher?" - well, yes.  And to my surprise she and several other retired teachers from my high school are bringing their book club gathering to my shop (what luck I'm now a "retired" teacher too!) in June.  To have a space like this where I can be a resource to people and to be able to be connected to so many people is very satisfying.

I fly out of the shop mid-afternoon to visit my son at St. Olaf College where he is performing in his First Year Dance program.  It's a great show, and we take him to dinner afterward at the Ole Store Restaurant - where my server turns out to be a long time Butter regular from the first years on Grand, who moved to Northfield four years ago.  I feel a sense of gratitude for having a shop that has brought me into contact with my neighbors in ways that I never imagined and cultivated relationships that continue to bring me joy.