One morning last week, after dropping Jayce off at school, Hannah and I set off with a scribble of directions on a piece of paper, and my bus pass, looking for a nearby fabric shop that I had found online. There are no large-scale all-purpose craft stores (that I am aware of), but I found a quilting shop that wasn’t too far away and wanted to check it out. The shop was only 1.8 miles from our home, so obviously it took about 45 minutes to get there, via two different buses. One of the buses, which we had waited 20 minutes for, I couldn’t board because there were already 2 moms with buggys on, and I couldn’t fold mine up. But it didn’t matter, this little shop was worth all of the waiting.
Hannah and I arrived about 10 more minutes before the shop opened, so we walked back to the previous bus stop that was near a Starbucks. I had accidentally left my cereal bar breakfast at home, I was starving, and I knew that a muffin would be perfect. I was DELIGHTED to discover that English Starbucks also carry my favorite autumn drink, a Salted Carmel Mocha, and promptly ordered one with my muffin. So Hannah and I enjoyed a sweet little breakfast before I perused the gorgeous fabric.
I came away with some fabric for home, some that I just couldn’t put down and will find a project for, a sweet little “London” fabric that I couldn’t resist, and a tiny bit of Christmas fabric to get my mind working in that direction. I adored the shop, which was minuscule, but packed to the top with fun fabric by designers that I had never heard of before, or others that I had only seen on Etsy.
We left the store and headed towards Richmond where we were running some errands that morning, and I was absolutely beaming because I had this funny sense that I felt so much like me.
Chris and I will often refer to activities or places that just feel like “us,” meaning just he and I, or the four of us. Finding a local restaurant that we love and visit every week like clockwork, that is us. We’ve done that everywhere that we’ve lived and we already have one here. Roaming around outside with the kids for a long morning, everyone taking an extended nap, and then heading out for dinner on a weekend, that is us. Skipping dessert and opting instead to find a yummy coffee place to satisfy our coffee/sweet tooth, that is us.
We found our “us” in London very quickly.
There are things that have provided happiness and comfort in each of the places that we’ve lived, and there is a small degree of panic when we move, knowing that we’re leaving those thing behind to move on to our new location. But it is so satisfying to find the new routines and activities that make us feel that same level of peaceful happiness.
And that morning, I felt that same thing, but just for me.
It was a very me thing to do, (on a perfect morning, that is), grab a Salted Carmel Mocha, fawn over beautiful fabric in a shop, buy a few small bundles and leave feeling happily inspired, with dozens of project possibilities swirling around in my head.
I opted not to take the bus, but to walk to Richmond since it was a crisp but beautiful morning, and Hannah was warmly tucked into her stroller.
She quickly dropped off to sleep and dozed while I walked briskly, turning ideas over in my mind. I thought that maybe this could be a new little “girls outing” that we do periodically: Go for breakfast and a little shopping to this place in particular, she could snooze while I walked into town, and then she would be refreshed when we arrived in town for whatever errands we were after. Happy girl and happy mom.
Then I got lost. And I waited at a bus stop for a while before realizing that I would be going in the wrong direction if I got on one of those buses. And I cursed no longer having my iphone and the handy map features that I had grown used to. But I asked a few strangers to point me in the right direction and I eventually got turned around. This is also so me: Bad at directions, worse at remembering the names of places.
Glad to still feel like myself. Even in London.