I’m not sure what you believe or how you feel about feeling the presence of those you love but are no longer with you. I’m not sure what I believed prior to the loss of my mom, dad & Jeff. I do know what I believe has been changing on a pretty regular basis which occurred once again on Wednesday on my walk in the Quittie Nature Park in the fresh snow. If you had been on the path that morning you would have heard me - you would have heard me talking and the sound that comes out of you when smiling isn’t big enough but laughing is weird (when you are alone). The beauty all around me seemed surreal, almost more then my brain could absorb. It was quiet as large floating poofs of multiple snowflakes hanging onto each other started falling everywhere. I could hear them landing on the creek as the sun pushed its rays through the tree branches to force the water to sparkle like diamonds. Where was I? I had been here thousands of times (we grew up playing in the quarry) but this day was different. As 2020 rolled in a few days prior I had high hopes of what the new year was going to bring. I knew as I walked through the park that morning I was on the path of good things in 2020. Then yesterday happened. I opened the door to my bakery, a place I call my happy place. With my dear friend, Heather Kelley, we made the coffee, filled the display case and filled our morning with laughter before we opened for the morning. We know January, the last 2 years, has been slow - everyone heading to the gym instead of the bakery. Then it happened... the bakery filled with people. Some regulars, some newbies, all pleasant and happy. I’m in the kitchen a lot. I can hear the sounds coming from the bakery and it is amazing. Talking, laughing, introductions, and I realize it has happened. The place I dreamed of since high school has become real. A place I can share my baked goods & a good cup of coffee with people. But it has become so much more then I ever dreamed it would be. I wanted it to be a gathering place. A comfortable place. A place to talk to each other and meet new people. A place that gives off a good “vibe”. As I listened to the sound of my bakery I realized mom, dad, and Jeff were there with me once again to celebrate & cheer me on. When I opened my bakery, almost 3 years ago, I was a bit worried about no seating. Yesterday I realized not having a place to sit is the one thing that brings everyone together in our little place. If you could come in and sit at a table you probably wouldn’t start talking to everyone else in the bakery. My small space filled with happy quotes and cute gnomes has turned into a place that feels like home when everyone comes home for the holidays but doesn’t have to hang with their relatives for hours or days - just long enough to be happy to see each other and have a good conversation before heading home to eat some homemade goods which hopefully continues to make you happy even after you leave our space AND makes you want to come back home for a visit - soon. THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who has taken the time to stop in and make some noise while making my dream come true.