Tuesday, January 8, 2008

First Day of School

With a few days late start because of illness (in a way, I'm relieved that we escaped the flu until we arrived at our new home), our boys went to their new school yesterday. We found a small private school that will work well for us with a few transitions, but no major ones. In many ways it is similar to their old school and combines the best of the new and the old. The boys also seem pleased with the transition so far. We came down for a bit of time in November when they were able to visit the school and feel more comfortable.

We all love the drive--as the crow flies it is probably only about three or so miles due northwest. But on the winding back roads it is about 12 miles, or 30 minutes of driving time. Not much more than we used to do in terms of time for their old school. The school bus ride around here would easily be 45 minutes to an hour each way. [We had to chuckle when our local county schools canceled school for one day last week when we barely had an inch of snow. But someone explained to me that because of the amount of back roads, mostly narrow, sloping and dirt, that it can be a hazard for the buses even with a little bit of snow or ice and that kids--or parents--can easily be stranded. Ironically, the kids' new school does not have snow days because they do not rely on the public bus system. I know we will miss the occasional snow day!]

But the best part of our daily drive is the tranquil valley of Mennonite farms and that Nolt's Bulk Foods (they keep changing their name so right now the sign out front just says "Bulk Foods") is right on the way. A handy stop for supplies or fresh produce.

Also, Hazel's store in Mintonville is on the way home--a perfect stop for a bottle of ice cold Coca-Cola™ (an occasional treat!). Hazel's store and business is for sale for under $50,000.

You can get almost any kind of sandwich and a great cheeseburger, good coffee, even gas (the expensive kind), and always conversation. Stepping into her store is like going back into the earlier half of the twentieth century (some canned goods have easily been there for several decades). It is was it is -- part of a dying breed, and not the fancied up cutsy "country store" one finds in so many places today with their artisanal breads and fresh muffins. Although I do miss those things sometimes, too, we're certainly grateful that Hazel perseveres.

Hazel Wesley pumping gas outside of her Mintonville, KY store.


Niki RuralWritings said...

I love finding the "real deal" like Hazel's store (and they're getting really hard to find). I've learned authentic is rarely "countrified" or "cutesy'd up", and it usually just more worn down servicable looking, but with a beauty all it's own.
I'm enjoying your blog.

Paula said...

My dad was born near Mintonville in 1926. We have visited Hazel's store and hoping to visit next Friday again. Paula

Paula said...

We got to visit Hazel today at Mintonville Store and found her as friendly and helpful as ever. And I'm sure nothing made available to customers has been there for decades except the charm and friendship Hazel has to offer.