Sunday, June 28, 2015

Shop Your Local Businesses | "An Independent July 4th"

How can you integrate support of independents into the upcoming holiday? By planning where you spend; choosing carefully; shopping in advance.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started!

• order meats for grilling and the annual cookout at your indie butcher shop
• get the family involved & ask kids to choose one indie store to visit this week
• the neighborhood hardware store has all your cookout and BBQ gear
• stop into your local grocer for picnic supplies and holiday accessories
• plan to visit the farm stand down the street for fresh produce
• pick a day for the entire family to enjoy a local farmers market this weekend

What's your suggestion?? We want to hear from you!

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Live Local USA | "The voice of independent businesses"

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What dad wants for Father's Day, "living local" & American pride

I didn't plan to be less active over the last few weeks, nor did I plan on posting so little about shopping local for Father's Day. Until today it wasn't clear to me why both of those things have happened, although there have been multiple times I've been here staring at this page and the words just wouldn't come out. Now I know why it was a struggle. 

There are things in life one feels passionately about and you've all seen my fierce commitment to choosing local and the stubbornness I feel towards using chain stores just because of convenience or a savings of a few cents in the long run. My commitment to our valued independents might be one of the things I care the most deeply about and yet for days upon days I've had nothing to say.

It's the fault of Father's Day. I completely and totally blame the holiday. Normally there's plenty of encouragement from me about how to think, plan, commit to spending locally. But I hit a wall and didn't even know why until today; simply put, it's because some things can't be bought.

What dad wants this coming Sunday isn't stuff; trinkets; things. He wants your time - a day spent with his son or daughter that likely he admires far more than you know. There isn't such a need for me to create some graphics telling you what items you could go buy locally - because that may not be the point here. See, Mother's day was a breeze - because moms love flowers, getting dressed up to go to a nice brunch, jewelry and gifts. Mothers often cherish those items for years and they remember every occasion when they received something special. Yes, women are different and there's not a damn thing wrong with that. Where the support of our beloved local businesses CAN come in this weekend is as you choose the activities to enjoy WITH dad.

Thus the post from a few days ago - the only one I could come up with - listing some things to do with your father this weekend while making a point to choose local. You CAN absolutely remain committed to spending at a family owned and operated business. There are a wide variety of recreational pursuits which can be picked over just dinner at a chain restaurant or a movie in a big cinema complex. Instead why not drive out into the country to go to that amazing little BBQ joint that your whole family loves; plan a group night at a drive-in movie theater if you are lucky enough to have one; take everyone including the non-golfers to an indie sporting facility and learn to putt or bowl or play in the batting cages.

I'm willing to bet your dad would love it. Mine would have. Please don't forget the reason for the day and remember, this holiday might just take a little more planning for a totally awesome and creative "Fun-day for Dad" - but it's worth it. You can make his day special and memorable all while working your plans right around our core principle of "living local". In the spirit of this post, all I am including here is a very simple, plain graphic. It's really all you need - isn't it? :) <3

 P.S. The part not posted earlier....


My dad has been gone for twenty years now....and it takes my breath away to say that. I cannot believe it's been two decades since he left us. He passed one week after his 60th birthday; due in part I think to a difficult life and a sadness inside of him he could never heal. My father left a war-torn country at his parents urging; they had lost everything and knew their son was young enough to make a new life in a free land. He arrived here with almost nothing, possessing only the sponsorship from a distant relative in the US which made the journey possible.

Louis did the opposite of what so many these days do. He worked four jobs to put himself through college and then grad school. He studied hard, learned flawless English and was so very proud of becoming an American citizen. While in school in California he met my mother and they married, just as he was offered a job with the government in Washington, DC. For almost 30 years dad was an economist for the US Commerce Department, living in the suburbs of northern Virginia. It was everything that one may have thought "the American dream" was.

Dad spoke little of his past, hesitating to go back to that painful time when Communists overtook their country. His own father died in prison and although we returned to "the homeland" many times it was never easy for him to accept what had happened. Sadly, as an adult now I can see the effects that life had on him and realize that so much sadness and loss was buried inside someone who could rarely speak about it. Sixty years and one week is such a short life....I was only 22 when I had to say goodbye.

There are right ways and wrong ways of doing things and although I say little about it, it hurts to see the freedom of this country taken advantage of. My dad embraced what America stood for, placed lights in the windows during the Iran hostage crisis and cried like a baby when they were released. Despite not being born here he had more patriotic spirit than so many. To this day, to me, it is a slap in the face to see how people disrespect our flag and nation. When you come from nothing perhaps you appreciate things more....I learned so much from my father. I just wish there had been more time.

Thank you for reading.
Live Local USA: "The voice of independent businesses"