Just Say Yes

No one told me when I rented the American Gothic House that I was going to get corralled into doing things out of my normal scope of life. But then moving from Portland, Oregon to Eldon, Iowa (pop. 967) and into a house listed on the National Register of Historic Places was already way out of my normal scope. So, in the spirit of jumping in with both feet and immersing myself in my new community, I am saying yes to everything.

“Do you want to ride on the American Gothic House float in the Eldon Homecoming Parade dressed up as one half of the couple?” YES.

“Do you want to come to the potluck dinner being held for the volunteers of the American Gothic House Center?” YES. In fact, since it’s raining and I just spent two weeks scrubbing my floors and only today unpacked the last of my moving boxes, why not just invite all 25 of them into my new house for dinner?! Yes!

“Do you want to come to the Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon (G.A.T.E.) meeting on Monday night?” YES. And as long as I was there, why not volunteer to put my house on the Christmas Home Tour so the town can sell more tickets and raise more money — even though I don’t own one Christmas decoration and will have about 100 people traipsing through the house in their snowy boots. Yes. (I did not, however, volunteer for the Santa Claus committee, nor for helping with Bingo night.)

And, last but not least, “Do you want to open a pie shop in town?” This question was posed to me by the mayor herself, Shirley Stacey, not more than 30 seconds after meeting her. “The town really needs it,” she insisted.  Well, why not?…..YES.  Tomorrow morning I go to look at the space Shirley had already picked out for me before I had even arrived in town! Cheeky thing, effective mayor.

Opening a pie shop is something I’ve been talking about for more than 10 years. If not now, when? Forget normal scope of life. Or, maybe this is what I heard people talk about during grief counseling, “This is the new normal.” Normal, new normal, abnormal — no matter how you label it, saying YES feels good.

6 thoughts on “Just Say Yes

  1. You are inspirational. As much as I may have thought I was saying yes to the universe, you have gone above and beyond. And I am so inspired to see how it is working out for you…you go, girl! And (in my own way), I’ll be right behind! If I ever do a cross-country road trip, you are SO on my list of things to stop for (American Gothic Pie)!

    I only got to meet you the once in Portland but I have been so happy to watch the way your life has panned out. Be sure to sell some “pie-in-a-jar” in that shop of yours!

  2. Things are falling into place for Beth! When you came to judge pies at the Iowa State Fair, I don't think moving to Eldon, Iowa & opening a pie shop were even a remote thought – but here you are – on the verge of making your dreams a reality. So happy for the way things are turning out – your Iowa road trip is turning out to be exactly what the doctor ordered!!! Congrats & good luck!!!! Eldon is lucky to have a gem in their midst!!! Sue

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