Ever just feel that the world is just too troubling a place and that you just have to get away for a time? I do. And I suspect that in this I am not alone. But sometimes there seems to be no time – and no place to get away too. Hey, this world is simply what we’ve got.
My own answer is to look for the little things. The things that make me smile. The things that tell me that God remains in his heaven.
What amazes me is that whenever I do this – whenever I force myself to do this – I realize, over and over again, that that “somewhere” I need to go is not really that far away at all. It’s out there, all the time, all around me, just waiting..
This morning for instance. I took my espresso – hot and steamy – out onto the porch and decided to just look for it. For Him.
I put away the cares of this world for a time and just allowed myself to wander. Not far. Just across the porch and out a ways onto the lawn. And when I did, this is what I saw…
As it turns out, the decade wasn’t all bad!
Here are a few things we remember fondly from the 1970s:
1. Department Store Gift-Wrapping
As a child I was completely enchanted by the dazzling array of bows and shiny gift wrap displayed on the wall in the gift-wrapping department at the May Company department store near my home in suburban Cleveland. The ladies were expert wrappers, with perfectly creased corners and stripes that lined up at every seam. The bows and gift cards were like icing on the tops of beautiful cakes. It was like watching magic happen before my eyes to see an ordinary salad bowl transformed into a sparkly work of art piled high with ribbon and lace. These days, most stores no longer offer gift-wrapping service (though a handful still do). More often than not you’ll be directed to the wrapping paper aisle and told to fend for you ham-handed self — explaining the exponential growth of the gift bag industry.
Saying the open carry debate has become “increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer, posted an open letter on the company’s website on Tuesday asking customers to leave their guns at home:
For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.
Schultz cited the recent “Starbucks Appreciation Days,” events in which Second Amendment advocates brought their guns to Starbucks locations and made purchases to thank the coffee chain for respecting state gun laws. This led to counter-protests from anti-gun activists. Starbucks’ previous policy had been to comply with the open carry laws in the states they serve. “That means we abide by the laws that permit open carry in 43 U.S. states. Where these laws don’t exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is not permitted.”
Schultz said it was “disingenuous” for groups to portray Starbucks as a champion of open carry. “To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores,” Schultz emphasized in the letter.
Schultz clarified that this was a request and not an outright ban. He hinted that a ban could put Starbucks employees in danger. “[E]nforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on,” adding that “ the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores.”
Though Schultz’s letter focuses on “open carry,” his request that customers “no longer bring firearms into our stores” would seem to include “concealed carry” firearms as well.