Written by: Nita Wiebe, Gift Shop Assistant
My favourite time of year is autumn. Heat waves are over and the road trips are done. The back-to-school shopping has been accomplished and classes are in session. Crimson trees and golden shrubs have replaced the greens of spring and summer. The night air is crisper, making a delicious contrast with the warm burrow of bed. In my home, books that have been piling up, waiting to be read, put a tickle of excitement in my tummy. I anticipate the stories that will unfold and the knowledge that will be gained. The joy of new ideas and better understanding of the past are just around the corner! I can’t wait!
Now I understand not all people will ‘get’ what I’m saying, but many of you will, or you love people who do appreciate a well-turned phrase, a perfectly placed word, or the feel and smell of new paper…(I’m getting funny looks again!)…so let me tell you about what happens next. Village Books & Gifts at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) happens next. I imagine the scenario going something like this in someone’s home:
Ruth: Don’t forget we’re taking Dad out to celebrate his birthday next week.
Liam: Ooo, thanks for the reminder! What’s the family gift for this year?
Ruth: I think he had his eye on the ‘Mennonite Low-German Dictionary’ at MHV or that new book from Royden Loewen. I forget what the title is but you can always ask at the gift shop. Nita will know or at the very least, find out.
(Nita: Why yes Liam, I do have Roy’s last book and it’s called ‘Village Among Nations’. Shall I set one aside for you to come and pick up? I know how you hate wrapping gifts so let me do that for you too…)
Liam: Ruth, you have good ideas!
Or the scenario in the car on the way to Winnipeg:
Bill: So I imagine that the family gathering is coming up at Russ & Donna’s again? The guys were talking about bringing some new games this time. Any ideas?
Carrie: I saw a Crokinole board last week. I haven’t played since I was a kid! It’s an old game waiting for a whole new generation of players!
Bill: Great idea! I can see a Kjnipsbraat tournament happening already! Where do I pick it up?
(Nita: Bill, Nita here from Village Books & Gifts at MHV. I have a board boxed up, including instructions and the klatz for the game. Just swing by on your day off tomorrow and then you have a few days to practice before you and the boys start playing…)
Carrie: Let’s go together. I need to pick up a Mennonite Treasury for Gabby in her new apartment. And some stocking-stuffers for the hard-to-buy-for aunties on your side of the family. I saw the cutest jam scrapers in the gift shop…Ooo don’t forget to remind me to pick up a pair of those oven mitts with the removable liners. I nearly dropped a casserole last week while using those cheap thin ones I have!
Bill: Great! I love the one-stop-shop. Village Books & Gifts, here we come…
I hope to see you all this Fall.
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About the Author
Barry is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Village. While he does not consider himself to be a historian, he places a high value on the preservation and interpretation of the Mennonite and pioneer stories that help people of all ages understand and appreciate their heritage. Learn more about the MHV.