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.
Gary is responsible for the overall management of MHV. Guiding the staff, informing the board, and networking with officials, volunteers, corporate sponsors, individual donors and other guests. He has a business diploma and a MA in Global Studies from Providence Theological Seminary. With his family he did humanitarian work for 18 years in Asia, including being a CEO of a Compost Enterprise in China. He loves to discuss the Mennonite story and how it is relevant in our world. Learn more about the MHV.
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