At Your Service by Maggie Inge

At your service: Aug. 18, 2010

Have you noticed that 35 mph feels like a rapid pace when you are driving down Main Street; but move over to the Reservoir Road, where that is the posted speed limit, and it feels like a long, slow, slog? The standard highway speed limit of 55 mph feels like a reckless pace along stretches of Route 28 and like you are standing still on the Thruway.

At your service: Aug. 11, 2010

It is the quiet hour on Main Street in Margaretville (that time after store closings and before people return to the restaurants for dinner). A spectre moves from place to place, weaving between the scant strollers and window-peepers. In each hand she carries water, nourishment for the flower barrels that line and lend their beauty to the lane they adorn.

At your service: Aug. 4, 2010

People are often surprised to learn that I love country music; even more surprised to find that love matched by one for Italian Opera. It makes perfect sense to me. I love music that tells a story and is sung with passion. The things that surprise us about people are rarely as contradictory as they seem when we get the chance to see the full picture.

At Your Service: July 28, 2010

Last week racism took center stage in the national conversation – where it belongs. Whether we like to believe it or not, racism remains pervasive in our culture and has far reaching consequences. It will remain a divisive force, until we confront it head on; and that means we must talk about it.

At Your Service: July 21, 2010

In nature, the progression is clear: there is a seed, which falls upon fertile ground, from which sprouts a seedling that grows to maturity and produces more seeds. Some of those seeds then repeat the pattern. In human endeavors, while the process is the same, the progression is not always as clear – or is it?

At Your Service: July 14, 2010

It’s a pop quiz: I say, “Thank you,”; you say _____?

If your response is anything other than, “You’re welcome,” I invite you to reconsider. Giving thanks to someone is a spoken token of appreciation. Something the person did made a positive impact and we recognize the gesture. Responding with “you’re welcome” makes it personal and turns the sentiment back around.

At Your Service: July 7, 2010

Last week Thursday, at the Freshtown Marketplace grand opening, owner Noah Katz made a comment that caught my attention, “Now we get to do what we do best – run a supermarket.” It is a statement that reflects a critical self-awareness that serves any businessperson. Making a clear distinction between what we do well and what we must do can make all the difference in turning dreams into reality.

At Your Service: June 23, 2010

When they asked me to talk to the Girl Scouts about writing and the careers that writing skills make available, my first reaction was that I should tell them how hard it is to earn a living as a writer. The more I have thought about it, the more I think that it is simply hard to earn a living. Any young person, whether graduating or simply looking forward, needs to know that life isn’t easy.

At Your Service: June 16, 2010

This morning I saw my first fawn of the season. Following his mother, he pranced across the road in my path; good brakes saved his life. He (while it was impossible to tell from the fleeting sighting, I assumed a he) could not have been more than a few days old and is as cute as a button. I could not, in the moment, think of anything other than preserving his life.

At Your Service: June 2, 2010

When you think it through (and most of us don’t take the time) it is very hard work to sustain a retail business in a small rural community. The odds are stacked against you from the start. You must know your customer base and provide the goods and services that will keep them coming back time and again.

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