Who didn’t enjoy spending long summer days with grandparents as a child? Sleeping late. Swimming all day. Eating outside. Hotdogs. Smores. Baseball. Fishing. Chiggers (OK so maybe we didn’t enjoy those). Hotdogs. Oh how I could go on! In fact, I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying going and spending part of one’s summer with grandparents whose job is to spoil us as children. I know mine did. In fact, to be honest, there hasn’t been a day go by this summer that I have not thought of my MaMa and PaPa (pronounced maw-maw and paw-paw). Why? Snow Cones! Yep, that’s right, the simple cool refreshing flavored ice. But every day? I sure have. See, if you haven’t been by the store this summer, you haven’t seen the “Snow Cone” banner that hangs out front or heard the grinding of ice inside as customers wait their turn for their coconut (my favorite) snow cone. This summer we had the idea to sell snow cones and boy am I glad we did. For what I see happening before my eyes is exactly what I recall my grandparents doing with me the summer I visited them in Oak Cliff. At the end of the day just after dinner, my grandfather or grandmother would load us up and take us for snow cones down the road. Every day we waited till the dishes were done and we knew it was time to go. That summer it became tradition. We’d run and play, ride MY Big Wheel down the steep hill on Burlington Avenue and swim in PaPa’s old galvanized tub (which, come to think of it now, was probably used to bathe his dogs). Great summer days to only be topped off with snow cones at the end of the day. The place was the coolest place to be as the sun went down. I’m sure the building wasn’t all that great but what I recall was an old store on Revinia with lots of neat stuff shoved in every nook and cranny in the place. Old wooden floors and the best part, a swing set on the empty lot beside the store. We’d stand in line, get our snow cone (coconut remember) and then go enjoy them while we ran, played and swung outside. What great memories! What great grandparents!

Here’s what’s neat. Several times this summer I’ve seen some really neat grandparents do the same very thing, they’ve brought their grandkids down to Eagle Hardware for their evening treat! I can’t help but be reminded of how I experienced that as a child and now am on the other end realizing that someday these very young kids will think back and think about how their grandparents took them to the hardware store for snow cones. Sorry, but how cool is that!

See, it’s happening. If you’ve been around a while, you know how I want our store to be a part of the community and be a positive influence in our community as well. I say it all the time; it’s not just about “selling” you stuff! And when parents and grandparents bring their kids to Eagle Hardware to get snow cones and they are climbing around on the pallets of feed and just hanging out, we’ve become more than “just a hardware store”. Or, hey, get this. When two young girls want to participate in our Dog Days of Summer (read more about that in this month’s newsletter) and make lemonade, set up a table, sit out for hours in the heat and sell one cup at a time to raise money for the Royse City Animal Shelter, then I believe we’ve become more than just a hardware store. I am so proud of those girls. They raised almost $200 that day and went and bought treats for the pets waiting for new families. When I strive to give back to the community, what a joy it is to see some of our own customers doing the same alongside us. Nah, not just another hardware store.